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Hello from San Francisco Bay Area

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I am a lapsed balletgoer from heart of Silicon Valley in California. I had studied ballet quite seriously for six years starting from age 13. I say seriously because even prior to that, I did rhythmic gymnastics. Part of our training included ballet. When I wasn't dropping them, Ribbons and Clubs were my favorite apparatus. Great deal of my ability to watch dancers with a critical eye in fact comes from my RG background. Rhythmic gymnasts are flexible but not necessarily turned-out in hips for instance. I admit I was always the student in ballet class who did or try to do fouette rond de jambe en tournant with turned-in supporting leg. Like I said, very flexible but bad habit in turnout was a big hurdle for me as a student. One would think my RG background I would prefer to watch sporty dancers, but in fact it's quite the opposite. I believe there is a delineation between sports and ballet, I am just as excited about London Olys next year, especially looking forward to RG events. But that doesn't mean I wish to see sports as the dominating essence in ballet.

However, my first introduction to ballet was through attending a performance of Sleeping Beauty when I was 8 years old. I had been going to ballet performances on and off ever since, although I hadn't gone much until about three years ago. One of my friends is a ballet fiend, she not only follows our local company SFB, but also companies in Europe. Through her, I rediscovered the world of ballet again and started attending performances of SF Ballet and other companies with her. I must say I don't share in her overwhelming love for Russian dancers only. Don't get me wrong I love Bolshoi and Mariinsky dancers, but I don't only appreciate them and think of non-Russian dancers as second rate. Does that make sense? Anyhow, currently Paris Opera Ballet and Royal Ballet are my favorite companies, followed closely by Bolshoi, ABT, Mariinsky, and SFB. My favorite dancers are Matilde Froustey, Myriam Ould-Braham, Marianela Nunez, Alina Cojocaru, Sofiane Sylve, Diana Vishneva, Maria Alexandrova, Yevgenia Obraztsova, Danil Simkin, David Hallberg, Cory Stearns, Mathieu Ganio, Andrian Fadeyev, and Ivan Vasiliev, to name just a few.

I absolutely hated the movie Black Swan.

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Thank you for that delightful introduction, Cordelia!

As you may already have gathered, BalletAlertniks find their way here through many different paths. It's part of what keeps our discussions lively, I think. We're happy to welcome you into the mix. :shake:

Don't get me wrong I love Bolshoi and Mariinsky dancers, but I don't only appreciate them and think of non-Russian dancers as second rate. Does that make sense?

Absolutely! My own taste tends more towards smorgasbord -- more for the individual dancer than the company, although I do rank companies, too, of course.

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