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Stage Right

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Everything posted by Stage Right

  1. Injuries, right up at the top, problems with costumes, the fit of the pointe shoe, and whether it is hard enough/soft enough, properly broken in, etc., breathing, state of ones health, apart from injuries (for women, where they are in their cycle), the tempo of the music, especially if it is live, the condition of the stage floor, hunger, thirst……. (from one who's been there, briefly).
  2. Vipa, thank you so much for posting that interview with Merrill! It is wonderful, so rich with details and experiences. I enjoyed it tremendously, and will certainly watch it again. Really appreciate it.
  3. I used to stand in the back of the 4th ring when I was studying dance in NYC, and loved it! Although I was also glad when after the intermission I might find a seat further down. And when my mother would come to visit, we'd get seats in the Gand Tier, and that was a fabulous view!
  4. I enjoyed the photo booth interviews!
  5. Thanks so much, Angelica. I will try to find it. (And BTW, excuse my typo, that is Indiana University!).
  6. Even Makarova spoke of dancing at Indiana University (okay, one time). . Angelica, where did you hear Makarova talk about dancing at Indiana University? Because I was in that performance with her, and if she spoke about it somewhere, I'd love to hear it! In fact I just happened to post about it on another thread here recently. It was in the early 1970s, and she and Ivan Nagy were guest artists with the Indiana University student dance company in Giselle (I danced one of Giselle's Friends). I believe that the faculty member who directed that production was Kenneth Melville, formerly Royal Ballet. It was quite an experience!
  7. I felt the same way! I saw her in Swan Lake (I think it was Dowell but it's so long ago I'm not certain anymore), and it was about the least favorite Act 2 pas de deux I've ever seen--usually I love it, but sooo slooow, and felt like no real emotion at all! Nonetheless, I've seen Makarova in other things in which she was wonderful, and I even had the rare privilege of dancing on the same stage with her in Giselle, at a performance in college at Indiana University, around 1972. Her partner then was Ivan Nagy. I danced one of Giselle's friends. During one rehearsal, Makarova had a mini temper tantrum, stormed out of the room proclaiming that she couldn't dance with us, and Ivan Nagy just gave us a charming smile and said "now girls, you're doing fine, she'll get over it, just move a little to the left here and it'll be lovely. And it was!
  8. Can hardly wait! And thanks to mussel for posting the lovely program.
  9. Oh, Amy, thanks so much for posting this! I, too, would have been totally thrilled to be there! Must have been amazing, and I bet Franklin would have loved it.
  10. Hi Stage Right - If you read the interview with Kendall mentioned above, I think you will understand better that even Kendall was unsure if the "Lost Muse" notion would work. But she felt that it was worth showing the connections between Ivanova and Balanchine, and letting readers decide for themselves. I tend to agree with you that some of Kendall's assertions go too far, given the evidence, but I appreciated her efforts all the same. It was good of her to celebrate the short life of Lidia Ivanova. I agree pherank. I'm very glad she wrote this book and introduced us to this multi-faceted young woman. I just thought the lost muse connection was a bit shakier than it seemed, and I'm glad to know that Kendall was uncertain too. But it makes a great 'hook' for the book and readers who might otherwise give it a pass.
  11. I also recently finished reading this book. It was indeed a fascinating read. Although I've read many books about this era in Russian Ballet, there was much in this book that was new to me. Also a great deal that was new to me about Balanchine. In fact, this book fills in the gaps for me about how Balanchine became the choreographer that he did. I had no idea just how much choreography he did in Russia before leaving. Perhaps the most fascinating of all for me were the various "avant-garde" influences on Balanchine in Russia, before he even got to Diaghilev. I did not know what an interesting person and choreographer Preobrazhenskaya was ( I knew she was an acclaimed teacher, but not her other talents), nor was I aware of the considerable bohemian and artistic avant-garde in St. Petersburg at that time. The influence of the "NEP" on ballet in Russia was another revelation. And in addition to all that, the story of Lidochka! In that regard, however, I did feel that Kendall was pushing more than a little in trying to make Lidochka such an important, even primary, influence on Balanchine's life. Although I'm sure she was important to him in certain ways, I became less convinced as the book went on that she had the kind of influence Kendall was proposing. I also enjoyed the later section of the book where Kendall points out how, specifically, Balanchine's Russian roots and experiences influenced his choreography in the West. Oh, yes, and the convoluted dynamics of Balanchine's family.....this book is SO rich in so many ways that I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in ballet! And bravos to the author for an exceptional body of research.
