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Swan Lake on PBS -- Great Performances


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The broadcast finally made it to our regular PBS station, and I was able to watch it last night. (It originally aired on one of the HDTV stations.)

As mainly a NYCB fan, I've seen relatively few full-length Swan Lakes: ABT's a couple of times, including the Blair version from the early 70's, and the visiting Kirov, Paris Opera Ballet, and Royal Ballet versions. PNB has produced it twice in the last decade, the last time in a new production by Ming Cho Lee, and I've seen about half a dozen tapes. In those performances, I've seen Odette/Odile portrayed by dancers that are not among my favorites, and some ballerinas that I've found rather dry, but I've never seen a characterization and phrasing that I've actively disliked until Murphy's.

I don't insist on small, delicate dancers in the roles, and I do understand that there are technicians who make natural Odiles -- Florence Clerc comes to mind -- and whose Odettes aren't as compelling. I actually like big, strong dancers as Odette for several reasons: she isn't just there to portray her own personal tragedy; she's responsible for the entire flock of swans and must be convincing as their protectress, and watching a strong person show vulnerability is, to me, more moving than watching a delicate person be delicate.

To my eyes, Murphy's Odette was self-involved and neurotic to the point of distraction. Her phrasing was glottal -- harsh trembling borrees and poses to a dead stop -- instead of legato. I actually wanted Act II to end, so that Odile would appear. (I usually want Swan Lake to end at the end of Act II, so that Odile doesn't appear.) That did provide a link between Odette and Odile and their joint appeal to Siegfried: both were equally high-maintenance. I might have expected that from a version where Siegfried is the central character, what happens onstage is a dream, and where it's all about the narrator -- and chemistry doesn't matter, only the obsession of the main character -- but in this version, Siegfried's centrality is diminished by the expanded roles of Benno and von Rothbart. Without the arc of Odette coming alive from hope and having that hope smashed, I don't see much tragedy, and without that tragedy, there's no point to the missing parts of Act IV, and not much sense in Siegfried joining Odette off the cliff.

There is so little ballet that is televised that each rare instance has the potential to be iconic. This may be the only performance seen by tens of thousands of people, and become "What Swan Lake Is." In that sense, despite the "Swamp Thing," I think the emphasis on the men may prove to be a good thing. Soto, for example, said that seeing Villella on TV made him want to dance, and there are such rare opportunities for young boys today. I liked Angel Corella's peformance very much; I thought his facial expressions to be more cinematic than stagey, and that his unmannered and elegant performance -- with enough jumps and turns to make him a "real guy" i.e, athlete -- was an important introduction to male dancing, especially when paired with Cornejo as Benno. Gomes' melodrama was wonderfully controlled. He could give a lesson or two to campy movie villains.

I really loved the first act costumes visually, but I agree that they were heavy for the dancing. The maypole, in my opinion, substituted a prop for a lack of invention, and having the aristocrats "slum it" was one degree of dramatic separation more than is necessary, but I did get a visceral thrill out of seeing the circle of jetes as the women held the ribbons. I particularly liked the second woman in the pas de trois, but I couldn't tell from the credits sequence which dancer it was.

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I found this assessment very interesting, bart.  I think Murphy is, in a curious way for someone so technically strong, a slow develoer.  She's still, as you write, working -- but while I find her cold (and not inspiring tenderness or pity, as you say), I don't find her empty -- I think there are depths in there, and I think we'll see them when she is absolutely sure of what every fingernail is supposed to be doing at every moment.  Some dancers have the outline of the role and take some time to get the technique and the polish, and some start with the steps and work out from there.  Some never get beyond the steps, of course, but I think Murphy will.

I agree with Alexandra about Murphy's approach: that it is extremely diligent and detail-oriented. I saw her twice as Myrtha in Giselle, and, unlike other posters who preferred Veronika Part, who was elegant but not scary, I preferred Murphy's chill authority. I realized that she had narrowed in on some key details of the role to epitomize her character. Whenever she posed in tendu, she brought her left arm into fifth position slowly and definitively, making a frame for her face, saying "I am in charge here." She did not emphasize the crossed "Wili arms" as much, as is normally done. To second the effect, she would defiantly raise her chin when stepping into poses, and when coming out of her saut de basques as she circled the stage. She also seemed to narrow in on her circular bourrees, doing them so quickly she seemed incredibly otherworldy and commanding, and also presaging Giselle's circling hops in arabesque. Seeing her perform twice and comparing her to Part and Carmen Corella, I noticed that her interpretation was very carefully constructed. An intellectual approach to the role. It seems to me that once she has made all these decisions for a given role, all she needs to do is relax her control so that she can emote and luxuriate in her dancing a bit.

