Jump to content


Important Women in Ballet


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#31 vipa

vipa

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 978 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 03:49 PM

Allegra Kent, a true artist. 

Allegra Kent in that, in my opinion, she had tremendous influence on the Balanchine look and style (for want of a better word).  Her port de bras and way of moving, I believe had impact on the school and company.

 

I would also add to the list Rebecca Harkness.  She poured a tremendous amount of money into her school and company.  Whatever one's opinion is of the quality and outcome,many influential teachers taught at her school, and many great dancers were developed in her company.



#32 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,310 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 03:53 PM

Yes, Harkness has become almost a forgotten name.  It would be fascinating to construct a detailed outine of the influence of her school, company, and extended patronage.  I suspect that the late, lamented Ballet Florida would probably not have existed and flourished for so long without the Harkness connection.  Someone should really document this story for the country as a whole.



#33 GeorgeB fan

GeorgeB fan

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 249 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 03:59 PM

Martha Swope - photographer - when it comes to captivating dance in a single moment whether it's on stage during a live performance, behind the scenes during rehearsal, or at a photo studio no one has ever had a more profound influence on dance photography quite like Swope. IMO she made it an art form.

 

Arlene Croce - critic - founder of Ballet Review, longtime dance critic of the New Yorker Magazine and author of several books about dance, Ms. Croce is one of the towering figures in the art of dance reviews. I think her influence is HUGE. 

 

Joan Acocella - critic - yet another gifted and superb writer of dance.

 

Isodora Duncan - dancer - yes she's a legend in modern dance but from the things I've read about her, she left an important imprint on several legendary giants in 20th century ballet. Her freedom of movement, her passion and her style of dancing in which she made it appeared the music was coming directly within herself, and that dance didn't have to beholden to strict storytelling, had a huge influence over choreographers like the Russia's Mikhail Fokine and Britian's Frederick Ashton.



#34 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,310 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 04:42 PM

About Daniel's nomination of Allegra Kent ("a true artist"):   I don't think many remember just what an extraodinary and original dancer Kent was, or the impact she made on stage especially in the late 50s and early 60s..  Coincidentally, I'm just reading Robert Gottlieb's  review (in NY Review of Books) of Elena Tchernichova's memoirs.  Tchernichova, then a young dancer at the Kirov, saw Kent dance the Sleepwalker in Balanchine's La Sonnambula when NYCB came to Leningrad in 1962:

 

I saw every performance she gave; I wanted to somehow impress irrevocably on my brain every single step of hers.

 

Tchernichova's experience of Balanchine's company changed her life.  "By the time Balanchine was gone, 'I was ready to follow him to New York.'"  Eventuallyi, she was able to get an exit permit and arrived in NYC in 1976.  This is where the connection with Harkness comes in.  Among her first jobs in NYC was to work privately with her old friend and schoolmate Natalia Makarova, often in the Harkness studies.  After that, she went to ABT.

 

The book, Elena Tchernichova with Joel Lobenthal, Dancing on Water:  a Life in Ballet, from the Kirov to the ABT, is available from  Northeastern University Press.



#35 kfw

kfw

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,155 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 05:29 PM

About Daniel's nomination of Allegra Kent ("a true artist"):   I don't think many remember just what an extraodinary and original dancer Kent was, or the impact she made on stage especially in the late 50s and early 60s..  Coincidentally, I'm just reading Robert Gottlieb's  review (in NY Review of Books) of Elena Tchernichova's memoirs.  Tchernichova, then a young dancer at the Kirov, saw Kent dance the Sleepwalker in Balanchine's La Sonnambula when NYCB came to Leningrad in 1962:

 

I saw every performance she gave; I wanted to somehow impress irrevocably on my brain every single step of hers.

 

Tchernichova's experience of Balanchine's company changed her life.  "By the time Balanchine was gone, 'I was ready to follow him to New York.'"  Eventuallyi, she was able to get an exit permit and arrived in NYC in 1976.  This is where the connection with Harkness comes in.  Among her first jobs in NYC was to work privately with her old friend and schoolmate Natalia Makarova, often in the Harkness studies.  After that, she went to ABT.

 

The book, Elena Tchernichova with Joel Lobenthal, Dancing on Water:  a Life in Ballet, from the Kirov to the ABT, is available from  Northeastern University Press.

 

It's available in a Kindle edition as well. For any newcomers reading, I'll mention that both paper and electronic editions can be ordered through the Amazon box at the bottom of each Ballet Alert page. So doing helps fund BA.



#36 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,310 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 06:05 PM

Clicking that box is the way I ordered it -- as well as the new Markova biography. Every little bit helps keep Ballet Alert on line and technologically up to date. Thanks, kfw, for reminding us.

#37 Jayne

Jayne

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 864 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 10:41 PM

Marcia Haydee is a woman for all seasons (dancer, stager, choreographer, artistic director)

Twyla Tharp for her crossover choreography 

Alexandra Danilova - for everything.  

Jennifer Tipton has lighted some of the best ballets of the 20th and 21st century.  

Claude Bessy (the little dictatress of the POBS) for keeping the French style going.
Violet Verdy for her dancing, staging, and PR friendly personality, what a great ambassador for the artform 

Sulemith Messerer in Japan for her work to develop the artform.  

Nina Ananiashvili will be on this list eventually.  She was a wonderful dancer, beloved by her ABT family, and is keeping the flame alive in Tblisi.   

Virginia Johnson of DToH, for her dancing, and willingness to revive the company in difficult economic times, I hope she succeeds!

 

I think we English speakers will never know the contributions made by former Soviet ballerinas who go on to coach future generations in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  Many of them kept their companies going by hook and by crook through the stormy times after the collapse in 1989 - 91.   God bless them all.

 

 

 

.  



#38 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,020 posts

Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:50 PM

 I don't think many remember just what an extraodinary and original dancer Kent was, or the impact she made on stage especially in the late 50s and early 60s.. 

 

 

I think Kent's influence is generally acknowledged (?) It would probably be more widely acknowledged if she'd committed herself to Balanchine and dance more intensely than she did. She also has a larger place in cultural memory than many of the other Balanchine girls. There is her book, her appearance in Six Balanchine Ballerinas, the photographs of Bert Stern which are regularly reproduced, and she gets mentioned in Vogue and Vanity Fair. Not bad.



#39 DanielBenton

DanielBenton

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 62 posts

Posted 29 September 2013 - 04:50 AM

Having developed an interest in ballet only 3 years ago I of course missed Ms. Kent's live performances.  But I have seen video of her in the 2nd movement of Symphony in C (from the infamous Berlin 1973 filming), and part of the pas de deux from Agon with Arthur Mitchell (with a german announcer's voice-over!).  I thought her autobiography was also very interesting (and fun) to read.



#40 Marcmomus

Marcmomus

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 60 posts

Posted 29 September 2013 - 08:07 AM

Peggy van Praag, Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet, and choreographer. Author of the The Choreographic Art 

 

Writers Katherine Sorley Walker, Lynn Garafola and Mary Clarke.

 

Tamara Karsavina, Mathilde Kschessinska, Olga Preobajenska for their inspiration and their teaching in Paris and London.



#41 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,013 posts

Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:39 PM

If we're including critics, I'd want to add Deborah Jowitt and Marcia Siegel.  And Parmenia Migel.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):