Posted 26 December 2000 - 08:56 PM
Omnipresent international stars a threat? Louise Levene comments in the Telegraph: [url="http://"http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=003319252016647&rtmo=gjblggZu&atmo=rrrrrrvs&pg=/et/00/12/26/btnut26.html"]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=003319252...26/btnut26.html[/url]
Posted 28 December 2000 - 12:06 PM
Posted 28 December 2000 - 01:15 PM
When I post a link that "might make for a good discussion" this doesn't mean that I either like or agree with the article But she does raise some issues about polyglot ballet that are worth considering.
Posted 28 December 2000 - 03:01 PM
Good to hear from Ms. Levene that Balanchine and MacMillan are now considered "adventurous repertoire". Do we still have to believe that the Russians till recently danced nothing else but Petipa ?
Surely the same steps are executed with different accents by different companies, although I think this is more the result of coaching and discipline in the company than it has anything to do with nationalities. The comparison of Balanchine's "Jewels" as recently performed by the Kirov Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet shows that quite well.
Posted 30 December 2000 - 05:01 AM
Posted 30 December 2000 - 11:39 AM
According to the New Oxford Dictionary of English - "style" means "a manner of doing something".
Let the music begin.........Basheva
Approach life as the dancer approaches the barre - with grace and purpose.
Posted 04 January 2001 - 10:11 AM
Now that I've finished repeating the article (not on purpose), I think it was an informative article for those who don't know ballet as well as others. I don't think Levene was disparaging the fact that there are different styles, only saying to the non-ballet-regular that they exist and that, when used properly, they are good, because nobody wants to see the same style everywhere, but when they are mixed together (think ABT), the results are not always harmonious.
Isn't there, in the "Links" section of this site, one that deals with different styles of ballet? I seem to recall one. I'll have to go look.
Posted 04 January 2001 - 12:21 PM
I think that "style" is a useful word -- often a necessary one -- in comparing dancers or companies. I also agree with Marc that it's an accent. I've always thought of style that way. And just as one never thinks one has an accent, but can readily recognize one in others, so one often thinks that "our" dancers are doing it the right way and "they" are somehow inferior.
There's a newly released video of a film of Erik Bruhn (I think it's coming to New York and I hope you'll all go see it) where he's working with Nureyev in a studio and tells how Nureyev kept saying something was "not Russian." (In shock and horror, one gathers.) And Bruhn would say, "No, Rudolf, it's not Russian. It's Danish, but that doesn't make it WRONG."
Posted 04 January 2001 - 12:28 PM
Regarding Levene's article, as I said in the other thread, she is completely wrong when she writes about the Balanchine Trust. Balanchine couldn't have cared less what happened to his ballets after his death, and certainly would've laughed at the idea of "Balanchine Police" running around the globe. Obvious boners like this one tend to lessen her credibility, at least in my eyes.
Posted 04 January 2001 - 02:43 PM
Guérin has a point there of course, as very few companies have dancers who are commanding such a variety of choreographic styles as the Paris Opera Ballet.
Just a thought re these nationalities. Many Maryinsky principals are now dancing like Sylvie Guillem clones – has nothing to do with nationality, it’s just fashion, and in the end coaching and discipline.
Posted 04 January 2001 - 09:25 PM
As for "mass produced" in general...Any unified style, especially if it is performed mechanically, can take on a mass produced look, and that includes very ornamental, dramatic styles etc. The risk-taking, off center style of much NYCB dancing is, whatever its faults, not mechanical. Actually, under Balanchine, NYCB dancers may have been allowed a little too much individual leeway in port-de-bras and the corps was occasionally sloppy. This is less true under Martins, but the result does not look any more "mass produced" than any other disciplined, major company. Obviously, too, NYCB principles and soloists have quite distinctive qualities in their dancing: think of the recent up-and-comers Ringer, Kowroski, Somogyi. And Martins has a history of favoring some genuinely quirky talents like Watts, Whelan, and Horiuchi. (For those who don't know the dancers to whom I'm referring, I'll just say that everyone I have named has a very different body type, for starters.) Perhaps to eyes used to one company or school "style," certain distinctions in other companies/schools are less visible, but it's a little quick on the draw to start musing about American "mass production!"
As for the idea that Parisian training is merely "training" tout court, and every other school is somehow training+inflection of a particular kind -- I'm pretty skeptical. No-one doubts that the POB school is one of the best in the world; one can believe in its excellence without having to buy into the notion that there is such thing as a pure ballet medium OUTSIDE of particular coaching/training/emphasis -- which would be, in effect, to say outside of history.
However, I could not agree more that this has little to do with "nationality" -- except perhaps insofar as nations have histories; these would include, say, the history that brought the French Didelot to Russia or the Russian/Georgian Balanchine to the U.S. That is: ballet history (as has been referred to above: choreography, coaching, schools, and even superstar performers) has the most significant bearing on these questions.
[This message has been edited by Drew (edited January 04, 2001).]
Posted 04 January 2001 - 10:55 PM
And for the record, I'm not a "her."
As for the French technique being simply a "base," I disagree. The French dance in a very distinctive manner, technically. I think that the fact that they can absorb other techniques well is a result of the fact that they are trained in at least one other technique during their schooling. And see Françoise's review of the Paris Opéra Ballet to find out just how well certain dancers absorb Balanchine technique. Those Balanchine arms and hands are hard to do if you've been trained properly!
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