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Hagar


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Alexandra, you said:---"She was repulsed by the Man from the House Opposite and his nocturnal activities--I never got the idea that she was also attracted to him, or sexually curious"----That's where Hugh Laing comes in :unsure: I found the sexual attracion to be very strong with Kaye and Laing, and some say it continued off stage as well.

Dale, when doing your research on Kaye, I wish you would add Annabelle Lyon, too. I never saw her as the younger sister, but it is said hers was the definitive performance. As much as I try, I cannot find a description of her interpretation. For those who have not seen the ballet the best description I have read was written by Edwin Denby and can be found in his book "Looking At the Dance".

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I saw Pillar many times in the 70’s - all with Sallie Wilson as Hagar. Without even thinking about it I have always assumed that Hagar was homely. That’s why I wondered whether I would like Murphy,Kent or McKerrow in the role.

After seeing them I have to agree that Hagar’s looks aren’t important, what matters is that she is portrayed as an outsider, a misfit, and that the dancer be able to express & project her inner emotions through Tudor’s choreography.

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Joe, the same thing happened with Lynn Seymour, who relates the story in "Striking Balanchine." Tudor just lost interest in her and stopped paying attention to her in the sessions.

atm711, I'll check out Lyon, she is in the little four-mintue snip.

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On Friday I saw Amanda McKerrow's Hagar and she was brilliant. She's always been at her best in the Tudor repertory and never better than in PILLAR. She conveyed character by simply walking across the stage, lost in her unhappiness as the other couples danced around her. It was a complete characterization.

The last time I saw PILLAR was w/Sallie Wilson. Honestly, back then I had NO idea what this ballet was about. :) I do remember Ms. Wilson and fellow Teaneck, NJ native Ruth Mayer as her gorgeous Older Sister. I don't think anyone has mentioned that Monique Menieur danced the Older Sister in the current revival. She, too, is too gorgeous. It was good seeing her dance again! :unsure:

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Its so interesting to hear everyone's account of past and present portrayals of Hagar and the younger sister. I saw Pillar of Fire for the first time a few weeks ago... I'd been so looking forward to it, but was quite disappointed. I think part of what I was reacting to was what I perceived as a lack of subtlety in both Kent and Reyes' performances. Now that I hear everyone’s reactions, I think I’ll definitely keep this ballet on my “to see” list...

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I think I've seen every Hagar at ABT since Sallie Wilson &, for me, Amanda takes first prize. It was a searing performance (the Friday one) which brought me to tears for only the second time in this ballet (Lise Houlton being the first). She seemed one great pent-up scream waiting to happen; no theatrics, no making faces, no imposing of "drama", just truly expressive & beautiful dancing.

She was brilliant as the Younger Sister many years ago, also the best in that role, such an oblivious & self-involved little minx! It seemed so out of character at the time as she was the classical hope for the future.

I've loved her since I first saw her at age 15 with the Washington Ballet in a Choo San Goh ballet called "Fives" - an airborne feather of a girl. The following year she won her big prize in Russia & shortly thereafter suffered a hip injury which has plagued her ever since, leading to cancellations &, eventually, to a curtailment of her repertoire.

But please oh please, Terpsichore, let us have one more Amanda Giselle!

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