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Everything posted by papeetepatrick

  1. You might think it, but why? He's giving facts that we didn't know, and why shouldn't we want to if we can? Which doesn't mean Balanchine was 'innocent'; there's no such thing as an urbane, sophisticated man being 'innocent'. In that part, you are right, and it was normal for Suzanne to use her charms as far as she wanted to and could (whether unconsciously or consciously, either way it's normal in my book). But he wasn't all that 'guilty' either. I don't think 'loyalty to a partner' has a thing to do with it. It's much stranger that it's taken this long to find out some of the facts, as far as I'm concerned; it's not like anybody's 'privacy has been invaded'. And it's very interesting, and doesn't change the artistry of anybody a whit. They all still have much to offer, alive or dead, since it's art and continues. Helene has quite incisively pointed out the difference in what we thought were the facts with Martins in the 90s and what we now know. Farrell is a strong-minded woman, and I like her. I think she's funny even. If some people are more respectful than fond of her, as Bart suggested, then that's no big deal. Nobody can have all ranges in anything, and if Farrell danced 'imperiously' in her 70s period at NYCB, that's all the better for one aspect of what one admires, but it doesn't cover everything. That's why when she was really dominating the atmosphere at NYCB in the late 60s, it was perfectly natural that she wouldn't exactly be 'loved' by her fellow dancers, there's always a trade-off. And if Croce, as Bart also indicates, suggested that what she gave was 'ultimate', that doesn't mean we can't agree to disagree with her too. There are some who don't admire Farrell at all, think she was only 'mannered' and one ballet dancer even said 'she's the biggest bore in the world'. I'm a big fan, and long have been, but I can see some of what she was up to, and I'm glad d'Amboise said it out loud: It was high time, and Villella already alluded to it strongly in the old post I resurrected. She's a strong person, with a not inconsiderable ego, and I look forward to seeing what her company does. I even admire her 'ultimatums', they showed guts, which doesn't mean I think anybody ought to have said 'well, sure, whatever you want'. She's tough and can take it just like Hillary Clinton can, and they both get reversals, although it's true that Farrell does tend to project some aspect of the 'good, pretty schoolgirl' well into her 60s. That's cool, it's part of her personality. I can't wait to see if she really lets Toni Bentley write her next biography! And Bart, your quote of Haggin: we can see that we can disagree with professional critics all we want. Just that one performance that I find totally unforgettable makes me totally ignore such phrases as 'lacking a poetic aura' or that 'Hayden is not...a ballerina'. I frankly think neither assessment is further from the truth. If Hayden wasn't a ballerina, then I've never seen one. The thing about 'poetic aura' is that it's not finite, or anybody's owned property, it's various. Hayden and Farrell and McBride and Fonteyn all had it, as fas as I can see.
  2. All these comments are very illuminating, full of vitality. I am interested in bart's and Quiggin's talk of these specific critics, and find that Quiggin's putting Denby's after Garis's is esp. revealing: Denby's I find the kind of written assessmentthat really means something, he talks about Tallchief being better at allegro than adagio, about Hayden as having several specific interesting qualities, including some she hasn't yet developed (will be a 'great actress' when she learns 'calm'). I even adored his thoroughly dated archaism "Her New York elegance of person' about Leclerq, which hurls you back to the 50s in the way a movie like 'I Can Get It for You Wholesale' does--which is to say, in a pleasurable way. I've never gone for this 'Tallchief and Leclerq are supreme' sort of business. Some dated things are better than other dated things. Denby's "Wilde has a beautiful Veronese grandeur and plasticity of sharpe in her dancing, a glorious jump" is simply wonderful writing, I wouldn't mind hearing it more today. To me, the two you put together (the second which omits only Mouncey) are like night and day--the Garis is barren and supercilious, and the Denby abundant, but not too gushing. Of course, you both know the rest of what they wrote, and I don't, so I'm just responding to Quiggin's juxtaposing those two. Also like bart's remark on Croce, yes, I can pick up some of that sometimes, I think I remember that 'Diamonds' she once said to suggest 'the freest woman in the world'. Well, okay, although that's getting up in that slightly de trop area, I may stick with 'Adams's ravishing figure', which was lovely to hear, frankly. If they're going to talk about the too-plumpness, let them also feel free to indulge in a little enjoyment of lushness. Quiggin, thanks for the remarks SFarrellBallet. I don't know how long they'll be at the Joyce, but I'm sure I'll want to go, and although there won't be more than three programs to choose from, I imagine, they'll probably all have to be relatively small there. I sort of like the idea of her reading the program notes beforehand, she's clearly very eccentric in a singular way.
