I love dance and have been a huge fan of Rudolf Nureyev for many years. Because of his influence, I learned a lot about ballet and its history. It is unbelievable to me that it has been 15 years since he died. I miss him.
Those golden days of ballet were indeed glorious. I hope some of that excitement will return, especially in the United States. I cannot even find books on dance in book stores anymore. Thank goodness for Amazon.Com!
I look forward to reading and learning from all of you.
Yes, toeprints, it's true that the Golden Age of ballet, at least in my memory, was in the 1960s and 1970s. Remember all those performances that were broadcast "Live from Lincoln Center"? Those were the years that Nureyev and then Baryshnikov were dancing, and Makarova was mounting La Bayadere for ABT. During the 1970s I lived in Bloomington, Indiana, a university town with a very fine music school. At that time I was home raising my children (in those days a family could still live on one income) and I used to run what I whimsically called a "Ballet Alert" service. Whenever ballet was going to be on TV, I rounded up all the girls and boys on the street and we would gather around the biggest TV we could find and watch all together. For awhile I taught the little girls ballet in my living room, just for fun.
But I think we're due for a revival. For one thing, although it appears to me that Alistair McCauley, the new dance critic for the New York Times, prefers Balanchine and NYCB to ABT and the 19th century classics, we are definitely seeing more dance reviews than in recent years. For another, I think the quality of dancing at ABT is going up all the time, especially the male dancers, but the women as well. As they say, there is talent "deep within the ranks." The male stars, e.g., Corella, Cornejo, Stiefel, Gomes (and when are they going to promote Sascha Radetsky to Principal?) have that "superstar" quality again, in addition to their exquisite ballet line, like Nureyev. I think Malakhov must be one of the most underappreciated dancers of all time. He was thrilling to watch. Where is he now?
Looking ahead to the future, on a personal note, I've been playing the DVD of Nina Ananiashvili and Alexei Fadeyechev dancing Swan Lake with the State Ballet of Perm (Nina was 29 years old when it was made) for my now 3-year-old granddaughter since she was a year old, and she was and still is completely mesmerized. She also knows Giselle, Nutcracker and La Bayadere. When she watches Swan Lake she dances along in her white tutu for Odette and her black tutu for Odile, and makes her father (my son), who never had a ballet lesson in his life, play the role of Prince Siegfriend, supporting her and lifting her at the appropriate moments. It's a hoot to watch them. I am grooming her to carry on the torch.
I'm sorry that I was not able to properly send you a reply. I'm new at being a member of a discussion group. I did send you a couple of messages, but they are in cyberspace probably.
I miss seeing ballet on tv - Boston PBS rarely shows any dance. I wish I lived in New York as WNET still has class. The Golden Age also included the 80's. It really began to dwindle when Rudi stopped performing; he always made news, which, in turn, kept ballet alive in people's minds. Ghislaine Thesmar made a statement, after Rudi died, that there was nothing remarkable left in their world. I agree.
You said you lived in Bloomington, Indiana - I know that Violette Verdy is a dance professor at the university. She loves it and still travels world-wide to teach as well. She also believes there is a dance revival happening. It is difficult to see that since so many companies are having financial problems. Boston Ballet just laid off @ 30 people and have to move to a smaller venue.
I just love the image of your granddaughter dancing in her tutus. You're doing a great job.