Cristian, I was interested in your very different responses to Jeanette Delgado and Jennifer Kronenberg in T&V. I've seen Kronenberg and Guerra dance this, both in full performance and in a closer-up workshop performance. I can certainly imagine that her approach -- large-scale and grand-imperial -- would be shocking after growing up with the Alonso approach, which is probably a version of what Balanchine originally intended. I like Kronenberg, but have found something lacking in her T&V. I think you have put your finger on what that is.
bart...but I wish I could describe Kronemberg's approach just as "large-scale" or "grand-imperial", but that was sadly not the case. I like her too, don't get me wrong, but her rendition of T&V was just...bland. There were segments in which she was just relying too much in the posing fact, minimizing speed, attack and sharpness, which at the end are the very basis of T&V's female variations. I notice that this is a phenomenon that's getting more and more extended within the ballet world, in which the dancers- (females AND males)-are dancing variations and pieces in a much more slower tempo than their predecessors. This could be a good thing, let's say, in the White Swan PDD or all the warhorses PDD adagios- (Nut, Black Swan, Bayadere, etc...)-but please, don't bring T&V into it...that's a crime. As I said, one just have to look at those clips from the past, where dancers like Dudinskaya- (Black Swan/Bayadere), Fonteyn- (Corsaire), Alonso- (Coppelia), Markova- (Giselle), Baronova- (Le Cock d'Or) or Chabukiani- (Flames...)-leave you jaw dropping, even at some point wondering..."is that video being sped up...?"-(like some thread I read a while ago about it)-with their magnificent offerings of devilish chainee turns, pique turns, pirouettes, fouettes and everything in between. Well...the result of this obsession to achieve the famous Russian/Soviet Kirov ballerinas perfect épaulement or "royal carriage"-(or as many refer to, the "perfect line" or to execute the step to a 150 % of perfection)-is a sad travesty, and many times a boring execution, to which the dancer becomes just another faceless one. Sometimes while looking at certain ballets and dancers I really believe that the ultimate goal of bailarines and bailarinas nowadays has changed, and giving an exciting performance has given way to given a perfect- (and many times ultra generic)- execution. I see T&V as probably the ultimate example of an EXCITING ballet...more than beautiful, grand or any other adjectives we could fairly add.
Guerra is an appealing dancer in many roles, but it probably takes a Youskevitch 1947), Villella (1960 and 1971) or Baryshnikov to do real justice to the T&V cavalier.
Yes...he wasn't really up to the role, IMO.
One advantage (or disadvantage??) of a live orchestra is that the conductor can alter tempo to suit the dancer. You seemed to have witnessed an extreme version of tempo variation in those two contrasting performances. I wonder which performance the demi-soloists and corps dancers preferred?
Probably the slow one. I noticed some of them struggling with the super fast final tableaux
Like you, I prefer speed and momentum, providing the dancer can keep the details clear and avoid blurring the details. Delgado is very good at that. (Gelsey Kirkland and Merrill Ashley were, too.)
Definitely, bart, and would I had been the stager, I would had sped the tempo even more...! (Believe me...she can take it)
Since this ballet was created for the strengths of Alonso (and, equally important, for the strengths of Youskevitch), I thought you might be interested in what B.H. Haggin wrote back at the time of the Ballet Theatre premiere in 1947.... "What Balanchine did for her in Theme and Variations was not merely to use everything she does best as a dancer -- her sharp attacks, her secure feats of point-balance, for example -- but to use them in a style that made her glamours and radiant".
Because she-(just as Kirkland, I assume by her brief clips)-had the formula to combine the two. Something that we're certainly loosing...sadly.
Delgado's Sugar Plum Fairy at Arsht last season shows she is starting to develop real ballerina "glamour and radiance." She's not just a technician or a can-do girl any more.
Oh, DEFINITELY. She has it...which is why I would LOVE to see her developing the other side of the ballet repertoire. At this point of her career it would be great if she could start working on her Giselles, Sylphs, Filles and the like, with their ample range of accents and characterization details.
I can't wait to see both Delgado and Kronenberg when MCB comes to the Kravis. (Assuming that the Gods of Casting are in a favorable mood, of course.)
I think they will repeat the same cast as here bart. Delgado/Panteado and Kronemberg/Guerra
By the way, if you have a copy of Arlene Croce's Going to the Dance, have a look at "From a Far Country," a 1978 piece that includes a long comparison of T&V and Sleeping Beauty (esp. the prologue and vision scene). Apparently Ballet Theatre asked Balanchine specifically for a work that would "fill the same function in the repertory as did Princess Aurora" (a suite of Sleeping Beauty excerpts). The essay is not included in Writing in the Dark. P.M. me if you would like me to send you a photocopy.
Oh yes...I want it!