  3. Could you refresh on Villella's point. It's some strange thing that he (Villella) said about Farrell, that I read several years ago here (at ballet alert) in a linked article, that I remember--something about how she was now his 'wife of the long nights', he indicated something a little over-possessive about Farrell's attachment to the Balanchine oeuvre. I'll see if I can google it, but I doubt I can find it, and I know I don't know where it is in our archives here. I can't find it. I guess Villella's point is about d'Amboise. Catering to a muse du jour does sound like nice work if you can get it... Yes, here it is, it was posted by volcanohunter in 2007 from an article in the New Criterion on 'Jewels': To clarify that last statement, I've included the following from the thread: sandik said: Dale said:
  4. Nearly 15 years has passed since 'Elusive Muse', although I don't know how much that would have to do with it. He was very effusive when talking about her there, of course, not only the talent, but I even remember he said 'this was a beautiful woman', which I found charming. He came across in that as this very jovial, somewhat earthy and likable guy with no pretentiousness, and even called her 'Susan' instead of 'Suzanne', I believe. Thanks for the Garis, Quiggin, although this sort of thing I find to be loathsome dated-highbrow 'criticspeak' (Samuel Lipman used to write similar things in his music criticism). There ought to be a way to search out old reviews to see who got the most 'incomparables', for example. What Mazo said is probably closer to the truth, and does have to do with her uniqueness in , which I do see was one of the reasons why the 'Swan Lake' was so ineffable, untouchable, and yes, incomparable. So that that was an understood thing among those who knew her dancing well (I knew nothing at all about it when I saw her.) I saw Farrell many more times, and once she was very theatrical in the performance, but I thought there were very specific, atypical reasons why it came naturally then to express herself so. And while there's something very pristine about 'Diamonds' that might obviously lend itself to being called 'high style', the problem with these terms like this is that, even with the word, that doesn't necessarily make it 'higher' or 'greater' so much as it refers to a kind of impersonal-pure/classical tone, mode, the 'Apollonian' as opposed to something more emotional and romantic in the 19th-century sense. In music, there are some parallels to this, when Mozart is preferred to Beethoven, which doesn't mean much to a lot of us, but more interesting is that Bach doesn't tend to come up. There are many professionals who probably think Bach was 'the greatest', but most of them don't say so, but rather play him all the time. Which doesn't mean I think terms like 'high-style' don't mean anything, but rather may not mean that much and/or sometimes misused. If she was more of an allegro dancer, she certainly didn't remind me in any way of Merrill Ashley in terms of presence. I saw the latter quite a number of times, and she was never theatrical, although I did enjoy a number of things I saw live, esp. loved her in 'Allegro Brillante' (unlike the taped 'Emeralds', which is the least satisfying thing I've seen of hers.)
  5. I'd like to know more about what you mean by these purist critics and why they didn't mention Hayden much and with much respect. What were there ideas of what were 'the best Balanchine dancers'? I read the whole thread this afternoon, and this does stand out as something very deep; it is somehow a most wonderful thing to know. I never got to see d'Amboise at his peak, but the one time I did see Hayden I've mentioned way too many times, and it was nothing short of indescribable. I've seen a couple of other NYCB ballerinas who've meant as much, but none more. It's like a special blessing to have seen her in 'Swan Lake' in 1971. re: the 'difficult' stories, I knew someone who worked with her regularly, and said as much in less polite terms. I reported this to a wickedly funny friend, who said 'well, I'm sure if SHE said that, then WE would definitely like Melissa!', which has always given me no end of pleasure. Not that that was up there with the performance itself, mind you, which I can attest, having heard the remark first.
