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Everything posted by BalletNut

  1. Casting is up for Giselle, which opened on the 19th. I'm glad Tan got opening night, I think it's a very good role for her. Looking forward to all of your reports!
  2. Please tell us more <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Well, I'm pretty sure that one of the Guillem pictures is actually Yuan Yuan Tan in La Esmeralda. And I've seen the Giselle penchee shot, identified as Vishneva, on Anastasia Volochkova's website. (She has blond hair, as does the ballerina in the picture, and Vishneva is definitely a brunette.)
  3. The pictures are lovely, but some of the dancers are misidentified.
  4. I've had several, but the weirdest one I can remember is one where I'm a principal ballerina (weird in itself, I'm short, curvy, and have two left feet) and I'm supposed to dance Lilac Fairy, but I do choreography from Swan Lake instead, but to the Sleeping Beauty music. I guess that's the ballet equivalent of the naked dream, right? Or the ones where someone makes me fill in at the last minute for a dancer who's injured, and the only pointe shoes I have are these autographed ones I bought years ago for an AIDS benefit. I usually dance well enough, but there's always the thought: "What if they all start to catch on that I'm not really a dancer and have no idea what I'm doing?" I suppose that one's a variation (so to speak) on the classic anxiety dream...
  5. I saw a couple of excerpts of this on Classic Arts Showcase, and I remember not recognizing Evteyeva at all; in all the other videos I've seen of her, she always appeared incredibly tiny, but not this time for some reason. I'm not sure whether she shrank (doubtful) or was filmed with taller partners, or if the rest of the company became taller over the years. For what it's worth, she was born in 1947, so yes, she was very young when this performance was filmed. Anyway, I believe the prince in the video is Markovsky, and the sets and costumes are a little dated, but not too bad. which has the Soviet happy ending instead of the usual suicide. But Evteyeva dances very well, although for my money I actually prefer the Makarova/Dowell video for a variety of reasons, for example the designs are gorgeous and the filming is not obtrusive at all. But again, I'm basing the comparison on a couple of clips from Classic Arts Showcase which comes on at odd times on public access cable TV. All the same, I'm curious what you think of this one when you get it.
  6. Ever since I was old enough to sit still, my parents were taking me with them every winter to see the Nutcracker either in Oakland or San Francisco, but the first non-Nutcracker performance I saw was Swan Lake, with Evelyn Cisneros and Anthony Randazzo at SFB, I was about 13 or 14 at the time, but even then I knew it was a stellar performance. Then I rented the video of Swan Lake with Makarova from the corner video store a couple of times, and Giselle (also Makarova) from the local library, and I was hooked within a couple of years.
  7. There is a thread on the NYCB forum about the recent promotions of Fairchild and other young dancers, which is also relevant to this topic.
  8. Tina LeBlanc (expressive and charismatic too! ) Vanessa Zahorian Merrill Ashley Joan Boada Angel Corella Mikhail Baryshnikov
  9. In response to my own question , I think the distinction lies between dancers who are ready and able to be promoted and/or given lead roles very early in their careers (Markova, I suspect, falls into this category), and dancers who are obviously gifted but need a few years to put under their belts as corps dancers and soloists. In retrospect, I think a better way to word the original question is how directors can determine which dancers fit which category. Then there are dancers who are extraordinarily talented in some ways, but need to work on other areas. I'll just use the examples from this thread: From what Hans and Paul have written, it seems that Herrera had, and still has, outstanding technique, and not much dramatic presence, while the opposite is true for Ferri. The question I think both of you are asking (correct me if I'm wrong) is whether or not to promote dancers who are less than well-rounded, and when, if ever, to "push" them further once they are promoted by casting against "type" and, sometimes, against capabilities: would Ferri have been a good Aurora even without the technique? Could Herrera eventually become a good Giselle if she performed it enough? I think the answer is different for dancers, who understandably want to dance a wide variety of roles to keep them stimulated, and possibly to help them improve their dancing, and for critics and audience members, who might be hesitant to spend money on tickets for ballets that they would consider to be miscast. I also agree with Ari that sometimes "pushing" can ultimately help dancers to improve and become more well-rounded, even if the actual performance doesn't go well. Finally, I would like to address Daniil's comment about the use of the word "push." By "push," I don't mean forcing dancers to do things they don't want to do, and indeed very young stars are usually more than happy to take on many leading roles on in a short amount of time, it's only human. What I think the word push means in this context, and the way it was being used in the Kirov forum as well as other forums where this comes up, is nudging young dancers towards the outer limits of their experience--both in terms of actual technique and especially in terms of what Ari called "emotional, moral, and artistic" experience and skills.
  10. This is a question that came up on the Kirov-Mariinsky forum, which Natalia suggested might make a good thread for an "interested poster" to start--whether the Kirov's management pushes young dancers too far, too soon and whether this is a problem. I'm taking the bait, but I'm also going to take the liberty of opening the topic here instead of in the Kirov forum, because although the discussion of this came up in that forum, it's quite possible that this could be a trend in other ballet companies besides the Kirov. So, are young dancers being pushed too far, too soon? Are there companies where this might be an issue? When is the right time to "push" a dancer and when should directors and choreographers "lay off"? PS: I realize I might be opening a can of worms here, but I have confidence that the issue of pushing young dancers can be discussed and stay in bounds as regards our no-gossip policy.
