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Who is your favorite Odette/Odile?

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#31 mjbelkin



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Posted 27 June 2007 - 10:06 AM

For me, it has to be Tamara Rojo - beautiful and delicate as Odette, and absolutely dazzling as Odile.

#32 vissi d'arte

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 12:03 PM

1. Agnes Letestú (on DVD)- for mee she's the Odette/Odile of our time
2 Nina Ananiashvili (on DVD) -beautiful in everthing she does, and lovely swan arms

1. Judith Simon. http://www.voiceofda...wanlakeswed.jpg
-especially for her Odette, but beautiful as Odile to
2. Marie Lindqvist. http://balletbooksto...ic/lindqv01.jpg
-impressing as Odile!
3. Nathalie Nordquist. http://balletbooksto...pic/nordq03.jpg
-the sweetest and lovliest Odette I've ever seen!!

#33 nin one

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:03 AM

Makarova in the '76 ABT production with Nagy; hands down. In addition to her technical perfection, her facial expressions are spot on.

#34 bart


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Posted 04 August 2007 - 10:23 AM

This is a hard one. I find that it helped to distinguish between several kinds of peformances ...

1) -- performances that are live as opposed to those which have been captured (and to an extent manipulated) on video. Several posters have already referred to this.

This is especially true when the seats are far away from the stage. I appreciate and remember very different things from a stage performance as compared to the closeness possible in a video performance. It's much easier to experience the entire trajectory of a characterization when I see it live, even if you lose some of the details.

2) -- seeing a dancer perform bits and pieces in gala pdds, dvd "highlights," and YouTube clips/ as contasted with watching her create, sustain, and modulate a role for an entire evening..

Many ballerinas stick in the memory in short versions. It's harder to come up with those who moved me -- and carried me along -- throughout the entire evening.

"Live" and "full-length" category/ the whole package: Fonteyn (with Nureyev, not necessarily an advantage, in the early 60s); a young Guillem (early 90s).

"Full-length video" category: Makarova with Dowell (Royal, 1982)

"Live/ highlights": Cynthia Gregory (ABT, 70s)

"Highlights on video": this changes all the time. Currently it's Plisetskaya.

#35 Mariano



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Posted 04 August 2007 - 10:45 AM

I have... how many? 12 or 15 Swan Lakes on DVD and have seen the ballet innumerable times in the theatre.

This is a hard question. The most mature, dramatic Odette/Odile is still Maya Plisetskaia, in my opinion. Gillian Murphy danced a seemless performance on the ABT DVD, that is technically speaking. Maybe the most lyrical and technically perfect second act was Alicia Alonso, whom I saw many times in the theatre.

#36 cubanmiamiboy


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Posted 06 August 2007 - 08:52 AM

Maybe the most lyrical and technically perfect second act was Alicia Alonso, whom I saw many times in the theatre.

at the Lorca, right? :bow: Oh, Mariano, THOSE were the times...! :wink:


#37 delibes



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Posted 06 August 2007 - 05:02 PM

Odette/Odile makes or breaks a Swan Lake, and I find it far more renewing and interesting when an O/O tells me something colossal and terrible about being imprisoned, rather than if she makes a more or less aesthetic swan. As long as her 'birdiness' is drawing me away from any 'reality' into the super-hyper-unreality where this bird-woman thing makes metaphorical sense, that's fine. But she doesn't have to 'be' a swanny maiden for the prison metaphor to work. I'm thinking of why above all the perhaps 80 O/Os I've seen (live) in 20 years, Uliana Lopatkina and Tamara Rojo affected me on an entirely separate scale than any others, 'great' though many of them are at swanlike beauty or classical delicacy or aerialness etc. Lopatkina & Rojo are wholly unalike, though they have both taken their technique to that rare level where they merely use the steps to express the ideas the ballet gives to them.
Rojo is all music, a vibrantly feminine, tender, and very 'present' vision that comes and goes in different guises as her Siegfried dreams her to be - she is about as 'human' an Odette as I have ever seen. She is sexually charged in both disguises, and there is real horror in seeing such a beautiful woman enslaved, and a real urgency in one's desire for her to be released. I suppose it's a modern kind of horror.
Lopatkina is elemental, she doesn't come across as a sensate woman you might meet, but something more like the mythical soul of a nation. Her Odette seems to be resigned, her feelings muted, after centuries of enchainment. Sexual attraction, trust, faith, all these things went long, long ago. She is like one of Michelangelo's stone slaves, a ravishing form struggling in vain out of cold stone.
It matters with Rojo who her Sigfried is, because that is how she fashions her performance. It really does not matter with Lopatkina, because she would represent the permanent suffering of the damned whoever the current villain was. They both fashion their Odiles with equal care, Rojo flamboyantly to dazzle, Lopatkina, on at least one occasion, to repel. Either way, the message about evil is irresistible and neckprickling. Rojo's finale is heartbreaking because she is lucky enough to have the Royal Ballet version to dance, and one's tears just pour; Lopatkina, who is made for tragedy, is saddled with the implausible Soviet 'happy' resolution which she never appears to believe in. I wonder if Lopatkina will ever get the right ending for the story she tells in her Swan Lake, or whether she will remain trapped in artificial optimism for all time.

