Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×


Inactive Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by tempusfugit

  1. EAW, you are confusing the work of art with the poorformance, as I often refer to it. Giselle's miming is not supposed to be 'coy', nor is the mad scene supposed to be 'never-convincing'...if you have been unfortunate enough to see ballerinas perpetrate such things, you need to see real ballerinas in the role. The work of art , ANY work of art, cannot withstand abominable performances, and it requires very careful insight to perceive the masterpiece under the krill. In the immortal words of Cecile Genhart: 'when you encounter a work of art usually called great and you do not like it, ALWAYS SUSPECT THE PERFORMANCE'.
  2. Silvy, Alonso was remarkable in every way, not least as a virtuoso. There was also (some time ago) a video on YouTube of Alonso dancing Black Swan on a checkerboard (black and white, probably) floor; as the squares are vividly delineated, it is possible to see EXACTLY how little the ballerina travels in her fouettes. Quite stunning, and may still be up.
  3. I also saw the Saturday and Sunday performances in West Palm Beach. Found P. Delgado lovely and very expressive in the Verdy role; Manning was correct but cautious and much too constrained for me. The pas de trois, on the other hand, was as young, reckless, and crazily happy as I have ever seen it--a real highlight. This male part was made on John Prinz, at the time the rising danseur noble of the company, and Wong, although shorter and more compact, has not only freshness but promise of many mature virtues. Noelle was superb as the tall girl in Rubies (the exit with the penchees was indeed great, especially the vampish look as she vanished)--and speaking of vampish, Kronenberg is almost in the league of Farrell for the 'ginch'. I thought she was fascinating and completely assured in the McBride role-- a pleasure in every way, which I have rarely said since seeing McBride dance it. Although I very much liked Catoya in Emeralds, and find her dazzling in virtuoso roles, I did not think her at all suited to Diamonds. It is not a question of her brilliant and crystalline technique, nor of the large scale of her dancing (huge for a small woman), but of the sensibility. Seay, whom I have seen far too rarely, was gracious, poignant, retiring, poetic, refined beyond belief--a completely individual approach, utterly unlike Farrell, and equally as compelling and valid. Seay's elegance can hardly be overstated, nor can her generosity, understatement, and warmth.
  4. Saw the last three performances. Helene, you are sooooooooo right about Imler (I remember your saying elsewhere she was like a waterfall made of cream...). having seen her and plotzed at her Polyhymnia, I was looking forward to more of her dancing. Dazzling is an understatement. On Saturday night, I couldn't understand why I was the only one to gasp loudly (nearly shriek) at her pas de chat vole exit in Square Dance. On dead shoes, no less. I always remember Nichols' exquisite brio in the echappe/releve/whathaveyou (ok, 'wickety-wack' is easier, lol) sequence, and how impeccably briliant Ashley was in everything. Imler was superb in that as well. I was very sad not to see Pantastico in a role in which I imagine she's flawless--the pics of her in it are maddening. I thought Korbes was inscrutable, yes, erotic, yes...morally bankrupt? To me she was a sort of princess who invariably gets her way and is almost bored with that; she occasionally lifted an eyebrow or revealed a bit of emotion, but most of the time she couldn't be bothered with interaction with the peons. In her pdd with her cape, in the backward lunges, she seemed to make them almost deliberately awkward to amuse herself. Fascinating. I'd have liked to have seen her with Postlewaite, the golden boy to her golden girl. Thought Moore was very moving, young, heedless, impulsive, warm-hearted, with tremendous emotion throughout; the last scene, and the moment when he cringes away and hides his face when Neubert appears, was wonderful. Lallone was even more authoritative and powerful than I'd expected. Rausch's epaulement is simply IT; I hadn't read your comment when I saw her, but I blinked and sat up immediately. Weese looks ravishing, as usual; her arms and allegro steps looked fine to me. perhaps the last performances were better, as Vinson's were. Both Weese and Imler made the swivels on quarter point in the opening cadenza look relatively easy, which is admirable considering how annoying and difficult that particular trick is. Chapman and Rausch were lovely together as the demis. I too loathed the quasi-tights on the men, and did anyone else hate the backdrop/set for Imperial? Where was the Nevsky Prospect and COLUMN?!?!?! Bad ballroom is not the setting for this ballet. And--someday--could we ever have the double saut de basques back in the finale????
