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atm711

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Everything posted by atm711

  1. I can never see enough of Ananiashvilli in "Swan Lake" and I go for her every time. However, I'm also happy that I saw the debut of Gillian Murphy last year in "Swan Lake".
  2. I can never see enough of Ananiashvilli in "Swan Lake" and I go for her every time. However, I'm also happy that I saw the debut of Gillian Murphy last year in "Swan Lake".
  3. Estelle---if you keep up your present interest in ballet---in 50 years you will have seen it all, too.
  4. Victoria, I saw the production you were in. John Kriza was a great Billy. He is so associated with Billy in my mind that I have avoided seeing anyone else perform the role. I'm sure it's a foolish way to be---but, there it is.
  5. I have always loved the first production I saw of "Petrouchka" (and not just because I supered in it many times) It was the Ballet Theatre version that had Massine, Eglevsky as the Moor and usually Lucia Chase or Nora Kaye as the ballerina. I have felt about the Moor the way you have, Alexandra. For me, he was just a character who happened to be black. On occasion, Sol Hurok would show up on stage leading the bear by a chain. I have long considered this a great ballet. Everything comes together and is outstanding---the score, the sets, the choreography, the drama. A wonderful theatrical piece.
  6. Casloan---I saw liturgical dance only once. It was at a church on West 49 street in Manhattan , St. Malachy's which is usually called the 'actors church' because it is located in the heart of the theatre district. Unfortunately for me, this is not my parish church.At this particular service, the gospel was danced. It should always be this way!
  7. What you say about Neeson's stage presence is so true. I saw this force of nature a couple of years ago in "Anna Christie". I am happy to say I have tickets for next month!.
  8. It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Ben Harkarvy today. Ben was the Director of the Dance Division at Juilliard. Ben and I were inseparable during our teen years and early twenties. We studied together with George Chaffee and Mme. Anderson-Ivantsova and we stayed in touch through his years with Pennsylvania Ballet. I have always taken pride in the fact that I was Ben's first student. It was Ben I always looked to for guidance, no matter who we studied with. Ben has certainly deserved all the a ccolades he received in his remarkable career. It has always amazed me that he was a ble to do this when one considers all the pitfalls he had to overcome. He had nothing of a dancer's body and would never be a professional--and the route to Choreographer, Director, etc. was through a company. It was his keen mind and articulate speech that saw him through. God bless you, Ben.
  9. BW and PK--I would urge you to see it!. "Oklahoma" is such the perfect musical that it is hard for anyone to completely ruin it. (Sort of like "Les Sylphides"--its beauty survives any performance)
  10. Having been around for a number of years, I have seen the original production. In fact, it was the first time I had seen any ballet performed live. As an admirer of Stroman's "Contact" and after reading Clive Barnes' review stating that it was a relief to be rid of deMille's tired dances (or something to that effect) I wondered what could possibly be in store. The whole production has too modern a look. It is not true to the period (Oklahoma became a state in 1907). For most of the first act, the heroine Laurey wears denin overalls--while perfectly 'mod attire' today, I doubt if young farmgirls wore them back then. Stroman's ballet was more of a nightmare than a dream and concentrated much too graphically on Jud's rape of Laurey. In the original production, when those girlie postcards came to life they looked very much like old photos of the period---in Stroman's ballet they looked like escapees from "Cabaret". More dancing has been added---the stomping of feet variety. During the years, "Oklahoma" has survived a movie version and many high school/college performances. I am sure it will survive this one, too.---One last word---the motorized "Surrey with the Fringe on Top"---was over the top.
  11. There is an excellent article in the March 25 issue of the magazine "America" on liturgical dance written by Robert Vereecke. He first began choreographing dances in his parish in Chestnut Hill, Mass in the 1970's. The web-site is: www.americamagazine.org. It was good to read of something positive going on in the Church today.