I would have to watch the Swan Lake again to see what she did there. Up until now I have always enjoyed her most in pure dance passages that show off her virtuosity: the last act of Raymonda, Theme and Variations, Odile, not Odette. I thought Veronika Part was a much more moving O/O (if only she stopped falling out of double turns—triples and more I don't need but I do like to see a secure double). She was surprisingly good as Odile I thought; she was almost laughing with malicious glee. She really hammed it up but I liked it. As Odette, she widened her eyes and looked tragic. Her mime was very poignant and firm. She has the grand theatrical manner we miss these days. And the chemistry was definitely there between her and Gomes as Siegfried. He literally threw himself off the cliff, and I found it sublime rather than funny. What was present in the Part/Gomes performance was a total commitment to drama and to the partnership, and that is what we miss in the Murphy/Corella Swan Lake, although we get incredible dancing. That said, I have a newfound respect for Murphy and interest in watching her develop further.

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Thanks so much for your post, beck hen. I especially appreciated the technical descriptions which helped me visualize Murphy's Myrtha and understand your evaluation of her dancing.

Seeing her {Gillian Murphy} perform twice and comparing her to Part and Carmen Corella, I noticed that her interpretation was very carefully constructed. An intellectual approach to the role. It seems to me that once she has made all these decisions for a given role, all she needs to do is relax her control so that she can emote and luxuriate in her dancing a bit.

Great point. This practice of developing a character by layering on from the outside -- rather than getting in touch with the heart of the character and working outward to the behaviors -- is typical of a "classical" stage acting, and I see no reason why it shouldn't work in classical ballet as well.

A quick re-visit to the tape of the lakeside scenes confirmed my feeling that television closeups are not kind to Murphy at this stage of her growth in the role. Many of the posts on this thread point out distractions and difficulties with facial expression -- much of which might have been invisible to the audience in a theater. And the largeness of Murphy's movements and presentation would certainly have worked better in real life than on the small screen.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts, beck hen. Your kind of writing is definitely an asset to a format (message board) which is rather low on visuals.

:blink: (a visual, for what it's worth)

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May I add my impressions this late in the day, having watched the DVD?

First of all, I didn't mind the swamp thing as much as many people here seemed to do. It's a bit puzzling why one would want to split up the Rothbart role in two. But let's face it: Marcello Gomes' big boots dance is one of the highlights of the entire show. Not bad for an interpolation.

The other highlight is (as per usual) the Act I pas de trois. Reyes, Cornejo and Cornejo. Now that is dancing.

The cuts are bad but worst IMO is the cut in Act IV. If you cut the mournful swans the end is just a meaningless pop. In general I thought the corps work was good, but rather good in the sense of "correct" than in the "great" sense. The big ensemble dances are supposed to be magic. They are not.

I liked Corella a lot better than Murphy, though his big Act I solo, where he's supposed to decide he's splitting didn't really express the despair he's experiencing. But that's what happens when you replace the mime by jumps and turns.

I'm puzzled by the praise Murphy gets. I thought she was the nightmare Odette - Odile. In the final analysis it's all about the clean and perfect execution of the steps, such as the 32 fouettes, which are extra-spectacular indeed. Huzza! However I never for a minute felt she was doing anything but executing the steps to the utter best of her abilities - which are fab. But expressing the romance and the tragedy? Forget it. Like Alexandra suggested, maybe she'll get to that after she's figured out every technical nuance of her toe nails first. I'm not holding my breath for that. I think it's a real pity Murphy was chosen for the broadcast & DVD, as this may well turn into the top choice for many years for people who want to have a Swan Lake in their home theatre. At best she's not ready for the role yet - so why record her now?

Let me give one detail. Look at the hand she folds over Correla's head in their final Act IV embrace. It's supposed to be a hand of love and pity. It is however hard and straight as a rule. No wonder he's not sure about jumping to his death after her.

