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Who do you miss the most?


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This was suggested by several comments on the "All Time Favorites" thread -- Mary's comment on wishing she had seen more of Beriosova, the many comments on Kirkland.

What dancer or dancers do you miss the most?

The top of my list is Gelsey Kirkland and Patrick Bissell. I've always felt cheated that I was denied the pleasure of seeing them mature. I always think of Kirkland when I see "Giselle" or "Other Dances," and I can't watch the Matador in any production of "Don Quixote" without thinking of Bissell. I remember the first time ABT brought Don Q to the Kennedy Center after Bissell died, and I must have looked misty eyed walking up the aisle at intermission. One of the ushers patted me on the shoulder and said, "I know, I know. It's Patrick."

In the Dancers I Should Have Seen and It's Not Fair That I Didn't category, Antoinette Sibley ranks at the top for me. She was injured right when I started going to the ballet, and I only saw her as "Ophelia" in a revival of Helpmann's "Hamlet" -- not a particularly meaty dancing role.

I used to be quite happy that I'd at least seen a legendary dancer once, so I'd have some real sense of what they were like, until it dawned on me that there were dozens of people who saw Fonteyn, or Farrell, or Sibley's whole careers. That's when I realized that Life Is Unfair.

(The list of Danish dancers I wished I'd seen, or seen more of, is too long to post! smile.gif )

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The dancer that I miss the most of the ones I saw semi-regularly is Dowell. His line was so perfect and he was so elegant. No one (except on a slightly smaller scale Peter Boal) that I have seen had such a perfectly proportioned body, and he had such a beautiful way of moving. He certainly could do lots of jumps, but what I miss most is his gracious manner and purity.

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I miss all the dancers from the 70s and the 80s when so many stars flourished!! I miss MAKAROVA, EVDOKIMOVA, and HAYDEE especially. I miss them all!!! =( Oh, and as for the men, NUREYEV, DOWELL, and GIL ROMAN (of Bejart Ballet de Lausanne)...has anyone seen him in "Adagietto"? It was firt created for Gorge Donn, but he continued to dance it after Donn's death. Oh, it moves me to tears....

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Edward Stierle- not only as a dancer ( he danced with Joffrey for several years before his death in 1991 (?)...) , but as a choreographer as well. I had a chance to work with him before I graduated high school- and he has inspired my career. I often wonder what he would be doing if he were still here.

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I miss just about all of the "greats" as I got into ballet long after they had all either retired or passed on. frown.gif Especially Fonteyn, Nureyev, Kirkland, Antoinette Sibley, Suzanne Farrell, Karen Kain, Lynn Seymour, Galina Ulanova and Irina Kolpakova. Hearing about them on this board makes me feel like I really missed out.

[This message has been edited by BalletNut (edited February 21, 2001).]

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I certainly miss all the big names mentioned here. I'd certainly add Martine van Hamel to the list, and Helgi Tomasson, two personal favorites. But I also find that, when looking at videos of the "good old days," it's often the sight soloists and corps dancers that hit me like a Proustean epiphany.

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Originally posted by Manhattnik:

I also find that, when looking at videos of the "good old days," it's often the sight soloists and corps dancers that hit me like a Proustean epiphany.

Like the video of the Kirkland/Baryshnikov "Nutcracker," and you get to the Waltz of the Flowers and realize that five of those men, standing right in a row, are all dead. (I haven't watched it for at least ten years, so there may be more now.)

BalletNut, when I started going in the late 1970s I'd read the books about the Ballet Russe or Sadlers Wells and be very frustrated that I'd missed all of THOSE greats. And they were kicking themselves for missing Pavlova and Nijinsky. So you're in good company smile.gif (And I'm glad you've started posting more. Please keep it up.)

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The great dancer I miss the most (of those I have seen) is ... Gelsey Kirkland. I guess no-one is gasping with surprise. Two others I miss almost as much -- Suzanne Farrell and Anthony Dowell.

I did see Erik Bruhn twice towards the very end of his career, so I feel awkward saying I "miss" him, because I didn't see him enough to feel his absence as I do, say, Kirkland's -- but he is THE dancer I most regret not having seen more...I saw a glimpse of Maximova towards the end of her career, more or less just being carted around the stage by Vasiliev, and what can I say? just on the basis of that, I'm convinced that she would have been one of my all time favorites if I had had the chance to see her earlier in her career...Lis Jeppesen is another dancer whom I saw just a few times and would love to have seen much, much more...I saw Platel at the very beginning of her career and at the very end, but managed to miss her in the interim which makes me faintly crazy when I think about it...

