Nanarina

Your Favourite Ballet??

53 posts in this topic

.... now that we've gone over the top, I must respectfully submit that, in addition to the Sleeping Beauty, there are also the 9 Beethoven Symphonies, Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, The Ring Cycle, The Iliad, Graham's Herodiade, and the Bible and the Baghavad-Gita for good measure. Then there's Shakespeare and Racine, we'll have to fit them in somewhere...

I know. I was weaned on Pablo Casals' own festival in my native San Juan, listening to the likes of Rostropovich, Van Cliburn and Perlman practicing; now live within 10 blocks of the Shakespeare Folger Library (& jewel-box Elizabethan Theater); have visited most grand art museums on this earth; have walked on Pyramids and Great Wall of China; gazed over Rio de Janeiro from the Corcovado; etc., etc. No creation of humanity brings me greater joy and inspiration than the complete Sleeping Beauty-1890 performed at the one-and-only Mariinsky Theater.

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I've been mulling this over and have finally decided to my satisfaction that my favorite ballet is Balanchine's "Apollo," in the version which includes the birth of Apollo and his return to Mount Olympus with the muses.

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:off topic: Some more to consider, moving forward to current productions,

Pierre Lacotte - Restoration of the following original 1800 ballets, all of which he has painstakingly researched. La Sylphide(1832 Taglioni not Danish version) POB Les fille de pharoah (for Bolshoi) Paquita

POB. *

Sir Peter Wright{ Coppelia, The Nutcracker,(Royal and BRB) Swan Lake (Swedish Ballet) *

Dame Ninette De Val. 1945/6 production of The Sleeping Beauty (from notes smuggled out of Russia)

now revived by Monica Mason again for The Royal Ballet recently) * Awaiting release

Don Quixote/Quichotte, Raymonda (full versions) Barishnikov, Nureyev.* * Raymonda A/R

It may be difficult for those of you in America and Canada to have seen these productions, but most of them are available on DVD *

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:

This is an interesting thread. So many choices..! Let's see...a couple of Petipa's-(three actually, if one counts Giselle's final version, which seems to come from him)-one Fokine, one Grigorovich, one Ashton, one Bournonville and many, MANY Balanchine's...

I wonder if more names will come up...

:off topic:

:thumbsup: Hi Cubanmiamiboy, I have posted a few more suggestions to this tread below. If anyone wants to know the details of DVD's such as where to obtain them, I would be happy to post the information. Just ask. Best wishes Nanarina.

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I love you guys.... it's so sweet, a little bittersweet, to read this and hear your voices.

Because the question can hit you so differently when you resonate with another person whose love of ballet you really feel. Like right now for me I'm feeling what Gianina said -- the way San Francisco Ballet dances "Within the Golden Hour" takes me SO deep into the heart of what I feel ballet is, it's my current heart-throb, the ballet I kinda ache to see again. And that's a kind of favorite, isn't it? It's the one that's been on my mind the most, and indeed back over the weekend, I had several flashes of wanting to see Martyn Garside twisting into those glorious positions the corps has in the ring section, of wanting to see his quick little duet, of wanting to see Katita's little waltz steps, and Sarah van Patten reaching out forward in that "After the Rain' pose -- well, it takes that cantilevered reaching to a whole new level, reaching like the idea of reaching....

But basically, it's Concerto Barocco I "always" want to see, and Swan Lake that made a balletomane out of me, but which without Sibley and Dowell I'm not sure I really want to see again.

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Because the question can hit you so differently when you resonate with another person whose love of ballet you really feel. Like right now for me I'm feeling what Gianina said -- the way San Francisco Ballet dances "Within the Golden Hour" takes me SO deep into the heart of what I feel ballet is, it's my current heart-throb, the ballet I kinda ache to see again. And that's a kind of favorite, isn't it? It's the one that's been on my mind the most...

It's interesting that the contemporary Within the Golden Hour is mentioned. When I first saw this thread, my immediate thought was, 'A favorite must be a 19th-century classic, hence my choice of La Sylphide (which is virtually tied with Giselle and Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake). But why not a mid to late 20th or 21st century ballet?

Like a lot of non-New Yorkers, I haven't seen enough Balanchine to select one of his; and while I don't think Golden Hour is in that league and certainly it's not a 'great' ballet in the sense of Giselle or many of the others mentioned here, of all the new works I've seen over the past few years of serious ballet-going, it's the one that keeps coming to mind, especially that stunning final image that has been hinted at through the ballet. It may not be an overall favorite, but I'd have to call it a 'new' favorite.

So, thanks Paul and Giannina (and others) for expanding my thinking. :off topic:

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:flowers: It seems to me, that from all of your posts, partically the last two, that we are gradually coming round to acknowledge my own feelings., and why I posted this thread.

