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Margot

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  1. Margot

    Greatest in 1998

    Hi Dale, Reading your last post, I felt like I was at the Academy Awards of Ballet, and the "bad" events you mentionned could be the "lemon prizes"... Loved it. Margot
  2. Margot

    taped music

    On the subject of lenghty applause for russian dancers, I read somewhere (the problem is I can't remember where and when) that it was also a matter of russians dancing so little on stage. Under communist government, even the principals might dance only once a month on stage, because everybody had to be equal, so each principal got the same number of performances as all the others. Management would not consider the public's preferences, the star system did not exist and selling tickets was not an issue because there were always full houses (politicians, party members etc.) So if you love dancing enough to make it your life, but get to dance in front of the public once a month or even less, then you really want that applause... and I could understand that. The problem is, I think conditions changed a lot, russian dancers are a lot more exposed to public performances but they did not change and they still try to "milk" the applause. That can be very disturbing. Margot
  3. Margot

    Artistry and male dancers

    Celia, I am so glad someone supports so enthusiastically my vote for Evelyn Hart. She is one of my two favorite ballerinas right up there beside Monique Loudières! Alexandra, about history and ballet, there is this section in "Choura" Alexandra Danilova's autobiography (I also lost that book but hope to get it back some day through your link. Don't you feel people really love the books I lend them?) where she talks about the interpretation in the Grand Pas de Deux in Sleeping Beauty Act III. She says (I can't quote exactly since I don't have the book!) that it is not a love story, they are prince and princess, this marriage is arranged, it is a state's affair. Her remarks on the interpretation of most of the roles in this ballet (all the fairy godmothers) are very interesting and brought a new light for me on the whole ballet. Olivier, thank you for sharing about your partnering with Evelyn Hart. I think you feel blessed that you danced with her. I suppose she must make you feel like you are really special to her in that very moment you are on stage together. Giannina, welcome back from your holiday. I missed you! Have you seen the video "Baryshnikov the dancer and the dance"? There is this section where Baryshnikov coaches two dancers in a pas de deux and the so-called "finger pirouette" is shown quite well. There is also the four parts video series called "Dancer" presented by Peter Schaufus where Part 1 is called "The Male Dancer" and Part 2 "Double Work" for partnering which is quite interesting. Each part is an hour long, I taped it from television in 1984. You might want to have a look if it is available to you... Margot [This message has been edited by Margot (edited 12-16-98).]
  4. Margot

    Artistry and male dancers

    Celia, I am so glad someone supports so enthusiastically my vote for Evelyn Hart. She is one of my two favorite ballerinas right up there beside Monique Loudières! Alexandra, about history and ballet, there is this section in "Choura" Alexandra Danilova's autobiography (I also lost that book but hope to get it back some day through your link. Don't you feel people really love the books I lend them?) where she talks about the interpretation in the Grand Pas de Deux in Sleeping Beauty Act III. She says (I can't quote exactly since I don't have the book!) that it is not a love story, they are prince and princess, this marriage is arranged, it is a state's affair. Her remarks on the interpretation of most of the roles in this ballet (all the fairy godmothers) are very interesting and brought a new light for me on the whole ballet. Olivier, thank you for sharing about your partnering with Evelyn Hart. I think you feel blessed that you danced with her. I suppose she must make you feel like you are really special to her in that very moment you are on stage together. Giannina, welcome back from your holiday. I missed you! Have you seen the video "Baryshnikov the dancer and the dance"? There is this section where Baryshnikov coaches two dancers in a pas de deux and the so-called "finger pirouette" is shown quite well. There is also the four parts video series called "Dancer" presented by Peter Schaufus where Part 1 is called "The Male Dancer" and Part 2 "Double Work" for partnering which is quite interesting. Each part is an hour long, I taped it from television in 1984. You might want to have a look if it is available to you... Margot [This message has been edited by Margot (edited 12-16-98).]
  5. Margot

    Favorite dance books #2

    Thank you Jane for the information about Karsavina's book and the bit of film with her in class. I will try to find that. There is a document (I don't know if it was on film or video originally because I taped it from television) called "Portrait of Giselle" where Sir Anton Dolin can be seen talking with Tamara Karsavina (very briefly) and Olga Spessivtseva (amongst others). It's an hour and a half document with all the great interpreters of Giselle. Olivier, as soon as the tape of Evelyn Hart was on sale I purchased it. It is very well done (The National Film Board of Canada usually does very good work) and I love it, but thank you. Dale, if you love the book about Balanchine's Ballerinas there is also a video edition of this. It's a 90 minutes long program with interviews and film excerpts of: Mary Ellen Moylan, Maria Tallchief, Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent, Merrill Ashley and Darci Kistler. Margot
  6. Margot

    What's your favorite dance book?