  6. Just to say that that varies. The ones I know didn't know about the double because they didn't even care. I'd say that I agree that 'many people aren't that easily fooled', but that it's not easy to underestimate the 'general public' on many things, as this one--although not fooling even the 'general public' on all things. Most weren't fooled by what was the real reason for making such a big deal about Clinton/Lewinsky, for example, and the political class just went on pontificating anyway. In fact, I was myself temporarily somewhat fooled before I found out that the general public wasn't! Such is the power of hype when used with great ambition and determination.
  7. Anytime they say they're going to refreshen or restore something, or update it for our time, whether a building or a classic translation of a novel - it means they're going to destoy it but very politely. In city planning talk whenever they use the term "celebrate" as in celebrate the history, celebrate the street, watch out. I tend to go along with the sensibility, but am befuddled on this one: They did anything but destroy the Pierre, it's more magnificent than ever before. They just had the money. Wouldn't you say it's like Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and/or Steinway (and maybe the Paris Theater is the one old cinema here which has never gone cineplex, not sure), the last most prestigious (and always exorbitantly expensive) things?. Also, when things are definitely not on the skids, they tend to renovate for no reason except for show: Personally, I really do dislike everything they did with the exterior of Juilliard just as part of some anniversary or such and we've been discussing the problems at NYST for some years now here, although that I only mind for sounding even worse than it already did. The Cafe Pierre was delightful to me, like being in a Fragonard, and that made it special (you don't get that sensation every day, and never at an art museum); and they'd have a good, but discreet Cole Porter singer-pianist in what was more like Henry Green might describe than French in the club/bar part (and they do still have live piano there). Now it's called Le Caprice and is more trendy than ever. It's where we are going, in fact, to celebrate, in June, when my friend from Switzerland comes over, and you have to make reservations a month in advance, they have a fairly reasonable lunch pre-fixe, etc. They did something similar with the Sherry Netherland just one block down maybe 15 years ago or even more, and I think the Plaza across the street has always stayed within bounds. My theory is just that these particular hotels are so famous that to change their character entirely would not work with the dwindling but richer super-rich that usually go there. (same thing happened with Le Cirque, which I was fortunate to go to in 2003 once; I find it hideous and barnlike, like a high-toned Planet Hollywood, but then, after reading semi-critical reviews of the food, I found that flawless, not a single detail off.) Some of your memory of Klein's sounds right colour-wise, and I ought to remember better, because I did real shopping there until it closed, and that was way back. The most mysterious is how Julius', the oldest gay bar with the famous burgers, never goes under. My best friend here and I go there every Friday, and he always says 'Oh, I don't think Julius' will ever close'. Meantime, everything else has, and much more famous and prosperous. So the owner, whom I've met, could possibly own the building, or the usual 10-year lease, may be in an early phase--but they even have live jazz on Sundays (they didn't before), so I still can't figure out some of it. The Carlyle is still so famous that it makes it with the 60+ crowd who can afford the huge cover to hear the 'old legends', but then so is the divine Lenox Lounge in Harlem (where B. Holliday did sing) still doing fine. Some of these things may have to do with the notorious 'informal arrangements' that New York is infamous for.
