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Alexandra

Great Partnerships

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Several people wrote me emails suggesting that this week's Question of the Week be about Great Partnerships, and so it will be. One reader also wrote to suggest that we change the question from "all time greats" to simply "favorites." I think this is a good idea; it will make it more fun. Another no "right or wrong" question. (Although, of course, friendly debate is always encouraged.)

I'm going to put up a "Favorite Men" and "Favorite Women" thread, too, if anyone was holding back, worried that his/her favorite wasn't a Great One. Feel free. (And these threads will never expire.)

But on this thread, please nominate your favorite partnership, or reminisce about any great partnership you were privileged to see.

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Cynthia Gregory and Fernando Bujones...an "anything you can do I can do better" match up. I've seen some wonderful performances with Ferri and Bocca partnered: "Manon", "Giselle". One of the most generous partners I've seen is Jock Soto; I can't say enough about his partnering.

Giannina

[This message has been edited by Giannina Mooney (edited 11-20-98).]

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My choice of Makarova and Nagy as the finest partnership I have ever experienced is not (or not only) a sign of increasing age. It has been over 25 years since we first saw them in "Swan Lake" and we have never seen a partnership in ANY performing art form that was better. It was one of those impossible combinations of each of them giving everything to each other and the audience and at the same time dancing with a virtuosity and fire that was breathtaking in itself.

ed waffle

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I loved Farrell and Martins. They complimented each other so beautifuly. He was more daring when he danced with her and she was more beautiful than ever. While I was thinking about partnerships, I was reminded about a quote from Darci Kistler, who believed her frequent injuries were sometimes due to not having a regular partner she could get used to and who would know her moves. This was before she began to dance with Jock Soto and Igor Zelensky. Speaking of those two, I nominate them as great partners along with Adam Luders as caring partners. No matter who or what size or the ballet, these men always treat their ballerinas as wonderful, special, creatures that should be cared for and displayed.

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Name dropping...

Maximova and Vassiliev (Bolshoi)

Sibley and Dowell (Royal Ballet)

Fonteyn and Nureeyev (Royal Ballet)

Thesmar and Denard (Paris Opera)

Loudieres and Legris (Paris Opera)

Maybe they are some of the most legendary...

[This message has been edited by Olivier (edited 11-23-98).]

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I like your name dropping, Olivier. Can't quibble with one of your dropped names, either. It never hurts to stick with legends.

Funny, but the three Great Partners I'd nominate weren't really part of Great Partnerships, to me, in the same way as Olivier's List. My three Great Partners are Ivan Nagy, Peter Martins, and Arne Villumsen. I loved sitting close and watching them work, watching their hands. Although I saw Nagy/Makarova and Farrell/Martins dozens of times and I know they're great, I never saw a performance where I thought their souls fused. I didn't see Villumsen enough (but his Onegin, with Heidi Ryom, was incredible; only Danes would maintain eye contact during a running over-the-head crotch-hold lift) to note more than the partnering skill.

One of the greatest partnering performances I ever saw was Gelsey Kirkland and Anthony Dowell in the snow scene of Baryshnikov's production of Nutcracker. They actually seemed to fall in love on the stage -- not as Clara and the Prince, but as dancers, as though they were discovering each other and what they could do and fell in love because they were so absolutely sublime.

alexandra

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Olivier, you posted an interesting list...

I wish I had more opportunities to see Legris and

Loudieres together (I only saw them in Neumeier's "Sylvia").

I've read Jacques Garnier had created a special dance

piece for Denard and Thesmar in the early 80s, called "A coeur ouvert", about an "old" couple of dance partners and all its problems. I wish

I had seen it.

Among the present POB dancers, perhaps one could add Hilaire and Guerin, and Letestu and Martinez.

Pietragalla and Belarbi used to dance together quite often, but now it seldom

happens, I don't know why.

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I haven't seen Agnes and Jose dance together yet, but I am sure they are a great partnership since they also are a couple !

Manuel and Monique are fabulous together...Their personalities really compliment each other !

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Olivier, are you sure that the couples "in real life" always are good partners? I hope that their personal problems don't get reflected in their dancing...

