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

Veronika Part on the David Letterman Show July 9

Recommended Posts

DVR set to record! Thanks, Fleegull! :thumbsup:

Please forgive my ignorance, but I'd like to set my DVR too. At what time and on what channel does the David Letterman Show appear? And how long does it run? I fell in love with Veronika Part this year but will be away on Thursday night.

Many thanks, angelica

Letterman is on from 11:35-12:35 pm EST.

My guess is that Ms. Part will be the second guest. The first 20 minutes is almost always monologue, Top Ten list etc.

He's on CBS.

Thank you soooo much for the coordinates. I will definitely record it!


Link to comment

Yes, thanks, Fleegull, I'll also have my recorder grinding away that evening now. I regularly use the search term "ballet" when checking listings online, but that didn't bring this up, so that I see I need to add "ballerina" and "dancer" too.

Hans, the Internet Movie Database


purports to list all 888 cast on the show, but searching on "Whelan" doesn't get results. (Likewise "Baryshnikov", folks.)

Link to comment

As noted above, Letterman's first guest on Thurs will be Daniel Radcliffe. I happen to read an excerpt of an interview he gave to Esquire recently in which he stated that he is taking ballet classes because he feels that it is important for him to be able to dance (and also sing) to be a complete actor. Maybe Veronika can give him some pointers on the show.

Link to comment
Didn't Wendy Whelan dance the Sugarplum Fairy variation on Letterman a while ago?

It’s rare to have dancers as guests rather than coming on to do a jig and leave. I’m not knocking that, but it’s good to hear dancers as well as see them. The only talk show that features dancers regularly is Charlie Rose.

Link to comment

Actually The Today Show (the 10am hour with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb) had two ABT corps members (I'm sorry, their name

slips my mind at the moment) last fall. The dancers not only showed some steps (i.e. teaching Kathie Lee and Hoda) but they also talked about ballet. It was really fun.

Link to comment

Thanks, Dale. This is a good piece. It handles much better than most the message (as expressed by Ms. Copeland), that ballet today is

opening up a lot of people's eyes to what they haven't normally been exposed to in this culture.

The segment does "open up." But -- unlike a lot of tv "reports" -- it doesn't distort or dumb down. It shows connections between the wrolds of ballet and pop culture without suggesting that ballet should transform itself into just another pop culture format. :D

Link to comment

Interesting comments by Misty about Prince -- that he'd been "following my career" and recruited her for his Crimson and Clover video. I like his taste in dancers. :D But Prince! Who knew? I hope some of his followers' interest in ballet (or at least in Misty for a start) will be piqued by that passing comment.

Link to comment

I read that Prince's latest obsession is with Karen Olivo, who just won a Tony Award for her role as Anita in West Side Story. He bought a huge block of tickets so "the little people" would not be sitting in his vicinity on the night he saw the show.

Link to comment
It was not last fall, but this past spring, in March. The dancers were Katie Williams and Eric Tamm.

Oops... I'm at The Today Show so often (including twice this week) that time frames sometimes blend together. But the important things is really that The Today Show had dancers on, n'est-ce pas? It's great for ballet (and dance in general).

Link to comment

Thanks for the photo, sealings. Here's the rest of the gallery:


I was hoping Part would just floor Letterman into submission. I've seen him with non-American guests. He usually spends most of the interview talking about their accent. But considering Part learned English from watching Seinfeld reruns, I'm thinking she was able to toss some zingers back at Dave.

Link to comment

Nureyev was a guest on Letterman in 1989 - he was promoting "The King and I," and Letterman asked his usual silly questions about ballet. Also, Letterman appeared to be in shock that Rudi was to be a guest. Rudi also appeared on Merv Griffin's afternoon talk show in the 70's, as well as Cavett's show. None of the hosts seemed to know anything about ballet, though.

Link to comment

So, Veronika's segment is over. I had been so excited to see it! When I spoke to her years ago, her English was almost non-existent. I was hoping for a great improvement so that she could do her (wonderful) self justice.

David Letterman did most of the talking, feeding her questions (indeed, almost answering them for her, sensing her difficulty) that should have elicited interesting responses, but Veronika was not up to the challenge, her verbal skills in English still being so poor. She spent most of her time in the guest's seat laughing, albeit beautifully, at Letterman's jokes and leaving us hoping to hear fuller answers to the questions. Russia came off in a very bad light, and she never mentioned that she was actually a soloist at the Maryinsky before coming to the States.

The best part of the interview? Watching her put on her pointe shoes!

I'm afraid that to the general public it helped confirm the notion that ballerinas are airheads. I hate being so negative about it but I adore Veronika beyond all understanding, so it's as if one of my own daughters had been there, I so felt for her. She was quite nervous in the beginning.

She looked absolutely divine in a full-skirted dress with a beautifully cut and decorated neckline, and at least 4" heels, with her long hair draped over one shoulder. (I seem to always be calling her the Divine Veronika!)

Letterman didn't remember that Nureyev had once been a guest, because he said that Veronika was the first ballet dancer he'd ever had on the show.

Link to comment
It seems as if Letterman didn't remember that Nureyev had once been a guest, because he said that Veronika was the first ballet dancer he'd ever had on the show.

He also interviewed Makarova--but both interviews took place when he was still on NBC and so on a different show. At least I assume that's the reason for saying "first ballet dancer...we have had..."

