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Another Spaniard on boardOr should be on *the* board? Details, details...


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#1 sunday

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 04:21 PM

Hello from Barcelona!

My name is José Luis, but in English language boards I found that Jose is more straightforward. I'm a middle-aged electrical engineer, with no professional relation with arts, interpretative or else, but with a fondness for Classical music since childhood. Tchaikovsky has been a favorite composer since ever, especially his ballet suites.

About ballet, well the sorry state of the art around here that forced our finest -Corella, Rojo, Amatriain, etc.- to seek greener pastures elsewhere (or leave the international circuit even) is known. So the dance I was exposed to when young was of the dark, gloomy, abstract, experimental/contemporary ilk -which has its merits, and I'm begin to appreciate now- but it isn't the best to attract new customers. Especially prospective customers used to Baroque and Romantic music.

Instead, I became an Opera fan -we have a strong opera tradition here- of the major works: Turandot, Madama Butterfly, Nabucco, Norma, Don Giovanni (Mozart's), Tanhäuser, Ring of the Nibelungs. Also of the works of the great Romanthic composers, and some obscure -but also great- Baroque ones. And Tchaikovsky. About ballet, I liked very much the White Nights movie with Baryshnikov, and that was all.

Two months ago, enter a ballerina that introduced me to classical ballet and to all the very hard work that dancers must do to give the audience the feeling that gravity has no visible effect upon them. I began some research, seeing internet videos and reading biographies of dancers, composers, and coreographers, and using the comments on the videos* for orientation in the search of interesting ballerinas.

After seeing in YT the Grand PDD of Don Q. with Angel Corella and Paloma Herrera, I was in awe. Light, energy, enthusiasm, enticing melodies, joie de vivre (excuse my French :wink: ). After seeing the little Russian hurricane also known as Osipova in that same Minkus piece, I had swallowed hook, sink, and line. Oh boy, there was one truly ballet-hooked engineer. Videos of DQ, Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Firebird, Giselle, Coppèlia, RJ, etc. were soon devoured - thanks to a quite capable home cinema rig**. Different versions of the Dying Swan were compared: Pavlova, Plisetskaya, Lopatkina ... Trockadero :D . The reason for calling Plisetskaya "Queen of the air" was soon evident, Guillem bendiness almost freaked me out, the grace, mastery, and thoughtfulness of Lopatkina were appreciated, also the armless fouettés of Maximova, the balance of Valdés, the ballon of Baryshnikov, the bourrées of Semionova, and much more. Also I watched three times Swan Lake by the Imperial Russian Ballet.

In the meanwhile, I arrived to an interesting forum, aplenty with knowledge people, tips, and hints about which dancers to watch, and very interesting, and humorous, tidbits about backstage work, like techniques to cover tattoos in too-hip-ballerinas, possible origins of fan use in a Spanish-staged ballet, effects of artificial snow in mice population when Nutcracker is not on, etc. And some posters from Spain from who I obtained directions to Spanish websites, such as fotoescena, and unwillingly almost made me wanting to tear my hair off because of Osipova performing Kitri in 2008 at Two hour drive from home!, without me being aware :wink:. There were hints of a possible greening of the dusty Spanish soil: the Corella ballet. Thanks to one of those posters, and now friend, I'll be at their first Bayadère of this July, with the varsity: Corella, Cojocaru, and Almeida :thanks: .

Well, ladies and gentlemen, thanks for your time, and your patience.

Also thanks for this magnificent site from which this dilettante newbie has a lot to learn,

Jose


* It's remarkable the depth of knowledge one can find in the posters on the Youtube ballet videos. Some cattiness***, also, but humans being humans...

** I have some knowledge of non-audiophile grade (i.e. relatively cheap but effective) AV equipment, so feel free to ask. At the worst, I'll redirect to the appropriate thread at AVSforums.