  8. I'm sure you're right, and I should have thought of that. It would go with the rest of it, actually, with the thorough success of malls. In Manhattan, where the story about Wal-Mart not yet getting a foothold even sounds strange by now, we probably don't see quite as many of the chains (even though there are tons and I use plenty myself, but for frugality only--who could really love a Rite-Aid? yes, after you get to know your neighborhood people who work there, you like them, but the layouts are usually for the birds no matter how familiar you get with them). So, the recorded music would be a part of the 'spell' that would go along with one's 'shopping experience', to use their terminology, and live music would probably seem disruptive. I myself have never found it very appealing at places like the Met Museum, although I can see that some enjoy it. I think what I was thinking about was that many of even the youth-oriented bistros, as in Chelsea, while they often have recorded music, it will be old Billie Holliday and Ella, or Sinatra, but then that's already a step into a more urbanized environment, the usual suburban mall would probably seem more 'seamless' (or something) with Muzak. I don't think I have been to a Nordstrom's, and all the ones I found googling were in suburbs around New York. Then I had looked back at the article, which indicates that not nearly all had pianos anyway, and that not all are going, although that still would seem to indicate very few. I would imagine the ones in the suburban malls around New York never had them at all, or only a few, but just guessing.
  9. Or B. Altman with the Charleston Gardens Restaurant in it. I remember Bonwit Teller way, way back, but didn't know it well; believe it was in the same block as Tiffany's. Bergdorf's and and Lord & Taylor still there, and the very old and beautiful Lord & Taylor building from early 20th century is thankfully still there on B'way in the 20s, on the 'Ladies' Mile' strip near the Flatiron. This discussion is depressing, since I see so many examples given in one place. I think I was already going to LA a lot when Bullock's closed, and hadn't thought to go there, believe it was written up in LA Magazine. This is going to continue, this 'pure capitalistic explosion', usually thought to be in its most spectacular 'corporate-spectacle form' in Shanghai. I remember even a bank or two which had pianos in them, and one SoHo clothing store had one right in the middle of the floor, but I think that was less common (however, even Piano Rooms and Bars in restaurants and clubs are disappearing except for the few very rich places). But there's even a further step in this process, and one we discussed a few years ago on another thread: I'm sure most will have read it last week, when Borders, which ran many small bookstores out of business, now is closing 30% of its stores, reason being that e-books are now catching on. According to who you read, whether Mike Davis or other 'urbanismists', you get more commercial districts (like Beverly Center instead of anything quaint left), or prophecies of cities looking more like the Congo, or as Davis puts it a 'Planet of Slums' (I haven't found that his books have really solid enough research, though, since the disasters predicted have rarely come to be, or never existed.) Then, when something very old and traditional, like the Hotel Pierre, gets a multi-million-dollar makeover, I can't figure out how anything in the system works (and I thought the Pierre was fine just the way it was a few years ago.) Altman, for example, has something to do with the May Company, mentioned on its Wiki page, but I can't get all the buyouts and name-uses straight half the time, even if it's my own bank. We used to a have a 'May's' on 14th St. and Klein's as well. Now even the Circuit Citys are gone. the Pierre is now a Raj Hotel...or something. So we either become dinosaurs (like me) or learn to adapt better. I confess I didn't know about the pianists at Nordstrom's, and may never have been into one. I just looked and don't find one for the 5 boroughs, but they are in New Jersey (at Paramus Mall, I guess, too) and White Plains, NY, etc. Did these all have pianists? That remark is like from outer space, the recorded music would ever 'create more energy'. Totalement, tellement bizarre...
