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#1 angelica

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 02:45 PM

Hello, my fellow ballet fans. I've been following ballet for the past 58 years, from the end of the careers of Danilova and Markova up to the present day. I always wanted to be a dancer but my parents did not permit me to pursue it seriously. In the days before Nureyev's famous leap to the West, ballet was considered to be, in some circles, in the words of Boris Lermontov of Red Shoes fame, "a second-rate profession" (in the film he was speaking of ballet composers, not dancers). Certainly that's no longer true, thank goodness! I have followed most of the great companies, at least those who perform(ed) in New York; witnessed the famed partnerships of Fonteyn-Nureyev, Maximova-Vasiliev, Fracci-Bruhn, their legatees, and now, at last, Reyes-Cornejo.

Is anyone as excited as I am that Cornejo has been given leading roles in major ballets this season? I saw him dance Don Quixote last Wednesday matinee and he was the perfect partner, never upstaging Reyes in pas de deux, but always presenting her gallantly. When it was his turn to solo, he was a miracle--spinning out turns and jumps with incredible grace and ease, and also with modesty. I can't wait to see him dance Giselle with Reyes, who was a charmer and certainly his equal technically.

Back to me for a moment. After a 30-year hiatus of not taking classes, I started again a year ago January in a local studio. I'm now taking four-five classes a week. I will never recapture the height and suspension in jumps that I had 30 years ago, but I'll say this: one of the things I was regretting most about aging was the loss of the agility I had always been able to count on; but now, with ballet classes, I've regained my agility in life activities, e.g., walking, running, sitting down and getting up from the floor--abilities you take for granted until you begin to lose them.

One thing I'd love to know is what is happening to Stella Abrera. I saw her last year as the Lilac Fairy and said to my husband "She's going to be a principal next year." I even bought a pair of her autographed toeshoes. Well, I see that this year she hasn't been made a principal, but they were going to give her a Wednesday matinee Giselle and I immediately bought a ticket (over and above my ABT subscription). Then I heard she was injured and was taken off the casting for the rest of the season. I'm so sad because she is a beautiful dancer and I was looking forward to years of seeing her dance.

I'm glad to be a new member of Ballet Talk and look forward to reading posts from those who adore ballet as much as I do!

Thanks, everyone,
Angelica

#2 Giannina

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 06:14 PM

Welcome to Ballet Talk, Angelica; we're very happy to have you with us. You've had a long history with ballet and we look forward to having you share in our discussions. We have a sister site for dance students, Ballet Talk for Dancers, which can be accessed at the upper right hand corner or this page. There you'll find many adult students; you might enjoy participating on both sites, and if you do register on that site be sure to use your same name so that we know who you are (don't want to lose you!).

Giannina

#3 angelica

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 07:26 PM

Welcome to Ballet Talk, Angelica; we're very happy to have you with us. You've had a long history with ballet and we look forward to having you share in our discussions. We have a sister site for dance students, Ballet Talk for Dancers, which can be accessed at the upper right hand corner or this page. There you'll find many adult students; you might enjoy participating on both sites, and if you do register on that site be sure to use your same name so that we know who you are (don't want to lose you!).

Giannina


Thanks, Giannina, for your cordial welcome. There are very few people who know anything about ballet where I currently live in Westchester County--even the teachers don't know much about performance history--and it's a treat to find knowledgeable people who love ballet as much as I do. I'm going to stay on this one site at least until the end of ABT's Spring/Summer season in order to see how much time I can devote to it. But after the season I will probably join the other site also, as I'm very interested in "talking" with adults who are studying at a later age, like me.

In my "adult" intermediate ballet class, the word "adult" can mean anything from early 20s on up to 70+ (one 71-year-old started at age 40, and she's quite good) The classes are "open," and the teachers tailor the classes to whoever shows up! I'm interested to hear how other adults feel about taking class with 20-year-old semi-professionals. Also it will be nice to connect with others who, like me, love it enough to persist despite time constraints and logistical issues (neither rain nor sleet nor [something] of darkest night....)

