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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. I’ve read about ten reviews and comments. I’d be interested to see it. This Instagram clip of Olga Smirnova (especially) and Artemy Belyakov looks rather impressive. She has the ability to adapt admirably to most anything. What I can't tell from this clip is to what extent she creates her own remarkable identity, which is a key to a certain kind of greatness that I think that she possesses. (Once you click on the video and move the arrow to the upper left, two opposite arrows appear and clicking on them will make the image full screen size) https://www.instagram.com/p/B5JA6OCg15U/ (posted by Artemy Belyakov)
  2. Distill the finest beauty from Oxana Skorik’s recent performance of and the video of Allegra Kent’s and Jacques d’Amboise’s "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Divertissement Duet and you have perhaps some of the most beautiful artistic and poetic expression to be experienced. As I see and feel it, ethereal loveliness of motion is the essence of all ballet. Oxana Skorik’s performance is perhaps most about this fineness, this pure beauty of motion. It’s of the air. Allegra Kent’s and Jacques d’Amboise’s performance is also based on and constructed from this, but then takes flight into human expression. It’s an elevated dream world constructed on body language and artistic ideal. Their ending with her rising and falling into a supported recline is perhaps one the most beautiful sequences in all of dance. It’s all magnificent poetry.
  3. I would like to continue here, because much of the discussion is about the "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Divertissement Duet. As I mentioned at the Mariinsky 2019-20 topic, Oxana Skorik did her most recent performance of this and it's on a video clip. It's perhaps George Balanchine's most poetically beautiful work. In my previous post above I got into my feelings about the Allegra Kent and Jacques d’Amboise interpretation, which I consider perhaps the finest that I've seen. Even in the video's blurry condition, it's probably worth studying by anybody attempting this dance. If I were to describe my feelings now they would be about the same. I would add that after seeing several Allegra Kent interviews on the internet she certainly researched the backgrounds of some of the works that she performed. I do sense this in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." I have no idea if Jacques d’Amboise did the same, but I can't imagine a better interpretation. Although Oxana Skorik seems to be attempting more dramatic and expressive interpretations in all her performances since her return from maternity leave, her lyrical loveliness, perhaps the best today, is what most captivates me. When most in evidence, it works extremely well in this latest performance. If I can get into the realm of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, two other Mariinsky related video clips continue to enchantment me. One is Zhanna Ayupova's Calliope from " Apollo" and the other is Olga Voloboueva's second duet from Jerome Robbins "In The Night." She was a former Mariinsky dancer who then carried on her career in the US and seems to have a very fine combination of both Russian and American styles. Added thought: I once wrote here that in the "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Divertissement Duet with Allegra Kent and Jacques d’Amboise I liked the combination of the stronger geometric moves with the dreamlike flow. I feel more now that I really like the dreamlike flow most with expression being an extension of this. The absolutely lovely music sets the aura. This is also where the Mariinsky should excel.
  4. There’s a video clip of Oxana Skorik’s recent performance with Konstantin Zverev of the Act II Divertissement Duet from George Balanchine’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” possibly my favorite after Swan Lake’s. When concentrating loosely on her form, the nuances of tension and release and her lightness of air motion, most noticeable in the arms and particularly the hands, it’s as lovely a performance of this duet as I’ve yet seen. It’s also nice to see Konstantin Zverev making his way into more important and lyrically poet roles. He’s a very sympathetic and capable partner.
  5. 😊 ********* So Let's Dance ! ******** 😊 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaRm6AcsO9Ahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjAFjn5qFtY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjAFjn5qFtY (parts of this have been posted officially) Hi Canbelto and Dirac. Thanks again so much, Canbelto, for posting this. I used to say that Sesame Street is the best program on television. Don’t watch much tv at the moment, but maybe it still is.
  6. Maybe I could be allowed one time to slip these in here, since it’s Sesame Street’s 50th. (If not appropriate, please delete) It’s autumn and the leaves are dancing in the trees Angela Autumn Gold dances through the woods Shining as brightly as the sun As brightly as the leaves of autumn * Sprite * Sprite is Moon Boots best friend. Everybody in Beau-Le-Soleil is Everybody else’s best friend. Moon Boots lives in a big doll’s house on top of the Beau-Le-Soleil Grand Theatre de Theatre, where they built her a little stage to practice on. She loves dancing on the roof. Sprite lives in a tree. Sprite is a Sprite. A Sprite is A Wood-Nymph-Faerie — Quite Extraordinaerie ! Moon Boots dances when she’s Happy. She’s Always Happy ! Sprite lies in the flower covered meadows, runs up and down waterfalls and sings with the breezes when she’s Happy. She’s Always Happy ! She pretends that she’s a Love-Flower-Faerie — Seems quite Ordinaerie. Sprite looks like Tinker Bell. Little children playing in the woods think that she is Tinker Bell and are always asking for her autograph and the directions to Pixie Hollow. Sprite loves playing with the little children. They play games and do dances like The Slide On One Knee Grande Pirouette Diddle-Dee-Dee (How Silly of Me) With An Elephant Tree and The Dance For Two Cause I Love You All the little children Everywhere love Sprite and Moon Boots.
