Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Weese Instead of Kistler.............

Recommended Posts

I't been so long since I've posted here, I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this question.....

I've been going through all my videos and happened to come across the vhs I taped of Peter Martin's Swan Lake. Of course, Miranda Weese danced Odette/Odile, but during the intermission, we are treated to an interview with Beverly Sill and including Darci Kistler. Why didn't Kistler dance? Was Weese a last-minute replacement? As I watched the video for the first time in years, all I could think about was how much I would have liked to have seen Kistler in that role. :thumbsup:

If this is posted in the wrong forum, please move it accordingly - I've been out of the Ballet Alert "loop" for quite some time now...!

Link to comment

The company attributed the substitution to an injury.

The NYCB Swan was broadcast just a few days following its premiere, which Darci danced. To my knowledge, she still has not done a second Odette/Odile. I question the wisdom of putting that kind of pressure on the dancers. I really think that dealing with a new production in which they're less than fully comfortable is pressure enough, and adding to that the extraordinary pressure of a live broadcast seems excessive. :sweating:

ABT did the same with its Live from Lincoln Center Petipa evening. Although most of the dancers were familiar with most of the ballets, the Raymonda was (if I remember correctly) a new staging, and Cheryl Yeager, the Florine in Aurora's Wedding, had danced the role only once before.

You think maybe in these situations there should be subtitles that say "New to this"?

Link to comment

ABT also did La Bayadere live a few days after it's premiere.Marianna Tcherkssasky replaced N Makarova in the 2nd act due to Natalya's injury but they knew ahead that Natalya would not be able to do the 2nd act.Anyway, Marianna was just just beautiful in this role.


Link to comment

Was the full Bayadere still that new when it was telecast? I didn't remember that. I'm sorry that Marianna didn't do more Nikiyas. Great role for her -- especially in the Shades Act. Apparently The Powers decided that she was not a short-tutu dancer. :D:dry:

Link to comment

Like Carbro, I believe Kistler only did the one full length (Martins) Swan Lake -- in the press, the critics uniformly indicated that, at that point, that she was not up to the technical demands of the role. Everyone I read was fairly polite, but nothing in what they said suggested that somehow or other her 'artistry' or great beauty somehow made up for difficulties with the dancing. (If anyone reading these posts had a different impression, or saw the performance and would like to respond -- please do so!) I definitely received the impression that the role was not something that she could master...Presumably if it had come earlier in her career, she might have done so.

Of course, Balanchine's one-act Swan Lake was one of Kistler's very first principle roles and critics and audiences were excited about her and seemed to love her performance in the role from the start. Ironically, I found her a little too athletic and blithely youthful -- I think this was one of the first seasons she was dancing -- but I saw her dance the it again, a few years later (?) and thought she had grown to be quite simply beautiful in the role, grand and poetic. (Yvonnne: perhaps you had the chance to see her dance the Balanchine one-act Swan Lake? I had at first thought that that must be what made you curious about the full-length version -- but there are many reasons to want to see Kistler do anything...)

Edited by Drew
Link to comment

Hi Drew,

I've only seen a snippet of Kistler dancing Swan Lake (I think it was a workshop performance that was shown on the video "Dancing for Mr. B".)

I was mainly curious because of Beverly Sill's interview with Kistler, where they talk about Martin's new Swan Lake and her role in it. This was shown on PBS during the intermission of Swan Lake. I just watched it and thought, "why are they airing this when she's not even in the production........") :devil:

Of course, I had forgotten that she had to withdraw at the last minute and the show must go on........I would have hated to be Weese on that evening - talk about pressure!

Does anyone remember how Weese's performance went over?? Was it considered a success?

Link to comment

Disaster-free and capable, and heroic for her grace under pressure. :devil: Again, though, one would have wished that the ballerina -- Weese or anyone else -- might have had time to know the role deeply in the way that only experience can bring.

Link to comment

I was reading this topic (VERY) belatedly...but as I just watched the video, I wanted to mention one tremendous moment in Miranda's Odile. In the coda of the pas de deux, she is hopping backwards on pointe and after three hops she takes this ungodly balance and just stands there. You'd almost think the tape had paused. Then her left hand moves, so slightly...like the involuntary fluttering of a bird's wing.,..and then she continues. I have watched this segment dozens of times and it gives me a thrill every time.

I believe Darci created this production in Copenhagen, danced it once at Saratoga and once at State Theatre. On the night of the telecast, Miranda replaced Darci at very short notice. The Sills/Kistler/Woetzel/Martins interview had been pre-taped so they used it even though Darci didn't dance.

Does anyone know if there will be a telecast this season? Like...on Balanchine's Birthday???

Link to comment

According to the NYCB, Silja Schandorff was the original lead in Copenhagen.

"Premiere: October 27, 1996, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Theatre, Copenhagen

New York City Ballet and American premiere: April 29, 1999

Original cast: Silja Schandorff, Kenneth Greve

Original New York City Ballet cast: Darci Kistler, Damian Woetzel"

This was the posting on the NYCB on Live at Lincoln Center broadcast


Link to comment

I have to admit, I was pretty pleased when Weese took over the role on broadcast night. Darci danced it at the gala and was pretty much stretched beyond her limit. The role came about 10 years too late (or at least 5-6 years). But Kistler had been a wonderful Swan Queen in Balanchine's version, even as late as 1995.

Link to comment

I saw Weese the next night, performing with Peter Boal - with whom she actually rehearsed - before I saw the telecast. For obvious reasons, that couple had a lot more connection than the "shotgun" marriage the night before. I've got to hand it to Weese though, she's one of the few who has the steeliness to deal with that situation, and it's the sort of thing Martins respects.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...