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Everything posted by agnes

  1. TMP is coming to the Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center in 2010. I've not heard a whole lot about this new company. What is their core repertory, and those who've seen their dance, what are your thoughts about the dancers, the choreo, the dances' subject matter/story lines, etc.?
  2. I am reading "Ballet To The Corps", an autobio of Marie Pacquett, who danced with Joffrey and ABT in the 50's and 60's. It's a great read, and I hate to get to the end, so I try to read only a bit at a time....like savoring chocolate cake. And I also enjoyed reading "Ballet Is A Contact Sport". Does anyone know of other books written from a corp member's perspective of the professional ballet career?
  3. This was one of the articles from Monday, January 12. Does anyone know if this will be shown in the U.S.? I live in California and would very much like to see this film. Anyway, let me know too if it is already on DVD.
  4. My sister and I both looked like the shorter ones when we were around 9 years of age. The little one, with the purple eye shadow, reminded me so much of my sister when she was in 3rd grade; except her eyes were rounder.
  5. Pas de chat -- Father of Instant Messaging
  6. Thanks! I should start making vacation plans for March 2009. It's been years since I've visited the Seattle area. Is West Side only a ballet suite? Is there no full-length version?
  7. Where can I find DVD or VHS performance of West Side Story ballet? Amazon doesn't seem to have it. Does anyone know if any of the U.S. companies will be performing it this year? I think I just missed a recent performance (was it by NYCB in Saratoga Springs???)
  8. I recently listened to "Song of India" by Rimsky. Beautiful, soothing music indeed. I imagined a soulful adagio danced to it. Does anyone know if it has indeed been danced to? I'd be interested in watching that video.
  9. I believe that this was a close-set interview, not with studio audience; nor was the content impromptu. I don't know that this was a live broadcast, either. Working with these conditions, the eventual quality of the interview would've been significantly influenced by all involved: the interviewee, the interviewer, the director, the producer, the wardrobe department....everyone involved to produce the end product. If indeed interviewees are out of their element, then there are at least two ways to handle it: Refuse an on-camera interview or get themselves into their element as much as they could, by every means that they could. The show's on- and off-stage staff could improve/assist the interviewee by coaching, going through questions that are likely to be asked and practicing with mock interviews, trying different wardrobes to see which complements the interviewee's body and personality the most, the list goes on. Just as in a live performance, the performers (interviewee and interviewer, alike) put their best foot forward, and in this case, there is even more opportunity to present a polished interview because the session could be reviewed and the weaker segments of the conversation re-taken. I have seen other programs and documentaries where dancers were interviewed, and they were more comfortable and polished than Allegra Kent was. For one thing, Allegra's, (too secretary-like) attire, body language and facial expressions worked against her. In contrast, other dancers appeared comfortable in their skin, not to mention their clothes, and engaged the interviewer quite well. It didn't strike me that the questions asked of any of these dancers were hard questions in any sense; rather, the questions sought to elicit recollections of the dancers' experiences. So it would be very much unlike an interview with say, a political figure, who might be asked double-bladed or veiled questions. To me, this interview was in a sense, also a performance; and better preparations could have been made to improve its quality. Education or lack of it, mental disorder or none, gift of conversation or natural reserve/reticence, these could be enhanced with practice and preparation. Perhaps what I saw was the result of lack of sufficient practice and preparation on the part of all involved. Unfortunately, the weight of that rock falls on the star of the show -- the interviewee.
  10. I first learned of Allegra from the book, Dance Is A Contact Sport, and having seen the small clip at the end of the Charlie Rose interview, she must have been indeed just so enthralling and enchanting. Her physical grace though, does not carry to intellectual fluidity. I found the quality of her comments, and even her demeanor, in that interview, as vapid, rather unpolished. Sad really. I wonder if it was the lack of social interaction with people outside NYCB/ballet world, or perhaps not having engaged in other meaningful pursuits besides ballet that might have limited her capacity to actively engage a serious conversation?
  11. Thank you Phaedra and Hans. Too bad about Makhalina....and to dance the principal role at that! Hmm, not too good a reflection on the Kirov's selection of principal for the role, especially for a ballet that is 'signature Kirov'. Does Makhalina have more recent performances captured on VHS/DVD that showcases improvement in maturity and emotional/artistic interpretation?
  12. I am looking to add these Kirov productions to my collection. In the two VHS productions I am considering, Yulia and Farukh?? danced in both, and Larissa only in Sleeping Beauty (with other partners). How would you review and rate these performances in terms of their faithfulness to the original choreographies, the emotional pathos projected by the dancers, the technical quality, the quality of the corps, the performance's reflection of Kirov quality overall?
  13. Seeing how Japanese are generally shorter than their American and European counterparts, what is the minimum height that a female dancer must have in any one of the abovementioned companies?
  14. agnes

