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Amy Reusch

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Everything posted by Amy Reusch

  1. Considering Americana and Kirstein's goal of developing an American Ballet... While far from Americana (except perhaps a few like Stars & Stripes and Western Symphony?) I've often felt Balanchine created the quintessentiallty 20th Century American ballet style with works like Agon and 4 Ts... but isn't peculiar that this so "American" style should have been developed by a Russian?... is it really American or is it really Russian American? But thinking about how Balanchine could see a dancer's capabilities and tendencies and create just for them... how he might create something very different for a Suzanne Farrell or an Allegra Kent than he would create for say Violette Verdy... got me to thinking that perhaps it's easier for an outsider to see what the American accent in movement is... perhaps it's transparent to those grown up in it (what? do what? I'm just doing the step... ). It makes me wonder... if he had settled somewhere else, say in Denmark... would we have ended up with the same repertoire? What are Balanchine's ballets that reflect the styles of different Nationalities? (and do they?) I guess we've got Jewels that covers 3. What others?
  2. So many Koreans... 6 out of 20... 5 Chinese, but then it's a bigger country... What gives? Is it because it's a competition and this resonates in Korea or is there a big ballet movement going on there?
  3. How Nouveau? We can't mix eras? If we could time travel it would be... Bouder, Lacarra, Fonteyn, Ulanova with an alternate for contrasting ballerina styles: Whelan
  4. To get back to what she talked about, I'm putting a rough paraphrasing down here... [is this more or less what you heard her communicating?] Totally paraphrased by me, nothing is a direct quote..THIS IS NOT A TRANSCRIPT!!! ... one of you others can give it an exact transcript if you like... [secretary? I think she looks beautiful, she's not 23 after all] This is what I "understood" her to answer to Charlie Rose's questions: Was it hard to write with such candor? I originally wrote it just to write it down, not for it to be published... so candor wasn't any more difficult than writing into a diary.. When it turned out it was going to be published, .. I became a little more nervous. Tell me about your relationship with George Balanchine… He was interested in my talent, and you know, he usually married the women whose talent he was interested in... but he was already married at the time, so things were complicated... He created for me... but it didn't always follow that he was romantically involved with his muses; with the dancers he was grooming... but of course, there was that work The Seven Deadly Sins, he that he did for me... I did the sinning in that. Was there a type you were cast as? Passive, for instance? I don't feel I was that passive, despite what people said. There was that role where I never touched the floor. I was inaccessible, a fifth man tried to reach for me. I was elusive. Why was Balanchine such a Master? Well, he was genius. He understood music as a composer does, but he understood dancers better than they did themselves. He could see what a dancer was capable of before they had even attempted it. He was intuitive about how your personality might lead your ability. Here is what others said about the two of you: #1-You dared to take time off to have babies. Balanchine didn't like that. He didn't want his ballerinas to get married, but I did. I was too young to marry; unfortunately I followed my mother's advice and did. I had a strange childhood. My father had lost all his money, so my mother improvised to get us by. She figured out that we could live cheaply if we lived in Miami Beach or Los Angeles. #2-You would "disobey" Balanchine... I had three children... He wanted you to work harder than you worked I worked very very hard! But he wanted you to be devoted to dance. Totally. I wanted that. Dancing takes you 24/7, and I wanted that… but at other times I wanted to be a traditional woman and have a baby, to be a mother, so I did. But he allowed me to do this. Unlike others... Well, everyone has their own story… but he was very generous to me. Why? He liked my dancing. Was there anything more? Well, he didn't understand why I wanted a third child, but he did let me come back. What are your regrets about that time? Well, at the time of the babies, I had no regrets... you see, early on I established a pattern of leaving and returning, ["being there and leaving, being there and leaving"] and I just followed that pattern... but later on, I said had too much on my plate to take on Liebslieder Waltzer and I'm sorry I ever said "no" to anything he asked me to do. Anything he "asked you to do"? Well, anything dance-wise. Was he in love with you? I think so, but he was married. My mother wanted me married and out of the playing field. Maybe she was afraid it wasn’t in my cards, but she might have waited a little longer to see what might happen. Tell me about your first husband. We were incompatible. [etc., not interesting to me the emotional pain her husband’s activities put her through] ... I took certain rules very literally, but somehow not Balanchine's rules! Yes, you took your mother's & others rules seriously, but not Balanchines.. Yes, I know... But Balanchine protected you, and you