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Yvonne

The "REAL" Thing....

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I know it is usually thought (myself included), that a ballet part is always performed and "captured" best by the dancer on whom the part was created - but I'm curious......has anyone here ever seen a part in a ballet that they actually liked BETTER when danced by someone OTHER than who the part was made on?? :confused:

I, myself, have never had the pleasure (or luck) of seeing a dancer in a part that was originally "made" on them (except on video)! :)

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That's a good question. There's one rather famous example -- I didn't see it, but have read about it. Balanchine created "Gounod Symphony" for (I'm not checking this, so I hope it's right) Maria Tallchief, a wonderful ballerina, and yet....the ballet didn't work. The reviews were of the "even a genius has an off-day" variety. Then, a few years later, Violette Verdy joined the company and Balanchine revived the ballet for her, and her "French perfume" brought the ballet to life.

I liked Anthony Dowell AS WELL as Baryshnikov in "Other Dances" -- totally different interpretation. He wasn't as Russian as Baryshnikov (surprise) but he gave the second solo a darker interpretation. I was perfectly happy whichever man I saw in that ballet.

I've liked Kistler as well as I liked Farrell in some roles, but I don't think better. Hmm. I'll have to think on this one and get back to you :) Any others?

[ 05-17-2001: Message edited by: alexandra ]

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To relate this question to the Giselle thread, I have read that a lot of people liked Ellsler better than Grisi because of the dramatic intensity of her mad scene.

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Perhaps a bolt of lightning will strike me dead for saying this, but I think Peter Boal's Oberon is one of the finest performances I've ever seen by anyone, anywhere, and, yes, I like him better than my (admittedly fuzzy) memories of Villella.

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Alexandra, which of Farrell's roles do you especially enjoy seeing Kistler dance? :)

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"Did," not "do" I don't think I'd like to see Kistler in "Diamonds" any more. (That was one.)

The others really weren't created roles, but roles that, when I first started seeing the company, were Farrell's (in that she had taken over from the previous generation), so they're Farrell roles, to me, but not to the cosmos :) (Things like "Swan Lake" and "Symphony in D.")

But to the point underlying your question -- is it possible for a subsequent generation to be as good or better than a creator -- Kistler was the ballerina who proved, to me, that the answer is a resounding yes. I loved watching Farrell, and I'd be happy to be watching her still, but I was just as happy watching Kistler, especially the 16-year-old, sunny, invincible Kistler I first knew. (as different from Farrell as it is possible to be)

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I thought Gelsey Kirkland gave a more thrilling and really unforgetable performance in Baryshnikov's Nutcracker than Marianna Tcherkassky. (Tcherkassky was lovely though.) I never saw Makarova in Other Dances, but Kirkland also gave some performances of the ballet in D.C. that were absolutely remarkable.

Bejart was once quoted as saying that when he created his Romeo and Juliet he never dreamed he would have a ballerina as wonderful as Farrell to dance it...

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When Nijinska revived Les Noces for the Royal Ballet in the 1960's I have read that she told the dancers that she had never thought she would see it danced so well, that they were better than the original cast--I am paraphrasing, of course!

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