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Le Spectre de la rose...?


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#31 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 01:56 PM

The part requires a bit of perfume, a androgynous, feline quality. Misha simply doesn't have them. He looks too boyish.

I was revisiting my "Spectre..."clips on my Youtube account, admiring once more time my favorite Misha's performance
[font="Comic Sans MS"][size=2]Baryshnikov here seems to be seducing and inviting the girl, rather than protecting and guiding her. He is 100% boy, even in this piece and his style may not be adequate for this particular role, but God bless him for not being the second ballerina on stage![/size].[/font] :blush:

#32 87Sigfried87

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 02:31 PM

[font="Comic Sans MS"][size=2]"Baryshnikov here seems to be seducing and inviting the girl, rather than protecting and guiding her. He is 100% boy, even in this piece and his style may not be adequate for this particular role, but God bless him for not being the second ballerina on stage!"[/size].[/font] :blush:


Yes.Misha is a real man;but this is not a piece in which you have to be very masculine.And anyway a ghost should be compared to a spirit,so not necessary sexually characterized.A more androginous look would maybe be better.The problem of his Spectre is not to me his way of being masculine;it's that if you continously put duble assemblé en tournant,pirouettes and too much technique,it becomes the Spectre of Turns.It deviates in a certain way and distracts.It's more a role of beautiful port de bras and style.Stop.
Today I've ended to study the Spectre solo parts.I am still puzzled about the expression.I don't know whether to take example from Ariel in "the Tempest" by Shakespeare or Puck in "Midsummer night's dream"and make it as a fairy....so maybe a little childish and strange.Or again being sad as Malakhov's as the ghost doesn't have to look to much alive,or again being neutral-sweet and to guide the girl and protect her,or again being seductive.Being seductive anyway is not the attitude i like most in this piece.I am afraid it would look ridiculous and wrong.I'll probably do a mix of different attitudes depending on the difference between the solo and the PDD parts.The stage will let me know the right way.

#33 popularlibrary

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 04:03 PM

Well, not being a dancer, I'm not sure I have any very useful advice to give about performance, but it seems to me that Puck and Ariel are not ideal models for the Spirit. He exists in the girl's dream - the dream of a young woman after a ball, a happy social occasion filled with intimations of courtship and growing up. Certainly a partner to whom she is attracted gave her that rose she's wearing when she comes in. So the Spirit, while not human, is not completely genderless - he probably should have at least a whiff of masculinity, a sense that he/it is also inviting her to a sensual awakening. Not sexual, but very delicately and suggestively romantic. The entire role is a balancing act of androgyny at the edge of a whole new world of the masculine for the dreaming girl. After all, she sees them as waltzing - the most daring of 19th century ballroom dances - men and women in each other's arms, with him leading. That balance and suggestiveness are the role's greatest difficulty I think, and letting Fokine's choreography express that. Baryshnikov erred too far on the side of the masculine, Malakhov perhaps a little too far on the side of the androgynous. I'm also reminded of an irate French critic who saw Nicholas Leriche in the role and snapped that the part did not need Burt Lancaster in Trapeze. It's a mine field of a part.

#34 Mel Johnson

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 05:34 PM

Using Shakespearean spirits might not be a good choice for the Rose. I can't, for example, picture him masquerading as a stool, then "slip I from her bum".

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a lot about "faerie", in which he approaches the topic of otherworldly creatures as having great powers, like the Elves of Middle-Earth. Perhaps those would be near cognates to the Spectre.

#35 Paul Parish

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 05:53 PM

I still think Legris comes close to the ideal -- the quality of his attention to her is above all the finest thing. And he is personally so beautiful.

More beautiful than Malakhov. His jumps are so much airier than Malakhov's, whose sautes in arabesque remind me of Alicia Alonso's in Pas de quatre -- they're TOO SMALL.... Legris's are generous without being in any way show-offish, in fact he keeps it a refined but large version of a simple and lovely thing. he's SKIPPING -- the main thing it should have is the feel of skipping. It's not big and heroic, it's fun -- it requires natural sensuality, unconscious sensuality -- like the softness of the rose petals, andthat quality of having depth to htem that roses have.
RUb a rose against your cheek; get a friend to blindfold you and hold a rose and move around and make you find it with your sense of smell. See what expressions come into your face and neck as you actually smell a rose that's over your left shoulder....

If you've never done any social dancing -- many ballet dancers haven't -- try actually dancing with a partner and see what it feels like to share a center and move as one. Waltzing would be good, but ANY form of partnered dancing will teach you something about how to pay little attentions to the person you're leading and responsible for.

#36 dirac

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 06:19 PM

He exists in the girl's dream - the dream of a young woman after a ball, a happy social occasion filled with intimations of courtship and growing up. Certainly a partner to whom she is attracted gave her that rose she's wearing when she comes in. So the Spirit, while not human, is not completely genderless - he probably should have at least a whiff of masculinity, a sense that he/it is also inviting her to a sensual awakening. Not sexual, but very delicately and suggestively romantic.


Very well put.

I'm also reminded of an irate French critic who saw Nicholas Leriche in the role and snapped that the part did not need Burt Lancaster in Trapeze.


