pherank

Death of the Rose

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I've always loved a video of Maya Plisetskaya in Death of the Rose (an old black and white version that I don't think is currently available online). And last night, I ran into this 1978 Roland Petit version of Death of the Rose (La Rose Malade) on TV (with Maya) - and I thought it was pretty wonderful. An entire workshop on the use of arms. I just don't get to see this type of dancing these days.

[Maya Plisetskaya & Valery Kovtun - note that the obnoxious titling does disappear after a few seconds]

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Thank you for posting this! It was great to see both this and some of the other clips you had collected with this very special ballerina. You are right about the beauty of her arms. She seems to be able to express everything with them.

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Everything you say is true, phrank. I love your phrase, "an entire workshop on the use of the arms."

This is not the sort of number, danced to this sort of music, I ordinarily appreciate. Maybe I am too cynical or addicted to irony.. But Plisetskaya invests the choreography with such sincerity and artistry, that it becomes genuinely moving. At the end, I was startled by way the long, slowly developed "maladie" of the rose turns suddenly to anguish and death.

I also love the way the white background -- and uncomplicated camera work -- allow you the to see every aspect of the movement and body-shaping so clearly.

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Everything you say is true, phrank. I love your phrase, "an entire workshop on the use of the arms."

This is not the sort of number, danced to this sort of music, I ordinarily appreciate. Maybe I am too cynical or addicted to irony.. But Plisetskaya invests the choreography with such sincerity and artistry, that it becomes genuinely moving. At the end, I was startled by way the long, slowly developed "maladie" of the rose turns suddenly to anguish and death.

I also love the way the white background -- and uncomplicated camera work -- allow you the to see every aspect of the movement and body-shaping so clearly.

I know what you are saying, Bart, there's a kind of innocence to this production/approach that is easy to regard cynically, academically, but the extraordinary artistry of Plisetskaya, her spiritual quality, renders my cynical reflex mute. I feel foolish saying anything negative about this. I'm reminded of modern music critics who talk about the great technical skill, and flying fingers, of various modern 'guitar gods', but nobody laughs listening to a scratchy, technically primitive performance of Robert Johnson playing and singing "Hellhound on my Trail". It transcends technique and 'showmanship' to be a work of art. And that is what ultimately impresses me - more than any practiced 'professional' performance.

I agree about the simplified camerwork - there's rarely a need to have a lot of camera trickery when showing dance. I'd rather be given the same view as front row, dress circle and let me see things for myself.

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