  7. Canbelto, I actually posted written children's brief 'character descriptions' weekly for several years at Critical Dance, the only forum of its kind that allowed 'creative writing.' If that should ever happen at another forum, I'd maybe give it a try. They were all intended to be very pleasant for children, hopefully interesting to adults and dance related. Since Critical Dance has moved to a magazine format these were included in a "Dance Legacy Forum" which I guess has been unattended and is now not considered a secure site by Safari. I've emailed Critical Dance but have not yet received a response. If it becomes safely accessible again I'll email you. Thanks so much for your kind words and interest. The cartoon of Angela Autumn Gold, is a tiny little girl with a huge 'mop' of golden hair that often falls down covering her entire face. She's a seasonal character, this being Autumn, and she loves dancing through the woods, climbing trees with Big Bird and reading BalletAlert!, along with your 'Blogs.' 😊 By the way, I read years ago that Sesame Street was being carried in 32 countries. I saw some of the Dutch productions and they had a slightly different feel, but still the same essence. Added: If you care to give me an email address, I'd be glad to send some photos of her.
  8. Thanks, Canbelto. I'll look through your post carefully as soon as I get a chance. I haven't watched Sesame Street in quite awhile, but I do watch it and it's probably the most loveable and perhaps healthiest program on television. Added: I'm working on a cartoon character (just a hobby), "Angela Autumn Gold," a little girl who loves autumn and, I'm sure, loves the folks on Sesame Street.
  9. I've just looked in on this again after quite awhile. I guess that he's quite a debatable personality, of which I know little. Whether I agree with all that he said, he was the only person who really spoke up, and glowingly, on the Dick Cavett show, the day after Woodstock. He does seem to have some worthwhile things to say. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/david-crosby-advice-column-drugs-heroin-weed-885241/ https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/david-crosby-ask-croz-open-marriage-anti-vaxxers-852099/
  10. This is an interesting article as it touches on two important ideas. 1) The importance of dance as a peaceful, positive approach to social interaction and entertainment. The importance of popular dance as a means of expressing one's self, forming one's identity and sense of self-worth, being part of something 'meaningful', being part of the larger community and being with friends. 2) How an originally African-American dance form has been taken on by other cultures, very enthusiastically and successfully in such Asian countries as Korea, or by the very successful and popular Asian-American Jabbawockeez, relates to the African-American roots and meaning of the dance form. "Creating community and finding release in hip-hop are beautiful things—but that doesn't excuse us, as Asian Americans, from engaging these conversations or finding ways to offer respect. There's an endless amount of work that can be done to help honor the communities at its origins, starting with the knowledge that Asian American hip-hop dancers only exist because hip-hop culture does too." https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ne8yxg/how-hip-hop-dance-groups-have-helped-asian-americans-find-belonging (thanks to Balletco. Forum for posing this)
  11. I’ve been watching some more video clips. One is of Yekaterina Osmolkina performing Don Quixote while a large part of the company was still in the United States. I don’t know how often she gets to do this, but I think that she’s absolutely charming. She hangs in there, able to keep up with the more youthfully expressive dancers that are commonly featured. There’s also a recent one of Oxana Skorik performing the final act of the reconstructed Sleeping Beauty mentioned above. This one act was the only performance of a noon matinee at the Mariinsky, I would guess for children. She starts with a slow pause, which pretty much sums up the feminine power of attraction. Then, as she goes into the duet with Yevgeny Ivanchenko she seems somewhat relaxed until a baby in the audience makes a crying sound. Then she seems maybe concerned. Later in her solo the same little child is making sounds throughout and Oxana Skorik’s demeanor seems to relax slightly. Perhaps it’s just my imagination, but there’s a nice motherly feel to all this. In general, her dancing has become more expressively dramatic since the birth of her little girl. At its deepest, and she does seem at times to be a very intelligent performer, it appears to be an exploration of the meaning of life and an expression of its manifestations — somewhat Shakespearian actually. It almost seems at times like a defining and exhibiting of the world that she perceives her little girl entering. And at times, great expressions of love seem to emerge. One thing that I watch for is an outward joy from being a new mother. It will be very interesting to see where this all goes. I still consider her to be the most lyrically beautiful ballerina today. This is my favorite quality in dance. It was most exhibited in the first Swan Lake after she returned. Add to this, the fact that such outstandingly expressive ballerinas as Yekaterina Kondaurova and Alina Somova, recently gave perhaps their most lyrically lovely performances that I’ve seen at the Costa Mesa La Bayaderes. The very young Maria Khoreva has shown equal loveliness. Also, I recently viewed a Swan Lake video clip with Yekaterina Osmolkina from almost ten years ago and she’s lyrically magnificent. I would think that with the artistic maturity that she’s shown over the years that a new performance would be even more beautiful. And I wonder what the lyrically lovely Maria Shirinkina would do with Swan Lake and the young and charming Maria Iliushkina will be debuting it in January. So maybe the landscape’s changing somewhat at the Mariinsky. I love seeing this new lyrical beauty. As for Oxana Skorik, I can’t imagine her ever going too far from where I feel she sets the standard. Her sculptural detail is exquisite, especially in the hands, and her arms and hands at times are more light and airy than I’ve ever seen from her, so the lyrical wonderfulness does remain alive and well.
  12. Thanks, everyone, for the interesting thoughts and insights. If we can ride the spectacle, the waves of colorful fantasy, the beauty in the dance, navigate the ‘other’ and finally arrive at images of the sublime, then maybe we’ve made ourselves as happy as could be hoped for.
  13. Thanks so much, FireDancer. I'll try to look it over carefully tomorrow. Since I think that I might be getting off topic on this one, I'll probably move any more of my comments to another topic.
  14. Thanks for this response. Could you give me any sources describing how this works with pointe shoes. Also I'd love to hear medical comment on this.
  15. Seems much healthier on the toes, but as I added to the forth post above, I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.
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