Thank you, Shirabyoshi, and welcome. I remember reading that quote and liking it. I agree with Ashton (I usually do).
Thank you for this kind response; I was worried I'd come across as the Devil's Advocate. ;) I do find criticism and technical discussions interesting, but usually I come to Ballet Alert to read that kind of thing *after* I've seen and enjoyed something. I don't like my first impressions to be clouded by, ah, carping. I'd rather have my simple fun first!
And to make this post on-topic...
My nomination for Most Quotable Ballerina (sorry, Cristian) is Maria Alexandrova of the Bolshoi. Herewith some favourites from my Masha File, collected from various interviews found online.
"I've never wanted to be Number One, but I have always wanted to excel. As I see it, those are two very different things. To be the first, is to be a hero for a day, while the next moment someone else takes one's place. To excel, has to do with duration; it is a long-term process."
"I do not care to be typecast in the heroico-dramatic genre, and refuse to accept that I am incapable of doing so many other things. I revolt, I will not have someone tell me beforehand that I can or cannot do a certain thing, or that it would be wrong to attempt it. The artist learns so much from error. One is entitled to err, provided one be prepared to acknowledge one's own errors, prepared to go beyond oneself to put them right."
"Modern ballet? There are wonderful artists, and ideas that start out well, but somehow, one ends up spinning round in a vicious circle. Both in the literal, and in the figurative sense, I see in modern ballet a kind of over-simplification, despite an apparent complexity. Classical technique is hard perhaps, to grasp straightaway, but it is nonetheless simple and logical in its execution. It has amplitude, it moves through several dimensions of space. Modern ballets strike one as flat."
Which modern choreographers would she like to work with? "I have not danced all classical ballets yet. When it happens I would like to be asked this question again. And the answer will be different. But at the moment I am still thinking about classics."
Who amongst the dancers of the past does she consider an ideal ballerina? "The list is long. Shall I start with Taglioni or even earlier? They all were imperfect, because they were human. And this is what makes them wonderful."
"Through expression, through one's soul, one can make up for certain flaws, whereas the other way round is harder: technique alone will never convey in an instant the lightness, the enthusiasm and then, in the next instant, sadness. One cannot enrich an idea with technique."
"I spend most of my time with ballet -- this beautiful, but very difficult, profession. And it is a wonderful profession: today, I may be a slave in ancient Egypt, tomorrow, an 18th century queen, and the day after tomorrow, Balanchine's ballerina in the 20th century, and then again an innkeeper's daughter, or the head of a Roman Legion. What other girl in the 21st century can afford all that, and be so different? This is my game, and I play it with pleasure."
"The incentive for my art is neither praise, nor critics, but only my interest. I am in ballet because I am deeply in love."