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Anthony Dowell

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Today, 16 February 2018, Anthony Dowell turns 75. So I just had to post this video of him performing the variation Frederick Ashton created for Peter Wright's production of The Sleeping Beauty in 1968. Half a century later, this performance still hasn't been bettered. Not even close.

(If I've missed a Dowell thread somewhere on this forum, my apologies for starting a new one.)

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Thank you so much for posting this, that is probably my favourite SB production of all time.

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Beautiful. Dowell was my proto-danseur. I watched him on the Royal's Swan Lake video with Makarova at age — 10? 12? — and have loved his dancing ever since.

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Such a wonderful, attenuated line.  And Ashton knew just what to do with it.  This is a lovely example of the combination of choreographer and performer.

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5 hours ago, nanushka said:

Beautiful. Dowell was my proto-danseur. I watched him on the Royal's Swan Lake video with Makarova at age — 10? 12? — and have loved his dancing ever since.

Ditto! I played that video countless times while growing up. He was sublime.

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I also loved that Swan Lake video. Still have it somewhere.

A belated thank-you for posting that link, volcanohunter. He's just so....perfect. May he enjoy many more years!

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I missed this when it was first posted--Dirac's comment "bumped" it to my attention. Beautiful performance, beautiful dancer.

Dowell was my very favorite male dancer in my younger days and probably still ranks as my all time favorite. I have seen some great male dancers since of course, but no-one with a beauty of movement that so completely speaks to me. And in roles created for him, no-one comes close to what he achieved.

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On 2/16/2018 at 2:21 PM, volcanohunter said:

So I just had to post this video of him performing the variation Frederick Ashton created for Peter Wright's production of The Sleeping Beauty in 1968

Please do excuse my ignorance : I have seen a number of SB at POB, Bolshoy and Mariinka but don't recall either the music or the choreo - presume it's particular to the RB.

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Yes it is, Ashton created it to show a prince yearning for true love prior to the entrance of the Lilac Fairy.

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Posted (edited)

 

Really enjoyed watching Dowell coaching Reece Clarke from the Royal Ballet in that very same solo:

 

Edited by rhys

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This is a great clip, rhys, thanks. I didn't have time to watch it all through but I'm going to come back to it. Particularly interested in what Dowell says about use of the upper body.

 

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On 2/16/2018 at 11:21 AM, volcanohunter said:

Today, 16 February 2018, Anthony Dowell turns 75. So I just had to post this video of him performing the variation Frederick Ashton created for Peter Wright's production of The Sleeping Beauty in 1968. Half a century later, this performance still hasn't been bettered. Not even close.

(If I've missed a Dowell thread somewhere on this forum, my apologies for starting a new one.)

So beautiful ... his lines, musicality ... everything!  

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The UK's finest, forever and ever and ever. 

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48 minutes ago, Mashinka said:

What about John Gilpin?

This is one of the tricky things about the art form -- we know best the people we see most directly, but we fantasize more gloriously about the dancers we will never see.  There are many people I love whom I have seen dance, but for me, the ones that got away are the ones that fascinate me most.  (Karsavina...)  We've had several threads here on BA over the years, about dancers we wish we had seen -- we keep coming back to this theme because it is so incredibly powerful.

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2 hours ago, dirac said:

This is a great clip, rhys, thanks. I didn't have time to watch it all through but I'm going to come back to it. Particularly interested in what Dowell says about use of the upper body.

 

Ditto -- will watch later when I have more time, but golly!

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On 08.04.2018 at 12:18 AM, mnacenani said:

Please do excuse my ignorance : I have seen a number of SB at POB, Bolshoy and Mariinka but don't recall either the music or the choreo - presume it's particular to the RB.

Tchaikovsky's score includes a Sarabande that goes between the wedding pas de deux and the finale. Very few productions use this music.

In 1968 Frederick Ashton used a shortened version of it to choreograph a solo for the Prince that goes between the hunt scene and the vision scene in Act 2, and it has been an integral part of Royal Ballet productions ever since. (I never saw Makarova's short-lived production, so I have no idea whether it was incorporated there.)

Rudolf Nureyev's production uses the Sarabande at the beginning of Act 3 as a dance for Aurora's parents and the court.

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It's a lovely piece of music, and I think Ashton's used it with great finesse.

 

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Sir Ashton was able to do what Nureyev attempted and failed at: a second Act variation for Desiré, Ashton's choreography couldn't be lovelier while Nureyev's is MACABRE.:blink:

But then again, Sir Ashton was the greatest choreographer of the 20th century and Nureyev, well, he wasn't. 

 

 

 

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On ‎08‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 3:59 PM, Mashinka said:

What about John Gilpin?

No no, Sir Tony for me, always.

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On February 16, 2018 at 6:21 AM, volcanohunter said:

Today, 16 February 2018, Anthony Dowell turns 75. So I just had to post this video of him performing the variation Frederick Ashton created for Peter Wright's production of The Sleeping Beauty in 1968. Half a century later, this performance still hasn't been bettered. Not even close.

Thank you for posting this. I just realized I hadn't watched it earlier.

What elegance, control and beautiful lines he had. His technique was really ahead of the times, because by today's standards his still holds up, almost 50 years later. 

I nearly wore out the SL video of him and Markarova when I was young. 

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