    Is Ballet Alert Online ready for this?... How many pages are we allowed?... Well this is going to be long, but as Steve said in the "Audiences" forum: "... since you asked..."! Standing in front of my ballet bookcases, I pulled out books from different shelves, saying to myself: "I have to talk about this one" and then, "I cannot pass this one"... So here I am with books organized by categories, ready to tell my story according to my readings. As a child, I was first interested in the picture books with lots of photographs. The first one my mother bought for me was: "Girl New Book of World Ballet" edited and photographed by Mike Davis, 1963. There is in this book a picture of Nadia Nerina in "La Fille Mal Gardée" which I remembered quite well and which gave me part of the answer to that question in quiz #13! Then I read that book I already talked about in another forum: "Danseuse Étoile", Hachette, 1961, the autobiography of Claude Bessy of the Paris Opera Ballet. Even intended for children it is a fascinating book to read (the recount of the hours before the premiere of "L'Atlantide" where she more or less played her career is nerve recking) and I had quite a few of my friends read it and enjoy it, until six years ago, when someone borrowed it from me, moved without leaving a forwarding address, and I never saw my book again. Each trip to Paris is for me a quest to find this book, but so far without any success. (This IS a S.O.S. ! If anyone knows where to find a copy, please, please let me know). Then, there was "Le monde merveilleux de la danse" (Wonderful World of dance) by Odette Joyeux, Hachette, 1967. It was a very good mixture of pictures and text about the history of dance. I guess it awakened my interest for something more than just pictures... Later, when I got my hands on "Histoire du Ballet" by Ferdinando Reyna, I read it from cover to cover and I was hooked. (By the way, that one was also lost to the same person, but I was lucky enough to find it in a Paris bookshop in 1995.) In that same Paris bookstore, (Librairie Bonaparte) specialized in theatrical arts books, I found another book by Claude Bessy. It was second-hand, but in good condition. It is called "La Danse et l'Enfant" subtitled "l'école de danse de l'Opéra de Paris", Hachette, 1981. All about the school of POB, pictures, pictures and more pictures. You can see Guilllem and Pietragalla still in the school. I love to browse through it. I anyone is wondering about pointe shoes, I have the perfect book for you. It is called "The Pointe Book - Shoes, Training and Technique" by Janice Barringer and Sarah Schlesinger, a Dance Horizons Book, Princeton Book Company Publishers, 1991. Pointe shoes will hold no more secrets after you read this... When I took the class on dance history with Vincent Warren, I did my paper on Tamara Karsavina. I discovered not only a beautiful and very talented dancer (partner to Vaslav Nijinsky) but also a beautiful woman, loved by everyone who knew her. Why do we always hear about Pavlova (who, according to everything I read was a great dancer, but a very nasty person) and nobody knows of Karsavina. Maybe because Pavlova traveled so much? Theater Street is the name of the street of which you can find the Kirov Ballet School where Karsavina studied when it was still called the Imperial School. It is also the title of her autobiography, which is very well written and very informative about russian ballet under the tzar. There is this magnificent book called: "L'Art des Ballets Russes 1908-1929" by Militsa Pojarskaïa and Tatiana Volodina containing all the projects for backdrops and costumes of Les Ballets Russes. A beauty. Very expensive, but worth it. Gallimard, 1990. I enjoyed every minute of reading "Balanchine, a biography" by Bernard Taper. I frequently go back to it, to check an information or for the simple pleasure of reading again... Did you know that Maurice Béjart's father was a philosopher and that Maurice Béjart himself has a licence in philosophy? That makes very interesting reading of his memoirs. Two volumes: "Un instant dans la vie d'autrui - Mémoires 1" and "La vie de qui? Mémoires 2" Flammarion, 1979, 1996. The first one was reprinted two years ago when the second one was published. A must. I agree with Giannina on "Dancing for Balanchine" by Merrill Ashley, E.P. Dutton, Inc. 1984. I bought that book in New York City (along with several others, my suitcase was full!) and when I got back home, it was the first one I picked up. I remember getting up in the morning, having breakfast and starting to read with my coffee... Then feeling hungry, looking up at the clock... it was 6 o'clock in the evening... I call that good reading! I also loved "Split Seconds - A remembrance" by Tamara Geva, Limelight Editions, 1984. It was quite dramatic, full of suspense, very easy and fun to read. Gelsey Kirkland's two books "Dancing on my grave" and "The Shape of Love", Doubleday, 1986 and 1990 are quite depressing! But I think they are a must if you love her dancing; I feel it is important to know how much she was troubled. But wait for a time when you're feeling good about yourself to read that... "Prodigal Son - Dancing for Balanchine in a World of Pain and Magic" by Edward Villella with Larry Kaplan, Simon & Schuster, 1992, is a very down to earth book. I think it says it as it is, and that is a good thing. Very good reading. Dancing for Balanchine but from the male's point of view... quite unusual. Very different from Peter Martin's "Far from Denmark". Christmas eve 1995. I worked on the evening shift, from 4 until midnight, got home, into bed with the book I had been reading for the past few days and... cried my eyes out the whole night, finishing it with dawn on Christmas morning (and I had to go back to work!) "A Dance against Time" by Diane Solway, Pocket Books, 1994. Eddie Stierle was a Joffrey Ballet dancer and choreographer who died of AIDS at 23. This book is so well written and not complacent. Diane Solway interviewed a lot of people to write this and of course there was good and there was bad about Stierle. And she says it all, but in a very fair way. She does not make an idol out of him (at times I have to admit I almost hated him) but she makes him so very human... and that is what it's all about isn't it? And that is why I cried for the last chapters, because he was a dancer, a choreographer, but also a man suffering and dying. I just bought Diane Solway's biography of Nureyev and I can't wait to read it... On the canadian side, I loved Karen Kain's "Movement Never Lies: An Autobiography" with Stephen Godfrey and Penelope Reed Doob, McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1994. Clear and honest, just like everyone who knows her says she is. It's interesting to learn how even the great dancers blessed with success have their doubts, think they are unworthy and feel so lonely. Max Wyman wrote a beautiful book on Evelyn Hart "An Intimate Portrait", McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1991; but I don't know, she seems really troubled, fighting eating disorder and lacking self-confidence. It was troubling to read that she has no time for her family (not even her sister's wedding day!); I adore her on stage, but I actually feel sorry for her in life... I don't mean to patronize her, it's just that to me she seems unhappy, and I think she is worthy of happiness (like everyone); but maybe it's that state of mind which makes her dancing so beautiful and moving? Isn't it a hard price to pay though, especially if she is the one to pay, and we get the benefits by watching??? One last word (will I be thrown out of Ballet Alert Online for taking too much space or will you have to close the thread and start a new one Alexandra?). A lot of dancers write their life story, since it seems to interest the fans. But a lot of them are wise enough to recognize that they are dancers, not writers and so they ask a writer to help them. Such is not the case with Maya Plissetskaya who wrote all by herself "Moi, Maya Plissetskaya" Gallimard, 1995, translated from the russian. It is so terribly bad, I could not get myself past 100 pages. Maybe it is the translation (though I doubt it, Gallimard being a very, very good publishing house), unfortunately, I can't judge that because I don't read russian, but some sentences don't even make sense. There is a note in the beginning saying that Plissetskaya strictly forbade the russian correctors to modify any syntax mistake in russian. The translator says she respected that... but adds that "as the reader can see, there are very few" (???) It's a shame, because I would be interested in the facts, but I can't bring myself to read it. I would love Alexandra's opinion on this (dancers writing). For Estelle, did you read "Cléo de Mérode? Le ballet de ma vie", Pierre Horay, 1955, 1985? The Paris of the end of the 19th century is so well described here, you feel like you have been there... Hope I did not bore you and that you are still awake ??? Thanks for putting up with me... Margot [This message has been edited by Margot (edited 12-10-98).]
  7. Margot

