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Leigh Witchel

Le Grand Pas De Quatre Nouveau!

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It's summer, so we get to muse on stuff like this.

If you were Benjamin Lumley and could assemble four ballet divas of today together for a gala divertissement, who would they be?

Do it your way - it doesn't have to stick to the Taglioni/Cerrito/Grahn/Grisi archetypes. Try to use currently dancing ballerinas for the heck of it. We can do a time-traveling pas de quatre in another thread.

I'm putting Bouder and Osipova in mine. I haven't decided on the other two ladies. Maybe I'll just throw a knife onstage and have the two of them duke it out :wink:

Who are in yours? If you'd like to score or choreograph it, go ahead.

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i'm not a choreographer or musician even in my mind, but

for the other 2 girls i might use gillian murphy and veronika part. :wink:

now i wouldn't mind costuming them; hmmm.....

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I'd go for the heroic ballerinas:

Bouder, Sylve, Maria Alexandrova and Zenaida Yanowsky (with Miranda Weese as the alternate)

And for the princesses:

Alexandra Ansanelli, Alina Cojocaru, Carla Korbes and Veronika Part

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I do go for "Pas de Quatre". Then, there would be:

Julie Kent (ABT)

Alina Cojocaru (RB)

Lorna Feijoo (Boston Ballet)

Viengsay Valdes (Ballet Nacional de Cuba)

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Are these supposed to be famous ballerinas or the ones we think are the best dancers, regardless of notoriety?

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I would try to have a little bit of different styles.

I'd choose:

Zenaida Yanowsky

Agnes Letestu

Julie Kent and

Maria Alexandrova.

By the way, I'd also love to have a time travel machine

to cast retired dancers ( at their peak) !

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Osipova

Sylve

Somova (just to irk you all....)

Jaime Diaz (can I put him in drag, please......)

or

Kondaurova

I think selecting four diva men would be easier in today's ballet world:

H. Cornejo

D. Hallberg

Jaime Diaz

D. Simkin (he'll be here soon!!! yeah!)

Joseph Phillips or Sarafanov or Shklyarov or David Prottas or Jesus Pastor

(I haven't decided yet, and I don't think I can....)

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Are these supposed to be famous ballerinas or the ones we think are the best dancers, regardless of notoriety?

You pick. You're the impresario. But you have to cover their expenses and preferably not wind up bankrupt.

No boys in drag in this version either. That's for another thread ("Boys we most want to see in the girls' parts . . .") and I think we should wait until August is officially on us for that one. Biological females only.

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When she was in New York, Somova did some lovely work (although it took her a while to hit stride) which could not have been predicted based on those YouTube clips. Great? No, but I wasn't left wondering how she ever became a Kirov soloist.

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How Nouveau? We can't mix eras? If we could time travel it would be...

Bouder, Lacarra, Fonteyn, Ulanova

with an alternate for contrasting ballerina styles: Whelan

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Veronika Part, Larissa Lezhnina, Maya Dumchenko, and Michele Wiles are the ones I'd most like to see together. They're all so different, but united by style and training.

I can't do any era-mixing because I'd never be able to choose just four!

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Going for matched pairs to perhaps encourage some structure in the choreography:

Bouder, Osipova (yes, Leigh!)

Reichlen, Kondaurova

A two-part dance:

Wheeldon could have the latter pair lift and bend the former pair around; Ratmansky could continue with his aesthetic blend of America movement and Russian spirit.

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Here's an interesting one:

Natalia Makarova, Margot Fonteyn, Suzanne Farrell, and Sylvie Guillem.

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And, with a time travel machine:

Gelsey Kirkland

Darcey Bussel

Martine Van Hamel

Ekaterina Maximova

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I'd go for contrast, in both experience and background as well as style:

Silja Schandorff

Lorena Feijoo

Marianela Nunez

Sarah Mearns

I'd travel quite a long way for that!

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I like Jane's cast! :thumbsup:

Here are mine. Short cast:

Bouder

Cojocaru

Lane

Osipova

Tall cast:

Alexandrova

Mearns

Part

Tereshkina

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Here's an interesting one:

Natalia Makarova, Margot Fonteyn, Suzanne Farrell, and Sylvie Guillem.

I like this immensely, except Alicia Alonso instead of Guillem (I want to be sure sparks fly even if everyone is adult and imbued in the 'non-star system', having never known anything else...of course, none of these ladies even imagined anything else than disappearing out of their personalities into all things classical and enduring...NOT!)

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I'll go for Larissa Lezhnina, Maria Alexandrova, Ekaterina Shipulina and Yevgenia Obraztsova

I'm not very familiar with the current non-Russian dancers, I'm sure some of them are lovely, but I don't know them so that's why I only have Russians in my list. :thumbsup:

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If you were Benjamin Lumley and could assemble four ballet divas of today together for a gala divertissement, who would they be?
A gentle reminder that the time travel machine is for other threads.

But, Leigh, if I were Benjamin Lumley and had no time travel machine, I'd be dead! :thumbsup:

I actually like the idea of casting Pas de Quatre using dancers of today. And I love carbro's impressive choice of both a tall and a short cast.

However, I don't have the depth of viewing experience to pick 4 current dancers from around the world and put them either in Pas de Quatre or, indeed, in anything. So, I thought I'd stick to a SINGLE company I know well -- Miami City Ballet -- and choose from among their current principals. That means using the original 1845 cast as a kind of template.

Taglioni: Deanna Seay (alt. cast: Jennifer Kronenberg)

Grisi: Jennifer Kronenberg (alt. cast: Patricia Delgado)

Cerrito: Mary Carmen Catoya

Grahn: Haiyan Wu

Any other one-company Pas de Quatre casts?

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Cojocaru

Mearns

Osipova

Obratzsova

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