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Ballerinas You've Never Seen


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Poll: Ballerinas You've Never Seen (0 member(s) have cast votes)

Ballerinas You've Never Seen

  1. Suzanne Farrell (14 votes [14.58%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.58%

  2. Margot Fonteyn (21 votes [21.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.88%

  3. Tamara Karsavina (14 votes [14.58%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.58%

  4. Gelsey Kirkland (15 votes [15.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.62%

  5. Anna Pavlova (18 votes [18.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.75%

  6. Galina Ulanova (14 votes [14.58%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.58%

Vote

#1 Ari

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 05:29 PM

Reading Ballet Alert, we get to learn of dancers we've never heard of before. The frustrating part is knowing that we'll never be able to see what others rave about! So, which of all the 20th century ballerinas listed above do you most regret not having seen? I'm assuming that you'd have gotten to see them at the height of their powers.

The poll structure limits me to six choices, so I've had to leave out some very worthy candidates. But don't let that stop you. If your favorite isn't listed, tell us who she is and why you miss not having seen her. And even if you vote for one of the listed choices, tell us why. That's the fun part. :)

My own choice isn't on the list: Tanaquil le Clerq. I chose her for several reasons. First, I've always been fascinated by the photos I've seen of her—she looks so elegant and witty. Second, the accounts of her dancing I've read have suggested that she had quite an individual character, unlike most dancers. Third, she had a big influence on Balanchine's ballerina style, and echoes of her dancing can, according to certain writers, still be seen in NYCB women today. And finally, there's the irresistible appeal of her tragic story. None of us will ever know what she would have been like in her maturity, but I would love to have been able to imagine, based on having seen her in her youth.

So, whom do you pick?

#2 Helena

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 10:52 PM

The result is going to be a bit unbalanced, because some of us will have seen Farrell and Fonteyn and Kirkland, whereas nobody will have seen Karsavina or Pavlova. I voted for Ulanova, whereas I'd have voted for Fonteyn if I'd never seen her. Every thing I've ever heard about Ulanova has been positive, and some well-known English critic - unfortunately I can't remember who - once said that he knew without question that Ulanova was the greatest ballerina he had ever seen, and that after her Fonteyn stood far above any rival.

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 06:47 AM

I'd echo Helena's comments completely! In fact, I was just about to post something similar.

I, too, have seen Farrell, Fonteyn and Kirkland. Had I not, I would have probably chosen Fonteyn. The others I haven't seen and I, too, voted for Ulanova -- I've seen enough on video to know that I missed something quite wonderful. I want not only Giselle, Odette and Juliet, but The Red Poppy and The Fountains of Baksichirai!

It is interesting, though, how many people didn't see Farrell (from the votes). I think of her as retiring just yesterday :) (It's a few more years than that!)

#4 pville

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 03:11 PM

I'll opt for a non-option ... allegra kent. If her dancing was anywhere near as fascinating as her life was, it must have been a site to behold

#5 glebb

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 05:18 PM

I've seen Fonteyn, Kirkland and Farrell live, and seen Ulanova and Pavlova on film.

I want to see Karsavina, (and Kschessinska). :)

Will someone please invent that time machine already?
:eek:

#6 Mel Johnson

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 05:43 PM

Someplace, there's a film of Karsavina dancing the role of Karissima in the Sir James M. Barrie play, The Truth About the Russian Dancers. The play was not-very-loosely based on the courtship of Lydia Lopokova and John Maynard Keynes, and Karsavina did her (non-speaking starring) role as a parody of her friend, who had the film sequence made. I've seen it, and it's both funny and touching. Karsavina is supposed to have "arranged" her own dance material, IIRC.

#7 Danielle DeVor

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 06:30 PM

My choice is also not on the list. I have seen the others via video, I wish I could have seen them live. But I honestly would ahve loved to see Maria Tallchief dance. As far as I know, I don't think any of her dancing is on video.

#8 Melissa

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 07:31 PM

Like Ari, I would have loved to see Tanaquil LeClerq dance. Alas, I wasn't alive during her career. I was supposed to see my favorite ballerina, Natalia Makarova, perform Swan Lake in 1980, but she was injured and was replaced by Cynthia Gregory. Though Gregory was fabulous, I've never gotten over the heartbreak of seeing Makarova dance.

Melissa

#9 Mel Johnson

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Posted 23 May 2002 - 04:00 AM

Tallchief's Flower Festival in Genzano pas de deux was shown on the old Bell Telephone Hour (with Rudolf Nureyev), and I believe a video has been compiled of many of those old programs. This is one for rg; that's one of his extra-specialized areas of expertise!:)

#10 atm711

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Posted 23 May 2002 - 12:02 PM

I chose Karsavina---one has only to look at those gorgeous photos of her in 'Carnaval', 'Giselle', or 'Petrouchka' to realize what you have missed. As to a non-option, I'd like to see Spessivtzeva.

#11 Mel Johnson

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Posted 23 May 2002 - 06:58 PM

I danced with Spessivtzeva once, at the Tolstoi Foundation. She was about 80, I think.

#12 E Johnson

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Posted 24 May 2002 - 08:07 AM

The NYCB gift shop at the NYState theater is selling a video that is a compilation of all of Tallchief's appearances on the Bell telephone hour.

#13 Nanatchka

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Posted 24 May 2002 - 08:56 AM

Of the dancers on that list I have seen, the one I wouldn't have missed is Farrell. (However, I only saw Fonteyn late in the game, when she was dancing with Rudi.) I just wish I had seen Farrell sooner, and more. Of course when you saw her you got to see Balanchine (okay, maybe Bejart, so I ought to be careful what I wish for). I remember Tallchief as Firebird--since I was (really) a very little girl, she made a big impression. In fact, she still does.The dancer I would most like to have seen (and didn't) isn't a ballerina. He's Paul Taylor. As a Ballet Alert concession,I'd be willing to see him during his appearances with NYCB!

#14 jude

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Posted 25 May 2002 - 02:22 PM

ill 2nd that nomination for Maria tallcheif. wat would i give to see the ballerina that started it all off!

#15 Giannina

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Posted 27 May 2002 - 06:05 PM

Spissevtzena is my choice. (Mel, do I have to write her name as small as you did?)

Giannina


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