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Anne

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Everything posted by Anne

  1. Just found this small film on youtube made by Alexander Kølpin about Nikolaj Hübbe's last performance in La Sylphide April 2:
  2. This explanation makes perfectly sense to me!
  3. I never saw Nureyev live on stage, so what I wrote about his noisy landings is only second hand knowledge, I guess from some book (and now I can't find out which book, though I have frantically ploughed my way through my bookcases to find out). I envy you, Nanarina, for having had the possibility of seing him live! Some of the magic of a dancer survives on film but not all. Especially the soaring quality of a high jump is difficult to capture on film. A couple of years ago I saw a stageperformance of Flindts ”The Lesson” with Johan Kobborg and he almost took one’s breath away by the way he could float through the air, and going up almost without preparation. At home with a videorecording of the very same performance it still looked great but nothing spectacular. From Alexandra's and Mel’s answers I understand that a noisy landing somehow reflects a lack of technique, not just a choice on the side of the dancer, and also that a soft landing is more healthy than a noisy one. Being a Dane myself I do see a lot of Danish dancers and know that it is possible to jump gloriously and land absolutely silently, just look at Thomas Lund and Andrew Bowman (though the latter comes from abroad). I don't want to sound stubborn but I still can't free myself from the impression that with many dancers the point where they start going downwards, positioning the landing leg in a more vertical angle, somehow sets in a splitsecond earlier when planning a soft landing, especially in the big leaps where the dancers try to "sit" in the air (as opposite to the grand jete where the jump is more horizontal and speedy - please excuse my amateurism when trying to describe!). From my (amateur) viewing point it looks like a kind of sudden curbing the leap. Well, what I see is maybe just different styles or techniques of jumping and in the end it hasn’t got anything to do with how much noise you do when landing. But I have thought of this for years and just wanted to ”get it off my chest”.
  4. I know that there has already been a thread about this topic (soft landings) long ago - but I still wonder about one thing: does a soft landing have a price? I have noticed that for example many of the male dancers of the POB are landing with a very loud bump. I have experienced it both live and on dvd, and it is the case of both soloists and corps, even very good soloists like Nicolas le Riche. At the same time I must admit that the POB have some of the best "jumpers" in the world, and plenty of them! Nureyev, who was a very good jumper too, is said to have been landing quite noisily. Sometimes when I see a very silent dancer I have the feeling that the effort to land silently somehow happens at the cost of the glory or the length of the jump. Does anyone know about this problem? I have noticed that many people on this board know a lot about technique which I don't.
  5. If we stick to talking about Bournonville I think the size of the house means a lot, but not all. A really good mime is able to let you imagine his or her facial expression through the body language. But of cause you get an extra dimension when you're able to see the faces, and if the theatre is not to big the dancers won't have to overdo it, which would spoil the delicacy of the style. I think it is one of the reasons for keeping the Bournonville ballets at the old stage in Copenhagen in stead of moving them to the new and bigger operahouse at the harbour. Bournonville is nourished by the intimacy of a small theatre, where the dancers can really communicate with their audience. You can't transfer it to a big house without losing some of its charme, which doesn't mean that you can't transfer it at all. Normally I like to sit many rows away from the stage or on one the balconys to be able to overview the stage, see the formations (or if it's an opera I don't like to see all the physical effort the singing takes) etc., but if it's Bournonville I like to sit right in the front, not to miss any detail. And you only seldom have the feeling that this expression or that movement is meant to be seen from the gallery. That of cause is only possible in a small theatre. But I think Alexandra is right when she says that it is also dependent on an audience who is conscious of what it should be looking for.
  6. I'm afraid you'll find A Folktale equally lopsided. But if the Bournonville mime is done well and with musicality it can be a very refined thing. Maybe one can compare the mime with the recitatives in the operas (the passages where the singing is closer to speaking and where the story is brought forward more speedily than in the arias): In the first place you find them a bit boring, but after a time you realize how much delicacy can be put into them, it's just more low-key than the real dancing. Personally I love the mime passages in Bounonville's ballets, because they give the dancers all the opportunities to create real characters. Have you tried "La Sylphide"? It's available on dvd in a RDB production from the late eighties, and it's a very good one indeed! I think you'll find the proportions there more classical, more ballet-like, though you'll have to plough your way through a lot mime there too. But what mime!!! Especially Sorella Englund as the whitch is marvelous. I understand why you wonder why there aren't more RDB-productions available on video/dvd, I wonder too. I'm afraid the reasons have nothing to do with artistic notions as you so kindly suggest. Far more it's the sad story of the strong Danish artists unions, who think their primary role is to secure the rights and salaries of the artists, making any release even of existing footage too expensive. It's very shortsighted, and in the end they are cutting off the branch they are sitting on.
  7. I would love to subscribe on this quarterly, especially because of the article on Hübbes farewell in the latest issue. But can it really be true that one cannot subscribe or pay in any other way than by sending a letter by snailmail enclosing a "a check, or international money order"? Isn't there any possibility of paying in some on-line way? It costs (at least in Denmark it does) a fortune to have a check made by the bank, about half of the prize for the quarterly itself.
  8. If you happen to be in Aarhus during the annual "Aarhus Festival" (August 29 - September 7) don't miss this possibility to hear Nikolaj Hübbe, the newly appointed balletmaster of the RDB, tell about his life and career as a balletdancer and above all about his thoughts and plans for the future of the RDB: Nikolaj Hübbe - et liv i dansen As he doesn't dance himself any more () he brings two of the finest dancers from the RDB: Silja Schandorff and Kristoffer Sakurai, who will do the dancing in stead. If you have difficulties with the Danish in the link above, here come some information about about time and place in English: Sunday, August 31 at 3 o'clock in "Archauz", Valdemars Gade 1, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
  9. I'm happy to see somebody mentioning David Wall. I recently bought the dvd with the RB production of Macmillans Manon, and everytime I watch it I'm astonished by Walls Lescaut. The whole cast is fabulous, but Wall is a real phenomena in timing and partnering. I never get tired of wathing his drunken pas de deux with Monaica Mason in the second act, it's absolutely hilarious! I have been looking everywhere to find some more recordings with this dancer, but without any luck so far. Can anyone help?
  10. Anne

