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Buddy

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Everything posted by Buddy

  1. Olga Smirnova will perform Giselle with Vladimir Shklyarov April 2 according to her site. https://www.olgasmirnovaballet.com/dates (Thanks to Nvchep at Balletfriends (Большой- Балет и Опера))
  2. I don't want to judge the wiseness of the Mariinsky/Bolshoi full scheduling of performances that has been in effect for almost a half year now, but it's certainly a contrast to many other parts of the world.
  3. Jack, are there any works or performances of the many that you saw that you thought were particularly successful related to the unfinished or "non finito" concept ? Has anyone else seen any ? Jack, I understand that you have a particular focus, how movement and music relate. I have another one. It has to do more with the dance in itself, the beauty and feel of the motion and the expression. Again, I believe that both of these are completely valid along with many others. So if I could comment on 'feel' for a moment I'd like to single out two performances seen on video that I've really valued. One would be the Act II Divertissement Duet from A Midsummer Night's Dream with Allegra Kent and Jacques D'Amboise, which you might have heard me mention if you follow my posts at all. 😊 The other would be Calliope by Zhanna Ayupova from Apollo in a gala performance. The reason that I mention these two is that they represent to me taking something beyond, building on the "unfinished." I value them both for their poetic statements, for their feeling. Daniel, above, wrote, "Thank you Jack! I imagine Mr. B. would have enjoyed seeing dance his ballets with a new slant that he had not en visioned but liked. Examples: Elisabeth Platel dancing Ravel Sonatine; Olga Smirnova (from several years ago) dancing the pas de deux from Diamonds." Does anyone else have names or performances that they'd like to mention ? Added: I'd like to mention one more performance that I've really valued. It's not a Balanchine performance, but a closely related Jerome Robbins' one. It's an In The Night duet performed by Olga Voloboueva. I've mentioned this before. She's a Vaganova graduate who later danced in the United States. What's so impressive to me is how she was able to combine her Vaganova fineness and sensitively with a very successful understanding and expression of the Balanchine/Robbins point of view. Like Zhanna Ayupova in Apollo she built something new by expanding the horizon.
  4. Helene, I've noticed a tendency at times for the Mariinsky to noticeably cast younger dancers in material that differs from the Mariinsky norm, but more for secondary dancers. Also, Yekaterina Kondaurova, from the hierarchy, is a sure shot for anything new, because she's brilliant at it. And I have seen what I consider brilliant performances from others in the hierarchy. I would say that there's a definite characteristic of casting from the hierarchy in the new high profile works. I do remember one performance of Rubies with almost all younger members in the background, and for me they stole the show. Thanks again, California, for elaborating on the quote. What I recall was, I believe, a quote from George Balanchine according to the commentator of a documentary.
  5. Thanks, California, for this added insight. I did hear or read the comment more akin to what I posted that he said that his works will be carried on by others but will never be as he would have done them. Your paraphrase would imply a more positive feeling about the future of his works, as you suggest, and this is nice to hear. Jack, I'm understanding better what you are trying to say. Your opening statement at this topic: "Balanchine - a man of few words - was known for a number of compact expressions, and "Never mind perfect. Perfect is boring." may be among the more notorious ones with some people, but it points to the freshness I find in the best, to me the most authentic, Balanchine performance." Statement from your most recent post: "But as to the Balanchine manner and style - I think he wanted from his performers a continuing, not yet complete (non finito), evolving realization of how the movement and the music relate, not a completely perfected performance of a role." I take a slightly different look at the value of an 'imperfect' performance as allowing for a more natural expression, a more spontaneous and perhaps a more interesting performance to emerge. I look at these young dance students and they charm me with their possible 'imperfections' as does a young child. This is simply my personal point of view. Both points of view, I feel, have validity, and don't contradict or negate the other. Added: I would add having read something about George Balanchine praising a dancer who fell because she(?) took a chance.
  6. Jack, I'm continuing some of my responses to another topic that you started. https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/43497-balanchine-non-finito/?tab=comments#comment-395746
