Alexandra

Quotable Quotes

214 posts in this topic

Anton Dolin & John Gilpin visited Olga Spessivtzeva to interview her for the "A Portrait of Giselle" documentary. Dolin reminisced about the first time they danced "Giselle" together. Here's two memorable quotes from her, (source

"A Portrait of Giselle" Kultur dvd).

Spessivtzeva to Dolin: "I don't know where(ish) you came from; I know I dance vit you."

On her friendship with Karsavina: "Beautiful lady, beautiful lady: Best dancer - best woman."

Kavanagh's "Nureyev" is full of doozies. Here's one priceless remark after he and Sizova won the Gold medal at the 1959 Vienna World Youth Festival. It was a three way tie for the Gold: Sizova & Nureyev, Makarova & Soloviev, and Maximova & Vasiliev. He sent Sizova to accept the award for both of them telling her:

"I don't need that equality." (p. 75)

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Portrait of Giselle has some great quotes.

I also love when Dolin asks Spessivtseva about Lifar. "Oh, he was not too bad," she says, carefully. "But not too good either, right?" They both chuckle.

Then there's Tamara Karsavina reminiscing about her wardrobe malfunction way back when, and how Pavlova had run up to her screaming. "Naturally, I cried." For some reason I always love that quote.

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From Kavanagh's "Nureyev", on Nureyev's words to friend Patrick Thevenon:

"I will never return to my country, but i truly believe that i will never be happy in yours".

Rudolf Nureyev

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Maurice Bejart (RIP) on Mme. Alonso:

"She is extraordinary.Alicia is passionate, ironic, willful and tireless, possessed entirely by dance and, somehow, simply enebriated by Cuba, by her homeland. She is romantic but lucid, instinctive and intelligent, almost blind but clairvoyant. One of these days, I must make a ballet about this extraordinary being.''

Maurice Bejart.

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While reading an online article in the Miami Herald, i found this interesting quote from Mme Alicia Alonso, as a request to President George Bush.

"Let us work together so that Cuban artists and writers can take their talent to the United States, and that you are not prevented from coming to our island to share your knowledge and values. So that a song, a book, a scientific study or a choreographic work are not considered, in an irrational way, crimes."

.

Alicia Alonso

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From the last page of the December/January Pointe Magazine --a Q&A with Larissa Ponomarenko, Boston Ballet principal dancer.

Q: How would you like to be remembered?

A: It is not important to me if I am am remembered. In this crazy world, I would rather have people remember not to forget their kids in the car!"

As a resident of Florida, where there are a surprpising number of news stories about just such lapses of memory, my response is: :)

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Clement Crisp on the lack of preservation of ballet on film. Written almost 25 years ago.

"I am haunted by the impermanence of ballet. I find it tragic that in the century of the cinema, when newsreel film has preserved eighty years of nonentities, from the greasiest political opportunists to pop-singers, there is not one frame of the Diaghilev Ballet in action; that Nijinsky is to be seen only in five seconds of film that show an old man walking from his Vienna hotel. Even in the past thirty years a dismaying number of great ballets and great dancers have been lost to posterity."

"Even an exceptional dancer lately retired, Lynn Seymour, cannot be seen as Juliet or Anastasia, two of her superlative roles. Ballet-lovers of a hundred years hence will know of these dancers through still photographs and the critics' words. They will not forgive us."

Notes. The Nature of Dance Scholarship: The Critic's Task
. by Clement Crisp.
Dance Research
, Vol 1 No 1 Spring 1983, page 125

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DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THOSE FIVE SECONDS OF NIJINSKY CAN BE FOUND????????

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Clement Crisp on the lack of preservation of ballet on film. Written almost 25 years ago.

"Even an exceptional dancer lately retired, Lynn Seymour, cannot be seen as Juliet or Anastasia, two of her superlative roles. Ballet-lovers of a hundred years hence will know of these dancers through still photographs and the critics' words. They will not forgive us."

I think of this time to time and find that it is a shame so many great performers are not captured in action. Lynn Seymour is a good example. What is left behind on film or tape? Just a too late version of Giselle and an unlikely appearance as the Sugar Plum Fairy with Nureyev on one of those multi-episode shows like "Magic of the Dance".

Oh, an appearance on the Met Centennial Gala as Isadora Duncan.

I saw her as Juliet, Anastasia, and Giselle and wish I could remember more of what I saw. But I was very young at the time. I do remember that her Giselle in the early 70's is not well served by the so-so film made towards the end of that decade.

Perhaps there are some more momentos in the TV archives.

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Perhaps there are some more momentos in the TV archives.
There's Natalia Petrovna from Month in the Country on film, which she created and which has never been the same without her.

