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Kennedy Center Honors 2012 - Natalia Makarova honored


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#121 Helene

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:38 PM

Farrell's mouth turns down at the corners in a neutral state, which a lot of people interpret as sad or angry.

#122 4mrdncr

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

Saw the broadcast and noticed...

The dancing:
1) Tiler Peck danced Other Dances like a Balanchine dancer, not Makarova; it was fun, but was not NM's movement or technique, though it was the most complete and joyous performance for me of the night.
2) Part's fouettes appeared rather 'flat' to me--ok to not do the multiples, but they looked perfunctory not exciting or building to a climax--or was that because of the cutaway/reaction shot breaking it up? (I agree with a previous post that Sarah Lane would have been a more recognizable casting for clueless general auds, though less a tie-in to Makarova trajectory in reverse, or to Letterman.)
3) I also understood why CBS showed only the end of the Giselle Gpdd, but it was so truncated and out-of-context that AC & CC had no time to inject anything other than the bare bones over an expected professional but no way extraordinary performance. (Ditto SL excerpt with Gomes & Part.) I agree with (Helen?) re: Macmillan's R&J being more able to show drama in short excerpt. I didn't have any problem with Kent/Hallberg pairing.

Technical issues...
1) The clueless camera choices--too tight CU's of dancers--esp. on diagonal shots; and unnecessary/intrusive cutaways or reaction shots (ok to have, but not timed right here), I didn't need to see XCU's that were partial frames or on a dubious piece of anatomy. I didn't need to see Cojocaru's feet bourreeing; I would have preferred a simple (and more continuous) FS of her et.al.
2) The obvious (and again, rather clueless) edits/cuts to music, choreography, performances which made me wonder whether longer excerpts were shown in the theater?

Generally:
Having seen Makarova in rehearsal/rehearsing several times, she is always intent/intense. I was always struck by her ability to focus on the technique issues, but also seek to convey the emotional context behind each step to the dancers. I've also seen her at larger press conferences, where she didn't know the language, but trusted in those about her to help out, or in the goodwill of the audience, and then she was relaxed/smiling/funny and very sweet.

And of course, I thought he might, and am stil glad he did dance at this honors performance for Makarova, (since I know the debt to her and others) but was sad the Giselle excerpt was so cut up, and that I still miss the things that made Corella unique. PS. I noticed the sleeves.

PPS.For many years I have had a pic of a young Judi Dent in that early R&J performance and also remember that Zefferelli staging as being important for him and her.

#123 Marga

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:14 PM

So I do think that Makarova approved of the performances. Thank you BA-ers for sending me back for a replay.

I'm glad to read your latest assessment!

#124 abatt

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:21 AM

For me, Peck danced like someone who was a Robbins dancer. I don't think Peck was trying to copy Makarova. She was bringing her experience from dancing numerous Robbins roles to this particular performance. The leading Robbins roles that, for me, stand out in her rep is the Girl in Pink in Dances at a Gathering and Fall in Four Seasons. I had never seen her in Other Dances before the broadcast. I wish they would give her a shot at In G Major.

#125 sandik

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

For me, Peck danced like someone who was a Robbins dancer. I don't think Peck was trying to copy Makarova. ...


There is (I think on the "Ballerina" series that Makarova hosted) some footage of her rehearsing this work with Robbins, and I remember thinking at the time that he was working very closely with the image of her we had at the time, where her identity as a Russian was as prominent as her identity as a ballerina. It gave a specific flavor to the ballet that doesn't always find its way into more contemporary performances. In the slice we got at the Kennedy Center, Peck looked wonderful, but I certainly didn't get the sense that she was imitating Makarova, but rather having a wonderful time experiencing a dance made for someone else.

#126 California

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:23 AM

There is (I think on the "Ballerina" series that Makarova hosted) some footage of her rehearsing this work with Robbins, and I remember thinking at the time that he was working very closely with the image of her we had at the time, where her identity as a Russian was as prominent as her identity as a ballerina.

I don't recall the "Ballerina" series, but there was a one-hour PBS show called "Two Duets" in 1980 which included Other Dances. It opened with Robbins rehearsing Makarova and Baryshnikov and then being interviewed by Tobi Tobias. That excerpt include quite a bit of the Slavic heel-and-toe as well as the hand crooked behind the head. (The other Duet was Calcium Night Light with Heather Watts and Ib Anderson.)

#127 Helene

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:24 AM

I don't think for a second that Peck was trying to imitate Makarova.

