Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Technique or Personality?


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
57 replies to this topic

Poll: Technique or Personality? (1 member(s) have cast votes)

Technique or Personality?

  1. technique (30 votes [31.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.91%

  2. personality (64 votes [68.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 68.09%

Vote

#31 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 31 March 2002 - 07:43 PM

Well, Paul, maybe it was just an off night for them or a "bad hair day" - the wigs that a number of the men wore were certainly horrible:rolleyes: yes, wigs! I think it was to give them a courtly look or something but they were stiff and obviously Wig-like. The odd thing was that other male dancers within the corps did not have wigs on - most had short hair except one or two with shoulder length hair that had it slicked back and held in place with bobby pins... OK, so I had my binoculars but I have never, ever been able to see bobby pins in anyone's hair - and I could see them in all the women's too! It kind of spoils the magic, if you know what I mean!

Now my comments are all going to be based on impressions - not their technique as I am not capable of seeing all the particulars of that. Their costumes were not very attractive either - no colors except black, white, a somber gold and maybe a brown... What happened to the Spanish dancer's red? Instead the dancer who had the lead in the Spanish Princess's dance had a white romantic tutu with black swirls placed strategically over each breast so that she reminded me either of some sort of Valkyrie or a stripper. It was very distracting to see these bulls eyes on her bodice!

In my opinion there not much "life" was shown by the dancers. I didn't detect any joy or electricity... I happen to like Swan Lake and this one just didn't have any drama that seemed believable in it...the "acting" was seriously lacking on Saturday night.

I also found it a bit presumptuous to read in the program that he was "considered the greatest living choreographer in the world today"!

As I said, maybe it was an off night Paul...I hope so.

#32 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 31 March 2002 - 08:04 PM

BW, I believe you... it sounds like an exhausting evening for you.

and it sounds like Grigorovitch can't get the best dancers any more......

But here WAS a time when people claimed he was the worlds' greatest choreographer, as others claimed that Ashton was, and Americans claimed that it was self-evident that Balanchine was.....

#33 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 31 March 2002 - 08:20 PM

I believe you too Paul! And your point is well taken about everyone's claims as to their own choreographer being "the best". :)

#34 leibling

leibling

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 209 posts

Posted 01 April 2002 - 11:21 AM

I voted for personality- interpreting the poll to be asking for the difference between personality or amazing technique. What is interesting- someone mentioned this above, is that technique does enhance the personality. I don't mean the technique of thirty two double fouettes on a dime- I mean the "simple" technique of how to move the body.

#35 Nanatchka

Nanatchka

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 374 posts

Posted 09 April 2002 - 03:24 PM

"You need technique to free your spirit."
Martha Graham

#36 Guest_pavlovadancer_*

Guest_pavlovadancer_*
  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 19 April 2002 - 01:38 AM

Originally posted by bhough
I am finding this discussion quite interesting, as I have been experiencing the mostly painful process of company auditions.  It seems almost impossible to demonstrate your "personality" at the typical audition, when bar work and combinations are what the auditioners are looking at.  That seems to be what gets you the initial acceptance into a company and then they work on personality.  It seems as if much of this mystical "personality" comes from within the artist themselves, however, and it is a shame that they aren't hiring personality with the potential to improve technique (and I am speaking in terms of a high level of technique).  I would much rather watch an "artist" with some technical flaws  then a "technician" with artistic flaws.  After all, isn't this what dance, and ballet in particular, is all about?


I do agree with bhough, however, if you are all personality that certainly not appealing, as is all technique.

#37 balletstar18

balletstar18

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 31 posts

Posted 21 April 2002 - 04:31 PM

While a dancer must have a combination of both to catch my attention, I think personality would win, although a dancer with even the best personality would have to have adaquete technique as well, or the flaws would distract me from the personality. So many times you see a dancer with gorgeous technique and a blank face, they're just so boring to watch :)

#38 smile

smile

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts

Posted 25 April 2002 - 04:12 PM

I chose personality because that is the ting that attracts my eye the most. All dancers have a high level of technique, they wouldn't get into a company if they didn't. But the ones who make it big are the one's that just have a presence about them. They make you feel.
gwschloss

