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Posts posted by cubanmiamiboy

  1. 22 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

    Does the Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux strike you as even remotely seductive? It doesn't seem that way to me, so I can't imagine how it could be made to work dramatically in that context. 

    Choreography wise...? Well of course! At some point there's even a little hand playing between the dancers! And many ballerinas do a lot of eye flirting while in the entree/adagio. Ashley Bouder, for instance.

  2. 13 hours ago, canbelto said:

    Uh ... the choreography just doesn;t fit Swan Lake. It's more a 9 minute virtuoso display and thus the perfect gala piece. I also couldn;t imagine anyone doing the Tchai pas in an Odile costume,

    Oh...there would be no changes whatsoever. My idea includes the notion of respecting ALL aspects of the gala piece, including the original costumes. I would certainly welcome Balanchine's creation within a SL. The audience would had a double treat. 1- The Choreography by Balanchine and 2- The opportunity to listen to this deleted and now almost unknown 1877 SL music, along with the little Sobeshchanskaya/Minus/Tchaikovsky/Petipa story on the how and why it got created and eventually deleted. With the actual vast array of endless black tutu'ed carbon copy Odiles around the world, the Tchai Pas would be quite a refreshing contender! As per being a virtuoso piece. Well....every pdd of the classical repertoire I can think of is surely a virtuoso piece. Some of them EVEN MORE "showy" than Tchai pas-( as with everything where we expect 32 routes).  Tchai Pas has, to my eyes, really nothing that moves away from the classical language. It's pure classical ballet to pure "musique dansante".

  3. How about Tchai Pas? I know ...it is sacrosanct Balanchine, but.... wouldn't you like to see it , aside from a gala piece, as part of a Swan Lake ..? (Given that it would be ok by the Powers that Be). For instance... considering that there's already a Petipa Black Swan across the plaza, I think the past could had certainly fit well in Martins ballroom act of his SL. AND keeping Karinska's costume could also be an interesting alternative to the ever present black tutu'ed Odile. Yes...? No....? 😎

  4. 4 minutes ago, canbelto said:

    Pas de Quatre was also part of Boston Ballet's digital season. 

    I could DEFINITELY see a two acts neo-Romantic new creation by Ratmansky with the second act made of Dolin's piece. Maybe something on Taglioni....? And then she can mingle with her peers in act II.😎

    6 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

    Vaganova's "Diana and Acteon" pas de deux was an insertion into Esmeralda, which Yuri Burlaka and Vasily Medvedev retained in their production.

    I think it sticks out like a sore thumb, which is why I generally wouldn't be in favor of the practice. But then I dislike gala pieces in general, so their inclusion in a full-length narrative ballet wouldn't be a draw for me.

    In that Esmeralda, the D&A pas is shown as a "tapestry becomes alive" event, with the court observing. I quite liked the idea.

  5. Hello all!

    I've been absent for quite a while.  I'm truly sick of this COVID thing.  No ballet...no nothing. I truly hope at some point of our lives we will be able to walk around again without the annoying masks.  Truly sickening.

    Well...there have been no live performances, and I'm not into the whole streaming thing.  I rarely watch TV, let along computer or phone streaming.  I don't even watch films at home.  Well...let me rephrase that.  I actually just started watching some...but I am truly a cinema guy.  Well...things are very limited now and so I decided to venture a bit into the whole online world, mainly for clasic films and ballet videos. 

    So today I was watching Grand Pas Classique...a pdd I love very much, and that sadly...we don't get to see performed much nowadays.  Yes...it is a gala performance piece, and as such...only at galas can we only enjoy it.  But then...there are many other pieces on that same category.  Classical, beautiful pdd's and even a pas de quatre. Gala pieces that are all but disappearing from our balletic memory.  Those by Balanchine are the most fortunate, given that they are periodically revived by Balanchine-based companies.  I'm thinking of Tchaikovsky PDD, Le talisman PDD and Sylvia PDD.  Maybe others...?  Then, out of Balanchine context, there are others, like the aforementioned Pas de deux Classique, Le Carnival de Venezia pdd-(aka Fascination pdd ) or even the Grand Pas de Quatre.  And I was thinking....would it be possible, legally speaking, to attempt to fit this pieces into new full length creations...? 

    Could, for example, Tchaikovsky pdd be included in a new production of Swan Lake with the necessary trademark and Trust permissions and requirements...? Could Grand Pas Classique be included in a totally new ballet...maybe a "revival" of an old text, with totally  new choreo for the whole thing, but including said pas in its entire form...? If you saw the Mariinsky Paquita, you know what I'm talking about.  For that that Paquita Smekalov took the Grand Pas just as we all know it from Petipa's time, and reworked the whole rest of the ballet into a totally different thing from, let's say, Lacotte's....both choreographically and libretto wise.  I would love for choreographers to do the same with this "forgotten" pieces, so a well known, exciting element can be used as bait for...maybe a wonderful night at the ballet...?

