Jump to content


Eva Evdokimova


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#16 alexanderE

alexanderE

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 04 April 2009 - 05:39 PM

May she rest in peace.

If I may ask -- What, exactly, was Ms. Evdokimova's main company during her career? I remember her as a fine guest with Festival Ballet in the early 1980s -- that televised Sylphide with Schaufuss as James -- but I do not seem to recall that she had a permanent home troupe.
As others have described, I also found her to be an exceptionally frail ballerina which worked to her favor in Sylphide and Giselle. I remember her as lovely but somewhat ill-looking even in her youth. Then again, the great Taglioni was often described as being exceptionally frail...the trait of an ideal Sylphide.



Evi considered Berlin her "home" for many years and was very happy there at those times.
Also London was sort of home since she owned a nice apartment there what she later had to sell.
She split the Deutsche Oper Berlin ballet after listening to some peoples' "questionable advice" and lived the last 15 years or so in New York - Manhattan, doing some teaching and taking care of her husband and his family.

She was the most wonderful person I have met in my entire life.

#17 Alina

Alina

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts

Posted 04 April 2009 - 06:06 PM

I am deeply saddened by her death. I admired and enjoyed her tremendously as an artist. Later I was fortunate to know her as a coach, teacher, and the lovliest of human beings. RIP dear Eva.

#18 annamicro

annamicro

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 120 posts

Posted 05 April 2009 - 05:47 AM

There are some clips of Eva in La Sylphide on YouTube. I urge readers who never got to see her dancing to watch these clips. They reveal a great deal about the person as well as the dancer.



And there is Giselle pdd too (not sure if I can add the link, but I think that the clips are not yet available through youtube search engine...).

Unfortunately I've never seen her dancing live, but she was the first Sylph I've ever seen and she is till now my favourite. :wub:
May she rest in peace.

#19 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 05 April 2009 - 04:59 PM

Sounds marvellous -- is it?


EE was also recorded on a once commercially available videocassette called THE ROMANTIC ERA. (the telecast of her in Schaufuss's LA SYLPHIDE was not, to the best of knowldege, released commercially.)



#20 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 05 April 2009 - 05:16 PM

I had never seen Evdokimova until today, on these two youtube clips -- which are among the finest interpratations of those roles I have ever seen. She is out of this world. In the Giselle, she seems like Allegra Kent in Sonnambula -- finding him "by echolocation." Of course I'm moved by the news of her death, but still, right now I feel that I have never seen truer or deeper interpretation of these dances. The phrasing is her own, and it is so appropriate. Her dancing is multicentered, like African dancing -- the breast-bone has its own rhythms which are different from those of the pelvis, and each seems not to know what the other is doing, as Giselle is only incpmletely aware of where Albrecht actually IS; though all is harmonious and her balance is NEVER in doubt, nevertheless there is something quietly ecstatic in her dancing all the time and she often seems to have over-run the end of her phrase....though like a contact-improv dancer, she allows her reflexes to right her without any Starrung. She seems to be competely free from earthly anxieties. She walks out of arabesque as though the poses were moments where she leaned against a breeze.

As the sylphide, she is unbelievably at ease from the waist up, her collarbone is so soft, her neck so long, the hands so easy, the shoulders so free -- and then you see those Sissonnes, so light, so vertical, so HIGH; the entrechat-quatres, so quick, so turned-out, the insteps so powerfully extended, the whole step barely leaving the ground at all -- perhaps she bends the knees considerably under that skirt and has not risen the length of an entire foot. They're miraculous.

Especially delicious is the diagonal, combination sissonne failli that then steps into the pique with the exquisitely modulated slow develope to the front -- it's like she has all the time in the world.

SO beautiful.

#21 Nicole347

Nicole347

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 05 April 2009 - 06:03 PM

There are some clips of Eva in La Sylphide on YouTube. I urge readers who never got to see her dancing to watch these clips. They reveal a great deal about the person as well as the dancer.



And there is Giselle pdd too (not sure if I can add the link, but I think that the clips are not yet available through youtube search engine...).

