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Giannina

This week's burning question - debuts or experience?

  

  1. 1. This week's burning question - debuts or experience?

    • A talented young dancer debut in a role
      20
    • A talented experienced dancer who's done a role for many years
      18

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25 posts in this topic

Here's this week's poll from me! Feel free to discuss as well as answer either/or.

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Oh, Leigh! That's not fair!! What if I've never seen the the talented, experienced dancer before?

Have you considered getting a part time job with the IRS - I think they need some help with their forms. ;)

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Yikes! This is not only not fair, it's simply impossible to vote! While I might choose a performance specifically in order to see an experienced dancer I love (or even one I only know by reputation), there is nothing quite like the thrill of discovery of a new talent.

Claudia

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I agree that the question is a difficult one to answer. I chose the young dancer because seeing the debut performance gives one a benchmark opportunity for watching the dancer mature in the role during future performances.

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Isn't that odd? I thought the question was easy and I voted for experience.

Maybe that should read, "Isn't Giannina odd"!

Giannina

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no i agree, if i had to choose, i would make the same choice

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I voted for the debutante because I've undoubtedly seen the experienced older dancer many times in the role and am sure to see her (I feel obliged to add him) again. A debut, on the other hand, happens only once.

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I can't decide- it depends on who the dancer is in each case.

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Well, honestly, the best answer is "it depends."

There are certain long-in-the-tooth dancers whom I wouldn't want to see for all the money in the world. And there are certain young whippersnappers I think need to be thrown back in the ocean a few times before they're really ready for the kinds of premieres some of them have been given.

Not wishing to speak ill of the dead, terpsichorically speaking, I won't mention names of any of the former category, and for students of recent New York ballet seasons, it would be absurdly simple to name an appropriately significant example of the latter. One might even say one often sees repeated variations on this recurring theme.

On the other hand, if I were given a choice between going to the State Theater tomorrow night and seeing, say, Kyra Nichols in Mozartiana, and, say, Ashley Bouder in, well, anything, I would be torn, but I'd go for Nichols just because I would like to think we'll have Bouder around for many years to come, clearly we're reaching the twilight of Nichols' career.

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It would make a difference whether or not one had seen the experienced dancer in a role. (And, of course, who the dancers were.)

I do remember 20 years go having a choice between Kirkland's "La Sylphide" and Makarova's and choosing Makarova's because, after all, Kirkland was only 22 and I'd have years and years of watching her dance. So usually, I'd go for the young. HOWEVER, if I had a choice between seeing, say, Kirkland's debut in Theme and Variations or Ulanova's Juliet, I'd take Ulanova. (Not that either of these choices are valid today.)

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So did you ever get to see Kirkland do La Sylphide?

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Manhattnik, yes, I did. It's the 2nd ballet to which I took Frank and it "took"; he fell in love with Kirkland at that point and it exists to this day. She was simply lovely.

An aside: her get-rid-of-wings-mechanism didn't workand she had one devil of a time getting rid of them.

Giannina

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I did see Kirkland in "La Sylphide" (I'd seen her before, with Baryshnikov, and loved her). The Kirkland-Makarova choice was a couple of years later.

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Coincidence!! You must have read my mind because I was thinking about posting this question just today, albeit on another board. It's been on my mind having seen the promising young soloist Ivan Putrov make his Royal Ballet debut in Giselle. There's been a lot of grumblings that the RB imports too many guests (Corella, Stiefel) and doesn't make enough use of it's own men. We're a little short of men at the moment, made worse by a load of injuries (only 2 working male principals, and only 1 first soloist who was/is in Japan). Putrov was drafted in as a replacement but I found his Albrecht lacking in depth or expression. If Putrov is the best we've got then I'm quite happy to bring in ABT stars rather than face sub-par performances by soloists. Shouldn't the RB have to meet certain standards? The idea of seeing lots of new faces is very exciting in principle but it's very deflating when you actually get round to seeing them and they're not very good. I said on the RB Giselle thread that even my friends who were watching ballet for the very first time couldn't see why Giselle would fall for him, which is a bit of a gyp. On the other hand I get the impression that the RB are pushing Putrov in a lot of important roles (he understudied for Marguerite and Armand and is the only one of two men cast for Month in the Country) to help improve his expression and on-stage presence and I can't argue with this logic. How can stage-time do anything but help? Plus it IS exciting to watch young artists grow in the roles.