    I could definitely watch a whole neo-romantic ballet in which the last act is a party with a set of divertissements made for four distinguished guest Romantic-era ballerinas! -(wink wink Anton Dolin)

    A good or a terrible idea...?  😉

  6. On 12/24/2020 at 8:03 PM, pherank said:

    I've tried various times, but have been unable to find any written statements from Japanese ballet goers on the Bugaku subject. The objections I've seen have always come from people in the West. That doesn't prove anything - it just means I've seen no "data" whatsoever from Japan.

    The "by extension" concept...

    And now that you mention it... wouldn't it be interesting to survey a Japanese ballet troupe on the subject...? 🤔

  7. On 12/20/2020 at 12:54 PM, nanushka said:

    I don't think that "it has been decided that it might offend Japanese people"; it does offend.

    Any specific example you might want to share ...? I myself have never encountered a ballet viewer who was personally offended by the piece. I don't doubt that they might exist, or that many on this forum understand and hence might felt "offended by extension"-( as with whites within the BLM movement). But I haven't certainly never encountered an Asian offended by Balanchine's ballet. 

  8. 17 hours ago, pherank said:

    Me thinks someone didn't like traditional Japanese cultural references, period.  😉

    "There's a whole set of cliches none of them escapes: flexed feet, stamps in second position, turned-in knees, curled fingers"
    > This begs the question: what visual references or cues should an artist use when trying to work with Japanese-specific dance movement? Which aspects are OK to investigate and which are not?

    I have a feeling this reviewer was in no position to determine that Mayuzumi's music was "one of the worst" scores Balanchine ever used. I doubt this person knew what to make of the Gagaku court music style.

    Toshiro Mayuzumi - Bugaku, ballet in two parts (Court Dance Music)

    Gagaku - Ancient Japanese Court Music

    I've heard all and read all, and it is all very subjective, aesthetically speaking. I hated Woezzeck at the MET, and some people I know loved it.  The PC aspect of the ballet is a whole different story. That it has been decided that it might offend Japanese people because it is a western fantasy on an Asian subject...a chinoiserie of some sorts, well...that might be.  In my own world of ballet aesthetics it is a winner. I love it. I find it entertaining, misterious and very refined...and I wish it would be performed more regularly. To each its own, like they say....?

  9. Trust your own, as Drew says! If you don't have access to live performances, dig into videos. Compare different versions. One important, to me, issue in regards to ballet viewing is to define what aspect of the art form is more interesting to you. Hardcore ballet fans, or balletomannes, seem to fall into certain categories. Some of us , like myself, dwell more into the historical side of it. Performance history, reconstructions, recreations, and the like. Some others are more into dancers. They might be at stage doors getting pictures and autographs. Sort of the grupie type. Some might be ex dancers or ex ballet students themselves. Some of us, like myself, might focus more on the technical aspect of dancers, while others worship theatricals and dramatically driven performers.

    My advise...? Watch a lot of the same ballet. Different versions....different dancers. At some point you will realize that "Oh...I didn't see THAT on that other performance!", and so you eye gets trained. 

    A more focused advise...? Start your journey in a chronological way. With the oldest Romantic period ballets. Then go to Russia, Petipa and the classics, step then into Paris and Diaghilev and finally move to America and Balanchine. Of course....there are many other choreographers, but that would be a good guide I think. 

    Good luck!

  10. Bumping up a bit this thread, although not to offer yet another "alternative" ending.

    I just watched an interview from Beverly Sills to Peter Martins during the intermission of his Swan Lake, from the "Live from LC" video. At some point she asks him a very direct question: "How is it possible to change a ballet finale...? I mean, as much as I wanted for Violetta to survive in La Traviata, that's just not possible. Don't you have to follow a certain original text?" To which Martins answers her not exactly addressing her question but more like dwelling into the dramatic components of his SL ending vs many others. "There are so many endings out there", he says. 

    If I could have answered that question, it will be something along the lines of "Yes...there is an original libretto, which states a particular finale, the double suicide and ascension to heavens of the leading characters. I just, like many other choreographers out there, took the liberty to change it. This is quite easy to do, since we don't have to change the score"

    Damian Woetzel is also in the interview, and he also offers somehow an explanation, altough he gets his facts wrong. He hints at the double suicide being a Soviet product, which we know is not the case. 


  11. I've watched this many times during this hideous lockdown, and I agree with all previous assessments. This staging is a total winner. A cornerstone in this ballet's history. As many have observed, the most radical aspect of it , dramatically, is for the audience to be presented with this totally different design of Bathilde, who morphs from the well known high nosed, cold princess to a concerned and warm noble woman who doesn't show any sign of being too affected by his fiance's bachelor stunt with a sickly, fragile peasant girl. When both Giselle and her are pointing at their fingers, indicating that they are both linked to the same man, she doesn't look as if she feels threatened by her nemesis whatsoever.  Bathilde discovers the affair, and still she knows that this girl is no competition for her. Even further...she shows pity for her...she feels sorry for her. That and the fact that she, along the whole court, stays during the entire mad and death scene, is quite a statement.  Many modern productions have her and the court abandon the scene in its beginning, leaving only the peasants onstage.  Very interesting.

