Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Nureyevand talking on stage


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 innopac

innopac

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 784 posts

Posted 03 September 2007 - 04:18 AM

Here is a rough translation of what Lucette Aldous said when talking of Nureyev and his absolute commitment to every detail of a production.

"To me he had three brains in his head.... On stage he would see something out of the corner of his eye and suddenly he is saying, 'that conductor is not playing good music tonight... and just look at corps de ballet... they sit on their asses....' By the time we got around the front he said, 'look at that dreadful light up there -- I will kill stage manager....'"

From the documentary Three Ballerinas: a celebration of the lives of three remarkable Australian dancers
[Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2002] Interviews with Lucette Aldous, Marilyn Jones and Marilyn Rowe.


It is unclear from the interview if these outbursts, while Nureyev and Aldous danced, occurred during the filming of Don Quixote or during a live performance. Would professional dancers talk to each other on stage during live productions?

#2 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 03 September 2007 - 06:28 AM

Sometimes they do.

#3 glebb

glebb

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 807 posts

Posted 03 September 2007 - 07:52 AM

When I was in Gronigen for the Diaghilev Festival I was greatly dismayed by the sight of the gorgeous Kirov ladies leaning over to talk to each other in the bows of Firebird.

#4 papeetepatrick

papeetepatrick

    Sapphire Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,486 posts

Posted 03 September 2007 - 09:28 AM

I think I see Patricia McBride talking to Reid Olsen in that rather grainy video 'The Art of the Classical Pas de Deux' made in 1986 in Los Angeles. They're doing 'Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux', and he's not really the ideal partner, or it looks somewhat as though we're getting a filmed rehearsal (even if 4th or 5th or so), so in this case it could have been making the best of a not great situation. Would be interested if someone else noticed this, as I don't remember seeing it in live performance, although it may well have been going on.

#5 pj

pj

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts

Posted 03 September 2007 - 02:09 PM

My dd has danced in a few professional productions and she says that there is definitely a great deal of chatter going on amongst the professional dancers while the company is on stage. And while some of it is not very nice, some of it is hysterically funny; she says sometimes it is a true test of self-control to keep from bursting out laughing.

#6 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 03 September 2007 - 04:06 PM

Russian dancers seem to do that all the time. In the Old Met, this could be deadly, as that stage was so "live" that anything you said onstage could be plainly heard in the audience. Sometimes it was covered by music, and sometimes it wasn't.

#7 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 03 September 2007 - 04:11 PM

I've seen it happen just about everywhere.

#8 4mrdncr

4mrdncr

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 670 posts

Posted 04 September 2007 - 10:48 AM

Of course things get whispered back and forth if necessary, re placement, re timing, re miscellaneous. But my favorite caught-on-video is the Macmillan R&J balcony pdd with Ferri & Corella... There is a LOT of interaction going on throughout, especially just after THE lift midway, when, as she is being lowered Ferri is definately asking a "what do you think about...?" of Corella, and for a second you see his absolute shocked "huh?" in response before he acquiesces to her experience. Or at least until the next discussion, (difference of opinion?) which occurs just before that quick peck he gives her before those running diagonals at the end--to which her reaction (anticipated or not) is spot-on, making the runs into his arms more impressive for pausing to consider first. Personally, I consider this one of the best performances of this pdd, though taken faster than most, and maybe it was all that spontaneous (or not?) soto voce 'coaching' occuring in performance that contributed?

#9 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,455 posts

Posted 07 September 2007 - 04:26 PM

Gore Vidal said in his first memoir that the back and forth between Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin onstage could be quite vigorous: (“Put me down! It’s the third beat!” “Since when could you count?”) Etc.....

#10 stinger784

stinger784

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 154 posts

Posted 07 September 2007 - 08:34 PM

Sometimes it is the only thing that gets us through a season of The Nutcracker. Talking happens all the time. During those long stretches you need something to occupy your time when you have done a show over 200 times in your professional career. So a ballet that a dancer dreads doing becomes more of an experience each time one does it.

I wish I could tell you what we talk about, but that would take away from the mystery of the theatre.

#11 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 08 September 2007 - 12:27 AM

They run something like this, from recollections of actual onstage conversation:

"Where do you want to eat tonight?"

"I don't know, maybe Chinese?"

"Ew, no, did that last night!"

"Japanese? I know a little place in Chelsea that'll be open."

"Yes, that's it! Considering this show, I need sake. A LOT of sake.

"OK, you and me and Bob and Sue. Let's leave through the front of the house."

"Good idea! Will we have to sit on the floor?"

"Not if we don't want to."

And so on....

#12 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 08 September 2007 - 06:00 AM

The most onstage conversation probably occurs during those "crowd scenes" in the big Petipa ballets, and as stinger784 mentioned, mostly during the party scene in the Nutcracker. There are, after all, only so many times you can mime, "What a lovely doll!" before it starts to look and feel stilted and routine.

#13 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 08 September 2007 - 08:40 AM

They run something like this, from recollections of actual onstage conversation:

"Where do you want to eat tonight?"

"I don't know, maybe Chinese?"

"Ew, no, did that last night!"

"Japanese? I know a little place in Chelsea that'll be open."

"Yes, that's it! Considering this show, I need sake. A LOT of sake.

[ ... ]

And so on....

Mel, I'll never watch one of those big-company royal court scenes again without thinking of this. I always wondered what those bored looking courtiers, sitting or standing with nothing to do, were really up to. :speechless-smiley-003:

#14 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 08 September 2007 - 10:42 AM

There's also the meaner, more gossipy type of onstage conversation in which the dancers dissect the performers' technique (but of course only when s/he is on the other side of the stage).


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):