So my answer? I don't know! They have to be ready or else you may be cheating the audience. But maybe dancers rarely give 'complete' performances until they've done it a few times.

Would it be ok if I poached this topic and posted it on the UK boards?

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Having read everyone else's posts and realizing that I've veered off slightly in assuming that the debut might not be as good as the experienced dancer, I'll concur and say that it depends on whether one has seen the experienced dancer before. If not I'd definitely go for the older dancer - you never know when it may be their last. I just missed out on seeing Irek Mukhamedov and having been kicking myself since. The change in artistic directors at the RB has me wondering if I'll ever see Miyako Yoshida and Sarah Wildor's Juliets again.

If I have seen the more experienced dancer in the role before I'd go for the debut...maybe. Again, it may be their one and only shot, who knows?

So nowdays I avoid these choices and see everyone in everything! :)

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I take a sort of Deweyesque pragmatist view of the question; if you haven't seen the dancer in the role before, then he/she is making a personal debut just for you, so in a larger sense, there are many debuts on any given performance of any ballet.

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My goodness Sylvia, how can you say Ivan Putrov is sub-standard?!! I'm off to the Giselle topic to explain myself!

Give me the debut any day, you never know what might happen on stage and it might be something quite wonderful... and often is.:)

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Or so what'll it be, a blind date or a long term relationship? Even when, as Arlene Croce said of late career Patty McBride, the ballerina is powered "by desire," that's the performance I want to see. As for the gentlemen, I'd rather, to continue on in the same vein, date Sean Connery than Brad Pitt. I admit it's possible that a mother of teenagers might be especially immune to the charms of youth, but we all have our prejudices.

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This soon-to-be-70-year-old found Nanatchka's argument so compelling that I'm sorry now I voted for the young whippersnapper making her debut. Wish I could change my vote.

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I voted for the newbie, being in agreement with casloan and Farrell Fan that it's more of a rarity to see a stunning debut than to see an established dancer (unless there's an extenuating circumstance, such as, the established dancer is retiring at the end of the season).

As for the Sean Connery analogy -- well, I've loved him for years, but couldn't control a certain queasiness watching him flirt with Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Entrapment." I'm afraid even the best of us eventually pass our expiration dates. :)

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I can never see enough of Ananiashvilli in "Swan Lake" and I go for her every time. However, I'm also happy that I saw the debut of Gillian Murphy last year in "Swan Lake".

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Now hold on dirac! There'll be no casting of aspersions at 007, I mean, Sean Connery! :)

As for casting my vote, I just can't for - as liebling said - it all depends!

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Wow. I didn't think that the poll would be 50/50 (that's what it was when i typed this). I voted that I would like to see a talented young dancer do their first big role because they have never done it before. There is a certain spark there. Plus, there's only one time to see a debut principle, you can see established princiles over and over again.

gwschloss

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I picked the talented experienced dancer who's done a role for many years. We're talking about the same role each year???:confused:

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A talented young dancer will tempt me to see a program or ballet I wouldn't ordinarily go to see. As a matter of fact, I splurged on a Second Ring ticket this past Saturday matinee just to see Carla Korbes make her debut in Robbins' Interplay. I had remembered her in Midsummer last year, and then she was out for an injury. Although I had spotted her as a member of the corps in Fourth Movement Bizet this season, I wanted to see if my memory of her talent was valid. I wasn't disappointed, and am glad I went out of my way to see her.

On the other hand, as one previous post pointed out, a dancer at the end of her career -- like Kyra Nichols -- will also tempt me. I already have tickets for two Midsummers, but if Kyra is in another, I will buy another ticket for that performance.

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