    The final scene of Act II is quite the main dish among the recreated additions.  I have read accounts of the original libretto stating that Bathilde witnesses the whole exchange and farewell in between Albrecht and Giselle.  I even recall that they describe her kneeling and trembling while watching.  Ratmansky doesn't really places her during the exchange, but rather have her come into the stage right after Giselle has been swallowed by the earth, but he clearly follows the original idea of Giselle reminding Albrecht that he has a moral duty to marry Bathilde, to whom he should go. By having Albrecht reach the hand of Bathilde at the end, Ratmansky totally breaks the sacrosanct XX century image of a lonely and sorrowful Albrecht closing the ballet. Brilliant.

    I'm still very confused about Giselle being taken to the grass instead of going back to her grave. What is this...? Does she cease to be a Willi..? Is that a hint that she becomes corporeal...? Wat's your take on this...?

    Also...does anybody knows at what point in history did the idea of having Bathilde in the final scene disappeared ? Did it even make it to Petipa's re staging...? In any of the books of Markova-(quite the earliest direct link to the original Imperial version)- she mentions anything about it.


  12. On 10/16/2020 at 8:40 PM, Fairandlove said:

    444. On May 25, 2018, without permission or authority, Plaintiff returned to and entered Mr. Finlay's apartment.
    445. Plaintifftexted Mr. Finlay and demanded that he turn over contact information of his married friend referred to above. She demanded money from both of them. Her demand increased to a payment of $20,000.
    446. Both men asked that she not involve the married man or advise his wife of the sharingofanyphotographs. ThemarriedmantextedPlaintiffthathewouldlosehisjob,hiswife and his school status.
    447. Plaintifftexted Mr. Finlay later that day, "I'm sure city ballet would looooooove this." (Emphasis supplied.)
     448. The men agreed to pay her $20,000 but Plaintiff ultimately abandoned her demand under the belief that she could obtain even more money.
    449. Plaintiff subsequently implied to at least one dancer that Mr. Finlay's family should pay her because she believed they were "pretty well off," owned "five houses," and that "these types of cases" were worth "$200,000" and that if the dancer filed a lawsuit she "would win a lot" of money because the NYCB had insurance companies that would pay her and the NYCB was worth a half billion dollars.


    Disgusting.  Extorsion 101.

  13. 3 hours ago, On Pointe said:

    In my opinion,  no,  it didn't.  It may have negatively impacted the public image of Finlay and Ramasar,  but I don't believe it hurt the company's image.

    I think every time a big scandal happens within the ballet world that somehow seems to hint at its inner world the company image gets indeed tainted. Being Bolshoi with the acid attack, being a ballerina speaking out -( Kirkland, Volochkova, Womack, Morgan among others), being an AD being removed due to sexual conduct-( Martins)- bits and pieces of the enclosed world of ballet is revealed as a Pandora's box for the rest of the world to peak and be scandalized at. And those stories stay somehow in people's minds. Tell me that if after the acid attack your vision of how the Bolshoi was the same...

  14. 1 hour ago, GB1216 said:

    In terms of NYCB and SAB, I do think the ruling had it right.  Organizations and companies can’t be held liable for actions outside of their sphere of influence.

    Gelsey Kirkland's point relayed heavily on this. She believed that, besides her own, NYCB and its directives-( Balanchine at the time)- were indeed very responsible for turning a blind eye to situations. 

  15. On 10/12/2020 at 4:34 PM, canbelto said:

    Due process is overrated. The only way rape and sexual assault will stop is if we BURN THE WHOLE PLACE DOWN. Make men suffer collectively for the way women have been victimized over the years.

    I'm glad that Ramasar didn't have his career destroyed, and that his is a cautionary tale for all men, both those guilty or those others who might suffer unjustified vilification if your theory is indeed being applied to them.

  16. 14 hours ago, Helene said:

    Not according to the US Department of Health & Human Services, which defines sexual assault broadly to include any non-consensual sexual activity and this does not require physical contact or revenge as a motive.


    But I'm confused. If they had consensual sex, that could be considered assault due to the unknown, to her, recording...?

  17. On 1/26/2020 at 4:39 PM, Drew said:

    @cubanmiamiboy did you catch the Bolshoi Giselle broadcast? In addition to the fugure, I thought you might have enjoyed seeing the straight diagonal of turns (instead of a circle of piques) at the end of Giselle's Act I solo....

    Hi Drew! Sorry for this delayed response. Hadn't visited the site in a while. So...of course I saw the wonderful recon with both the recreated Fugue and Spessivtzeva's diagonal. It was great! And here's the Fugue. Enjoy !


  18. Miami is tough as a city. It takes a while to get used to it. Many never do.  And the company is a very enclosed one. Super small and super closed. This dancers are like a little Rat Pack. And when there's someone who doesn't quite really fit, it's very noticeable from their social media platforms. I believe that was the case with Messmer and also somehow with Morgan too. The whole idea of calling anything Miami "home" is an enormous task that many never conquer. I'm still a work in progress after 21 years, and I sort of smelled Morgan wouldn't adapt that easy. I know Eddie never did either.

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