#39 BryMar1995

BryMar1995

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts

Posted 01 May 2002 - 06:43 AM

Somehow I feel that "personality" isn't quite the right word. I feel as if that implies that a performer is or should be trying to draw attention to him or herself by smiling at the audience, being artificially coy, flirting or showing off. (When a dancers asks me, "Should I be smiling at the audience here? I always lose it, and have to count to 10. My weakness). "Persona" works better for me. To me that means how an artist is present in the dance. Technique, or maybe pyrotechnique, is certainly a component, as a dancer needs ability and confidence to wrap their artistry around a given role. Physical beauty is a plus but not always. Musicality, timeing and phrasing, spontanaeity, abandon, introspection, mystery, sensitivity, joy, openess, generousity, honesty and humility are traits that draw me to a dancer. Some of these traits can and should be taught in technique class. Some other traits we can support and encourage when training or coaching dancers. Some of these traits are simply (or maybe not so simply) part of what makes an individual unique and interesting as an artist. But if a dancer is trying to make the dance serve them by trying too hard to make the audience notice them, I usually hide behind my program - can't watch it. If they are overindulgent with physical ability or artificial expression, I am turned right off. On the other hand, if the dancer is serving the dance with skill, focus, joy, honesty, and generousity, I am more compelled. They reach me by drawing me in to them. I am no longer simply watching a dancer, I connect to a very special person. I am filled up with their dancing, and am grateful for their gift to me. That is artistry.

I often felt that the directive "Don't act! Just do the steps!" (Paraphrased here, I'm sure, and usually given for abstract ballets that are about, among other things, music and structure) is misleading or misunderstood (my opinion, of course, and not intended to offend). It means for me rather "Cut the histrionics! Listen to the music. Dance how you feel, and with everything you've got. But most of all, be yourself when you dance - as honestly and as openly as you can!"

Rick

#40 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 01 May 2002 - 09:34 AM

RIck, I have to agree with your list of the qualities that draw you in to the appreciation of a dancer's engagement with the materials of the dance -- especially modesty.... I remember reading Danilova's response to a question, what's the most important quality in a ballerina -- her response was "Modesty," which was like an eye-opener for me.......... I hadn't expected THAT, but of course, as soon as you hear it, you realize, it's the key. I've since started to LOOK for it, just like I look for the vanilla flavor in any dessert -- it's there in everything, including chocolate.. I remember seeing it in Mukhamedov when the Bolshoi came here in like 1990 -- at hte curtain calls, he kept sending everybody else forward and hung back, not making a big deal about it, just as if to say, we each do our parts, I;'ve been out front plenty already, you guys go get some attention... it was wonderful. it was not designed to get attention, it was real generosity....

Old sufi tale -- the pasha asks the sufi how to become generous, and the sufi tells the pasha, sire it will be almost impossible for you, for what you want iss hte reputation for generosity, and you can not get real generosity till you have destoryed the desire for appearing to have it....

Last night ath the Isadora Duncan Awards ceremony here in San Francisco, Joanna Berman said the most remarkable thing when she received the award for her performance in Sleeping Beauty..... She said she'd found in that perfrmance she'd had to let go of her plans... she hadn't really quite expected to do the role at all, she was coming back from surgery on her foot, and , well, Sleeping Beauty!!! and then her partner kept getting injured, 2 or three of them..... the person she danced it with (who was wonderful) didn't start working with her till that day, the day of hte perfromance itself.... so she was just going to have to let it happen, let it be what it was going to be....., but when she went out there she noticed she felt a new kind of freedom, a wonderful way of being onstage... she'd tried to hold on to it and take it with her into future performances..... She'd thought it was a private experience and was surprised to think it had been seen, and it was swonderful to have it remembered and singled out for an award so long after the fact...

#41 LaFilleMalGardee

LaFilleMalGardee

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts

Posted 21 May 2002 - 08:05 AM

I didn't vote. I think that Technique and Personality should go together. A dancer with just personality you might look at and think ick! And then a dancer with just technique would be really boring.

#42 beckster

beckster

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts

Posted 29 May 2002 - 04:26 AM

I voted for technique. The one thing I do love is seeing a perfect corps de ballet, where every single person is absolutely the same as everyone else. I think this is probably the hardest thing to do and I admire it. And I hate seeing a sloppy corps de ballet with legs and arms all at different angles. I wonder if I am unusual in seeing the big picture on the stage rather than the big names. I almost prefer the corps de ballet to the principals, if they are good.

#43 PK

PK

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 67 posts

Posted 05 June 2002 - 07:33 AM

It's expected for a dancer in a top company to have great technique.But much more rare is the dancer with what you may refer to as personality-I call it musicality,soul,the extra quality I don't always see alongside that technique.

#44 ballet_shalom_forever

ballet_shalom_forever

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 8 posts

Posted 22 June 2002 - 04:18 PM

did anyone say...Staurday night Live ?!?!?! hehe

anyways, I've noticed that soem dancers have SUCH great presence on stage that it's hard to say "her turn out is ony 176 dergees" because they radiate charme and confidence...I can't stand to watch dancers with blank faces, for me, it would just take the focus away from the technique.
b_s:)

#45 sarez

sarez

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 23 June 2002 - 09:17 AM

Yes I agree... I had this teacher who had the most amazing technique, but when she danced there was no emotion on her face, it was like staring at a wall. Even though it is essential to have a certain emount of good technique, dancers also have the convey the story or emotion of what they're dancing.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):