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Everything posted by cubanmiamiboy

  1. Hi Brinababy 87.! Welcome to Ballettalk and good luck with your lesson classes!
  2. This is a controversial topic. Trying to answer to the "why" questions , trying to talk about "real facts" or trying to come up with percentages or numbers can be, besides dangerous in terms of accuracy, harsh and/or offensive. MY PERSONAL OPINION in regard of this topic is that it is ALWAYS possible to overcome racial issues in favor of culture, good technique and diversity. Growing up watching Ballet Nacional de Cuba's totally racially mixed company was wonderful. Not only did i see Carlos Acosta developing all the way to finally become a premier dancer . Other black dancers names in leading positions from back then come to my mind (Caridad Martinez, Catherine Suaznabar and so on), so yes, i guess it can be strange for some to see no racial diversity in some companies.
  3. With the moderator permission, even knowing that several months have passed since her death, and as i just found this site a little while ago, i just wanted to post this note. Josefina Mendez died in Havana 26 January 2007. Josefina Méndez was prima ballerina of the Cuban National Ballet for almost 35 years and, after retiring from the stage in 1996, remained as its ballet mistress, teaching such young dancers as Carlos Acosta who has since been invited as a principal guest artist at the Royal Ballet. In recent years, she largely ran the company after her mentor, the ballet's founder and still director Alicia Alonso, became increasingly blind. Méndez, like Alonso before her, was praised by critics for her blend of classical technique, dramatic depth, freedom of expression and Latin passion, notably in the Ballet Nacional de Cuba (BNC)'s signature two-act Giselle, which she performed in productions worldwide, including as guest artist at the Paris Opéra. On first seeing her perform in the mid-1960s, the dance critic Arnold Haskell described her as "the queen of tragedy" and dubbed her and her three contemporary prima ballerinas at the BNC as "the four jewels of Cuban ballet", a tag they retained ever after.
  4. Hi, leonid , and thank you for your explanation about Mme. Plisetskaya. In her documentary she says that she did the substitution because she wouldn't want to take the train each time to go to the Vaganova Academy to learn the step properly, so she decided to to the pique turns, which i've seen also by Mme.Natalia Dudinskaya and love them, by the way. Like i said before, i would understand that a ballerina would decide to change some steps,(like Mme. Alonso doing sautees sur le point en arabesque penchee after the fouettees instead of the classic plie plie plie releve en pointe and so on), but in those cases, the public KNOWS who are they dealing with: STARS WHO HAVE PROVED THROUGH THEIR WHOLE CAREERS THAT THEY ARE PERFECTLY PREPARED TO DO ALL THE REQUIRED BALLET STEPS IN A SPECIFIC ROLE ( 32 fouetees included), so they feel free to change this or that here and there.
  5. This question has to be taken literally. 1- First of all, how can a ballerina be considered "outstandingly good" in ANY role (what about also Don Q. ?) if she "CAN'T RELIABLY DO 32 FOUETEES". Furthermore, how can she even be given the role of a premier dancer like Odette/Odile if she hasn't learn how to do a standard step properly (with the right quality AND AMOUNT for a required role), so.."should a ballerina...?" NO, SHE SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN THE ROLE. 2- If a ballerina HAS PROVED that she CAN'T do the step, SHE SOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO GO ONSTAGE TO STRUGGLE. THAT'S EMBARRASING TO HER AND DISRESPECTFUL TO THE PUBLIC. 3- About a substitution, that's another matters. Should she "be allowed to do something else instead?" Only if the ballerina is a recognized and respected superstar WHO HAS PROVED THROUGH THE YEARS HER CAPABILITY and decide to change a certain step for the thrill. I've never seen a recorded proof of Maya doing the fouetees, but hey...i don't really need to see it to figure that she could do them. This is Mme. Plisetskaya we're talking here. But if a ballerina has proved that she CAN'T do the step, NO, SHE SOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CHANGE IT. I hope i wasn't to harsh with my opinion.
  6. Hi everyone!. My name is Cristian. I've been living in Miami for the past 5 years and ballet is my passion. I recently discovered this web site, and after a few mistakes (i'm so soooooooo bad with computers), i finally seem to understand how does it works, and actually i've posted a couple of times. I would love to see an increase of ballet culture in Miami, which i hope it happens after the recent opening of the new Carnival Center (Miami City Ballet new home). We have the honor to have Mr. Edward Willela (Balanchine's original "Prodigal Son") as director and our annual Ballet Festival, leaded by Mr. Pedro Pablo Pena, is getting better and better each year. Overall, i'm just looking forward to interact with you all! Hope to see you around!: Cristian
  7. for welcome me Bart!. I'm very happy to contribute to the MCB forum and i'm looking forward to report on the upcoming 2007-2008 season. Having Sarabita and his little brother Daniel with us will be just wonderful. Both of them are EXCELENT dancers , and that's going to be the powerful male presence injection that MCB just need into its ever changing and stronger arteries !
