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valsetriste

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About valsetriste

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    Ballet Alert!

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan, dancer
  • City**
    Chicago
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    IL

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  1. That would make sense to me! I guess my difficulty there was the contrast between the scene where Rudolf asks Mitzi to join in the suicide pact—that part seems quite clear—juxtaposed with the ambiguity of her possible betrayal. Thank you for the rest of the information in your post. It’s been a while since I’ve read in-depth about the Mayerling incident and so I can’t remember what information came to light after MacMillian’s work premiered. I do remember that Twilight of Empire suggested that Rudolf was trying to break things off with Mary and didn’t want her at the lodge... It’s so interesting to have this material to read alongside the ballet!
  2. In case this helps anyone, I found it: the original article is about Alexandra Ansanelli's career, and it references this survey, which states, "We know of no other occupation that requires such extensive training, that is held in such esteem as a contribution to culture, and that pays so little."
  3. A bit delayed, but I'd like to post my impressions of the Saturday Mayerling! A few months ago I was entranced by the televised McRae/Lamb performance and jumped at the chance to see Mayerling in person. I chose Saturday night mainly for my love of Sarah—the rest of the cast was, I think, almost the same as the televised version, with the exception of Matthew Ball. I read great reviews of his debut last year and was excited to see his take on the role. He was absolutely fantastic—his agony and hurt were so palpable. He was so sympathetic by the end, in fact, I found it hard to square his wounded persona with Rudolf's behavior in the first act. His mother's rejection helps to explain his horrific treatment of Stephanie, but ruining his wedding by flirting with the bride's sister didn't seem to fit with Matthew's overall interpretation. But this is really nitpicking—Matthew's dancing and acting were incredible, as were Sarah's. Only when the curtain fell did I realize I had been barely breathing from the start of the final pas de deux to the very end. Marcelino Sambé—whose speed elicited gasps and applause—and James Hay were also standouts. I went with my boyfriend, and my parents, who live nearby, tagged along—I was shocked by how much they all enjoyed it! I was fully expecting my dad to sleep through the performance but every intermission he was raving about the show and asking me tons of questions about the plot. (I agree with the posts mentioning the inadequacy of the program notes. My dad thought that the Hungarian officers were Rudolf's "best men," employed to distract him and thus keep him from interfering in court affairs. I answered my family's questions as best I could, trying not to give too much away, but I was stumped when they asked why Mitzi Caspar blew Rudolf's cover to the prime minister.) I am so, so glad the Royal brought Mayerling over—it definitely has its faults, but I think reviewers can sometimes get too caught up in the details and miss an overall spectacular ballet. The melodrama, the acrobatics, the crazy-but-true story...my parents immediately bought Twilight of Empire afterwards, which certainly speaks to their engagement with the work. One of my favorite nights at the ballet.
  4. Hello! Some months or years ago, I found a link on BA! to an article about dancers' retirement (with many quotes from former dancers) that referenced an academic report claiming that, out of all working artists, ballet dancers have the highest number of training years under their belt yet the lowest compensation. I've tried a bunch of Google and BA! searches to no avail. If either the article or the report rings a bell for anyone, please let me know! Thanks so much!
  5. What? This is really splitting hairs. "Dancer" is her profession. As someone who has been "19" as well as 20, I can't think of a discernible difference between the two.
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