Tamara Toumanova in [I]Tonight We Sing[/I]
Posted 20 February 2002 - 02:04 PM
I will watch it a few more times, but Toumanova, who portrays Anna Pavlova, seems to be grace personified in this snippet. She is as one with the music as anything I have ever seen. She must have been enthralling in person and it is great that this filmed evidence exists.
There is also a scene between David Wayne, playing Hurok and Toumanova in Pavlova’s dressing room. It was hard to concentrate on the dialogue, since Wayne was doing a very broad Russian Jewish accent and Toumanova’s voice, no doubt dubbed, was uninflected Standard English.
Part of the fun of movies like these is casting them with today’s performers—and in this case, deciding who would play the players.
For example, Toumanova. I would suggest Susan Jaffe, but only because I would suggest Ms. Jaffe for any role in anything that involved ballet. Those who know more about both current dancers those of bygone ages will have better suggestions.
Enzio Pinza was Feodor Chaliapin in the movie—Currently, perhaps, Bryn Terfel would play Pinza. Isaac Stern was Eugene Ysaye—I would nominate Anne Sofie Mutter for Stern, or at least as an appropriately gender bent violinist. Roberta Peters played Elsa Valdine—how about Sumi Jo as Roberta? And Jan Peerce was the voice of Gregory Lawrence—I think Ben Heppner would be an acceptable Peerce.
By the way, both Ms. Valdine and Mr. Lawrence are unknown to me as singers—there may have been rights problems with sopranos and tenors, and not violinists and basses, so they were created as suitable stand-ins.
Posted 21 February 2002 - 09:33 AM
Posted 21 February 2002 - 09:52 AM
He also had a strong sense of who was important. As I remember the hoardings in front of the Auditorium Theater in Chicago those many years ago, "Sol Hurok Presents" was generally in larger type than anything else, including the featured soloist or company. There isn't anyone like him now.
The movie itself is an artifact of the days when filmgoers would pay to see ballet dancers dance and opera singers sing--possibly as part of a double feature with a gangster or cowboy picture.
Posted 21 February 2002 - 04:31 PM
Posted 22 February 2002 - 08:10 PM
Why not, a remake - a great idea...
Then, you cannot imagine the plans and visions I have for films - for TV or big screen - just find me a producer with a lot of money to spare.
The only thing you hear in this country today is somebody whining "is that really financially possible...?"
Whereupon I scream (I have a very loud voice)
"Culture is important!!!"
How sad, so much one wants to do, so much one wants to see...
Posted 27 February 2002 - 02:34 PM
Ed, thank you for this topic -- and thanks, atm, for your memories and what you wrote about Toumanova. I've always been fascinated by her. My image of her is that she is very much of her time -- strong personality, lots of perfume -- yet of ours, as well, with that slender body and strong technique. Interesting that Balanchine made second movement of Symphony in C (Palais du crystal) for such a virtuoso.
Did anyone else see Toumanova, live or on film? Any impressions? I wondered, when I saw Asylmuratova, if she was not a bit like Toumanova. Is that completely off base?
Posted 27 February 2002 - 03:12 PM
Posted 27 February 2002 - 03:20 PM
I read in one of the Ballets Russes books -- I don't remember which one! -- that Toumanova and her mother would scour the stage floor to find a little indentation, if not an actual hole, and she'd dig her toe in there for the fouettes!
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