Best regards,
Angelica

#4 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 12:08 AM

Fascinating story, Angelica-(and Welcome, BTW... :clapping: )...Aaahh, the late starters...eeevery single time one of this stories comes up this board, i always tell myself that i will be next..and then-of course- i am not. :clapping:

#5 angelica

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 06:45 PM

Fascinating story, Angelica-(and Welcome, BTW... :angel_not: )...Aaahh, the late starters...eeevery single time one of this stories comes up this board, i always tell myself that i will be next..and then-of course- i am not. :flowers:


Dear cubanmiamiboy, I understand very well; I used to do that too. But at this point in my life I find myself saying more often, that oft-quoted but increasingly meaningful cliche (cliches become such because they are only too true) "If not you, who? If not now, when?" So not only am I dancing again but I'm attending more performances of ABT--seven this season, which for me is a lot because for many years I had neither time nor money and I could say to myself "Well, maybe next year." But now I have the time, the money, and the inner voice that whispers to me and tells me to go: see Cornejo dance both Basilio and Albrecht; see ALL of Ananiashvilis performances (because she is far and away my favorite dancer of all time and, after all, how much longer will she be dancing?); see Stella Abrera make her debut in Giselle--which now she won't, alas, because of an injury. Stella, if you read these posts, please know that I love you and hope that you will be on stage again soon.
Angelica

#6 bart

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 03:43 PM

Angelica, welcome to Ballet Talk.

Like you, my fascination with ballet goes back to the 1950s in New York City. Like you, I'm one of the older adult student in my class. (To be honest, I'm far the oldest.) It's a Basic class, however, and I just started a few years ago. Like you, I was delighted to find that jumping and turning are still within the realm of possibility. "If not now, when?" was a big motivator in my decision to start taking classes, as it was in yours to return to them. :flowers:

I hope you'll enjoy our discussions of of the early days of ballet in New York City, especially the NYCB and Ballet Theater portions of it. The Search engine (above) can help you turn up numerous discussions of works, companies, dancers, choreographers, etc. It will be wonderful if you find something that moves you to respond. Giving new life to old threads is one of the biggest pleasures of discussing things on Ballet Talk.

#7 angelica

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:21 PM

Angelica, welcome to Ballet Talk.

Like you, my fascination with ballet goes back to the 1950s in New York City. Like you, I'm one of the older adult student in my class. (To be honest, I'm far the oldest.) It's a Basic class, however, and I just started a few years ago. Like you, I was delighted to find that jumping and turning are still within the realm of possibility. "If not now, when?" was a big motivator in my decision to start taking classes, as it was in yours to return to them. :dunno:

I hope you'll enjoy our discussions of of the early days of ballet in New York City, especially the NYCB and Ballet Theater portions of it. The Search engine (above) can help you turn up numerous discussions of works, companies, dancers, choreographers, etc. It will be wonderful if you find something that moves you to respond. Giving new life to old threads is one of the biggest pleasures of discussing things on Ballet Talk.


Hi Bart, Thanks for replying to my post. It's good to know that there are others like me who are trying to do the impossible and loving every minute of it. This web site is so rich that I could probably lose myself in it for hours without coming up for air--the way I could dance 24/7 if given half a chance. My only constraint, and it's a big one, is time--as I'm sure it is for most of us in this information-saturated world we now live in. I do remember the early years at NYCB--Melissa Hayden, Patricia Wilde, Tanaquil LeClerq and her devastating illness; Maria Tallchief, Andre Eglevsky; and also ABT with Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevich. But I've traveled a long road from there. Fell in love with Gelsey Kirkland, Carla Fracci, and especially Ekaterina Maximova, and then of course, Nina Ananiashvili.

As for "If not now, when?" I've been toying with the idea of getting pointe shoes and seeing whether I can recapture any of that facility. Nothing fancy, just a few releves and echappes would make me so happy. As soon as I can find the time....

