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Mel Johnson

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Everything posted by Mel Johnson

  1. As this is a divertissement cobbled together from ballets OTHER THAN Paquita, she could very well be playing Queen Marie of Roumania, and thinking that if she does what the ballet master told her,she won't get her pay docked, for all the difference it would make.
  2. Did anybody see this? So far the only review I've heard is from MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, and he seemed to be reviewing the audience, which is probably for the best.
  3. I don't think that Sara danced with ABT, but she sure danced with Joffrey! Also, Rachel Ganteaume was a Joffrey dancer.
  4. Thornton Hee was the nom de plume of Alex Campbell, an animator who worked for Warner, Disney, Terry and UPA. He was one of the animators of "Dance of the Hours" in Fantasia.
  5. So where was Simkin in all this? I see his name in the title, but nothing in the text.
  6. And just for the record, Amy, "campus" IS a second declension noun, and "campi" is the correct Latin nominative plural, but usage has made "campuses" the correct English plural.
  7. If anything, it connotes a kind of intricately-produced dance by specially-trained dancers.
  8. The term "fancy dance" is an archaism used to describe dancing characterized by requiring some special aspect unusual to simply having a person moving rhythmically to music. It's from the same era as describing a solo dance (usually, but not always by a man) as a "hornpipe". "Fancy dancing" involves specialized costuming, props, environment (as a stage set), and even years-long technical training. I recall a dancer from the "station wagon days" of the Joffrey recounting a story of being broken down on the road and encountering a rural Good Samaritan who helped get the car back into running condition. In the course of fixing the car, he asked her what she did for a living. She said that she was a dancer. "Plain dancin', er fancy dancin'?" asked the fellow. She said that she had to think about that for a minute, but owned that her dancing was pretty fancy.
  9. Stravinsky used unusual time signatures all through his early career. Think about the chorale at the end of "The Firebird", which is in 7/4.
  10. A very good point, and certainly easier to explain as folklore than to have the Wilis first enter a ballroom and enchant the floor, as a proposed scenario started.
  11. I think that I make out Theodore Kosloff as having "created and (something)" it.
  12. And this production was also the springboard, after it was retired by Ballet Theatre, for Fernand Nault's setting of the ballet on the Robert Joffrey Ballet. Rochelle Zide and Gerald Arpino were Lisette and Colas.
  13. Since "Class Concert" is a reworking of Messerer's earlier "Ballet School", I doubt that it has a coherent score as such. "Ballet School" had a pastiche of Chopin, various Russian composers, and Imperial Ballet musique dansant.
  14. Sounds like one of the routine preparations to fourth position for pirouettes.
  15. Consider this: Both The Nutcracker and Coppélia have libretti by the original "Mr. Goth", E.T.A. Hoffman.
  16. Given the period, I'd say that it reflected Lucia's soubrette roles, but Shearer's "leading lady" status in performing. And also, it avoids using the same word twice in one caption.
  17. There have been plenty of dancers who weren't renowned as such and became highly celebrated choreographers. Balanchine and Massine were both excellent dancers, but certainly nothing like on the order of what they became as choreographers. Is this what you mean?
  18. Kind of like the Hoffnung concerts of the 1950s at the Albert Hall. One of the offerings was "Let's Fake an Opera, or the Tales of Hoffnung" which had Sixtus Beckmesser running off with Carmen, while Otello discovers Fidelio disguised as Azucena, who sings herself into unconsciousness in a cadenza and sleeps through the rest of the show....
  19. Yes, it is. It's always a limiting factor when determining who you're dancing with. There's a pas de deux in Balanchine's "Bourree Fantasque" for a short man and a very tall woman (originally Jerome Robbins and Diana Adams), but you can't count on that kind of role always being available. Simkin is also a very strong and able dance actor, so that somewhat offsets the height issue.
  20. "Les Patineurs" with Simkin as the Blue (Chappel designs) or Green (Beaton designs) Skater. More Ashton in general would be welcome!
  21. I notice how this discussion has been progressing, and with the introduction of issues like territoriality and civil rights, believe that it is going over into the area of political discourse, where civility and respect for other posters may be at a premium these days. Where the talk began with an expression of concern for the smoker, now it seems to be veering into a sort of Prohibition-style moralizing. Just a simple admonition. (Moderator beanie off)
  22. Verdy starred in another film originally titled Ballerina(1950), but it came to be known as Dream Ballerina in order that it not become confused with the earlier film.
  23. The Unfinished Dance is a real stuffed owl of a movie, so ghastly you can't take your eyes off it! I believe that it was Danny Thomas' debut, and his earnestness, but not his lines, nearly saves his part.
  24. By the last couple of City Center seasons, the Armistead headpieces had become a lot more subdued, and the new designs didn't come as much of shock when they debuted at State Theater.
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