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About NancyHJohnson

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  1. Hi, I have a question for those of you who know something about the making of ballet videos. During some particularly challenging part of a dance (such as the many entrechat quatres in that first variation of Grand Pas de Quatre), when I see the camera suddenly switch from a shot of the dancer's feet to the dancer's upper body, it makes me think that the dancer probably blew it in some way right then. Dancers are human, live performance is nothing but dynamic, and stuff happens. I don't mean to imply anything bad about any dancer, but just want to know if this is often what's happened. Does anybody know?
  2. :angry: In listening to news shows last night reporting the death of Saddam's sons, I heard (ABC News?) mention of a 1994 incident in which Uday Hussein allegedly victimized "a Russian ballerina". Does anybody know about this?
  3. Did anybody go to the signing of Nancy Ellison's book with the ABT dancers at Lincoln Center last night? Anything to say about it? :rolleyes:
  4. Mr. Pandi retired early last school year, during the time that students were being placed in permanent levels. He is greatly loved and missed, and is sometimes seen on campus. Students say that "Mr. Huan" (sp?) has been selected to join the faculty, but are not sure if he has accepted the job. Mr. Huan was purportedly teaching at BB SI last year. Sorry if this is what you call gossip, but people I know can't confirm it any closer than this. Guest teachers at NCSA last year which I remember hearing about were Patricia Barker and Anna Marie Holmes. With all the dance faculty so outstanding, it seems quite a challenge to replace teachers of that caliber. I'm sure a lot of people want to hear who the new faculty member(s) will be.
  5. Let's hear it for the 4 dancers! In spite of ill-advised artistic choices and heavy-handed scripting designed to play up points which basically do not matter, IMO the 4 leading men of ABT prevail over the decision-makers who produced this show. Let me give them the applause which they so richly deserve. Nobody can show us the value of the American work ethic, applied generously and strongly, than Ethan Stiefel. Nobody loves his mother or respects his teachers more than Vladimir Malakhov. Nobody is more at home in his skin as a man than Jose Carreno, and he does not need to show us a hairy chest or talk about handling girls to prove it. Most of all, Angel Corella shows us emotions: his childhood not-fitting-in, his early job frustration, his wisdom about the business of living and ultimately his spirituality itself, and he shares these things as freely as he shares his double tours. As role models, these guys are not bad. If we look between the lines, we see the system that they work (successfully) every day........all that and, good grief, can they dance!!!! Bravo.
  6. Manhattnik, I'm assuming that the dancers had much more say about the practice clothes they were filmed in than about the costumes they wore in performance. I consider that the sartorial wound you mention (and I agree it was pretty raw) was basically self-inflicted. However, forcing those four great-looking men to appear in outfits reminiscent of (at best) members of the Brady Bunch, or (at worst) our mothers-in-law, is eminently deserving of a visit from the fashion police. If the writers of this special wanted to show the world something hot, chic, and 100% appealing as a man, the final performance should have featured any or all of the four dressed in a classical tunic and a pair of tights.
  7. Did anybody have any particular feelings about the costumes on the Morris piece? I had the thought that, when trying to convince a tv audience that men in ballet are not all about foofing around, it's best to leave the see-through ruffle-trimmed purple 3/4 sleeved tops at home (and that goes for the hot-orange blouses as well)..................if you didn't see the closeup photos in Pointe magazine, possibly it was not as obvious from the video.
  8. NancyHJohnson

    Melissa Hayden

    I can tell you that Miss Hayden has recently had a double hip replacement and appears to be healing well. Her voice is indeed distinctive! She is greatly respected at NCSA, and rightfully so. I am told that when you're doing grands battments at the barre, she will often hold her hand up above your foot (higher, higher!) and challenge you to kick it hard. Miss Hayden seems committed to getting the best possible work from her dancers and is satisfied with nothing less.
  9. NancyHJohnson

    Melissa Hayden

    My daughter is a student at NCSA currently in Miss Hayden's classes. She says they are helping her improve so much! The classes aren't easy by any means. Not just her dancing, but also her style of teaching, appears to have been influenced by Mr. Balanchine. Miss Hayden is a living legend at NCSA and my child is lucky to work with her.
  10. I hate a common variant of the "wrist flicker". I call it the "screwing in the light bulb" gesture. If you've seen a cheesy Don Q, you know what I'm referring to. Could somebody more experienced than myself please tell me how many ballerinas it takes to screw in a light bulb?
  11. For those who have not yet learned the trick of getting rid of musically-related annoying bits stuck in your head, musician Leo Kottke recommends singing, playing, or otherwise performing them backwards, and they will leave you. I don't know if he ever recorded his version of "the Woody Woodpecker song" backwards, but I've been told he does it in concert. I would not knock it until I had tried it.
  12. Fooled me! I've never heard of a costume built for a production but not used in it (unless it had some severe problem, etc.) Thanks for enlightening me----and you're positive that unitard is for PR purposes only???? It remains great to look at.
  13. I think most dancers feel more exposed in a unitard than in tights and a leotard. It seems less flattering in general to the human body. That having been said, a unitard is a wonderful base to paint, dye, or otherwise modify for costume purposes. However, if this plain base is used as an excuse to avoid building the correct costume (more complex, more expensive, etc.) in the first place, then a unitard surely deserves the term "peeve". Angel Corella's Pied Piper costume for the new ABT production (on the cover of Dance, May 2001) is IMO the height to which a unitard may aspire. It's outstanding.
  14. Does anyone on this board know whatever happened to Zoltan Solymosi, Peter Anastos, or Aleksandr Lunev? Thanks.
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