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Pas de Quatre

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According to the Illustrated London News of the period, there was no moment which betrayed any jealousy among the four superstars. This is also the account which records the opening moments of the work as the curtain opening on a bare stage and the four ballerine entering from up left to take their opening tableau. I've seen it done this way, and with the right people, it works better than opening on a ground-fogged stage, or a blackout with a downspot on the tableau. Cerrito was certainly a great favorite in England, though. There's a wonderful period cartoon which makes use of the way most Britons pronounced her name. It shows a little girl doing a developpé a la seconde, and saying to her aged grandmother, "Look, Granny, Cer-i-to" To which the old lady replies, "I'll Sir-high-toe you, if you don't stop showing your pantaloons that way!"

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According to the Illustrated London News of the period, there was no moment which betrayed any jealousy among the four superstars

- interesting! maybe not enough people who stage this ballet are aware of that...

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seems to me another example of the 'will you trust the ballet?' question balanchine reportedly posed to the folk wanting to film his works for television. too often it seems unlikely that ballet will be trusted for and of itself. 'directors' and/or various 'presenters' of ballet often can't help but intrude upon or add to what the work's so-called text might be.

i suspect that the campy/competitive accent - sometimes more pronounced, sometimes less - is a result of assuming the 'feelings' of the ballerina/originators of the dance. or perhaps it was encouraged by dolin in his pastiche.

maybe some who know from experience hearing what stagers say regarding dolin's wishes can elaborate.

from my limited seeing of this number performed - as i recall the kirov tended to refrain from all eye-rolling/haughty interactions among the four - the less 'editorializing' of competitive attitudes the better. however much these individuals might have felt competitive it's unlike to my way of seeing that any would have telescoped those feelings to an audience. wearing insecurity on a sleeve hardly seems something an accomplished and confident ballerina might do.

still, it's important to distinguish what details are/were apt to perrot's ballet and what to dolin's.

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Yes rg, according to the tape I have, the only moment that might be construed as 'competitive' is when Taglioni bows just one more time to Cerrito before leaving the stage, but it's not exactly mean-spirited.

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On a birthday gala performance for Thomas Armour in Miami many years ago, we saw Hiller Huhn's Grisi pas de bourree - fouette right into the proscenium. Vincente Nebrada's Cerrito was so young and vivacious I thought she might explode. Ben Stevenson as Taglion entered for the variation with a pistol. No second bow there!

:grinning: :D:P :sweating: :D

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O god, Glebb, I miss you.

I can't get over how much I l;ove this ballet, and how grateful i am to Dolin for staging his version, which is of course a pastiche and a re-imagining, but I haven't seen anything by Lacotte that can equal it. If we had Perrot's of course, we'd have something to measure it against -- but but but BUT, i say, I watch this ballet over and over again, and I can not tell which version of it satisfies me most. Probably hte earliest Alonso version, since her footwork was perfect, even in cabrioles htat barely left hte ground, that just "tore away form the floor' -- and everything was chillingly perfect, which is devastatingly diva-like, to my lights --

but of course the Trocks are great, better even than they know, and I also love these

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWGxQsZCbaQ [Ananiashvili, Gad, Terekhova Kistler], in which i alternatively hate and love Kistler.

The question IS [as the adorable Sylvy suggested] who do you like the least? I used to think Kistler was too butch, but tonight, I LOVE her. I must be out of my mind, but in all the group dances, she seems to me the one who most loves the steps, those GOLDEN steps. Good god, why doesn't anyone give Dolin credit? These steps are WONDERFUL! It's excellent choreography! It's things dancers want to do and they know how to do and it's not about rivalry, it's about being like Ariel in the Tempest,. "I flamed amazement!!!!"

And then there's the Kirov version RG mentions, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YKoW4sPqZA with Mezentseva as Taglioni grave and majestic, which is glorious -- with Kolpakova no less and the divine Komleva, and [to my mind] Evteyeva bringing up the rear. WOnderful performance.

Evdokimova lingers in my mind as he best Taglioni ever -- but I can't fidnd hte link. Evdokimova had THE most immaculate placement I've ever seen in a dancer who could move fast; her Sylphide is far and away my favorite, partly for timing and geometry both....

Glebb, I wish you were here to continue this conversation. God bless you.

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I second your thoughts, Paul. I absolutely ADORE this ballet, and I think it is a shame that the younger generations are not getting to know it. Very "diva-like", Taglioni's character NEEDS a well known ballerina within a given territory/company. The mannered/affected style of the piece also needs the right treatment. Otherwise one can tell the inability of a young starlet to show a convincing grand dame demeanor. Alonso, of course, epithomized this.

Yes...bless your soul , Glebb.

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