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Quotable Quotes


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#121 bart

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 11:28 AM

I do go to every performance. [...] When you do this, of course, you must realize that you're seeing something entirely different from everybody else. From someone who sees Swan Lake once a year. You become intimate with the work. With the way the dancers are performing. You begin noticing people in the corps. The choreography -- I can still be brought up short by a ballet I've seen over a hundred times. I'll come out and say, "Was that little such and such always there in the third movement?" and they'll say, "Well, yes, it was," and I say, "Oh, I never noticed it before." Of course, your mind wanders a good deal.

-- Edward Gorey, interviewed in Dance Magzine by Tobi Tobias, January 1974. Included in Asscending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey. (ed., Karen Wilkin, Harvest Book, 2001), p. 17.

Sounds wonderful :) ... though Gorey, whom many of us on Ballet Talk saw regularly in the City Center and NY State Theater lobbies, probably overdid it ... just a tiny bit.

#122 bart

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 02:43 PM

Ballet is the one form of theater where nobody speaks a foolish word all evening -- nobody on the stage at least.

-- Edwin Denby, 1947.

#123 carbro

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 08:12 PM

Ballet is the one form of theater where nobody speaks a foolish word all evening -- nobody on the stage at least.

-- Edwin Denby, 1947.

Yes, you do have to confine that distinction to what comes from the stage. :wink:

#124 Jemil Akman

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 01:28 AM

I am going to ad two quotes.

The first was from Marcel Marceau. He was describing a ronde jambe to a class of mimes and I was sitting in the audience. He said, "Think of it this way, someone has just dropped their wallet and you don't want them to see you push it behind you with your foot."

The second quote was from Linda Kintz (Prima Ballerina for Washington D.C.'S Late, lamented National Ballet). She and I were in a Pas De Deux class...actually, she and I were assisting the late Stanley Herbertt (from the old Ballet Theatre) as he gave the class. One teenage girl, with designs to go to New York to study, raised her hand and asked Linda, "Is it true that there is a lot of crime in New York and what do you do when you hear a gun shot on stage?" Linda didn't miss a beat and replied, "When in doubt, bourré out!" and she followed this up by a quick bourré out into the hall. 25 years later, I am still telling that story to dancers.

#125 innopac

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 05:38 PM

"... Clement Crisp recalled the "words of the Russian ballerina Tamara Karsavina, who described dancers as 'butterflies of a brief summer'."

from "Turning Point" by Valerie Lawson in the Good Weekend. The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 September 2008, page 21.

#126 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 07:35 PM

From "Alicia Markova Remembers"
"I danced again in Cuba, at the time when Fidel Castro was preparing his revolution, and was little alarmed by the evening broadcasts from his rebel radio station in the hills which announced, 'Tonight we shall take Havana!'.He did not accomplish this.. while i was there...".
Oh, Miss Markova...if only your "while i was there" could be left out of the sentence... :)

#127 Farrell Fan

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:50 AM

"We do not have to hug our memories of yesteryear. Balanchine is as much ballet's future as its past." -- Alistair Macaulay, NY Times, Nov 16, 2008

#128 bobbi

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 08:26 AM

Yes, Farrell Fan, that is a good quote. But do you think that the Powers That Be at NYCB really believe that (as discussed the Times article from which the quote was taken)?

#129 Farrell Fan

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 01:29 PM

No Bobbi, I don't think they do. They were so adamant at not becoming "a museum company" that their standards for performing Balanchine have seriously eroded. As Macaulay points out in the article, "Though no company dances nearly so many Balanchine ballets as City Ballet, the main Balanchine story is now happening elsewhere. It's scarcely a matter of contention that American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet (attached to the Kennedy Center in Washington) and the Kirov Ballet of St. Petersburg have all danced several Balanchine ballets better than the mother company; or that even the Royal Ballet of London is occasionally better in individual Balanchine ballets."

#130 innopac

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 06:02 PM

“Classical ballet is, in this sense, closer to music than anything else. In music, sound is arranged harmoniously, and what it asserts can be only partially rendered in words. In the classical ballet, it is the body, subject to the harmony of the steps it is executing, which speaks. And it speaks to the heart in as direct a language as does music.”

from A Dance Autobiography by Natalia Makarova page 36



#131 bart

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 08:07 AM

"I think you are both behind and ahead of your times ... -- a classicist with modern hands."

This is addressed to the young Feliu Delargo, a brilliant cellist and the protagonist of Andromeda Romano-Lax's novel, The Spanish Bow, published in 2007. Delargo is based, broadly, on Pablo Casals.

Reading it, I thought how well it applies to George Balanchine.

#132 bart

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 04:44 PM

Profile of a conservative balletomane and theater director in Germany, c. 1913. Containing a rather neat little sentence on Stravinskian classicism:

[ .... ] Riedesel cherished and promoted the ballet-- simply because it was 'graceful." The word "graceful" was for him a conservative, polemical shibboleth against the subversively modern. He had not the vaugest about the artistic world of tradition found in Russian and French ballet, as represented, let us say, by Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and Stravinsky, and was not even remotely aware of ideas such as those that the latter-named Russian musician later expressed about classical ballet: As a triumph of measured plan over effusive emotion, of order over chance, as a pattern of consciously apollonian action, it was the paradigm of art itself. Rather, what Riedesel dimly had in mind was simply gossamer skirts, dancers tripping past on pointe, arms arched "gracefully" above their heads -- before the eyes of court society in their loges, maintainng the "ideal" and tabooing anything ugly and problematical, while a bridled bourgeoisie sat in orchestra seats below.


-- Thomas Mann, Dr. Faustus, 1947. Italics mine.

#133 innopac

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 04:44 PM

A question answered by Jorge Donn in a documentary about Maurice Bejart.

"What does dancing mean to a dancer?"

"Dancing? It's a way of going further."


From Le Temps d'un Ballet by Francois Reichenbach

#134 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 11:04 PM

[size=3]"When she dances, her body sings"[/size]

Edward Villella on MCB bailarina Jeanette Delgado.

#135 bart

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 07:10 AM

“You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive. It is not for unsteady souls.”

-- Merce Cunningham


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