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duffster

Senior Member
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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former professional ballet dancer
  • City**
    philadelphia
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    pennsylvania

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  1. An enjoyable read- I especially enjoyed on how to interpret NYC 's rehearsal and casting schedule- and the politics that come in to play.
  2. I just don't understand the name change- locals will be calling it Philly Ballet
  3. How delightful to watch this rehearsal. Thank you Buddy for posting. I enjoyed the couples absolute ease in approaching the demanding sections- with no strain, gorgeous lines. (Vaganova). How fortunate to be coached by the elegant and calm Kekisheva. I remember having an old program, from theKirov, now Marinsky, when they came to tour in the US, and she was pictured in a photo of The White Cat (in the Sleeping Beauty) -Gorgeous legs , beautiful jump and an absolutely charming face. Strange today how I still remember it. It was my first ever ballet performance that my mother took me to see. I held on to that souvenir program until it was in shreds.
  4. I had the great opportunity to work with Barbara in the early days of Pennsylvania Ballet. She was my very first director, who would cast me in the wonderful Balanchine works- Barocco,Donizetti, Pas de Dix and Scotch Symphony as an apprentice{going to high school during the day}. Her classes were very detailed and stamina building. When we were on tour, she was always with us- almost as a family member. She forgave me years later for leaving the company to dance with two other companies and invited me to come back home to the Pennsylvania Ballet. It was the happiest time for me in my career. Thank you Barbara and may you rest in peace...
  5. I enjoyed watching the various segments of the classes and auditions also the expressions on the young angels faces when they were in the rehearsal the ballerinas. It is wonderful to see a school that truly cares about each student- developing them to be their best so that they all will find a good job. I was impressed with Dena Abergel and Arch Higgins -their commitment and skill in teaching the young ones . I found it interesting that the school would offer to help you find an apartment, also with taxes etc. I my day you were completely on your own. I found tears rolling down my face when the first dancer found out that she was made an apprentice- having lived through it myself. I loved Kay Mazzo telling two newly promoted apprentices " Now you can call your parents"
  6. Even better to have a teacher, (the wonderful David Howard) constantly telling me, over and over to stop snapping back on my knees in class. He would demonstrate how to pull up without gripping- he was hyperextended as well. He would make sure that you were always on your legs, not on your heels, at the barre - this helped in the center when you were doing any kind of turns. I stopped watching the first video as it made my knees hurt. I hope that Misty will improve with her new coach (Conrad)- but I just don't understand what he is trying to do.
  7. I love Sir Peter Wright's version for the Royal Ballet- my favorite scene is the transformation when the tree grows- gave me chills when I first saw it.
  8. What I do to get the English subtitles- on the you tube screen press the cc(closed captions) then press settings, then press subtitles, then autotranslate, then scroll down to English and they should come up for you on the screen. Sometimes the translations of the words are not always correct, but you still will be able to get an idea of what they are discussing. There might be an easier way to do this , but it has always worked for me.
  9. This is very upsetting- I feel bad for the dancers. I was a member of the National Ballet when it folded. I was fortunate to be hired by another company about two months before it closed. I saw the writing on the wall- we would run to the bank(as soon as paychecks were given out) hoping that they would not bounce from lack of funds. A gala was given by Liza Minelli to raise funds (at Kennedy Center) but it was not enough. As a dancer you had to (if you were lucky to be snatched up by another company) start all over again. I would suggest auditioning to the Washington company members now. Having lived through the nightmare of a good company folding, I certainly hope that it will not happen again.
  10. When I was a young ballet student my mother took me to see NYCB. Mr. Mitchell was performing in AGON. He possessed an outstanding clarity and brilliance in his movements that I believe that only great dancers have. (It is something that cannot be taught) I'm thinking of Alonso, Maximova. Vasiliev,Dowell etc. You have to experience them live. You leave the theatre with a much lighter heart. I was very fortunate to see him. RIP and thank you Mr. Mitchell.
  11. During layoffs, my cat Sabrina would watch me do a barre at home- with the most astonishing look of disapproval on her face. As though to say - you are not turning out enough or your port de bras is incorrect. I'll never forget it.
  12. Thank you Vipa for finding this documentary of Fernando. When he still was with SAB, he would perform with the Eglevsky Ballet. I had the good fortune to dance with him-along with Marina Eglevsky in the Glinka pas de trois. He was a tremendously hard worker even with all of his natural gifts- never saw him phone it in- either in class or in performance. He also could laugh at himself at times and was a true gentleman. Quite an inspiration to be around as well. Surely gone too soon. In the SAB segment I think I saw Kevin Haigen smiling at one point.
  13. I danced with Dennis when I was with the Harkness Ballet. We performed the monster Bats in Brian Mac Donald's Firebird- he was a great partner- never dropping me in the awkward and dangerous lifts. He was outstanding in John Butler's Sebastian, Mac Donald's Time out of Mind,and the friend in Monument for a dead boy by Van Dantzig. He was a prankster- one time (during a rehearsal of a ballet he did not like), when the balletmaster left the room- jumped up and changed the hands on the clock by 15 min. so we could get out earlier. We all loved him. RIP Dennis
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