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Everything posted by Melissa

  1. What a great topic! I think LeClerq brought a glamour to ballet that was uniquely her own. I mean, what a package she had: gorgeous legs that went on forever, a swan-like neck, plus a wit and refinement that was her signature. Aside from the portraits and film clips of 'Western Symphony' and 'La Valse', I was blown away by a clip of her dancing 'Afternoon of a Faun' with Jacques d'Amboise. Just her presence was incredibly glamorous. Suzanne Farrell was very glamorous in 'Diamonds', as was Makarova in 'Manon'. Zizi Jeanmaire was pretty glam too. Melissa
  2. Like Ari, I would have loved to see Tanaquil LeClerq dance. Alas, I wasn't alive during her career. I was supposed to see my favorite ballerina, Natalia Makarova, perform Swan Lake in 1980, but she was injured and was replaced by Cynthia Gregory. Though Gregory was fabulous, I've never gotten over the heartbreak of seeing Makarova dance. Melissa
  3. I would love to grovel at the feet of Natalia Makarova thanking her for many years of sublime dancing. How lovely it would have been too to meet Dame Margot just to say how happy her dancing made me. Melissa
  4. This is a touch choice, like everyone says. Balanchine I think is the greatest choreographer of the 20th century. But, I don't think there would have been a Balanchine without Marius Petipa. Petipa's style and language was the foundation on which Mr. B developed his own style. So, for that reason, I choose Petipa.
  5. My vote goes to Prokofiev because his scores have the drama and rich melodism that is essential in a ballet score. 'R&J' is a masterpiece in which the music propels the story and captures the mood of the play perfectly. 'Cinderella', though a very different score, has the same dramatic effect and perfect fairytale mood essential to the story.
  6. My vote goes to Prokofiev because his scores have the drama and rich melodism that is essential in a ballet score. 'R&J' is a masterpiece in which the music propels the story and captures the mood of the play perfectly. 'Cinderella', though a very different score, has the same dramatic effect and perfect fairytale mood essential to the story.
  7. At NYCB's tribute to Tanaquil LeClerq last May, Wendy Whelan and members of the corps danced the Waltz of the Flowers. Just on it's own, I was struck by how appropriately Spring-like the Waltz was with Karinska's pink and lilac costumes. I completely forgot that it's part of a ballet about Christmas.
  8. Last Sunday I saw a matinee performance of The Crucible starring Liam Neeson. It's a powerful production that left me emotionally exhausted. The cast is excellent all-around, but Neeson is the stand-out performance. I wasn't surprised to see how imposing his stage presence is, but was surprised to see how easily a big guy like him moves around the stage. He's unusually graceful for someone who is 6'4". Tickets for The Crucible may be hard to come by, but I urge everyone who is within reasonable distance of NYC to see the show. It's money very well spent.
  9. Alexandra, I've heard about SF's Swan Lake in Canada, but didn't know she only danced one role. Was she Odile or Odette? She would have been marvelous in either or.
  10. I've always loved Farrell's inimitable stage presence: regal, aloof and very feminine. I'll never forget seeing her in Der Rosenkavalier -- she was just hauntingly beautiful. Her sang-froid used to annoy me when I was a kid, but I've grown to like and appreciate her style much more in the last 15 years. I saw SF's Sugar Plum Fairy in the mid '80's and she danced beautifully. And I was pleasantly surprised during the waltz-coda to see that she was smiling -- grinning, in fact .
  11. Does anyone know if a video of the Bolshoi's Ivan the Terrible is available? I think it was filmed in the '70's and starred a remarkable dancer in the title role . If I'm not mistaken Bessmertnova danced Anastasia. The performance has it's over the top moments, but without them it wouldn't be the Bolshoi .
  12. Ronnie, Alexandra mentioned in a thread yesterday about the video, 'An Evening with the Royal Ballet' which she said contained 'The last scene on the short version' of the ballet. Is this video available, Alexandra? I've seen that same scene, Ronnie, and Fonteyn is so captivating I'd like to get of copy myself.
