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Your Favourite Ballet??Is it actually possible to name just one ballet


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52 replies to this topic

#31 PeggyR

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 06:02 AM

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:

#32 Nanarina

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 01:40 PM

: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!!)

#33 Sacto1654

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 11:54 AM

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.

#34 SandyMcKean

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 01:00 PM

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!

#35 JMcN

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 09:01 AM

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 ....

#36 Quiggin

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 05:20 PM

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.

#37 vipa

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 06:27 PM

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.

#38 4mrdncr

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 10:25 PM

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.

#39 kathaP

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:58 AM

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. :)

#40 tchaikovskyfan

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 12:16 AM

Easy! :bow: THE NUTCRACKER! :yahoo:

#41 canbelto

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 06:49 PM

Classic: Giselle

"Modern": Symphony in C

#42 bart

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 07:29 AM

"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?

#43 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 08:15 AM

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.

#44 canbelto

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 07:48 AM

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.

#45 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 05:52 PM

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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