  12. It has been a wild ride with all these dazzling versions!! Gautier, himself, has other thoughts about Giselle---at one time he thought of adapting Victor Hugo's poem "Fantomes" for the first act: "I had thought of making the first act consist of a mimed version of Victor Hugo's delightful poem. One would have seen a beautiful ballroom belonging to some prince; the candles would have been lighted, but the guests would not have arrived; the Wilis, attracted by the joy of dancing in a room glittering with crystal and gliding, would have shown themselves for a moment in the hope of adding to their number. The Queen of the Wilis would have touched the floor with her magic wand to fill the dancers feet with an insatiable desire for contredanses, waltzes, galops, and mazurkas. The advent of the lords and ladies would have made them fly away like so many vague shadows. Giselle, having danced all that evening excited by the magic floor and the desire to keep her lover from inviting other women to dance, would have been surprised by the cold dawn like the young Spanish girl, and the pale Queen of the Wilis, invisible to all, would have laid her icy hand on her heart" With this scenario, I wonder what he would have done with the 2nd act....bring on the peasants?
  13. It has been a wild ride with all these dazzling versions!! Gautier, himself, has other thoughts about Giselle---at one time he thought of adapting Victor Hugo's poem "Fantomes" for the first act: "I had thought of making the first act consist of a mimed version of Victor Hugo's delightful poem. One would have seen a beautiful ballroom belonging to some prince; the candles would have been lighted, but the guests would not have arrived; the Wilis, attracted by the joy of dancing in a room glittering with crystal and gliding, would have shown themselves for a moment in the hope of adding to their number. The Queen of the Wilis would have touched the floor with her magic wand to fill the dancers feet with an insatiable desire for contredanses, waltzes, galops, and mazurkas. The advent of the lords and ladies would have made them fly away like so many vague shadows. Giselle, having danced all that evening excited by the magic floor and the desire to keep her lover from inviting other women to dance, would have been surprised by the cold dawn like the young Spanish girl, and the pale Queen of the Wilis, invisible to all, would have laid her icy hand on her heart" With this scenario, I wonder what he would have done with the 2nd act....bring on the peasants?
  14. What makes me happy about Ballet today?--There is so much of it! It's so easy to find something that appeals to you---if not live, surely on tape. I heartily agree with Ronny on Technology--it has really expanded my enjoyment. Before video tape we ballet lovers had to content ourselves with recordings and visualize the choreography in our heads. Years ago we could only dream of having ballet companies in our major cities---something that our symphony orchestras enjoyed, and now, so many of our cities have companies they can be proud of.
  15. Alexandra said: "if he's (Bejart) really Ballet Satan, then how come Farrell grew so much when dancing with him?" Let's not forget Paul Mejia.........(and marriage?)
  16. After writing the above, I received in the mail the next day a copy of a book I had ordered: "Speaking Of Diaghilev" by John Drummond. In the book there is an interview with Ursula Moreton who was in the Corps in 1920-22, and was very much involved in his production of "The Sleeping Princess"---she says the following about the reception the ballet received in London: "And so the whole time, which was about two months of rehearsal, was absolutely fascinating. And we thought that it was going to be such an enormous success. The costumes and decor of Bakst were fabulous, really beautiful. One couldn't forgive the English public. I couldn't at the time. It seems extraordinary. But one couldn't convince people. The British public is conservative; they had been used to seeing 'Scheherazade', Thamar and Carnavel, and that is what they wanted. They were not prepared for this at all, and we had never seen anything like it since, at least not within the living memory." It strikes me as similar to what went on in New York with "Raymonda". I don't know why she called the Bitish public 'conservative'--if anything, the public of the 20's and the 40's welcomed and embraced the new. (but, then, they were dealing with Fokine and Tudor.)
