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Posts posted by Roma

  1. I read Gottlieb's book last week, and was a bit disappointed. It seemed to be little more than a brief regurgitation of everyotherbook about Balanchine, full of "in her book, great dancer and ex-wife # N says..." followed by a memorable quote from book XYZ. I expected somewhat more depth from a person who has been associated with the company for many years in one capacity or another. :rolleyes:

  2. Well, I just returned from viewing "Musagete" and have only one question. Why, oh why couldn't they wait till next year to mount it?! A steamy pile of trash like that practically screams "Diamond Project".

  3. I suppose, I am in the minority on this, but I found Zakharova’s performing style jarring and self-indulgent. In duets, she seemed to say not “I love you”, but rather “Aren’t I beautiful?” That balance she held in the “Shades” looked very out of place to me. It seemed to show indifference to the music and the choreography. This is not Don Q, after all. She has toned down and grown up a bit since I last saw her a year and a half ago. She is a beautiful woman, and that awesome body looks stunning posing in arabeque and in any efface position, but in croise she looks somehow flat and uninteresting. One used to be able to sense her counting, and mercifully that’s gone, but I still feel that her mind and her legs are not connected in any meaningful way. When Leceica and then Erica Cornejo came out for their variations, one could immediately sense a musical intelligence, a thinking mind behind every step. I found that utterly missing in SZ’s performance.

  4. I received my copy of Dance View a couple of days ago. A great issue. I loved Mary Cargill's witty and very insightful "Roots and Branches".

    What caught my attention, though, was a very striking photograph of Sylvie Guillem as the Siren in "Prodigal". She is in arabesque. There aren't any arabesques in the role, as far as I can remember. Farrell, in her book, recalls Balanchine once saying that the Siren "wasn't an arabesque sort of lady". It looks very odd.

  5. I thought Dupont and Legris danced together beautifully. She is just a little bit too tall for him, but there was such a wonderful rapport between them, that even when she was offstage he seemed to be dancing for her. Dupont has really blossomed since returning from her injury, and last night she danced with all the wit, intelligence, elegance, taste, and musical sensitivity one could wish for. She is a very beautiful woman, with a soft, feminine line, gorgeous-- very expressive-- feet, and an understated sort of glamour. Every inch an etoile.

  6. I saw it last night. My major quibble, aside from Stiefel's fine Norma Desmond impersonation (my impression is that niether in line nor in temperament is he suited to the role), is that the production is too darkly lit. I understand that it's night in a forrest, but it shouldn't look like Giselle's grave might be nearby. I don't remember the lighting being quite so dark and blue at the Met--perhaps that's just how it came across on tape, but at times the men's overcoats (and arm movements) blended into the background.

    Cornejo was astounding, and it's not just the lightness and precision of his jump and footwork. A wonderful elegance is there, too.

  7. Alexandra has said this already, but I think it is a point worth restating--good coaching is not about forcing someone into a box, it's about taking the dancer to a level that they can't reach by themselves. That's what Balanchine did for his dancers and those of them that do have a great gift for teaching, and judging from their work Farrell, Villella, Verdy, Tallchief fit into that category, can do the same for the current generation. There isn't a dancer alive, no matter how wonderful and naturally gifted, that will not benefit from the experience and knowledge of the greatest dancers of the previous generations. That's the only way classical dancing has survived for three centuries.

  8. I think of especially flexible backs as a Kirov trademark, not something City Ballet is known. Is that something else I've missed observing all these years?

    It's really interesting, but I was just watching the old recording of Concerto Barocco with Adams and LeClerq (love the dark costumes) and was incredibly struck by how much the upper bodies of the women reminded me of present day Kirov. When did that change?

    Also, when watching POB's Serenade this winter, it was exactly the lack of "swoop" in the back that bothered me. The women looked like they were running around holding up ironing boards. Not too romantic.

  9. I think that the problem Gottlieb and many other people have with the Martins regime is not that Balanchine is dead or that Farrell, McBride, and the youth of the particular writer are gone; it's that the people who knew the work best are not COACHING the current dancers, who, as wonderful as they are, could really blossom if Tallchief, Farrell, Villella, etc, were allowed to pass on their vast knowledge to them. You can see it happen in the sessions taped for the Balanchine archive, you can also see it in the MCB and Farrell Ballet performances--coaching makes a tremendous difference.

    It's not that there is a generational gap, it's that while the steps are being passed on, the intent is not, and many works do look stale as a result.

    Re Gottlieb on Borree. Yes, he is harsh, and so was Kaufman in today's review, but he is also right, and it needs to be said, especially since she performs so many crucial roles so often.

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