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Dancers/Performances that hold up over time

40 posts in this topic

I think the ultimate prove that some dancer's careers-(rather than what we perceive as "proper technique" based on current aesthetics, which are continuously subjected to all types of trends)-are still holding over time is how they are kept in such vivid form in writing, video and, most importat, in collective memory. The list, if one looks at it from that point, gets extremely narrow...

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Thanks, Christian, for making the case so clearly -- esp about Struchkova --and also about hte neeed to keep Kitri different, essentially different, from Raymonda and all the rest of those girls who do lots of passes..... its in the asdverbs, thespeed,elan, attack, and posture. Kitri and Paquita, for example, are both Spanish girls, but they're VERY different and should not take the same pose the same way.....

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Thanks, Christian, for making the case so clearly -- esp about Struchkova --and also about hte neeed to keep Kitri different, essentially different, from Raymonda and all the rest of those girls who do lots of passes..... its in the asdverbs, thespeed,elan, attack, and posture. Kitri and Paquita, for example, are both Spanish girls, but they're VERY different and should not take the same pose the same way.....

I really thought pointed feet in passe was pretty standard to ballet. I guess I was wrong (as were all my teachers at the Joffrey and SAB)

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Thanks, Christian, for making the case so clearly -- esp about Struchkova --and also about hte neeed to keep Kitri different, essentially different, from Raymonda and all the rest of those girls who do lots of passes..... its in the asdverbs, thespeed,elan, attack, and posture. Kitri and Paquita, for example, are both Spanish girls, but they're VERY different and should not take the same pose the same way.....

I really thought pointed feet in passe was pretty standard to ballet. I guess I was wrong (as were all my teachers at the Joffrey and SAB)

Definitely NOT wrong...(and please, allow me to take the liberty to say so, even if I know nothing about what life in a ballet studio is and feels like). Yes, it is standard to ballet technique, but not enough to make a female ballet dancer a ballerina...

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Thanks, Christian, for making the case so clearly -- esp about Struchkova --and also about hte neeed to keep Kitri different, essentially different, from Raymonda and all the rest of those girls who do lots of passes..... its in the asdverbs, thespeed,elan, attack, and posture. Kitri and Paquita, for example, are both Spanish girls, but they're VERY different and should not take the same pose the same way.....

I really thought pointed feet in passe was pretty standard to ballet. I guess I was wrong (as were all my teachers at the Joffrey and SAB)

Definitely NOT wrong...(and please, allow me to take the liberty to say so, even if I know nothing about what life in a ballet studio is and feels like). Yes, it is standard to ballet technique, but not enough to make a female ballet dancer a ballerina...

I never said it did.

I am in favor of artistry, and I do like many older dancers, including your darling Alonso.

I'm also not opposed to taking some liberties and believe in some personal expression. But when that expression makes your technique so blurred that it is completely beyond correct technique as in that clip (i was taken to task before for basing my opinion on a single clip, but that was being discussed, that clip as the quintessential version of this variation), I'm sorry but it looks bad to me.

I have absorbed what i guess are modern aesthetics enough that to me its just aesthetically displeasing. But really I don't think that is the issue because I *never* have an issue with Alonso's technique, for example.

If you lose all ability to do it properly just to do it that fast, you shouldn't be doing it that fast in my opinion. It doesn't have to be so slow that each passe is exact and sustained, there is something that is neither sloppy nor slow and boring or however you characterized the "modern way" (though watching say Osipova do it, I don't think that would be a fair assessment of her approach)

I much prefer Maximova in the second half of this clip:

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In all fairness to Struchkova, that is an unfortunate freeze frame of a moment when she is moving extremely quickly, so quickly that the foot has to leave the pointed position perhaps a little sooner than she would normally allow it to if she didn't need to use it to rebound back up to retiré again.

What I don't see us factoring in is something I remember so many dancers of about 50 years ago all griping sbout: the horrible conditions most dance film were shot under... seems the standard complaints went along the lines of having to be on site at some ungodly early hour, warming up and then waiting "forever" for the filming to start, while all the lighting issues, etc. were worked out, then all of a sudden without enough warming to properly warm up again, being expected to dance full out on horrible floors and in spaces not necessarily well designed for fitting the choreography into...and then to do so well enough to impress posterity. Now that these dancers are elderly they can look back to at films of their now lost youth with a kinder eye, but I don't think many were satisfied with the results at the time. Some went so far as to refuse to be filmed, knowing both the conditions and how cruel history can be to dancers.

I never seem to hear these complaints from todays dancers... Maybe because the recording technologies have improved so much, and the flooring and pre-production skills are better, so that dancers can be shot under normal performance conditions.

I just thought a footnote was in order.

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Thanks, Christian, for making the case so clearly -- esp about Struchkova --and also about hte neeed to keep Kitri different, essentially different, from Raymonda and all the rest of those girls who do lots of passes..... its in the asdverbs, thespeed,elan, attack, and posture. Kitri and Paquita, for example, are both Spanish girls, but they're VERY different and should not take the same pose the same way.....

