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About cubanmiamiboy

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer, fan
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    Miami Beach
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  1. Odile has always been beyond her abilities.
  2. I attended only one performance of the program, and she wasn't on it. Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Slaughter on 10th Ave and Mercuric Tidings
  3. Let's not forget this are officially prepared ceremonies. People are pulled out of work, students are pulled out of classes and participation is mandatory. Alonso was indeed much celebrated , but also much condemned , politically speaking. Of course, only the laurels will be shown.
  4. Coppelia, USA. 1957 Giselle. Russia 1958. Grand Pas de Quatre. US 1960. Swan Lake. La Habana 1961.
  5. Well... yeah. I guess she's seen as a National monument. Although I sort of agree with atm11, who long time ago wrote that she was considered back then an American ballerina, a BT product. When she went to Russia in 58-59 she did so as a western ballet ambassador, considered back then "the first American ballerina to dance in Russia". Cuba had seen her only sporadically during her 20 years in NYC, and they really got a hold of her once she negotiated with Castro the conditions for her return in 1960.
  6. Thank you for those, canbelto, and a speedy recovery for you. There is a museum of ballet in Havana, which of course is dedicated to her. I have a friend that told me that there is a private videography of her that has films from the 50's, including a full T&V. I believe that was the base for subsequent -( Balanchine trust non approved, non licensed)- stagings there when she wasn't reliable anymore due to her blindness and old age.
  7. My formative ballet years I spent watching Alonso's way into her company. The dual, always controversial way she was perceived by both her audience and her peers. I saw the self imposed enclosure she placed on the troupe during the cold war era, the closed doors she buil in front of her most talented dancers,...the way the almost extinguished word "defection" was, and is, still in used when in reference to Cuban dancers wanting to break free from the company and the country. I saw how many of the dancers were blessed by her politically powerful hand-(Carreno, Acosta)- and how others were virtually erased from the history of the company-(the Feijoo sisters, the Sarabia brothers). And I saw how bitter she could get if the 'Most Beloved and Most Capable Prima" title was was being jeopardized from her hands-(which it was, by means of the great Rosario Suarez, whom Alonso made sure would not succeed on the attempt). And i saw wonderful productions and ballets...rarities I now know were and are there because of her absolutism in regards with repertoire. The mantra was "It will be danced as I danced in in 1950 at BT". End of the story. And well, that way I could see Les Sylphides, staged by her and Alberto Alonso by means of their recollections of the mid century stagings they both had danced in in BT and BRdMC, staged by Fokine himself. And the same with many other ballets, imported carbon copy of how they were being danced under their still around choreographers. Among them. Graduation Ball. Lichine. Les Sylphides. Fokine. Petroushka. Fokine. Nutcracker. Fedorova. Grand Pas de Quatre. Dolin. Giselle. Dolin. Apollo. Balanchine. T&V. balanchine. Le Combat. William Dollar Fall River Legend. Tudor. Jardin aux Lilacs. Tudor R&J. Tudor. La Fille Mal Gardee. Nijinska/Hertel. Three Virgins and a Devil. de Mille Swan Lake. Mary Skeaping And some others, either complete on on fragments that she was able to stage from memory, as with Balanchine's Waltz Academy and Massine's Aleko. Now, after she's gone...I really wonder what fate will this stagings take. It is not a secret that many perceived this unmovable versions as part of the iron hand she directed the company with, and would very much get rid of them. I only hope it doesn't happen. Alonso was very controversial. She was both at the investment ceremony of General Batista in 1953, and her company was subsidized by him up until it wasn't anymore. She then dissolved it and didn't come back to Cuba until 1960, when she made sure she was going to be subsidized again. And she was...and the rest we all know very well. She became one of the most recognizable faces of Castrism. Online opinions on her likeness and worthlessness are primarily divided in between Castro followers and Miami exiles. RIP nonetheless.
