Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Nora

  1. Alexandra, I didn't think your Dancer of the Month -- which I am very glad to see back -- was an award. I just simply didn't understand the term in your very fine description of her talents. And thanks to everyone for their explanations!
  2. So ... the English teacher in me is trying to understand this in my own terms. I want to ask - is this a noun or an adjective? In other words, does a dancer have plastique or not, i.e. is it absolute, OR is one dancer more plastique than another dancer? How does one properly use this term?
  3. I was reading Alexandra's choice for Dancer of the Month, and she used the term "plastique." It reminded me that I had heard discussions before of a dancer's plasticity. Same thing? What does it mean?
  4. Nora

    Cuban Dancers

    In light of the recent news of two dancers from the Cuban ballet defecting while on tour in Florida, how is a dancer like Jose Manuel Carreno able to work with ABT and travel freely between America and Cuba? I have seen Carreno dance several times, and there is no doubt in my mind that every kudo he receives is well deserved. He is a breathtaking and precise dancer -- my favorite at ABT. That said, is it his celebrity that allows him to negotiate between these two worlds? Have I missed something? :shrug:
  5. I live in Baltimore and was fortunate to be able to see Ms. Murray on a critics' show that was cancelled many years ago. She was by far the most articulate and perceptive person on a panel that was made up of a book critic, theater critic, and others. She was lovely to look at, gracious in gesture and insightful about her art. I sometimes saw her out walking with her husband in the evening. I did not know that she was, in addition to her other gifts, an accomplished and promising dancer. I know she'll be greatly missed.
  6. Mel, does this whipping motion make the fouette intentionally faster?
  7. Mel, do you think that sometime in the future you could discuss and contrast similar steps? For instance, as a non-dancer, I can't seem to see the difference between pirouettes and fouettes. Thanks so much!
  8. Makarova Fan -- a little warning. It's a difficult read. She accepted no help in writing or editing, and the narrative shows the lack of a guiding hand. She jumps around and sometimes leaves out needed explanation. Still, there are parts of it that are marvelous. Enjoy what you like and disregard the rest.
  9. On Wednesday afternoon, the Grand Pas Classique was danced by Murphy and Carreno. I know that Carreno is a marvelous partner, but I thought these two, whom I've have never seen dance together before, were very well matched. Their height, bearing, timing, and superlative technique worked so well together that the pdd was quite thrilling. It was also the only time I can ever remember a ballerina receiving more applause and cheers for her solo than the male dancer!
  10. Farrell Fan -- the sequel to Dancing on My Grave was called The Shape of Love. I enjoyed it, probably because it was devoid of all the sensationalism of Dancing on My Grave. It's all about dancing, and that is why it's out of print. I had to borrow a yellowed copy from a friend. It's worth the read if you are interested in how she built a part.
  11. Farrell Fan -- the sequel to Dancing on My Grave was called The Shape of Love. I enjoyed it, probably because it was devoid of all the sensationalism of Dancing on My Grave. It's all about dancing, and that is why it's out of print. I had to borrow a yellowed copy from a friend. It's worth the read if you are interested in how she built a part.
  12. I saw this company in 1995 when I chaperoned a group of students on a trip to Russia and Ukraine. They did a very fine production of Romeo and Juliet. Now, I am not a trained dancer and I have learned a great deal more about ballet since I saw that performance, but I recently viewed a videotape that one of my companions made while we were at the performance. It looked to me as I remembered it, a very professional, practiced performance by experienced dancers.
  13. I'm interested to know if anyone got something special and dance related. I received a videotape of Maya Plisetskaya in a variety of ballet excerpts. All I've had time to watch is The Dying Swan which was lovely. Probably the first time I've watched it when I've had the sense of the swan/ballerina losing energy and succumbing. Really nice. Anyone else get videos, books,etc?
  14. Juliet -- Where can I get information about this Annapolis performance. Thanks.
  15. Please forgive my ignorance, but what is PAMTGG?
