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About Ari

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    Arlington, VA
  1. Ballet lovers analyze dancers' performances because they love the art and want to see it thrive. They (or at least those of us here at Ballet Talk) don't see a performance as a commodity for which they've shelled out money, and what we do here is not the balletic equivalent of product reviews on Amazon. We all appreciate the fact that artists work very hard, and are grateful to them for doing so. But like all artists, they have to recognize that the people for whom they're performing have opinions about what they see, and some of these may not be to the artists' liking. Here at Ballet Talk
  2. Hmmmnnn, no one's mentioned Allegra Kent. One of the all-time great beauties, with her otherworldly aura.
  3. Helgi Tomasson, Anthony Dowell, Nikolaj Hubbe . . .
  4. Donnelan had (has?) his own company, called Cheek By Jowl, that perform(ed)(s) Shakespeare. It was quite celebrated in London and made the trip to the Brooklyn Academy of Music five or six years ago. I saw Much Ado and remember it as a pretty conventional staging and not up to the hype, both good and bad. His most famous staging was, I believe, of As You Like It, performed entirely by men. I also saw his production of Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul a couple of years ago -- a boring play (except for the opening monologue) with, again, nothing startling about the direction. Perhaps there is
  5. Indeed. Since the Bolshoi just hired Svetlana Zakharova, another very big (well, tall) ballerina, I doubt that Volochkova's size was the moving factor here . . . When I saw Volochkova with the Bolshoi a year and a half ago, my reaction was the same as Alexandra's. In Don Q she looked like everything I'd been lead to expect -- vulgar, and a performer for whom ballet was a means, not an end. But in Bayadere (I didn't see her Swan Lake) she was entirely different, a serious and disciplined artist. Whatever her excesses may be, there is something genuine and worthwhile there. It's too bad t
  6. Regarding Jorgen's post about pronouncing Tatiana Terekhova's name — I have a video of La Bayadère with Terekhova as Gamzatti in which the Russian announcer pronounces her name with the stress on the second syllable, which is the way I've always pronounced it. She also rolls the "r."
  7. Susan Freedman was also wonderful as one of the sisters in Prodigal Son. She actually reacted to what was happening onstage (as opposed to the other sister, Carole Divet, who just stood there like she was waiting for a bus), and in the final scene added to the pathos with her compassion for the Prodigal.
  8. Another unforgettable Estopinal role: the lead in the Ricercata section of Episodes. Her musicality and unfussy dignity were perfect for this part, and for years after she retired, when watching this ballet, I would mentally edit out the dancer onstage and replace her with Renée. Later, Maria Calegari gave a breathtaking performance in that role, but it's Renée's that sticks in my mind.
  9. I was there—a very enjoyable evening. Excellent program which showed off the dancers' classical style, which overall I thought very good. I was left feeling that I'd like to see more of the company, which is always a good sign. Ballo della Regina was carefully and rather genteelly danced; I would have liked more oomph. However, the third soloist (I don't know her name), displayed the amplitude and attack of the Balanchine dancer. Lorena Feijoo was the ballerina, and if she didn't quite define the steps in Merrill Ashley's glittering, razor-sharp fashion, well, who can? She tackled what
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