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CharlieH

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About CharlieH

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

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  1. CharlieH

    Are there any great Classicists today?

    I love the Lund and Imler examples...Imler a rare female classicist who is larger-than-petite! I’m so grateful to Ballet Alerters who pointed her out, so that I was able to see her live before her retirement. ❤️ In my original post, I should have mentioned one of my first great “classicist loves”: 1980s Royal Ballet Prima, Leslie Collier! In another thread, Cubanmiamiboy mentioned the VHS/DVD of her exquisite Sugarplum in the first taping of Wright’s Nutcracker. That’s a keeper. Actually, without the “Collier Collection,” my ballet library would be so much poorer. I greatly admire Tereshkina but I wouldn’t call her a classicist. In fact, she began her career as quite a risk taker - not so careful - falling quite often (notably, in her A1 entrance as Medora at the Kennedy Center, ca2005)! She tamed her wild ways after that but is not as prim a classicist as her colleagues Osmolkina or Novikova, IMO...but I still love her dancing...equally grand as (almost) classicist and neo-classicist! adding - ITA that Peck is the most classical among NYCB primas, despite my feelings about port de bras. It’s no coincidence that Ratmansky selected her for his Petipa reconstructions film...and she was selected to demonstrate the Balanchine Harlequinade in the same lecture-demo in which Angelica Generosa demonstrated the same dances by Petipa (Doug Fullington emcee).
  2. CharlieH

    Are there any great Classicists today?

    Thanks for the reminders on classicism - for what we are seeking in this thread. I did not intend this to be a knock-down thread. The ability to display textbook positions (as in the Petipa era), port de bras, turn out is extremely rare nowadays. It’s not even sought out. Could an NYCB ballerina- or anyone trained primarily at SAB - ever be a classicist because of their emphasis on speed and relatively low focus on port de bras (my only disagreement with including Tiler Peck in the rare “classicist” group). This is not a “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” matter. You’re either a classicist or you are not. It’s something that’s increasingly rare to find. It may actually be a negative in a dancer who seeks a job with a major company nowadays, so it’s not fostered. But a few of us still treasure seeing it in rare dancers who display it correctly and with elan...Angelica Generosa of PNB in those Harlequinade lecture-demos with Fullington a couple of years ago, for ex.
  3. Another must-have DVD of a quickly-disappearing Bournonville treasure is Napoli. I thought that this was no longer available because the inferior Hubbe version (1950s Felliniesque setting) is also out on DVD. This traditional one is the real treasure: https://www.amazon.com/Napoli-Royal-Danish-Ballet/dp/B000FIHFEG
  4. You’re welcome! Since Berlin Staatsballett is pretty good about filming and/or streaming new productions of classics, I’m really hoping that they’ll do the same with the upcoming Ratmansky Bayadere within a year or so of its Nov 4 premiere, which I still plan to attend. German companies receiving substantial taxpayers’ funding do a good job of showing their new productions to citizens via TV or streaming. Munich, for example, seems to stream every new production, such as the recent Macgregor evening. The Ratmansky Paquita was shown on TV or streamed not long after its premiere in Munich.
  5. I believe that Cubanmiamiboy meant to say “Berlin” instead of “Zurich” for the Medvedev/Burlaka Nutcracker that recreates the original Imperial Mariinsky designs (& some dances). No need for a bootleg, as it is commercially available, starring Iana Salenko. https://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Soloists-Ballet-Staatsballett-Berlin/dp/B015HNXSOO
  6. CharlieH

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    Simkin’s bowl licking was hilarious in DC!
  7. CharlieH

    Are there any great Classicists today?

    Oh, Osmolkina. Lovely example, Mashinka.
  8. This thread on the Ballets-Swan Lake forum got into the matter of performing clean fouettés... It led to Cubanmiamiboy posting some amazing clips of Cuba’s Rosario Suarez (Charin) performing classically-pure, beautiful single fouettés as Odile...which made me think of the great Russian Ballerina Vera Trefilova, a contemporary of Pavlova, Tchessinska, Karsavina...yet described by Levinson, Haskell, Volonsky and other critics and other writers as “the most classical of classical ballerinas” of her era. She was not the greatest interpreter from a dramatic perspective or the most ethereal but her positions, such as arabesque, were textbook Cecchetti. Now forward to 2018: Who are today’s great classicists? Who consistently performs textbook classical movements (be it Cecchetti, Vaganova or other system) while maintaining great musicality, as Trefilova was reported to have done? Related to this, who displays impeccable turn-out while posing or moving in all of the angles of the “prism” that constitute the art of ballet (efface, ecarte, and so on)? Are there any pure classicists today? Or is “classicism” an archaic concept? Is the need to be dramatic, versatile, and interpretive killing classicism? Among today’s active ballerinas, I’m thinking - perhaps - of the Bolshoi’s Evgenia Obraztsova, certainly in the Lacotte oeuvres. Recently-retired RDB Soloist Diana Cuni also struck me as a pure classicist in her time. Isabella Boylston from the waist down? Among men...Hallberg? Please tell me that I’m far too pessimistic and that the “pure classicist” ballerinas and danseurs still exist.
  9. CharlieH

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    As always, some choose to simplify others’ words. It’s actually possible to love the designs and choreography at the same time. Shocker!
  10. CharlieH

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    Thank you, Cargill. This confirms my own early feelings on this ballet and why I love it so much. Every great Petipa Era ballet contained some sort of parade or procession to show-off luxurious costumes...SB, Bayadere...even the polonaise that opens the last act of Harlequinade. Bring it on - the more great costumes in a luxurious setting, the merrier! Minimalist Cheapo designers need not apply. Whipped Cream qualifies.
  11. La Sylphide - the older (late 1980s) version, before the current director tinkered with it. Nab a copy of this original Bournonville version before it no longer exists. This is an absolute gem. Lis Jeppesen will always be my perfect Sylph. https://www.amazon.com/Sylphide-Jeppesen-Sorella-Englund-Danish/dp/B000EGDBKG
  12. CharlieH

    Odile Variation Hops on Pointe

    Absolutely. ENVY. 😉
  13. CharlieH

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    Ratmansky’s musings on the Whipped Cream-Petipa connection (inspiration) are in this, for starters (parag. towards the end). https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/arts/dance/harlequinade-alexei-ratmansky-american-ballet-theater.html
  14. CharlieH

    Odile Variation Hops on Pointe

    YES! This is exactly how critics of the early-20th C described Vera Trefilova (contemporary of Pavlova, Kchessinskaya, Preobrazhenskaya)...the most beautiful fouettés imaginable. I’m in the midst of researching Trefilova and the words of Haskell’s small monograph on the Tsarist ballerina ring true here: p. 16 - “...her [Trefilova’s] charm lies as with Ingres in line rather than color...the charm of aristocracy in movement...” p. 32 - “...the quality of [Trefilova’s] 32 fouettés, each perfect.” “Classical technique and temperament combined.” p. 38 - “The fouettés of Trefilova are a complete joy...in no sense a trick.” Haskell, Arnold. Vera Trefilova: A Study In Classicism, London, 1928.
  15. CharlieH

    ABT 2018 Whipped Cream

    I adored Whipped Cream when I first saw it last year and even went back to see it at the Kennedy Center months later for an extra serving (starring the magnificent cast of Simkin, Lane, Hallberg, Abrera). It’s Ratmansky’s very own and original homage to Petipa and the grand Imperial tradition in ballet (and he stated so in a pre-Harlequinade interview!).
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