[Edited because I had earlier written CBS when I meant NBC)

Link to comment
..... In response to his questions, she said she was not in pain. Neither was I. It was over in approximately six minutes.

I WAS in pain, Farrell Fan. Letterman asked specifically whether her feet hurt, and she giggled and said "no". She took a long time to answer each of his questions, as if she was trying to put sentences together, but then abandoned the effort and gave merely one or two word answers most of the time. A difficult interview for Letterman, for he had to carry her. When she did speak longer, it was haltingly and with omissions of what I, at least, consider important info.

Letterman held up two pictures of her. With the first, he asked "what are you doing here?" I expected her to reply with the names of the role she was dancing and the ballet (It looked like Gamzatti in La Bayadère *), but she simply replied with one word, "arabesque". Maybe that was enough for a late-night general audience, I don't know.

The second picture didn't do her justice at all. It was of her in a lackluster pose as Odette (the audience laughed when she said she was a "swan queen, a good one"), her legs partially concealed by the rock at the lake. She explained that she was about to jump on the mat. She didn't mention that Odette jumps to her death in the lake, and it was Letterman who extrapolated that the mat was the lake. That's when he asked whether it hurt to go face-down on the mate every performance, and she giggled, "yes", in response.

I'm glad they showed a short video clip of her dancing (twice) so folks could see how wonderful she is in action.

I hope this doesn't mean it'll be a long time before he attempts to interview another ballet dancer!

* edited to say: In rewatching Part on Letterman via youtube, I see that she is an Odalisque in the first pic and that the ballet is Le Corsaire.

Link to comment

I thought the segment went fine. The worst thing was waiting for it. She was obviously nervous, but she was beautiful and sweet. The audience laughed with her, not at her. Letterman led her nicely enough. He didn't mock ballet. In fact, in the beginning, when he ran down his lineup of guests, he explained who she was and praised ballet as a great art form. The segment went as well as ones I've seen with gymnasts or figure skaters. I think we want Veronika Part to do so well, on and off the stage, that we get a little critical. I do. For her to have gone on further into ballet....it's just not going to happen on a show like this, even if it was an American dancer. I'd like to think the tv viewers, if they think of her at all, are not going to think she's an airhead but just a Russian ballerina who was pretty and pleasant. Anyway, that's my take.

Link to comment

I tend to agree with Dale, and I didn't see her laughter as anything more (or less) than nervousness. Unfortunately, I think she was somewhat paralyzed by her nerves. But if she must have nerves, better to let them get in her way on Letterman than on the ballet stage.

I did like her answer to his question about how she came to study ballet. When she was born, someone told her mother that she had "pretty legs," and suggested she might be suited to ballet. "No one in my family knows anything about ballet," she said. "But you do," Letterman replied. Part answered with giggles :wub: and a nod.

Link to comment

Part was beautiful. Letterman was nice. The whole thing COULD have been definitely more interesting...And yes, there was some sort of mocking gesturing during Letterman's "partnering" segment, which I didn't like...(sorry, but yes... I DO take ballet THAT seriously, which is why I've always avoided Nureyev's PDD with Miss Peggy :dunno: ). Usually actors/actresses talk about new roles, new projects. Nothing here. And then, about Swan Lake, the only think that's being said revolves around a mat...?!? :wub:

...but again, Veronika was TRULY beautiful. :wub:

Link to comment
Nureyev was a guest on Letterman in 1989 - he was promoting "The King and I," and Letterman asked his usual silly questions about ballet. Also, Letterman appeared to be in shock that Rudi was to be a guest. Rudi also appeared on Merv Griffin's afternoon talk show in the 70's, as well as Cavett's show. None of the hosts seemed to know anything about ballet, though.

Dave is never shocked when someone is a guest on his show. He makes the final decisions about each guest (i.e. whether they will make the cut). There is also a run through before the show tapes. Also, Dave is a huge fan of the arts and is to be commended on having so many artists on his show. As for the silly questions about ballet -- that's part of his humor. He was surely asking these questions because a lot of his audience probably never saw a ballet and he was being an "everyman/woman."

As for Merv Griffin (a lovely man in real life), he too made the ultimate decisions about who was to be on his show (ditto Jay Leno etc.). All of these hosts are prepped about their guests history/accomplishment. If they appeared not to know anything about ballet (which is so not true in Letterman's case), it's part of tv (i.e. they allow the guests to make their points etc.). All the guests are pre-interviewed, and questions are discussed. This is true of all national tv and radio.

I'm thrilled that dancers (ballet and others. Savion Glover -- one of my favorite dancers ever -- is a popular national tv guest) have a chance for

the mass exposure that national tv allows.

As for Dave "mocking" Veronika Part (CubanMiamiBoy) -- it's an entertainment show. Dave (gently) mocks -- its part of his persona.

ABT is extremely lucky (and I'm sure they are thrilled, as they should be) that Ms. Part was on this show (with it's huge audience). And even major Hollywood types don't always talk about their latest projects on Letterman. That's his thing. This isn't Charlie Rose; it's a late night

, big ratings (Larry King may be popular but his ratings are miniscule compared to Dave's, or Jay's, or even Conan's or Jimmy Kimmel's) show.

It's all about, well, entertainment. The interview -- which I thought was terrific -- helped promote ballet (which is what matters). And Ms. Part was lovely (she did herself and ABT proud!).

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...