Unfairly perhaps I kept thinking of Petipa telling a dancer who wanted to do Esmeralda: "but have you lived and suffered?" It's unfair because great dancers do not necessarily have to "live and suffer" so as to express tragedy. And some have "lived" and yet do not express a scintilla of it. However in Murphy's case I kept hearing a resounding NO to Petipa's question. That's why Gomes' Act 3 dance is such a succes. It's the first time in perhaps an hour that we've seen anything resembling all-out dancing.

I am looking forward to the Ananiashvili / Perm Swan Lake that's about to be rereleased soon.

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I'm having trouble making satisfactory sense of some of the mime and dance in Act 1. After the pas de trois a woman in blue approaches Benno and they dance a bit and then Benno gestures to the Prince. I take it that he’s beckoning the Prince to dance with her, but the Prince at first declines, then approaches her. They dance for a bit until he leaves her, apparently to the tutor’s dismay, and dances a short solo. I understand that his mother has bidden him to choose a bride. Is that dance supposed to express unfulfilled romantic desire? A yearning to retain his freedom? Both/and, I suppose.

Several women then dance and he seems interested in one then another, then troubled when one dances with Benno. I suppose he's feeling conflicted, wanting her but not wanting her. He then wanders off as the ensemble dances, and faces away at one point, all of which I guess is supposed to express dissatisfaction with his options, a desire for something he perhaps can't even identify. But what is his tutor supposed to be miming with his exasperated hand gestures? I know he’s the great Frederic Franklin, but I can’t tell if he wants the Prince to choose a girl or wants him to hold out for someone better. After the Prince dances another yearning solo, to the oboe, the tutor at first points him back towards the palace company, as if to tell him he must choose, and then seems to send him off with the crossbow. So who’s side is the guy on?

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I think these women are girls Siegfried grew up with, for whom he has brotherly affection. He is very ambivalent in Act I about the prospect of choosing a mate, probably feeling he just isn't ready, even though he both recognizes his princely duty and that it's an appropriate time, and also sensing that something important -- but not knowing what -- is missing from his life.

But the relationship with the court girls is not mentioned in the program notes, so I'm just guessing. :angry2:

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I thought Murphy was a surprisingly regal, touching Odette. She had a quiet dignity about her that I found touching. I dont however think she's a natural adagio dancer -- her movements dont have the natural poetic grace of say, Natalia Makarova. I think with time Murphy will be a great Odette. For now, she's a very good Odette.
I still love Gillian Murphy's bold portrayal, but do prefer the ballerinas who become swans inside and out.

I've finally watched the two pas de deux from the video (as opposed to live-performance viewings). I'd actually been putting it off because of reading this thread, and was in no way as disappointed as I'd been led to expect. I am a close watcher and fan of Gillian Murphy. Actually, I was converted slowly over time. If you look back at the video of her Odalisque variation in 1999, you see she has already made gigantic strides. She had the pirouettes but her presentation was inadequate and stiff, inferior to Kirov interpreters and to her colleague Sandra Brown's 2nd Odalisque. Her Act 3 Sylvia this year was entirely warm and radiant, down to the fingertips. I can only agree with the others that she is a slow developer (and that this O/O was premature), but is also greatly worth waiting for.

Growing up after Makarova retired, I never had the chance to see her perform, or appreciate her mystique. By the time I saw her Odette on video, for whatever reason, the magic didn't happen for me. I grew up on the video of Makhalina's Odette, which I continue to enjoy. However, I have begun to lose respect for her interpretation. It doesn't make dramatic sense to be so wholly birdlike. It even seems a bit self-indulgent. I'm wearying of the tyranny of the ultraswans. Gillian would actually be better if she toned down the "swaniness" in her Odette and returned to a pre-Makarova model, where possible role models include Danilova, Fonteyn and Gregory. I thought all her positions were gorgeous but simply don't suit her persona.

On the Black Swan, I'll just say I think she should take the time to risk reworking her fouette technique. I gather she mastered fouettes intuitively at a young age, and I agree they could be much cleaner and prettier. That would dispose of an easy mark for her detractors.

Murphy seems to pop up quite frequently at ballet-historical events, such as the Ballet Russes documentary and the Met appreciation of Maria Tallchief. In my view, this type of behavior and commitment is bound to pay dividends onstage, and earns my respect.

