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Everything posted by Lovebird

  1. In my opinion, Pereira has suffered from being in the same category, or employ as the Russians call it, as some amazing, really first class talent: Peck, Fairchild and above all Bouder. For quite a bit NYCB has had a stronger "small girl" contingent, much stronger at times then the taller girls.
  2. Not to be off yopic, but it is perfectly acceptable and respectful to call the female corps de ballet ladies, I don't think I have ever heard that calling a woman a lady if offensive, rather it is probably the only word to use if you want to be respectful. I find girls very offensive, it is a way of dumbing down these very hard workers and it does not give them the respect they deserve.
  3. He died tragically at a young age from leukimia. I remember speaking with Eva Evdokimova( also, recently passed away, so sad, she was a great and wonderful person) and she had happy memories of dancing a pas de deux with him, I think Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, she said he was a great partner and a very nice person as well, I believe he did some charity work toward the end of his life.
  4. Michael Somes was a great partner, especially in the fifties when he danced with Fonteyn. Jonathan Cope, Anthony Dowell were good partners too, they really interacted with their partners.
  5. White Nights sounds like a beautiful novel, thank you for suggesting it and I will certainly read it, Dostoyevsky makes memorable characters. I wonder if the title refers to that period of time in St Petersburg when the sun shines all night and day, something to do with its far north location? It must be a magical time. Miami boy, like you my love of Russian literature extends to other areas, especially Russian opera I noticed that you are from Cuba, I am from Spain, sometimes I feel that Russian and Hispanic sensibilities are very close to each other. I have read Mayakovsky, one poem in the original Russian. I like the strange way he uses words, I especially like the image of A Cloud in Trousers.
  6. This summer I re read Turgenev's A Month in the Country, a book that deserves re reading for its beautiful, fluid prose and nostalgic atmosphere. Turgenev to me is a unique writer, different from all other Russian writers. Has anyone read a work by Chekhov with the curious title of Unfinished Piece for a Piano Player? It is my next reading list book, and I would like thoughts about it. Miamiboy, it is nice to hear of a fellow Russian literarure fan, sometimes I feel that in the U.S, save for Crime and Punishment, Russian literature is a bit undiscovered, there are so many great works.
  7. I did not know there was an opera based on The House of the Dead, thanks for telling me Of the many opera adaptations, the one I like the most is Prokofiev's War and Peace. Resurrection is an excellent story for an opera, with an excellent female character. Also Chekhov's story Lady with a Dog is a wonderful story for an opera, concise plot, lots of opportunities for the two principal characters. Lady with the Dog is one of my favorite works of Chekhov, his prose in this story is lyrical, gently humorous and melancholy. Anna Sten gave two of her best film performances in literary adaptations, The Brothers Karamazov and We Live Again, based on Resurrection. She was wonderful in both, I recomend We Live Again for her portrayal of Katiusha.
  8. In addition Glinka's romance, Ya Zdes Inezilya, is based on a Pushkin poem. Does anyone know if Tsar Saltan is even performed still, or Kai and Gerda? I have recently finished Dostoyevsky's The House of the Dead. In many of his novels Dostoyevsky exhibits a deep understanding, and more importantly an acceptance and sympathy, for distressed human beings. For this aspect of Dostoyevsky I recomend Netochka Nezhvanova, or Nameless Nobody in English ,about an orphan and her failed musician father.
  9. A lot of Pushkin's work has been made into opera, Mazeppa is based on Pushkin's Poltava as well as Onegin and Queen of Spades. An author that I love but that is not very well known outside of Russia is Nikolai Leskov. I love his short stories which are mostly comedies, similar to the picaresque stories of Spain, unfortunately there, I think , only one translation available? I have read about five of his stories in the original Russian, I think it is difficult to translate because a lot of the humour would lose its meaning when translated. Lady Macbeth of the Mstsensk District, famous Shostakovich opera, is based on his tragic play. Of Gogol I would recomend Dead Souls and of course The Overcoat. Also, A Hero of Our Time by Lermontov I would say if you have not read definately try to. It's character is, I believe, the first anti- hero, modern man in Russian literature. Personally I feel this novel influenced many of the Russian realist writers. A novel that has a special place in my heart is Tolstoy's Resurrection. I have re-read many times and each time I find something else that really speaks to me. The female character, Katiusha is my favourite female character in Russian literature, with respects to Anna Karenina.
  10. I am a great admirer of Russian literature. Perhaps it's because my favorite fairtales as a child were from a Georgian storybook. Anyway, I was wondering, what , in your opinion, are the most important works, or most influential, or that you simply like a lot, in Russian literature.