  17. I saw that production many times way back then. The best account of it can be found in Jack Anderson's book "The One and Only: Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo". "At a time when serious dancegoers were discovering the narrative works of Tudor and Graham, the 'Raymonda' scenario must have seemed downright foolish. Audiences did not quite know how to take the events of the ballet. Often, City Center patrons would hiss Nikita Talin as the evil Saracen, as though he were the villan in a parody revival of a Victorian melodrama" (note:Nikita Talin had a special talent for playing evildoers--he was also hissed in his role of the Bartender in 'Frankie and Johnny') The production had the feel of a"shoe-string" effort, although the designs were attributed to Benois. That said, there were some stirring performances by Danilova and Leon Danielian. I have never seen Danilova's czardas variation topped. Her wonderful smouldering bourres performed on those perfectly formed legs was a thing of beauty. Danielian was a dancer known for his brilliant 'batterie'. In his variation he performed countless entrechat-six and after each one descended into a full plie in 5th position and bounded up again and again--. Frederic Franklin as the crusader never looked comfortable in the role---indeed, Jack Anderson quotes him as saying: I always feared that the armor I had to wear made me look like Ingrid Bergman in 'Joan of Lorraine'" Apparently, New York was not ready for this 'chestnut'---the Sadler's Wells visit with their full-length "Beauty" and "Swan" were still a few years away. They showed us how a full length ballet should look. As dazzled as we were by their productions, we were a bout to loose something far more precious. I have often thought that if I could go back and visit any ballet period I would choose those heady years of the 40's with the talents of Tudor, Robbins and deMille starting to bloom.
  18. atm711

    Beryl Grey

    Good Grief! I am beginning to feel like Methuselah! First Toumanova, then Riabouchinska and now Beryl Grey! I saw her Lilac Fairy when the Sadlers Wells came to the Met on their first visit, and also subsequent ones. She was indeed a wonderful Lilac Fairy--and along with Diana Adams the solo was never performed better. I would also add, that I saw her "Swan Lake" and if it's any consolation to her now, preferred her Odette/Odile to the one of the celebrated Company ballerina.
  19. I saw her when she "used to be Riabouchinska" It was during the '44 - '45 season of Ballet Theatre. She performed in "Graduation Ball" and danced her most famous role of the Prelude in "Les Sylphides". She was not a great technician (she left that to Toumanova)but she had great charm and effervescence, especially in "Graduation Ball" where she and Lichine sparkled. Her "Prelude" was everything I had read or heard about. I really think she was incomparable in this role. So, that little pudgy woman was really quite something at one time!.
  20. "Concerto Barocco" and "The Four Temperaments"---it took Balanchine a long time to educate me (I did not have to wait until I was 60, it came a little sooner). Now, they are two of my absolute favorites.
  21. I saw it only once, and it was the first performance. I am with Mel on this one. In l965 I was not a Farrell fan--she was much too bland for my taste---however, I am completely devoted to the post-Bejart Farrell. My recollection of the ballet is not as sharp as Ari's, but what I do remember is a general murkiness---and that terrible score.
  22. No comparison with Assylmuratova, Alexandra! There was little delicacy about Toumanova's appearance. About the only thing they had in common was their beautiful black hair. At the same time I saw Toumanova dancing, Nora Kaye was also performing the Russian ballerina in Tudor's "Gala Performance". It was a very broad comic performance, made even funnier because we knew it was her imitation of Toumanova. Toumanova was famous for her balances on her very squared point shoes. She could hold a 'developpe al la second' for as long as anyone would want, which she showed to great advantage in the Black Swan PDD--and I would bet it inspired Balanchine to put it into the second movement of "Palais de Crystal"
  23. Ed, the first time I saw the "Black Swan PDD" it was performed by Toumanova. I can still feel the electricity that was in the air of that old Met Opera House that night. It was the first time I had seen 32 fouettes performed---and what an introduction!. What makes her so unique is that it's hard to compare her to anyone else. She had a very strong personality and projected it to the audience. In latter day ballerinas, I guess Maria Tallchief in "Firebird" could be compared to her. Toumanova was also my first "Giselle", along with Anton Dolin as Albrecht. She was her most seductive when she danced with Massine, especially "The Three-Cornered Hat"
  24. I can't get too upset about this----I used up all my "horror and disbelief" in the last presidential election.
  25. I have been watching "Serenade" since 1945---and it was always --Seren-ODD. How do you pronounce Agnes DeMille's "Rodeo"? DeMille pronounced it Row-day-o, not the American Rode-ee-o-----and that is about American as a ballet can get.
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