    What's your favorite ballet video?

    This may look stange to those of you who already know how much I love Monique Loudières, but the video I nominate as my favorite is not about her. (Maybe because I saw her dancing live quite a few times...) My choice would be: "He makes me feel like dancing". A 1983 video with Jacques d'Amboise and his dance program for the children of New York. It's a favorite of mine because of the energy, the passion for dance that just comes out of d'Amboise right through your television screen. Also because of the message it sends: that having contact with the arts in one's life is very important. It's hard work, but it's also a lot of fun. There is also of course the children. They look at him like a god, the worship him, the admire him and they love him, so they want to please, but in the end the please themselves and some of them give very surprisingly wise comments. And if anobody saw it, there is this scene where the parents are watching a rehearsal and the big, big smile on their faces with that father who says: "You want to join!" It's not a video about ballet, but it's a video about the love of dance and I think it's a very important one and it should be shown again on television. (I have never seen it again since I taped it on television some fifteen years ago!) Margot [This message has been edited by Margot (edited 12-08-98).]
  8. Margot

    Great Ballerinas #2

    Thanks for your replies on coming with me to Paris for the New Year's Gala. I hope everyone understood it was intended as a joke, because I don't have the money either!!! I have never seen Mats Ek's Giselle and I am curious about it though I love so much the "real" Giselle, I'm not sure I would like it so much. All I know is that it is contemporary and takes place in an asylum. Can you tell me more? Margot [This message has been edited by Margot (edited 12-07-98).]
  9. Margot

