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Rose Adagio balancesa poll


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Poll: The Rose Adagio balances (70 member(s) have cast votes)

Is it necessary for Auroras to make the "crown" 5th position over their heads?

  1. Yes - an Aurora who can't hold the balances shouldn't dance Aurora (45 votes [64.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 64.29%

  2. No - it's only 5 minutes out of a 2 hour ballet (12 votes [17.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.14%

  3. I don't care either way (13 votes [18.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.57%

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#16 carbro

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 10:34 AM

One might say that by looking down, the Auroras are expressing modesty. One might also say that it helps a person balance. Fixing on something stationary helps, because we orient visually as well as with the inner ear and the "feeling" of alignment.

#17 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 10:38 AM

If Odile starts skipping the 32 fouettees, and Aurora her balances, and all due to lack of technique...what's next...? We might as well start skipping pointwort and keep making changes, so maybe one of this days we will be able to see Britney Spears dancing the roles...why not!

#18 Hans

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 11:48 AM

If Odile starts skipping the 32 fouettees, and Aurora her balances, and all due to lack of technique...what's next...? We might as well start skipping pointwort and keep making changes, so maybe one of this days we will be able to see Britney Spears dancing the roles...why not!

Well, Plisetskaya didn't do the fouettés, and life went on. :) I don't think anyone's talking about removing the balances (équilibres), just doing them differently.

Cygnet and carbro, I was actually thinking it was probably an expression of modesty (as well as being much easier to balance that way). I notice even Fonteyn looks away during the promenades.

Papeetepatrick, in my opinion, the ballerina doesn't actually have to lower her arm slowly so much as calmly. One can be both calm and swift, and in addition to the practical concern of staying on pointe, there is also that of the music, which has to be slowed down if she is going to raise her arm to 3rd because it takes more time to get to that position, and also she will need more time to prepare for each balance. If we add to that the prescription that the arm must move slowly up and down, the music would be a dirge! :o I do think that the ballerina with the calmest, most regal movement in this section is Sizova. Her movements are not really slow, but there is a secure regularity to them. The arm goes up, the arm goes down, without any hint of either insecurity or showing off. It is easy to find her rose adagio by searching "sizova rose". It includes her entrance and variation as well--and she doesn't snatch the roses, which I also can't stand. :clapping:

By the way, to watch a few ballerinas who do not raise the arm all the way, Lezhnina's and Ayupova's performances are online. Certainly no one can say they lack technique, and I definitely prefer their restrained performances to that of some other ballerinas who bite off more than they can chew.

#19 bart

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 12:22 PM

I do think that the ballerina with the calmest, most regal movement in this section is Sizova. Her movements are not really slow, but there is a secure regularity to them. The arm goes up, the arm goes down, without any hint of either insecurity or showing off.

Thank you, Hans, for that Link. These are indeed very serene and secure balances. The camera angle (shooting from above) seems to heighten the appearance of difficulty, or even peril, and create an intrusive feeling of suspense. The look is, to me, awkward and distracting.

In your post you mentioned tempo. It seems to me -- though I don't have a metronome -- that the tempi in parts of this were very languid indeed. Fonteyn's speed created a sense of adolescent excitement. I'm not sure exactly what the tempi here are meant to convey.

As for the roses, Sizova seems to accept them with equanimity, as her due, and registers no response. The problem of what to do with them in the end is resolved in an interesting fashion, I think. She tosses them gently at her mother's feet and we see a young page pick them up and present them quite gallantly to the Queen. Unfortunately, this requires the camera to cut away from Aurora.

A question: What's with that long, excruciatingly slow harp passage? Is this telling us something about Aurora? about Tchaikovsky? or about Soviet taste when filming ballet for the general public? :clapping:

#20 Hans

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 12:36 PM

I recall reading that Petipa asked Tchaikovsky to insert that harp passage, but I don't know if that is 100% true. I don't really like it, to be honest, although it does give Aurora a moment to express her shyness--she walks to the center of the stage, poses in preparation, then gets nervous and runs over to her mother for encouragement.

Different ballerinas do different things with the roses--the original production, I recall reading, had Aurora throw them onto the ground. I like what Sizova does, and Asylmuratova is particularly gracious, actually kneeling (or coming close to it) and carefully spreading the flowers at her mother's feet.

Re: tempo, yes, the Mariinsky is never exactly perky at this point, which is why I'm concerned that if it slowed down any more, I'm afraid some of the wind instrument players would faint!

#21 canbelto

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 03:15 PM

Regarding the looking at suitors thing, in Asylmuratova's Rose Adagio (she does the crowns beautifully), she looks down initially but as she releases the hand she looks back up as if to say, "Oh, hi, thank you."


#22 SandyMcKean

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 04:12 PM

I'm having a lot of fun watching these videos all you "oh-so-well-informed" BT'ers are posting. Lately I've been trying to educate myself on some of the great dancers of the past, so these videos fit me to a tee.

