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The Ten Best Dancers


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#31 sandik

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 02:51 PM

Just wanted to add that, in the newsreel footage of N Pavolva's 1973 Grand Prize performance there is a heartbreakingly lovely clip of Alexander Goudonov at the reception, looking young and hopeful.

And in the voiceover -- I'd forgotten that Karen Kane and Peter Schaufuss competed as well.

#32 vipa

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 05:34 PM


So many interesting comments.

I've come up with my tentative list of 10 greatest:
Fonteyn, Fracci, Farrell, Allegra Kent, Alina Cojocaru

Fred Astaire, Nureyev, Bruhn, Baryshnikov, Gary Chryst

I think each of these were game changers, transcendent performers and/or had a major influence on those who came after.


I'm trying to come up with a male performer who is still dancing.


I don't know that you'll have seen him, but I'd suggest Steve Paxton, one of the developers of Contact Improvisation. That performance practice has had an astonishing affect on the development of contemporary dance styles, both performance and choreography.


I have not seen him, but will do some exploration! Thank you

#33 vipa

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 05:35 PM

:clapping: All Dancers actually seen live

Ruzimatov, Nureyev, Baryshnikov Vasiliev,Tanranda.

Fonteyn, Asylmuratova, Makarova,Dupont, Cojocaru.


Thank you Nanarina, I'm not familiar with Tanranda. Could you give some insight?

#34 Helene

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:19 PM

Gediminas Taranda was a dancer with the Bolshoi and was the Abderakhman in both Bolshoi videos (the Ludmilla Semenyaka/Irek Moukhamedov and Natalya Bessmertnova/Yuri Vasyuchenko performances).

He is one of my all-time favorite dancers, and even on video, he blows away the stage. There used to be a number of the DVD clips on YouTube, but it looks like they've been pulled, at least in the English versions of the posts.

However, they do have clips from his appearance with partner, four-time World Champion and Olympic bronze and silver medalist Irina Slutskaya, on Ice-Age, in a spoof of the White Swan Pas de Deux:



I think they even put ruffles on his tutu panties.

#35 volcanohunter

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 09:08 PM

Gediminas Taranda was a dancer with the Bolshoi and was the Abderakhman in both Bolshoi videos (the Ludmilla Semenyaka/Irek Moukhamedov and Natalya Bessmertnova/Yuri Vasyuchenko performances).

He is one of my all-time favorite dancers, and even on video, he blows away the stage.

Oh, yes indeed. If you haven't seen those Raymonda videos, do seek them out. In them Taranda is just about the sexiest thing I've ever seen. He's like Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolf Valentino rolled into one, only a lot bigger and taller. I remember seeing him in Ivan the Terrible during the Bolshoi's visit to New York in 1990, and while I hated the ballet, I was completely transfixed by Taranda's Prince Kurbsky. I'm pretty sure that after the show I ran to the Lincoln Center gift shop, bought all the Bolshoi videos that featured him and went straight home to watch them. (Gosh, is it obvious that he set my female heart aflutter?)

#36 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 10:28 PM

I think is even possible to name 10 GRAND dancers from EACH important period of classical ballet-(Imperial, Soviet, Diaguilev, Basil, BT, Balanchine, etc...)

#37 Helene

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 10:31 PM

I think is even possible to name 10 GRAND dancers from EACH important period of classical ballet-(Imperial, Soviet, Diaguilev, Basil, BT, Balanchine, etc...)


And we'd still argue about who should be on each list :wink: which makes for fun discussions!

#38 Mashinka

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 01:52 AM

I remember seeing him in Ivan the Terrible during the Bolshoi's visit to New York in 1990, and while I hated the ballet, I was completely transfixed by Taranda's Prince Kurbsky.


I saw him dance Kurbsky in Paris in 1991 with Alexander Vetrov (a hugely under-rated dancer IMHO) as Ivan and Maria Bylova as Anastasia. It was a matinee performance on a bitterly cold day with the audience as miserable as the weather but at the end I witnessed one of the most astounding ovations I've ever seen at the ballet with the audience almost going berserk applauding what they had seen. Taranda's dancing was a revelation but it wasn't just his technical ability, in the scene where Ivan chooses Kurbsky's beloved Anastasia as his bride I remember his whole body seeming to collapse inside and he slowly left the stage a totally broken man. Taranda didn't just dance his roles, he lived them.

I too have all his videos and made great efforts to see him dance all over Europe, he is a larger than life character offstage too and I've always kept in touch with him. He still makes the odd appearance with his own company and is an inspiring coach.

It would be impossible for me to contemplate a top ten that didnít have the name of Gediminas Taranda on it.

#39 toeprints

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 10:10 AM

Methinks Jennings is bored or lonely - he wrote this list knowing that it would be controversial and elicit letters, e-mails, etc. How could anyone print a "10 best dancers" list and exclude Nureyev, Bruhn, Fonteyn, Ulanova - to name a few. I am stunned. Hence, my theory that Jennings is lonely and wanted people to correspond with him.

#40 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 04:04 AM

Unfortunately, I saw Nureyev dance live at the end of his career. But with regard to the taped performances I've seen I would definitely include him on this list. Luckily I got to see Barysnikov in Giselle and Don Q (live in 1981) and he definitely belongs on the list. I love Fred Astaire movies and include him too. Whenever I think of Balanchine dancers I think of Patricia McBride. To me, she's the gold standard for NYCB ballerinas (just my opinion). I never saw Edward Villella live, but from the film I've seen of him Villella (did I spell his last name right?) belongs on the list as well. And I would also include Nina Anashvilli whom I fortunately got to see live several times. There are dancers whose performances I've loved - Bocca, Corella, Cornjeo, but I don't think they're quite in the top ten. I can't think of anyone else at the moment.


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