Who is your favorite Odette/Odile?
Posted 29 June 2001 - 11:48 AM
My favorite Odette is Natalia Makarova. No other ballerina I've seen has captured the pathos of the character or brought out the poetry of Ivanov's choreography more eloquently than her. Some may not like her swan mannerisms, but to me they're exquisite.
I've yet to see the perfect Odile. Plisetskaya acted and danced the role to the hilt, so she's probably my first choice. Makarova would be a close second, even though she didn't project Odile's wickedness as effectively as Plisetskaya.
Posted 29 June 2001 - 12:25 PM
Of the ones I've seen on tape, Fonteyn. She's the only ballerina I've ever seen who was not using every muscle in her body to a) act like a swan in Act II and B) look as different from Odette as possible in Act III (while still being, internally, totally different.)
Posted 29 June 2001 - 12:32 PM
[ 06-29-2001: Message edited by: Giannina Mooney ]
Posted 29 June 2001 - 01:51 PM
Makarova, of course, was great. Ananiashvili, Dvorovenko, Kent.
Across the way, Wendy Whelan, and, years ago, Melissa Hayden.
Posted 29 June 2001 - 01:56 PM
Susan Jaffe is very good, as well, especially with Careno.
For me, Swan Lake stands or falls with Odette, and the Odile comes second.
Posted 29 June 2001 - 07:41 PM
Posted 29 June 2001 - 09:15 PM
Second place: Makarova
Third place: Plisetskaya. No one, but no one, will ever be able to match her style - or those arms!
Posted 30 June 2001 - 04:02 PM
[ 06-30-2001: Message edited by: Jane Simpson ]
Posted 08 September 2005 - 03:35 AM
Posted 08 September 2005 - 01:30 PM
Next, I'd say Kent- she was absolutely wonderous. But for me no one matches Ananiashvilli.
Posted 08 September 2005 - 01:50 PM
Now: Veronika Part. For grandeur, intensity of response to Siegfried, Soul, and for the subtle differences that distinguish every performance. And who else can make THAT last Act seem as if it has more than a hint of Petipa/Ivanov?
There is the matter of Mr. B's Swan Lake, which has its own special merits, especially given the other productions now available. It is a bit hard to make the O/O distinctions in a one act version, but a real ballerina can make the Swan original and real.
Then: Darci Kistler, teen, pre-first injury. The swan that flew.
Now (or the last run in which she was allowed to perform it): Maria Kowroski, who gave birth to her own story, making the one-act ballet tell a deeper tale than a certain full-lenth version.
Posted 10 September 2005 - 05:50 PM
Posted 10 September 2005 - 07:17 PM
Nowadays: Irina Dvorovenko.
I havent seen Diana Vishneva or Alina Cojocaru, but I'd imagine that they are great Odette/Odiles too.
I wish I had seen Asylmuratova.
Posted 10 September 2005 - 10:36 PM
Posted 11 September 2005 - 11:21 AM
However, another ballerina from an earlier generation, whose name I think should be added to the discussion is Ludmila Semenyaka's. I also only saw her dance the role just once, but for a variety of reasons it was one of the most memorable performances I have ever seen.
Semenyaka was a "cooler" Odette than some ballet goers may like, but I found her magnificent; the sheer beauty of her arabesque at the end of Act IV transcended the somewhat banal Soviet happy ending to become an embodiment of otherworldly purity and beauty. Well...that's how I remember it! (She was also a magnificent Odile and in the third act pas de deux danced the single most exciting coda I have ever seen--utterly secure and exquisitely placed while dancing with simply inhuman speed.)
I see less ballet these days than I used to, but of today's ballerinas I especially regret not having seen Lopatkina, Dvorovenko, and Part in this role--and having seen Bussell only when she was very young. Among the ballerinas today that I have seen (Kowroski, Meunier, Kent, Ananiashvilli and Guillem) only the last two seemed to take command of the ballet and give a fully fledged ballerina performance. For me, though, Guillem's performance was the more distinctive and poetic. (When I see something that qualifies in my eyes as "ballerina" I don't like to get too hung up on rankings, but if I had to rank, I would still name Makarova and Semenyaka as the best Odettes I have seen.)
I certainly enjoyed aspects of the performances given by the other dancers I mentioned. Kowroski at her most moving turns her long, long legs and slowly unfolding extensions into controlled-yet-wild expressions of Odette's desire, but the two time I saw her I didn't always feel that her qualities carried equally through the whole ballet or even through the entirety of the white acts. But she is certainly, along with Guillem, the one person in the list I gave of Odettes I have seen (and still dancing) whom, given the chance, I would be eager to see repeatedly in the role.
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