PeggyR

SFB at Les Etés de la Danse, July 2014

64 posts in this topic

I heard very complimentary reports from multiple sources about the gala. A Russian source (close to Bolshoi), said after the gala: "a very strong troupe". The same source has been much less complimentary about the current quality of the Opéra ballet troupe. I haven't heard anything about Messmer however. Is she in Paris?

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I heard very complimentary reports from multiple sources about the gala. A Russian source (close to Bolshoi), said after the gala: "a very strong troupe". The same source has been much less complimentary about the current quality of the Opéra ballet troupe. I haven't heard anything about Messmer however. Is she in Paris?

Great to hear this report, Mathilde K. Messmer is scheduled to dance a couple of times, but as usual, I can find no evidence of her particpation/presence in Paris. She obviously has little interest in self-promotion, and doesn't court the media.

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I thought she was scheduled to take part only in the opening night gala and the last show of the tour. Is she in Paris at all?

That's the question: Is she staying with the rest of the company and taking part in the tour experience, or is she just "popping in" to fulfill some contract obligation? I do not know.

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Thanks Quiggin - reading these articles through the Google translator is highly amusing. I hope there is more to come.

Helimets and Froustey have both posted images from today's "open class" - there seems to be a pretty large audience just for the class...

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pherank:

… reading these articles through the Google translator is highly amusing. I hope there is more to come.

I think Bing is better for French, though Google has pull-down alternatives. But I wonder what the phrase "indigestion to plum pudding" covers. Or how to translate "nid de superstars un poil capricieuses" in Philippe Noisette's overview in Les Echos, which Google has as a "nest of a capricious superstars' hair." Anyway I thought both background articles were accurate, and nicely a different perspective than we normally hear.

Le San Francisco Ballet enchante les Etés de la Danse

I find Instragram posts as fascinating as I think you do, though they often seem rather unreal, or else the real of travel or – or life – or working out a problem in a part never comes through, only obliquely, or in the silences of the days without posts.

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pherank:

… reading these articles through the Google translator is highly amusing. I hope there is more to come.

I think Bing is better for French, though Google has pull-down alternatives. But I wonder what the phrase "indigestion to plum pudding" covers. Or how to translate "nid de superstars un poil capricieuses" in Philippe Noisette's overview in Les Echos, which Google has as a "nest of a capricious superstars' hair." Anyway I thought both background articles were accurate, and nicely a different perspective than we normally hear.

Le San Francisco Ballet enchante les Etés de la Danse

I find Instragram posts as fascinating as I think you do, though they often seem rather unreal, or else the real of travel or – or life – or working out a problem in a part never comes through, only obliquely, or in the silences of the days without posts.

I think you can translate Noisette's sentence well by dropping the "hair" biggrin.png it's something like "a nest of superstars a bit temperamental"

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Thanks silvermash, I always come up against a stone wall with idioms when I try to read French. "A nest of superstars" is what Noisette says SFB is not, while Bavelier says

With a few exceptions like Frances Chung, Damian Smith, or our national Mathilde Froustey, we don't benchmark personalities, but rather they speak with a fluidity of the whole body, to the tips of their fingers, without clashes or false notes, that dance on the side of the great ocean currents which nothing can resist.

Meanwhile in Instagram land Maria Kochetkova has posted a photo of herself in pink pleated skirt collapsed in a chair after dancing Allegro Brilliante (which we won't get to see here in San Francisco) and Tiit Helimets shows a table with five empty cupholders and five dancers at the back of the bus on the way to dinner. (Which looks similar to a scene from a Bernardo Bertolucci film called Partner and only lacks music by Ennio Morricone.)

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I've come to love the Instagram postings, perhaps because I love non sequiturs, but also, as we know, "a picture is worth a thousand words". Every so often there's a really great shot that says so much.

I also laughed pretty hard when I cam across the "capricious superstars nest hair". But it is possible to understand most of what the writer intended to convey using the translators. It's not a suprise that these online translators have a difficult time with jargon, or poetic phrases and self-made metaphors.

Yes, sad that we won't be seeing Allegro Brillante here in California - one of many things. Which is one reason why people live in New York.

Lest we think it's all fun right now for the dancers:

"Survived. Thank u ballet Gods for looking after me. 3 days, 10 ballets rehearsed and performed by 5 different choreographers." -- tweeted by M. Kochetkova

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Observing the constant flow of these instagram pics, facebook posts, tweeted "thoughts", makes me sad. Once Ballet was considered a High Art, and a ballerina was considered its priestess. Today it's just the same silliness and infantilism you observe everywhere around yourself.

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If social media is destroying your sense of otherworldliness of ballet dancers, don't review any social media sites. The silliness and infantilism was always there, but now the general public has a window into it that didn't exist before. Any notion that dancers were priests and priestesses was based purely on illusion in the minds of the audience members,not founded in reality.

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Considering that Mathilde K's response was to posts up thread on Ballet Alert!, and there's no way to filter out social media posts automatically, it would pretty much mean staying off discussion boards and the internet. Avoiding social media is like avoiding cigarette smoke in cities: you can stay in your own house/apartment, but don't go out on the streets because people are having smoking breaks, even if that's 10 feet from your bus stop.

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Observing the constant flow of these instagram pics, facebook posts, tweeted "thoughts", makes me sad. Once Ballet was considered a High Art, and a ballerina was considered its priestess. Today it's just the same silliness and infantilism you observe everywhere around yourself.

Actually I think the Instagram pictures and tweets for the most part make me admire the dancers more. Most dancers seem to have (at least based on their social media posts):

1. A good sense of humor

2. A pride in their work

3. Strong relationships with other dancers

These three qualities would, I imagine, be crucial in surviving a profession as difficult and demanding as ballet.

