Posted 16 December 2002 - 08:56 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by grace
interesting discussion. i haven't responded to a poll before: this is quite fun!
i have seen fonteyn and kirkland live. i have seen ulanova up close, and watched her coach - but have not seen her dance, except on film.
i have seen farrell on video - lots.
that leaves just karsavina and pavlova as complete unknowns - although i have seen quite a few snippets of pavlova on film.
so i voted for pavlova - to experience what made her so great.
however, i do find this an odd list.... [QUOTE]
Hi Grace --
I would like to second your nomination of Makarova, whom I had the pleasure of seeing in person on more than one occasion. Her technique was gorgeous and her stage presence utterly commanding.
To be sure, she was notorious for her demands on her colleagues -- partners could grasp her at only designated spots, conductors could use only her preferred tempi (the slower the better, to show off her creamy style), and her appearance was often delayed by physical problems. Later in her career, for instance, she would delay her appearance in the Black Swan pdd for several measures, so that she needed to complete only 12 or 14 fouettes, rather than the traditional 36.
At the same time, I give her much honor for being the first internationally renowned star to become a mother. At an age when doctors usually advise women to avoid pregnancy, she successfully bore a son and returned to the stage.
For many years, dancers were advised to avoid marriage and children: to cite a melodramatic example, The Red Shoes. When I was born my mother -- a youthful dancer -- was told she was "too muscular" to avoid complications. But Natasha carried it off. There are, I know, many ballerina mothers today, but Makarova deserves credit for leading the charge.