  13. There is an excellent recording of the complete 'Swan Lake' with John Lanchbery conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. It includes a lovely performance of the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. Tower Records can get it for you on back order and it's definitely worth the wait. Here is the link: http://www.towerrecords.com/product.asp?pfid=1086373 Melissa
  14. I've only had one live opera experience. It was 4 or 5 years ago at the Met in a production of 'Siegfried'. I was proud of the fact that I chose not to start off with a more accessible opera like 'Magic Flute' or 'Carmen', but with a mammoth part of the Ring cycle. It was, up to that point in my life, the finest theatrical experience I'd ever had. The Met orchestra sounded gorgeous, the cast sang well, except for the stiff, bellowing Brunnhilde, and the production was impressive.
  15. Thanks for the reminder about R&J, Juliet. How could I forget Prokofiev? R&J is a masterpiece and 'Cinderella', though not in the same league as R&J and the Tchaikovsky scores, is very beautiful.
  16. In my opinion, 'Swan Lake', 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'The Nutcracker' are the greatest ballet scores ever written. The next best score would be 'The Firebird'.
  17. I'm so happy for Sarah Hughes. Being in 4th place with nothing to lose, she went out there, didn't let the Olympic jitters get the better of her and skated the performance of her life. In the past I've found fault with her gangly carriage on the ice, but last night it was like she blossomed into a complete artist/technician with beautiful flow and great jumps, including those 2 triple-triple combinations. And how about the audience eruptive response to her? What a thrill. I felt so awful for Michelle. During her tentative short program, memories of Nagano flashed before me. But it was shocking to see her fall -- something she rarely does. She's had to deal with incredible pressure for 4 years to finally win gold, and I wasn't surprised she cracked -- Michelle's only human. After Sasha's superb short program, I thoought she'd come out last night with guns blazing, true to her feisty nature. But you could see on her face during the warm-up how nervous she was. She skated beautifully except for her fall and her musicality is such a joy to watch. We're going to see a lot more of Sasha in the future and she's only going to improve as she gets more competitions under her belt.
  18. Jeannie, I feel the same way about Ferri's Juliet in the final scene. I saw her twice at the Met and she was phenomenal.
  19. Great topic, Farrell Fan! When the tree grows in Nutcracker, the corps descending the ramp in Bayadere, the beginning of the Act II Pas de Deux in Swan Lake with the harp cadenza, they all give me the chills in the most wonderful way possible.
  20. dirac, What I noticed about the commentators was how they repeatedly stressed how the judges were 'dissecting' each performance and the required elements. They made it sound like the judges were going to great lengths to mark each skater carefully. Perhaps that explains why it took so long for each lady's marks to come up. I too noticed them talking about Michelle's new found joy in her skating. Aside from the smile during her spiral sequence, there wasn't much joy to be seen at all.
  21. Tchaikovsky's music was a 'rite of puberty' for me, having fallen in love with his music at the age of 13 ('Sleeping Beauty' did it). But I never went through the middle stage the author mentions. I'm a proud Peter Ilyitch fanatic and will be till my dying day. The man was a genius and his radiant, wearing his heart on his sleeve melodies and innovative orchestration have stood the test of time.
  22. I was wowed by Sasha Cohen last night. This is her first major international competition and she performed with poise and showed no fear at all. Her spirals and extensions are gorgeous, and that lay back spin was lovely. What a talent! I was taken aback by Slutskaya'a performance. She has grown so much as an artist and her athleticism was beyond question. Her one-legged footwork sequence was the best of all the ladies and her jumps were rock solid. Michelle's performance was good, but not 'inspired', to quote Sandra Bezic. She just squeaked by Irina in the ordinals. I think Michelle must skate the performance of her life on Thursday night or hope that Slutskaya makes serious mistakes in order to win the gold. Michelle is the superior artist, but she needs to generate more speed and momentum in her program, as well as skate cleanly, to beat Slutskaya. Slutskaya's a real threat I'm afraid. It would be great if Michelle took gold and Sasha took silver, but that may not happen. [ February 20, 2002: Message edited by: Melissa ]
  23. 'Music, choreography -- yecchh. I'm afraid I thought it was all pretty awful, and the kind of thing that makes sports enthusiasts deride skating competitions.' Thank you, dirac, I couldn't agree with you more.
  24. Here is the listing on Amazon for the Ballet Gala CD: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00...1442525-6492123
  25. I'm very happy for S&P having finally been awarded the gold medal they earned on Monday night. Now it's time for the ISU to clean house. Will they or won't they?
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