Posted 11 February 2002 - 09:32 AM
Let us return to the business, discussed earlier on this thread, of the développé.
Again, imagine that one is standing on the flat foot, and does a développé devant. Then take that leg, and move it to la seconde, and then move it to arabesque, in what is called in some "jurisdictions", "grand rond de jambe". In the classical scheme, THAT LEG MUST REMAIN AT THE SAME HEIGHT THROUGHOUT, because devant, à la seconde, en arrière, is a single, coordinated, motion that simply happens to shift through different configurations.
The leg does not go to 110-120 degrees devant, then whooosh up to 180 à la seconde, than collapse down to 110 en arabesque, or any other dipping-and-bobbing combo of degrees. IT MUST REMAIN THROUGHOUT AT THE SAME LEVEL. It also happens to be a major choreographic feature.
Now the human body is so made, that no-one on the planet, not even Mlle. Guillem, can do a développé devant so that it touches the nose. Therefore, under no circumstances whatsoever, can the développé à la seconde be allowed to go higher than the one devant.
Again, think calm, think strong, think stable. And think COHERENT.
This is an iron law. We can of course break such laws, and the crowd will roar in approval...but in every crowd, there is SOMEONE, who knows.
[ February 11, 2002: Message edited by: katharine kanter ]
Posted 11 February 2002 - 10:05 AM
Posted 11 February 2002 - 11:15 AM
Also, an important point is getting lost in this discussion which will soon, I fear, call for the permanent attachment of spirit levels and plumb lines to dancers' thighs and calves. It's not so much whether a Guillem, Lacarra or Balanchine, makes changes, even drastic ones, in the accepted practice of an art form, but rather whether in changing that practice, gives back to the art as much, if not more, than what's been "taken away." In the case of Balanchine, there can be no doubt. I haven't seen enough of Guillem and Lacarra to say, other than to say I haven't found Lacarra freakish in the way I've found, say, Zakharova.
Posted 11 February 2002 - 01:42 PM
Posted 11 February 2002 - 03:49 PM
I didn't find the remarks about Lacarra troubling or off-balance. I read the comment that "It is as if she herself confuses Odette and Odile and can't tell the difference" not a review of a performance that he didn't see, but a comment on what he called her "unrelenting seductiveness" in roles like Odette and Aurora. He was quite clear not to say "ballets like Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty" and if one sees a dancer perform the white swan pas de deux (which I'm assuming that he's seen at SFB galas), one has seen her Odette.
I haven't read much of Paul Parish's writing, but I do know he's a long-time San Franciscan who's been watching SFB for years. There's more than a column of praise for Lacarra (not that that really matters; I don't think one has to scrape around for a few good points when writing about a dancer one feels doesn't meet the mark). But I didn't read Parish's remarks on Lacarra as an attack at all, but within the larger context of his first paragraph: "At this point San Francisco Ballet is ast its gretest strength ever, ands yet it's farther from having a company stile than I can remember. The repertory is extremely eclectic, and the big personalities of several years ago have gone."...."
I enjoyed the article very much. I found some of Parish's descriptions of dancing dazzling, including this one of Lacarra: "In The Cage, in Symphony in Three Movements, she is flat-out magnificent. Although she's unmusical, she can count, and in Symphony in Three her double manege of pique turns as the corps zigzags all around her--perfect pique turns, two big circles of the stage, amid all that hubbub--is a tremendous feat of sang-froid, like flying a spaceship through an asteroid belt. Her cool-hot seductive manner is perfect for such roles, and her astonishisng flexibility extends the effect of her one-in-a-million proportions to levels of fascination I've never experienced before."
I'll spend a day or two trying to figure out what he means that she has "a back so flexible she can do an arabesque that looks like a bobbypin," but I'm glad to read someone who thinks that way.
The article discusses several other of SFB's ballerinas: Berman (and he makes the best case for this dancer, whom I've never found interesting, that I've ever read), Feijoo and LeBlanc, especially. He makes you realize, I think, that spending a whole season watching SFB might be very interesting, and a whole lot of fun.
The question he raises about company style is a good one, for me. I think the complaint about Lacarra is less about her as a dancer (he's writes about some performances that he thinks are stunning, others he feels are in the wrong key) but that the company as a whole is an odd amalgamation of styles, interesting dancers brought in from all over, but no specific company accent.
[ February 11, 2002: Message edited by: alexandra ]
Posted 12 February 2002 - 12:35 AM
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