  5. I was astounded at the idea that Hubbe was less than brilliant and Borree more than barely passable in Duo. I saw Martins and Mazzo in the roles in their time, had no difficulty understanding OR distinguishing the steps, role, or choreography in Hubbe's dazzling performance, and preferred him to Martins. To think that Croce used to complain about Mazzo...!!!! "sketchy, infirm legs and feet", a phrase Croce applied to Mazzo once, defines Borree. Tension in every part of the body, so severe that it is literally debilitating, an utter lack of presence or dramatic capability ( Mazzo had not only shy vulnerability and intimacy but the capacity for deep emotion, imperative-- and utterly lacking in this performance-- in the Dithyrambe)-- steps which literally bore no resemblance to what Mazzo did (or for that matter Ashley or Kistler even a few years ago)... I was happy to read others' raves about Whelan, who now has a delicacy and chastity in serious roles unheard-of these days, in addition to her many other obvious virtues. her first slow turns in Barocco were ravishing and nearly without impulse, and the lifts in the second movement some of the loveliest I've ever seen. the orchestra was even worse-- and slower-- than usual... Hyltin was marvelous to watch, if slightly less controlled than some of the other dancers in Divert; she, like Scheller and Peck, instantly commands the eye. (It is indeed hard to believe that Peck is sixteen; she has the confidence and presence of a ballerina) No one mentioned Mearns' debut as the Dark Angel, which was interesting, and promising. Not having seen Reichlen before, I was instantly bowled over by her first steps as one of the First Movement demis in Bizet; sadly, the temperature dropped precipitously with Stafford's first entrance. A ballerina role calling for effortless, expansive grandeur is not well served by strenuous efficiency, to say the least. I could not help wanting to see Reichlen as the ballerina in this and several other roles. Sylve was all they say and more: grand, regal, silken (the balance was so simple for her it appeared just another part of the choreography, which is rare indeed). Bouder falls a lot (a quality Balanchine very much appreciated...) as she herself says, and her brio in the Tema Russo was impressive. I have always found In the Night trivial, predictable, and cliche-ridden (even with Mazzo, McBride, and Verdy!) but was very impressed by the dancers' efforts to make it dramatically plausible; they almost succeeded. Somogyi was wonderful in Sanguinic:, clean, candid, and looking much more like her old self. Scheller in one ballerina role (Divert) made me long for her in Square Dance, Bizet Third Movement, Harlequinade, Tarantella, Rubies......
  6. Actually, it seems quite clear from the astounding avalanche of Borree support and chiding remarks here that it's NOT okay in this instance to say "this performance SUCKED", or even "this ballerina is incapable of fulfilling the duties or meeting the demands of the roles in which she appears". In my opinion, performers appearing in public are fair game for responses and feedback both positive and negative, and occasional harsh evaluations of the performers' PERFORMANCES-- not their private lives, their personalities, or any aspect other than their dancing, for example, under the aegis of NYCB on the State Theater stage-- are neither inappropriate nor out of place. Nor was a discussion of Borree off topic in a thread which not only discussed in its title casting which (at the time) included her, but which had direct inquiries later on about her dancing. Whatever the myriad failings of critics may be, neither they nor the audience should be chastened for observing what is in their view the sad truth because it might make the performer feel bad
  7. Anne, it is true that Balanchine did sometimes change steps for dancers (Verdy in the pirouette variation of Raymonda Variations, Farrell in Apollo and Barocco, Ashley in Sanguinic, the alternate men's variations of Tchaik Pas for D'Amboise and Villella, etc, etc) and that he sometimes OFFERED to change them and was refused. Adams recalls that she thought she was "awful in the finale of Symphony in C with everyone else whirling around...." and Balanchine said he would change it and she said no, don't. The 32 fouettes are a special case because they were originally a stunt (at the time of the premiere only that ballerina could do this trick, and it became de rigeur ever after in her performances and eventually everyone else's), not something integral to the concept of Odile or originally planned as part of the role. It seems to me that if a ballerina does another step or manege brilliantly that's perfectly fine in Swan Lake Act III, whereas it really is NOT fine to alter steps without the blessing of a choreographer like Balanchine. To name three notorious examples, Square Dance, Glinka Pas de Trois (when it was revived in 93), and Who Cares? all have dazzling virtuoso passages which have been dumbed down almost without exception ever since the roles' creators departed NYCB, and especially since the death of Balanchine. with this sort of proceedings, it will soon be fine to change any troublesome passages in Mozart or Bach (after all, comfort is the only goal, lolol) and so forth. Elizabeth Loscavio did every step-- ravishingly-- in the turning variation of Who Cares? in the Balanchine Celebration; I recently saw a young dancer do more of the steps of Square Dance (not at NYCB, unfortunately) than anyone since Ashley and Nichols danced the role. It can be done. Why then shouldn't those idiosyncratic, overwhelmingly brilliant roles be a challenge that any dancer cast in the part longs to and DOES meet?