#38 bart


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Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:41 PM

[ ... ] I find it far more renewing and interesting when an O/O tells me something colossal and terrible about being imprisoned, rather than if she makes a more or less aesthetic swan.

I love this insight..

It is a tribute to Rojo and Lopatkina that, out of all the Odette/Odiles you've seen, these two dancers stand out in your memory so vividly. And that they convey the dreadful emotional complexity of imprisonment in such different ways.

Thank you.

#39 87Sigfried87


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Posted 07 August 2007 - 12:57 AM

You are right.This is a tough question.Actually the most beautiful Odettes/odiles I've seen are: Svetlana Zakharova,Lopatkina and Lucia Lacarra.The first one I mention is the one I know better as I saw her many times and also in different roles.I'd say She has the perfect body to be a charming Odette: long legs with incredible arch,beatiful developpés no less than 180°,very thin and white skinned,very long and I have to say well used arms(as the majority of russian ballerinas do).What leaves me a little bit perplexed is her interpretation...too standard...and She's very selfish on the scene: if She's dancing a pas de deux with her partner,and for Swan lake It is often Roberto Bolle,she absolutely dances alone..Her only aim is to raise her legs up to the sky and do her nice penchés and attitudes and all of her steps but She doesn't even look at her partner or,whether she does,it is just a superficial look of circumstance.Then Lopatkina.I only saw her on YouTube so I can't really judge her properly but she's been awarded "Best Odette ever" in Russia and I have to admit that the pas de deux I saw was great and of big interpretative thickness.About Lucia Lacarra I can say almost the same.I'd like to find a good dvd with her performing Swan lake.

#40 ngitanjali


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Posted 12 August 2007 - 01:47 PM

The first Odette/Odile I saw was Gillian Murphy on ABT's DVD. Technically, marvelous, yet....she didn't strike me in the soul. I thought (in my youthful ignorance) that all Swan Lakes were supposed to be like that, and I held off on watching Swan Lake for a long time.

Then, quite by accident, I came across a photo of Yulia Makhalina as Odette, and that image struck me inside as 90 minutes of Gillian never could. I watched the White Act and I was left breathless, unable to move from my seat as everything I had hoped for and imagined came true. Odette, albeit silently, SPOKE to her Sigfried and her audience. The same happened as Odile. Though I didn't like Makhalina's Odile as much as I loved her Odette, I was mesmerized by both.

Lopatkina has done that to me too, Meznetseva, to a lesser degree, and, of course, Nina. They sing and mourn with their very arms and legs.

Of the older generation, I am not as picky, for they have that soul in their dancing that very few dancers now have. Ulanova, Semenova, and Plisetskaya transcend all expectations. Who cares if the legs aren't at 180 degrees? They were miles ahead of dancers now, with the pure depth of emotion.

So, after that long-winded rant :) my favorites are: Makhalina, Lopatkina, Ananishvilli, Meznetseva, Ulanova, Semenova, and Plisetskaya.

Is it odd that my favorites are mainly Vaganova trained?

#41 carbro


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Posted 12 August 2007 - 03:19 PM

Is it odd that my favorites are mainly Vaganova trained?

No. :)

#42 Alina



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Posted 12 August 2007 - 05:31 PM

Odile---Tatiana Terekhova

Odette--- Markarova

Odette/Odile--- tie: Nina Ananashvili, Larissa Ponomarenko- Boston Ballet

#43 Hans


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Posted 13 August 2007 - 03:05 PM

Is it odd that my favorites are mainly Vaganova trained?

As an enormous Vaganova/Kirov fan, I think it makes perfect sense. :tiphat:

#44 atm711


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Posted 14 August 2007 - 03:43 AM

From early on my favorite Odettes were Kirov (Maryinsky) trained. Danilova was (and still is) my gold standard for the role. I don't know if the Vaganova method had much to do with her training because she only studied with her during her last year at the School. After Danilova it was Makarova and then Ananiashvilli (this Bolshoi dancer managed to sneak in!); and presently, judging by the performance I saw last year (and waiting to see many more), Veronika Part.

#45 glebb


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Posted 14 August 2007 - 04:41 AM

Makarova, Makarova and Makarova!

I do have a soft spot for Plisetskaya (Odile) and her bouncing head feathers.

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