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Stage Right

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Everything posted by Stage Right

  1. Beautifully stated! And I am glad there are some great ballerinas who DO "cultivate their soul". Not so easy to do in today's world.
  2. Gosh I keep hoping someone will reply to this post--it's so interesting. But I don't really have the perspective to do so.......but someone on this board must!
  3. Just a caveat on Meredith Daneman's "Margot Fonteyn". It was indeed well-written and exhaustively researched, but I actually ended up almost wishing I hadn't read it. It told me more about Margot Fonteyn than I guess I really wanted to know, including some very depressing material......read at your own risk.
  4. Re: Quiggen's comment about Christopher Wheeldon's choreography being "unmemorable": Without addressing whether or no that is true in Wheeldon's case (I haven't seen enough of his choreography to know), it does seem that a lot of contemporary ballet is "unmemorable". New choreography gets performed for a season, often to good reviews, but then drops into a black hole and is never, or rarely, seen again. Where are the contemporary ballets that are performed again and again, that get incorporated in the repertory of other companies, that become iconic "must see" dances? Am I just getting old and curmudgeonly (it's OK to say so:), or is a lot of contemporary ballet simply "unmemorable"? Or is some other dynamic going on?
  5. About 12 years ago I set this ballet for some extra-talented students at the university where I taught. As far as I can remember, we did most, but not all of the sections. They LOVED doing it, learned a lot, and did a reasonable job of it. And I loved being able to introduce this to my students and the audience, as I think it is a lovely, now-little-known gem of a ballet.
  6. My goodness, it makes me feel old because it seems like just a few years ago she was a young new sensation! I'm sorry I won't likely get a chance to see her dance again.
  7. Thank you for your post, Cyrilla. I had not heard of this interesting dancer before, and it is so good to know about dancers in the past who contributed significantly to these art forms, but have been overlooked.
  8. I agree with diane, and I had similar experiences, way back when! I was performing. As K. Melnikov says in the excerpt, it requires different muscle sets, as well as a different kind of flexibility and control. I can also say from my long teaching experience, that it is even difficult (for me) to go from teaching a modern dance class to teaching ballet, or even worse, from jazz (don't like teaching that anyway!!) to teaching ballet , or vice versa. The mental set is different, too.
  9. Thanks, Amy and Sandik for those thoughts. Now that you mention Vestris, Amy, I remember having read that at some time. And sandik, it's nice to hear I'm not the only one wiped out by that technique !
  10. Beautiful indeed!! Thanks for posting that. Many years ago, I took a couple of classes in Baroque dance, and found them probably the most difficult dance classes I ever tried--IMO, much harder than classical ballet. Maybe partly because it was new to me, but also, it took a great deal of ankle control, an extremely resilient and controlled use of pile, a very specific coordination between head, arms and body. (Hands too!). Not to mention the musical issues….. But this clip is probably the most expressive use of Baroque dancing that I've ever seen. Question: two things I've not seen before in Baroque dance were 1. the little turn-in, turn-out gesture of the leg, repeated several times, and 2. the double pirouettes with the leg extended in second. Does anyone know if these were traditional to Baroque dance? I thought double pirouettes didn't develop until the Romantic era?
  11. Yes, thank you for that portrait of Marc Platt. I'm so sorry to hear that he's gone. I, too, knew him mostly from his appearance in Ballet Russes, where I found him instantly engaging and interesting. And it's also sad that he's the last of those amazing dancers…..
  12. Oh I know what you mean -- I taught dance history for many years, and managed to accumulate a useful set of videos to illustrate the work, but it's certainly a motley collection! So is mine…..
  13. These are wonderful--thanks so much! I wish I'd had access to something like this when I was teaching ballet history…..
  14. Indeed she does look dynamic. She also looks a bit familiar, but i can't put a name to her.
  15. I am moved by reading these tributes to Carley. I did not ever meet or know her, but reading these I certainly wish I had. My condolences to her family and many friends.
  16. Here's a link to a recent editorial in the NY Times on this subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/opinion/sunday/a-picasso-in-trouble.html?src=rechp I especially like the very last suggestion in the article.
  17. I am very sorry to hear this. I was fortunate enough to be on the same stage with Ivan Nagy around 1971, when he came to Indiana University along with Natalia Makarova to guest star in Giselle with the IU ballet company. He was a beautiful dancer, a gorgeous man, and a very nice person. He was generous and kind to us college dancers, defusing some of Makarova's histrionics. May he rest in peace.
  18. Thank you for this head's up! Sounds like a good one.
  19. Hi Sandik. I was delighted to find it at my local library, and just finished reading it. I found it to be a wonderful read. It's very long, something like 623 pages of text, plus bibliography and notes, etc. But since I love that period of ballet history, it's like dessert for me. Previously I didn't know much about Markova beyond the standard stuff, and this book REALLY goes into depth; I felt I knew her as a friend, almost, when I was finished. The author gives a good sense of her personality, character, family influences, etc., as well as her ballet life. And there is a great deal of information about her partners, particularly Anton Dolin, choreographers, other dancers, her friendship with Alexandra Danilova, teachers…..let's just say that if you're fascinated by the Ballet Russes, or the founding of British Ballet, you shouldn't miss this book. I notice that some folks who reviewed this book on amazon mentioned that they didn't like the admittedly quite large amount of quoted material in the book, excerpts from reviews, letters, etc., but I actually felt that those added a great deal to the book--you aren't getting only the author's take on Markova, but that of many other well-informed people of the time. The material on Anton Dolin was particularly interesting to me as I had the incredible good fortune to have him as a ballet teacher in college. He was hired as a "guest lecturer" in ballet at Indiana University in the early 1970s, and he used to come in for a few weeks each semester. We were all rather in awe of him. He gave a very hard class which built a lot of stamina; we would do barre, and then he would have us repeat the whole barre in center floor, and then we'd do regular center work! He certainly was quite a mixed bag for Markova, though. The book left me wishing so much that I could see her dance…...
  20. I'm glad it's been given at least temporary reprieve! It just seems wrong that an artwork of this magnitude could be subject to the whim of one restaurant owner.
  21. It's a little while since I read it, but my recollection is that I enjoyed it very much, and it seemed that she had tried to be realistic in 'painting' the lives of ballet dancers of that time and place.
  22. Yes, that's a good question….I think you're right about the structure and line being more visible. Black and white lends a clarity that makes visible the essential elements of dance. In a way, I suppose, analogous to what Balanchine did by putting ballets in leotards and tights--gets rid of the distractions. I remember when I was a child just starting ballet, I had a book of photos from the Royal Ballet (Keith Money, I think? was the author's name). They were all in black and white, and there was something so evocative about them….I would spend hours just staring at them.
  23. I just read this issue today too, and loved the d'Amboise article also. Dance View is, IMO, the very best dance publication around. Excellent photos, (and I love that they are black and white), and insightful writing. And no advertising!!! So refreshing to have a serious, in-depth magazine on ballet.
  24. Not just possible injuries, but current injuries, strains/pains that the dancer currently has but aren't bad enough to sideline them. Very good points made here, bart.
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