  8. I'm afraid that a virtuoso is the LAST thing Borree is, will be, or ever has been. She is not even a passable technician any more, and next to Whelan, Weese, Sylve, Bouder, et al, she is appalling. Her inadequate, tension-filled dancing is not only disgraceful in Balanchine, it is nervewracking, perturbing, and infuriating for the audience. There can be no good reason for putting a dancer into roles in which she fails miserably, publicly, repeatedly, and conspicuously. As she does in every difficult part she performs, Borree simplifies, omits, and smears LARGE amounts of the steps in Square Dance; this is not debatable. Watch the film of Patricia Wilde if you want to be aware of the degradations visited upon this beautiful role.
  9. La Source is exquisite; the pas de deux are ravishing, and as it was made for Verdy the ballerina role is chock full of beautiful arabesques and foot positions. best Delibes ballet I know, by light years.
  10. Alas, Borree has neither the technique nor the personality to get through Square Dance even adequately. Having suffered through her atrocious accommodations and omissions of steps in this role more than once, I must say I agree with Robert Gottlieb that wild horses would not drag me to see it again....
  11. EXACTLY! The kinescope of her in Square Dance is breathtaking. Robustness, precision, joy, and overwhelming virtuosity at once....
  12. A sad departure-- one of the last surviving links to real singing, real voices, real training, and real artistry. an irreplaceable presence.
  13. Oberon, re Marzipan, Pat Wilde says that she was the original Shepherdess (or whatever one wishes to call Ms. Lead Marzipan) and that her choreography had entrechats-six from pointe to pointe, jetes on pointe, tour en l'air landing on pointe.... and then she became ill, couldn't do the premiere, and the version we now have is completely different. and we thought THIS variation was hard!
  14. The ballerina's "float" (on the moving plate) was instituted considerably later on; the original climax was Tallchief in a sustained unsupported balance in arabesque, I think. seems to me the moving "float" first appeared in the early Seventies? Agree with Oberon that the arabesque version of Coffee's coda passage is more brilliant. I'd bet anything that Gloria Govrin, on whom the solo was made, did the more difficult steps; she had better double sauts de basque than most men!
  15. Perhaps you're thinking of the recording made around 1994 in Denmark? It was shown (on PBS) along with Western Symphony and both looked very good indeed. Unfortunately the program has never been shown again and was never released on video. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Ari, was that the Serenade that had Kistler, Nichols, and Calegari? and Western had Saland and Alexopoulos (in the Rondo)? that was well worth finding again! Alexopoulos was wonderful in that--
  16. Amen about LeClercq, whom it would have been amazing to see in ANYTHING. in I Remember Balanchine, Pat McBride says..."as the Dewdrop in Nutcracker, she had worked with Balanchine and he had really taught her. she was like a little jewel..." Morris was exquisite in this role, perky, and though I was quite young when I saw her the performance made an indelible impression. I did not see Kirkland in the part and understand hers was beautiful as well. Weese does look good as Dewdrop, doesn't she?