As far as I know, there are at least two other couples "in real life and on stage" at the POB: Lionel Delanoe and Delphine Moussin, both "premiers danseurs" (but Delanoe was severly injured a few seasons ago, and I haven't had real opportunities to see them together since then), and Nicolas Le Riche and Claire-Marie Osta (but he's a principal and she's "only" a soloist, so she isn't given much opportunities to dance with him).

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The hardest time for couples is the rehearsals...But the performance is an accomplishement and become something special when danced with your loved one !

In rehearsal you know the other person so much that you push each other to the extreme (you also help each other), which makes the process quite interesting !

Sorry I don't have much time to elaborate...I am on my way to one of my Nutcracker show...

Olivier

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I have seen a number of performances of a beautiful married couple from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Anik Bissonette and Louis Robitalle. They used to dance with Eddy Toussaint's Ballet de Montreal, and during those years I watched them work together in choreography created for them by Toussaint . Although both are very fine dancers on their own, I always felt that they had something really special when working together. Has anyone else seen this lovely couple? Are they still with Les Grands Ballets?

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Unfortunatly Victoria, Louis has retired from dancing. I have seen them dance together, and also loved them together !

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Anik Bissonnette is still dancing with les Grands Ballets Canadiens though. They had a little girl: Sandrine who is two years old.

Margot

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Iliana Lopez and Franklin Gamero are a couple, onstage and off, that are a pleasure to watch, onstage and off.

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Please see this lovely clip of Katia and Volodya dancing Giselle. So very gorgeous. His hands are so expressive and her feet! I'm swooning, yes.

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How I wish I could have seen them dance. They dance so beautifully together - so serious, so sincere. In the service of their art completely.

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From what I've read thru the years...some of them...

Kschessinskaya/Gerdt

Karsavina/Nijinsky

Markova/Dolin

Alonso/Youskevitch

Danilova/Franklin

Dudinskaya/Sergueev

Fonteyn/Nureyev. .

Tallchief/Eglevsky

Maximova/Vasiliev

Kirkland/Baryshnikov

Farrell/Martins

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I re-looked over this thread--I don't think anyone mentioned Fracci-Bruhn. I would add that Makarova also had a very fine partnership with Dowell, though I also loved him with Kirkland and of course (mentioned above) Sibley. He was a great partner!

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I re-looked over this thread--I don't think anyone mentioned Fracci-Bruhn. I would add that Makarova also had a very fine partnership with Dowell, though I also loved him with Kirkland and of course (mentioned above) Sibley. He was a great partner!

I was going to mention Fracci-Bruhn, Drew, but you beat me to it! The early bird catches the worm....

I would also like to underscore Maximova-Vasiliev, Fonteyn-Nureyev, Kirkland-Baryshnikov,and Ferri-Bocca, and today, Vishneva-Gomes. I am surely leaving out names that will come to me in the middle of the night.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if a perfect partner could be found for Veronika Part? She is so deserving.

Also, still searching for the perfect partner for David Hallberg....

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I re-looked over this thread--I don't think anyone mentioned Fracci-Bruhn. I would add that Makarova also had a very fine partnership with Dowell, though I also loved him with Kirkland and of course (mentioned above) Sibley. He was a great partner!

I was going to mention Fracci-Bruhn, Drew, but you beat me to it! The early bird catches the worm....

I would also like to underscore Maximova-Vasiliev, Fonteyn-Nureyev, Kirkland-Baryshnikov,and Ferri-Bocca, and today, Vishneva-Gomes. I am surely leaving out names that will come to me in the middle of the night.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if a perfect partner could be found for Veronika Part? She is so deserving.

Also, still searching for the perfect partner for David Hallberg....

Not perfect, but I think Osipova Hallberg is plenty exciting. What keeps it from the pantheon is how little they dance together--a partnership needs nurturing.

I am sad to say that though I have seen Vishneva and seen Gomez, I have never seen them dance together.

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Tiler Peck/Robert Fairchild

Diana Vishneva/Marcelo Gomes

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