My own excperiences set my thoughts in motion One day I can watch say La Bayadare, mainly on DVD, although I have seen it live a number of times. At the end I find myself thinking how enjoyable it was, and look forward to the next time I watch it. Maybe I choose it the next time I have a "Ballet Evening at Home" but it may be a different version. All the same if it is a production I like I still think to myself "Yes La "B" is my favourite ballet.

I will then see Raymonda, for an example, if it is the Bolshoi version where Aberadam is a Saracen Warrier and danced by Gedimas Taranda, rather than Nureyevs production where he does not represent the true character in my opinion. (though I have not seen the full work) I cannot help but really liking Raymonda as much as La Bayadere.

Then it is time to see The Stone Flower and that takes presedent at the time over the others.

And so it goes on, I suppose I am a lover of Ballet in a general sense. Which includes a wide spectrum of works. I do have some very strong dislikes though. I should think anyone looking at my Playlists on YouTubs could see my preferences, from favourite Dancers, past and present, actual Ballets, both major classics and the modern repertoire, which includes things such as Scene en blanc, Etudes,Serenade, Western Symphony, Bizet Symphony in C. And not surprisingly new ones added on a regular basis. Perhaps it is simply a case that I cannot make my mind up (Or I am Fickle!!)

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My favorite ballets are:

Swan Lake (Vladimir Bourmeister/Lev Ivanov version)--very underappreciated, especially because I felt the Odile in this version is much better than the 1895 Petipa/Ivanov version. Ulyana Lopatkina would be FABULOUS as Odile in this version, that's to be sure. :thumbsup:

The Nutcracker (Helgi Tomasson version)--it's very unique, especially with its inspiration from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Good thing it's not strange and weird like the latest version of this ballet performed by the Mariinsky Ballet.

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For me it's: AGON.

I think it is Agon's highly distilled quality of ballet that I find so endlessly fascinating. To use a metaphor: most good booze is distilled (purified via a process of removing all but the essence) to something like 40-45% (80 to 90 proof). Agon is like 95% pure. I can drink 190 proof booze all night long!

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It's very hard to choose just one work!

A friend and I were somewhat less than enthused by the West End offerings when we were on our way on holiday and, because we had seen an intriguing review, booked to go and see a ballet performance. For me, it was an overnight transformation. That ballet was John Cranko's ONEGIN performed by LFB (now ENB) with Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun guesting in the leading roles. This ballet is still very special for me.

Another ballet that I hold very dear is David Bintley's Hobson's Choice. Not only is it a comic masterpiece of a ballet (and very faithful to the play) but it reminds me of my Dad and my Nan and Grandad and I never tire of seeing it.

Of all the Ashton's I have seen, Enigma Variations is a wonderful masterpiece. I also adore The Dream.

Speaking of Shakespeare, David Nixon's imaginative take on A Midsummer Night's Dream is an absolute delight to treasure.

Do I like some ballets because, for whatever reason, they mean something personal to me and do I like others because of the glorious choreography, staging etc. Just a thought ....

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Even though I love to watch Petipa and have the Vladimirov "Bluebird" on my ipod touch, and want to say "Symphony in C" because it brings back the feeling of the most exciting things that could ever happen to you as a child, or the "Four Temperaments" which are Balanchine's Beethoven (maybe his Diabelli Variations), or even "Donizetti Variations" out of left field, I have would to say -- voting with MakarovaFan -- that I love "Emeralds" most of all because it is the most mysterious and full of such fascinating emotional flows and counterflows.

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Even though I love to watch Petipa and have the Vladimirov "Bluebird" on my ipod touch, and want to say "Symphony in C" because it brings back the feeling of the most exciting things that could ever happen to you as a child, or the "Four Temperaments" which are Balanchine's Beethoven (maybe his Diabelli Variations), or even "Donizetti Variations" out of left field, I have would to say -- voting with MakarovaFan -- that I love "Emeralds" most of all because it is the most mysterious and full of such fascinating emotional flows and counterflows.

Symphony in C - Wish Balanchine had done Sleeping Beauty that in my imagination would have been the greatest.

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I'll have to think about it and edit this post later to add a contemporary ballet, but for a classic full-length, the answer is simple: Swan Lake. It is my absolute earliest ballet memory (I think I was 2-3yrs old when I first saw a performance) and the music has been a part of me ever since. I was so fascinated by it (and Tasha Tudor's RB picture book) that my mother bought the Angel 4-disk record set (possibly the Nureyev-Fonteyn soundtrack?); I memorized the music and would dance all the parts--(in my head or elsewhere) even though I was still rather young. (I started ballet age 4.) I threw a crying fit at the Ice Capades once because they parodied it--also why I don't think "Funny Girl" is that funny. When I would hear an excerpt on the radio I would cringe because the tempos usually were undanceable.

