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Everything posted by dirac

  1. "The Great American Ballerina"? I don't know how it was while she was dancing, but I would think in retrospect the title, if we have to award it, belongs to Maria Tallchief.
  2. I am inclined to agree with Cliff. It would be nice if the most effective advertising were invariably the most intelligent advertising, but such is not the case. Those of us of a certain age will recall the "Please don't squeeze the Charmin" TV campaign, which involved someone named Mr. Whipple trying to prevent shoppers from lustfully massaging the toilet paper, and drove a sizable number of TV viewers half insane with irritation. Everyone jeered at those ads, and Charmin's sales skyrocketed. In defense of SFB, it must be allowed that parts of the Bible are chock full of good old fashioned
  3. I think Giuliani is just doing the politician thing. It's not a party matter -- it's easy to imagine Schumer, for example, doing the same number. I doubt that NYCB or any other ballet company is in any danger, as they're not going to put on anything for the Mayor to object to. Re "Olympia": I didn't put the same construction on the male divers. The glorification of masculine strength was a cornerstone of Third Reich propaganda -- think of the mass calisthenics showcased in "Triumph of the Will" -- and I can see a straight man shooting the same sequence. But it's not as if Riefenstahl is su
  4. I'm not sure that a Ballerina Barbie that was anatomically accurate would sell too well -- can't see much of a market for Flatchested Barbie with Bunions. I remember a few years ago that a couple of Barbies called Trailer Trash Barbie and Hooker Barbie were circulating. Mattel sued, I think.
  5. I never had the good fortune to see Kirkland, but I did read her books, and while I admired her intensity I could see how her partners might have become a wee bit impatient. Dancing on My Grave had one especially striking passage on one ballet, I forget which, where Kirkland had to dance with a scarf. Apparently Kirkland had trouble finding a dramatic justification for the scarf, and expends several paragraphs on how she cast about for possible motivations, consulted with her coach, etc. It did seem like an awful amount of mental anguish to expend upon what would seem to be a pretty run-of-t
  6. I'm wondering if anyone has any general remarks to make about the category of dancer usually characterized as a "dancer-actress" or "actor-dancer." (I often see Nora Kaye, Lynn Seymour, and Melissa Hayden characterized as such, to name three.) I never saw any of the above, and I'd be interested to know: what people think distinguishes the great d/a from merely a good one? I've heard it said that in many such dancers their technical abilities as dancers are less distinguished than their dramatic gift. Is this true? does one quality have to suffer at the expense of the other? I offer a coupl
  7. Well, I can't help hoping that, for the sake of the historical record, she did talk in more detail to someone and perhaps eventually we will know more. There is so much in both the private and professional arenas that only she could tell us. Balanchine made such special roles for her unique qualities, and it would be fascinating to hear more about them. On the personal plane, is striking how uniformly protective of Balanchine's memory the ex-wives and lovers have been. Admirable, of course, but the historian (and gossip) in me can't help wondering how it really was. One doesn't want any G
  8. She was before my time also, but I always loved those wonderfully evocative photographs of her in "La Valse" and "Illuminations" by George Platt Lynes. While respecting her wish for privacy, I regret that she didn't give more interviews; she gave a very illuminating one to Barbara Newman in "Striking a Balance" that left one hungry for more.
  9. Although I haven't seen it yet, I think the Conrad book is more of a pictures-with-text coffee table kind of volume, and so it wouldn't be intruding on Jowitt's territory or vice versa.
  10. Yup, if it's the same Greg Lawrence. This is unfortunate, if the Robbins book is written in the same turgid prose as the Kirkland opuses. As for the gossipy part, if even half of what one hears about Robbins', uh, management style is true, there should be plenty of dish to dish.
  11. There were a few odd things in the article. I don't see anything wrong with airing the fact that Tudor could be nasty in the rehearsal hall. (In biographies of prominent generals, for example, it is customary to note how they conducted themselves in their relations with their subordinates.) Re: the emigrants to America. I found this more troubling (and pardon the length of the following, I don't mean to pontificate, but I have a point, honest). It is true that Auden and Isherwood came under fire for leaving when they did, mainly because they made it clear upon departure that they expected
  12. I'm not surprised. The Disney people are notorious trademark fascists. I guess they have to be, but still. BalletNut's suggestion made me think of an even more unadaptable Roald Dahl book: "James and the Giant Peach, the Ballet". cargill, I wouldn't be surprised if Matthew Bourne takes on the "Rebel Without a Cause" idea. Already I see Will Kemp sulking fetchingly in a red windbreaker.
  13. I think Sylvie Guillem would make a splendid She. Also, with all due respect to the spectacular charms of Ms. Andress and Ms. Bergman, the definitive cinema She is Helen Gahagan (later Mrs. Melvyn Douglas and political opponent of Richard Nixon), in the version made in 1935, with Randolph Scott and Nigel Bruce in support. And H. Rider Haggard rules.
  14. Cliff, I'm not sure we should even get started on movies. What about "The Poseidon Adventure"? An actual storm at sea wouldn't be reproducible, but maybe we could have buckets of water hurled at the dancers from the wings.
  15. For our most rarefied intellectuals only: "Death Kit: The Ballet."
  16. I was of the same opinion, which doubtless explains why Cameron Mackintosh is worth a fortune and I am, well, not. Actually, Flemming Flindt did adapt Ionesco's "The Lesson". Haven't seen it but I understand it wasn't bad. [This message has been edited by dirac (edited October 13, 2000).]
  17. Wouldn't Agnes de Mille be a little...steely for Aunt Pitty? (Too thin, too.)
  18. I had a similar dream some years ago, Ed, only it involved some poems by T.S. Eliot and large singing cats. Also, I realized I made an unforgivable error in an earlier post. I paired Richard Burton with the wrong blonde. It was Angie Dickinson in Bramble Bush, another turkey, and Martha Hyer in Ice Palace. My apologies to fans of lousy movies everywhere.
  19. Richard Armour has written several little books on American history, literature, etc., that carry on in much the same vein.
  20. Leigh is right. GWTW is a period piece in every sense. If you update it and cut out all the racial stereotyping, not to mention the glorification of the Ku Klux Klan, the decidedly outdated view of the Reconstruction era, etc., etc., then you won't have much of the book left and fans will be unhappy, because it won't be close enough in spirit to the original property. If you don't alter it -- radically -- they'll get picket lines and probably worse (deservedly so, I should note). Like it or not, the story doesn't make much sense without Mitchell's perspective intact. Recall that one of the cr
  21. It was Burton in Ice Palace, co-starring with Angie Dickinson, a pairing that did not set the screen aflame.
  22. In earlier threads we've discussed novels that we would like to see translated to ballet. The "Gone with the Wind" threads have me pondering novels (or films, or whatever) that you think would be LEAST adaptable. Then, adapt it, cast it, do what you will. (Pretend you are a dotty impresario along the lines of Corky St. Clair in the movie" Waiting for Guffman", who adapted the fireman epic "Backdraft" for the stage, with unhappy consequences.) I'll go first. I am thinking about a ballet version of "The Thorn Birds". As some of you may know, most of the novel takes place on an Australian shee
  23. I pity the unfortunate choreographer who has to explain to Kschessinska that in the postwar scenes she cannot wear her jewelry to pick cotton. [This message has been edited by dirac (edited October 10, 2000).]
  24. I have the same video, and I agree that Farrell doesn't inflect the movement that way at all. I think Agon is sexy, but the eroticism is only effective if the dancers refrain from emphasizing that fact unduly. Once they start telegraphing Sex to the audience, it becomes crude and obvious.
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