I've been following your detailed comments on Mme. Sowoda, gold comb. For once I always find fascinating how this old professors acted, either in class or outside. The detail about not kneeling while taking a bow is very interesting, which I knew about already via the autobiography of Danilova. I believe she said that only if royalty was present one would kneel. So yes, gold comb...please keep writing about Swoboda.
She walked like a queen, saluted with extaordinary grace and bowed, but never should the knee touch to the floor ! And we tried to imitate her. We applauded after every class.
About the fish pond which was more of a frog pond, she had some beautiful water lilies. I hope someone out there is still reading me. There's still so much to know about her.
Looking for information on Maria Swoboda!!!!!
Posted 05 February 2010 - 08:17 AM
Posted 08 February 2010 - 03:53 PM
Just in case there's someone still interested ...There's still so much to know about her.
Oh I have always been very interested in reading your recollections on Maria Swoboda. The personality and mannerism details you have written about intrigue me immensely. DO keep writing as I would love to learn as much as possible about this fabulous dancer and teacher. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge about her!
Posted 02 March 2010 - 01:17 PM
Posted 02 March 2010 - 03:58 PM
People are DEFINITLY interested.
Posted 02 March 2010 - 05:28 PM
She was extremely graceful but hated when she saw dancers flying their arms around that she called "chi chi". Unfortunately, dancers from the NYC ballet ,at that time, just loved "chi chi" arms. But not Mme Swoboda ! She insisted upon discipline and control. Should I continue ?...
I took her classes as a kid and young teen. I remember her saying to one dancer (I'm paraphrasing but think I'm pretty close)"
"You must do 3 pirouettes every time - you are machine."
and then to another dancer in the class
"You dance like piece of wood, what you think you are machine?"
She always got her message across!
I'll never forget the loveliness of her arms, head & neck when she demonstrated movement. And as has been stated before her feet were beautifully arched.
Posted 02 March 2010 - 07:34 PM
Posted 03 March 2010 - 03:36 PM
Posted 12 October 2010 - 02:02 PM
She was completely larger tha life in every respect. Unlike the divas of today, she had the substance - the training, the musicality, the culture - to back up her oversized personality. She was always, ALWAYS right. Really, she was. Which was why no one ever challenged her. We knew she was right, and that was that.
One thing you touched upon made me laugh. She had a great deal of expertise in music as well as dance, and as a musician who also danced, I was with her all the way when she had "discussions" with her pianists. The pianists were critical to her classes. She loved them one moment, hated them the next - how dare they not have read her mind? The oddest part was, at the end of the class, you "felt" her musicality in her choreography. After hours of her punctuating our classes with the familiar "Stop-stop-stop" to the pianists - they did not run away in tears. They loved her, beacuse they also knew she was always right.
Posted 12 October 2010 - 02:48 PM
Posted 18 October 2010 - 06:36 PM
The curious part is, the last line says "There are no survivors."
The truth is, there are thousands of "survivors." She had hundreds of dancers she called "babies" - and hundreds of those "babies" grew up and started dance schools of their own (just google her name and see who comes up - beginning with Roni Mahler...). And now - several generations later, her "influence DNA" is ingrained in dancers everywhere - even if they never heard of her).
Posted 11 December 2013 - 09:20 PM
I don't know if anyone is still out there but I want to thank you for the fond memories, and to gold comb, thanks after all these years you reminded me of why I do what I do and the way I do, from terms like ironing board , old ladies to "No chi, chi!". Even with my modifications through the years my style is still very much hers, and I as one of many survivors pass her legacy to my "babies".
Posted 25 June 2016 - 07:06 PM
I was a young teenager growing up in Philadelphia. The mother of one of my best friends arranged for Madame to come into Philadelphia every saturday to teach us ballet. I think from possibly as early as 1953 through 1960, I loved it. I had studied with other teachers but none like Madame. I still remember the black dress and babushka she wore. She never got my name Cynthia or Cindy right and either called me Cynthie or Cindya. One thing I liked about our classes was that we never had recitals just pure ballet with a pianist.
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