The Russian Back
Posted 24 January 2006 - 01:55 PM
Posted 10 February 2006 - 06:30 AM
Hans, on Feb 9 2006, 09:32 PM, said:
Svetlana Beriosova was born into a family of Lithuanian Dancers. Her father, an uncle and two aunts were professional dancers. As a small child she travelled with her father who was a member of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Cyril Swinson in his book about the artist wrote, "... she came into contact with many great dancers: Vera Nemchinova, Alexandra Danilova, Alicia Markova, Tamara Toumanova, Igor Youskevich, Andre Eglevsky and Leonid Massine. As a child she sat on Fokine's knee and Miassin allowed her to appear in 'Le Beau Danube as the child with a skipping rope." Her first ballet lessons were given to her by her father Nicholas Beriosov and when the family found a permanent home in New York, she went to study with the former Maryinsky dancers Ludmilla Schollar and Anatole Viltzak. According to Swinson, Beriosova made her debut in the corps de ballet of Marquis de Cuevas company when only fourteen. Other sources say it was with the Ottawa Ballet. Later with her father she joined the Metropolitan Ballet in London becoming its leading dancer by the age of 17. Her colleagues within this company included Erik Bruhn, Frank Schaufuss, Alexandre Kalioujny, Poul Gnatt and Leonid Massine. Beriosva left the Metropolitan ballet and joined the Sadlers Wells Ballet. Among the extraordinary qualities of her dancing were her beautiful line, high extensions, a regal carriage of the head and arms and a flow of movement which was the hallmark of the earlier Russian school. As to her back it had both strength and pliancy which led a control of flowing movement bringing a singing quality to her dancing. Was yearning ever so expressed through the use of the back as by Beriosova in her performances of Odette where the plastique of her arabesque matched the emotional and dramatic soaring qualities of Tchaikovsky’s music. Beriosova was a true ballerina by technique, theatrical expression and was a rare dancer of whom it could be said, that her dancing possessed a spiritual quality.
Posted 10 February 2006 - 01:30 PM
Posted 18 February 2006 - 04:43 PM
Posted 18 February 2006 - 06:44 PM
Now can you see Guillem? Actually there are several photos of her on this site that show her perfectly erect back.
And then you can see all sorts of photos.
The homepage has links to even more photos. It's a treasure trove:
Posted 23 March 2006 - 07:23 AM
in the "Evening With The Royal Ballet" with Fonteyn. Wow!
When I first Carlos Acosta on film, one of the most enduring images I have ever seen happened at the end of his 1st solo in Diana & Acteon. He ends up in a kneeling position- but what a position!!!!! His back is arched backward so far, his head is back and down almost level to his buttocks!!!!
Posted 23 March 2006 - 08:29 PM
Yes he did! I think that's part of the reason why he and Fonteyn were so successful. He made her more Romantic, more pliant, and she made him more classical. They cross-pollenated each other, to great effect.
Posted 23 March 2006 - 09:06 PM
Editing to add: If you have ABT's subscription brochure, you might want to check the photo on pp. 14-15 -- Vishneva and Saveliev in Swan Lake.
Posted 25 March 2006 - 05:32 PM
Alina Cojocaru as Ondine
Cojocaru as Odette
In both pictures, she's not even especially stretching out her back, but you can just sort of see the natural curvature.
For comparisons, here are pictures of Tamara Rojo. Look at the plumb line:
Rojo as Aurora
carbro, I agree about Ruzimatov. In fact, the quality you mentioned is one reason I've never really warmed to Ruzimatov. From what I've seen, a lot of his dancing seems to be more 'showing off' than actually creating a character. Angel Corella had a bit of this when he was younger but he's matured into a serious artist, although he's technically as spectacular as ever.
And for those who want a picture of Rudolf Nureyev's uber-"Russian back", here are a few pictures that show that Rudi could sure arch his back:
For a beautiful picture that really shows how the Russian back is a continuom of arched placement:
Sizova and Nureyev
For a comparison, somewhat similar position, but look at how straight their backs are:
Bruhn and Nerina
Edited by canbelto, 25 March 2006 - 05:39 PM.
Posted 25 March 2006 - 06:25 PM
Posted 25 March 2006 - 10:18 PM
Your take on it?
Posted 26 March 2006 - 05:35 AM
Posted 23 April 2006 - 05:42 PM
And then there are Balanchine's ballets, which I think require an in between approach. Definitely not the extreme arch, but they don't quite require that regal upright appearance. I find that his ballets are most flattered by extreme extensions, but not necessarily extreme backs. His choreography doesn't need it!
0 user(s) are reading this topic
members, guests, anonymous users
Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases: