Michael, on Feb 4 2010, 12:03 PM, said:
But their subordination to the whole was in fact what I liked! Each balance was about the same length - not true of other casts. And no-where did you get the sense that the pas was about the balances. Dramatically the entire sequence accompanied the drum roll as it should in intensity; suspense and interest built. But the way she danced that pas was about the overall conception of the ballet and the action and not about balancing per se. She was modest. How refreshing. Certainly she will grow more free as she dances this further - but maybe she won't in fact have that same ingenuous and radiant quality she had last night; who can say? She held the stage that's for sure, held it in the palm of her hand. As I watched I was not thinking about the steps at all. And again how refreshing, what a bloody relief.
This is interesting, because I now begin to think that the balances and the fouettes of Odile are this odd matter of whether they should be subordinate (or whether they really are not quite integrated, and are separated off) to the rest of the pas or be the focus, in fact be quite competitive. It's more subtle to want to see these difficult technical feats subsumed to the drama, but they are definitely there for showing off, and to some degree, not in the most high-minded way. I think it works both ways, and is like pianists doing the Chopin Double-Thirds Etude flawlessly and 'like velvet' but somewhat automaton-like, or those who play it with 'more dynamic colouring and poetry' but miss notes and make slight messes. I'd like to say I find myself in Michael's camp on this one, but I think I'm not. If balanchinette is correct about this:
To me, she didn't even hit the balances -- she barely got her hand above her head before it was back down again, clutching at the next Prince's hand a little desperately. I thought this was a little disappointing, given that she struck some beautiful balances elsewhere in the ballet, and I put it down to nerves.
, then I can sympathize with the nerves, but these balances are literally framed to be a kind of separate 'testing moment', in which everything else seems to stop, and the drum rolls only intensify this almost militaristic demand that is being made. So if I see the hand rushing back down again, I'm always disappointed, since I know that others are able to do them with much more confidence. There really are some pieces of music and dance that are meant to display as a kind of exhibitionism. That's why Nureyev was so good at 'Le Corsaire'. Of course, Corsaire and SB are not comparable works, but maybe these extreme virtuoso parts within SB and SL are really much the same. They have to be poetic and part of the whole, but they're athletic as well, and once you've seen the nonchalance of Sizova and Bouder with these balances, it's hard for some of us to accept less, although I mean only in terms of those, not what else the ballerina may do in the same performance inthe rest of the piece.
radiating goodness and benevolent power -- a kind of anlogue of the Sun King: compassionate reason and power incarnate; Benevolence and Charity incarnate .
Are you speaking of the king? Louis Quatorze, that is. I think Olivier Bernier feels that way about him (in his lectures at the Met, where he does get a bit excited), and I've annoyed any number of people for admirning him myself but it wasn't usually for those reasons, and he never reminded me of the Lilac Fairy in any way. Unless there is another Sun King, of course.