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Mel Johnson

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Everything posted by Mel Johnson

  1. Gotta love the discreet WWI-era cheesecake! Show them ankles, girls! It's a precursor of a photo taken of a later generation of Ballet Russe ballerinas, was it on board Normandie, displaying some seven(?) ladies, including Danilova, displaying great legs!
  2. Joffrey used to have this in repertoire, staged by Hans Brenaa. It was a lot of fun to dance, but highly challenging. The music was, as cited above, recorded by Bonynge for the old "Art of the Prima Ballerina" album which was anthologized in the "Fete du Ballet" box set. My own favorite section is a valse lente which is today used as a bagpipe standard, "The Green Hills of Tirol". It's a shock to hear the tune played on pipes after being used to it by orchestra. PS. The Youtube links are not the work I'm referring to.
  3. Remember that Garfield was a student in New York of Maria Ouspenskaya, who taught the entire Stanislavsky System (not just "the Method") to her students. Stanislavsky's comprehensive training for actors contained dance as an integral part of the skill set. Mordkin, being a fellow Russian, would have been a logical choice for an Ouspenskaya student to take class from.
  4. Remembering the times: By 1979, it had become apparent that monolithic Communism was quite a myth, and while, during the Korean Era, it might have been a normal thing for the PRC to run errands for Soviet Russia, by the 70s, that had gone quite by the boards, and if the Russians wanted their defectors pursued and/or captured and returned, the Chinese were not automatically liable to help them. It was one of the good things that came out of discoveries made at the end of the Vietnam war.
  5. Perhaps we're going to take a precedent from the pop world, and call the place, "The theater formerly known as State."
  6. And further the goodwill engendered by such events as the Royal Wedding shows up in the form of increased revenue to the nation from overseas, not only from investment, but also from tourism and other travel outlays by other than British subjects. To my surprise, I heard a left-leaning economist estimate that the event would pay for itself by the end of this year, and go on generating benefits for a long time after. I was surprised not so much in that it might be true, but that the result would happen so quickly!
  7. Quite so; I heartily agree, and the careful selection of uniform was simply one more attractive feature of an event which blended features of the past, present, and the beginnings of the future at once. Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple, their good families, and a great nation.
  8. My actual point was that had they wished to preserve the image of the Groom's Supporter as Champion, another Order, another Regiment or even an entirely different Service could have been chosen. In thirty years of wearing the uniform, I had only three occasions when I had to wear full-dress/diplomatic order, with chapeau-de-bras, full epaulettes, and M1860 field-and-staff sword. One only one of those occasions did I have to appear while mounted in this uniform, calling for the replacement of the former sword with a horseman's saber. The latter weapon is exceedingly ungainly to walk with, and provides a great reason why they would have foregone the wear of the Household Cavalry Sword, which is about 2 cm longer than its earlier US counterpart, evocative picture notwithstanding. But the sword is not really an important detail, and its exclusion is a quiet way of saying, "We don't DO that anymore!"
  9. Harry could have worn a sword if he had wanted to, as the Best Man/Groom's Supporter is a development from the old role of Groom's Champion, whose job it was to face about during the part of the service that runs, "If any know just cause..." and face the congregation. If there were challenges to the marriage, the challenger and the Champion were to go outside and settle the matter. The Bride had a Champion in her retinue as well. The Champion used to be a part of coronations too, but the last monarch to choose one specifically was George III in 1760.
  10. Was Harry uniformed as Commodore in the Royal Navy? That would be the only grade (and that Honourary) he holds superior to William, who was uniformed as Colonel of the Irish Guards. Anyway, I think the Royal Wedding is indeed entirely appropriate for discussion on a ballet board, as the old ballets de cour celebrated royal things without the need for anybody actually to have to be born, die, marry, declare war, or any number of other hard-to-schedule events. The whole lead-in was a masterly demonstration of logistical triumph, getting materiel and personnel where they had to be to the nearly superhuman level of British punctuality. I found the whole thing to be a wonderful amalgamation of the traditional and the most modern, reaching even a little beyond! Now, I am only another mere man, but the wedding dress was stunning, wonderful! I have to agree about the hats, though. Some seriously awful ones throughout the congregation! It impressed me that this event is highly salutary to a world sore from stressful times, and a welcome relief from all the bad news. Bravo, Britain! You have triumphed again!
  11. By the early '60s, which is when I started regularly attending performances, sometimes it did, and sometimes it didn't. Time seemed ever so much more flexible then, from a scheduling standpoint. Sometimes, I'd be early for the 10:30 out of Grand Central, other times I'd be scrambling for the 11:15 at Port Authority! And this from an 8:00 curtain.
  12. So do I. "Les Patineurs" was a good match and balance.
  13. That last is what Dolin was like. He'd tell stories about things he'd been present for, whether they were favorable to him or not. His telling of being presented to the Queen Mother made him look VERY bad, but he relished telling it as much as any story that made him sound very good. Raconteur, I guess, would be the best title for him. I think this quality compromised the documentary, as they needed to edit him.
  14. Jo Anna was from South Africa, and came to Palm Beach, FL with husband Ted, where they ran the Royal Poinciana Playhouse. Jo Anna had been well-schooled in the British-based Cecchetti Society style of instruction, and she further codified it into a theory and philosophy of instruction and a further curriculum of kinesiology and movement analysis, which she copyrighted. She came to Harkness House in NYC, and there succeeded Patricia Wilde as the Head of instruction. Her colleagues and students are very well-distributed throughout the ballet community today. The Craveys were two of her best students.
  15. Yes, she was Claudia Cravey, a student of Jo Anna Kneeland. She and here sister Clara were both at Harkness.
  16. Welcome, mamasita, to Ballet Talk, but reading your goals, I can't help but wonder if the place you really want is our sister site, Ballet Talk for Dancers. This board is primarily audience. The Ballet Talk site is for people on the inside of the art, including their parents. Try: http://dancers.invisionzone.com You'll have to register there independently of this site, but I think you'll find it a better fit.
  17. It's also seen in Thai and Cambodian forms.
  18. It's just hyperextension of the carpals and metacarpals. Any joint can be hyperextended, and it can be somewhat cultivated, but it's mostly inborn.
  19. You have to wonder what story this picture tells without the prepared caption. She's either letting her nails dry, or she's telling a war story: "Well, there we was, 20,000 feet, and all of a sudden this Luftwaffe machine comes up from below, and must not have seen me, so I slips my bird over so I'm above and behind him...."
  20. I don't think the picture of the d'Amboise daughters as SAB students in a ballet are seen in A Midsummer Night's Dream, as the caption indicates. Those headpieces were far different from those shown and the bugs didn't wear skirts. They had a sort of tunic thing. My guess is Coppélia.
  21. There was a serious disconnect between this video treatment of "New York Export: Opus Jazz" and what is seen on stage. Onstage, the work is full of playfulness and frolic, interspersed with moments of harshness, and even depravity. The video has little sportiveness, and the hard moments seem blended out (where was the girl thrown off the roof?), leaving the piece, for all its activity, a brooding, selfconsciously portentous document, suggesting that the participants had just seen a performance of West Side Story all the way through to the end, and were still brooding about it. An inappropriate gravity haunted the show. It was like watching the Moscow Art Theatre of the 1920s doing You Can't Take it With You. (Talk about the Dead Hand of History!) The "bones" of the work were still there, at least most of them, but I was unsatisfied with the product as a whole. Jean-Pierre Frohlich may believe that a work can be interpreted in various ways, but this production interprets the spiritual life out of the ballet, leaving it a poor record of the original.
  22. GREAT!!! I'm totally relieved to hear it!
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