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In his review of the Ailey company's performance of Bejart's Firebird, Alastair Macaulay gives this quote from Clement Crisp: “Béjart and Stravinsky is one of those fabled partnerships, like Romeo and Goneril, or bacon and strawberries.”

And speaking of Mr. Crisp's comments about the evanescence of ballet, part of the problem is lack of companies creating filmed documentation, which, however inadequate it may be, is at least something. It is interesting that the NYCB has been more careful about this than most, thanks to the New York Public Library. With the cooperation of the organizations involved, the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library regularly documents theatrical events in the city, and its listing of NYCB films is mind-boggling - well over a thousand of Balanchine ballets in performance, rehearsal and discussion from almost every period of the company's existence. I didn't even dare check the Jerome Robbins collection, which is also immense (well - the dance section is named for him!). As for the Balanchine listings, by about item 500 I was too dizzy to continue, but anyone who has the time and patience can go through the catalog. I don't know that even the Russians have preserved such a record.

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In his review of the Ailey company's performance of Bejart's Firebird, Alastair Macaulay gives this quote from Clement Crisp: "Béjart and Stravinsky is one of those fabled partnerships, like Romeo and Goneril, or bacon and strawberries."

:)

Wow! This is priceless. Perhaps we should have a subthread for Crisp's Quips.

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"She moves in life. Her feet, her torso, her arms, neck, and eyes, are one continuing action, taking their dynamic from her meaning. She talks. Her heart is open. Here is the essence of a dancer. It is her core she gives us; it is our core,"

Agnes de Mille on Mme. Alicia Alonso

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"I think that science has advanced so much we do not have to put a limit at 200 years. Let's see what science comes up with. Are you tired of living? I'm not" .

Mme. Alicia Alonso on willing to live as much as she can... :sweatingbullets:

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Alicia Alonso

“Life is not unjust with anyone,” she says in an interview with The Associated Press. “One is unjust with life because it always increasing[ly] demands you to do what you really can do.”

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From Kavanagh's "Nureyev":

Rudolf to Margot Fonteyn:

"You were The Dance"...

"No, said Margot reaching for Rudolf's hand..."We were The Dance...!"

:wink:

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I found this on Zizi Jeanmaire's IMDb page. It would be nice, but pretty ordinary, without the last part 'a way to grow old' as well as 'a way to go on...' That makes it wise and inspiring--and therefore not secretly slightly depressing.

"As you get older you become more understanding. When I was young it was all about me. I was very egocentric. Now it is a pleasure to work with young people who have talent. It is a continuity for me. It is a way to go on...and, I think, a way to grow old."

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Gwen Verdon to Fonteyn, in ballet class in NY: "Look at us, the last of the red-hot mamas."

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''Art has no homeland, but I do. I am Cuban. And I am a dancer. For a Cuban, dancing is the most natural thing in the world."

Mme. Alicia Alonso :flowers:

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Diana Vishneva, asked whether she wanted to give up or ever felt bad about herself, writes:

I have received interest to ballet only for the second year of study at school when have received the first successes. Unfortunately, ballerinas often feel badly. But successes and results are a good medicine.

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From Alistair Macaulay's review of "Divertimento from 'La Baiser de la Fee," NY Times, 2/9/08:

"Watching this, as so often when watching the Balanchine repertory, I think it is reasonable to suggest that Balanchine and Beckett were the two supreme dramatists of the 20th century."

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Laura Linney on her Hollywood status...

"I don't consider myself a celebrity and I don't consider myself a star." -

Laura Linney

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Mme. Alonso on her adoration of Giselle:

"I can't wait to see Giselle staged in Mars!"

Mme. Alicia Alonso

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From Nina Ananiashvili, quoted in today's Links:

Her message for young dancers:

I think we do this for people, because life has become so computerized, we have forgotten how to talk to one other. We do this for the future, for our kids. Ballet brings back human love and human life — we need to have contact with each other during these crazy times. If you see good theater, good art, you don’t want go out and kill people, you know? If you get inspired, you want to tell other people, to share it. Once, a postman told me he used to love opera the most, but then he saw me dancing on television, and he began to really like ballet. That is why I do this job—to make people happy. There are times after a performance when fans will come to me and say that they feel lucky in their lifetime to have seen me dance. This is wonderful. It reminds me that as a dancer, you really don’t live for nothing. You live for something.

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Henning Kronstam:

"I did
Sonnambula
for twenty years. Then you really get into the role, and you really know what it's all about. But now, with five performances, maybe with two casts, I think it's mad. The audience gets cheated and the dancers get cheated because they never get the feeling of owning the roles."

from
Henning Kronstam: Portrait of a Danish Dancer
by Alexandra Tomalonis. page 145

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