Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
fandeballet

Partnerships

59 posts in this topic

Rowena Jackson and Philip Chatfield, a married pair formerly of the Royal Ballet.

Share this post


Link to post

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova (confirmed in Gelsey Kirkland's book). But they are a unique case where they continued to dance together even after their breakup.

In most cases, it seems as if when the offstage relationship ends, so does the onstage partnership. For instance, do Ruzimatova and Vishneva ever dance together anymore?

Share this post


Link to post
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova (confirmed in Gelsey Kirkland's book). But they are a unique case where they continued to dance together even after their breakup.

In most cases, it seems as if when the offstage relationship ends, so does the onstage partnership. For instance, do Ruzimatova and Vishneva ever dance together anymore?

Where the dancers have say in their partners -- for example, where they are on contract -- this might be the case, but in any company where there are long-term members, there are inevitable break-ups, and those dancers aren't segregated forever. It makes little sense to partner people where emotions are still raw or animosity is great, but part of being a professional in a tight-knit community is working with one's exes. I once heard it said about Iceland is that since everyone knows everyone else and there's a limited dating population, it would be a tough place if divorced and broken-up people couldn't get along over time.

Share this post


Link to post

Here's one that no one has mentioned. I don't know if it was one that drew an audience but I always found a special chemistry was evident when Leslie Browne and Ricardo Bustamante danced together. Their Romeo & Juliet was danced with passion and abandonment even in a rehearsal I once saw.

Share this post


Link to post

Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun, were a magical partnership when they were dancing with the Stutgardt Ballet in the 1970's. But when their offstage relationship ended, the onstage relations ended. But, they were magic together!!!!!!! :(:crying:

Share this post


Link to post

I can't believe no one has mentioned Peter Martins and Heather Watts (pretty much confirmed, right?). I can't believe I forgot that one too.

Sonia Arova and Erik Bruhn were engaged and definitely danced together, but from the bits and pieces I've seen, it doesn't seem like they were all that magical :crying:

And I never knew Haydee/Cragun were a couple.

George Balanchine and Tamara Geva. Pretty sure they danced together at the Mariinsky.

Share this post


Link to post
I can't believe no one has mentioned Peter Martins and Heather Watts (pretty much confirmed, right?).

Definitely confirmed, by Martins himself, in his book 'Far from Denmark', 1982.

Share this post


Link to post

A lot of Kirov(Maryinsky)dancers are or have been married,that have not been mentioned,like Tatyana Terehova and Sergei Berezhnoi. Olga Chenchikova used to be married to former Kirov principal Marat Daukayev with whom she danced.Now she is married to former principal and current AD Mahkarak Vaziyev and they used to dance together. The late Yuri Solovyev was married to Tatyana Legat,though I don't know if they danced togrther since she wasn't a principal.

At the Bolshoi Ludmila Semenyaka used to be married to Michail Lavrovsky.I think that's why she moved from Kirov to the Bolshoi and they did dance together.Then she used to be married to Andris Liepa ( Maris's son),but I don't know if and how much they danced together. Generations wise,Semenyaka falls somewhere between Lavrovsky and younger Liepa.She is some 10 years younger than Lavrovsky and 10 years older than Liepa.

Back to the Kirov,the incredibly beautiful Inna Zubkovskaya was married to outstanding dancer Nikolai Zubkovsky whose name she took upon marriage and kept after their divorce.Then she was married to another Kirov principal( I think Oleg Sokolov).Zubkovskaya is an unusual example of Moskow trained dancer,whose whole proffessional career was spent at the Kirov.

On another note,off stage relationship or marriage is not a guarantee for great patnership.Case in mind Altynai Asylmuratova and Konstantin Zaklinsky.I attended their performance of Giselle in early nineties at the Kennedy Center and was no chemistry whatsoever. One of the reasons might be that she is one of the greatest dancers of all times and he is merely a very very good dancer.

Share this post


Link to post
On another note,off stage relationship or marriage is not a guarantee for great patnership.
Good point .. and a very interesting example.

There are also those times when the onstage chemistry may just have to develop slowly, especially if the two are not "natural" partners as to training and style. To wit, the increasingly onstage harmony of Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra at Miami. (They were married this past summer.) This season I've been impressed at the way Guerra's partnering has become less tense, more generous, and ... happier. Even with other female partners.