  7. Jack, I like this train of thought. I might add that George Balanchine's work, like that everyone else's in the performing arts, is constantly changing with each performance, simply because each performer has his/her individuality and each stager the same. I'm moving some thoughts here from another topic, that involving the Ballet Chicago dance school starting with your comments about 1/3 down the page. https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/46027-2021-free-streaming-during-covid-19-crisis/page/3/ The video discussed of Concerto Barocco and Divertimento No.15 can be seen here until next Saturday, hopefully longer. The video quality is not the best but in a certain way this might help in focussing on the entire group and I believe it's worth the effort to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnhdQuMn7UE&t=2s I've praised a lot of these young students' qualities. I also mentioned that I tend to appreciate, notice and enjoy George Balanchine's inventiveness more with them than with some compilation videos that I've seen of his own company. I would have wanted to add that someone like yourself who saw many performances when he was there, said to me that the company was actually more alive and interesting than these particular videos showed. So may I suggest that besides his works not wanting to be finished they are also always open to interpretation and change, if only because of the nature of the art form. He also was apparently noted for often making changes. I know that this is diverting from your topic in that it takes matters out of his hands. Still I think that the discussion is close enough to be included here. You may not agree and I'd be glad to hear your comments. There are many who feel that a performance should be as faithful to the original as possible, that the elements should be as accurately reproduced as possible. George Balanchine even somewhat supported this idea when he mused that his works will be carried on by others but will never be as he would have done them. Still I feel that there's a definite place for interpretation in the performing arts and in fact can't be avoided. I think that George Balanchine might have agreed with this even if he would have preferred to be the one making the changes. But at a certain point this is no longer possible. I tend to like what I call lyrical dance, a graceful, dreamlike approach. Dance companies such as the Mariinsky have interpreted George Balanchine in this manner to mixed response, especially the extent that the Mariinsky understands and captures the true George Balanchine. I would say that the Mariinsky has done a much better job with some of its interpretations than with others, but that what it's doing is appropriate, if not literal, and often highly successful. Someone here once suggested that George Balanchine might have even been quite willing to rework some of his creations to accommodate the Mariinsky style. So here's a dance school from Chicago, the Chicago Ballet. The dancers are young and they're not perfect and not completed. Maybe that's a quality in itself. Back to Michaelangelo perhaps. They're also somewhat more 'lyrical' than others. I'm not sure if this is by intent or simply happens, but I do enjoy it.
  8. Thanks again, Jack. How old would you say that these Ballet Chicago students are ? I'm continuing to watch this video a lot. I like the quality and pleasantness of these young dancers and the contrast with Simone Messmer in Concerto Barocco is very enjoyable and interesting. Also the performance of Divertimento No.15 is very good. For some reason George Balanchine's inventiveness is more apparent here (or perhaps more enjoyable) than in some video compilations I've seen of his own company. The way that he plays with Mozart, of all individuals,is quite delightful. He uses a lot of idiosyncratic structuring, for example, and just when I think that it might be getting a little too loose he puts in something brilliantly sophisticated.
  9. Jack, this video has me thinking George Balanchine more than I have in a long time. I always liked the sense of abandon and aliveness that The Miami City Ballet had when Edward (Villella) was there. He said at a pre-performance practice for an audience that he always started his practices with fast, jazzy type exercises. Is this something that NYC Ballet would do ? Would this account for a difference in the company style and feel ? Does it have real meaning to you ?
  10. Sounds like time very well used and enjoyed. Thanks, Jack. Also glad to read that Simone Messmer is among the teachers during the summer at Ballet Chicago.
  11. De plus -- Jack, Simone Messmer and Ballet Chicago just made their Paris debut. I posted the above at the Dansomanie ballet forum, Paris, France. 🙂
  12. Thanks, Jack, for posting this. I'm enjoying these young dancers-students very much. I've watched George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco several times, primarily to see Simone Messmer, (and am now watching Divertimento No.15) but am liking all the young dancers very much as well. They give new life and enjoyment to these George Balanchine classics. Here's Concerto Barocco and Divertimento No.15 that can be viewed through next Friday. Thanks to Canbelto for finding this. Another post discussing this can be seen here starting halfway down the page. Also donation information is given there. https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/39519-simone-messmer/page/4/
  13. Buddy

