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Everything posted by altongrimes

  1. Reimagine

    Wonderful highly informative replies. Thank you !

    I find it remarkable that as highly trained as dancers are, that they are also highly driven to perform. That in a very real sense, they without us, an actively participating and hopefully passionate audience, are not made complete. It is both humbling and exciting to realize that their superlative gift is, in fact, precisely that, a gift to us all and that they are therefore driven to bring that gift to us. In an interview, Diana Vishneva was candid to admit that she has sometimes felt like quiting her craft due to the rigors of the way but quickly recaptures her commitment to the art form upon experiencing the effusive and poignant reactions of her audience.

    As I sit here allowing the audible version of Apollo's Angels to wash over my creative soul, I encountered the following quote attributable to Jerome Robbins: "You should never dance anything for the audience. It ruins it if you do. You should dance only to each other as if the audience wasn't there. It's very hard". This pronouncement is then in direct opposition to my initial premise that "performers are, in fact, driven to perform, and that they without us, an alert and actively participating audience, are not made complete". So much for my generalization. Even so, I remain intrigued by this notion and wonder at what percentage of the dance community has at it's core the drive to bring their gift to an audience. After all, I can't imagine that Marlon Brando's formidable gift was a treasure to be shared among only a select few.
  4. Costumes

    It would seem that the costumes used in both Giselle and Les Sylphides often appear so similar so as to appear indistinguishable one from the other. But perhaps the costumes could vary more noticeably depending upon whom is staging the productions ?
  5. Costumes

    Upon further consideration, my "costumes" question is simply best answered, I think, by the simple execise of more diligence on my part to "do my homework". I would not overwhelm Ballet Alert with the frivolous.
  6. Plastique

    I am astounded by the avalanche of response to my original question concerning "plastique". I keep pondering your replies very carefully and repeatedly as I go through my days. How I relish every word. How every one is like music to my ears. "A little Mozart, please!
  7. Plastique

    How I relish Sandik's marvellous response. Truly exciting to receive such an illuminating reply. A feast of discovery in your words. A joy !
  8. Ballet History

    I wonder if someone could suggest a book or two that they would consider a definitive treatise on ballet history. I have navigated my way through Jennifer Homans Apollo's Angels and have felt somewhat lost along the way. (I say this not as a criticism of her work).
  9. Ballet History

    I feel compelled to include an excerpt from BALLET 101. What a marvelous book you have recommended!. "In France, les ballet, essentially reared in Paris, had become variously predictable and frivolously diverting. It's monied socially prominent audiences went to it largely out of habit, often to find personal or prurient pleasures. Next to Diaghilev's concentration of the imperial Russian ballet, the full scale republican French variety looked fairly inconsequential, decadent, or both." Ah ... Here, indeed is a great book ! Thank you to everyone !
  10. Ballet History

    My most heartfelt thank you to all who have crafted such a glorious response to my request for a "definitive treatise on ballet history". It is indeed a humbling thing to be the recipient of such generosity of spirit. Why, you gave me a "Ferrari" instead of an old Ford ! Think I'll take it for a spin !
  11. An Unexpected Guest

    I can still vividly recall a rather singular and profoundly inspiring aspect of an American Ballet Theater performance in Los Angeles during the Summer of 2013. Although the company's seamless rendering of Symphony in C was truly effected with great grace as was the bendy supercharged David Byrne-esque (yes, even in a big coat) James Whiteside in Ratmansky's hip Chamber Symphony, there was another facet to this diamond in Los Angeles more subtle and yet fairly bursting with unexpected color: the audience. Why this group threatened to steal the show ! What a presence they were ! From front row orchestra to the "end zone" seating of the last seat in the house, one could sense the myriad of bright and talented individuals gathered for the occassion. Navigating my way toward the front, " fly on the wall" me managed to find my seat next to an instantly personable and charming woman, who, it turned, had danced for Ballanchine. Glory ! That did it. From that moment forward, my creative spirit went ballistic. She danced for George Ballanchine ! I was in heaven ! After all, these are my heroes. These are the stars in my creative firmament. Not more than a handful of minutes - perhaps twenty - had transpired and with nary a rustling of the stage curtain or the glimpse of a toe shoe and I felt myself submerged in a kind of living room of greatness. I could only wonder and marvel at the identities of those about me. You could almost hear the hum of their collective genius. If the adage is true that " it's not what a man says that can be heard, but what he is that speaks so loud", this audience was among the most eloquent I have ever experienced. And so the living memory of their powehouse contribution to dance on that Summer day in Los Angeles will forever burn on the backroads of my memory.
  12. Ballet History

    Watch me as I stagger out the door with this sky high pile of books on ballet history ! I can only wonder at the great reservoirs of creative oxygen contained within ! How your generous recommendations have already ignited that creative engine within me ! What a treasure of vast proportions is this Ballet Alert.
  13. Ballet History

    Thank you Doug !
  14. Ballet History

    This is truly wonderful ! I am so grateful that you would take the time to construct such a list ! They are like presents under my tree ! What a feast must surely be contained within. Thank you !
  15. Ballet History

    Thank you to "pherank" !
  16. Hello !

