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Maximova / Vasiliev dancing Aniuta in 1992

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#1 bart


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Posted 05 September 2010 - 04:21 PM

I just happened to catch (on Classic Arts Network) a clip of an outdoor performance by Maximova and Vasiliev of a simple waltz pas de deux from Vasiliev's ballet Aniuta. They were in their 50s, and Vasiliev's part is largely a character role, but I was entranced and completely charmed. What remarkable dancers they were.

I found the clip on YouTube.

#2 Drew


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Posted 05 September 2010 - 08:03 PM

Just wonderful! Thank you so much Bart!!

I only saw Vasiliev and Maximova together live once, in Chicago in the early 90's: a performance by a travelling group Vasiliev put together. (I've posted about this performance before.) I just adored them. And I could not get over how youthful and fresh Maximova's dancing was. It had a spacious, easy quality that I often think of as one of the first things to go in older ballerinas.

Of course, she was being showcased very intelligently by Vasiliev's choreography--but that just increased my admiration for their professionalism and artistry. (He was similarly intelligent in what he gave himself to do and more obviously limited, but still remarkable and, need one add, a very charismatic performer.)

From that one performance (and as confirmed by video -- whatever its limitations), they are two of my absolute favorites.

#3 GeorgeB fan

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 01:38 PM

I can't remember where but I thought I once read or heard Balanchine explaining that a great choreographer knows how to choreography a dance in which he's both simultaneously highlighting a dancer's strength while covering up their weakness. I think this little dance piece is a perfect example of that. Clearly both Maximova and Vasiliev are limited thanks to their age but you're not really focusing on their limitations but instead admiring the charm, beauty and still amazing skills both individuals clearly still possess. That's the sign of a very smart choreographer. Vasiliev did his wife lovingly well. If it was any other choreographer we probably would have seen her limitations all over the place. But not with Vasiliev. It was covered them up beautifully...and it was a joy to watch.:clapping:

It's true. They don't make dancers like that anymore.

#4 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 01:46 PM

Thank you Bart! Just glorious - I actually have this on DVD (taken from Swedish TV) and it is just wonderful. Forever my favorite partnership and one can only be grateful that one has been able to witness such greatness. But, will there ever be such a partnership again? Let's hope so. At the moment I cannot think of anyone reaching that standard. In comparison everybody else look rather flatfooted. Cant explain this, words fail me, can only say that even such a display for the masses and those drab custumes, no scenery, just the two of them - well, that is magic.

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