One small thing that has struck me is how the suitors costumes have become less and less cumbersome over the years. In one of the oldest clips given in posts above I simply couldn't believe that the production folks would have put those male dancers in such huge costumes (they nearly looked like a bunch of firefighters in asbestos suits.....OK, I exaggerate :clapping:). Even though the suitors don't dance per se, I would have thought such costumes would be in Aurora's way during the Rose Adagio.

Interesting how aesthetics change over time.

#23 papeetepatrick

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 04:19 PM

I do think that the ballerina with the calmest, most regal movement in this section is Sizova. Her movements are not really slow, but there is a secure regularity to them. The arm goes up, the arm goes down, without any hint of either insecurity or showing off. It is easy to find her rose adagio by searching "sizova rose". It includes her entrance and variation as well--and she doesn't snatch the roses, which I also can't stand. :clapping:



Oh, what a lovely continuation of an already beautiful autumn day, Hans! (I hope it's nice there too). Not that I watched it on the clip yet, but this gives me the right to watch the regal Sizova movement yet again. Or anyway, I'm going to look at it that way. I'm not going to watch the clip because now I'm going to get the movie out and watch it again and enjoy the aniticipation within the context of the whole movie. Oh, what license and indulgence--yes, I always like what you say about Sizova, and when I first saw the movie I'd never seen a more enchanting ballerina. And I still haven't. But now I get to watch the whole thing again because I must see these regal movements in context...it would simply be unseemly any other way... :o

#24 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 05:45 PM

Oh, well, Sizova, hands down, please. A while ago, before ABT came over with their Beauty, i asked some advice to BT'rs on who to watch to get some comparison, being the Soloviev/Sizova film the only SB that i ever owned-(which i have memorized from the thousand times I've seen it). Taking some advices, I did some digging around Youtube-(Durante, Bussell, Zakharova, and some others)-just to reaffirm my total devotion to those glorious soviets Aurora/Desire.

#25 Paul Parish

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 06:03 PM

THough I actually prefer Fonteyn in the adagio, there's NOBODY who can do Aurora's first solo like SIzova -- that is the most beautiful, thrilling, , unbelievably light performance of those leaps and turns I can imagine -- the amplitude,the timing is unbelievable. Unbelievable nautural gift.






Oh, well, Sizova, hands down, please. A while ago, before ABT came over with their Beauty, i asked some advice to BT'rs on who to watch to get some comparison, being the Soloviev/Sizova film the only SB that i ever owned-(which i have memorized from the thousand times I've seen it). Taking some advices, I did some digging around Youtube-(Durante, Bussell, Zakharova, and some others)-just to reaffirm my total devotion to those glorious soviets Aurora/Desire.



#26 SandyMcKean

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:43 PM

Another thing I've noticed in the color video is how Margot Fonteyn allows her cavaliers to stay 2 steps away from her when she does the "crown" pose. All the other ballerinas I've seen in the videos have the cavaliers stand in such a way that the hand of the previous cavalier and of the next cavelier are immediately next to each other (within inches), so that when Aurora needs to switch hands, she can do so almost instantly. Fonteyn, OTOH, allows her next cavalier to be but a short distance away so that she must hold the balance without the parachute of the next cavalier's hand in close proximity. I'm impressed.

P.S.. Thank you for the reference to Sizova......I didn't know.....what a gift.

#27 bart

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 03:48 AM

Sandy, check out "sizova" on the Ballet Talk search engine. You'll find entriy points leading you to a number of very illuminating discussions. She's also mentioned several times on the "most beautiful ballerina" thread. :yahoo:

#28 Paul Parish

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 09:38 AM

Hans, do you know anything about that great clip?

I understand it was filmed by Keith Money. Wonder what the date would be.



And here is the rest of Fonteyn's Rose Adagio (apparently later in her career than the video Bart posted), including the balances at the end, which I think she does perfectly. The arm stays in 3rd long enough to tell us that she is perfectly on balance, it moves up and down calmly, without any desperate grasping, and she appears to always be looking at her partners' eyes, although it is a little bit difficult to tell given the film quality.

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?



#29 rg

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 10:49 AM

the following credits likely come for the film in question here:

Margot Fonteyn / a Degamo production ; directed and written by Keith Money ; produced by Adrian Gaye and Keith Money. [1970]

i was taken to a small-scale screening of this film, as a film, on my first ever trip to London, to see the Kirov Ballet, by a member of London Ballet Circle in July of '70.
british television (BBC?) restored the film not that long ago for a program called THE SLEEPING BEAUTY REDISCOVERED (if i've got the program's title correctly), and framed it with commentary by the such british writers as Judith Macrell and other black-and-white footage the Messel production when it re-opened the Royal Opera House after the war.
very likely british BT members can expand on or correct what i'm posting here.
if mem. serves Money hoped to film the complete ballet but his act was all he got to do.

#30 Hans

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 11:56 AM

I don't have anything to add regarding the clip, unfortunately--I just wanted to see the rest of Fonteyn's Rose Adagio, and it came up in the search results. The youtube member who posted it might have some information.


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