Of the great historical figures who pre-dated my ballet going altogether -- it's hard to put together a coherent list of the ones I would most like to have seen. Where would one begin...Camargo? Taglioni? That sounds like a joke, but it isn't (entirely). From the more recent past, I just missed Kolpakova which I regret -- especially now, since it increasingly seems that the Kirov style that she embodied has given way to something rather different.

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Of course I miss Makarova. And I agree with those who miss Kirkland and Bissell.

The career I've missed, and that I regret the most, is Guillem's. If I'm not mistaken she has travelled to the West Coast only once (with "Cinderella), and for me her entire career has been a series of magazine articles. (She will come this year with "Giselle".)


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Forgot to mention earlier that I'm sorry to have missed (a LONG time ago), the partnership of Nijinsky & Karsavina - that would have been something to see - if for no other reason than to see what all the fuss was about!

As long as I'm going back, although not SO far back, I would also have loved to see the original cast of Balanchine's Apollo and anything that was choreographed by Nijinsky! I guess these should be in a new thread entitled: "Great Choreography & Casting That I Missed at the Premiere!" I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at any of Nijinsky's premieres just so I could hear the responses from the audience members!

I'm SOOOO off topic......sorry!

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I surely miss Gelsey Kirkland, Rudolph Nureyev. But most of all Prima Ballerina Assoluta Margot Fonteyn. Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of her death.

That death does not endure - because as she dances in my mind - which she does - she does not die. That is the gift of the artist.

I had the great good fortune to be in a class once with Patrick Bissel - and to watch him teach a master class. I purposely didn't take the master class because I wanted to just sit there and watch him.

He arrived to teach the class directly from the beach (this is San Diego after all) wearing a pair of short shorts, and sandals - carrying his ballet slippers. At one point in the class the men said that the music was too fast for them to fully fulfill the amplitude of the steps in the combination he had set. On went the ballet slippers and without even thinking - he spun off into a series of jumps and turns with dazzling speed and aplomb. There was no more whining from the men in class. LOL

He managed to "fill" that large studio with his presence that day. Basheva

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I should have added that I had the pleasure of seeing Patrick Bisssel dance Swan Lake with Cynthia Gregory - what a wonderful performance that was.

Had things been different he was the partner she should have had. Basheva

[This message has been edited by ORZAK (edited February 23, 2001).]

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My answer may seem out of place, since this dancer never even got out of the NYCB corps, but at the moment I am still dearly missing Riolama Lorenzo.

I first noticed her in a performance of Robbins' "Brandenburg" and couldn't take my eyes off of her. At every subsequent NYCB performance I attended, the first thing I would look for in the program was her name.

Tall and beautiful and actually built like a woman, there was a strength, authority, cleanliness and expressiveness to her movements that enriched even the smallest corps roles. If nothing else interesting was happening onstage, I could always enjoy the performance just by letting my eyes follow Riolama (which they seemed inclined to do on their own).

I would look for a mention of her name in every NYCB review I read, anxious to see what roles she was getting. I would watch ballets and pick out parts I hoped to see her dance some day, and generally looking forward to watching her career progress.

Then she was gone, and my interest in NYCB as a whole seemed to fade. The loss of Riolama is probably one of the main reasons I haven't considered the expense of a trip to NYC this season or the next.

It's not always the stars who define the company.


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Steve's right. I was sad to see Lorenzo go as well.

When this topic was first proposed I kept mulling over the famous names, most of whom I never saw live (Bissell, Kirkland) or very infrequently (Nureyev). The dancer I thought of as a career that should have gone farther was Jeff Edwards, a soloist with NYCB. I thought it was a great loss for the company when he left it. Poets and princes are hard to come by.


Leigh Witchel - dae@panix.com

Personal Page and Dance Writing

Dance as Ever

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Yes, Edwards was a lovely dancer - much missed.

I regret not having seen more of Allegra Kent and Violette Verdy. I came to NYCB at the end of their careers and so saw them only sporadically. But the tapes I have seen show dancers with wonderful technique and great individuality.

Also would have liked to see Alla (sp?) Sizova and Nadzeha Pavlova. And like Alexandra, Danish dancers too numerous to mention.

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Sizova and Soloviev are quite peculiarly special names to me -- The first ballet I ever saw was the film they made of Sleeping Beauty; I was a very little girl when I saw it but completely ballet mad from that time forward. I suppose it's odd that I don't exactly think of myself as having missed them. I did, of course, and I do wish I could have seen them live. But they seem to exist elsewhere for me in a sort of magic memory-bubble...

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