    Simone Messmer

    Are you using your billing address ? That finally worked for me. Jack, thank you for your input. Your personal interest and enthusiasm are always welcome. I know that you were also a fan of Edward's Miami City Ballet and I think that these young dancers have some of that vibrance and spontaneity that gives works by George Balanchine more life and meaning and less of a museum piece feel. The challenge for these young dancers is to get on top of what they're doing, as does Simone Messmer so admirably. Experience will probably help a lot and I do like the direction that the school seems to be going in. One of the things that I really appreciate about George Balanchine's choreography is that he often highlights and merges the background dancers with the 'stars.' This probably makes it a lot more fun and rewarding for all these young dancers. Added: Jack, do you know why Simone Messmer chose the school to work with ? Do you, or they, think that anything more might come of it ? Hopefully she has a lot of performing year left, but later on she might want to help younger dancers. I read somewhere that she seems quite good at this and is very supportive of those that she's helping. And: Although I wrote above that the challenge for these young students is to get on top of what they're doing, their youthful 'lack' of perfection does have a lovely charm of its own that makes the work all the more enjoyable at times. It's youth having fun and trying new things that gives new life.
  14. Buddy

    Simone Messmer

    Thanks, Canbelto. This video seems to have a slightly better quality that what I was watching, although I still can't see her well enough to be certain that it's her. This is something that I'd like to watch over and over but it will be a test of my eyes. The elements that I admire seem to be here. Her command, total commitment, personality choices that are right-on and a dancing prowess that can deliver this. Again, the company is nice, especially for students. They have a youthful looseness that reminds me of The Miami City Ballet when Edward Villella was there.
  15. Buddy

    Simone Messmer

    Glad that Canbelto found it for you, Nanushka. I was going to give it a try also. Donations can be given here, halfway down the page. https://www.balletchicago.org/so/62NVBYLGC?languageTag=en&cid=7d2d89cb-b5a9-40e3-90e2-17e08a9c0818#/main
  16. Buddy

    Simone Messmer

    Thanks, Dirac. In all honesty, "her candor" might be debatable, but her performing, in my limited viewing, has been exceptional. In any case, I just finished watching "Concerto Barocco." The video is shot from a distance, so I couldn't tell you for sure that it's her, but it seems to be. Closeup detail has been very important in my appreciation of her. Whoever is dancing the lead is doing a fine job that does resemble her. I intend to keep watching. Any chance to see her do something like this is a pleasure. The company is very enjoyable. The video is available through next Friday, March 12. I'd be glad and intend to give a donation.
  17. And once again, Maria Bulanova, who can do the Mariinsky 'snowflake' thing as well as anyone. https://i.ytimg.com/vi/eVF6IXXx3Wk/maxresdefault.jpg https://www.abaxjp.com/ballet-1906blnv-corsaire/a01b.jpg
  18. Buddy

    Simone Messmer

    Having just written the above, I received an email with an access code. The performance should be available in 4 1/2 hours. Use Nanushka's first link posted above. Click on "RSVP" at bottom. https://www.balletchicago.org/bravo-balanchine?utm_campaign=b967f77c-a966-401a-b919-0d9f74dd0e62&utm_source=so&utm_medium=mail_lp&cid=7d2d89cb-b5a9-40e3-90e2-17e08a9c0818 Added: The ticket is free, but a $20 donation is requested. This has to be done separately at the same link. I'm waiting to see if I can get the emission. Then I'd certainly consider a donation.
  19. Buddy

    Simone Messmer

    I got a ticket confirmation, but nothing else seems to be happening.
  20. Merriam-Webster Dictionary Definition of wholesome 1 : promoting health or well-being of mind or spirit 2 : promoting health of body 3a : sound in body, mind, or morals etc. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wholesome "Sound in body,[and hopefully] mind, or morals" -- Maria Bulanova -- see internet video examples. As a matter of fact I was just about to watch one myself. 😊 Added: "Everyone has their preferences, and their notions of art and aesthetics." -- Pherank. I agree.
  21. I would generally agree with this, Dirac, and with others who've expressed similar feelings. One description you didn't mention is 'wholesomeness.' A ballerina that's caught my attention is the Mariinsky's Maria Bulanova. She can be easily seen on internet video clips.
  22. Of Maria Iliushkina's many subtle qualities, which are definite strong points, I've just noticed her feet. I'm not very strong on technical details, especially the feet, but I'm quite impressed by her fifth position landings. These are where the feet are crossed, one in front of the other, with each heel extended horizontally outward. I've never noticed the heels kept so far apart, much more so than shown here. http://dancer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Positions-of-feet_5.jpg Maybe someone who knows these things much better than I can comment. Added: She is wearing a long, billowing skirt so that you can't seen how bent her knees are. Bent knees might account for this ?? Still it's rather impressive looking. Added added: Looking at a Mariinsky dvd from about 15 years ago, this same distancing of the ankles is used in this Les Sylphides solo. Both dancers are quite good and Maria Iliushkina's lovely dreaminess is her own.
  23. The schedule has been posted for all of March with casts for almost all of it. Nothing is listed beyond March. https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/?type=ballet&year=2021&month=3
  24. Maria Bulanova (cont.) This afternoon she performed Medora (Le Corsaire) and it's already on the internet. She seems to have a very good video following. For fouetté fans, she performed all doubles, closing with a triple. I don't believe that I've seen this before and all as clean as can be. She's a picture of health and often a charmingly lovely burst of vibrance. Also posted today from Wednesday, Oxana Skorik (Odette/Swan Lake) with Nikita Кorneyev. Along with her always exceptional dancing, it's an unusually fine and penetrating expressive performance, especially in facial expression.
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