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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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#31 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 12:23 PM

I did find this posting from Jane Simpson in February 2003, when this subject had come up in a previous posting. I didn't know how to "quote" it here, so I just cut and pasted it if that is all right:

rg, the programme was made in 1990 and was called Sleeping Beauty Rediscovered. The voiceover says the SB film was made '22 years ago, when Fonteyn was 50' - I'd guess 1968. It was to be part of a complete Beauty directed by Keith Money, but they ran out of cash and this is all that survives. It's filmed on a rather small stage, and I think it's the RB's touring company. There is no casting given apart from Fonteyn, but David Wall is the first prince.

It's more or less the complete Act 1 except that it starts straight into the Garland dance (Ashton's) so there are no 'knitting ladies'; and it doesn't include Aurora's solo. The intro includes shots of Fonteyn rehearsing, and some comments from Fiona Chadwick, who was coached by Fonteyn at one time.

I think it's a better performance than the b&w one referred to above, which is hampered by a truly awful costume.



#32 Jane Simpson

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 12:24 PM

rg is right about it being Keith Money's film; it was made when Fonteyn was 50, and she's dancing with the touring section of the RB (the first Prince is David Wall) - on a Sunday in Bournemouth, if I remember rightly - and Money never found the cash to film the rest of the production. The film was forgotten about and he found it in his barn, years later.

(Posting at the same time as Mme. Hermine - slightly different from what I said before so I'll leave it here!)

#33 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 08:02 AM

I voted "no" for two reasons: 1) I gather I am the only person on the planet who feels this way, but I just don't care much for those balances as choreography and 2) I'd much rather see a ballerina who flubs the balances but can do full justice to the Vision Scene than the other way around. Like Odile's fouettés, Aurora's balances seem to me prone to devolve into a sort of graded exercise -- or worse, a circus trick -- where execution is more important than expressiveness and whole performances are reduced to whether or not they were held for the required number of seconds. (Let me hasten to add that none of the contributors to this thread are at all guilty of that -- the comments thus far have been uniformly thoughtful and enlightening.)

I've only seen one performance in which the Aurora looked genuinely radiant executing her balances; since I find the radiance more important than the balances, I'd be perfectly happy to see them replaced with something more-or-less equivalent that the ballerina and her Cavaliers could execute radiantly. (By "more-or-less equivalent" I mean something that would have the same narrative and expressive effect, but that sn't a walk in the park either, of course.) Ditto for Odile's fouettés: Odile is all about seductive glitter and there are surely other ways to convey that than 32 fouettés.

I am a total hypocrite when it comes to the fish dives in the wedding pas de deux, however -- leave those out, and I'm going to march right down to the box office and demand my money back! :clapping:

#34 papeetepatrick

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 09:27 AM

Ditto for Odile's fouettés: Odile is all about seductive glitter and there are surely other ways to convey that than 32 fouettés.


No! There are NO other ways. The 32 fouettes are lodged in my brain and I'm going to leave them there. :P Basically, I also feel that way about the balances, and want them

:innocent: :wub: . With all this new technique from gymnastic types 'ruining ballet', the least we can expect is new specimens who are 'good at the balances and radiance' in brand new brave-new-world wonderful ways! Maybe the problem is ballerinas not knowing how to do the 'seductive glitter PLUS the 32' and the 'radiance PLUS balances', because there is no dearth of athletic ballerinas able to execute the difficult technical feats. It's like in opera, Kathleen--there are NOT any Maria Callases anymore, and we ought to figure out why this is, not, say, why bel canto florid writing ought to be simplified. In other words, the problem is not a scarcity of fouette- and balance-doers, it is a scarcity of radiance- and seductive-glitter doers. More FIRE and passion, not less ridiculous technical demands! :clapping:

Now, I originally voted that I didn't care either way, but I have changed my mind, and think all Auroras must strive to do radiance PLUS all the balances. I realize this vote change causes a difficulty for Diebold Voting Machine vote-fixing and hanging chads, but there it is...

#35 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 10:12 AM

I realize this vote change causes a difficulty for Diebold Voting Machine vote-fixing and hanging chads, but there it is...

:clapping:

#36 Hans

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 10:28 AM

I think it's important to keep in mind that even if the ballerina simply transfers her hand from one partner to the other (which, if I have this right, is how Brianza did it originally--can anyone confirm whether that's correct?) she still has to balance, so the balancing is not going anywhere no matter what.

#37 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 10:28 AM

And why is that not all the Auroras turn around in Promenades by the Suitors, but rather stand still during the balances...? (Fonteyn does it in the color clip, as well as Sizova, but not the totality of ballerinas I've seen)

#38 carbro

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 10:46 AM

I'd much rather see a ballerina who flubs the balances but can do full justice to the Vision Scene than the other way around.

This thread, and especially Kathleen's comment, reminds me of Darci Kistler. She gave an unsteady Rose Adagio, but oh! What a Vision! Fresh, absolutely transcendent and very much her own.

I think it's important to keep in mind that even if the ballerina simply transfers her hand from one partner to the other (which, if I have this right, is how Brianza did it originally--can anyone confirm whether that's correct?) . . .