    Videos of Giselle

    Agnes, I have very fond memories of this production and the moving way the story was told. I hope share your thoughts with us after you've viewed it, because I've been wondering whether I should add it to my collection. Bart, if you added Creole Giselle to your collection, you will not be disappointed. I am still watching it, and I had to pause it lest I miss a single step. Beautifully danced by black dancers (a refreshing change from the regular staple of Caucasian dancers). The dancers lyrically emoted their thoughts and feelings; I didn't see a single 'dancing stiff' in that production. Multiple cameras were used to capture correctly the movements from the best angles, so that the viewer feels as if they were sitting front-and-center the entire time. The stage props truly framed the context of a deep South black peasant community. Definitely pre-Civil War when there were already free blacks who had their own black servants and class strata. Did I mention that the Peasant Pas de Deux was one of the high points of this ballet? (hmm, i recall that some versions of Giselle apparently dropped this chapter. I wonder why? ) Not to bore you with all the technical minutiae, but if I only have two words for you, they are: BUY IT. The DVD version was well received by Amazon customers, and I agree with them. This by far, is the best camera-captured ballet I've watched; it's like watching any TV drama, and all the right shots and angles are there to be enjoyed.
  15. agnes

    Videos of Giselle

    I just purchased this DVD from Amazon because it was well reviewed by all four users. And, it ostensibly stayed faithful to the original theme while placing the scene in the context of 1841 Louisiana, at the height of American slavery in the South. So I hope that the performance doesn't disappoint. DVD: Dance Theater of Harlem : Creole Giselle (Virginia Johnson, Eddie Shellman...)
  16. Carbro, thank you for this much-awaited update! Us Southern California ballet lovers now have something new to look forward to.
  17. Completely agree with canbelto. I saw ABT's performance this May, and now am watching the POB version. And what a difference! The POB version is more aligned with how an Eastern tragic myth might be staged for a ballet. Makarova's staging had that Hollywood happily-ever-after / good-over-evil flavor to it...more of a Western thought process.
  18. This also raises in my mind how much rehearsal is required with a conductor to get his tempo... and if the dancers must always follow concept of the conductor or if the conductor asks the dancers about the tempo? Or perhaps the ballet master or something. I really don't know how this all knits together. But it is glorious when it works... It could work both ways because in the end, the music and the dance have to weave seamlessly into each other. I don't think that one necessarily leads the other. Certainly, a dancer needs to listen to the tempo to get the measure which will shape how fast or slow the movement must be executed. Also, whether the music is adagio or presto influences the emotional quality of presenting the movement. Then again, at times, the music needs to fine-tuned to the dancer where the speed might be lowered or raised a bit to accomodate the dancer's technical capability.
  19. Dancerboy87, your comments put the exact words for what I could only perceive and describe as Je ne sais quoi. I really find that these resonate with me: . . And having seen a little of POB performance, I find their lyrical dancers at par with Kirov.I find that in my own dancing during and outside of class, I always have in the back of my mind those lissome, willowy European dancers to emulate.
  20. I've read that while both companies' dancers are technical experts, Kirov dancers have superior musicality than their ABT counterparts. Comments?
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