Even now, I don't think I've seen a difinitive version yet. There are things I've liked in various versions, and things I've hated. Some individual dancers I've loved, yet lamented the fact that their partners(hips) weren't perfect. Other than that, I'm a traditionalist--I want both Siegfried and Odette to jump in the lake at the end (together or not doesn't matter as much). And my deepest regret is that I got to rehearse Swan Lake forever, but never perform it. (These days I'd be glad to be in the stage crew or a super, though my muscle memory still feels the urge to dance.)

SB I always thought too frothy, and too pink, though I did love the music, and eventually, when I was old enough to dance it, much of the choreography.

Spessibo P.I.Tchaikovsky, RIP.

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Swan Lake and La Bayadere

Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Midsummer Night's Dream

Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee, A Month in the Country and The Dream

Nijinska's Les Noces

Lavrovsky's Romeo and Juliet

Fokine's Les Sylphides

I have too many favourites and can't bring myself to only choose one or two. :)

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"Modern": Symphony in C

It's fascinating how often Symphony in C has shown up on this thread. (Me, too, though I switch favorites frequently.)

Anyone have any thoughts about the reasons for Symphony in C's amazing resonance and appeal?

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I like to be able to subdivide, as in the aboved post "Classic" vs. "modern". I'll make my own subdivisions:

XIX Century- "Giselle" (All time favorite,IMO)

XX Century- "Chopiniana"

Balanchine- "Theme and Variations"

"Modern": Symphony in C

It's fascinating how often Symphony in C has shown up on this thread. (Me, too, though I switch favorites frequently.)

Anyone have any thoughts about the reasons for Symphony in C's amazing resonance and appeal?

I add myself to the fan base.

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I think "Symphony in C" is just a fun ballet. It has everything -- thrilling allegro dancing, a beautiful adagio duet, and a rousing finale. The four movements allow a company to show off its different types of dancers well. The music sounds like champagne -- so happy, so easy on the ears. It's one Balanchine ballet where absolutely no homework is necessary. I think anyone can just sit down and watch Symphony in C and love it.

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I think "Symphony in C" is just a fun ballet. It has everything -- thrilling allegro dancing, a beautiful adagio duet, and a rousing finale. The four movements allow a company to show off its different types of dancers well. The music sounds like champagne -- so happy, so easy on the ears. It's one Balanchine ballet where absolutely no homework is necessary. I think anyone can just sit down and watch Symphony in C and love it.

...AND it has tutus... :lol:

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I think "Symphony in C" is just a fun ballet. It has everything -- thrilling allegro dancing, a beautiful adagio duet, and a rousing finale. The four movements allow a company to show off its different types of dancers well. The music sounds like champagne -- so happy, so easy on the ears. It's one Balanchine ballet where absolutely no homework is necessary. I think anyone can just sit down and watch Symphony in C and love it.

...AND it has tutus... :lol:

Thanks, canbelto. I think you are right on target.

Cristian, even though I am a lover of leotard ballets, I have to agree with you about the tutus, which go beautifully with the music. Just compare the following:

NYCB in Symphony in C:

http://www.google.co...1t:429,r:11,s:0

NYCB in Symphony in Three Movements:

http://danceviewtime...ntsc1783810.jpg

Even without hearing Bizet versus Stravinsky, you can see the musical difference.

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Cristian, even though I am a lover of leotard ballets, I have to agree with you about the tutus, which go beautifully with the music. Just compare the following:

NYCB in Symphony in C:

http://www.google.co...1t:429,r:11,s:0

NYCB in Symphony in Three Movements:

http://danceviewtime...ntsc1783810.jpg

Even without hearing Bizet versus Stravinsky, you can see the musical difference.

It is funny...SITM I never "got"-(even after multiple viewings), whereas SIC "got" me since the very first time...! :)

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Here's my list:

Balanchine - "Jewels," "Apollo," & "Mozartiana"

Petipa - "Giselle," "La Bayadere," & "Swan Lake"

Ashton - "A Month in the Country" & "The Dream"

This may be cheating, but for "Romeo & Juliet" give me Cranko's Acts 1 & 2 for the ball, crowd and fight scenes, and MacMillan's for the balconey & Act 3. But, if I have to pick one "R & J", it would be Sir Kenneth's.

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My one-and-only: The Sleeping Beauty.

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This may be cheating, but for "Romeo & Juliet" give me Cranko's Acts 1 & 2 for the ball, crowd and fight scenes, and MacMillan's for the balconey & Act 3. But, if I have to pick one "R & J", it would be Sir Kenneth's.

You ARE cheating but that's not a bad combination! Actually I find Cranko's sense of creating a dramatic flow stronger than MacMillan's but I do like MacMillan's third act a lot. So I might go to a performance of your concoction.

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