When I mentioned appreciation of the art, I was responding to the dancer's comment that she is so hyper trained to look for flaws in modern day expectations of technique, that she struggles to simply enjoy watching Margot Fonteyn's artistry. It is so difficult to turn off that "critical voice" in her head that judges so harshly based on 21st century standards of turn out, good feet, posture, etc.
If you grew up in the last 10 years, you might think that "good" ice skating means triple axels and the ability to pull your leg over your head in pretzel positions on raggedy Biellman spins. The "critical voice" in your head - educated by modern day TV commentators and the scoring system - would program you to look at Peggy Fleming's performances as lacking in jumps and Somova-style extensions. You would not have the education to appreciate Ms. Fleming's extraordinary edges, the centering on her spins or her lovely posture and gorgeous layback positions, because they are so rarely performed today.
Ballet styles are a box of Godiva truffles, each one) is perfect in its own way (Bourbonville, Vaganova, Royal, etc). You wouldn't want to have the exact same chocolate every day. Variety is far more interesting to our tastebuds, but of course we prefer some chocolates over others. The same holds true for dancers, we're really not so interested in watching clones perform each night, we want to see variety and choices. It is pretty exciting when you think about it - tremendous athletes who dance beautifully and when the occasion calls for it - act in character, with classically trained musicians serenading them, all for our enjoyment.
I depart for Peru next week and will try to post an update with the Lima Muncipal Ballet's "Coppelia" in mid-late July depending on ticket availability. I'm hoping for a caramel truffle.