Unfortunately I've never seen her dancing live, but she was the first Sylph I've ever seen and she is till now my favourite. :wub:
May she rest in peace.


Many thanks for posting the Giselle pas de deux clips on YouTube, Annamicro. That's an enormous gift to her fans and to all those who will now have the chance to discover her artistry.

#22 Drew

Drew

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,198 posts

Posted 06 April 2009 - 12:16 AM

I too was seeing these You Tube clips for the first time and thought that they were just stunning, though I can't begin to describe them as Paul Parish does.

I don't much care to watch ballet on video -- it usually sort of bores me -- and I know it gives misleading impressions of some dancers. (Much as I am glad the video of Kirkland in Nutcracker exists, I wish people wouldn't form their opinion of her from it and of course they do.) But these clips fully captured not just my attention but my imagination.

From the one live Giselle I saw Evdokimova dance I remember the effect of her long arms, romantic lines, and expressive face in Act II though not, unfortunately, much else: the clip made me wish I could actually remember her dancing not just her "image."

As for the Sylphide clips--wow!

That said, my memory is that American critics were not entirely won over when she came here with the Berlin Opera Ballet and Croce at one time referred to her as an example of the kind of weaker ballerina Nureyev preferred to pair himself with later in his career. As I remember, too, I liked her in Giselle but was really dazzled by her Miss Julie -- a very forceful dramatic presentation of a difficult character. And I also remember a rather nasty back-handed compliment about that Miss Julie performance in Ballet Review (not by Croce)--along the lines of 'at last a role (neurotic, repressed etc.) that suits her.'

Watching these clips, I'm inclined to think she did not get her proper due in the U.S. Perhaps if she had danced more here she would have...From posts made above, it does sound as if she was greatly appreciated as a teacher in New York once her performing career was over.

#23 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 06 April 2009 - 12:53 AM

Was Croce watching the same dancer I just saw in those clips? 'Weak' is the very last word I would choose to describe her; she is perhaps the strongest dancer I have ever laid eyes on, so strong that she does not need to announce it. When she jumps--well, she doesn't jump, she simply floats up into the air without any apparent preparation at all, hovers there for a moment, then graciously descends, all in perfect time with the music. Those who saw her live describe her dancing so beautifully (the clips, while breathtaking, clearly just hint at what her presence conveyed) that I am quite envious. She appears, from what little I can see, to be the ideal Giselle and Sylphide, and probably much more.

#24 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,388 posts

Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:18 AM

Croce was referring to Evdokimova's performances in the Petipa classics that call for robust presentation of technique, e.g., Aurora in SB or Kitri in DQ or in 'after Petipa' 20th-C works such as Grand Pas Classique or the Balanchines. They were not her forte, although she would have been wonderful in La Valse, IMO. It's no coincidence that our video collections from 25-30 years ago contain no clips of EE wearing a classical tutu. EE was very much a 'weeping spirit/romantic tutu' specialist, e.g., Giselle, Sylphide and Pas de Quatre...regardless of whatever may have been her repertoire back home in Berlin. Even her Esmeralda pdd from the 'Romantic Era' gala (and commercial video) in Guanajuato, Mexico, was the romantic version in long tutu, not the Petipa 1890s edition.

#25 vrsfanatic

vrsfanatic

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 671 posts

Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:52 AM

There was a small and very beautiful obituary in the Sunday NY Times written by I am assuming Eva's husband Michael. If any of you still have the paper it is in the first section of the paper on page 20. It is hard to believe that the NY Times has not written a wonderful article about her. This is an unhappy state of affairs. :wub:

#26 Jane Simpson

Jane Simpson

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 935 posts

Posted 06 April 2009 - 04:33 AM

There's now quite a long piece by Jennifer Dunning in the online version of the NY Times, at least.

#27 vrsfanatic

vrsfanatic

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 671 posts

Posted 06 April 2009 - 04:55 AM

Thank you very much for posting this. A beautiful tribute to a wonderful artist and very kind person. :wub:

#28 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 06 April 2009 - 06:15 AM

This is been an eloquent and very moving thread. Thank you, all, for your impressions and memories.