I would have preferred Part in "Other Dances" because while I wouldn't have expected her to look like Makarova, she has a similarly individual quality, and the connection of her coming from the Vaganova School and Russia to the US to dance classics and newer works would have been sweeter than Peck dancing "Other Dances" and Part dancing Odile, which isn't even the part of "Swan Lake" with which Makarova is most associated. (Which is why I think White Swan PDD, even an Odette solo, since they had the "Giselle" PDD, and "On Your Toes" as a rousing closer would have been better. Even if people expected a Black Swan tutu from the movie, the "Black Swan" soundtrack is heavily based in the White acts music.).

I think Peck is a fantastic dancer, but I still don't see the Peck-Makarova connection institutionally, culturally, or stylistically. It was a tribute, not a gala, but, on the other hand, I'm not sure the other honorees got more specific tributes across the board.

#128 abatt

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

[
I don't recall the "Ballerina" series, but there was a one-hour PBS show called "Two Duets" in 1980 which included Other Dances. It opened with Robbins rehearsing Makarova and Baryshnikov and then being interviewed by Tobi Tobias. That excerpt include quite a bit of the Slavic heel-and-toe as well as the hand crooked behind the head.


There is also a lot of that Slavic flavor in certain sections of Dances at a Gathering.

#129 California

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:31 PM


[
I don't recall the "Ballerina" series, but there was a one-hour PBS show called "Two Duets" in 1980 which included Other Dances. It opened with Robbins rehearsing Makarova and Baryshnikov and then being interviewed by Tobi Tobias. That excerpt include quite a bit of the Slavic heel-and-toe as well as the hand crooked behind the head.


There is also a lot of that Slavic flavor in certain sections of Dances at a Gathering.

I haven't studied the context of Dances at a Gathering (e.g., what, if anything, Robbins said about his inspiration), but I am pretty sure he said he used music for Other Dances that was "left-over" from Dances at a Gathering. Chopin, of course, was Polish, a Slavic country, so I wonder how much of this detail was inspired by Chopin's music.

#130 sandik

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

I think Peck is a fantastic dancer, but I still don't see the Peck-Makarova connection institutionally, culturally, or stylistically. It was a tribute, not a gala, but, on the other hand, I'm not sure the other honorees got more specific tributes across the board.


We've had other conversations on this board about the programming decisions for these shows, but I confess I am still stymied from time to time. We can make a narrative that would stretch to include these works and these performers, but I think there would have been other, more powerful choices that could have been made. Nonetheless, I enjoyed what I saw, and am very glad the committee recognized Makarova.



[
I don't recall the "Ballerina" series, but there was a one-hour PBS show called "Two Duets" in 1980 which included Other Dances. It opened with Robbins rehearsing Makarova and Baryshnikov and then being interviewed by Tobi Tobias. That excerpt include quite a bit of the Slavic heel-and-toe as well as the hand crooked behind the head.


There is also a lot of that Slavic flavor in certain sections of Dances at a Gathering.

I haven't studied the context of Dances at a Gathering (e.g., what, if anything, Robbins said about his inspiration), but I am pretty sure he said he used music for Other Dances that was "left-over" from Dances at a Gathering. Chopin, of course, was Polish, a Slavic country, so I wonder how much of this detail was inspired by Chopin's music.


The combination of Chopin, Makarova and Robbins at the time Other Dances was made was extremely powerful. They were indeed "other" dances, in that they were a continuation of the work he had been doing in Dances at a Gathering (not quite outtakes, but rather more like what filmmakers call a Director's Cut), but they also celebrated the 'other-ness' of Makarova, who was still very much an exemplar of Russian dancing. Combine that with Chopin, who was so identified with Russian ballet through Les Sylphides, and the work had a very heady penumbra.

#131 Paul Parish

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:45 PM

Re Other Dances -- Makarova and Baryshnikov were fabulous in that ballet, and the Slavic touches were very important to it.

Just for depth of background, i'm posting a wonderful video of Serge Vikharev in the man's mazurka from Chopiniana [aka Les Sylphides-- since it's danced to piano accompaniment -- asi the ballet was originally before Diaghilev had Chopin's piano music orchestrated - the connection to Robbins's Chopin dances is pretty clear.


Even more so, though there aren't any allusions to Slavic arms, Fokine has used the rhythm of the Polish mazurka step as the organizing principle in this solo, and there is a deep, true musicality in Vikharev's dancing that brings out the nostalgia that Chopin built into the music and that Fokine built into the dance, and which Robbins is using as the atmosphere his dancers are breathing. That poetic rhythm, the ebb and flow of it, is the MOST important thing of all.


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