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Paul W

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  1. SPAC's setting and the ability to be closer and more comfortable watching ballet makes this summer staple always a treat!! NYCB has seemed much more enjoyable and enticing to me at SPAC than in NYC, but you have to understand that I'm still evolving in my Balanchine appreciation quest. rkoretzky has already indicated beautifully many of the details of the Friday evening and Saturday matinee performances. Just to re-enforce her perspective, Evans is pure JOY to watch!! His movement is what I think of in picturing perfection of human movement. Such a contrast in his emotional involvement a
  2. I was at the June 16 final U.S. performance of the Royal's "Swan Lake". I can't confirm there was a quadruple fouette with absolute confidence, but it sure seemed like it to me! I thought I saw one at the end of an amazing string of several triples. Rojo's performance in these was definitely "astounding", and wonderful to behold. I don't think this came off so much as another pushing of the envelope in technique so much as an example of passionate expression of ballet's bravado element. It fit smoothly into the performance for most I would venture to guess. The applause was immediate and s
  3. I'm not a fan of everything JFK did, but I would never have concluded that he considered "culture" as window dressing. Is there some factual trail of evidence to support this assertion Dirac? I can't think of any other President since I've been alive who supported and "seemed to" appreciate the arts more in the context of U.S. culture.
  4. Thanks Paquita, for a very nice synopsis of recent performances by NBoC. I'm interested in seeing the "Madame Butterfly" sometime, but probably will have to wait until Boston 2002 (May 2-19). I have not read much about this ballet; would like to hear views about the ballet and the choreographer. If you have a chance, please write some of your thoughts on the NBoC production you indicated you would be seeing. Your description of the Balanchine "Theme and Variation" gave me another ballet that I've put on my "must see" list also.
  5. In the two major productions of Giselle that I have seen, I never got the impression that Giselle actually killed herself with Albrecht's sword. She plays with it menacingly (while insanity fully replaces her broken-hearted remembrances), but to kill herself with such a long sword would have been obvious, and I don't recall that at all. I remember that Irma Nioradze, as Giselle, swung the sword in large circles along the ground (not in the air) before finally dying. On another point brought up here, It doesn't seem completely unthinkable that the Wilis could be "associated with", "hanging o
  6. Thanks for some very interesting discussion about young dancers promoted to "star" status. While I agree 100% with the view that competitions are not what should define a dancer's potential or actual artistic talent, I think a lot of the statements about how dancers reacte to competition are broad generalizations and cannot be considered applicable to most if even a relative minority of competitors. With respect to winning them, there certainly is ample evidence that this indeed is the case and certainly what many competitors want to result from their participation in the competiti
  7. One thing that should be said about program notes, is that if you don't WANT to read them you don't have to. As for me, I like all the notes I can get, both to pass the time while bobbing up and down in my seat while others arrive, and to have some basis for placing the art in context. I think it is absolutely necessary for people who are seeing a story ballet for the first time, to have some historical notes and synopsis. For abstract ballets, I would like some background information about the dancers and choreographer at least, but I agree with others that I don't want it overly "inte
  8. My feelings parallel those of Lewis Segal. Having seen pictures of Duncan, I can't imagine her having different feelings about this. I haven't seen any of the movies mentioned nor have I any direct knowledge about Balanchine's preferences for how his dancers should have looked, but indirect evidence of its holdover to ballet of today seems obvious in many of today's NYCB dancers (in particular). It continues to strike me as odd that female dancers should be considered (by whom, by the way?) more aesthetically beautiful if super-thin. I quess there must be "taste" involved in being able to se
  9. Moscow Festival Ballet company performed Swan Lake in Burlington, Vermont's Flynn Theatre last Thursday (3/22). I assume it was part of a larger tour in the states and perhaps Canada. It appears this group has toured widely (England, U.S., rest of Europe) in the last five years. I thought it was a very fine production. First time I had seen the Jester given such prominence. In Kudelka's Swan Lake I don't recall the Jester at all, and likewise for the NYCB Swan Lake performances I've seen. Though once or twice his presence distracted a bit from parallel activity going on, I found this role a
  10. Estelle, Definitely Nijinska's "Early Memoirs" !! Many of the others may be excellent, I can't comment on them, and perhaps your interests and focus may be more toward the making of dance choreography. But "Early Memoirs" was sentimental, touching, enjoyable to read, and gave me a better understanding of an amazing artistic period at the turn of the century in Russia and Europe.
  11. Manhattnik said: "most BA readers would know that those "fluttery" jumps in Bluebird are brise volees. Right?" Well, most probably do, but I for one liked the reference to fluttery jumps to get the picture and then would really also appreciate seeing the term "brise volee" right beside it.... just for the next time I see it used without the 'fluttery' part.
  12. Thanks Veronika, for pointing out the (rather significant ) distinction in the reference to "soul" in what is attributed to Ms. Jaffe ("...it didn't call for my soul"). I agree, she doesn't imply that Balanchine's work doesn't have soul. So my apologies to Ms. Jaffe. Alexandra, you mention your surprise that new ballet-goers might be shocked to find out how much it takes to understand ballet, "...comments about how much there is to learn. I've always puzzled, though, over why this is such a shock...". It isn't really a shock so much as an enlightenment to the rich history behind b
  13. Dale, you've definitely initiated a very significant and interesting discussion!! I don't think from my point of interest its so much "long vs short", or "evening length vs one-act". It gets more to the premise and the question posed in your quote from Roca's article. I take the premise to be that Roca sees a dichotomy between the critical dance community (critics) viewpoint on the merit of narrative vs abstract ballet and the public (audience) view of the same. Add to the premise the quotes from McKenzie and Jaffe and this is sure to generate some sparks here. I agree with Roca's pr
  14. My opinion on this issue, is based not so much on having seen performances of a particular dancer when not used in her/his best "emploi", but more on a sense of what has changed for companies over the years (based on discussions on this board). I'm still somewhat ignorant of what specific emploi leading parts demand in most ballets. In general, I agree with Alexandra (stars get what they want) and with Bard's Ballerina (tickets will be sold if a star dances, even if out of her/his best emploi). I'm interpreting that the concern over "emploi" is directed mostly at the leading roles in well
  15. I'll answer Mel's leading question , because, everyone reading this board should know that the six issue per year publication "BalletAlert" published by the WebMistress of this site and her cadre of top writers is the most informative and interesting newsletter I receive in the mail. I too found the article on page 5 of the January 2000 issue , "Fanny Elssler in America" , a wonderful piece. I've now started Guest's book on Elssler to get a full picture of the fascinating life of this Romantic era ballerina!! I'd recommend "BalletAlert" to everyone who posts here!!
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