  8. My favorite Siegfried ever was Rolando Sarabia back in the 90's at the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Back then he had a magnificent and powerful stage presence, and an innate "royal look" that was sometimes quite hard to maintain in an equal level by his Odette/Odile . He designed the character in such a strong manly way that it was particulary lovely to see him falling in love in Act II. It was like, "Wow, finally somebody has got him, ah?"
  9. I always get very emotional at the end of Giselle Act I. This love/deception/madness formula simply gets me very deep.
  10. I'm thrilled!. According to the MCB Web Site, Rolando Sarabia is among the recently updated list of Principal Dancers! . Now, the site doesn't show his picture yet, and also states "biography coming soon", but he's in the list for sure. I also searched in his former company official web site, and his name has been removed, so i guess this is for real. What a wonderful addition would it be. I've been watching Sarabita dancing since he was at the ballet school in Havana, and later when he was with Ballet Nacional de Cuba. He does the best "ronde de jambe" i've ever seen and his "pirouettes" in Don Q. are just out of this world! So, if so, Welcome Sarabita!
  11. According to some writings, prior to the 1895 Petipa/Ivanov/Drigo's modified version, there was a production of the ballet dated february 17 and 22 1894. Now, according to some sources, it was only the 2nd Act, staged by Ivanov, what was presented, while other authors refer to this production as the first one in where Pierina Legnani did the first 32 fouetees ever done in a Swan Lake. Furthermore, some books even refer to her performance in the "Grand Pas of the last Act" and her "great technique in the Grand Pas d'Action of the II Act" , so that would be a discrepancy. My question: DOES ANYBODY KNOWS IF THERE IS ANY FACTUAL EVIDENCE OF WHAT WAS PRESENTED IN THIS PRE 1895 PRODUCTION, AND IF THIS PRODUCTION WAS ONLY OF THE II ACT, WHERE DID LEGNANI PERFORMED THE 32 FOUETEES?, AND THEN IF THIS 1894 PRODUCTION INCLUDED ACT III , AND THE NEW INTERPOLATIONS AND SUBSTITUIONS DIDN'T OCCUR UNTIL JANUARY 1895, WHAT MUSIC DID LEGNANI DANCED TO, THE MINKUS/THAIKOWSKY/PETIPA/SOBESHCHANSKAYA PDD (TPDD) ? MEL...PLEEEASE...
  12. Act IV has always been controversial in every SL stage through the years. I've seen several versions of it, and frankly, for the modern public, way far from the XIX Century Russian one used to a very different and early technique, it's kinda hard to endure a full length IV act in the way Petipa intended. In her version for the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Alonso has three acts plus a condensed epilogue, which uses some of the '77 music of the last act. According to her account she had observed how in some Havana productions from the past-(Mary Skeaping's)-people wouldn't stand in the theatre for the IV act, giving that the last piece of bravura_(the Black Swan PDD)-was over. The public would just leave during the III intermezzo, so she came out with the idea of a brief ending after the ballroom scene-(without intermezzo, hence kind of forcing the audience to stay)-, in which the backdrops would quickly change in the back, in the dark, while Sigfried would rush his way to the lake to look for Odette-(to the so-called "storm music"). Lights back on, lakeside, Odette/Siegfriend/Rothbart, the fight...and done deal, finito, your hands still warm after the Odile's fouettes clapping while you indulge in the vision of the two lovers reunited in the final apotheosis.
  13. Mmm...tough question. Need some time to think about it...
  14. Hi From company to company, at the Black Swan PDD coda we're used to see Odile's standard 32 fouetees. Then, right after, the most of the stagings set Odile performing a backward series of sautees in a plie,plie,plie/releve/pointe sequence and so on. That was very surprising for me the first time I ever saw it back in Cuba done by a foreign ballerina in a Havana Ballet Festival for which I was used to see instead a series of sautees sur le pointe en arabesque penchee fallowed by balance en attitude derrière and followed by a sequence of pique/chainees to a final climatic fish dive. My question is : Has anybody seen this version? Where does it comes from? Mel?
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