  8. Mixed feelings here. But I really hope she can rest "in peace". So I echo that. RIP. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155000689829191&id=647664190
  9. That's exactly the same sequence done in the DQ Adagio. Very tricky, given that the dancer has to quickly get into the ballerina's space while she's doing a double pirouette a la seconde to get her into a deep penchee. I have always thought "what if the guy's timing is not the sharpest and he hits her on pirouette"...Well, I finally saw it, and HEARD it-( the hitting was loud).😶
  10. One thing I noticed was that the Mariinsky omits the final number -("Finale")- that the POB uses after the final tableaux of the grand pas, which is like a grand ballabile in a "jota aragonesa" form. @ 1:36:02
  11. It is so interesting to see how whole assessments of the ending gravitate around what we believe to be a "happy" ending versus a "tragic" one. What some might consider "tragic"-(the double suicide)- didn't have to be so necessarily in Petipa's or Tchaikovsky's minds. The fact that the music changes to a major key to a triumphant tune to the souls of the two lovers reunited in heaven-(ABT)- is more than enough to be seen as happy by many, particularly those with religious beliefs. The whole happy=human form/stay on earth idea was Soviet, although I can see how many in the audience who don't share such religious beliefs see it as the only "happy" possibility. I myself have always considered the original ending, as ABT does it, perfectly happy. Evil Rothbart is defeated by the power of love and faith. The kingdom is restituted and the two lovers are reunited in a place where only goodness exist. Which is exactly the same in La Bayadere. Fair enough.
  12. Ooh..so now I might understand what Smekalov was trying to tell me about "50% original, 50 % mine". He kept telling me how HE had tried to add military hints to this variation, but that it was "based in the original". The original being what Burlaka learned from his teacher. So the variation was not notated, but rather passed down since La Vestale, although probably not used in a full length ballet ever since. Then Burlaka used it for Esmeralda, and years later Smekalov twisted it a bit for this Paquita.
  13. I will echo Drew's assessment of Khoreva. I saw her the three times she danced, and if on the first performance she looked disengaged during the acting/miming scenes, she made up more than enough with her great fouettes. Sharp, leg in perfect a la seconde in beautiful ronde de jambe-( unlike the very favored by Russians kick in the front , much used by Somova). Her fouettes were the best among the three ballerinas. Tereshkina is definitely a diva already at the Mariinsky. Her dramatic skills are over the top, and she's not shy at showing them. But....I have a problem with those uber accents she does with her mouth and head whenever there is a big "boom !" variation finishing. Almost as if saying "YEAH!!!" to elicit more reactions from the audience. I have seen many dancers do this, and never been too much of a fan. Khoreva looks definitely shyer-( although not insecure)- onstage, but her "lack" of big drama faces didn't really bothered me. Batoeva had the unfortunate event of getting Parish on her way while he tried to catch her on her double turn a la seconde . Her leg hit him hard, and she looked pissed for a second. Last night I watched Lacotte's production. It is definitely superior, libretto, sets and costumes wise, although he goes by Petipa's original 88 staging with only one variation for Paquita in the Grand Pas.
  14. I echo Mashinka's opinion. Too short if it's only Carmen. It is an enjoyable piece, but sans orchestra...?? Nah.
  15. Well....I was in all performances, and it looks to me she danced every day! I could be wrong ..but the woman danced A LOT. Quite a trouper Some thoughts on this Paquita. 1- I retract my words on the libretto. I read the whole synopsis of Cervantes' La Gitanilla, and Smekalov really followed through. Andres indeed desserts his post, becomes a gypsy, learns how to steal, kills another officer and then gets re instated and marries Paquita. 2- The secretary variation for Act I doesn't seem necessary. This character is way bigger on the novella, but here is way simplified, and his appearance doesn't really adds that much . He could had been just a mime character 3- The maid carrying the basket with the silver in act II was, from Tuesday to Saturday matinee, an honest servant who felt ashamed about being part of Carducha's plot. She hesitates , tries to stop her and then runs away in shame. Then on Saturday evening she becomes a conspirator, helping Carducha hide the goods in the cart and looking very eager to blame the gypsies. I wonder why. 3- The moment when Paquita and Andres are in shackles, the black curtain comes down for a change of scenery happens sans music...in an akward dragging of the culprits by officers that lasts for too long, while one can hear the noisy background of scenery change . 4- The cross handled by the priest over the lovers, which happens just for a sit of a split of a second, but still feels very significative, considering the times we're living. 5- The horrible sets of the Grand Pas. All that pink folliage, and the tacky two jardinieres with flowers on the top...and the hanging portraits from previous acts. Too much, and lacking elegance . And I would pick Paquita any time over Le Corsaire .
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