Mel? Were you there? :clapping:

By the way, there are two sets of balances in the Rose Adagio. One in the beginning, without promenades, and another toward the end with a promenade (a.k.a. 'tour lent') in between each balance.

That's part of the building to a climax, much as in the adage of the Don Q Act III pas.

#39 Hans

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 10:49 AM

And why is that not all the Auroras turn around in Promenades by the Suitors, but rather stand still during the balances...? (Fonteyn does it in the color clip, as well as Sizova, but not the totality of ballerinas I've seen)

Cristian, there are two sets of balances in the Rose Adagio. One in the beginning, without promenades, and another toward the end with a promenade (a.k.a. 'tour lent') in between each balance.


I think it's important to keep in mind that even if the ballerina simply transfers her hand from one partner to the other (which, if I have this right, is how Brianza did it originally--can anyone confirm whether that's correct?) . . .

Mel? Were you there? :clapping:


Haha, I ought to have phrased that better. :wub: I meant to ask whether it's documented.

#40 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 01:09 PM

Ditto for Odile's fouettés: Odile is all about seductive glitter and there are surely other ways to convey that than 32 fouettés.


No! There are NO other ways. The 32 fouettes are lodged in my brain and I'm going to leave them there. :P Basically, I also feel that way about the balances, and want them

:innocent: :FIREdevil: . With all this new technique from gymnastic types 'ruining ballet', the least we can expect is new specimens who are 'good at the balances and radiance' in brand new brave-new-world wonderful ways! Maybe the problem is ballerinas not knowing how to do the 'seductive glitter PLUS the 32' and the 'radiance PLUS balances', because there is no dearth of athletic ballerinas able to execute the difficult technical feats. It's like in opera, Kathleen--there are NOT any Maria Callases anymore, and we ought to figure out why this is, not, say, why bel canto florid writing ought to be simplified. In other words, the problem is not a scarcity of fouette- and balance-doers, it is a scarcity of radiance- and seductive-glitter doers. More FIRE and passion, not less ridiculous technical demands! :angel_not:

Now, I originally voted that I didn't care either way, but I have changed my mind, and think all Auroras must strive to do radiance PLUS all the balances. I realize this vote change causes a difficulty for Diebold Voting Machine vote-fixing and hanging chads, but there it is...


Of course in the best of all possible worlds every ballerina who danced Aurora could execute perfect radiant balances with both arms above her head every time and dance a rapturous vision scene to boot! (And they should strive for that -- life is short and I for one get cranky when I have to squander time and money on slackers.) But we don't live in that world, and so I am happy to accept honest alternatives; the whole ballet doesn't (and shouldn't) ride on 60 seconds of choreography -- but sometimes it seems that that's what ends up happening with these iconic passages. In any event, I'm certainly not suggesting that the choreography be dumbed-down to accommodate declining technical standards.

And yes, Maria Callas is indeed dead. Fortunately there are many excellent singers on our stages today who can do full justice to the bel canto rep, both in terms of technique and expressiveness -- more than there were when Callas was singing, I think -- so there's no need replace all the gruppetti with half notes just yet. :wink: Now if only we could unearth a few good Verdi baritones ...

#41 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 01:21 PM

I'm certainly not suggesting that the choreography be dumbed-down to accommodate declining technical standards.

You just have resumed the whole point. Good.

#42 Mel Johnson

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 04:50 PM

And why is that not all the Auroras turn around in Promenades by the Suitors, but rather stand still during the balances...? (Fonteyn does it in the color clip, as well as Sizova, but not the totality of ballerinas I've seen)

Cristian, there are two sets of balances in the Rose Adagio. One in the beginning, without promenades, and another toward the end with a promenade (a.k.a. 'tour lent') in between each balance.


I think it's important to keep in mind that even if the ballerina simply transfers her hand from one partner to the other (which, if I have this right, is how Brianza did it originally--can anyone confirm whether that's correct?) . . .

Mel? Were you there? :angel_not:


Haha, I ought to have phrased that better. :FIREdevil: I meant to ask whether it's documented.


Actually, I could comment, if I'd been reviewing that part in the Sergeyev notations at Harvard, but my time was limited, so I stuck to the parts I knew best, the fairy variations and the various Act III pas de deux. Odds are, those notations would have instructions, in longhand, if not in the symbology.

#43 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 09:44 AM

Cristian, there are two sets of balances in the Rose Adagio. One in the beginning, without promenades, and another toward the end with a promenade (a.k.a. 'tour lent') in between each balance.

No, I know about the two sets of balances-(as standard as they can be). My question was why is it that I've seen sometimes BOTH sets WITHOUT promenades...(or actually why is that they allow anyone to do so... :angel_not: )

#44 Hans

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 10:17 AM

I can't explain that--I've never seen the second set done without a promenade, and I've watched a lot of performances of SB.

#45 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 10:24 AM

I guess there's no explanation...just plain choreographic killing. (Actually I saw this happened in Festival, and it was strange to watch)


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