  10. Should make much more than just 'one day', 4mrdncr. Congratulations. The word 'antidote' is one of the highest you can get, proves your work has power and said something important. My 3rd book is finally coming out in June, and I am hoping to be called an 'antidote' to something myself (although not 'The Black Swan', even though it is called 'Illegal Dances of New York City'. I know, shameless self-promotion, but it took 4 years to get to the final edit this week.) Good for us 'deep-goers'. Bonnette said: That's why this 'BlackSwanGate' had to be done. If the hype continued, it might as well be said to be on the same level as the supermarket stories about Brangelina, which are somehow never-ending, and by now, downright repulsive. A certain amount of Hollywood hype is to be expected, so I might disagree somewhat with GoCoyote and others, but only to a degree, about how 'Hollywood' means devious and ballet is grounded in something less so. I don't even think ballet is all that particalarly 'honest' (not that I think it's dishonest or devious), but just rather that, in this case, even if it wasn't a 'ballet movie' the way 'the Red Shoes' is, it's somewhat answerable to the matter of ballet as an art form, and it doesn't matter if 20/20 used it as crass TV tripe (to their perceptions.) I'm surprised it made it onto such an important prurient show at all. GoCoyote said: Yes, I'd say that in a general sense, you might be overstating it, and 'Hollywood culture leaving one cold' is all right, and sometimes I think it does me too. But then so does 'balet culture' sometimes leave me cold. At this point, I don't think the movies are worth the money, and I do think ballet is, so that says something, although not much. Although definitely like Ms. Lane's project of the last few weeks. Good for her. She was right, and Ms. Portman is going to have to settle for being a fine actress, even though it seems as though what she wanted was not to be seen so much as an 'accomplished ballerina', but rather as a 'movie goddess' as existed in the old days, and has totally vanished. The only one who has that, as far as I can see, is DeNeuve, and she's French and old. There aren't going to be any more Garbos, Gardners, and Monroes.
  11. Nowhere else to put this--trying to send pms to someone again, who may have full Messenger that needs reduction. Thanks.
  12. Does anybody know when the NYC, 2012, tickets will go on sale. After miliosr's post on Chicago, I guess it might be soon, and that's the furthest in advance I've ever heard of ticksts being sold--a year and 3 months or so, earlier than the Kirov when we had them here in 2008.
  13. Agree with all that, except the 'lip-synching' and that 'pasting the actress's head on the dancer's body is 'fairly grotesque'. They had to do that (or they wouldn't have), and I don't want to see the film either, I don't like Ms. Portman's persona AT ALL. But exactly right where the 'nastiness' is located, simply by using the word to refer to someone else, but SHE's not gonna do the nastiness, oh no, just keep harping on it, how SHE's not gonna do it. Really, her acceptance speeches were so silly, I thought. And 'what you get paid for something' indeed does not ever mean you shouldn't address an injustice, as you've said. Also good about the boxing and other sports, except it should be added that nobody ever even thinks that the actor (in this case Bale/Wahlberg) is doing any of it. This odd idea of making Portman seem more accomplished than she was was bound to backfire in some way, but I already ran this by a filmmaker friend who knows nothing about ballet, and he didn't think it was very important (he doesn't like Portman either, but thought a certain 'frigid persona' worked for this role) except that it did prove that without facts, or as you say ' movies to a great extent are composed of lies', which was why Didion/Dunne's essays on the ignorance of the process of movie critics (who go ahead and speak as if authoritative anyway) is still so applicable. Although what the reviewer usually 'can't see' is not dancing, but literally everything, at least compared to any live flesh-bodied stage performance, where you might not always know what a director or actor 'chose' or decided about what 'ought to happen', but you could see what somebody was doing right then at least. There's a certain mummification in film, that's part of it, of course.
  14. It's not important whether it benefits Portman or not to everyone. She and her fans have profited enormously from the film. If Lane wants to speak out now, I don't see why she shouldn't do so when she's ready to, it's not a legal matter to talk about it now even if contract negotiations in the past (of which we know nothing) may have seemed less impolitic. It's almost as if since Portman got an Oscar that should mean some kind of mystical aura was endowed, but it doesn't--my main point, I think, is that this would more 'politely' be discussed in, say, 2 years or more, after the afterglow had been given its full due. Lane didn't think that was as important as her facts, and so she didn't pay any attention to that. We say anything about films 10 or 60 years later, no matter how celebrated, and many of the new revelations may be unflattering. Lane's remarks don't value award-giving as much as they do matters of fact about dancing in the film itself. I like that attitude myself. Portman 'gave as good as she got' by responding in that 'non-way'. It's not too late, even if you think she ought to have done so earlier--and even if you're right that she should have done it sooner. The 'Portman spell' has been given plenty of due; after all, Lane could have done it even sooner. The Oscars are old news by now, and they're never more than relatively important news in the long view of film history and evaluation thereof. But this is related to dubbing singers' voices in films (never done in live performance, as far as I know, and certainly not for long runs, except with enhancement by pit singers), and that's never hidden, although it does most often lead to the perception that the performance was lesser than those who sang (it usually is, but not always. However, I'm not sure I can think of a dubbed singer in a movie musical who won an Oscar, although there may well be one; Deborah Kerr was nominated for one for 'The King and I', and did win a Golden Globe for it.) Agree with most of what GoCoyote and 4mrdncr said. Non-ballet fans of the movie paid no attention to Lane anyway.