Share this post


Link to post
I have never heard of an instance where pairing up offstage precipitated dismissal from a company -- except, of course, in the case of Paul Mejia, after he wed Suzanne Farrell.

Balanchine didn't fire him, technically, although Mejia was put in a position where he had no choice really except to quit. I think also in this context of the Diaghilev-Nijinsky- Romola dustup.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm glad dirac mentioned "the Diaghilev-Nijinsky-Romola dustup," because, without wishing to indulge in gossip, I can't help thinking of all the same-sex couples affected, adversely or otherwise, by heterosexual partnerships. But of greater interest are the great onstage partnerships which carried no hint of off-stage relastionships. Just in my primary area of interest: Farrell and d'Amboise, Farrell and Donn, Farrell and Martins.

Share this post


Link to post
I'm glad dirac mentioned "the Diaghilev-Nijinsky-Romola dustup," because, without wishing to indulge in gossip, I can't help thinking of all the same-sex couples affected, adversely or otherwise, by heterosexual partnerships.

At the risk of derailing this thread, I wonder how often relationships between artistic directors and dancers can really qualify as healthy and equal. Diaghilev, for example, went through plenty of lovers after Nijinsky. Did the dancers really enter these relationships freely? A couple of years ago Charles Jude got into trouble for allegedly refusing to cast his former girlfriend in ballets, and Zdenek Konvalina filed a sexual harassment suit against Stanton Welch. On one of several television specials about her Karen Kain mentioned an incident with Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was feeling restless at the National Ballet of Canada, so she broached the subject of joining ABT with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Apparently, his reply was, "We'll talk about it over breakfast," at which point Kain decided that she didn't really want to dance with ABT after all. I'm uneasy about director-dancer relationships because there's a potential for abuse of one person's power over the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Zdenek Konvalina filed a sexual harassment suit against Stanton Welch.

WHOA. I've been away from the Houston dance scene for longer than I thought. I knew that Konvalina had joined NBoC, but I had no idea THAT had happened.

Share this post


Link to post
A lot of Kirov(Maryinsky)dancers are or have been married,that have not been mentioned

That's an interesting list, anin. I am repeatedly amazed at how many "stars" do get married to fellow stars, even though dancing as a partnership must put great strain on their relationship. There are exceptions, like Maximova and Vasiliev, who claim that being together all the time helps them in their partnership, but in general the stress, the competition and the fact that you can never really get away from each other (especially not in the middle of a ballet) makes it a big challenge. Is this specifically a Russian phenomenon, or is it equally widespread in Western companies?

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know Ostrich if it's a Russian phenomenon. I am just a lot more familiar with Russian dancers, especially of late sixties and up to late seventies,since I was born and raised in Leningrad and left before it has become St.Petersburg again. But I doubt that it's typical of Russian dancers primarily. Dancers' lives are pretty much the same in all major ballet companies : class,rehearsals,performances,touring,guest appearances etc.

Share this post


Link to post

I remember first noting Lisa Rinehart in an early 80's ABT program for her gorgeous extension. I also remember her in the corps and I think some soloist roles, but never as an onstage partner with Baryshnikov. What I do remember from that period is American actress Jessica Lange sitting on the aisle stairs in the balcony of Shrine Auditorium in L.A. to watch Mischa dance. (Do not know why she didn't have a reserved seat. Not sure if Alexandra was born yet.) And Jackie Bissett waiting for Alexander Gudonov--who was very shy of crowds.

It's great if partners understand how the other thinks, moves, and approaches a role/performance, but in the end passion and energy come from the underlying adrenalin of a live performance, and acting ability; the rest is the practicality of work. As Julie Kent once noted in the ABT Ballet Book, (paraphrasing): "You can never recreate the energy of a [live] stage performance in the studio. That's why rehearsing a kiss, you just feel silly." Another ABT dancer, when asked how they were able to dance with someone they didn't get along with replied, "Good acting."

So there.

Share this post


Link to post

Heather Watts and Damian Wotzel (offstage).

Share this post


Link to post
I am repeatedly amazed at how many "stars" do get married to fellow stars... Is this specifically a Russian phenomenon, or is it equally widespread in Western companies?

