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corps dancers we love as if they were stars

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#76 leonid17


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Posted 31 December 2008 - 03:19 AM

Well we can take Yuhui Choe off the list - she's just skipped a rank with a promotion to First Soloist at the Royal Ballet! I'm so pleased!!

I can say that I recently saw her as the Sugar Plum Fairy in which she gave an extraordinary debut performance in the role in terms of style and technique. Miss Choe appears to be a real classicist of the future.

#77 vipa


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Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:26 PM

I used to watch Lauren in class at the American Theater Dance Workshop, school of the Eglevsky Ballet and as a child performer with the Eglevsky. She was about 12 years old when I first saw her. If ever anyone had a perfect body and facility for ballet, she did. I've seen her only once as a member of the corps de ballet at NYCB (since I live in Canada), but I mainly watched her, since I "knew" her. So nice that she's gotten a mention in this thread. I, too, love her dancing. :wink:

I noted Lauren King recently in the corps of Theme & Variations. She was truly a ray of warm sunshine in an otherwise dismal performance (A. Stafford & Garcia were the leads). I'll be watching for her from now on. She's included in a picture of Hallelujah Junction in the spring season brochure that I got today.

#78 bart


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Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:58 PM

I mainly watched her, since I "knew" her. So nice that she's gotten a mention in this thread. I, too, love her dancing. :)

That's one of the great pleasures of being able to follow one company over a period of time. Dancers who have this kind of effect on us definitely deserve a :wink:

#79 Helene



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Posted 11 February 2009 - 06:31 PM

Miriam Mahdaviani. My eye always went to her when she danced at NYCB, a short, dark-haired dancer among all of the redwoods.

There are several young dancers at PNB that are terrific additions to the corps:

*The lovely Liora Reshef, whose expansive port de bras are always wonderful to see, and as the third (?) in line in the shade corps in Doug Fullington's recreation of excerpts from "La Bayadere" (from his second "Balanchine's Petipa" lecture/demo), she moved as fully by the end as she had at her entrance.

*I don't know her name, but she's a slender, light-haired dancer who was next to Reshef at the end of the second-to-last movement of "Emeralds" and had very expressive arms and neck and was beautiful to watch. I can't tell from the program who she is, but I'm hoping that process-of-elimination will work later in the season.

*Eric Hippolito Jr. He mesmerized me in a student performance a few years ago, but my process-of-elimination was faulty, and I thought he was another dancer who was not in the Professional Division and went to college. Luckily for us, he is now a corps member.

Stallwarts of the corps are Kari Brunson, Lindsi Dec, Laura Gilbraith, and Brittany Reid, all of who have performed demi-soloist and featured roles, and who are in the Renee Estopinal and Wilhemina Fernandez Frankfurt* mold of tall, full-bodied movers with sweep and presence. Dec and Gilbraith have been given a number of Principal roles in the past couple of years. Peter Boal said he convinced Reid not to retire at the end of last season, and I'm not sure what her long-term plans are. Brunson was stunning in the Susan Marshall's aerial work, "Kiss" a few years ago.

*confusing opera singers with ballet dancers (and she was a Wilhemenia) :wink:

#80 tutu



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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:01 PM

I don't know her name, but she's a slender, light-haired dancer who was next to Reshef at the end of the second-to-last movement of "Emeralds" and had very expressive arms and neck and was beautiful to watch. I can't tell from the program who she is, but I'm hoping that process-of-elimination will work later in the season.

Helene, I believe you may be thinking of Claire Stallman. She has very blond hair and a very young-looking face, and she's the same dancer who was the last member of the corps to exit and posed in the doorway in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. I can think of others who might fit the bill, though, if this guess is wrong.

#81 terpsicoeur


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Posted 04 May 2009 - 08:39 PM

Two that have caught my eye lately at SFB are Clara Blanco and Ashley Muangmaithong. Clara was wonderful in a demi-solist role last Saturday in Possokhov's Fusion, holding my attention though dancing alongside Yuan Yuan Tan and Vanessa Zahorian; two dancers who are always riveting. And Ashley has stood out in recent performances with a beautiful line and port de bras that seems to emulate that of Yuan Yuan's. She's one corps member that I'm particularly finding rewarding to watch.

