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Do you cry at the ballet?


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#1 Farrell Fan

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 12:18 PM

Crying at a movie or play is nothing unusual. But I wonder if many ballet fans get as weepy as I do. I'm not talking about tears of frustration at a bad performance or of happiness at a glorious one by a favorite dancer. I'm talking about moments in certain ballets that automatically push the sob button. Every time the tree starts growing in Nutcracker, I get misty-eyed. It also happens in Apollo, when the reclining muses each offer a foot to Apollo and then reach their arms up to be lifted by him. And in Serenade after the waltz ends and five women are left alone, descend to the stage floor and turn toward one another. The seventh variation in Theme and Variations, with the corps women supporting the ballerina also does it for me. What about you? Non-Balanchine ballets also count.

#2 dirac

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 02:01 PM

I get a lump in my throat when the corps starts coming down the ramp in the Shades scene. Never fails.

#3 Melissa

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 02:38 PM

Great topic, Farrell Fan!

When the tree grows in Nutcracker, the corps descending the ramp in Bayadere, the beginning of the Act II Pas de Deux in Swan Lake with the harp cadenza, they all give me the chills in the most wonderful way possible.

#4 Natalia

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 03:10 PM

Funny how, to me, this happens more often when watching opera & theater/drama than in ballet. However, the final scene in McMillan's version of 'Romeo & Juliet' always does it for me, especially when Ferri dances.

#5 Melissa

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 03:26 PM

Jeannie,

I feel the same way about Ferri's Juliet in the final scene. I saw her twice at the Met and she was phenomenal.

#6 Calliope

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 03:35 PM

Definitely in Serenade (the very beginning, when everyone gasps, I get teary eyed)
any Romeo and Juliet

and whenever I know a dancer is having a debut and just nails it, I feel like a proud parent and get teary eyed

#7 Juliet

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 03:40 PM

I cry at everything. Don't watch TV, so I'm not a candidate, but I know that I cry much more frequently at dance performances than at opera/theatre. In opera, there is always the bad enunciation/pronunciation to jerk me around the bend....with ballet it is much more visceral.

Sometimes I have to really pull myself up short so I don't completely miss something because I am weeping...and of course, sometimes a performance will affect much more strongly depending on what is occurring in one's life. Some music will turn on the spigots even if there is nothing going on onstage (this can get embarrassing during rehearsals when one is trying to fit a costume!)

Preghiera from Mozartiana is a sure bet. Serenade. Lots of Romeo and Juliet. A good bit of Swan Lake....well, I have to be utterly honest and say a good bit of Tchaikovsky. Lots of Midsummer Night's Dream/The Dream.

Oh well, I have lots of hankies (emboidered, of course!) It's interesting, while I shy away from anything sad in movies or theatre, I always go to the ballet.

#8 Nanatchka

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 04:12 PM

The scene in Balanchine's Midsummer when Titania offers the ferns (or hay, or whatever that stuff is) to Bottom. I also get kind of tear-stunned at Merce Cunningham a lot, but that's not ballet or opera....Paul Taylor, too.

#9 Nanatchka

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 04:18 PM

The scene in Balanchine's Midsummer when Titania offers the ferns (or hay, or whatever that stuff is) to Bottom.That always gets me. Still on the Shakespeare front, I must say R&J (anyone's, except the movie Shakespeare in Love) does not. I am always very busy being vexed by that busybody nurse and interfering monk (or whatever he is), and thinking that if those annoying teenagers had only paid attention to their parents things would have turned out fine. That notion makes me weep, actually, but in a different way.

#10 Ed Waffle

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 07:28 PM

My initial response was "You mean there are people who don't cry at the ballet?" For me there are a few situations that will always do it, but often not related to the dramatic situation being portrayed. I fall in Farrell Fan's second category, tears of happiness at a glorious performance.

Just the privilege of being in the same room (albiet a very large room) as a ballerina doing almost anything sometimes will bring at least a catch to my throat. I love ballerinas--on stage they are as close to perfect as a human being can be. I once teared up just watching Karen Kain breathe--she had just finished a very athletic solo in "Don Q" and was standing at stage right, downstage, holding a rock solid position watching some peasants cavort while hitting about 25 deep breaths per minute.

