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McGregor: Ballet or Gymnastics?My feelings have now been confirmed


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#1 Nanarina

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 09:34 AM

I am not the most admiring person regarding this choreographer, in fact I would go so far as to say, I do not like or wish to see his work. From the example's I have seen, I find it resembles Gymnastics rather than ballet.

Having just seen the Rythmic floor execises from the Olympic games, I am convinced this is where he is coming from. But in no way does his choreography compare with the true genre. It waas truly wonderful, the performers were elegant highly trained and remarkable in their technical achievements.
Often with steps we often see in ballet, in their routines. They were at times even turned out, and were lyrical and performed re-acting to express the music chiosen for their solo's. Their costumes were stunning, bejewelled colourful and fitting perfectly. Every girl's hair was neatly coffered in a bun and they were a great credit to their respective countries.

Comparing them with the Ballerina's that have moved over from Gymnastic training to Dance you can see the results of that training and disapline, and how it must have helped then to make the trancision.
I cannot help thinking of Natalia Osipova who in fact started up in this field and has now achieved wonders in her career as a very talented Ballerina.

#2 Helene

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:03 AM

Maria Kochetkova also started as a gymnast, as did figure skater Sasha Cohen.

#3 Nanarina

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 05:22 AM

Thank you for that information Helene, I also have a small query as to Alinia Cojocaru, if she too started as a gymnast, there is a clip of her when younger doing a routine on YouTube, that has handstands etc in it.

#4 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:52 PM

Didn't Karin von Aroldingen receive gymnastics training as well? I always thought that part of the Stravinsky Violin Concerto pas de deux that Balanchine choreographed for her (and Bart Cook?) had echoes of a balance beam routine.

#5 California

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:36 PM

Ethan Stiefel also started in gymnastics, at least according to the interview in Born to be Wild. And I'm pretty sure Baryshnikov also did some gymnastics as a very young boy.

#6 bart

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 04:16 PM

Regarding Cojocaru --

I also have a small query as to Alinia Cojocaru, if she too started as a gymnast, there is a clip of her when younger doing a routine on YouTube, that has handstands etc in it.

From Wikipedia:

At the age of 7 or 8 she began gymnastic classes, progressing at the age of 9 to a Bucharest ballet school which acted as a feeder for the Romanian State Ballet school. Later the same year she took and passed the entrance exam for the school and a few months later was chosen (with 8 other Romanian students) by the director of the Kiev Ballet school to take part in a student exchange.


Regarding von Aroldingen ---

Didn't Karin von Aroldingen receive gymnastics training as well? I always thought that part of the Stravinsky Violin Concerto pas de deux that Balanchine choreographed for her (and Bart Cook?) had echoes of a balance beam routine.

From Answers.com:

She studied gymnastics in early childhood then ballet with T. Gsovsky in Berlin.



#7 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:43 PM

Viengsay Valdes started as a gymnast also.

#8 Helene

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:32 PM

Viengsay Valdes started as a gymnast also.

With that core strength, I bet she never fell of the balance beam.

#9 dirac

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:55 PM

I remember von Aroldingen telling Robert Tracy she'd developed the wrong kind of musculature. Balanchine had her walk on her hands in Violin Concerto and another ballet, I think.

Sylvie Guillem is the daughter of a gymnast and studied gymnastics for a number of years.

#10 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:12 PM


Viengsay Valdes started as a gymnast also.

With that core strength, I bet she never fell of the balance beam.


Posted Image

#11 Helene

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:33 PM

From Robert Tracy's "Balanchine's Ballerinas":


You are one of the few European women who have had a big career with the New York City Ballet, and one of the few dancers int he company now who weren't trained by Balanchine. What special quality do you think you bring to his ballets?

We'll, Balanchine uses my acrobatic nature, for one thing. When I was little I was more on my hands than on my feet. On the street I did cartwheels. When Balanchine made Violin Concerto for me he asked me if I could do a bridge, and I did one, and then he said, "Where do you fall from there?" So I twisted myself out of this very strange bridge which I remember doing as a child. It was easy for me, and he liked it and put in in a ballet...

I did have to rearrange my body for him, though, and unlearn everything. It took a long time for me to please Balanchine. I had to go back tot he basics. My body is modern, sculptured. I never was the ballerina type. I couldn't have been a dancer in Russia a hundred years ago. People have put me down for looking cold and hard, and masculine, although I feel very much like a woman."


She also does a handstand in "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" towards the end of Aria I, the same section with the bridges.

There's nothing in the interview or bio intro that mentions any formal gymnastics training, only early private ballet lessons, and her comment is "My schooling was Russian, and my first love was the Bolshoi...", but it's clear that she was tumbling/gymnastics-oriented as a child.


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