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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former dancer
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  1. Interesting that you should mention Deanne Bergsma, Alexandra. Her bourrees were the smoothest I've ever seen. When I slightly unfocused my eyes, she actually appeared to be gliding across the stage. I don't know whether she was doing ankle or knee bourrees, but I noticed that each step was tiny. (I wonder how smooth her bourrees would have been with Ashton riding on her back?)
  2. I don't know whether this film has come out on DVD yet (maybe it has in France), but it's one to keep an eye out for: "Violette et Mr. B." I just saw the San Francisco screening -- with Violette Verdy present to answer questions afterward -- and was floored by her dancing, even in those poor quality old clips. She's also an exceptionally articulate and entertaining speaker, as is evident in the coaching scenes (in which you get to see some excellent dancers). If a DVD does appear, it will be a must-have.
  3. Thanks. That makes sense. I guess it was referring to it as the choral "addition" that confused me.
  4. Way back in this thread, someone commented that the addition of vocal music was "jarring." I knew the music before I saw either Ashton's or Balanchine's choreography, so I'm quite used to, and enjoy, the voices. If asked, I couldn't have told you whether Balanchine used the voices, but I assume he didn't, since someone commented on the addition of voices in Ashton's. I only saw Balanchine's once, and I don't remember. Can someone enlighten me?
  5. Perhaps that is the impression people get because of the ballets he choreographed that have good dancing parts for only 1 man, while the rest of the men are mainly partnering or doing relatively undemanding dancing.
  6. I did think the choreography in some sections was a bit repetitive and therefore not terribly interesting, but overall, I loved this film (I have it on VHS). There are lots of clever bits, and the scenery, sets and costumes are wonderful.
  7. I liked the scene with the mice doing a garland dance, using their tails as the garlands.
  8. I also would put Radunsky, Yagudin and Taranda on the list. Another great Bolshoi character dancer of yore was Natalia Kasatkina. She can be seen as the gypsy woman in the excerpt from "The Stone Flower," shown in the movie "Bolshoi Ballet" (aka "Bolshoi '67"). I saw her live at the San Francisco Opera house in the '60s, and her solos would get as much applause and cheering as those of the principals. And then there was Vladimir Vasiliev, first in the film of "The Little Humpbacked Horse" and much later in "Anyuta." As for the Royal Ballet, there are too many to list. Back in the '60s, when I saw a lot of Royal Ballet performances, I thought that every single dancer in the crowd scenes in "Romeo and Juliet" was a wonderful character dancer. But I loved Leslie Edwards and Desmond Doyle. I saw an excellent classical dancer do my favorite Carabosse -- Parrish Maynard, formerly of the San Francisco Ballet. [sorry -- at first I said Kasatkina was in "The Little Humpbacked Horse," but I corrected it.]
  9. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Vasiliev had a better technique than Baryshnikov, but he was pretty close, and I preferred him as a performer, especially his acting.
  10. Alexandra, Maximova does appear on one of the Bolshoi excerpts tapes in the 2nd act pdd from "Giselle," but not with Vasiliev. I don't recall who her partner was.
  11. Wow! Where did you come across Maximova and Vasiliev in "Giselle"? I'm sure it's not commercially available, at least not now, but I'm curious.
  12. I don't stand just because everyone else does.
  13. I had read the article, but didn't have time to mention when I last posted. I enjoyed it very much. Another movie in which Donald O'Connor did some very elegant dancing was "Anything Goes," with Mitzi Gaynor. I don't know whether it's commercially available. Here's a very informative website about Donald O'Connor
  14. Just a quickie: I'm glad to see all the critics giving so much notice to Tina LeBlanc. Now that Joanna Berman is gone, Ms. LeBlanc is sole owner of the title, "my favorite female dancer in SFB." It's interesting that Ann Murphy used the image of a racing Camaro in describing Guennadi Nedviguine. A friend of mine likened LeBlanc and Nedviguine to Ferraris. I'm looking forward to seeing them in Don Q tomorrow night.
  15. I saw this in an article in the Miami Herald about Cynthia Newport's documentary "Dance Cuba: Dreams of Flight": "the sensual throbbing of Afro-Cuban dance." Really, Mr. R!
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