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Hi Becky! I found your comments very interesting…I’ve always disliked the overly bird-like approach to Odette. After all, the only time the audience (or Siegfried) sees her in swan form is in the first seconds of the first lakeside scene, when she is transforming from a swan to a woman, and the last seconds of the same scene when she changes back into her swan form.

I don’t like Makhalina’s interpretation (the DVD, I’ve never seen her live) both because of her “swaniness” and because of her neoclassical line which I find inappropriate for Odette. However I’m surprised that you also consider Makarova to be one of the swanny Odettes – maybe even the progenitor of the type. Fonteyn was the first great Odette I’d ever seen, Makarova the second and I’ve always considered them both to be of the very human, womanly variety. Thinking back on Makarova/Nagy Swan Lakes of the 70’s what I remember most is the depth and the desperation of their love story, which is not the feeling I take away from many current interpreters including Murphy/Corella. Of course I also remember (with the help of the “76 video) the beautiful arc of her back and melting flow through her torso, shoulders and arms which set off the gorgeous legs in arabesque or attitude. Murphy’s poses are beautiful but they're far too vertical for me, and there’s way too much motion, too much going on. Much earlier in this thread somebody lamented the absence of repose in Murphy’s Odette and for me that’s a key point. I agree with you that her Sylvia last season was a triumph, but I always love her in strong roles. Its vulnerability and romanticism that I think she still has trouble projecting.

Can you tell me a little about what makes you think of Makarova’s Odette as too bird like? It’s the opposite of what I’ve always felt.

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Susan, I'll definitely defer to your viewing history on Makarova. I got my critical impression of that typology reading this board—of course tracking down exactly where... :jawdrop:

As you discuss, it is unavoidable that a dancer's interpretation be guided by and tailored for her physique; I think that is the main issue here. Makarova's extensions, her sinewy limbs, her boneless arms, her curved shapes—I guess they are copied, parodied and taken over the top by others, the ultraswans. Also, on the video, her performance feels calculated rather than spontaneous (I suppose her interpretation was carefully honed over time). That and the ultraslow tempos (pet peeve) put me at an emotional remove. Calculation and slowness—endemic to the imitators.

I doubt Murphy will find much that is useful by studying her further, while I think looking at Fonteyn might help. For example, on the verticality issue, she may be better off not pushing into a six-o'clock penchee, but instead creating a more old-fashioned line in arabesque with a forward torso (\, not l). And Fonteyn's use of more understated, spiritual, simple facial expressions would also suit her. How did dancers more similar to her solve the adagio problem? I don't know the answer because I don't feel like I see a compelling range of interpretations in the theatre, and everyone seems to love the gumby ballerinas now anyway. I would just like to see someone do the absolute opposite.

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[ ... ] the ultraswans [ ... ] the gumby ballerinas
Great phrases !!! -- instantly calling to mind visual images that are vivid and (alas ! ) all too accurate.

I hope this revived discussion continues.

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Susan, I'll definitely defer to your viewing history on Makarova.

I would never expect anyone to defer to my viewing history of Makarova - we all have different preferences. Especially for people who never saw her live, a tape to tape comparison is the only one possible.

As to a model for the opposite approach to Odette - I never saw Pliesetskaya live, but was totally enraptured by the tape of her in the Bolshoi's SL. I think her performance would be an excellent role model for a ballerina like Murphy.

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Can I just throw in a word here - the taping done for PBS and DVD isn't Gillian Murphy's only or ultimate Odette/Odile interpretation. It only represents her way of doing the role on that night. Whatever flaws in her fouettes or limitations in her interpretation may only reflect what happened on that night and the level of her technique and artistry at that time. She may have done much better earlier or has improved radically since.

Personally I saw a better performance live in the theater back in Spring of 2004 with Carreno. At that time I thought she was at a very high level in both roles and I have seen a lot of Swans.

The problem with filmings is that we tend to make them the ultimate or totally representative record of all the performances of the artist in that role. That is often not the case due to any number of factors: a famous artist caught too late or too early, with the wrong partner, after an injury, bad camera work, dancing on horrible TV studio concrete floors, a bad night, a poor production of the ballet, bad lighting, bad costumes, etc. Or just plain old nerves knowing this performance is going to be for posterity.

I personally think that Gillian has a better Odette/Odile in her than what we saw on that DVD and PBS. But very few artists get the chance of being filmed twice in one of their best roles and that is a shame.

