Jump to content


Zulma and Moyna. Bring them back!


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,160 posts

Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:53 PM

I couldn't believe that the story, name and weight of these two characters had been completely erased from the MCB production and their dancing extremely simplified. I remember the programmes in Cuba from back in the days where not only the two Willis were always identified by their names, but their story was always included in the notes. The roles were looked after, as Myrtha-wannabes, the dancers would luxuriate in the choreography, the music pace was slowed down and grander and the circumstances of the characters' death was always part of the playbills and clearly exposed in their dancing. I was always told-(without really questioning the veracity of it)-that Zulma had died by committing suicide throwing herself from a cliff, and so that's the nature of her dramatic jumping as if suspended on the air, and Moyna had done so by drowning when trapped in the circular motion of a river rip current, clearly seen in her super curved onstage renversees. It was very dramatic, and the effect was rather beautiful from their dancing.
Zulma and Moyna...you are certainly missed...Posted Image

Ah..."Giselle", the REAL "Giselle"...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huQwsXTH_iU&feature=autoplay&list=PL3C6DC6A4B39C24E0&lf=results_video&playnext=3

#2 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,922 posts

Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:20 PM

I absolutely agree with you, Christian -- I have always loved that pair of variations, and have some performances vividly etched in my memory.These are wonderful performances, and those renversees are truly thrilling -- though they do not erase the renversees of Patty Owen, who danced the role with hte Oakland Ballet twenty years ago with a wonderful amplitude of phrasing, in Freddie Franklin's staging. there's a little bit of a difference in Zulma's variation, in that the assembles were straight-legged, I HTINK.... it was a long time ago, but the suspension in the releve had a more sudden effect after the assemble, if I remember right....

I can't imagine why Miami would want to simplify those variations -- certainly they have dancers who can DO them???

#3 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,160 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 06:37 AM

I absolutely agree with you, Christian -- I have always loved that pair of variations, and have some performances vividly etched in my memory.These are wonderful performances, and those renversees are truly thrilling -- though they do not erase the renversees of Patty Owen, who danced the role with hte Oakland Ballet twenty years ago with a wonderful amplitude of phrasing, in Freddie Franklin's staging. there's a little bit of a difference in Zulma's variation, in that the assembles were straight-legged, I HTINK.... it was a long time ago, but the suspension in the releve had a more sudden effect after the assemble, if I remember right....

I can't imagine why Miami would want to simplify those variations -- certainly they have dancers who can DO them???


They certainly can, I would say, but for what I could tell, theirs is a mitch-match of stagings. Zulma and Moyna's variations look like as what the Russians are doing-(for what I see in clips). There's so much that can be done with these two characters...if well staged, one can clearly see that they are the two ladies-in-waiting of Myrtha, and even interfere so their Queen doesn't get to be bothered by Hilarion's beggings...sometimes by placing themselves in between Myrtha and the poor beggar. Yeah, I was disappointed to note how fast those two went by over here...

#4 cargill

cargill

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 636 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:28 AM

I agree! I am surprized that they would do this--I remember years ago Amparo Brito was one of the most magnificent Moyna/Zulmas I have ever seen. (I can't keep them straight!)

#5 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,160 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:45 AM

I agree! I am surprized that they would do this--I remember years ago Amparo Brito was one of the most magnificent Moyna/Zulmas I have ever seen. (I can't keep them straight!)


Ah, cargill...but what didn't Amparito dance to perfection...? Posted Image No wonder she was one of the "Three Graces" of Cuban ballet..! Do you remember her in "El rio y el bosque"..? Posted Image

#6 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,310 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:27 AM

II can't imagine why Miami would want to simplify those variations -- certainly they have dancers who can DO them???

My feeling is that MCB produces a Giselle, along with a few others of its brand-name full-lengths, more because they think that the audience wants them than out of any devotion to that particular kind of ballet. This audience, like many I suppose, is not particularly knowledgeable or demanding as to nuance or ballet history.

Cost is a factor as well, I imagine. Edward Villella is able to do much of the coaching for Balanchine revivals (aided by repetiteurs with whom, in several cases, he actually danced). This saves money. Contracts with the Tharp, Robbins, and Taylor organizations require bringing in professional coaches familiar with those repertoires.

t would be exciting to see what MCB might do with Giselle if they were willing to devote time and expertise to preparing the dancers on the level that they are prepared for other choreographies.

#7 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,922 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:23 AM

bart, maybe you're right about MCB -- but from my limited experience, it's dancers themselves who want to do Giselle -- like actors want to do Hamlet. Those combinations are SO satisfying to dance -- especially the jumps.

#8 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,160 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:46 PM

I would like to know who did the coaching for the diferent roles, but to be fair the company looked excelent onstage. I was looking at them and wondering how many of those very young dancers were dancing that Ballet of ballets for the first time. If taking that into account and the fact that Giselle was done for the last time in MCB 5 years ago, I think they did a very honorable job.

#9 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,310 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:12 AM

Good to hear that, Cristian. We have a week to go before MCB 's Giselle reaches us in West Palm. Still hoping (hint, hint) to see your detailed impressions on the Program III thread.

#10 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,160 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:07 PM

I will bart, but before I wanted to reassess my impressions after the Broward performances, which start tonight. I'm going-(perhaps with the hope of a last minute substitution and the surprise of a Cuban-American Giselle onstage..? Posted Image )

#11 Kerry1968

Kerry1968

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts

Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:38 PM

Personally, I'd rather see the entire Peasant pas de deux deleted than one particle of Act II. Act II is sacrosanct!

#12 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,310 posts

Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:42 AM

Personally, I'd rather see the entire Peasant pas de deux deleted than one particle of Act II. Act II is sacrosanct!

Me too.

I love the way the BNC gives weight and significance to the two willis, including the way their music is treated. The way the corps members tilt their heads, in unison, to draw our eye to the entry of each dancer, is marvelous. It's like putting a spotlight on them, without the literal spotlight.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):