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Rest in Peace
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About Alymer

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    Bronze Circle
  1. Then should the women in the Royal Danish Ballet go back to turning on half point in Bournonville ballets, which they did when I first saw the company?
  2. I never saw Youskevitch on stage, but my husband who did once said that the moment he stepped on stage to start his varition in Theme and Vaariations "you knew that you were going to see a Great dancer". And it's not a description that he (the husband) uses lightly.
  3. Yes Leonid, I remember those performances by the Paris Opera Ballet too. Wonderful dancing and thoroughly inventive choreography. But to take up Kahoyo's point, I think the barrel organ music used for the scenes with the rustics was recorded - but presumably it had to be as you can hardly tour one of those huge barrel organs. I don't think either Ashton or MacMillan used recordings - but then they didin't have to as they worked largely within an opera house with a resident orchestra. During the war the then Sadler's Wells ballet danced to two pianos. However, I have on occasion been at pe
  4. I'm not a great fan of Neumier's Sylvia and I haven't seen his Romeo, though I have enjoyed many of his other ballets. But I'm intrigued by Kahoyo's comment, quoted above, as it's always seemed to me that Ashton and MacMillan have a very different musicality. I would never have put them together so perhaps Kahoyo can explain further.
  5. Fascinating variation and charmingly performed. Whose music? Do any of our contributors know? Drigo perhaps? Don't know the composer, but Mary Sleaping used that music in her production for Festival/English National Ballet.
  6. Alymer

    Violette Verdy

    It does exist in video. I bought a copy from the boutique at the Palais Garnier along with a number of other truly fascinating dance videos.
  7. I have a book of photos by Serge Lido which shows the costumes used when Balanchine mounted Serenade for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1947. The women are waring strapless bodices which finish in hanging panels over short, pleated tulle skirts, finishing about halfway down the thigh. They also weasr long gloves and quite elaborate headdresses. Each of the two women is wearing a different colour - one dark, one light (it's a black and white picture). There's also an elaborately draped structure in the background. It must have looked very different. But I gather from a contemporary account (Li
  8. You mean Lydia Kyasht - or so she claims in her memoirs.
  9. I'm sure you are correct Alexandra and it seems to me a pity that nobody puts a stop to the increasing tendancy for the Pas de Quatre to be performed as a big comedy number. However, historically there was a considerable dispute before the curtain went up as to the order in which the Goddesses should appear. Everyone concerned agreed that Taglioni should have the place of honour and appear last. However, Cerrito and Grisi had a real spat over who should take precedence for second place. The theatre manager, Benjamin Lumley solved the dilema saying "The question of talent must be decided b
  10. Antoinette is now Dame Antoinette and President of the Royal Academy of Dancing,in succession to Fonteyn. She is married with two children, who must now be grown up. She was at Covent Garden the other evening still looking amazingly young. When Dowell was directing the Royal Ballet she coached a number of dancers, among them Sarah Wildor. In addition to Barbara Newman's biography, Nicholas Dromgoole who was for many years the critic of the Sunday Telegraph wrote a book about Sibley and Dowell which appeared in 1976.
  11. I saw Excelsior twice, with two different casts and I have to say I enjoyed it hugely both as a piece of real ballet kitsch and also as an example of what brought in an audience in the 1870s. I'm surprised that Katharine Kanter says there is no original Manzotti choreography. The programme states that three separate notations exist (pages from one are reproduced in the programme) and my impression was that Dell'Ara had merely added a number of rather undistinguished variations and pas de deux, leaving the crowd scenes much as they were, although adapted for fewer dancers. Certainly, that is w
  12. Alymer


    ralphsf, you ask if Fonteyn had an exciting stage presence. You bet she did! She could light up the entire theatre and was the very opposite of a cold fish. I saw her dancing occasionally in the 1950s and then frequently from the mid sixties through to the end of her career and if, for example, I think of her in the Rose adagio I remember her with a beautiful classical line, balancing seemingly endlessly and effortlessly, and wreathed in smiles. But this posting has raised what for me is an interesting point, and one I've often wondered about. And that is just how much sense of a perfor
  13. I remember the Robbins ballet as being absolutely charming. I'd love to see it again. John Cranko also used the score for his ballet Beauty and the Beast. That used the entire score with the exception of one section.
  14. Hans Van Manen and John Neumier also created versions of Daphnis and Chloe as, I believe did Glen Tetley.
  15. Alymer


    I recently came across a comment by Ninette de Valois on Fonteyn's technique which people might find interesting. In reply to a question about whether on not Fonteyn's technique had continued to develop over the years de Valois replied: "I call her technique very sound. She's no virtuosity dancer - that is something quite different..............she has an extremely neat accurate technique in my opinion. I would regard her work on the whole as exceptionally tidy and beautifully placed. After all, line, placing, phrasing, recision, control - everything comes into technique. And there is a
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