    Hello!

    Thank you for your welcome! I know the book on Kronstam by Tomalonis and I did actually read it with great interest when the book was new. At that time I was really surprised to read how big Kronstams influence on the young dancers under his guidance has been, and I think this book has hugely contributed to make this common knowledge. Many dancers, too, have paid their tributes to Kronstam in books and interviews, and somehow I find it very beautiful that one of his most succesful pupils - and one who is very conscious about this heritage - is now coming back to the theatre as a balletmaster. With Nikolaj Hübbe as ballet master it's my hope that the qualities Kronstam represented will be kept alive at the theatre.
  11. Anne

    Hello!

    I'm new on this site allthough I have been a guest viewer for a couple of years by now. It has been really interesting to follow the discussions on the site, and I think one gets a lot of information too. So why not sign up and be a proper member I finally thought. So here I am! A little bit about myself: Personally I'm a great fan of the Royal Danish Ballet and being a Dane myself it's no wonder, but to see how much people on this site know about this company and it's dancers is really amazing. Of course I do go and see performances in many other places and I especially admire the dancers of the Paris Opera, but everytime I see a performance in one of those big houses I miss the intimacy of the RDB. My heart belongs to the RDB with all it's ups and downs, and fortunately they have had most ups lately! Being a great fan of Nikolaj Hübbe I have great expectations to his taking over as ballet master next year, but at the same time it is so sad, because it means the end of his dancing career. My favorite dancers? Nikolaj Hübbe, Gudrun Bojesen and Heidi Ryom. My favorite ballet? "Sylfiden" by Bournonville That's all from me for the time being!
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