The autumn 2009 issue of DanceView is out, and subscribers everywhere are smiling. On the black and white cover is a lovely shot of Thomas Whitehead embracing Tamara Rojo in "Goldberg: The Brandstrup-Rojo Project, a ballet danced this year at Covent Garden.
This issue features the following articles:
Horst Koegler's "Searching for What Makes Mankind Move -- Pina Baurch: 1940-2009"
David Vaughan's "Working for Merce"
Michael Popkin's "Contre Diaghilev: The Writings of Akim Volynsky"
Mary Cargill's "King's Row: ABT's Spring Met Season"
Marc Haegeman's "Troubled Times: The Mariinsky in Amsterdam"
Carol Pardo's "The Wolf at the Door: Programs, Performances and Money: Miami City Ballet 2009-2010 Season"
Reports from New York, London and Copenhagen, and San Francisco by Gay Morris, Jane Simpson, and Rita Felciano respectively.
And then there is my favorite article in this issue, Nancy Reynolds' "Taping the Siren" on Yvonne Mounsey coaching Melissa Barak and Arsen Serobian in Prodigal Son for a Balanchine Archive Project taping.
A few excerpts from Reynolds on the taping:
It becomes clear over the course of the coaching session that Mounsey does not approve of the ice-cold Siren persona often seen today. "She should be a seductress, a woman of the world," Mounsey explains. . . . her movements should not be abrupt and staccato, but rather, drawn out and elongated, despite the angularity of the choreography. Mounsey contrasts her preferred smoother delivery with the steely approach that has crept into the role over the years. "Doubrovska wanted it lucious, not hard, and she really made use of her back and shoulders. Her movements never stopped moving." . . .
And during the seduction dance,
there is a shriek from the floor. "That hand!" Who taught you to do that?" It seems that one of the Siren's signature movements, in which she uncoils her arm behind her toward the sky, does not look the same now as when Mounsey (and Doubrovska) did it. In performances today we see a hand rising with splayed finger, palm forward, but for Mounsey the hand should be cupped, fingers straight and together, with thumb partway down the index finger. It forms the head of a snake. "That hand's been changed," she remarks drily.
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