:blush:

#37 bart

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 07:43 PM

I agree that the Spectre exists in the young girl's dreams. But, as Freud and others have demonstrated, young girls' dreams are not always as innocent as we would like them to be. While the Spectre should not of course be sexually assertive, why shouldn't he have a a certain amount of masculine sensuality? Croce says the Speactre should be "supplicant, imploring, seductive in every move." This doesn't exclude romance, humor, gentleness, or even pulling a disappearing act after a brief flirtation.

#38 dirac

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 09:55 AM

An interesting interpretation of the work, if your idea of a curse is, "May you live in interesting times," was Red Skelton's version with Patricia McBride. He entered by trampolining off the window-seat, and things just went downhill from there. In particular, this rose had rose fever, and when he sneezed, half the petals fell off his costume. McBride played it ever, ever so straight, thus making Skelton's cavorting seem even more outrageous. Oh, and I also can recall Jimmy Durante doing a sort of La Sylphide pas de deux with Lynn Seymour!


There was also an Saturday Night Live version in the long ago with Steve Martin, refulgent in pink, opposite a languishing Gilda Radner, both of them shadowed by paranoid Russian agents. It didn't make you fall off your chair but Martin was funny.

#39 leonid17

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 04:55 AM

As i'm going to play this role very soon for a gala,i'd like to ask you a question:is this famous pas de deux a part of a whole ballet that is no more danced as a whole,or is it only the pas de deux on his own?as i've always seen the pdd,so i was wondering...just as for "Diana and Acteon" etc.
I'm also working on the style and expression,as the steps themselves are quite easy.I've understood that i have to be ethereal and my movements have to be very aerial.About the expression i am a bit perplexed....i am trying to have a deep expression but looking evanescent and calm especially in the pdd moments.Anyway i don't wanna be banal and taken for granted.How do you think one should depict the character?Thanks for your answers.


I wish you well with your performance. The two best performance I have seen on video are by Maris Liepa who I always thought the best until I had seen Andris Liepa who is for me the best of many performances I have seen live and on film. Yes, it was a great shock for me to see Andris so perfect in THIS role.

#40 innopac

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 12:15 PM

The two best performance I have seen on video are by Maris Liepa who I always thought the best until I had seen Andris Liepa who is for me the best of many performances I have seen live and on film. Yes, it was a great shock for me to see Andris so perfect in THIS role.


Do you know if there are performances with Maris or Andris Liepa dancing Le Spectre de la Rose available on dvd or video? I just tried a lengthy google search without any luck.

ps.
I am with cubanmiamiboy on this one
"I know...BTW, i miss Leonid's posts... "



#41 Alymer

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 02:47 PM

I saw what I believe were some of the first performances of Spectre that Nureyev gsve after having learned the proper choreography. This was with the company that is now English National Ballet at the Kennedy Centre, many, many years ago. They were amazing. All at once the piece made sense to me and I can only sum it up by saying that he was masculine and sensual without being sexual. And technically it was fine, but it wasn't the technique that you noticed, rather the complete identification with the role in the way that popularlibrary summed it up so aptly.
Alas, all that had vanished the next time I saw him in the role, and it was Nureyev giving a Nureyev performance from then on.
I saw Barishnikov with Lynn Seymour in Spectre at a gala in Hamburg, and while it was beautifully danced, it was a classical pas de deux we saw rather than Spectre. Much the same could be said of Misha in the pas de trois from Pavillion d'Armide which he danced on the same programme

#42 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:23 PM

While the Spectre should not of course be sexually assertive, why shouldn't he have a a certain amount of masculine sensuality?

For some reason, i don't see any shadow of "over-masculinity" in Misha's performance. On the contrary, the first time i saw his "Spectre", it made me smile to see his softness and sensuality...And then, considering that his portray is not as androginous as some like the dancers to be on this role, what's wrong with it...?, I mean, the girl is dreaming of a rose who has taken the human form of a boy, not of that of another girl, and boys can be masculine, right?...If Fokine's idea would had been that of "confusing" a little bit the audiences, he could had created the role for another ballerina, given the simplicity of the steps...I simply see this lovely duet as a little love story between, perhaps, two adolescents, perfectly defined in gender: the male one soft, yes, ethereal, yes, delicate, yes, but not androginous at all...

#43 bart

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 07:53 PM

All at once the piece made sense to me and I can only sum it up by saying that he was masculine and sensual without being sexual.

Exactly. In the later Joffrey version, although you can see the effort Nureyev has to make in some of the dancing (using arms for lift, etc.) he still has the quality.

For some reason, i don't see any shadow of "over-masculinity" in Misha's performance. On the contrary, the first time i saw his "Spectre", it made me smile to see his softness and sensuality.

That was my impression, too.

#44 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 08:21 PM

His jumps are so much airier than Malakhov's, whose sautes in arabesque remind me of Alicia Alonso's in Pas de quatre

:(

#45 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 08:21 PM

try actually dancing with a partner and see what it feels like to share a center and move as one. Waltzing would be good, but ANY form of partnered dancing will teach you something about how to pay little attentions to the person you're leading and responsible for.

Try salsa... :(


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