There are a number of married couples within the Hamburg Ballet. Principals Anna Polikarpova and Ivan Urban, and Silvia Azzoni and Alexandre Riabko are married to each other and dance together frequently. Both couples were featured in the 2006 New Year's concert from Vienna, though in the case of Azzoni and Riabko, Thiago Bordin was thrown in to make a trio. Principal Carsten Jung is married to retired principal Elizabeth Loscavio, and they did dance together occasionally, though he being eight years her junior was on a slightly delayed career trajectory. Principal Lloyd Riggins has been married to soloist Niurka Moredo for many years (since 1991, the company web site states). Soloists Georgina Broadhurst and Peter Dingle are also married to each other. Principal Heather Jurgensen and corps dancer Yaroslav Ivanenko are a pair. They don't intersect much in the company's repertoire, but she often performs his choreography in other settings.

As of last summer, former principal Jiří Bubeníček, now in Dresden, was dating POB étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot, but I don't know if they've had many opportunities to perform together. Former Hamburg soloist Yukichi Hattori and corps member Galien Johnston are now at Alberta Ballet, but the fact that she's taller than him would probably preclude any partnering opportunities.

Share this post


Link to post
As of last summer, former principal Jiří Bubeníček, now in Dresden, was dating POB étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot, but I don't know if they've had many opportunities to perform together.

I think they had at least a pdd created for them, but I don't remember the piece nor the event.

To add to the general list also Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares (both principals of the London Royal Ballett), officially engaged and maybe close to wedding: as reported, Soares proposed himself at the end of a recent Sleeping Beauty -on stage but with curtains down-, in front of the whole company and dressed as prince Florimund! :clapping:

Share this post


Link to post
To add to the general list also Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares (both principals of the London Royal Ballett), officially engaged and maybe close to wedding: as reported, Soares proposed himself at the end of a recent Sleeping Beauty -on stage but with curtains down-, in front of the whole company and dressed as prince Florimund! :)

Very romantic. Of course, you want to be certain the lady is going to say yes, cf. Alec Baldwin’s misfired proposal in ‘Working Girl.’ :)

Share this post


Link to post
cf. Alec Baldwin’s misfired proposal in ‘Working Girl.’ :)
If I'm remembering correctly, Melanie Griffiths's first response was "Maybe" and when he objected, she said something like "If you want another answer, ask another girl." I always liked her for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Margaret Tracey is married to the Kaiser brother who danced with NYCB, but I can't remember his first name.

Helene, his name is Russell Kaiser.

Also, Carbro, in addition to --

# Patty McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefous/x, occasional partners

# Kyra Nichols and Dan Duell (I wonder what dancing together was like when their marriage ended)

# Jenifer Ringer and James Fayette

# Judith Fugate and Mehdi Bahiri, in guest engagements

I recall that Maria Calegari and Joe Duell were married around the time that Kyra and Dan were married. They divorced before his untimely death. Maria and Bart Cook, who work together setting ballets for the Balanchine Foundation, among other activities, and are a couple.

Share this post


Link to post
I recall that Maria Calegari and Joe Duell were married around the time that Kyra and Dan were married.
I was acquainted with a friend of Calegari's. As I understood it, they were never actually married.

Share this post


Link to post
[Maria and Bart Cook, who work together setting ballets for the Balanchine Foundation, among other activities, and are a couple.

Calegari was interviewed on NPR's "Morning Edition" years ago, possibly at the time she was dancing with Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and she mentioned "my husband, Bart Cook."

Share this post


Link to post

I just recalled that I was going to add this to the discussion back in July, but didn't --

Does anyone else find it ODD that Peter Martins, who really owes so much to having been hired to be a partner to Suzanne, Farrell and did a really wonderful job of it, has never, never, never truly fostered partnerships in his company?

The only real exception was Heather and Jock, and oh, maybe Darci and Nilas, (which is so totally backwards-Freudian that I could never stomach it). For example, just as Peter Boal and Judith Fugate were beginning to look absolutely superb, despite their age difference, they were split up. Kyra said in her Seminar talk that she can now ask for anyone she wants (until JUNE that is!!), and usually seems to ask for Philip Neal, but that doesn't count.

Well????

Share this post


Link to post
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0