stayed at the company until just before he died even though you weren't dancing... Yes, he did. He was very generous helping me through that very difficult transition out of dancing into the next career, while I found my way... keeping me in the company even though I only danced once a year. How did Susanne Farrell's arrival affect your relationship with Balanchine? His interested shifted to her, but not totally. At times I was upset, as the other ballerineas were… but at other times, I just danced and when I danced well, life was rewarding... but it still meant most when Balanchine came back and said something about how I danced and those times became few and far between when Farrell was on the scene. I missed the feedback. Is it hard for a ballerina to realize she can't dance well any more, as it is for an athlete? Yes! But those women runners, they keep surprising us by winning even in their forties! The body changes. My muscles are almost 60, but they feel younger than that; however I don’t have the flexibility I used to have. What was the hardest thing to write about? About the difficult times with my first husband and my children... when I was frightened at finding myself responsible for bringing up three kids on only a ballerina's income, and wishing I had handled myself differently... I was so upset, I was ill with mono, so starting up was difficult... but people called me up with offers of work... Jerry Robbins called and encouraged me to come to back to work... and so I did. Work really helped me through the rough times. What is the happiest moment in this book? Every time my life picked up again. I hit bottom and started up again again more than once. And I was happy to dance again at 50! Also, I managed to overcome stage fright… Charlie Rose wraps up and leaves us off with a clip from Dancing for Mr. B, where Allegra Kent dances a seemingly precariously balanced/partnered bit from Symphony in C with Conrad Ludlow... not that Conrad Ludlow is not doing a good job, after all she trusts him deeply in those fall backs, but rather that after the interview it's a bit of a metaphor for her I offered the above in case anyone wanted to discuss the gist of the content rather than the performance of the interview... AGAIN, THIS WAS NOT A TRANSCRIPT
  5. I don't know... I think writing is a very different discipline from talking extemporaneously... I remember seeing some footage of Allegra Kent at a lecture demo when she was much much younger and thinking she was so ditzy, and then being stunned when I read her book at what all was going on in that mind. Not everyone thinks linearly in words and grammatical sentences... in fact, perhaps the kind of brain hard-wired for that sort of linear verbal thinking isn't particularly well suited to dancing which requires a multi-focused sensory consciousness? Not that they are mutually exclusive or that it's a valid stereotype... but I'm sure I'm not the first to notice a tendency among many dancers to not be adept at verbal communication, as if that enables their non-verbal communication. I think her mind is flitting across so many ideas that she barely has time verbally to hint at them before she's taken up with the next idea. When she writes, she has time to go back get it all out. That said, there are still as many different personality types and intelligence types among dancers as there are in the general population.
  6. ... and hasn't she always been? this way, I mean? She seems in wonderful shape to me!
  7. Oh! Thanks! Somehow with all the talk of her departure, I thought it was this season!
  8. Are you perhaps confusing her with Nina Ananiashvili who is retiring from ABT this season? I'm sure you wouldn't confuse the two dancers, but rather notice of the farewell...
  9. Someone else with admirable trajectories!
  10. Each of those sites caters nicely to geographic audience transportation vectors... The Connecticut & Upstate NY fans would travel easily to Purchase... the Long Island fans to BAM... the NJ & Philadelphian fans to NJPAC... Manhattanites would make the trek to BAM without too much complaint.... Choosing one venue would be a mistake, but hitting all three could possibly increase their audience.
  11. Come to think of it, there are a couple Balanchine masterpieces that started of with rather unlikely costumes... I wonder what this one would have looked like in practice clothes? I suppose the music would have been the kicker... Kay Swift? http://www.kayswift.com/bio.html Also interesting: http://www.kayswift.com/alma.html Should I be able to find "Boula Boula" somewhere?
  12. Too bad Jerome Robbins wasn't on the scene to be the one called in to choreograph this.... I can't quite see Balanchine taking this on happily, can you?
  13. Whoa!!! The Messerer gala is fascinating!! Many of these dancers do not look young to be dancing this well... I guess in 1982, Vladimirov would have been 40... (at what age does one give up on rivoltade?) one can accumulate a lot of injuries by that age... includes Vladimirov's variation. (by the way, there are a lot of lovely videos in this member's collection!) Who is the one with the knee brace who does Acteon? What lovely sissones in the men's section of class... It's nice to see Andris Liepa dancing so well here, there was another clip on Youtube from later in his career that had me wondering... now I understand the reputation...... Would love to know who danced which varation...