*** The GREAT Plisetskaya a hippo compared with a quite ill Gelsey Kirkland? Oh, come on!

#2 Giannina

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 05:13 PM

Welcome to Ballet Talk, Jose, and welcome to the world of ballet. You are so enthusiastic , and it's wonderful that you are getting caught up on the ballets you've missed. We hope you continue to enjoy performances, and that you'll enjoy sharing in our discussions on the board.

Giannina

#3 bart

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 05:56 PM

Welcome, Sunday. It sounds like you have been educating yourself about ballet quickly, widely, and well. We are glad to have you with us.

I hope you'll be able to follow the fortunes of the Compania Angel Corella and report to us. The Bolshoi's taking Spartacus to Madrid this season, but I don't know yet what is coming to Barcelona. Fotoescena is a source I use, as you do.

I'm a middle-aged electrical engineer, with no professional relation with arts, interpretative or else, but with a fondness for Classical music since childhood. Tchaikovsky has been a favorite composer since ever, especially his ballet suites.

Many of us on Ballet Talk have backgrounds pretty much like yours. An early love of classical music and interest in opera are a part of my story and that of many other Ballet Talkers. Tchaikosvsky was, for me, a bridge between my youthful love of classical musisc and a later introductdion to ballet. A few of us also have been blessed someone in our life like your "ballerina that introduced me to to classical ballet." We're all the lucky ones. :wink:

#4 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 09:04 PM

Hola Jose Luis!!
It's wonderful to have another Spaniard among us-(Ole para la Madre Patria!! :wink: ). Yes, it seems like the love for classical music has been the common lied-motif for many of us to the introduction to ballet. At some point I would even love to open a poll to see how many of us got to be used to the score of Swan Lake way before watching the ballet, for instance. In any case, I should say that I'm very happy to see Corella's efforts to revive classical ballet in Spain, and el Teatro Real looks truly beautiful after all the renovations...a proper house for the Company.
http://www.teatro-re.....hoto Gallery#
Oh, and watch for Adyaris Almeida. This cubanita is pure is FIRE when she's up to it, and very pleasant to watch. Also, I would like to know...what ever happened to Victor Ullate's Company...?

BIENVENIDO !! :thanks:

#5 sunday

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 04:22 AM

Re all,

Thanks for the your warm welcome.

Re Giannina,

Well, I've got a lot to learn. I only decided to create an account when the issue about the pronunciation of the surname of Sylvie Guillem -a matter in which I felt that I could make a somewhat worthy contribution- came up. So I'll be lurking a lot.

Re Bart,

Internet is a wonderful learning tool. For instance, I just searched for Black Swan PDD videos, and found more than ten, all by excellent couples. How much time and money did need a person to spend twenty or fifteen years ago to be able to be exposed to so much examples of dancing? Those videos aren't of the best quality, of course, but help. About the wellness of the education, I've been lurking here by two months almost, catching general hints.

For following Corella's enterprise, I'll try to add my little bit. There are posters around here more educated, knowledgeable, capable, and willing to travel than yours truly, however. But for a Bolshoi in Madrid... In Barcelona there will be a Russian Stars Gala the 4th and 5th of August, for instance, with Alexandrova, Antonichevna, Vasiliev, etc. I suppose I should look for the thread in the appropriate sub-forum.

Yep, the lucky ones. Fortunately some male dancers like Baryshnikov contributed to dispel the, with permission from the ladies, "girlie" haunting that hung over ballet. There was a good line in The Turning Point movie about that.

Re Cristian,

That Spanish phrase of you made me recall this song: Hope you like pasodoble. Thanks for posting about Viengsay Valdés, another awesome dancer that made me appreciate the Cuban school, and understand why the Spanish dance in Swan Lake looked somewhat strange to me: the ballet-trained shoulders don't making the movements one is used to expect of Flamenco ballerinas was the reason. About the location of Corella Ballet, perhaps Segovia is a better place to keep Madrid, or even Barcelona, political intrigues away. I've read that Plisetskaya wasn't very happy during her Madrid stint because of that. I've watching videos of Almeida, agree with your opinion, and I'm eager to see her in the flesh.

