Posted 28 March 2002 - 09:18 AM
Posted 28 March 2002 - 11:28 AM
Thank you for the question. I hope others who've seen Malakhov dance more often will be able to give a better picture.
Posted 29 March 2002 - 09:23 PM
Having said that -- Malakhov is my favorite for a reason, and I think a case can be made that he is, taken altogether, the finest male ballet dancer of our time. People who refer to him as the "Nuryevev of our years" probably mean no more than that. The qualities I appreciate about Malakhov include his remarkable line -- the wonderfully full, sustained, 'stretched' quality of his movements -- and his striking stage presence. He is (in my opinion) one of the few male dancers today who know how to run across a stage or, indeed, how to walk or even stand in such a way as to command the stage entirely. His performances in the nineteenth-century repertory also show great attention to dramatic as well as dance detail. Even in an absurd, secondary role -- the expanded "Rothbart" of Mckenzie's Swan Lake -- he manages to create an entire world. His best performances are always 'complete;' I don't really know how else to put it. There is a quality of imagination that expresses itself directly in a very pure, elegant-yet-intense balletic style. (He actually reminds me more of Anthony Dowell than Nureyev -- but all great dancers are sui generis.)
I have not found him to be %100 consistent, and I suspect that his virtuoso technique is not as strong as it once was. Still, in trying to think of someone else I admire as much, who is still dancing today, I can really only come up with one name, Peter Boal, and Boal's repertory is entirely different. However, there are top European male dancers I have seen little or not at all...
Posted 30 March 2002 - 06:49 AM
Posted 30 March 2002 - 04:28 PM
I had never seen a male dancer who looked so beautiful.... Nureyev was androgynous, and, in a way, Malakhov resembles him -- the same coloring, high cheekbones, large eyes, beautiful ribs, clear center, beautiful hip-bones -- but Malakhov has much longer and more beautiful legs, and the most beautiful feet I've ever seen on a guy.... he is really more refined, more elegant, both in hte body GOd gave him and in the way he uses it -- though he's still young, Nureyev, GOd grant him rest, trashed his instrument and kept on stumbling around out there.... well, let's not go there....
Creation of the world is a character ballet, and Adam is as much acting -- Malakhov was wonderfully naif, like a boyish Bambi -- as it is dancing, and he was a wonderfully imaginative actor. SO I can't compare him with someone I've seen do Swan Lake or Giselle or Dances at a Gathering -- though I'd sure like to see him DO Dances at a Gathering, and Apollo.... I do know he made me want to see him in anything
When he did grand jete, the grand battement was so long , so light, and it involved lifting and OFFERING the foot so sensitively -- but with plenty of power, it was not languid dancing, not a t all -, his front leg flew up so lightly, his torso rode the wave, and his back leg stretched out behind and followed hte curve of hte jump -- I'd never seen such a clear "up and over" leap before....
Posted 06 June 2002 - 12:13 PM
Last week he danced the first movement in Symphony in C (with Paloma Herrera) and I thought he was marvelous. He *is* like a long legged Nureyev -- they have the same way of pouncing into a step -- but he can remain a part of the ensemble. He was one of eight principals, but not a STAR here, and I liked him very much for that.
The dancing itself was very clean, very elegant and very sophisticated -- and joyous. He's not well-matched with Herrera (though this is one of her best roles). He's too small for her and they just don't seem a match made in Ballet Heaven. But he partnered her beautifully.
A surprise performance, but one I'm glad I saw. Wish he was doing Oberon in Dream!
Posted 06 June 2002 - 05:30 PM
I don't remember if he's dancing with McKerrow at all this season, but they're well worth catching together.
A dance teacher of mine likes to remember the happy surprise she had one day discovering Malakhov in her class, and described him to me as a cross between Nureyev and Anthony Dowell. Although this sounded like hyperbole at the time (and lots of it!), she really wasn't so far over the top. He has Dowell's refinement and singing line in arabesque, as well as more then a dash of Nureyev's brilliance and power. It makes me sad that he seems lately to be cast more in second or third banana roles (I mean, Lankehndam?). It does also seem that his technique is not what it once was, but he's still as refined and graceful as ever.
While he's certainly not the only classy man at ABT (Marcelo Gomes exudes class, for instance), he's certainly the classiest, for reasons Alexandra has already mentioned.
And thanks for the beautiful description, Paul. That really does catch him to a T.
Posted 16 June 2002 - 05:07 PM
As my mother and I watched the ballet, we agreed that while Corella and Stiefel may jump higher and turn more than Malakhov, one can see the amount of strength that they put forth into each of their virtuostic movements. With Malakhov's dancing, there is a floating, stretched quality that masks all of the physical exertion (or lack thereof) that he goes through.
I know that the different roles that these men have in 'Le Corsaire' will affect how strenuous it can be, but I'm still convinced that for Malakhov, dancing is a piece of cake.
So to prove my point, I also took a look at a video made in Soviet-era Russia called '30 Variations'. It was thirty variations danced by various principals/soloists, and a very young Malakhov was among them. Even at such an early age, he had the most beautiful suspended lines out of all those in the static-laced video. One could not find an ounce of a tense, strained look in his face or in his dancing. It completely knocked me away when he proceeded, in one of the variations, to do some entrechat-sixes, and I looked around the screen desperately for wires carrying him over the ground. I couldn't, and to this day I am still wondering how he dances like he does.
Posted 17 June 2002 - 08:34 AM
Posted 17 June 2002 - 10:30 AM
My knee-joints would always pop in sympathy. They're aching now just thinking about it.
Part of the thrill is that Malakhov makes it all look so easy, springing up into that soutenu like it was nothing at all!
Sometimes when I'm in a flippant mood I wonder if Bournonville (or was it Beck) was so fond of tossing in similar steps to keep the young whippersnappers at bay -- "Heh. You think you're hot stuff? You get the solo with the grande plies. Let's see how cocky you you are after your knees blow out!"
Posted 17 June 2002 - 10:34 AM
Malakhov also puts those deep plies into La Sylphide, I've been told -- I've never seen it. So did Peter Schaufuss, but so did Poul Gnatt, the James of the late 1940s and early 1950s. I can't date them before that, but the second solo in Napoli II (Beck, as you pointed out) uses them and about 100 years ago now.
Posted 10 July 2002 - 01:46 AM
Posted 10 July 2002 - 05:58 AM
Posted 14 July 2002 - 07:30 AM
Posted 14 July 2002 - 09:03 AM
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