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About Phaedra392

  • Birthday 06/23/1964

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Longtime spectator, esp. Balanchine & NYCB
  • City**
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
  1. I don't know much about Forsythe's work, tomorrow, so I don't feel equipped to say much in response. But given the thoughtfulness of your reply, I look forward to anything further you have to say.
  2. I was looking at the website of the Bavarian State Ballet in anticipation of the live streaming of "Paquita" today when I saw this quote, attributed to choreographer William Forsythe: "I don't care so much about choreography, I care about dancing." I searched the web for a context for the quote, but could find nothing. Assuming that the quote is accurate, I have to wonder what in the world he meant. I realize that Forsythe is a former dancer, so perhaps all he meant is that he prefers being a dancer to being a choreographer. But the quote made me think. It seems to me that anyone interested in dance as an art form, as opposed to dance as a pastime, has to care deeply about the steps. I know that for myself, watching even great dancers is much less pleasurable when the choreography is poor or not to my liking. I'm wondering if anyone out there has any thoughts on the matter. Ideally, of course, the best experience of dance matches great execution with great choreography. But when you can't have both, does the dancing matter more than the choreography?
  3. I was only partway through watching this for the first time when I just had to stop and post. I have never seen hops on pointe like Tiler Peck's in the Donizetti coda. The only word to describe them is the word Violette Verdy used at the beginning of the video -- "buoyant." And Daniel Ulbricht's pirouettes were astonishing. I haven't seen this ballet in many years, and these two wonderful dancers make me long to see it again. Thank you for posting this fabulous video!
  4. I would add a huge yes to all the Balanchine ballets mentioned in the posts above and add one: "Chaconne," which is available on DVD. It is a gorgeous ballet with exquisite music, and you get to see Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins in the principal roles that were made on them. I would also strongly recommend "Who Cares?" and "Prodigal Son," the latter of which is also available on DVD with Baryshnikov in the title role.
  5. (Delurking) I fell in love with ballet when I was about 10 years old, when I saw Balanchine's "The Nutcracker" on TV. Living in a cultural backwater, I didn't get a chance to attend an actual live performance for many years, but eventually my town landed on the tour circuit, and I saw Fonteyn in "La Sylphide" and "Cinderella" and Nureyev in "Le Jeune Homme et La Mort" and "Apollo." Eventually, I was able to afford trips to New York, and saw many NYCB performances with Farrell, Martins, McBride, and the like. And I saw Villella in the subway! I don't get to see live ballet often, so the thrill has never gone away.
  6. In the Anne Bancroft-Shirley Maclaine movie "The Turning Point," there is a brief ballet sequence about halfway through the movie that I've always wondered about. The brightly-lit stage is filled with dancers, in rows, and they are dressed (as I recall) in black and white, with the women in black tutus. It looks like a finale, with the music (very Romantic) booming away, and the dancers moving very fast, but staying in rows. The sequence lasts maybe a minute. My memory might not be accurate, but the impression is of rows of young, vibrant dancers, looking radiant, even ecstatic. The music is huge. Can anyone tell me what this ballet is?
  7. It occurred to me to wonder whether the differences in stage flooring might also be a factor in how noisy the shoes are.
  8. It's hard to believe that I've imagined it, but I guess I did. In reflection, perhaps what I noticed is the difference between taped performances (which is all I got to see till I was in my twenties) and live ones. The sound of pointe shoes may have been engineered out of the recordings. Thanks.
  9. It seems that in recent years I've noticed that pointe shoes are often incredibly noisy. A corps boureeing across a stage creates a clattering that can completely break the spell. A single dancer landing from a jump destroys the illusion of lightness with the clunk created by her shoe. I could swear that this was not always true. I can't remember ever being so aware of it. Yet when I saw the Kirov in D.C. a few years ago performing the Kingdom of the Shades scene, the clunky shoes wrecked the whole thing. Are shoes different now? I know about the newer, controversial, longer-lasting shoe (whose name escapes me), but I thought they were worn by relatively few dancers. Is it the shoes? Has technique deteriorated? Or have shoes always been this noisy???
  10. Well, I'm reporting back on my attempt to obtain the Croce book on Balanchine from chaos.com, one of two Australian sites that listed the book for sale. It was all a mistake, of course -- the book has not been released. I ordered it, paid over $60 for it, and waited. Nothing. After an inquiry by e-mail, chaos conceded that the book was "not currently available" and refunded my money. So although I lost nothing in the end, my hopes were cruelly dashed once again. I'm back to checking amazon.com on a regular basis, but it's getting harder to believe that this volume will ever see the light of day. I want it too badly to give up, though. If it's not ever going to be published, I wish someone would announce that fact so I could stop all this ridiculous waiting. I think I first heard about it nearly six years ago. *** sigh ***
  11. Well, I may be an idiot, but I just ordered this book from www.chaos.com. I can't imagine why it would be available in Australia but not in the U.S. If the book ever arrives, I'll post here. My fingers are firmly crossed.
  12. OMG, this is huge. Oh please, oh please, Theme and Variations and Coppelia. And can anybody name what else might become available? Mozartiana, Vienna Waltzes, Who Cares from 1978? Was that a Live from Lincoln Center broadcast?
  13. I cut my teeth on Villella dancing on TV during the sixties, when they still showed ballet on television (remember that?). Although I have never seen him dance in person and have not seen those television programs for years and years, I will never forget their impact. I particularly remember the "Bell Telephone Hour," which had clips from "Rubies." He left me gasping -- such athleticism and wit. I went to D.C. a few years back to see Miami City Ballet and was sitting in the auditorium during intermission when he suddenly appeared just a few yards from me to chat with someone in the audience. I could feel the blood leave my face. It was like seeing a god step down from the heavens. And did he ever look good -- so handsome, and instantly recognizable as the same man who thrilled me so and made me love ballet.
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