I really thought pointed feet in passe was pretty standard to ballet. I guess I was wrong (as were all my teachers at the Joffrey and SAB)

Not always. The niceties of the completion of a step can also be adjusted for a stronger through movement for an effect in performance.

When Balanchine brought his company to the Edinburgh Festival in 1967, he needed a tall dancer to partner Farrell he sought a dancer from Copenhagen and as Henning Kronstam wasn't available the young Peter Martins was recommended.

Martins turned up and was surprised at the manner of the company's style of dancing. He said, " The dancers neglected or didn't bother with precision. The emphasis was on the energy and on movement itself, on timing and quickness."

See page 258 "George Balanchine: Ballet Master" by Richard Buckle in Collaboration with John Taras.

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Nice thread, and wonderful clips that I do agree stand the test of time. I'm a lurker because I generally read this forum to learn from people who know far more than I do. I just wanted to add Alla Sizova in here, pardon me if anyone disagrees, personally I would love to see someone like her (and others posted in this thread) on stage today. I also think the way she jumps is superior in quality of the movement to many ballerinas we see now a days (of course there are exceptions)... so light and so buoyant.

With Soloviev

With Nureyev

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Nice thread, and wonderful clips that I do agree stand the test of time. I'm a lurker because I generally read this forum to learn from people who know far more than I do. I just wanted to add Alla Sizova in here, pardon me if anyone disagrees, personally I would love to see someone like her (and others posted in this thread) on stage today. I also think the way she jumps is superior in quality of the movement to many ballerinas we see now a days (of course there are exceptions)... so light and so buoyant.

With Soloviev

With Nureyev

Alla Sizova was an extraordinary dancer and one of those few dancers whose performances captured an other worldy fragrance that one could only call spiritual.

Her jumps were not only," light and buoyant," they had extraordinary elevation and all the time she remained not just exquisite but also inspired.

In London she was much admired and she is one of the eight or so ballerinas I saw on stage that I would call great.

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Alla Sizova was an extraordinary dancer and one of those few dancers whose performances captured an other worldy fragrance that one could only call spiritual.

Her jumps were not only," light and buoyant," they had extraordinary elevation and all the time she remained not just exquisite but also inspired.

In London she was much admired and she is one of the eight or so ballerinas I saw on stage that I would call great.

Thank you for your reply smile.png How lucky to have been able to see her (and other great artists) live. Even in a youtube clip I can see she was enchanting, what a good description of her jumps!

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Oh, Sizova was TOO MUCH...!! clapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gif

Aurora..I think there's a simple explanation to why do we see things different. Or better, could it be that you truly SEE what 'm not really capable to...? I think the teacher's approach, after so many hours in the studio dissecting every single fragment of a movement and position to its very bare bones, is a completely different animal, which makes quite difficult to take a look at a piece of movement without getting into a proper formal analysis. On the contrary, me, a non expert , when faced with the lack of that type of knowledge, have to rely, rest and respond to different signals, which can become-(and indeed HAVE become)-, in my inexperience eyes, monumentally important.

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Oh, Sizova was TOO MUCH...!! clapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gif

Aurora..I think there's a simple explanation to why do we see things different. Or better, could it be that you truly SEE what 'm not really capable to...? I think the teacher's approach, after so many hours in the studio dissecting every single fragment of a movement and position to its very bare bones, is a completely different animal, which makes quite difficult to take a look at a piece of movement without getting into a proper formal analysis. On the contrary, me, a non expert , when faced with the lack of that type of knowledge, have to rely, rest and respond to different signals, which can become-(and indeed HAVE become)-, in my inexperience eyes, monumentally important.

I think Christian you may be right. :)

BUT there are certainly many dancers on which we do agree!

Alonso, of course. And I am guessing you enjoy Maximova as in the clip I posted? and while unfortunately my connection is being too poor to let me watch video at the moment and it has been so long since I watched her that I could be wrong I believe I enjoyed the clips of Sizova that I've seen very much.

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This is a fun thread. So wonderfully educational! clapping.gif

If I may...

I think the fantastic Jean Babilee would be admired in any generation in which he would danced in.

Natalia Osipova could still take lessons from Cynthia Harvey when it comes to dancing Don Quixote in terms of clarity, smoothness and most importantly musicality and benefit greatly from it. If Harvey was dancing today at the height of her powers, she would easily be the top rank principal prima ballerina at ABT.

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Harvey is SO lovely.

Babilee is truly wonderful, BUT there's a problem with his shoulders. He looks very much like adancer of his era, remarkably able to change the speed at which he moves -- but still, I kept seeing Villella and d'Amboise in this performance

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Yes, and I'm wondering why? Who was inspiring those three so that they should share a look? I'm wondering if it is a Fred Astaire influence?

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