Will the Real MYRTHA Please Stand Up........?
Posted 13 March 2001 - 05:52 PM
Posted 23 February 2002 - 09:06 PM
It's a great jumping role, and there's nothing we can do about the loss of elevation in the women's technique except to jump up adn down and make a commotion when somebody comes along who gets the ballet back up into hte air. Karsavina in one of her books made a big point about Giselle's ballotte as a step of ELEVATION -- it's not about a high extension at hte end of hte jump, but a double passe unbelievably high off the ground that rocks back and forth like a buouy....
I did see Monica Mason dance Myrtha back in 1969, and she made a bigger impression on me than sibley and Dowell did as hte lovrs -- she was awe-inspiring. Mason had a capacity for hte objective, she could make you feel you were looking at Fate, something that was indifferent to questions of person... so everyting she did had the force of the inevitable.... her face, it's true, had glittering-eyed cold fury in it (I think she turned upstage to blink), but her dancing was tempered by this other, actually more frightening quality --
she had many other qualities, but when called on, she could deliver this one..... she could have danced for Pina Bausch...... Derek Rencher could deliver a tremendous power in character roles -- his von Rothbart was similarly as much a force of nature as a character..... he was like the pull of gravity, he didn't have to do anythingg except wait you out..... when Von Rothbart put the whammy on Odette, her personal force drained out of her...... these are the sorts of things that actors practice in their exercises, and the Royal BAllet was -- rather had been -- a part of the Old Vic Theater company; it made the Royal Ballet in those days rather like a modern dance company (the Capulet men danced with tremendous weight in the ball scene of MAcmillan's Romeo and Juliet -- Rencher danced Tybalt)
Mason was also wonderful in Dances at a Gathering...... wonderful wonderful
Posted 25 February 2002 - 09:18 PM
[ February 25, 2002: Message edited by: Paul Parish ]
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