  16. Wendy -- I am reading this book but have not finished it yet. I was refraining from reporting on it until I was finished, but I know how it is when you want to share the experience with someone. I think I'm taking so long just to savor it. Yes, it is fascinating. A word of warning, though, to anyone who may pick it up. It is more about the life of an artist in Stalinist Russia than it is specifically about ballet. It could just as easily have been written about an opera singer or a composer. It is also difficult to read. Plisetskaya rejected the help of professional writers and chose to rely on her own chatty and sometimes disorganized prose style. She has a tendency to interrupt her own narrative with an anecdote totally out of time, and since timelines are not made definitive anyway, the reader's sense of context can sometimes be jarred. She also has the Russian style of using the first name and patronymic, in other words, the first name and then middle name based on the father's first name -- Anna Ivanovna means Anna the daughter of Ivan, and Pavel Ivanovitch means Pavel the son of Ivan -- because these are titles of respect. She can use these respectfully or very sarcastically. Then she uses initials, so that sometimes a person ends up having three different names; it gets to be like reading War and Peace. However, all that said, it is a marvelous picture of the frustration, terror, paranoia, and game playing that went on for Soviet artists, especially during Stalin's life. She spares no detail and is often bitter, a bitterness that she has earned, in recounting the stories of people who held her captive and refused to let her travel abroad during her twenties and early thirties. The confusion and trepidation of this period was particularly visited on her in that her father was executed by the Stalinist regime and her mother exiled for 8 years. At the same time, her aunt and uncle were lionized and made artistic heroes of the Soviet. Maya seemed to bring out the worst in the Soviet operatives; she resisted them and became adept at knowing just how much to say when she was called in for questioning. They wanted her to dance for them, but they wanted to keep her just dispirited enough to stay under their grip. I don't know how any of these people lived through it. I was particularly appalled by the per diem arrangements for touring Bolshoi dancers. They were, at one point, buying dog food to eat and heating it up over the registers of NYC hotel rooms, causing a decidedly strange odor that drifted into the corridors. Sol Hurok saved the day by giving them free lunches because they were fainting at rehearsals. I could go on and on, but I have to read some more.
  17. Don Quixote with Nureyev and the Australian Ballet. One of the better videos of Nureyev, and it's just fun!
  18. I saw the Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker a few years ago and have tickets to go again this December. They use local students and give a very lovely, traditional production. I was really impressed at how the students they used blended into the production so that I could not tell where the students left off and the professionals began. I had a relative in the last production I saw, and I know children who will be in this year's. No tricks or weird concepts -- a very enjoyable evening.
  19. My brother is a Naval Officer who works in an annex to the Pentagon in Crystal City, Virginia. On Tuesday morning, he went to the Navy section of the Pentagon for a meeting with an admiral who did not show up. He returned to his office in Crystal City, and 45 minutes later the offices that he left were destroyed. As you can imagine, I have been alternating between tears of gratitude and complete numbness. I want to thank God, but I'm aware that there are so many others who have suffered and continue to suffer horrible anguish over this random and unconscionable violence. There is no difference between those of us who were sacrificed and those of us who escaped. I hope to God that we can build a saner, more civilized world where we have the arts on every channel rather than this unspeakable tragedy. [ 09-13-2001: Message edited by: Nora ]
  20. Mistakes sometimes become art itself. The last time I was in Florence and saw Michaelangelo's David, the corridor leading up the the statue itself was lined with blocks of marble that the master had started and then rejected. His trash had become museum displays and looked eerily like modern art.
  21. Katie -- I read the book. It is structured as a series of loosely related short stories in which the author treats some real, some fictional subjects in dance. In the case of the real people, she imagines their thoughts during important moments and relationships. Being a person who enjoys reading biographies of dancers, I recognized a great many of the events and conflicts that the author based her imaginings on. My feeling is that you would be better served in going to the library and checking out biographies and autobiographies of dancers. The book was a superficial summer read, full of a lot of empty calories. Why not get the real meat and potatoes?
  22. I also saw the Moscow Ballet when it came to town and had a relative in the production. Also, if memory serves correctly, was this the company that was stranded in Baltimore several years ago because their backers disappeared? I was incredibly impressed with the production. The local students and other participants blended into the ensemble so well that they seemed part of one familiar company that had been working together for years. I am thrilled to learn that they are coming back to Baltimore. After travelling to DC last year to see ABT's Nut, I'm looking forward to staying in town and seeing something more satisfying.
  23. I also just finished reading Allegra Kent's book. Yes, she was a hoot, but her story also highlights the difficulties of trying to have a dance career and a family life at the same time. It was amazing to me how she was able to leave dancing and come back so many times. I would like to read a biography of Patricia McBride. I've always wanted to know more about her. Is there one?
  • Create New...