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Everything posted by CygneDanois

  1. Same for me--I don't think I'll ever be able to watch or listen to the Peasant Pas de Deux ever again. It was interesting, though, singing Les Noces--once you know what the words mean, Nijinska's choreography doesn't seem to make much sense at all. I can't say I've known a piece of music and then had to dance to it, though...unless finally dancing the Cavalier in the Nutcracker after listening to that beautiful pas de deux for years and years counts!
  2. I didn't see the new/old production either, but at the Kirov Academy, that 3rd variation is danced at a faster tempo than at other places, and definitely with jumps into ecarte. I wonder how much of that slowness originated with Makarova--I've noticed that on the tape of the Royal Ballet dancing her production, the entire corps dances a beat behind the music in the entrance to the Shades scene (the Kirov dances directly on the beat according to my tapes).
  3. Does anyone have experience with the Dmitri Roudnev CD? I'm having a terrible time trying to find music for a Vaganova class. Also, does anyone know if there are copies available of Mozart's only ballet score? I forget the name right now, but will post it if I remember.
  4. In musical terms, I would say that Mozart was the best ballet composer, but he only wrote one ballet, and it is no longer performed. I voted for Minkus because he provided the music for some of the greatest and most enduring classics: Don Quixote, La Bayadere, and Paquita, among others.
  5. In musical terms, I would say that Mozart was the best ballet composer, but he only wrote one ballet, and it is no longer performed. I voted for Minkus because he provided the music for some of the greatest and most enduring classics: Don Quixote, La Bayadere, and Paquita, among others.
  6. Catherine de Medici, who brought ballet from Italy to France. Marie Taglioni, for popularising pointe work. Pierina Legnani. Catherine the Great.
  7. I recently bought a Nureyev video that includes two pas de deux with Beriosova: Diana & Actaeon and Swan Lake Act III. She looks really lovely--beautiful long limbs, graceful, strong technique. Anyway, I read felursus's reply in "Ballets in Detail" regarding her Giselle and I was wondering if others have memories of her. I definitely want to know more about her--also, if anyone knows of any books or videos (the one I have is "Rudolf Nureyev: His Complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances") that I should check out, let me know.
  8. I always thought Berthe was taking Giselle's hair down so she'd be more comfortable--sort of like loosening her stays (kind of like a corset), only you can't do that onstage, obviously.
  9. This will sound ludicrous in contrast to the huge stars everyone else has seen. Fonteyn and Nureyev are my honorary favorites, since I haven't seen them do Giselle, but I've seen enough of them that I'm fully convinced they would be my favorites, had I seen them. Other than that, Alessandra Ferri, Julie Kent, and Amanda McKerrow (Well, I haven't seen anyone else, really). I've seen Evelyn Hart and Carole Arbo dance an entrancing Act II pas de deux (not together, of course). Now we all know why my conributions to this thread have been so shallow .
  10. Angleterre, as far as I know, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Don Q, La Bayadere, and Raymonda were all choreographed in ballet's classical period, which rather confusingly coincides with music's romantic period. Another strange thing about ballet and classicism is that ballet's classical period occurred after its romantic period, which is why Giselle, Coppelia, and La Sylphide are romantic ballets. I realize that this is not the clearest or most specific information, but it is just a very general answer to your question regarding classical/romantic ballets.
  11. As I recall, it's a peasant pas de cinq--five. I'm pretty sure BalletNut is correct. Of course, if anyone knows differently... [ 04-26-2001: Message edited by: CygneDanois ]
  12. About Odette and employ, does anyone know if Odette was nobility before she came under Baron von Rothbart's spell? I ask because I remembered Alexandra's writing on another thread the comment of a French person that the liberal use of arched backs in Russian ballet is a throwback to folk dancing (this is a paraphrase; my apologies for any inaccuracies). Therefore, if Odette was not nobility, perhaps this is a second, although not necessarily the chief reason for her unusually flexible port de bras/corps. (One could also infer that being turned into a swan during the day gradually chips away at her noble mien, but that doesn't seem very nice to swans, which are very majestic creatures, IMO.) I notice that Odile doesn't seem to use her back the same way Odette does (Odile has one or two attitudes to the back while looking up at the ceiling, but it doesn't appear to me to be a natural position for her--more like something she affects to fool Siegfried).
  13. Correct me if I've misinterpreted this, but I think that in Berthe's mime in Act I, she begins by saying something like, "Out there [ie, in the forest] where the graves are [making the sign of crosses, like tombstones]...." Either the cemetery must be in the forest because of the mime, or the other way round. Or I might not be "reading" the mime correctly. But has anyone else noticed this?