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The problem with filmings is that we tend to make them the ultimate or totally representative record of all the performances of the artist in that role. That is often not the case due to any number of factors: a famous artist caught too late or too early, with the wrong partner, after an injury, bad camera work, dancing on horrible TV studio concrete floors, a bad night, a poor production of the ballet, bad lighting, bad costumes, etc. Or just plain old nerves knowing this performance is going to be for posterity.
An excellent point -- about something I have certainly been guilty of. I have to try very hard to avoid generalizating from film performance -- especially about negative impressions -- and especially when watching films of an early generation of dancers whom I have not ever seen, or whom I can't really remember in detail.
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The following were my impressions after viewing it last year... (Note--I've seen Bocca, and Carreno do Siegfried since, so take some comments with salt please.)

Will there ever be a definitive Swan Lake? Probably not, since everyone has felt free to remove, rearrange, re-choreograph it since its inception 130+ years ago. That it still remains the world's most popular ballet is probably more due to Tchaikovsky's score and Lev Ivanov (with some Petipa) than anything else. So the question still remains: How true to the "original" can one remain and still retain that universal appeal without stagnation? For Kevin McKenzie and ABT that meant keeping most of Act II intact, and the ending where both Siegfried and Odette leap into that lake, killing Rothbart and breaking the spell. The rest is a mix of old and new--like most companies do--with some good, some bad, and some ugly.

THE GOOD:

Shooting this in HDTV. Finally, clear crisp color, picture, sound, and an aspect ratio wide enough to accomodate a stage. Hooray for technology.

A prologue helps those not familiar with the plot, and I've not seen one since London Festival Ballet's many years ago. (But I, too, sometimes prefer just listening to all that pathos in the music alone with my own images.) At least the "magic of television" lets Odette do a quick change, instead of the puppet swan one gets in the live performance. And splitting the role of Rothbart does let one see how both Odette, Siegfried et.al. can/could be duped by suave, handsome, accomplished Marcelo Gomes vs. poor Isaac Stappas' evil/cartoonish green monster. (This is not a comment on Stappas' dancing--he isn't given much anyways.)

Updating the time period to the 16th century vs. the usual 15th works okay--especially the Act III sets. The dresses are a little voluminous in Act I, esp.if the whole point is to see feet/legs, but they look right for the time period and the dancers are able to move despite the corsetting. The men, of course, look fine. The 16th c. always liked to show off its leg.

And the dancing?...

Unlike many others,past and present, Murphy and Corella have perfect musical phrasing. What a difference that makes to this score! Finally!

Yes Gillian Murphy has great technique. (Has anyone else ever done quadruple multiples in between those fouettes? Maybe Ananiashvili but I forget.) Murphy can balance, turn (in attitude or otherwise), leap, has good extension, and can smirk with the best as evil Odile. But Odette?--see below.

Ah Angel Corella. He saves this ballet. Why? Other dancers can leap and turn: Herman Cornejo of course--the Pas de Trois with his sister Erica and Xiomara Reyes; Marcelo Gomes of course--enjoying Act III's Russian dance with the glazed princesses. Both Cornejo and Gomes are graceful and powerful dancers. If leaping and turning were all, the part would be interchangeable, something ABT knows and exploits. But except for Ivan Nagy (yes, the definitive Siegfried) 30 years ago, no one now has the grace and epaulement in partnering that Corella uses. Not just the utilization of upper body/shoulders to stretch and mirror the line; watch how he uses his head to mirror the movements of his partner. He also seems to be one of the few to still do those almost-one-armed croise fouette lifts in Black Swan. (Is it a height differential or upper-body strength problem that prevents most others?) And of course, he can act. Has anyone else ever bothered to pour so much emotion into that reserved moody prince? Something this production's close-ups made sure to capture. One comment I read somewhere said he brings more "focus" to the prince roles. Yes, finally we can feel for Siegfried as much as poor Odette and watch the details of an interpretation that never before has equaled the technical and emotional requirements of its female dancer's. Thankfully, Mr. McKenzie's choreography makes Siegfried more than a pawn or porteur and avoids any freudian overtones. The first act solo (Nureyev's inspired musical interpolation) is a perfect melding of choreography and dancer to convey the emotional "dilemma" McKenzie sets up: Siegfried's need to find a soulmate while confined by the strictures of the court.