About Victor Ullate, honestly I don't know.

BTW, if your surname is the one that appears on your signature, Have you got any familiar relationship with the painter Genaro Pérez Villaamil*?


* I ask because the naval buff in me recognized part of the surname. Villaamil is a famous surname in the Spanish Navy. For instance, because of one Fernando Villaamil there is a whole class of naval vessels called destroyers, and he was the highest ranking Spanish naval officer killed in action at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. When searching to refresh my memory, I found the painter.

#6 CarolinaM

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 05:29 AM

Hi Sunday!

Although I’m not participating very much -I’m very busy with fotoescena in my already so few free time- it’s nice to « see » you here! :thanks: and I’m truly astonished for what you have been able to learn about ballet in such a short period of time.

Also I have to say, what a great English level you have!

As for Víctor Ullate, well, the National Ballet Company the former Ministry decided to create, seems not to be a priority of our brand new one, so, for the time being, it seems to be in stand-by.

Welcome again and see you tomorrow! :wink:

#7 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 12:28 PM

BTW, if your surname is the one that appears on your signature, Have you got any familiar relationship with the painter Genaro Pérez Villaamil*?
* I ask because the naval buff in me recognized part of the surname. Villaamil is a famous surname in the Spanish Navy. For instance, because of one Fernando Villaamil there is a whole class of naval vessels called destroyers, and he was the highest ranking Spanish naval officer killed in action at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. When searching to refresh my memory, I found the painter.


(Excuse me for getting a little :wink: for a minute )
Absolutely, Jose Luis...He was cousin of my great grand father, who was Perez de Villa-Amil Paskey-(Perez de Villa-Amil from Genaro's same tree, Paskey from England. I inherited the last name from my mom's side, and she got it from her father and grandfather, who was Genaro's relative. I have a whole researching I did years ago of him, when I was still living in Cuba. Of course, when I came to America,I lost it, due to the fact that here one only carry the father's last name, not the mother's. (In Cuba a person is born and die with both last names, and women don't change theirs when getting married. One is to carry both last names during your lifetime, by law...)

#8 sunday

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 06:30 PM

(...)
Oh, and watch for Adyaris Almeida. This cubanita is pure is FIRE when she's up to it, and very pleasant to watch. (...)


Reporting that Adyaris Almedia was watched, appreciated, enjoyed, applauded, and "bravoed" at stage by yours truly. Thanks for the hint!

After performance, I had a short but nice chat with her -the first time I have talked with a world-class dancer- thanks to the fotoescena guys. What a nice and kind young lady! She told me to send you many regards.

Re your relative the painter, seems the acorn does not fall far from the tree, or de casta le viene al galgo, as we say in old Spain.

#9 4mrdncr

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 07:29 PM

Bienvenidos "sunday"

If you review the postings at the BT forum for Corella Ballet, you may notice some from me. I have been documenting (HD) the creation and development of Angel's new company from Jan'08-Jan'09. Currently, I'm still seeking completion funding, but in the meantime, you can view the 'trailer' to the film at:

http://www.dancemedia.com/v/1528

I hope you like it. It includes footage from the company's performances of La Bayadere last year in Madrid at the Teatro Real. And Paloma Hererra and Adiarys Almeida. Both of whom were wonderfully kind to me and my film during my time in Spain. I'm glad you saw the recent performance at the Liceu and were able to speak to my dear friend Carolina who has done so much to explain and promote ballet in Spain. The Liceu is a beautiful theatre, and Barcelona is a beautiful city.
Welcome again. I am very glad you have joined.

4mrdncr

#10 Giannina

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 05:37 AM

Since this is a Welcome forum I am going to ask that these discussions be placed on the appropriate forum; that way they will get the attention they deserve. Thank you.

Giannina


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