  11. Farukh Ruzimatov and Diana Vishneva, both Kirov Ballet, were a couple and also danced together. Their performances together were great
  12. Why is Alina Somova so hated? She is not such a bad ballerina, and anyway she is still quite young. Give her a chance and she could become a better ballerina .
  13. Thank you Dale. She lives in New York, could you recommend any teachers or schools?
  14. A very close friend of mine, female, has her heart set on becoming an opera singer. She is 18 and has a pretty voice but has not had any serious training. Can anyone tell me what classes or programs would she need to take, how many hours a a day of classes, etc.
  15. The arabesque. When done by a dancer with a beautiful line, it could easily be the most spectacular step in ballet.
  16. I was wondering if anyone had any of the old vinyl or CD recordings of Mary Hopkin? They are very hard to find and I'm looking for them as it is a present for someone who is a diehard fan of hers.
  17. What about Keira Knightly as Margot? Brown hair and eyes and with the help of makeup and lighting could be believable. She's also quite thin and she's British. Emilia Fox would make an excellent Pamela May. Stephen Fry has an astounding physical resemblance to Lambert. Judi Dench as De Valois, certainly. Ralph Fiennes would be perfect as John Cranko, has anyone noticed how alike they look?
  18. At the RB, one must remember that certain differences exist. Unlike the NYCB or ABT or even the POB, the RB has always had specialist principals, not everyone did everything. It could take decades, literally, to be cast against type. Wayne Sleep never danced any prince roles yet he was a principal. Vergie Derman's only leading role was Odette in Swan Lake and that came only after ten years of dancing and towards the end of her career, yet she was also a principal. Nowadays the rules are not so strict, but before if one was seen in a certain way by the management that was where you stayed. Leslie Edwards was a principal and he only danced character roles.
  19. Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson, it seems to me, are being groomed as a future partnership.
  20. At the Royal Ballet the Cojocaru and Kobborg partnership is the most celebrated. They are perfect together. Though both of them are fantastic dancers on their own when together they are even better. This partnership is one rooted in similarities both are rather small, both have clean techniques, and they have similar, or so it seems, personalities. I see that no one has mentioned the great partnerships at the Royal. Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes were, before Nureyev came along, the star couple at the RB. My mother tells me that her and her friends would all rally after school at Covent Garden whenever there was a Fonteyn- Somes performance. Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell was in my opinion the greatest partnership I have ever seen. They had a sort of telepathic understanding, a deep communion. Nadia Nerina and David Blair's partnership, immortalized in La Fille Mal Gardee. A partnership that was sadly cut short too soon was Lynn Seymour and Christopher Gable, they were one of a kind. Another great partnership was the Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope pairing. Both tall, dark, and good-looking.
  21. To me, the quality which most endeared Fonteyn to the public was her humanity. She may have been a superbly trained ballerina, she was a consummate classical dancer, but above all she was a woman, just like all the other women in the audience. She connected with the audience, a bit like Princess Di you know, every one felt accepted and understood in their presence. Mel what a funny anecdote you told, my father used to tell his friends a similar one. I remember reading that book on Moira Shearer written by Pigeon Crowle in which Moira said that English ballet classes, read De Valois' classes, were very boring and exhausting. They would consist of doing a movement over and over again, like sixteen grand battements front, side, back then turn around, same on the other side and actually sounds quite similar to the snippet shown in the Red Shoes.
  22. I am also reading the Daneman biography. The book seems to be aimed to people who already know a bit about Fonteyn, it also seems to me to be aimed to the British public at large. To understand Fonteyn, her dancing and her personality, you must understand that not only did she live at a time when the technical standards of dancing were totally different, she also lived at a time which was totally different from ours in general. In England during that time, the values were still very much Victorian, if you keep reading you will see that extra marital relations were scandalous. In Margot's time a respectable, middle class, English girl always did as her mother said, parents had much more control over children, so BQ's attitude would have been understandable then. Margot often said that she did not care, really, about ballet. If you read her autobiography she explains that when she first joined the company most dancers thought it unfashionable to show that they were really dedicated, or that they worked hard at ballet, remember at that time in England it was considered bad sport to show off or to say that you were good at something, indeed this is a rather English trait. So, Margot, if taken in that context, makes sense. Margot's rise in the Vic-Wells could be said to have been a result of Markova's departure from that enterprise, it was from that moment on that De Valois decided she would be the company's leading ballerina.
  23. My mum's got some pretty amazing things from 60- 70's RB and ENB memorabilia. My favorite is the RB salutes the U.S.A programme poster with Vergie Derman and Mark Silver. One programme she has is from the Shakespeare evening at the RB which included the premiere of Macmillan's Images of Love, Helpmann's Hamlet, and Ashton's The Dream.
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