  14. Yes, it does seem like with all that effort going up, he could have been coached to exert equal determination in the landing... but maybe he's so focused on going up that there's no room left for the landing.. ? I'm beginning to wonder if jumping wasn't more a 19th century hallmark than a 20th century choreographic element. I'm not sure why... whether the demand for increased flexibility initially came with a cost in elevation or what... What has become of the Soviet heroic style... has it turned into dance-drama like Eifman? Or has it been thoroughly rejected with the rest of the soviet ideology? Balanchine seemed to use Villella in pieces with jumps and d'Ambosie could really get to flying around... but.. .maybe it's just that I don't usually think of male solos when I think of Balanchine. It's odd, because I seem to remember there was something to do with jumping in Balanchine the dancer... wasn't there?
  15. I can't imagine Balanchine having a use for him, though... What western 20th century ballet choreographer would have employed those leaps? (Tharp?)
  16. Yes, he's got that hypo knee thing happening, the tension in the neck/shoulders, some not quite stretched ankles, etc. but the focus on elevation is admirable... How similar was his form to his Bolshoi contemporaries? (Answers.com has him as born in 1942, graduated the Bolshoi's school in 1962) http://www.answers.com/topic/yuri-vladimir...t=entertainment Those black & white videos make the footage look older, almost as if he were Ulanova's contemporary... but obviously not (she was born in 1910). Erik Bruhn's form was far better and he was born in 1928. Is Vladimirov's style respresentative of the Bolshoi of the 1960s? Here's his Acteon Not crazy about the bounce out of the grand jete en tournant, but that next step (what is that thing?).... I want to say he hesitates in mid-air but it's an illusion again. What is that thing?
  17. I understand the "line" comment, but I actually think, given his physique, that he had quite a sense of line, just not of the type we see now... no reticent danseur noble, of course, but there is a very definite sense of line in his sissone failli and in his port de bras in the entrechat six. I've seen many male dancers with more plastique and yet less sense of line of the jump... I do think there is a masculine line and it is different from feminine line... Still, the question remains... who today displays that kind of line in the sissone failli? (I'd buy a ticket to see it) (or even a youtube link would be interesting...)
  18. Does anyone out there do those sissone failli in the Bluebird Variation the way Vladimirov did in this youtube clip? With the virtuoso male dancers we have today, does anyone else get the same seeming illusion of flight out of this simple step? There's something in his line... the way he waits until the last instant to open the arabesque and the line he acheives in it when he does... it's beautiful and impressive, even these many years later...
  19. I have to agree... it's one of the most beautiful photos of Markova I've seen... and so I'm surprised it isn't in all the books... Is it because the feet are slightly cropped that it got less distribution? Or was it posed and not actually from the ballet?
  20. Somewhere (where?) I read that Tchaikovsky, broken hearted by rejection of his affections by a young man, had wandered around the city in the winter, not appropriately dressed for the weather, caught pneumonia and died... I want to say I read this in Balanchine's Tchaikovsky but I loaned that book out to a much admired non-native-english speaking accompanist and it somehow never returned... Does anyone have a copy and could check? Or does this version ring a bell with any of you? Perhaps I've gotten the cholera/pneumonia mixed up... one doesn't catch cholera from wandering around with out a hat... but perhaps he wouldn't have been in such a weakened state to have been suseptible to cholera? I suppose a fraternity of dentists & doctors could have supplied the bad water... ?
  21. When I saw this thread pop up, I thought "Oh, what's that? and then Oh! I started this? What??"... no memory whatsoever these days... but... I've been thinking about Carbo's response again... I'd would have to differ... before I want to know the composer, I want to know the choreographer... it makes a big difference to me if it's Balanchine or Bejart... then I want to know the ocmposer amd the dancers.
  22. How about stats on how many times a performer has done such & such part... or how many times per year a particular ballet is performed... Or how many performances a year a principal dances vs. how many times a corps dancer dances... Or it might be fun to do stats on ballets rather than on dancers... how many arabesques penche does the first dancer in the Shades scene do?
  23. Of course, rg... it just seemed as if we were veering off to the outskirts, with us all seeing non-existant ribbons & elastics... (I'm still having trouble not seeing an elastic attached at the heel on the supporting leg, and do realize how inane that is)
  24. Have we reached the silly season yet?
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