#82 PeggyR


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Posted 05 May 2009 - 11:01 AM

Two that have caught my eye lately at SFB are Clara Blanco and Ashley Muangmaithong.

I very much agree about Clara Blanco. Last December, she danced a very nice, if rather small-scaled Nutcracker GPdD: very clean and almost academic, but with great charm (those dimples!). Then this season, she knocked me out with a passionate and riveting Nora (I think that was the one) in Ibsen's House. For somebody who looks like a kewpie doll, she can pour on the drama when she needs to. And you're right: she really held her own with Tan and Zahorian (and Frances Chung) in Fusion.

I haven't picked Ashley Muangmaithong out yet, but I'll watch for her.


#83 Figurante


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Posted 14 June 2009 - 06:44 AM

Ian Hussey with the Pennsylvania Ballet.

#84 Curmudgeon


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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:33 AM

Zhong-Jing Fang: my daughter, Fiona (a retired professional ballerina), became friends with "ZJ" when the ABT performed in Los Angeles several seasons ago. Fiona, being "Eurasian" (i.e., part Chinese) herself, was interested in this young dancer from China, and went back to the artists' entrance after that first performance to meet her. We've met several times since, and gone for apre-performance snacks near the LA Music Center. Fiona says that ZJ is what she calls "a miracle dancer", and looks to see her in more and more featured roles at ABT before too long. May it be sooner rather than later!

#85 JMcN


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Posted 20 December 2009 - 10:45 AM

At Birmingham Royal Ballet there are a number of young dancers whom I enjoy watching very much:

James Barton is a beautifully neat dancer, very deft and an excellent actor. He made a wonderful debut as Petrushka last year - very moving - and is hilarious in Alaskan Rag. He, and another of my favourites - Nathanael Skelton (a very elegant dancer) - were the first two dancers from Elmhurst to be offered contracts after that school hooked up with BRB.

Callie Roberts has also caught my eye since she joined a couple of years ago. She has a vivacious stage presence.

Chris Rogers-Wilson has proved to have a real talent for comedy and has a smile that lights up the auditorium without the need for lights!

Jonathan Caguioa has a lovely warm stage presence and lights up every performance that he is in.

#86 terpsicoeur


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Posted 24 April 2010 - 11:39 AM

This thread hasnít been active yet in 2010, but I thought it worth updating to say that Ashley Muangmaithong continues to impress in SFBís current season. Her long svelte line always draws my eye when sheís dancing, and it seems that she has had more roles this year, so maybe Helgi Tomasson is noticing too. She has a quick attack in allegro pointe work and a wonderfully soft lyrical port de bras. On top of that she can look fashion model stunning just standing, as in the glamorous evening gown costume she wore in The Little Mermaid; in the tight black costume for Zanellaís Underskin she was simply a wow! Maybe, itís her body type that Iím drawn too, but itís also that of Yuan Yuanís, which is probably why I focus in on Ashley too.

#87 bart


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Posted 24 April 2010 - 04:22 PM

Thanks, terpsicoeur (great name, by the way!), for reviving this thread. You made me think of a very different kind of dancer from Ms. Muangmaithong, the Miami City Ballet crps member, Sara Esty.

This season, Esty has grown into a number of soloist and even principal roles, most recently the Girl in Yellow in Dances at a Gathering. Her joy of dancing, sunny temperament, and lovely technique are infectious.

I always look for her when the curtain rises, whether she starts out at the back of the stage or out in front.

#88 terpsicoeur


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Posted 24 April 2010 - 05:59 PM

Thanks Bart for a quick reply. Appears you have a very good eye if you spotted Sara Esty early as a corp dancer -- never seen Miami Ballet except on video but I love Dances at a Gathering. Your description of Sara makes me think of another SFB dancer fairly new to the corp: Sasha DeSola. Also like a splash of sunlight. Last program I saw her in was Tomasson's Haffner Symphony (a wonderful piece) and she was in a section (3rd Movement) with three girls and one boy (Vitor Luiz, and I loved the bit where Vitor partnered two of the girls in turn and Sasha comes up and taps him on the shoulder as if to say "Don't forget me!" So charming! Another corp dancer worth mentioning, in that section, and getting a lot of stage time this season, is Dores Andre. If I had to guess I suspect she might be the next girl promoted out of the corp. Oh, and I shouldn't neglect Shannon Roberts (so beautiful) and Courtney Elizabeth. All these girls catch my eye over and over again.