  14. What are the two branches that Myrtha dances with in the beginning of Act II? And those two flowers Giselle throws to Albrecht a little later on. Is there significance in the different types of flowers--calla lilies Albrecht brings to Giselle's grave and the "Easter" lilies Giselle gives to Albrecht and later Myrtha? I was told that Myrtha had a willow wand, but that's obviously wrong, and I think Alexandra wrote in Recent Performances about a myrtle branch... There are tons of flowers in this ballet--the bouquet Hilarion leaves for Giselle, the daisy, smaller white flowers placed by Hilarion on Giselle's grave, Albrecht's lilies, Giselle's lilies, Myrtha's lilies, branches, and wand, Giselle's two white flowers, and in ABT's version, some of the peasants dance with garlands during the grape harvest festival, not to mention Giselle's crown of flowers during the festival. Perrot/Coralli must have loved them!
  15. What I mean is that if Giselle had not been a virgin, she wouldn't have been allowed on the stage of the Paris Opéra in 1840.
  16. Of course she's a virgin; it was 1840! It is quite a shock to realize that the person one has been in love with for quite some time is a completely different person who is engaged to someone else. Add a weak heart, the fact that she's been dancing all day in spite of her mother's warnings, the excitement of a royal hunting party, and I think that the final realization that Albrecht really truly isn't a peasant named Loys would be the last straw.
  17. Françoise, I think that manège is made up of "temps (saut) de papillon." I prefer entrechats six to brisés (probably because I'm better at them myself), but I also saw a combination of double sauts de basque to the knee, facing Myrtha. Each time he lands, she tells him to get up and dance some more. And Albrecht can't just run away once he is in the wings because he's following Giselle, who must return to Myrtha and her grave.
  18. How did Hilarion find the sword if it was in the nurse's house? Was she just not at home then?
  19. The two demi-soloist wilis are Moyna and Zulma.
  20. I think the significance of the crucifix might be that it is Giselle's grave. In other words, maybe only Giselle (and her cross) can protect Albrecht.
  21. I don't mean to squelch disagreement, but I have to say I agree almost fully with Ms. Leigh and Alexandra. The evening was absolutely magical for me. Very glad to see Carreno was very "on" last night . Just a few things, and these might have been just where I was sitting: Didn't quite like Murphy as Myrtha. No presence. Also, not much of a jump. I don't think some audience members realized that Giselle was supposed to be going insane, since a few people laughed during the mad scene. The corps in Act II made a great deal of noise with its shoes. I know it's possible for the corps to be silent, because I've attended performances where the only sound the corps (not ABT, though) made was that of wind as it ran by. Finally, I no longer think Julie Kent is bland. She has all my respect as a great, beautiful artist. [ 04-14-2001: Message edited by: CygneDanois ]
  22. Juliet, you must have been very high up in order to have seen me. I admit I didn't see you, but will you be going any other nights? Anyway, I said I would write more about the performance on the 11th, so here it is: Found Murphy boring. Clean technique, but not sparkling. The non-expression on her face didn't help. Even a cold or restrained presence would have helped, but it seemed as though there wasn't any presence to restrain. Carreno was mostly very clean, but he looked heavy to me, and technically off. This is unfortunate, because he's just incredible when he's on. Still, I found him more engaging than Murphy. Juliet, I like the costumes, too . I couldn't tell about the disparate heights in the corps, and I thought they looked all right. Much cleaner than I've seen NYCB do it. Also, praise for Wiles/Radetsky. I know that demi-soloists are not supposed to stand out, but they were so engaged, and engaging, that they really were 75% of the reason I kept watching. Thought Black Tuesday was a lot of fun, and interesting, although I don't think it's a masterpiece. Funny in parts, sad in others, it keeps moving; I never got bored. The end will be quite powerful once it's been developed. The Sleeping Beauty: Ugly sets. Strange court costumes. Muddled choreography. Pretty good technique. Beginning with the polonaise, why were they all dressed so badly. Could hardly tell the men from the women except for the modern tuxedo shirts and bow ties. And all those pink sequins. It went beyond glittery to glitzy. And what a bare court. Hardly any furniture. At least the dancing was pretty good. Fairies of the Precious Stones and Metals pas de cinq was pleasant, but abbreviated. I know Petipa took out Sapphire and moved Gold into Act II, but to me, it makes more sense in the context of the full ballet, which is amazingly long. Nothing wrong with dancing the full pas de quatre when it's just the one act. As for the dancing, Michele Wiles was fantastic as the Diamond fairy, and it was great to see her in a solo role where she can really shine. She is quite a sparkly diamond, although I didn't like what MacMillan has done to the port de bras in this variation. Elizabeth Gaither stood out as one of the Silver fairies, with her effervescent personality, lovely feet, and a technique as strong and beautiful as silver. I agree that Marcelo Gomes is too big and slow for gold, but he was so technically clean and gracious, I didn't mind. Radetsky and Maria Riccetti were cute as Puss 'n Boots and the White Cat, but Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf lacked conviction. I don't think Red Riding Hood really cared whether the wolf ate her or not. Yan Chen and Joaquin de Luz were lovely and lyrical as Princess Florina and the Bluebird, and de Luz's beats were quick and clear, with a very well-arched back during the temps de poissons, but he doesn't seem to have much of a jump. Chen started out well in her variation, but fell off pointe twice and seemed to give up after that. I loved Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Belotserkovsky as Aurora and Désiré. Thought their dancing was just perfect, although Dvorovenko has to contend with some unusual legs and feet. However, I thought they were both the very picture of serene majesty, and this ended the evening on a very high note for me.