    Great Ballerinas #2

    Hi Alexandra, I know the postcard you're talking about, because I have exactly the same, ... only mine was sent to me by Monique Loudières...and she autographed it... This is a beautiful story but it's quite long and I have to get up early tomorrow morning so I shall tell you all about it some other day. I think to tell that story I will have to start a new thread and I would call it "Fairy Tales"... Margot [This message has been edited by Margot (edited 12-06-98).]
  10. Margot

    Great Ballerinas #2

    Alexandra, I have the Paris Opera Ballet program in front of me and... Monique Loudières is scheduled to dance Don Quichotte with Manuel Legris at the Palais Garnier on saturday december 26th and.. on thursday december 31st for the Gala Evening with supper and Ball afterwards. Who's coming with me?... (I wish...) But this definitely keeps her in our Great Ballerinas category. Margot [This message has been edited by Margot (edited 12-06-98).]
  11. Margot

    What's your favorite ballet video?

    I had a terrific day today. It was my day off (I work every other weed-end so I get a day off in the week, each week). Today I went to "La bibliothèque de la Danse" that's the "Library of Dance" at "l'École Supérieur de Danse du Québec" which is the official school affiliated with "Les Grands Ballets Canadiens". I went there because there was this answer to the quiz I could not find in my books at home... The person responsable for the library is Vincent Warren. Vincent used to be principal with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, but he also teaches dance history and that is where I met him (I took this class at university just for the fun of it. And I LOVED IT.) Don't worry, Vincent only points me to the books I ask him for (it would be no fun anyway if the gave me the answers, I want to search for them!) After my "homework" was done, Vincent who knows me very well ("balletically" speaking) asked me if I had an hour to spare, went into his 500 videos collection and put a tape in... It was "Une Étoile pour l'Exemple". Did you see that one Estelle? It's a one hour long documentary (by Dominique Delouche) where Yvette Chauvirée (in 1988, I think she was already in her seventies) teaches some of her great roles to principals of the Paris Opera Ballet: "Giselle" to Florence Clerc, "Ishtar" to Isabelle Guérin, "Grand Pas Classique" to Sylvie Guillem, "Les Deux Pigeons" to Marie-Claude Pietragalla, "The Dying Swan" to Dominique Khalfouni (I suppose she came from Marseille especially for this, but I know she is originally from POB) and, ... "Nautéus" to Monique Loudière. (I left what I feel is the best for the end! )She was fabulous. When that was over, I thought the tape was over but Vincent said to just wait and look: it was "Grand Pas Classique" with... who else but Monique Loudières and Manuel Legris in a gala performance in Vienna. What a day... Dominique Delouche also did a film on Monique Loudières. It's an hour long, but I can't seem to be able to find it. Can anyone help me? I would be interested in buying new original copies of these two videos. Margot
  12. Margot

    Great Ballerinas #2

    Hello Estelle, If we are going to talk videos (and I am about to...) why don't we go on the Videos forum. I'll be waiting for you under "Favorite Videos" Margot
  13. Margot

    Great Partnerships

    Anik Bissonnette is still dancing with les Grands Ballets Canadiens though. They had a little girl: Sandrine who is two years old. Margot
  14. Margot

    Great Ballerinas #2

    Alexandra, you mentioned seeing Isabelle Guérin on tape in "Giselle", and Estelle talks about "La Bayadère" and "Apollo". Well, there is also a tape of Guérin in "Notre-Dame de Paris", with Nicolas Le Riche as Quasimodo, Laurent Hilaire as Frollo and Manuel Legris as Phoebus. Her Esméralda was very passionate with Phoebus (who quite clearly returned it!), revolted by Frollo and quite tender with Quasimodo in that beautiful pas de deux with that magic moment where he gently rocks her to sleep. I think it was filmed on the night I was in the theater (October 1996) because there were cameras and I was wondering if it going to show on european television and then I would miss it... sniff (Hi Gianinna!... ). That pas de deux is most special to me because I saw... Monique Loudières teach it (with Cyrill Atanassoff as her partner) to a couple of young dancers of POB in a two hours session. I planned my whole trip around that rehearsal and it was worth it. However I had problems getting that tape transfered into north american VHS and for those of you interested on that matter I shall post about it under the Videos thread. Margot
  15. Margot

    Great Ballerinas #2

    Please Alexandra, tell me that with the information Estelle added, you will allow Monique Loudières'nomination... Margot [This message has been edited by Margot (edited 12-04-98).]
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