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Darcey Bussell,why so little "talk" about her on Ballet Talk


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#31 bart

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 03:01 PM

Really nice interview. I was interested to find that, when asked what she considered to be her biggest success, she responded:

The biggest that comes to mind was when I guested with New York City Ballet. I did Agon at the Balanchine Celebration gala in 1993. That was slightly surreal. It was as though I was always meant to have been there, that that moment was always going to happen. I thought, 'Wow. I've found another home.'

Bussell's celebrity in the UK seems to come from many things. One, certainly, is that, although she never dilutes the quality of her work and her art, she is willing to make fun of her image. TV appearanceson "Vicar of Dibley," "Kumars at No. 42," etc., (mentioned on on other threads on BT) helped create the image, apparently genuine, of a very warm, natural and accessible kind of star.

#32 canbelto

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 06:24 AM

Wow, this is an interview that dirac posted and it sounds very different from the Bussell interviews I've seen of the past. She seems very disenchanted with dance and ballet.

#33 Mashinka

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 07:28 AM

I suppose that with her imminent retirement in sight she feels she can be more honest in her opinions.

The remarks about the physical deterioration made unpleasant reading, but its no more than I've heard from a number of dance professionals concerned about the injury rates among classical dancers obliged to dance a variety of styles that ultimately take their toll on the body.

#34 canbelto

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 09:07 AM

I thought this was the most disturbing quote:

Would she like her children to become ballerinas? "Not really. It's a difficult life. It's obsessive and isolated and poorly paid. It's a very small world and very few of us are in it. I have been very fortunate to have done as well as I have. There are many other talented dancers out there who have not had the success they should have had. You have to be very strong physically and emotionally to do this and then you have to sit back and watch your body break down."



#35 dirac

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 11:04 AM

I suppose that with her imminent retirement in sight she feels she can be more honest in her opinions.

The remarks about the physical deterioration made unpleasant reading, but its no more than I've heard from a number of dance professionals concerned about the injury rates among classical dancers obliged to dance a variety of styles that ultimately take their toll on the body.


I was also put in mind of Fonteyn's remark to the effect that if there was a real understanding of the pain involved, the only people watching ballet would be those who liked bullfighting.

#36 bart

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 01:05 PM

I was also struck by her comment that she became a dancer because she could do it well and couldn't do much else (in her youth, at any rate).

Bussell's career and marriage have opened up a lot of doors for her -- new experiences, exposure to new kinds of people, etc. Perhaps she is also speaking from a desire, after so many years of focusing almost exclusively on the act of dancing, to experience a different kind of challenge in her work life.

#37 Buddy

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 05:20 PM

Darcey Bussell also says...

"I think children are interested in dance, partly because of Billy Elliot and partly because if you go into any school playground, loads of kids are doing street dancing."

"Everyone Loves Music, Loves To Move. It Is Joyous To Do That."

(I added the capital letters).

#38 Andre Yew

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 06:06 PM

I thought this was the most disturbing quote:

Would she like her children to become ballerinas? "Not really. It's a difficult life. It's obsessive and isolated and poorly paid. It's a very small world and very few of us are in it. I have been very fortunate to have done as well as I have. There are many other talented dancers out there who have not had the success they should have had. You have to be very strong physically and emotionally to do this and then you have to sit back and watch your body break down."


I don't find this quote disturbing, but refreshingly frank. Performing arts schools are turning out more dancers, musicians, actors, etc. than can ever be gainfully employed, and they will come into a society that will undervalue and misunderstand them. Every child seriously considering going into the arts and their parents ought to have a talk like this from the school representatives before they make their decisions.

--Andre

#39 Drew

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 11:20 PM

I also found this, as Andre Yew said, refreshingly frank--and without sounding the least bit sour. And it does seem that one way or another (guest appearances, tap dancing with her daughters, or bully pulpits)) dance is a going to remain a big part of her life for a long time.

#40 canbelto

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 10:40 AM

Maybe disturbing was the wrong word. I just think that it's surprising that after such a long glorious career Bussell doesn't seem particularly happy with her career choice. It sounds like she started dancing because she wasnt good at anything else, and that she remained a dancer because of determination and lack of options, rather than love of the art.
I know ballet is a terribly demanding career, but Bussell seems to have been blessed and led a charmed life. Unlike, say, Suzanne Farrell, she didn't have moments when her entire career was in jeopardy, and she's married to a banker and has two lovely kids. Yet she still doesn't sound particularly happy about being a dancer.

#41 Starr

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 11:42 AM

Maybe disturbing was the wrong word. I just think that it's surprising that after such a long glorious career Bussell doesn't seem particularly happy with her career choice. It sounds like she started dancing because she wasnt good at anything else, and that she remained a dancer because of determination and lack of options, rather than love of the art.
I know ballet is a terribly demanding career, but Bussell seems to have been blessed and led a charmed life. Unlike, say, Suzanne Farrell, she didn't have moments when her entire career was in jeopardy, and she's married to a banker and has two lovely kids. Yet she still doesn't sound particularly happy about being a dancer.



Yes, she is blessed. Last year she and her husband sold there house in the range of 2-3 million pounds. British papers must have a thing for ballerinas & their houses. Another one I remember was Leanne Benjamin, who talked about how many times she & her hubby have bought houses(one at a time). Though I gather that sort of thing is common in London.

To be honest, I read a lot of interviews with dancers that sound like they are "cursed" with their talent or grouse about the hours, injuries, pay etc. Diana V. and Agnes Oakes come to mind.

#42 Azulynn

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 04:07 AM

I have recently discovered Darcey Bussell's rendering of the Agon pas de deux, on the Balanchine Celebration tape, and I found her absolutely gorgeous in it - with such a pure line and a technique that seemed suited to Balanchine. It actually made me change my mind about her - I had only seen her in the Sylvia telecast from last year where she is not at her best IMO (she doesn't seem at ease in this kind of classical piece).

I did a research on the Board's archives and noticed that some people had actually hated her Agon... Would anyone feeling that way care to explain why ? I've never seen it done by a NYCB dancer, and I'm wondering in which ways she might have been "wrong" - especially as the POB will dance Agon in February, and I'm looking forward to see how they envision the piece (and how different it may be from NYCB).

#43 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 06:59 AM

That would probably be me. I didn't *hate* it, but as far as I'm concerned, she did it wrong.

One of the most important things in the pas de deux is that the woman, as Balanchine said to Arthur Mitchell, is like a doll. The man moves her into position. Bussell didn't allow the man (Lindsay Fischer) to manipulate her and kept trying to balance on her own. She didn't let him do his job. To my taste, the other Darci (Kistler) did a much more interesting Agon.

#44 Helene

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 10:04 AM

I hated it. If felt that she tried the gymnastic approach: how high can my extensions go, and her thrusts were rooted in the thighs, rather than the pelvis, probably because her turnout looks limited. I saw it live, never having seen her before and very much looking forward to it, and was horribly disappointed. I thought she was miscast in what is probably the central role in the Balanchine canon.

#45 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 11:13 AM

I know the British think Bussell's a Balanchine dancer. This mystifies me. She's way too vertical in her lines to be one. I've seen her do Agon, Symphony in C and Sanguinic in 4Ts. Sanguinic suits her best, but even there, she's too vertical.


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