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Enjoyable act IV at classicaltv.com...what is yours?


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#1 iczerman

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:37 PM

At Classicaltv.com you can watch the Zurich 2009 production of Swan Lake for free.

I like ABT's act 4 because I'm VERY partial to Gillian Murphy and I like the ending overall..but the whole act itself is a little short.

I must say that Heinz Spoerli's act 4 was for me very enjoyable to watch. Maybe it has to do with how it was shot and also the Choreography...but I really have to give this act4 a plug.

What other act 4's does everyone else like?

#2 avesraggiana

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 06:50 PM

At Classicaltv.com you can watch the Zurich 2009 production of Swan Lake for free.

I like ABT's act 4 because I'm VERY partial to Gillian Murphy and I like the ending overall..but the whole act itself is a little short.

I must say that Heinz Spoerli's act 4 was for me very enjoyable to watch. Maybe it has to do with how it was shot and also the Choreography...but I really have to give this act4 a plug.

What other act 4's does everyone else like?


I'm still partial to any production with the tragic ending, which I believe, is what the music calls for. The least problematic Act IV double-suicide I've seen is captured in the Makarova-Dowell Royal Ballet Swan Lake video from 1982. They both just run in a diagonal and exit upstage with one final grand jete. Very simple, no possibility of getting tripped up while climbing steps to the top of a rocky cliff and then jumping off. This is how many tragic-ending Swan Lakes manage the double suicide and I don't think it works very well. First, it stops the momentum of the action, and it looks a little hokey. I saw Cynthia Gregory and Martine Van Hamel throw themselves off a cliff, and in a later Royal Ballet production, Darcey Bussell and Viviana Durante. None of the four ballerinas, as great as their dramatic powers were, could quite pull it off.

Hands down, the most beautiful corps de ballet dancing in Act IV is the Maryinsky/Kirov. Those women really breathe as one; how on Earth do they develop those uniformly beautiful Russian backs? This corps de ballet, especially in Swan Lake, has that quality, much to be envied and admired by other companies - presence. This corps de ballet has presence, that "It" factor that makes you unable to take your eyes off them. I believe, every time I've witnessed a live performance of the Kirov/Maryinsky Swan Lake, the audience bursts into spontaneous applause when the curtain rises on Act IV. With their beautifully placed backs, shoulders, arms, heads and hands, the corps earns applause just by posing there. It's really a magical moment, as if time itself has stopped.

Now if they could only get rid of that detestable jester, and the rip-the-wing-off-silly-Happy Ending...


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