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If social media is destroying your sense of otherworldliness of ballet dancers, don't review any social media sites. The silliness and infantilism was always there, but now the general public has a window into it that didn't exist before. Any notion that dancers were priests and priestesses was based purely on illusion in the minds of the audience members,not founded in reality.

It is not destroying my "sense of otherworldliness of ballet dancers", it is destroying their capabilty to become great artists.

Happening to have close ties to the world of ballet going back to around 1980 I can attest that the great ballerinas I knew were extraordinary, profound human beings. There are still some. Up to this day I regularly meet truly extraordinary, serious youths at some full time ballet schools in Europe, the kind of which I never encounter elsewhere even though it is my job to work with and mentor "outstanding" youths. Many of the best don't even use ineternet. Their parents tell me they have no time or desire for it. They live and breathe exclusively ballet, as they should.

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If social media is destroying your sense of otherworldliness of ballet dancers, don't review any social media sites. The silliness and infantilism was always there, but now the general public has a window into it that didn't exist before. Any notion that dancers were priests and priestesses was based purely on illusion in the minds of the audience members,not founded in reality.

It is not destroying my "sense of otherworldliness of ballet dancers", it is destroying their capabilty to become great artists.

Happening to have close ties to the world of ballet going back to around 1980 I can attest that the great ballerinas I knew were extraordinary, profound human beings. There are still some. Up to this day I regularly meet truly extraordinary, serious youths at some full time ballet schools in Europe, the kind of which I never encounter elsewhere even though it is my job to work with and mentor "outstanding" youths. Many of the best don't even use ineternet. Their parents tell me they have no time or desire for it. They live and breathe exclusively ballet, as they should.

Well, it's not my place to give advice, but I'd say that one important part of being a mentor to any adolescent is refraining from a sweeping judgmental attitude.

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Getting back to the Les Etés de la Danse for a moment, Froustey posted an interesting photo (to me) of a Bow 'schedule' (for lack of a better word). Seems to be instructing the dancers how they are to behave for the individual ballet bows. Is this common at large companies, or for tours?

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Happy Bastille Day, btw.

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I recall staged bows as being the norm.

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Mathilde K:

... it is destroying their capabilty to become great artists.

This is true, but even more so it banalizes the art. To be alone with the equivalent of the blank page and not multitasking is important. The dancers I'm most interested in don't post and I'm sort of relieved of knowing too much about them. On the other hand I do enjoy the glimpses it gives into a traditional 19th world. I wonder how Balzac ... or even Stendhal ... would have treated the Instragram proscenium.

Added: At first I thought Froustey's picture was of bags of coffee in a stack, then I realized what they were. How fascinating ... the titles Agon Bows, Ghosts Bows ... and slightly different notation systems: All Forward & Back / All Down & Back etc.

...

And I know we're not supposed to post from other discussion groups, but I'll just say that at dansomanie, of the three programs so far, Four Temperaments has gotten the highest marks, with "dazzling" performances of Sylve and Domitro noted, along with Messmer's in Symphony in C fourth & finale ( dynamique et musical! ).

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My response was a "rhetorical" inversion, so I decided not to say more. But, yes, it banalizes the art itself and that saddens me not less.

On a happy note — I am delighted to see Messmer's name. Maybe I should have been heading to Paris after all. (This should not be read as a profession of any lack of interest or respect for other dancers of the company; I appreciate their individual qualities, I saw them dozens of times and I am sure I will be seeing them often in the future. Messmer, I saw her just a few times, and I have been longing since for seeing her more.) Les Étés de la danse are not just the SFB Summer tour, they are primarily workshops for choreographers, pedagogues and young dancers. My ballet colleagues are there right now participating in the workshops. As it happens, however, I chose to go to London instead in order to see Yulia Stepanova at Covent Garden.

Well, it's not my place to give advice, but I'd say that one important part of being a mentor to any adolescent is refraining from a sweeping judgmental attitude.

"One important part of being a mentor to any adolescent" is offering them wise advise. Fortunately, mentors are not selected according to the standards prevalent on various fora or social networks. They are selected by appropriate professional bodies according to the highest criteria of excellence among the individuals with a proven track record of such excellence.

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Getting back to the Les Etés de la Danse for a moment, Froustey posted an interesting photo (to me) of a Bow 'schedule' (for lack of a better word). Seems to be instructing the dancers how they are to behave for the individual ballet bows. Is this common at large companies, or for tours?

10540489_673559329392098_1129793675_n.jp

Happy Bastille Day, btw.

I often see instructions for bowing posted backstage at the National Ballet of Canada, and the bows are also rehearsed by the stage managers at dress rehearsals.

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San Francisco Ballet's presence at Les Étés de la danse can be seen not only on the stage of Théâtre du Châtelet. Patrick Armand of the San Francisco Ballet Shool fame, arrived two days ago to Paris and yesterday began conducting workshops for students from select European ballet schools. Several of the students Patrick will be working with I met during my recent visits there.

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Tiit Helimets tells us that Shane Wuerthner is leaving SFB after the tour ends. There is a nice photo of the two with Sofiane after performing Ghosts together:

http://instagram.com/p/qmtPHShk_b/?modal=true

And here's where I get to remind everyone of how great Sofiane is by quoting Marina Harss from a past review of Ghosts:

"Sylve, who decamped from New York City Ballet in 2007, was always an imposing dancer, but now she has become something more, almost monumental. With her ample back, long, sculptural arms, and powerful technique, she dominates the stage and everyone on it. It’s no wonder it takes two men to partner her."

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