Dancers whose dancing "sings"
Posted 02 January 2006 - 11:46 AM
I have been thinking about what this means and have just come across this reference concerning Olga Spessivtseva, as described by the critic Cyril Beaumont:
QUOTE: "So strong is the impression made by her dancing that, when she has made her exit, the space she has vacated seems to be lightly scored with the lovelyi curves and lines her body has but just descirbed ... Her body SINGS." (Quoted in Nancy Reynolds, No Fixed Points).
I know I have had that experience of seeing (or feeling or reliving or whatever) the impression left by a dancer for a few seconds after he/she has departed the stage. I wish I could think of specific examples of live performance. On film, Carla Fracci's Giselle comes to mind. As does Fred Astaire in a number of his movies -- you miss him, as soon as the camera cuts to something else. There's also (for me) the way developpe wonderfully done makes time stop for an instant.
Anyone have similar thoughts? Are there any dancers in your experience who "sing" in this way -- or, indeed, in any way that is important to you? Who are they? And -- if you can figure it out -- WHAT do they do to create this impression?
HERE'S THE ORIGINAL THREAD:
QUOTE(Hans @ Oct 31 2005, 11:30 AM)
Asylmuratova used the phrase "singing with the body," which I haven't seen from a live ballet dancer for a long time.
QUOTE (Paul Parrish) Well, Hans, I feel for you -- but I wish you could have seen Sarah van Patten here in San Francisco Ballet as the Queen of the Snow last week. Her entire body sings -- as Sibley's did, though the temperaments are completely different. SFB is generally speaking a musical company -- not everybody, but most.
The Ballet Russes kind of muscality IS old-fashioned. Oakland Ballet cultivated it --they had many ballets set on them by Massine, Franklin, Beriosov, Irina Nijinska set many of her mother's ballets on them.... it's a demi-caractere mode, perhaps, with lots of emphasis on plastique, more weight than is fashionable now, and a willingness to dance through and even against the music that was ultimately very musical.
I saw ithat singing quality in class the other day, when Michael Lowe (who's now retired as an Oakland Ballet principal dancer, but who was wonderful as Albrecht in Franklin's production of Giselle and as the acrobat in Nijinska's Le Train Bleu, and in many of Massine's ballets) -- it was fascinating to see him use the upper body in every combination, even at the barre -- all this epaulement in tendus and piques (Croise derriere lke you would not BELIEVE!) and grands battements, and of course in the rondes de jambes, all these tilts in the upper body, and head positions even in frappes. my right foot is kaput for a while, so I have t just watch class, but it was entirely worth it just t watch Michael dance. He's now the director of Peninsula Ballet in San Mateo, and he's doing GOOD choreography ("Bamboo" was terrific.)
Posted 02 January 2006 - 12:28 PM
Posted 02 January 2006 - 04:32 PM
Posted 07 January 2006 - 08:53 AM
"I think it is good for a student to try different phrasings and play with the qualities of faster, a little slower, and suspension. But it has to be on the music. It's all about listening to the music. The music gives you exactly the qualitiy of the movement. Sometimes I try to help with the use of my voice."
"I worked with a fabulous teacher, Alla Osipenko. She used to say, 'Don't just listen to the music. Sing the music.' Because when you sing the music, it's in your body."
Posted 07 January 2006 - 06:25 PM
Posted 07 January 2006 - 09:42 PM
Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:19 PM
Hans, that's interesting. De Vita does not make it cleare whether or not Osipenko literally sang as she practiced, or whether she was speaking metaphorically. But I would imagine that actual singing (especially during difficult combinations or complex music) would help ne to concentrate the sense of the music throughout the body in a way that counting might not.
At the Ecole-Atelier Rudra Béjart Lausanne, the students have lessons in classical singing, and I think it makes a difference in one's dancing.
I wonder if other ballet schools also include training in singing as part of their curriculum.
Posted 08 January 2006 - 03:42 PM
Posted 08 January 2006 - 03:57 PM
Posted 08 January 2006 - 04:06 PM
My mother and father would attend Jacques D'Amboise's lecture demos whenever he appeared in northern New Jersey. My mother described with glee how D'Amboise would recite poetry while performing beats, to demonstrate how a dancer must breath through the steps. Granted, it was a smallish auditorium in Paramus, but he could be heard loud and clear all the way to the last row.
Singing while you dance? Isn't it all in the breathing, as Makarova had reminded us?
I would think that hearing, if not singing the music, would help to express it through the body.
Posted 08 January 2006 - 05:30 PM
Posted 08 January 2006 - 11:22 PM
Laws-a-massy, for goodness sake
Have you never heard of Lucy Lake?
....Lucy lives in a darling house
With a darling garden and darling fence
And a darling faith in the future tense,
Lucy tells us to carry on
It’s always darkest before the dawn.
A visit to Lucy’s bucks you up
Helps you swallow the bitterest cup.
Lucy Lake is meek as a mouse
Let’s go over to Lucy’s house
And let’s lynch Lucy!
Posted 08 January 2006 - 11:32 PM
Posted 09 January 2006 - 08:34 AM
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