Much of "Prodigal Son", "Dark Elegies" Gisele's death, the Adagio from "Swan Lake", actually a lot of stuff will move me to tears or close to them.

When I was much younger, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing Mahler would do it, and almost any good performance of the late Beethoven quartets, especially op. 127 still will do so.

My Italian is terrible and my German non-existant, so I am not put off by the often poor diction which seems to abound in opera houses. There are two specific scenes, one in "Rigoletto" and one in "Fidelio" that always move me to tears--every time I see them, even in relatively poorly sung or acted productions.

And I am a stoic compared to my wife, but that is another story.

[ February 21, 2002: Message edited by: Ed Waffle ]



#11 glebb

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 08:05 PM

I cry at the ballet.

Not just at performances but even at rehearsals, when the music and choreography compliment each other perfectly.

It happens in THE PRODIGAL SON. It happens in LILAC GARDEN. I get choked up and teary eyed by seeing my favorite dancers expressing themselves in such a sublime way.

Now if you want the goose bump moments, that's another thread.

#12 Juliet

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 08:19 PM

I omitted the obvious: when someone I love is dancing.
(That's when I get exasperated at being a watering-pot.)

#13 Paul Parish

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 01:59 AM

It's s great question --

I also LAUGH at the ballet, usually it's witty feet....

SOmetimes it's like weeping for joy...
Symphony in C -- when the big tune wells up and hte barllerina dives into that arabesque turn, actually , when Betsy Erickson did that role wth San Francisco Ballet, I lost it completely, it slugged me, caught me by surprise........
and Joanna Berman did that to me as Aurora, in her "Russian dance" variation in hte grand pas de deux, she was so tender --

Sibley and Dowell did it to me at the VERY end of Swan Lake, the apotheosis...

ANd MArk Morris as Dido, as he receded from he stage at the end, one step forward and 2 steps back, like a dying heart-beat...

And in "Company B" at San Francisco Ballet....... It made me understand how my parents met and why they married and how I came to be born and why our family's life was so full of regrets the way it was...

#14 Lukayev

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 02:16 AM

When I was flipping through my video library, I came upon my copy of Makhalina in 'Swan Lake', and I watched the fourth act, wondering if the ending was going to be as ridiculous as other productions I had seen on tape.

Of course, I was wrong, and their short but bittwersweet pas de deux in Act IV was so saddeningly beautiful; it was if all could not be helped, and Odette was doomed forever. The music was so touching, I leaped up after wiping my eyes and downloaded it from Morpheus.

Another misty-eyed moment for me is during the Act II pas de deux of Giselle. For me, it's no so much that I love the dancing (although I do, whole-heartedly) but the music itself is so suited to the role that it's almost like being trasported right there to a graveyard. Somehow that music always inspires me to get up and attempt to dance what Giselle is on the screen.

I'm also adding something from personal experience - this summer, our studio performed 'Serenade', staged by Robert Barnett, and I was exiled to the side for a while until I came on for about eight counts during the 'flowers' formation (right after the first girl's short solo), waited, and came on again as an 'Aspirin Girl'. At least, that's what they called them. Anyway, so I was watching from the sides, quite misty-eyed already because I wasn't in the starting corps (because I was seventeeth in a line of sixteen), but when I heard that beutiful music welling up, and the girls gazing past their outstretched hand, I almost lost it. However, once regaining my composure, I danced my heart out. smile.gif

--Luka

#15 jude

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 04:37 AM

the very opening of serenade alwyas brings a tear to my eye.
The first time i saw darcey bussell dance swan lake i cried the whole way thriugh her 32 fouttese and most of the pdd!!
Alina cojocarus mad scene in giselle last year was also a real tearjerker!

one other thing, at the end of centre stage when you se all the graduating students in class at their new companies i always start crying!

dont know why does anyone else find this?
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