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Stage Right

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Everything posted by Stage Right

  1. Yes, Sandik, i realize that there were many influences on the "dance boom", but I do believe that the extensive tours by international ballet companies played an important part in the USA, beginning with the various iterations of the Ballet Russes. People in even small cities or towns were aware of ballet and the big name dancers in a way that I find just does not exist now outside the larger costal cities primarily: NYC, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, and others. Smaller cities, even such as mine, even where there is a highly educated population, will not recognize any of the names of dancers spoken of on this forum, or choreographers such as Wheeldon, Ratmansky, and certainly not any below that level. If you talked to many people here, I think they would be completely uninterested in ballet, and perhaps characterize it as a dying art for elites only. I think this is a problem for ballet going forward.
  2. Dance on film of any kind really doesn't compare, IMO, to live performance. A whole dimension (pun intended) is completely lost. When I was a child/teenager in Detroit, MI, I had the great good fortune (and good mother!) to be able to see The Royal Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet, the (then) Kirov Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet. ABT. NYCB, The Eliot Feld Ballet, and I may be missing one or two, between the ages of 5-20, or 1956-1972. Some I saw more than once, and all in Detroit! A lost world, truly. Perhaps there is a connection between those opportunities that abounded then, and the "Ballet boom" shortly thereafter?
  3. I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet in this thread, but I also wonder if some of the drop in attendance could be due to the fact that the large companies no longer tour smaller communities as they did up until around, perhaps, 1965. They may send out occasional small performances with younger members of their companies, but large-scale tours are now, I know, prohibitively expensive. I live in a mid-size city in a large northeastern state in the US. It has a well-known Ivy league university, and a highly educated, culturally aware population with a relatively high income level. But we never get a touring ballet company here. We may get small, second tier modern dance/jazz/ethnic companies about once a year (true!!), but NO ballet. There is a "high-school dance company", but for a true ballet lover this does not suffice on any level. Also, those who might have been exposed to excellent ballet in the past, and developed a life-long love of it, no longer do. For me to see a good ballet company requires a five-hour bus trip there and five hours back again--another expense in addition to tickets, plus perhaps the price of a hotel in NYC if wanting to stay overnight. This is not possible more than once in a blue moon for me.
  4. Thanks, Canbelto, for the picture. Ugly??????? The only thing ugly was whoever made that comment!! She has a lovely, strong and open face, with a beautiful smile and striking eyes. Most of us should be so fortunate!
  5. Huh?? That seems like a lot of money to be devoted to closing something, doesn't it? Or am I just naive?
  6. My interpretation of the term "plastique" is rather different to the responses above. Perhaps I made it up! But when I hear or read about a dancer possessing "plastique" I think of a dancer who has a sort of controlled, yet highly expressive and beautiful flexibility in her movement. (I suppose it could be 'his' movement as well, although I've usually encountered this term applied to female dancers). I think of Allegra Kent. Perhaps I'm way off base.
  7. I saw La Valse once many years ago.....I was probably in my mid-teens, and on a trip to NYC with my mother. I remember loving it; there seemed to be a darkness to its beauty that appealed to me at that age (and might still, who knows). I wish I could say something more definitive about it, but I was young, drinking in whatever I saw of ballet, without much ability to discriminate or analyze. Just remember that I loved it and it stayed in my mind. I think Mimi Paul was one of the leads.
  8. I really wanted to like this movie too. But......I could barely make it through the first half hour. A fun premise for the opening, the freeway and the traffic jam and dancers, but it went on way too long with very predictable dancing. Also, I guess I'm old-fashioned (sure of it, in fact :), but the editing was so fast and vertiginous that I couldn't really enjoy much of anything I saw. The plot in the first half hour was not well-established. I lost interest and left.
  9. Ditto to Sandik's list--my college students also used many of these texts. For something visual, if you can find a copy, I HIGHLY recommend "Ballet Russes" DVD, on such places as netflix.
  10. I agree--it doesn't look like Fonteyn at all to me.
  11. The Sleeping Beauty (first ballet I ever saw, age 4) The Nutcracker (from dancing in it) Les Patineurs (same) Swan Lake Les Sylphides
  12. That is a fascinating article. it is a great credit to the dancers and teachers in Iran that they manage to persist under those conditions.
  13. I think the major problem is that they see fit to eliminate words pertaining to the natural world we all live in, and substitute words given to us by the commercial world of digital technology--talk about creepy!
  14. That's an interesting thought. To me it almost seems that that point of view (McGregor's) is endorsing the split between mind/emotions and body. Which is a point of view that modern dance training has traditionally opposed! So perhaps as an audience we're expected to just look at the body, the physique, and divorce that from our minds and our feelings, and the dancers do the same?? That doesn't appeal to me at all, and I think it's a flawed premise.
  15. I'm sad to hear this, as I, too, have many wonderful memories of The Ballet Shop and its owner (I'm not sure I even knew his name back then, although I can picture him in my mind's eye). I loved that place! May he rest in peace.
  16. Thanks so much for posting this. I don't know if the problem is on my end or yours, but when i tried to listen to this, I got about 30 seconds into it, and it stopped, and a notice popped up saying "plug-in failure". Not a notice I've seen before, so not even sure what it refers to. Would love to listen to the whole thing, Erik Bruhn being one of my favorite male dancers.
  17. kfw, thanks for those video links--lovely dancers, very nice to see.
  18. I think Amy hit on an important point....that there can (and should) be a range of dynamics for grand jetes (as in other steps), depending on the style of the ballet in question, the expressive use of the grand jete (if any), and other considerations. I think it's a problem when a certain technique gets overvalued and popularized. Other examples of this tendency are six o'clock (and beyond) penchee arabesques, developpes a la seconde that go up to the ear, even many multiple pirouettes. If the focus is on obtaining the currently valued super-technique (as in this case, split-jump grand jetes), rather than the stylistic and expressive context of the larger dance, then yes, something has definitely been lost, and completely misunderstood as well.
  19. It is interesting to me to read the comments from the beginning of this thread, in 2003, and compare them to these recent posts about her retirement....demonstrates clearly what an evolution can occur in a dancer's development over time!
  20. Wow, I'm sorry to hear that! She was such a legend in NYC in the eighties, when I was studying there. I don't know why I never made it to her class......now I wish I had.
  21. I was fortunate enough to see her perform, on tour in Detroit, when I was about 11 years old. An experience I will always remember. I am sad to hear this news, although on the other hand I really didn't know that she was still among us! She lived a good, long life. Strong woman! R.I.P.
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