  11. 5'5, eh? For what it's worth, I recognized Gavin Larsen as a butterfly in Midsummer on the PNB DVD, and I think she's a lovely dancer, and what's more, she's the tallest of the four butterflies. Which means Sultanov must be REALLY tall, even more than 6'4 perhaps; I saw the picture of Kathi Martuza with Sultanov in Dance Mag in Duo Concertant, if I'm not mistaken, and I believe she was on pointe, and he's a head taller than she is, and she's actually "tallish," to borrow a word from ballet.co.uk. Congrats to Martuza, by the way, on her success at OBT. It's always good when someone's talents are recognized, even if it means having to change companies to get that recognition and the roles that can show off their strengths, which isn't always possible in the corps of a large company like SFB (where she was listed as Kathleen, not Kathi, by the way.) Ditto Kester Cotton. The good ones that got away, I guess, but OBT is lucky to have them. By the way, I know this has very little to do with Nutcracker...
  12. Also Divertimento #15 on the first Balanchine Library video from the 70s. I'd love to get my hands on that Mozartiana, if it is available...
  13. canbelto, I haven't seen Gomes yet, but I think the same could apply to the Bolshoi's Andrei Uvarov.
  14. Well, I ordered a copy (through the Amazon link on this site ), so I'll see how it goes. Thanks for the replies.
  15. Ha! I've seen that "forest" pattern too many times to count; it's not bad for La Sylphide or other ballets that take place outdoors, but for more contemporary abstract works, it's a bit...odd. And, being a poverty case myself, I always sit in the balcony, unless I can get subscriber upgrades for my seats (not always possible for more popular ballets), and I agree it would do a lot of good for The Powers That Be to see how ballets look from the nosebleed territory, both in terms of lighting and other things, like seeing whether the sets are cut off at the top, or whether the color of the stage is exactly the same color as the dancers' tights and feet so that they are hard to discern, and, of course, whether you can discern anything at all under "artistic" lighting... Oh, and by the way, thanks again for another interesting review.
  16. Thanks for the detailed review, hockeyfan. I especially enjoyed reading about how you felt about Maelstrom; I remember being kind of bored when I saw it a few years ago, even though I could tell it was fairly well-choreographed, and not just another trendy crossover piece. Of course, it's probably much more interesting to watch when Maffre is in it, she has a tendency to make everything interesting. I would agree that Welch's previous piece, Tu Tu, was "fluffy" indeed--not unpleasant, but I don't remember a thing about the choreography, just some bizarre metallic spandex costumes. I for one am glad that SFB has largely stayed away from crossover, and that the few crossover-ish ballets they do perform are treated as novelties, and not the backbone of the repertoire, or, worse, the Future of Ballet.
  17. Well, I hope you post about it, balletdad!
  18. :shhh: Shhh...we don't want to give anyone any ideas...
  19. I was wondering if anyone has this DVD, and what they think about it. It has Scheherezade, Le Spectre De La Rose, Polovtsian Dances, and Firebird. I am considering getting it, but want to make sure it'll be worth it.
  20. Good question, Rachel. I seem to remember someone--was it on Ballet Talk?--referring to an NYCB dancer as "short" who, according to a Discount Dance bio, was 5'5; and someone else--was it on ballet.co?--refer to a Royal Ballet dancer as "tallish" who was also 5'5. I think each company has its own average height, so it is entirely possible that, relatively speaking, 5'5 is short at NYCB and tall (or "tallish") at the Royal.
  21. Yet another review, in today's Links forum, by Ann Murphy in the DanceView Times.
  22. Thank you for posting this, Estelle. I look forward to hearing about these performances.
  23. Oddly enough, I'm short myself, but I prefer tall ballerinas. I like when dancers "take up space," and a tall ballerina takes up more physical space than a short one (duh). However, I also like it when a short dancer "dances big" and makes me forget she's tiny. A prime example of this is Tina LeBlanc, who's maybe 5'0 or 5'1, but makes you forget about her height (or lack thereof) with her confidence, technique, and dramatic presence.
  24. Hmmm...Not having listened to this program, I can only guess at what kind of logic could have led Rockwell to make such a statement: 1. Saying that ballet companies should stick to ballet choreography and not modern is like saying that Aryans should only "mate" with other Aryans. 2. Anyone who doesn't think crossover "ballet" is a good thing is a racist bigot. 3. The consensus on Ballet Talk is that crossover is not such a great thing. 4. Alexandra and Leigh are "in charge" of Ballet Talk. 5. Alexandra and Leigh are like Hitler and Goebbels. 6. John Rockwell likes crossover. 7. John Rockwell is the voice of equality. 8. John Rockwell is obligated to speak out against bigotry and Nazism wherever it may surface, and to liberate the masses from the tyranny of the Ballet Elite.
  25. Thanks for writing about the gala, Paul. Your description of the children's polonaise reminds me of what I've read about POB's defile. I look forward to reading your review in DanceView Times. By the way, did you happen to see Paris Hilton?
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