  15. My last remaining goal in life is to die and come back as Yurie Pascarella Here at the SF Opera House, fashion can be dictated to some degree by where you sit. My regular subscription seat is in the Balcony Circle (not quite the cheapest, but close) and the fashion sense definitely leans toward "Hey pal, let's have a brewski after the show..." Down in the Dress Circle/Grand Tier/Orchestra areas there's a noticeable uptick in the quality (though, as Helene points out, not necessarily in the quantity) of the clothing. Thanks for the link. I think you picked out the most attractive one to reincarnate as; many of them look ridiculous, esp. Dede Wilsey and Hamish himself--whose cape looks sort of like Cherry Grove attire from the 50s, with the kaftans and gimlets, but which I've seen only in photos. One can identify a 'socialite look' from this very page. Only a few have placed as much emphasis on what goes in the clothes as the clothes themselves, a sort of extreme externalization which is normal. I do find it strange that these social patrons tend to the same hairstyles socialites have used for many decades, at least going back to Jackie Kennedy--stiff, but 'young' coiffure; sometimes it works. This type seems identifiable the world over, always the giant Park Avenue smiles and the Tom Wolfe x-ray looks, when they're able to do something as amusing as the Getty woman (Vanessa, who's a camp; the other one, Rosetta, is very sleek and severe-elegant). This was most enjoyable. I think it's only appropriate to dress for where you're sitting at a ballet or opera performance. I tend to dress up a bit, but not always wear a tie. Bermuda shorts would be all right with me, according to who's wearing them. I'm more concerned that it doesn't follow from the hyper-casualness that there's a lot of noise made, especially given that a lot of dressed-up people at Lincoln Center are certainly as often among the pushiest and rudest, thinking they can talk during the performance way too freely.
  16. Cristian, thanks for putting up this clip. I saw 'Cleopatra' when it first came out, in one of those old big theaters that still had splashy openings with 'souvenir books'. I liked it briefly then, but was upset that, at about 10 years old, I couldn't keep the battles straight (my father cleared that part up.) Later, I remembered her in this film much less favorably than I did in many (or even most others). Watching it after nearly 50 years, I see that the closed face when one first sees her that is fantastically effective. In this, she is well beyond what Colbert had done (which I saw some 20 years after this later version), and all aspects of majesty are conveyed for awhile. However, once she and the boy are moving, that sense of 'state power' is gone (it's not even done perfectly, and there's almost a sense of being off-balance), and I couldn't believe the wink--it's awful, hokey and absurd by any period's standards, and takes all the 'Egyptianism' out of it, returning it squarely to Famous Lasky Players lot, which had even disappeared long before that. I thought Harrison and Burton both rather poor in the scene, just sort of stagey, wondering how much leer to do. I was interested to see that the styles of spectacle had not changed that much from D.W. Griffith ('Intolerance' is more effective for the most part than this, though, more exciting and much more beautifully detailed for this kind of big thing) and early and later DeMille (parts of the silent 'Ten Commandments'), all of which I saw much later. There is some particularly campy dancing which looks almost like break-dancing in the procession. I wouldn't say that the 'parade entertainers' were substantively different from what you see in the Colbert version. However, that inscrutable face she has at first glance does make it all worthwhile; with a big Hollywood property like that (no matter where it was filmed), you can't expect them never to fall for the cheap shot, and I hadn't remembered the face in this scene. I wonder if Cleopatra has ever been well-played. I've read that the Cleopatra of the Shakespeare play is extremely difficult, and that it's usually a near-miss or worse. The Caesar and Cleopatra with Vivien Leigh is comedic and light, this is not bad at all, except I don't think most people think of Cleopatra as light and girlish that way. This is her first meeting with Caesar here (I think), and Taylor conveys the sensuality and hyper-seductiveness a good deal more than Leigh ever would, had she even intended to--until that wink. Before that, the face conveys something essential about what the word and concept 'idol' mean.
