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About Andrew73

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan - with a special interest in Giselle
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  1. Is that the usual way in the Netherlands? In the UK, the DVD comes out long after the TV showing. If ever!
  2. I've seen many versions of Giselle, both live and recorded, and I've never heard of this part of La Bayadere being used. On the other hand, Versions of La Bayadere vary a little, so it would be worth your while to take a look at a few, as Gina suggests.
  3. Beautifully put - the dancer needs to be true to themselves, and to the part they are performing - that means they need to be following direction - but also that the director needs to know them! That should avoid both the rictus at one extreme and the 'over the top' displays of personality at the other, that people have described above. From an audience POV, I'd guess that some parts in some ballets would require much more self discipline than others.
  4. I'm not at all sure what the problem is; when I first started seeing live ballet regularly, one of the few things that I found distracting was the grinning rictus that appeared on many faces - and sometimes the whole corps (much as described by Merrill Ashley, above). It must have been choregraphed, and was awful, robotic and distracting. Happily, that seems much rarer now. I'd suggest that teaching dancers to focus effort on facial expression is an error; for a start, they have more important things to do, also attempting a half-smile, 'to disguise effort' could end up an almost anything aft
  5. Kudos to those who put personal fortune after artistic effort, and stay loyal to Alonso and NBC - it's a fantastic organization from a nation of only 10 million people and no money. That is something any dancer can be proud of; I pray that the defections do not do lasting damage ... but history shows us that no-one is indispensible! Let us hope that 2009 brings permanent change, to benefit of all, not just the ballet.
  6. I suspect that 'guests' having their own distribution deals will increase, and the companies will have to learn to live with it. In this case, however, I feel your pessimism is unfounded. I very much doubt we are being 'deprived' of anyone else - much more likely that without his agent and distributor pressing the RB, there would be no DVD performances at all. If he is managing to get them to get their act together, kudos to him. And if he can do the same for CNB, double kudos!
  7. For that matter, why aren't there more vintage ballet performances on DVD? Many have been televised over the years, but few have reached the market. Once the production has been filmed, the costs of producing DVDs is fairly small - and at the prices ballet DVDs sell for, it would not take huge sales to more than pay for themselves. I think the problem is more a small-minded marketing issue; they don't want to bring out older performances, as they may be favourably compared to new ones, and they don't want to release new ones, in case they undermine attendance at the theatre. Both arguments
  8. I'll vote for that...Have you ever have the opportunity to see the company... live...? No - I was away when they came to London recently. I'm going to Cuba in December .. must find out what my options are - but both the web sites (www.balletcuba.cu and www.balletcuba.cult.cu) have gone.
  9. I think the ballet is uneven; I always enjoy it, but at the same time, I'm always a little disappointed. With a great ballet, the 'whole' must be greater than 'the parts', and Manon doesn't pass that test. I suspect the problem is not just the music, and not the choreography so much as a story that is unevenly paced and does not do justice to all the key characters. It's never fair to judge a ballet after seeing Sylvie Guillem; you'll always come away feeling it was great
  10. Some might argue that 'scarcely performed at all' is still too often.
  11. For me, it's one of MacMillan's best*; I've only seen the Royal Ballet's version, but I've always enjoyed it, and I think it's well received in London every time. I think it's important for a full-length ballet to have a strong story to tell - and Manon certainly does. "Ironically, the ballet contains none of the music from Massenet's opera Manon, with which it shares an almost identical story. The music ... is drawn from other works by Massenet" - Wikipedia *I'm not a great Macmillan fan, I have to confess!
  12. There's two separate issues here, she may have one or the other or both! DVDs are regional; this is a big problem, but many DVD players can easily be converted to 'multiregion' ('region 0), with simple resetting using the remote. It's cheaper for the manufacturers to make one standard machine and put regional settings, than make different machines for each region. Google the make and model and the word 'multiregion', and you'll soon find out! As has been said, if this fails, then a computer's DVD player will usually suffice - and many portable DVD players are also multiregion form the start.
  13. Until I joined here, I'd seen a fair number of live Giselles, but few on video; now, having read about the many superb performances on video, I've seen quite a number of them. I don't think there is a 'best', as, so far, I've not seen one that excels in ALL areas. Makarova/Baryshnikov has often been described as the 'definitive' Giselle, and it's marvellous, but amazing though Baryshnikov was in that performance, Seymour/Nureyev gives us a superior Albrecht in the dramatic scenes - while Baryshnikov flys through the air, Nureyev stamps on your heart. But Makarova/Baryshnikov probably gave u
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