Jack Reed

Showings of 1965 Performance Film of Balanchine's "Don Quixot

53 posts in this topic

But when technique deteriorates in front of our eyes, it's painfully clear that no amount of extra-theatrical anything can truly compensate.

But the 'extra-theatrical anything' can be part of what makes some aspects of technique deteriorate in front of our eyes. Anyway, even if you think 'Raymonda' is rarely danced as finely as it once was, other things we've been talking about in the other threads prove that dazzling technique, even if not always imbued with all the 'extra-theatrical' things, can remain extant in athletic form (I haven't heard of ballet use of steroids and other drugs as in the Olympics, baseball and Tour de France, but it's bound to exist already or will exist--and without even quite the stigma, because it's less a matter of one competition after another and against another specific competitor in ballet and other dance). EAW, do you possibly mean that certain aspects of technique are emphasized at the expense of others? Because for the most part, but with much less experience and expertise, I agree with Leigh's last comment on the 'over breeding', and that the Pandora's box, both here and elsewhere, is not going to be closed. Along those lines is the near-impossibility in such an environment of realistically expecting another Balanchine to all of a sudden appear. He was still very much an extension of the 19th century, and that's just not going to be available.

It just occurred to me that the 'Dance don't think' is just the more imperative version of what really means 'Think with the dancing' or 'Dance the thinking' or 'Make the dancing think itself' or, more simply, 'Think through the dancing.' One hears these short quotations of Balanchine like this and 'art is technique', and realizes that they are not to be taken purely literally, because they can be proved to be both true and false due to being oversimplified (probably to make a momentary point, that moment in time in which the quote was made having been entirely lost) and therefore taken in any number of ways. While art is technique, it obviously isn't only technique, and Balanchine would not have been able to demonstrate Apollo to Edward Villella in the way he is documented to have been able to do if this sort of thing were always to literally obtain.

Share this post


Link to post

Watching Mimi Paul in her ACT 3 solo variation brought a smile to my face. I did not know who she was until after the film and I was able to read the program. After she was done, I wish we could have rewound the film to see her dancing one more time. I've come to take pleasure in seeing dancers who have the ability to communicate something beyond the steps -- as if they want to tell us something about themselves and their lives.

I remember seeing Jenny Somoygi for the first time some years ago and my eyes were drawn to her and she seemed to be the best dancer cast at articulating the dance to us, in being able to say something. And it helped me in my learning to appreciate dance, in understanding that dancing was, of course the steps and technique, but also, much more.

Even though the film was made more 42 years ago, Mimi Paul and her dancing looked like freshly cut flowers.

Share this post


Link to post
Watching Mimi Paul in her ACT 3 solo variation brought a smile to my face. I did not know who she was until after the film and I was able to read the program. After she was done, I wish we could have rewound the film to see her dancing one more time. I've come to take pleasure in seeing dancers who have the ability to communicate something beyond the steps -- as if they want to tell us something about themselves and their lives.

I remember seeing Jenny Somoygi for the first time some years ago and my eyes were drawn to her and she seemed to be the best dancer cast at articulating the dance to us, in being able to say something. And it helped me in my learning to appreciate dance, in understanding that dancing was, of course the steps and technique, but also, much more.

Even though the film was made more 42 years ago, Mimi Paul and her dancing looked like freshly cut flowers.

I agree about Mimi Paul in the film. I believe she left and joined ABT because of some Suzanne resentment. Iwas a young super on stage when she did Swan Lake for ABT. I believe it was considered something of a disaster, particularly her Black Swan. This brings me to an idea that back then there was more of a distiction between NYCB technique and ABT technique.

Feel free to shoot me down if disagree

Share this post


Link to post