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Apollo -- which approach? which dancers?


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#76 Quiggin

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:19 PM

The Hubbe performance seems warmer - and the Baryshnikov precise and full of inner detail, but very taut and dry. The SF Ballet production of couple of years ago left Apollo some languorous moments and private unstructured time for his solo.

Regarding the staircase, Balanchine may have been thinking of the Liubov Popova set for Vsevolod Meyerhold's Magnanimous Cuckold.

http://www.glopad.org/pi/en/image/902

[size=4]According to Marilyn Hunt's Prodigal Son's Russian Roots (Dance Chronicle 1982), Meyerhold's "theory of of the importance of distinct 'planes of action'" were an influence Balanchine - and perhaps on Apollo. Hunt also says:

Balancine’s lifelong insistence that his dancers not emote but simply do his steps can be compared to Meyehold’s theory of movement being the source of emotion, as opposed to Stanislavsky’s method of working from the inside out, against which Meyerhold was rebelling.

[/size]

#77 Paul Parish

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:21 PM

THanks, Quiggin -- all that sounds very plausible to me. Thanks for the Meyerhold set -- I'd never seen that before --perhaps it's only a period resemblance, the different levels, and the prevailing blacks and browns, but it reminds me of Leger's set for the 'Creation of the World.'

#78 Paul Parish

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 04:52 PM

Two things -- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting the Hubbe/Kistler version. Even that short clip is a revelatoin. Incredibly intimate and touching. They're like chi\ldren. It's one of hte most wonderful PApollos -- and Terpsichores -- i've ever seen.


second -- Balanchine seems to have been willing to change Apollo for each new dancer.Villella, he told, 'Apollo's a rascal.' Martins, who learned the role from Henning Kronstam, Balanchine coached in a completely different way, completely re-arranging the tone and atttack.... He may have removed the prologue for Martins's cool, perfect Apollo: This idea isn't new, maybe I got it from Garis, who gave a long section in following to speculating why and how Balanchine could cut Stravinsky's music.

And as for Lifar, that was all about Lifar's 17-inch waist.

#79 sandik

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:07 AM

He may have removed the prologue for Martins's cool, perfect Apollo: This idea isn't new, maybe I got it from Garis, who gave a long section in following to speculating why and how Balanchine could cut Stravinsky's music.


I've been twisting about this for several weeks, as we've had a run of the shorter version here. I still think that we lose a big chunk of the narrative sense (not to mention lots of great movement links) without the birth and apotheosis on the stairs. My current idea is that the shorter version of the work is like Cliff Notes, you get enough to pass the test, but it's not actually reading the book.

And as for Lifar, that was all about Lifar's 17-inch waist.


snark!

#80 Paul Parish

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:37 AM

Sorry about the snarkiness -- and I admit it, that's a fair cop, I did say it snarky.

But o god where did I read this, somewhere: Balanchine said that the only male dancer who had real plastic possibilities was Lifar -- otherwise, it was only women whose bodies were proportioned right and were flexible enough for their positions to be really beautiful. but Lifar had one-in-a-million looks. balanchine himself was rather short with a big head and he knew it.

Re Apollo -- the rest of hte argument is that the shortened Apollo is like a classic torso -- it only suited the really classical dancers (of whom Boal was one, along with Martins) but with Martins's legendary pallor and coldness onstage, the "character" parts of the ballet (including the Graham floor-writhing, the Charleston steps of the handmaids, and the baby Apollo's first steps) were out of keeping with hte values the dancer could project.

Hubbe looks to me like someone who could manage both -- he and Kistler are like children, so warm, endearing, playful. he can do the noble thing, and so can she, so the performance -- even just those 30 seconds -- is astonishingly rich, almost paradoxical. Gods and muses must have been kids once too -- though the only myths I know about such are about the childhood of Krishna.


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