  17. YES Mandradjieff was an unexpected LOSS! saw her in Marzipan among other things and was dazzled. Leigh, have you any idea where she went? no one seems to know--
  18. Makarova Fan's query about Sugar Plums, and a response to it mentioning Dewdrops, made me wonder about readers' favorites in this role as well? I myself love Nichols in the part and have also enjoyed Marnee Morris, Darci Kistler, Samantha Allen, Monique Meunier, Jennie Somogyi, Alexandra Ansanelli-- to name some very different types of dancers...
  19. Nichols, without a doubt, although the best single Balanchine Nutcracker I ever saw had Ashley as Sugar Plum and Nichols as Dewdrop (embarrassment of riches beyond belief). Ari, I too saw a Nichols performance of Sugar Plum with that kind of warmth and grace-- later than the period you mention. it was lapidary.
  20. Amy, vibrant is an understatement for that Tarantella. I've seen many good performances of this ballet but Villella and McBride are definitive. I believe at least the later Dance in Americas were indeed shot in Nashville; Ashley recalls talking to Balanchine there just before he made Ballo for her in early 78. There was also a PBS broadcast, in the Seventies I believe, called "Three by Balanchine"; don't know if anyone recalls it, but I think it had Duo Concertant, Serenade, and something. Think Duo was Mazzo and Martins...
  21. Canbelto is quite right; virtually every famous ballet company has had considerable criticism of its management, both from its dancers and from outside. Even the Royal, usually more circumspect on such things, began to be more overt after the Iron Lady (de Valois) relaxed her grip. it was not just favoritism towards Somes but even more towards Fonteyn that Ashton was criticized for... There is also the consideration of whether or not the company's management is a one-man shop run by its creator (Balanchine, for example). The famous and all too true Balanchine line on this was "Apres moi, le Board"..... Re Lopatkina and Ari's question about her comments, I'd opine that neither "ballet scholars" nor, god knows, "executives", have ever been noted for "infallible artistic judgment"-- to say the least. Why shouldn't Lopatkina toss her hat into the ring? It's sometimes said that Farrell should be running NYCB, and many observers including myself think she knows far more about Balanchine than Martins. Ashley once said, for example, "if someone new is going to dance Theme and Variations at NYCB this season, then Kyra or I should teach the role." This seems so glaringly obvious it goes without saying, but it obviously did NOT go without saying, and most ballet masters/company heads could use quite a bit more comments along these lines. lol
  22. Alexandra's point is excellent, and it was often the choreographer's decision not to have alternate casts (case in point: Balanchine rarely having understudies for Farrell, especially in the Sixties, and never having other ballerinas dance either Meditation or Tzigane during his lifetime, to my knowledge; the roles have of course since been performed by a few others)... Also, when other dancers are cast in virtuoso and/or idiosyncratic roles, the reviews/audience responses are frequently less than positive (Baryshnikov's alternates in Push Comes to Shove, most women who followed Farrell in Diamonds, Scherzo of Western Symphony-- out of the ballet much of the time since 1960--) It's clear that some ballerinas are much "nicer" than others, and obviously that artistic product is not inseparable from certain personality traits. (if you had to be a "good person" to be a "good artist", we could immediately dispense with Gesualdo, Liszt, Wagner, Stravinsky, Picasso, ad infinitum). IMO, zerbinetta said it; to paraphrase, anyone who succeeds in a notoriously dangerous, chancy profession WILL have a strong personality. lol. who wants to see Casperina Milquetoast on stage? Oh, and canbelto, re Asylmuratova: many ballerinas who exuded sweetness and warmth in their performances have been, shall we say, tough cookies offstage..... Fonteyn, Kirkland, etc. In another field, Rudolf Bing said that one of his star singers had "dimples of iron"!
  23. Having met a few ballerinas myself, I think that Patricia McBride, Kyra Nichols, Merle Park, Jennifer Penney, Janie Parker, and Lis Jeppesen--to name a few--seem to have become ballerinas without either willfulness or manipulation.
  24. Certainly she was those things, according to all accounts, but were they her most interesting or salient characteristics? the definition of her? most accounts also agree that she was a great dancer...
  • Create New...