Paul, you make it possible for me to see complex and subtle things that I never would understood or appreciated without reading your description. Thanks.

I agree entirely with Drew about the clips from Giselle and Sylphide:

... these clips fully captured not just my attention but my imagination.


Evdokimova moves, in the Giselle thread, like someone released from constraints of time and weight. I thought of someone moving underwater, though freer, less impeded by resistance. From the very first seconds of the clip, as she walks away from Albrecht, turns her head and amazingly long neck back to him, and extends curved arms, one forward, one back, this is one of the most beautiful ballet sequences I've ever seen.

So many Giselles only suggest what the role can be, esepcially in Act II. Evdokimova turns movement, even small gestures, into deep characterization. I wish I had seen her dance this on stage.

#29 printscess

printscess

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 296 posts

Posted 06 April 2009 - 06:41 AM

There was a small and very beautiful obituary in the Sunday NY Times written by I am assuming Eva's husband Michael. If any of you still have the paper it is in the first section of the paper on page 20. It is hard to believe that the NY Times has not written a wonderful article about her. This is an unhappy state of affairs. :wub:


I graduated high school with Michael. He is a gifted pianist. He was absolutely in love and devoted to Eva. I ran into him on a bus last year and he spoke about her like they were 2 high school students in love. My heart goes out to him.

#30 Nicole347

Nicole347

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 06 April 2009 - 06:55 AM

There's now quite a long piece by Jennifer Dunning in the online version of the NY Times, at least.


Jennifer's piece is very moving and captures Eva's essence perfectly. It's on page 14 of the print edition.

My friend Jean-Marie Wynants, the dance critic for Le Soir in Brussels, has written an obituary that appears in today's issue. The article is not yet available on the free portion of the site, but may become available there in coming days.

I did a quick translation of the piece and will paste it here:

The extraordinary dancer Eva Evdokimova died during the night of Thursday to Friday in New York, after a long illness. Dancer, choreographer, teacher, she appeared on the most famous stages in the world and was Rudolf Nureyev's regular partner.

Contrary to what her last name woul suggest, Eva Evdokimova was American, born in Geneva in 1948, of a Bulgarian father and an American mother. After Geneva, she spent a good part of her childhood and youth in Germany and England. This very international life gave her a knolwedge of languages that she never ceased to perfect, adding to English, French, German, Russian and Chinese. [This is wrong, actually--it was Japanese.] But from one country to another, she pursued the true passion that drove her throughout her existence: dance.

As a child, she began her studies in Munich then followed this at the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London, from 1959. After that, her passion took her to the far corners of the world, making her unique in the history of dance. She quickly understood that in addition to classical technique, one must be open to other domains. She was to study music, theatre, and art history. These were among so many elements that were to nourish her interpretations and make her such an exceptional teacher.

As a dancer, she accumulated many "firsts": First foreign ballerina to enter in the the very closed Royal Danish Ballet, the first American to perform with the Kirov, the first American to receive the title of Prima Ballerina Assoluta abroad (at the Deutsche Oper Ballet in Berlin), the first American to receive the Ulanova prize in Moscow....

These "firsts" must not obscure the essential: the formidable talent of this ballerina, who knew how to dazle audiences everywhere, from New York to Moscow, and passing through Berlin, Peking, and the Paris Opera Ballet. If, during 15 years, she was Rudolf Nureyev's partner, she also shared the stage with many other great names of ballet. Her performances, of which happily there remain records, still fire all lovers of ballet today.

It suffices to see her in La Sylphide (a wonderful film clip is available on YouTube) in order to understand the art of this dancer edowed with an extraordinary energy behind a frail appearance. The greatest talent of Evdokimova was perhaps to know how to divinely move audiences where so many others succeeded only in dazzling them. To an irreproachable technique (that she later taught at the greatest international companies), she allied a magical grace and elegance. To see her today, in black and white, moving with so much grace and lightness that she seems literally to float in the air, leaves no doubt: A dancer has gone but her star will shine forever.
--JEAN-MARIE WYNANTS
Translated by Nicole Dekle Collins


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):