Does anyone know of a good DVD of Giselle? I have the one with Carla Fracci but they've adulerated the set into a lakeside circle and at the very moment when the corps de ballet does its brilliant crossing of the stage in arabesque plie they show what they probably think is an "artistic" rendering of swans and water. I also have the one with Svetlana Zakharova, and although she has extraordinary extensions, I don't think her expressiveness measures up to that of Maximova or Fracci. Robert Bolle is handsome and does beautiful beats at the end, but I want the perfect DVD of my favorite ballet. Any ideas anyone?

Angelica

#8 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 09:42 PM

Angelica, there's a whole thread devoted to your request. Dig in there and report back. Good luck! :dunno:
http://ballettalk.in...?showtopic=3312

#9 angelica

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 10:01 AM

Angelica, there's a whole thread devoted to your request. Dig in there and report back. Good luck! :thumbsup:
http://ballettalk.in...?showtopic=3312


Christian, Thank you so much for putting me onto that thread! I will read it as soon as I can. This group is an amazing resource. :)

#10 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 04:06 PM

Nice to know you, Angelica, hope you will post often.
I am also what we would call "not a spring chicken". I did dance professionally in my youth, then sustained some injuries - so that was that. I think it is very brave of you to have started taking class to get the feel of it. I firmly believe that you cannot fully enjoy ballet unless you have a clue about what they are doing. By the same token, I have many times felt that as an ex-pro I just sit there and look for faults and that I cannot not enjoy a performance fully. OK, we must be honest, there are a lot of performances out there that you just dont enjoy.

#11 angelica

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 06:58 PM

Nice to know you, Angelica, hope you will post often.
I am also what we would call "not a spring chicken". I did dance professionally in my youth, then sustained some injuries - so that was that. I think it is very brave of you to have started taking class to get the feel of it. I firmly believe that you cannot fully enjoy ballet unless you have a clue about what they are doing. By the same token, I have many times felt that as an ex-pro I just sit there and look for faults and that I cannot not enjoy a performance fully. OK, we must be honest, there are a lot of performances out there that you just dont enjoy.


Hi Pamela, thanks for responding to my post. I'm envious that you danced professionally. I never had the opportunity to do that. But I'm sorry about your injuries. That must be so discouraging. That's why I'm so worried about Stella Abrera. I've been told that she is injured and out for the entire season and that three years ago she also sustained an injury.

It's exciting for me to be taking ballet classes again after 30 years of not dancing. As for enjoying performances, I couldn't agree with you more. That's why I am very very selective about which performances I attend. Everything has to be perfect: the ballet, the cast, the seats. I only go to ballets I believe I'll enjoy and I'm rarely disappointed. I follow the New York dance scene via the NY Times and other outlets, so I generally know what's going on. But since I'm a purist when it comes to classical ballet, I don't go to NYCB anymore. I gave them another chance three years ago when I bought a subscription, but I was disappointed and that was that. I should have been born a Russian with hyperextended knees and a perfect turnout!
Angelica

#12 toeprints

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 06:09 PM

Hi Angelica,

I just joined Ballet Talk also. Welcome. I've been around a while also. It's wonderful to have seen so many great dancers, isn't it. Congratulations on resuming dancing. Good for you.

Toeprints (Kathy)

#13 angelica

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:23 PM

Hi Angelica,

I just joined Ballet Talk also. Welcome. I've been around a while also. It's wonderful to have seen so many great dancers, isn't it. Congratulations on resuming dancing. Good for you.

Toeprints (Kathy)


Hi Kathy, Thanks for your welcome message. Have you ever studied ballet? Who are your favorite companies/dancers? Isn't this a great site to share love of ballet as well as information? Best wishes, Angelica

#14 carbro

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:29 PM

I'm so pleased you like the site, angelica.

toeprints has her own introduction here in the Welcome forum.

I hope you're enoying exploring the site. Feel free to post in the other forums as you find topics that interest you. A good place to start may be "Dancers."

#15 angelica

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 10:54 AM

I'm so pleased you like the site, angelica.

toeprints has her own introduction here in the Welcome forum.

I hope you're enoying exploring the site. Feel free to post in the other forums as you find topics that interest you. A good place to start may be "Dancers."


Thanks, carbro. Looks like I posted to Dancers even before reading your post. We were both on the same page, so to speak.
Angelica


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