Supporting characters/dancers:

Besides the aforementioned Cornejo and Gomes, Georgina Parkinson and Frederick Franklin (still spry at 90), add wonderful nuance to queen and tutor. The white act corps is ok, though not the Kirov of years past. And I've only seen the Royal Ballet's four cygnets ever make an audience gasp and give an encore ovation for perfect synchronization. Act III's ethnic variations and 4 (why 4 not 6?)princesses are rather bland, but Siegfried is supposed to be bored. (However, catch the inside joke as Corella pauses in his final review of the Spanish princess.)

THE BAD:

Principal rapport?

One reviewer called her "glacial". My mother, (no expert on technique, though a long-time viewer) said she was "too cold". I used to think NYCB dancers were robotic in Swan Lake since they learned the steps and then "Balanchined" all drama out of them. Not anymore. Gillian Murphy isn't that: Twice she captures the "deer in headlights" when Odette spots Siegfried. But time after time, when viewed (especially so in slow-mo) Murphy seems to be dancing with herself, or her own frozen image in a mirror. She looks offstage, she grimaces, she contracts in or pulls away her upper body--once visibly giving Siegfried a "cold shoulder"--instead of relaxing back into her partner. All the wonder, ardor and acting of Corella is wasted as it flies past that glacial swan queen. There IS a difference between regal and glacial. Technical control, droopy wrists and undulating arms are not what makes Odette "soft and vulnerable": It's the fragility, wonder, and awakening emotional attachment to her prince and hoped for savior. No rapport means only steps, not story.

Cutting Act IV's music and eliminating the search for stricken Odette hiding amongst her swan maidens. Of course TV timetables mean cutting, though no commercials on PBS should preclude this. And the sad swan music does get preserved live onstage, so why not include it here? DVDs supposedly allow for more space, why not return it?

THE UGLY:

Details ARE visible in HDTV. Stage make-up looks almost grotesque in HDTV close-up. Facial expressions can look overdone. A lead dancer catching cat-naps onstage is also visible in Act III.(Bored, tired, or acting?)The camera sees all. If one is going to tape a live performance, maybe this once the above could be toned down--even if the live audience misses some. The La Scala R&J comes to mind, not HDTV, but close-ups that don't exaggerate.

FYI: One note re the taping and Gillian Murphy's technique being captured once--PBS/DiA actually taped 3 performances and then edited the best takes together. So, without checking the exact dates, I would assume she had at least TWO full performances to exhibit her technical and emoting abilities (while the third perf was strictly for B-roll or pick-up shots).

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Have to agree wholeheartedly that this video production was not anywhere near a Murphy best Swan Lake. One thing that I dislike about her Swan Lake and much of her dancing is that she does not present the foot. By that I mean, she doesn't use a beautifully arched foot as an effective tool to convey drama or to advance her musicality. We have definitely all been spoiled by the articulate and extraordinary feet of many of today's top dancers. If a dancer does not have that in her arsenal, then she might tend to compensate with a lot of other ornate stuff which not only detracts from the absence of articulated feet but detracts from the performance as a whole. In the case of Murphy, my sense is that she speeds through the ends of adagio leg movements because the arches and flexible feet are just not there for her to use.

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One thing that I dislike about her Swan Lake and much of her dancing is that she does not present the foot. By that I mean, she doesn't use a beautifully arched foot as an effective tool to convey drama or to advance her musicality. We have definitely all been spoiled by the articulate and extraordinary feet of many of today's top dancers. If a dancer does not have that in her arsenal, then she might tend to compensate with a lot of other ornate stuff which not only detracts from the absence of articulated feet but detracts from the performance as a whole. In the case of Murphy, my sense is that she speeds through the ends of adagio leg movements because the arches and flexible feet are just not there for her to use.

I have to say, she might not have feet like, say Paloma (whose feet are really extraordinary in the true meaning of the word, she does minute adjustments of balance in her foot), but I wouldn't call her feet physically deficient to the point of requiring her to compensate.

(for example see http://www.gillianmurphy.com/GillianSwan.gif fine feet, not great, but fine)

I wonder if her choice of shoe might be part of the "problem." she uses Gaynor Mindens. I love them personally (I have awful feet) but I know a lot of people don't love their look.

Or maybe we're just spoiled by those superb feet (like 180+ panchees) and ok feet are no longer, well, ok.

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