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vasiliev and bruhn


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i just posted the same topic in the ballet talk for dancers , i am not sure if it is ok to post same one here. but just thought different people might read it here . any way i love erik bruhn and vladimir vasiliev. vasiliev is amazing because when he is not moving he seems to have stickey out hips and short bent legs. but once he starts dancing he has this beautifull quality to his movements that i have never seen in any other dancer. erik bruhn is just so ellegant and effortless . he is like the fred astaire of ballet to me.

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They are two of my all-time favorite dancers, too. For me, I especially admired Mr. Bruhn. I remember his being referred to as "the dancer's dancer". This was true for many young dancers growing up watching him perform in the 50s and 60s. There is a wonderful video about the life of Erik Bruhn (which I have) called "Erik Bruhn: I'm the same, only more." I highly recommend it if you are a Bruhn fan.

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If you have a DVD player that can play the PAL format (used in Europe), or a computer that can play this format, and can either borrow the DVD Comme les oiseaux from the library -- it's is on the same disk as Violette et M. B. -- buy it, or request it as a gift, there is a wonderful, priceless chapter in which Vassiliev, in street clothes, coaches Monique Loudieres in two scenes from Giselle, my overall favorite scene in any ballet video I've seen. And then, of course, there is the great Spartacus on disk.

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For Vasiliev, I really recommend the film "The Humpacked Little Horse" that he made with Maya Plisetskaya in the early 60s. The story is slight, the music (by Plisetskaya's husband Schedrin) is tuneful but unmemorable, but casting doesn't get any better than it does in this film. Plisetskaya is so glamorous, and Vasiliev at this point is able to seem like a totally guileless country boy who somehow would make People's 50 Most Beautiful.

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i have erik bruhn i am the same only more. it is great. one more thing i love about him is that even in his 40s he had not changed technically at all. i think this shows how correctly he was using his body in ballet. i have vasilievs little humpbacked horse too. his transeformation from a country boy to a beautifull prince in the end is breath taking. does any body know where i can purchase comme les oiseaux? it sounds so interesting and i still dont have it. one more thing i love about bruhn and vasiliev is their ballon. when they jump they both posses this floaty quality which none of the dancers today seem to have.

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does any body know where i can purchase comme les oiseaux? it sounds so interesting and i still dont have it.

By the same director as Comme les oiseaux (Dominic Delouche) you can also find a documentary named "Katia et Volodia" about Maximova and Vasiliev.

They talk about each other and their careers. Among the early excerpts of Vasiliev shown are short bits of a Laurencia rehearsal, a 1959 Nutcracker, Romeo & Julliet (Lavrovsky), Sylphides(with Ulanova!!!). All very short.

Later (and slightly longer) excerpts include Aniuta, Sylphides, Corsaire (in rehearsal, he also coaches Erik Vu An), Football, Giselle (coaching with demonstration), Romeo and Julliet (Bejart). There are also excerpts of Maximova alone (in Sleeping beauty etc)

It's 60 minutes and in the same DVD as Maia, a 1h30min doc about Plisetskaya (Vasiliev also makes a small appereance in the Maia doc)

Both are region0/PAL dvds which means that if you're outside of Europe you'll be able to play them on your computer but probably not on your tv and standalone dvd player.

You can find them here (among other places):



(Search for Delouche)

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Vassiliev and Bruh: absolutely two of the greatest male ballet dancers ever. I saw Vassiliev only once and then only in very pared down and carefully paced choreography. Even so, wow! he made an unforgettable impression. I was very fortunate to see Bruhn in two major roles (Albrecht and Frantz) towards the end of his (classical) career. I also saw him a few more times dancing character roles. Bruhn had an absolutely pure style. For me and many others it would be no exageration to say that his dancing exemplified the Platonic ideal of classical ballet. I also remember a Dance Magazine interview with Baryshnikov shortly after his defection in which he mentioned Bruhn--I can't quote the exact words, but he said something along the lines of 'we saw Erik Bruhn and he showed us that even an assemble can be a major event.'

(Please imagine an accent over 'assemble'--I have never figured out how to do the accents properly.)

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Corsaire (in rehearsal, he also coaches Erik Vu An)

Thank you so much for your heads up on the FNAC set. (Dance Books only carries Comme les oiseaux and Violette et M. B.)

Thank you, too, for identifying Erik Vu An. Vu An has a beautiful physique and line, and does the steps very well, but watching Vassiliev demonstrate in rehearsal is again worth the entire video. It truly separates the men from the boys.

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