  12. I'm so sad to hear this! I took quite a few classes from David Howard back in the early 1980s in NY. Very good teacher, although by then his classes were so crowded that the experience was somewhat different from those lucky enough to study with him in more private settings. I really appreciated his manner of teaching, open, funny and clear.
  13. I taught a university dance history course for many years. In the beginning, I was in charge of teaching the history of dance (in one semester) from "the beginning" to 1900. (It did begin with animal dances and their imitations by humans). Talk about having to throw a lot of material out!! Later in my teaching career, I was able to teach a one-semester course in ballet history--still a lot to discard. I knew that with that short amount of time, there was no way I could cover "world dance" so I did stick to the Western canon-centric bias, since ballet is primarily a western-originated art form. Except, that I always started the course by showing the film on Jiri Kylian, "The Road to Stamping Ground". I did this to show how very early tribal dance could powerfully connect with a contemporary ballet choreographer. My students used to love that film, and it generated a good deal of discussion. But then it was back to the canon, and I was really lucky if I was able to get through my whole syllabus, which basically included the following: The Roots of Ballet in Renaissance and Baroque Dance, Transition to the Stage, The Romantic Era, Classical Ballet/Petipa, Ballet at the Turn of the 20th Century, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, The Influence of Balanchine, Contemporary Ballet in the late 20th and Early 21st Centuries. Now, those were broad general titles, and there was a lot more contained in each section--i.e., "The Influence of Balanchine" contained information on several other prominent choreographers of the time, but basically, that was the skeleton. I also showed as much film as I could, since many of my students, even those majoring in dance, had not had the opportunity to see very many live ballet performances at all--in many cases, NONE (other than the Nutcracker)! So the films were crucial. Since most of my students were dancers, I also included classes where we actually sampled the styles we were talking about (at least in the cases where I had enough experience myself to teach it with credibility), so we did some Renaissance and Baroque dance, some Romantic-style ballet, looked at some of the technical differences brought into ballet training by Balanchine, etc. It was a lot of material to try to cover, and I was never fully satisfied with the course, but did the best I could in an institution that cared very little about the arts in general, and even less about dance. Swanhilda8, I think your idea about Ballet and Power would make for a very interesting course, but, depending on the program you teach in, might be more suitable at the graduate level?
  14. Fascinating! Thank you.
  15. I don't know how I missed this news all this time. I somehow knew it was imminent, and had been keeping an eye out for this for weeks, but missed it until now. I am so sad! But what a wonderful, marvelous, full life!! He will be greatly missed by many.
  16. Oh, I'm sorry to hear this. I met him only once, but he studied ballet with my first teacher in Detroit, Sandra Severo. I know she was always so proud of his accomplishments
  17. Marie Taglioni--just to see what she was like.
  18. Yes, that's what bothered me! It seems to have that implication.
  19. I've noticed something lately, and wondered if others have too, and if you know the reason for it: in the last few months, I've noticed that on the front of the Sunday NY Times Arts and Leisure section, where they post what's on the inside pages, I no longer see a Dance category (which used to be there, if not every week then frequently). It will, for example, say Film, p.XX, or theatre, p. XXX, but no longer dance. Even when there is, in fact, a long dance article somewhere inside that section. Today, for example, there is a nice article on page 11 about Daniil Simkin of ABT, but on the front headings, there's nothing to alert us to it. And that's been the case for weeks. Is this a policy decision, and if so, why???
  20. I just got my two books a few days ago, have read "Listen to the Nightingale", and am almost finished with "Thursday's Children". I love these books! So well written, and they remind me of the many English children's books I read in my childhood (these two books came along too late for my childhood, but I'm enjoying them just as much now). The characters are quite complex and so are the stories, and the author has a clear familiarity with the Royal Ballet School of her time. I'm happy to find out that Rumer Godden wrote at least two more books with ballet themes: "A Candle for St. Jude" (more of an adult book, I believe, which follows up on one of the characters in the Nightingale book), and "Pippa Passes" (for teens, not children). I don't think either of them involves the Royal Ballet School, but they are about ballet. I will probably order some used copies of those, as they are out-of-print. Excellent author.
  21. Oh, I'd love to read these! I haven't heard Rumer Godden's name for years. I went to amazon--all I see is used copies from the 1990s, and I'd like to get the new editions. Where can I order them from?
  22. Wow, what an incredibly long thread! here's my votes: Ivan Nagy (don't think anyone's mentioned him yet), Erik Bruhn, Peter Martins, George Zoritch. I saw someone mention Christopher Gables in there somewhere, and that brought back memories of one of my favorite ballet books as a child......
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