Rose Adagio balancesa poll
Posted 14 September 2008 - 09:36 AM
Posted 14 September 2008 - 10:10 AM
Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:11 PM
But she can't just go for it. She's also got to be gracious in the midst of all these difficulties; she can't just look "Excuse me can't you see I'm busy."
It's not necessary, and in fact it's kinda vulgar, to MILK the balances, make the conductor slow down, though the right dancer can work that to her advantage if she's being adorable in the process, and maybe just saves it for the last one. It's also OK if she is in transition from one to another -- she doesn't have to get the other arm all the way to high fifth (or 3rd as you call it Hans) every time, so long as her aplomb is solid through the torso and we aren't WORRIED about her, she can be using that hand to greet this guest from a far-flung land -- she MUST look intelligent, at least a little curious ("Have you come far?"), her eyes are at least as important in these moments as getting that arm en couronne.
Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:16 PM
I think her eyes must meet each those of each suitor -- not the floor three feet behind him. She should appear calm and impervious, moving slowly. The worst thing an Aurora can do -- worse than falling -- is grab anxiously for the next guy's hand. If anyone should panic, it's not Aurora. She's a princess and nothing bad has ever happened to her (that she can recall), so why should gravity mess up her party? Aurora must be confident and serene.
Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:54 PM
I think I have seen this, even though not every guy's hand, and that gives the artificial quality--something like a test she's got to pass.
Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:59 PM
Nowadays the audience seems to approach and the balances as a kind of acrobatic test. This, rightly or wrongly, undercuts some of the larger metaphoric significance of this particular port de bras.
Paul's discussion of the different possibilities facing the ballerina makes a great deal sense and should be taped to dressing room mirrors wherever SB is being danced. Thanks, Paul.
Posted 14 September 2008 - 04:31 PM
Posted 14 September 2008 - 04:52 PM
Posted 14 September 2008 - 07:11 PM
I still think of a clip of...someone, (BW so probs Fonteyn), whom I saw on television when I was about 10 or so. After the 3rd balance, she did not take the partner's hand, but just posed, smiling serenely at the 4th partner--it was as though they were having a conversation just via their eyes. She never once looked down at the floor, and it just seemed so natural that he would wait for he to finish, and then theywould go through the last pose together. So beautiful
Posted 15 September 2008 - 06:17 AM
It's not Fonteyn at her best, and the tv camera of the day does not flatter her, especially in one closeup shot of her legs. However, as the passage proceeds, Fonteyn does seems to become more secure -- and therefore radiant.
Although the quality of the picture doesn't allow you to look closely at her eyes, you can see that she is making eye contact with those around her. This is especially striking towards the end of the clip where, as she receives each rose, she actually LOOKS at it with delight as she transfers it to her other hand, and even appears to smell its perfurme. I've seen other Auroras who don't look at the flowers at all, possibly because they're so focused on performing the balance impressively.
It is in details like this, I think, that the viewer gets an impression of the character -- and the destiny -- of Aurora. More than any specific port de bras, this quality of being entirely engaged in the action, of paying close attention to what is going on, is what separates the best Auroras from the rest of the field.
Posted 15 September 2008 - 07:10 AM
Edit: Ok, I just watched two of my favorite ballerinas (Zhanna Ayupova and a very young Larissa Lezhnina) dance the Rose Adagio, and I would really like to hear from someone who knows more about how this role is generally danced at the Mariinsky because while both ballerinas were extremely courteous with their partners throughout, they both distinctly looked away from them during the balances. Is it just a matter of different characterization?
Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:16 AM
Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:42 AM
I'd seen this before, but not for years, and the black and white 50s one was more familiar. She's so musical -- and very different from the earlier interpretation, glorious in another way. Quite abstract, or Caroline Brown -- the Cunningham company had been there, this video is from the 60s, Ashton had made or was making Monotones in response to the Cunningham revelations.... It also looks more like Allegra kent, without of course Allegra's mannerisms, but more like Allegra's way of being musical, but still, more like a musical instrument than an actress, and less like a singer than like a violin. Of course, the camera angles tend in hte same direction, eschewing close-up details and emphasizing the perfection of the grand design -- but it IS perfect, and it IS grand, it is GRAND. Nobilissima visione.
Who was conducting? Is that Lambert?
Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:54 AM
All of the Maryinsky ballerinas that I've seen (live or canned), look away. My guess, (and I stress this), is that it's company tradition. Aurora is being presented to her court on the day of her coming of age, in that very old fashioned sense of the word "debutante." In that sense, the balances may be Aurora's 'curtsies' to each Prince. Consider the era in which this ballet was created: Debutante events were the norm for young women of royalty and high birth. As a debutante Princess it would have been considered forward or unseemly to look her suitors directly in the eye. So, my theory is that the balances are her
special display of both regal modesty and pride. MO.
Posted 15 September 2008 - 10:13 AM
I wondered if it's the costume too, because this is the only time I've ever seen Fonteyn look downright chunky.
It's wonderful, but since this has been singled out from the rest of the context of the ballet as the feat that it is, I wonder if anyone has ever seem the arm really move calmly, i.e., I agree Fonteyn's doesn't seem at all grasping or desperate, but it does still move quite rapidly. I know this sounds a bit too much 'sports' to talk about it like this, but there might be other (and even lesser artists, of course) ballerinas who have managed to get the balances and let the arm float down a bit more relaxedly still; I can see it having a very wonderful imperious quality to it if it worked. I'm not sure I've ever seen that, but somebody must have; and to be able to do so would, I would think, completely remove all sense that there is some thought of the difficulty going on. What I really don't like is a ballerina who snatches the roses earlier, and that's not difficult not to do, because the best don't.
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