Leonid, I agree with you completely about the Russian Imperial era idea of the danseur noble, but what I wrote above I have read in several British and American reviews and books, including ballet history texts, and in interviews with dancers. (That there was a view that Siegfried did not have virtuoso steps because Gerdt was in his 50s when he created the role, and that Benno took part in the pas de deux because the aging Gerdt needed the assistance.) I"m not saying this view is correct, but it is in many books and articles.
Unfortunately, I think "Swan Lake" has changed so that it can't be put back, and each generation seems to misunderstand it more and more. I hope I'm wrong on that one.
We had many discussions on this board when it was younger about employ, in both 19th century works and 20th century neoclassical works. The specific definitions of each genre have changed with each century, but, I agree with Leonid, the tradition is depleted.
Edited by Alexandra, 07 October 2008 - 07:28 PM.