  23. Just got back from ABT. Theme and Variations: Murphy/Carreno; Murphy substituted for Erica Cornejo in Black Tuesday as well. The Sleeping Beauty: Dvorovenko/Belotserkovsky as Aurora/Désiré, Yan Chen/de Luz as Princess Florina/Bluebird, Michele Wiles/Marcelo Gomes as Gold/Diamond Fairies. Somewhat underwhelmed by Murphy/Carreno--more impressed by Sascha Radetsky and Michele Wiles as demi-soloists. Enjoyed Black Tuesday. Maybe it's the years in NY. The grand pas de deux in Sleeping Beauty was the highlight of the evening for me. Joaquin de Luz's beats as the Bluebird were quick and small, and Yan Chen was just lovely in the adagio, but had technical difficulties in her variation. Her shoes looked very soft, although it was nice that they were silent. Very much liked Marcelo Gomes and Michele Wiles in the Precious Stones/Metals. But why is the golden fairy danced by a man? At any rate, if the part must be danced by a man, one could do much worse than to have Gomes dance it. There were some choreographic irregularities in this version of Sleeping Beauty, but the dancers still managed to look, for the most part, very good. Will write in more detail later as it's nearly 1am! :eek:
  24. Certainly an interesting article. Kirkland, however, doesn't seem to be the most stable person in any job. I think we all know that her experience isn't typical. Gordon's book was published quite some time ago, and things have changed a great deal since then. Though to be perfectly honest, female dancers place a great deal of pressure on themselves to be thin, comparing themselves to others. And since when are Sylvie Guillem and Darcey Bussell "Valkyries"??? Neither one has an ounce of fat on her, and they don't even seem all that tall, in person. And about the Keefer issue: would Segal prefer that music schools accept singers who have, to be diplomatic, less than ideal voices merely on principle? So why should it be the same for dancers? From what I've read recently, dancers are actually getting healthier and less stress is being placed on thinness at any cost. Ballet is hardly a "cruel subjugation of women to a crippling, inhuman illusion" from my pov, although I would be interested to hear directly what some female dancers think. (By the way, Cargill, it can actually be more difficult to lift an 80-pound girl with no muscle who can't jump than someone who's heavier but stronger because the lighter girl is usually "dead weight". Most of it is how the weight is used, and timing.) ------------------ CygneDanois
  25. That's strange, Bard's Ballerina. I thought it was the other way round! However, I did enjoy the dancing in Concerto Barocco very much. Flowing classical arms with a little more "wrist" than usual, but never a broken or flat line. Just kind of flowery. It was interesting to see the ballet danced with smiles instead of the blank faces of NYCB. I rather liked it during the allegro sections, but it was a bit too much during the largo. While none of the dancers quite had razor-like NYCB pointework, their positions were always clean and precise. And although the corps members weren't all exactly the same height, they danced almost exactly the same, which is almost as good. I have nothing bad to say about Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. Michele Jiminez appears to be technically perfect, without the slightest effort. She looked amazingly happy last night--I smiled just watching her glow. And she is so strong--never wobbles for a milisecond, never misses a pirouette or a balance--but seems so pleasantly surprised every time she hits one . Jared Nelson also looked very strong; lovely beats and pirouettes. I didn't find them terribly well-matched in the pas de deux, but as far as I know, their pairing was due to height difficulties among other partners. I can't really say much about Pillar of Fire. Amanda McKerrow's was amazing, and I thought Brianne Bland was very good, but I don't think I really understood the ballet, and would like to see it several more times before I really form an opinion. Esplanade was pure fun for the whole company. They all seemed to have a great time with it, even though I'm sure it wasn't very "authentic." It still ended the evening on a positive, happy note--and I was definitely interested to see what Paul Taylor choreographed to Bach's concerto contrasted with Balanchine's choreography. Did anyone else go to the post-performance discussion? ------------------ CygneDanois
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