#89 Tiara


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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:22 AM

This topic is very nice,but it is only suitable for the New York City Ballet and the North American companies because their repertoires are mostly Balanchine,and he is the only choreographer who really gives attention to the corps de ballet,not counting the more recent choreographers of course.This does not work as well with European companies whose repertoires are not based on Balanchine,as can be seen from this thread where memorable corps dancers are all from the NYCB.Petipa,Macmillan,Cranko,Ashton,Bournonville do not shed so much light on the corps de ballet.That said,these dancers must be true artists because they shine onstage,even if they are only Girl No. 14 from the left.In the Royal I admire Sian Murphy,Lauren Cuthbertson,Christina Arestis,Kristen Mcnally,and Natasha Oughtred.In the Paris Opera:Alexandra Cardinal,who is one of the most beautiful woman dancing,and Veronique Doisneau,Juliette Gernez,and Aurore Cordellier.In the Stuttgart I like Katarzina Kozielska,and Vanessa Valdueza Tauroni who have to dance in the star-centric Cranko repertoire and still stand-out.

Why is this topic only suitable for NYCB and North American companies? I see nowhere any mention made of the greatest company in the world - the Mariinsky. And - as for Balanchine being the only choreographer who "really gives attention to the corps de ballet" - I completely disagree as imo Petipa is the master of choreographic composition for the corps de ballet, and Balanchine himeself acknowledged his huge debt to Petipa. Without Petipa there would have been no Balanchine. Just look at Petipa's use of the corps - as a framework, the inventiveness of the floor patterns made by the corps, the sheer technique and unanimity of style needed to dance his corps work impeccably. Petipa is master of choreography for the corps de ballet. No other choreographer could imagine or choreograph a scene of such genius as the entry of the shades in Bayadere, for example. It is a pinnacle of choreographic inventiveness and sublime in its simplicity. Petipa is the master of ballet. And imo the dancers who perform his choreography the best and as he would have intended, are those in the Mariinsky. Today's corps de ballet at the Mariinsky contains approximately 100 ballerinas, each of whom would be a soloist in any other company in the world. If we are to talk about particular dancers, then I must mention Yulia Stepanova, Nadia Batoeva, Anastasia Nikitina, Viktoria Krasnokutskaya and Dasha Vasnetsova. Dasha has been in the company for 8 years, still a coryphee but dances often in the corps, as do the first four, who were promoted a few months ago. Still in the corps are Oksana Marchuk, Viktoria Brileva, Margarita Frolova, Alisa Sokilova ... really the list is endless. All of these girls have amazing star quality and should already be principal dancers - in any other company in the world they would be principals. Such is the greatness of the Mariinsky, that even its corps de ballet contains dancers of this great calibre. So if you ask which are wonderful corps dancers and which is the greatest corps de ballet, then the answer must always be the Mariinsky has the best corps de balleet in the world, and any one of its corps de ballet dancers would be a soloist anywhere else. [font=arial, sans-serif][size=2] [/size][/font]

#90 Birdsall


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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:03 AM

Tiara, I totally agree with you from what I have seen. I was just watching one of my Raymonda videos last night, and Petipa's choreography (although maybe slightly changed by Sergeyev? Not sure) is so gorgeous you almost want to cry. With the Mariinsky my favorite moments are actually becoming the moments when the corps dances and the upper bodies of every single dancer is like ocean waves down to the fingertips. The famous Sleeping Beauty waltz is another breathtaking moment in Mariinsky videos. I think the "stars" are great to watch, but the corps is amazing also, almost a star unto itself!!! So lovely! Can't wait to get home and pop in a video tonight!!!!

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