    I have recently acquired an enormous curiosity and excitement for Pacific Northwest Ballet. Discovering their thread under the "U.S. Companies" section on Ballet Alert, I am overflowing with gratitude to all of those members who contributed there. The creative synergy created by all of you is truly astounding. I just had to say "thank you". Your remarks are a great treasure to me.
  17. Hello !

    Hello Seattle Dancer ! My newly acquired passion for PNB seems a consequence of numerous meditations on PNB's YouTube videos working in concert with the highly colorful and intriguing remarks you recently made concerning Bernice Coppieters presence during the staging of the PNB Cendrillon. Certainly, it was your lively and fascinating remarks that acted as a kind of catalyst for my discovering "the signature" of this great company !
  18. Cendrillon, Feb 3-4, 9-12

    Seattle Dancer's remarks related to PNB and Bernice Coppetiers set off a kind of firestorm of creativity within me. I am uncertain as to how the process works, but after numerous viewings on YouTube and fueled by her above impressions, I feel as though I was afforded a look into the very genius that is unique to PNB. How I feel driven to experience this great company ! Surely, part of the sheer joy of this glorious art form is discovering that "signature" that is so very unique to each company. I am most grateful to Seattle Dancer for her fascinating remarks. "Bernice Coppetiers....I swear she could breathe life into a statue." YES !!!
  19. Natasha Kusch

    I believe that Natalie Kusch just danced her last performance with Australian Ballet. I wonder if anyone might know with what company she will be dancing next?
  20. Natasha Kusch

    Thank you very much for the information! Sorry not to say so in a more timely fashion.
  21. Sergei Polunin

    I find the following brief quote regarding Sergei Polunin so poignant and memorable that I feel compelled to share it on Ballet Alert: "Among the staff on the audition panel was Tatiana Mihailovna Martynena. 'Usually in the third round when the children improvise a piece, you will see very simple things, but when Sergei (Polunin) began dancing to a Pavarotti aria, it was something truly outstanding. He had an extraordinary feeling for music and such rare natural coordination. It was the first time I'd ever seen a boy with such gifts and I had tears in my eyes as I watched him' ".
  22. Ballet B C

    A company with whom I am completely unfamiliar is coming to my hometown within a handful of days: Ballet B C. YouTube videos of them would seem to reveal a very talented and innovative contemporary dance troup. I wonder if anyone out there in Ballet Alert has experienced this company?
  23. Ballet B C

    Thank you, Helene !!!
  24. VOICES

    In a rather unique way, I am reminded of those superb artists, those magnificent dancers whom we hold in such high esteem and who regularly grace the great stages of the world with their superlative power and impeccable technique. In that respect their gifts are obvious. Less apparent, however, are those dancers and choreographers who are also gifted to share - whether in writing or interview - from their great reservoirs of personal experience, who also make the art form "live" by the very words of their mouth as perhaps few can. For example, I will always treasure the Paris Opera Ballet " bits" documetaries in which Manuel Legris effuses about the Russian ballerinas arriving at the Paris Opera and how that they are so instantly recognizable. O, how I clung to his every word ! I didn't want him to stop. His words were fraught with such intensity, experience and passion for the art form as he spoke from a vantage point to which only a select few have access. I then began to identify other "voices" within the dance community who have also affected me in the same manner. Elisabeth Platel and Laurent Hilaire - from the same POB documentary - came to mind. I will never forget the power of their dialogue concerning Nureyev. How they seemed the very voice and face (beautiful Elisabeth Platel) of the Paris Opera. The consummate ambassadors for the glorious Paris Opera ! Like some dam that had been waiting to burst, the most fascinating stories flowed forth from them in conversations where their very words appeared to stand up and reveal the art form to a depth I never knew existed. I would also make mention of Ursula Hageli from The Royal Ballet and Ashley Wheater from The Joffrey as possessing that same facility. I can only imagine all of those other dance "voices" out there just waiting to be discovered !
  25. Through this shouting match that surrounds me, I hasten to find refuge and manage to do so in a 1999 Le Parc video featuring Laurent Hilaire and the beautiful Elisabeth Maurin. And O for the glorious music that so elegantly underpins this treatise on intimacy: Mozart, Piano Concerto #23 (K488) 2nd movement. How utterly antithetical to the spirit of this age.