  17. as well you might, since the LATimes (which I now have to read the main stories on, as well as WaPo, so as to save idiosyncratic articles in the NYT since they're 'cracking down') reported yesterday that she had had to be hospitalized once she started watching news reports about Liz. She's got some of the same outlandishness and zaniness of Liz, which is probably why they were friends (or so the article said), but the cottage industry of selling princeling titles to mafia is a bit much--Prince Anhalt is a fake, and so it won't matter that much in certain kinds of dens in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, although they've sold these titles for millions. NYTimes also had an interesting article about Liz's frequenting of gay bars in West Hollywood, with the Abbey as her hangout. There was an 'Elizabeth Taylor Room' there, and she came often in her wheelchair. The extremes you note are definitely in evidence; perhaps even the weird closeness with Michael Jackson was something she was uniquely suited for--both children, in somewhat different ways, but few have the time to take with someone as far gone into fantasy as Jackson. Other articles pointed out that she was buried in the same mausoleum at Forest Lawn as Jackson, not far from him. That's a place I've never managed to make myself go to, although I have been in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in 2008, where Valentino and many other stars are buried. I'll see if I can find these articles now... Here's the Zsa Zsa one: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ktla-zsa-zsa-gabor-hospitalized-again,0,2340295.story This is pretty sad, since it's all happened (even for her age) since July. She does look like a very old woman, although the face still has some of the prettiness. Here's the other. This is very touching, and obviously Liz felt comfortable with this kind of thing: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/us/25abbey.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=elizabeth%20taylor%20mourned%20at%20gay%20bar%20in%20west%20hollywood&st=cse
  18. She was a wonderful actress in 'Reflections in a Golden Eye', in 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' (and I thought marvelous in 'Butterfield 8' esp., even though she repudiated it), and quite starry in a number of others. Had a wonderful sense of humour, was kind and generous, while also extravagant--this doesn't always go together, but in this case it does. She was a great woman.
  19. I thoroughly freakin' loved it. How nice to get to know Muffie's children and parents! I hadn't known to whom Robert De Niro was married, and he approved of his wife appearing in the 'genius' 'Maple Leaf Rag'. Oh man, this made my day, and it was already doing all right. Love the pic of Ms. Eilber, she's so 'E.T'. I knew the company was going to emerge from all the interference. I had tea and brioches with a 'Muffie' myself in Paris, yes indeed-- on the RUE D'ASTORJ! a cote de l'Opera. This was in the home of Mrs. Stickney Hamilton, who at that time was the Paris Editor of Harper's Bazaar. Who could ask for anything more? (well, she did get me into the Givenchy Spring Collections Show, so there's that...)
  20. Aha, thanks Azulynn, this interests me greatly. Although I won't get to see Moussin do that here next summer (2012), I'll keep my eye out for her. I love Marie-Agnes, but I know it doesn't always follow that all one's favourites are suited for all roles. I'm sure I'll want to see M.-A. in whatever she does here, though.
