Dvorovenko and Ringer - What does a dancer need to continue to grow?
Posted 22 June 2000 - 03:31 PM
From this point of view, comparing the opportunities to dance now available for Jennifer Ringer and for Irina Dovorovenko, who've both been made principals at their respective companies this spring, it's thus hard not to envy Ringer.
Looking at NYCB's schedule, Ringer danced Appalachian Waltz the 20th; Donizetti Variations the 21st; will dance Opus 19 the Dreamer the 22d; Appalachian Waltz the 23d; and will also dance principal roles at the 24th matinee and on the 25th.
By way of comparison, how many big roles has Irina Dvorovenko gotten to dance since Swan Lake on the 14th? And how many Swan Lakes will she have the chance to perform this year? I would think that it's very hard to ask a dancer to develop a strong and definite characterization, and a finished interpretation of a particular role, if she only gets to dance it once a year.
The ABT system of importing outside stars for the big performances may sell tickets, but it's inherently damaging to the opportunities of full time company members to develop. Those who want to see more of Irina D. better hope they don't bring in Vishneyva, in addition to Nina A., for a selected ten star cameos next year.
A company that grows its own is ultimately far more likely to grow you a real star.
Posted 22 June 2000 - 04:32 PM
On the other hand...Ringer's case is the exception & not the rule, at least by Russian standards. At the Mariinsky or any other one of the great Russian opera houses, principals dance full-length ballets only two or three times a month. Obviously not the ideal situation for a star performer who is itching to get out on stage.
Posted 22 June 2000 - 05:49 PM
How much coaching will they get? By whom? Do they get any time to prepare?
I think this will have as much to do with any dancer's development as "number of times at bat." Not that sheer experience hurts!
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Posted 22 June 2000 - 07:49 PM
You can almost see someone grow performance to performance. It's certainly been true of Ringer and of Jennie Somogyi this year. It was true of Weese last year.
I don't think that Ringer would have developed technically as much as she has this spring, and alo developed that confidence and command which is now so evident, if she hadn't been dancing so very much and, in particular, dancing Weese's roles, especially Sleeping Beauty.
Do you remember the question about who would be the main beneficiary of Weese's absence (we didn't mean it the way it sounds)? Somogyi has certainly danced more, and now in particular she's also dancing more of Meunier's roles - the Chairman Dances (silly, insipid ballet) tonight, for instance. (And she also picked up for Ansanelli's absence last night by debuting as the novice in the Cage). But it's Ringer who is really picking up Miranda Weese's place. Perhaps without that injury she would never have had the opportunity to dance those fleet allegro parts - what do you think? And dancing them, she seems to have become much more of an allegro dancer.
[This message has been edited by Michael1 (edited June 22, 2000).]
Posted 22 June 2000 - 10:27 PM
Posted 22 June 2000 - 10:38 PM
Posted 22 June 2000 - 11:10 PM
Posted 22 June 2000 - 11:12 PM
Donald, I also think created roles are important, but there have been great dancers who've become great without them.
Posted 22 June 2000 - 11:57 PM
She certainly was a great dancer.
Posted 23 June 2000 - 05:15 AM
Makarova used to remark frequently on the paucity of roles created for her. An anecdote from Karen Kain might shed some light on this. For Makarova's Broadway outing, "Makarova and Company" she commissioned a new ballet from Lorca Massine, son of Leonide. On the night of the ballet's debut, Massine Jr. was appalled as Makarova apparently rechoreographed his ballet onstage. Partner Anthony Dowell complained to Kain that he didn't see much point in all those rehearsals if Makarova was just going to improvise anyway.
In Makarova's defense, the pas de deux may not have been that great in the first place and she decided to perform some remedial surgery. I don't remember hearing or reading that she messed around with the choreography of, say, Tudor.
Posted 23 June 2000 - 06:57 AM
Posted 23 June 2000 - 06:46 PM
(I read in a book a long time ago (where Makarova was being interviewed), that her "big" disapointment in comming to the West was that Western choreographers never used her "talents" the way she hoped they would) Of course, that was her point of view - there are always TWO sides to every story....
Posted 23 June 2000 - 07:56 PM
"Other Dances," "The Blue Angel" and the one by Massine -- I think I remember one by Tetley, too -- is NOT a lot of ballets.
Posted 24 June 2000 - 10:49 AM
The key to that statement, Yvonne, is "the way she hoped they would." After she defected, Makarova made some half-hearted attempts to dance the repertoire that was denied her in Russia, but she never gave herself over to a new style or choreographer. I remember her saying once that she was "sick of experiments" and that real ballets were three-act works centered around a heroine and her problems, and she wanted to be a heroine.
I read in a book a long time ago (where Makarova was being interviewed), that her "big" disapointment in comming to the West was that Western choreographers never used her "talents" the way she hoped they would
MacMillan was once supposed to be making a full-length story ballet for her, but it never came off. Given her free and easy ways with the standard repertoire, I suspect that Makarova was difficult to work with and was unwilling to submit herself to a choreographer's authority.
Posted 24 June 2000 - 10:53 AM
However, you gotta give Makarova credit for sticking to her aesthetic guns. In her book (a wonderful one, if you can find it), she also chides Baryshnikov for working with Twyla Tharp, calling him a sell out.
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