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#16 Helene

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 09:56 AM

Apollo was created for Serge Lifar. Lew Christensen was the earliest American dancer to make an impact, followed by d'Amboise and Villella, and then by Martins in an American company at NYCB. (I much preferred Andersen.) Those are five very, very different dancers. The idea that Apollo can only be a blond classical statue is a bit recent and in my opinion, limiting and myopic.

#17 GeorgeB fan

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:11 AM

I would have loved to see Neal do Apollo. He was never given the chance at NYCB. Neal did the role with Suzanne Farrell's company in 1999, and received a wonderful review in the NY Times from Anna Kisselgoff, who wrote:

"Mr. Neal's New York debut in the title role of the Balanchine-Stravinsky ''Apollo'' (staged in the full version seen recently with the Kirov Ballet) was another triumph. His superb, muscular impetuousness flowed out of the choreography."


I would have loooove to have seen that...and the description of his performance seem be very into keeping in how I would have thought he would have danced it. Missed chance! :flowers:


Apollo was created for Serge Lifar. Lew Christensen was the earliest American dancer to make an impact, followed by d'Amboise and Villella, and then by Martins in an American company at NYCB. (I much preferred Andersen.) Those are five very, very different dancers. The idea that Apollo can only be a blond classical statue is a bit recent and in my opinion, limiting and myopic.


I could be wrong but I get the feeling that has a lot to do with Peter Martins. I think when he views Apollo he is still thinking of himself in the role so he cast accordingly...blond...classical...Adonis. It will be interesting to see who he will cast in the role when the ballet comes back. For years and years only Boal, Hubbe and Nilas Martins danced the role at City Ballet. With both Boal and Hubbe now gone I can't see Nilas - who for me personally was the weakest - dancing the role exclusively. Or at least I would hope not.
:wink:

#18 Quiggin

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:30 PM

Between Lew Christensen and Jacques D'Amboise, Igor Yousekevitch did Apollo (and Petrouska!) in the late forties, but it was Andre Eglevsky who generally played the part from 1943 until the late 1950s. John Martin in his Times reviews says at times Eglevsky's Apollo was sometimes a little Hephaistos-like but gave him high marks; also that Balanchine was remodeling the Apollo during this period, making it lighter and simpler.

After Andersen's retirement -- this is when I was going a lot and viewing from a fifth ring hang-glider seat -- Lindsay Fisher did it a lot, and I guess Zelensky, though he was at City Ballet, had to wait to do the role with the Kirov a few years ago.

Dark haired Gonzalo Garcia did a pretty terrific Apollo with San Francisco Ballet -- he was coached by D'Amboise but it didn't seem like D'Amboise at all -- Gonzalo's solos along the plane behind the three muses were boyish and free, and still nicely introspective where D'Amboise seems (on film) overly anxious. Does Amar Ramasar have the makings of an Apollo? Or Adrian Danchig-Waring? -- Though I wonder if all doing all the Wheeldon pieces might adversely affect the style of dancers -- and the sense of quiet and presence -- for Apollo.

#19 Helene

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:50 PM

Thank you, Quiggin! I had forgotten Eglevsky.

Ib Andersen cast Astrit Zejnati, a medium-haired and height dancer in Phoenix two productions ago, and a brilliant young, slender dark-haired dancer, Roman Zavarov, last season. I loved both interpretations, both quite different from each other.

#20 carbro

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:55 PM

I guess Zelensky, though he was at City Ballet, had to wait to do the role with the Kirov a few years ago.

Not exactly. My first glimpse of Zelensky was when he was the new up-and-comer at the Kirov during their visit to New York before he joined NYCB, and it was as a magnificent, young Apollo (with bad make-up) in the ballet's long version, with birth scene. Boy, did he grab my attention! And he's remained a fave of mine to this day.

Dark haired Gonzalo Garcia did a pretty terrific Apollo with San Francisco Ballet.

I'm intrigued. I can easily imagine him as a very different Apollo from what we're used to in New York, and a very good one.

#21 sandik

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:00 PM

Apollo was created for Serge Lifar. Lew Christensen was the earliest American dancer to make an impact, followed by d'Amboise and Villella, and then by Martins in an American company at NYCB. (I much preferred Andersen.) Those are five very, very different dancers. The idea that Apollo can only be a blond classical statue is a bit recent and in my opinion, limiting and myopic.


I agree -- the last time we saw it here in Seattle, Pacific Northwest Ballet cast Stanko Milov. Tall and noble, yes, but certainly not statue-like. Strumming his lyre he looked like Elvis, and kept that wildness for a big chunk of the ballet, a very effective performance.

#22 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:11 PM

I agree absolutely that Garcia was a wonderful Apollo - but the funny thing was I felt like his wild-boy quality was channeling d'Amboise! He looked to me like a smaller version of d'Amboise right down to the hair part. Go figure.

[edited to add] - here's what I wrote in 2004 on Garcia's Apollo.

#23 LiLing

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 05:50 PM

Maybe Nilas Martins is retiring, but it isn't being announced, because he won't be doing a farewell performance. I mean what could he dance? Certainly not Apollo!

#24 vipa

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 06:01 PM

Thank you, Quiggin! I had forgotten Eglevsky.

Ib Andersen cast Astrit Zejnati, a medium-haired and height dancer in Phoenix two productions ago, and a brilliant young, slender dark-haired dancer, Roman Zavarov, last season. I loved both interpretations, both quite different from each other.


I loved Peter Boal's Apollo in the Suzanne F. company. That was toward the end of his performing career - far from a young dancer.

#25 kfw

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 06:27 PM

Neal did the role with Suzanne Farrell's company in 1999, and received a wonderful review in the NY Times from Anna Kisselgoff, who wrote:

Ben Huys did it for Farrell too, that same season. Neal, Huys, Boal . . . I wish she was still importing NYCB dancers, past or present.

#26 vipa

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 06:32 PM

Neal did the role with Suzanne Farrell's company in 1999, and received a wonderful review in the NY Times from Anna Kisselgoff, who wrote:

Ben Huys did it for Farrell too, that same season. Neal, Huys, Boal . . . I wish she was still importing NYCB dancers, past or present.


AMEN

#27 Helene

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 07:02 PM

Ben Huys was a beautiful, elegant dancer. I wish I had seen his Apollo.

#28 abatt

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 07:38 PM

Maybe Nilas Martins is retiring, but it isn't being announced, because he won't be doing a farewell performance. I mean what could he dance? Certainly not Apollo!


They are reviving Duo Concertante in the spring season. Nilas used to do that role all the time with Y. Borree.

#29 Amy Reusch

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 08:19 PM

I can't figure out from the website anything about what Albert Evans will be performing for his farewell... but if our votes counted, I'd be holding up two hands for Apollo...

#30 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:21 PM

Philip Neal is one of several dancers (along with Damian, Miranda and Ashley) of whom I remember my first glance: he was doing "Hot Chocolate" in "Nutcracker" soon after he joined the Company, and just stood out so distinctively (he was wearing the purple tights) that I just had to find out who he was -- and have loved him ever since.

Albert was shamefully under-utilized, even for his choreography, which I found original, musical and intelligent. He also has a great sense of humor, which was especially important during Jock Soto's retirement performance, when Alfred messed up a letter in "God Save the Queen" at the end of "Union Jack!"

He and Philip are elegant, calm and graceful dancers and strong partners who I shall always remember fondly.

And on the subject of unacknowledged retirements, don't forget Judith Fugate and Lourdes Lopez.


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