  21. I think that the odds are miniscule that an entire professional corps is not interested in doing a good job. They might look messy and careless; the same criticisms were made during Balanchine's time. The NYCB corps has had its periodic ups and downs, just as the Mariinsky and Bolshoi Ballets have, and I've read reviews that said that the POB corps has had periods of staleness. The Mariinsky has over 90 members of the corps de ballet, which is around the size of the entire NYCB, and over 80 dancers in the other five ranks. The Paris Opera Ballet has 40 quadrilles and 35 coryphees, not much smaller than the entire NYCB, and 154 dancers in total. POB's schedule isn't nearly as punishing as NYCB's, and NYCB has a monster-size rep each season, with at least 1/3 new ballets or revivals that haven't been performed in recent seasons. I don't know how to compare the Mariinsky's schedule, because they seem to split up the company and part of it tours regularly, which is hard, but the influx of new ballets isn't as great. Factors that influence how "on" the corps is -- and many fans would gladly give up clean lines for energy that is rarely matched, not that it happens all the time -- are illness and injuries, which impact rehearsal time, and replacement dancers, who are often rushed and under-rehearsed. Injuries snowball, particularly at the end of the long winter season, weakening the "system", which is software terms is called "technical debt", as well as coaching, managerial decisions -- ex: not renewing contracts of senior corps members to make room for younger dancers and/or reduce the company total -- and artistic decisions -- ex. the trade-offs between precision and limited resources under basic conditions. They do this, like almost all dancers outside of a handful of state institutions, under short-term contracts, without the luxury or tradition of being a civil servant with a state pension and near-guaranteed employment, including through pregnancy. (One look at the roster of Paris Opera Ballet shows multiple generations of families in dance.) They have to prove themselves over and over, sometimes under severe conditions, and they can be dropped fairly easily. It's wonderful to see companies with great corps traditions especially when they have the luxury of senior corps members, adequate rehearsal time, and substitutes who know the ins and outs of their roles. Or like in Seattle at Pacific Northwest Ballet, where there is often one ballet in a triple bill with a substantial corps, and the corps can concentrate on rehearsal that ballet and a handful of others for upcoming rep (as opposed to, say, 30 ballets) and perform once or twice a night for a maximum of four performances over three days, instead of two-three times a night, six to seven nights a week. NYCB never claimed to be either. They do something else. I think that's an excellent characterization of NYCB, Helene (as well as providing much other invaluable information), and esp. important that it was always energy that mattered the most even in the richest Balanchine periods of the 60s and 70s, cf. Peter Martins's 'Far from Denmark', among other print sources. I think that continues to this day (although I definitely don't love them the way I once did), and the matter of extremely heavy scheduling is a matter of necessity. Some have said, though, that the corps is more precise now by a long shot than they used to be, that that is one of Martins's more positive contributions. Even when they're not, it's pretty rare that they're really awful. (Some said they were in 'Swan Lake' last year, but I couldn't really see it myself to quite that degree.) Of ocurse, the POB is always precise, and I'm looking forward to seeing them in summer 2012. avesraggiana, have you seen live performances of 'Jewels' by POB? or just the DVD as I have? I've asked a number of times about other performances of 'Diamonds' in POB besides Agnes Letestu, but have gotten no response. I'd like to hear if Dupont or Marie-Agnes Gillot have done it, or just who else has done it, and has it been distinguished? Because Mr. Letestu's performance is the real failure of that DVD to my mind. She doesn't seem focussed on it at all, if you've seen Farrell or Kowroski do it (and that certainly includes Farrell even on video.) I do like very much the rest of 'Jewels' on that POB video, though--very elegant and spirited as well.
  22. Thanks, Farrell Fan. And also California--I couldn't find it myself. This is perfectly divine news. Just around the corner for $10. I wouldn't miss it, and look forward to hearing what the programs are.
  23. http://newyork.nearsay.com/nyc/upper-east-side/arts-culture-italian-cultural-institute-maria-callas This is very good, I have a friend at the institute, so I saw it today. One floor clothes, one floor jewels, many from performances. Free, but only through March 30.
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