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

Muriel Maffre


Lukayev

Recommended Posts

Oh my GOD. This lady has THE longest legs and arms in the world! Not only that, but she's got beautiful feet and gorgeous use of port de bras. Our ballet school recently held an SFBallet gala at the Concert Hall, and once we were done "guesting" as Wilis for Act II/Giselle, we were treated to a very very delightful smorgasboard of SFB goodies. Among them were Julie Diana and Zach Hench in Who Cares? and Amanda Schull with Joan Boada in the pdd from Flames of Paris. But Ms. Maffre absolutely blew me away with her performance in Agon. From what I've read, she seems like a real candidate for being a 'Balanchine' ballerina. Supple feet, small head, thin and lithe arms and legs.. I could go on. But I won't, because I want to hear other opinions on her scrumtrelescent (or not, depending on your POV) dancing! :D

Link to post

Living in San Francisco, I have the good fortune to be able to see Muriel Maffre often. Although my taste in dancers tends to run to compact, powerful bodies (sort of the opposite of Maffre), I love watching her because of her very clean technique, beautiful port de bras and line, musicality and intelligence. And what an actress!

Link to post

I agree absolutely, djb -- especially the last quality you mention, her intelligence.

I remember when I first saw Maffre, I was like you, Lukayev, just stunned by her look -- every bone that CAN be long on her is long. It was hard to belive that a person constructed like that could move at all, much less dance.

But over hte years, i've come to be impressed by the way she thinks about her roles, the ways she uses her looks and way of moving to make something poetic for the public. I can't speak for you djb, but I suspect you were impressed by the way she created the role of Myrtha in Giselle. Maffre does NOT have a great jump, but she was a heroic Myrtha nevertheless -- she HAS stillness, command, and greatness of heart -- her Myrtha was not cruel, but she WAS remorseless, like fate. and it was there in the way she danced -- the opening arabesques, the way she phrased the promenades and the penchees was strictly on time, like moonrise, there was NO concession to difficulty or idiosyncracy. But hte carriage of her head in the travellng arabesques began implacably and CHANGED to a nobler but still unshakeable posture.

And then there was the time she did hte adagio of SYmphony in C during an earthquake.

Link to post

Ooh, I totally forgot to add that Ms. Maffre performed Myrtha while us (barely competent, compared to her) students tried to scuttle as best we couldas the Wilis... I saw a cold and forbidding presence, unbroken until the very end, when the bells begin to toll and suddenly, Myrtha is no longer ruthlessly powerful. Ms. Maffre showed that all-too-rare vulnerable side of Myrtha, the one you'd expect the principal dancing Giselle to deliver in droves. But for some reason, I saw that "coming of the dawn" really shake Myrtha to the core.. I've never seen such a subtle yet awesome transformation. My roughly hewn words do not justice to her eloquent sortof poème tragique.

Link to post

Her intelligence comes into play as Myrtha. As Paul noted, she doesn't have a great jump. But, unlike some dancers of her body type, she doesn't expend all her energy trying to achieve a split while barely clearing the floor. It looks as if she focuses more on her elevation and timing, which gives her jetes a very nice quality.

The first time I really appreciated her dancing was in "Liebeslieder Waltzer." She and Benjamin Pierce were the most elegant couple. The role in which she most impressed me with her acting ability was that of Medea, in Yuri Possokhov's "Damned."

Link to post

I haven't seen Maffre nearly as much as djb or Paul, of course, but SFB comes to DC about every other year and I've always admired her. Her dancing has depth (the intelligence already mentioned). I espcially liked her this past season in "Dances at a Gathering." She had wit there -- the Girl in Green (the Verdy role). No self-pity or lack of confidence at all when the second man left her, just a shrug, and a "what's wrong with him?" And she's musical and has beautiful lines, and you never quite know what she's going to do.

Link to post

Drat. Comments like this always make you wish you had seen a dancer at their best. I only saw Maffre, once, maybe twice on SFB's trips to NYC and didn't have much luck, the only thing I recall was a not-so-great second ballerina in Rubies. I'll have to try and catch her again if at all possible.

Link to post

I saw Maffre when she was in NY a few years ago doing the pas de deux in Agon, and I was absolutely amazed. She was so wonderful, in a very cool way. The pas de deux has become sort of slashing in some hands, slamming into a position as hard as can be and holding it. She never seemed to stop moving, and it never looked vulgar or sleazy (the way it can). I especially remember a moment which I had never seen before, when her arms seemed to barely ripple with the music. It is a moment when most dancers I have seen just stand there, but her body just seemed part of the music. As I said, she always seemed to be shifting positions, so the piece seemed so alive. I just wish she would come back!

Link to post

Yes, Cargill -- I kow what you mean -- she dances it with less tension than most Americans do, and more like an assoluta. More musical, and more like a personnage -- like someone at court. She brings out that side of the music that's based in the old French court dances

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...