Jump to content


Who are the most successful male partners?and what makes them so good at it?


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:36 AM

I've just spent a long weekend watching some serious opportunities for partnering -- and looking with a critical eye at male partners trained in a variety of traditions, taking on the roles created by Balanchine and Robbins.

This made me sit up when I read the following in the new issue of Pointe Magazine. (*) Here is Marcello Gomes speaking:

Partnering is dancing. I sometimes see people partnering and it looks llike, "Now I am going to partner," and "Now I am doing my solo." It is one thing -- dancing with your partner, not just trying to create the line. You are creating phrases and movement. It can take a long time, or it can be like adding water.


I've seen a lot of what Gomes describes. Some of it seems all too firmly entrenched in the old "porteur" tradition.

What do you think? Who are the best male partners of today? What is it that makes them able to partner women who may vary in temperament, schooling, or tradition?

(*) "Inside a Great Partnership," Jospeph Carman, Pointe, April/May 2009

#2 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,239 posts

Posted 30 March 2009 - 05:16 PM

Will never be tired of nominating Rolandito Sarabia-(MCB)- for the category. Why...? When he's partnering one can tell that nothing else interests him around but his bailarina's safety. Audience goes second .

#3 kfw

kfw

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,268 posts

Posted 31 March 2009 - 12:05 PM

In Dance in America's "Virtuosity and Variety" program on ABT some years back, Susan Jaffe talks about her partnership with Jose Manuel Carreno.

I need a man to really be a man, to be grounded, to be strong. It makes an enormous difference in my performance when I feel the man is really there and doesn't have a nerve in his body, he's just ready to go.

We then see her dabbing at his makeup in the wings and the two of them holding hands and grinning at each other as they're about to enter for the Black Swan pas de deux, and it's clear they really enjoy each other's company. I've always found Jaffe's comments interesting in that they reflect the old-fashioned gender roles reflected in 19th century ballet both in its stories and in its partnered choreography. Jaffe is obviously quite strong herself, physically and -- she carried the flag for ABT as principal dancer for many years -- as a person, but she makes no bones about how much she relies on her partner in order to be fully confident. She's married and I'm not suggesting anything untoward, but there's a refreshingly natural male-female frisson, if that's not too strong a term, apparent in her remarks that must only enhance their performance.

This made me sit up when I read the following in the new issue of Pointe Magazine. (*) Here is Marcello Gomes speaking:

Partnering is dancing. I sometimes see people partnering and it looks llike, "Now I am going to partner," and "Now I am doing my solo." It is one thing -- dancing with your partner, not just trying to create the line. You are creating phrases and movement. It can take a long time, or it can be like adding water.

Gomes sounds truly interested in his partners, truly attentive to them rather than just providing them support because it's his job. I'll bet his partners love him.

#4 Lovebird

Lovebird

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts

Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:47 PM

Michael Somes was a great partner, especially in the fifties when he danced with Fonteyn. Jonathan Cope, Anthony Dowell were good partners too, they really interacted with their partners.

#5 innopac

innopac

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 783 posts

Posted 09 April 2009 - 01:29 AM

Is part of being a successful male partner good luck in finding ballerinas who match your temperament and who trust you?

In Striking a Balance by Barbara Newman Nadia Nerina talks about her affinity with Fadeyechev and how even with very little rehearsal they just clicked. "And I did the whole of the second act [of Giselle] through with him, having never danced with him before. His [the Russian version] second act. I just went the way his hands made me. We could have danced together all our lives, without talking."

And earlier she said:

If you dance with a partner who moves in the same rhythm you do because of his physical make-up, you naturally go together with him more easily. Otherwise -- and Im just talking about physical types -- it means more rehearsing. Though David [Blair] and I danced marvelously together and loved dancing together, we had to rehearse more. If I put my head on his shoulder, we had to decide in rehearsal how it would get there. But if I did it with Fadeyechev, I never thought about it -- neither of us did. Whatever he did, Id react and hed react.

#6 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 09 April 2009 - 03:11 AM

Is part of being a successful male partner good luck in finding ballerinas who match your temperament and who trust you?


Nerina adds other, related elements:

... affinity ... they just clicked ... I just went the way his hands made me ... moves in the same rhythm ... his physical make-up ... Otherwise -- and Im just talking about physical types -- it means more rehearsing.

Though David [Blair] and I danced marvelously together and loved dancing together, we had to rehearse more. If I put my head on his shoulder, we had to decide in rehearsal how it would get there. But if I did it with Fadeyechev, I never thought about it -- neither of us did. Whatever he did, Id react and hed react.


Obviously there are several roads to great partnerships. I wonder which type works out best in the end? Which, in other words, is more likely to the those rare, magical, unforgettable (and apparently "made in heaven") partnerships?

#7 4mrdncr

4mrdncr

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 670 posts

Posted 09 April 2009 - 09:55 AM

I've learned as much (or more) from watching rehearsals of partners, as well as participating in them. And of course, also viewing how problems and mishaps occur and are resolved.


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):