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Kennedy Center Honors 2012 - Natalia Makarova honored


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#91 Paul Parish

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:15 AM

oops, Drew -- i'm sorry, didn't mean to embarrass you. I just wanted to get the information out there, because LOTS of people don't know this. I haven't known it for long, myself. Evidently that Old VicRomeo and Juliet was like the first bombshell of the sixties....

#92 sandik

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:59 AM

oops, Drew -- i'm sorry, didn't mean to embarrass you. I just wanted to get the information out there, because LOTS of people don't know this. I haven't known it for long, myself. Evidently that Old VicRomeo and Juliet was like the first bombshell of the sixties....


I think I heard about this years ago, but forgot till this reminder. Dench has had a long and active career, and it tickles me that, after opening so many doors, she was the first female M in the Bond franchise.

I remember going to the film version of R&J, though, and how swoon-inducing it was for so many people.

#93 California

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:42 PM

This might be of interest: Johan Kobborg just sent this out on Twitter:

johan kobborg‏@KOBBORG

Dear USABalletAlert people - Stiff back and Death mask..wow.LOL,amazing stuff.well done.how do u do it, ones again, Spot on ;)) LOL



#94 Helene

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:06 PM

You know what they say about responding to one's critics, but I suppose it's gallant of him to try to defend the honor of his life partner. (I'm not sure if they're married.)

#95 angelica

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

My own two cents:

I thought that Julie Kent and David Hallberg looked exquisite together and that Kent looked young and ravishing, with flawless skin. No wonder Hallberg looked smitten. I had no sense of an age disparity.

I wish that more could have been said about Makarova's staging of La Bayadere, especially the Kingdom of the Shades scene, with perhaps a 30-second video of ABT dancers descending the ramp. There's a book about Ballet Theatre from way back when that devotes an entire chapter to the work Makarova did to remake this ballet for ABT and to achieve a unity of what was then a somewhat ragged corps de ballet.

It seemed to me that Makarova showed little emotion, especially while watching the performances. Not a single smile. It made me think that she was unhappy with the whole event. But that's pure speculation.

#96 ascballerina

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

I was mentally comparing her to the Queen watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics, actually. Now that you mention it, it does seem strange.

#97 Helene

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:32 PM

Makarova put on her glasses to watch the performers on stage. I'm not sure what her eyesight is like, but if her prescription is strong, then that might explain her expression without them, and most of the other recipients wore (or tried to wear) a single expression during their tributes, and only the camera focussing on tears in their eyes made it that emotional. The glasses hid her eyes from the prying cameras.

#98 Marga

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:48 PM

It seemed to me that Makarova showed little emotion, especially while watching the performances. Not a single smile. It made me think that she was unhappy with the whole event. But that's pure speculation.

I was watching with my daughter, who's a ballet dancer and teacher. Both of us agreed that Makarova was concentrating intently on the dancers' movements, style and interpretation. Her face was the same as my own when I study a dancer. I thought she was deeply invested in what she was seeing. I don't think she was unhappy at all. How could she be, even given her expertise and preferences, when the performances were so stellar?

#99 abatt

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:57 PM

Kobborg must know that this forum is populated by ballet enthusiasts who focus on every single detail, and are not general, casual observers of ballet. If he doesn't like criticism, he shouldn't read the comments on here. I thought it was very interesting when I read a comment from Carrie Lee Riggins (I think) on Ballet Alert a few months ago in which she said that ,in retrospect, various comments/criticisms she had read on here regarding her performances were truthful and correct. Even if Alina's performance was mostly very good, but had some weak points, people on this board are going to discuss them. Cojocaru and Kobborg are principals at one of the best companies in the world. Why would he focus on a few negative comments here, on a forum that isn't even read by the general public?

#100 dirac

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:00 PM

Yes, Drew, it was Olivia Hussey in the movie. but that came later. Judi Dench played Juliet in 1960 in Zefirelli's revolutionary staging of the play RnJ at the Old Vic. She's had an amazing career http://www.ask.com/wiki/Judi_Dench

Elsewhere on these boards someone -- i think, RG -- has gone into Seymour the dancer's debt to Dench's performance as Juliet.


Claire Bloom played Juliet at the Old Vic when she was about 21, younger than Dench. The Zeffirelli stage production was indeed groundbreaking in style and approach, however. Zeffirelli cast teenagers Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting in the movie, to dubious effect.

I'm sure Fonteyn was a perfectly convincing Juliet onstage, Paul, but not in the movie, at least for this viewer. Really sad, if inevitable, that Seymour and Gable, still at the Royal at the time of filming, didn't get to play the roles.

#101 angelica

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:26 PM


It seemed to me that Makarova showed little emotion, especially while watching the performances. Not a single smile. It made me think that she was unhappy with the whole event. But that's pure speculation.

I was watching with my daughter, who's a ballet dancer and teacher. Both of us agreed that Makarova was concentrating intently on the dancers' movements, style and interpretation. Her face was the same as my own when I study a dancer. I thought she was deeply invested in what she was seeing. I don't think she was unhappy at all. How could she be, even given her expertise and preferences, when the performances were so stellar?

That possibility had occurred to me, and I hope you're right. To this viewer, however, it seemed that her face was devoid of any emotion whatsoever, devoid of intensity as well. I don't want to speculate further because there are so many possibilities, but I'm going to watch the program again tomorrow in the light of the various comments above. I would not dismiss the possibility that she may have been unmoved by the performances, despite our own feelings about them.

#102 bart

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 06:17 PM

I wasn't able to sit down in front of the tv watch this until tonight, though I've loved reading everyone's posts on this thread.

I remember vividly the time of Makarova's defection and her first appearances in New York, and had the chance to see her dance several times a year with ABT. I was also able to catch her West End On Your Toes. What a story; what a career. The highlight for me was, more than anything, the opportunity to watch this remarkable artist being honored in such grad style by the country of her adoption.

For me, the most striking image came at the end, when the dancers swept on stage, faced the audience, and joined the audience in the applause. It was like something choreographed by Balanchine or Robbins, a really great moment.

In terms of dancing, Tiler Peck's jewel of a solo was close to perfection.. The Kent-Hallberg pas de deux, despite the intrusion of closeups, conveyed the feeling of the real thing. That is more than can be said for the selection from Giselle.

#103 kfw

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 07:44 PM

The Kent-Hallberg pas de deux, despite the intrusion of closeups, conveyed the feeling of the real thing. That is more than can be said for the selection from Giselle.


I agree. It didn't have much of a chance in front of that backdrop though, did it?

In regards to Other Dances, Helene’s observation that Peck has none of Makarova’s je ne sais quoi reminded me that I first saw that ballet as danced Patricia McBride (with Baryshnikov), a dancer Peck is sometimes compared to. I’m sorry I never saw Makarova dance it, but I think McBride’s openness suits it as well. Whether that made Peck the best choice for a Makarova tribute is another question, but I’m glad to have this clip.

As for Kent and Hallberg, I thought the disparity in their age was obvious in the close-ups, but only in the close-ups, so that’s a real compliment.


#104 abatt

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

One of my friends believes that Makarova was also a trail blazer for ballerinas who wanted to have children and then return to continue dancing. I don't know enough about that issue to judge whether that's the case.

#105 Amy Reusch

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:55 PM

Odd, I thought despite the horrendous framing choices, that Giselle was wone of the few segments that still left me wanting to see the ballerina live on stage... Thought Cojocaru's interpretation very sensitive even if the line of her foot weren't ideal... The arch was still beautiful... I've never been one to go crazy about feet I suppose, just seems to be so much more going on in that pas than just feet....


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