sunday Posted July 8, 2009 Share Posted July 8, 2009 Hello from Barcelona! My name is José Luis, but in English language boards I found that Jose is more straightforward. I'm a middle-aged electrical engineer, with no professional relation with arts, interpretative or else, but with a fondness for Classical music since childhood. Tchaikovsky has been a favorite composer since ever, especially his ballet suites. About ballet, well the sorry state of the art around here that forced our finest -Corella, Rojo, Amatriain, etc.- to seek greener pastures elsewhere (or leave the international circuit even) is known. So the dance I was exposed to when young was of the dark, gloomy, abstract, experimental/contemporary ilk -which has its merits, and I'm begin to appreciate now- but it isn't the best to attract new customers. Especially prospective customers used to Baroque and Romantic music. Instead, I became an Opera fan -we have a strong opera tradition here- of the major works: Turandot, Madama Butterfly, Nabucco, Norma, Don Giovanni (Mozart's), Tanhäuser, Ring of the Nibelungs. Also of the works of the great Romanthic composers, and some obscure -but also great- Baroque ones. And Tchaikovsky. About ballet, I liked very much the White Nights movie with Baryshnikov, and that was all. Two months ago, enter a ballerina that introduced me to classical ballet and to all the very hard work that dancers must do to give the audience the feeling that gravity has no visible effect upon them. I began some research, seeing internet videos and reading biographies of dancers, composers, and coreographers, and using the comments on the videos* for orientation in the search of interesting ballerinas. After seeing in YT the Grand PDD of Don Q. with Angel Corella and Paloma Herrera, I was in awe. Light, energy, enthusiasm, enticing melodies, joie de vivre (excuse my French ). After seeing the little Russian hurricane also known as Osipova in that same Minkus piece, I had swallowed hook, sink, and line. Oh boy, there was one truly ballet-hooked engineer. Videos of DQ, Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Firebird, Giselle, Coppèlia, RJ, etc. were soon devoured - thanks to a quite capable home cinema rig**. Different versions of the Dying Swan were compared: Pavlova, Plisetskaya, Lopatkina ... Trockadero . The reason for calling Plisetskaya "Queen of the air" was soon evident, Guillem bendiness almost freaked me out, the grace, mastery, and thoughtfulness of Lopatkina were appreciated, also the armless fouettés of Maximova, the balance of Valdés, the ballon of Baryshnikov, the bourrées of Semionova, and much more. Also I watched three times Swan Lake by the Imperial Russian Ballet. In the meanwhile, I arrived to an interesting forum, aplenty with knowledge people, tips, and hints about which dancers to watch, and very interesting, and humorous, tidbits about backstage work, like techniques to cover tattoos in too-hip-ballerinas, possible origins of fan use in a Spanish-staged ballet, effects of artificial snow in mice population when Nutcracker is not on, etc. And some posters from Spain from who I obtained directions to Spanish websites, such as fotoescena, and unwillingly almost made me wanting to tear my hair off because of Osipova performing Kitri in 2008 at Two hour drive from home!, without me being aware . There were hints of a possible greening of the dusty Spanish soil: the Corella ballet. Thanks to one of those posters, and now friend, I'll be at their first Bayadère of this July, with the varsity: Corella, Cojocaru, and Almeida . Well, ladies and gentlemen, thanks for your time, and your patience. Also thanks for this magnificent site from which this dilettante newbie has a lot to learn, Jose * It's remarkable the depth of knowledge one can find in the posters on the Youtube ballet videos. Some cattiness***, also, but humans being humans... ** I have some knowledge of non-audiophile grade (i.e. relatively cheap but effective) AV equipment, so feel free to ask. At the worst, I'll redirect to the appropriate thread at AVSforums. *** The GREAT Plisetskaya a hippo compared with a quite ill Gelsey Kirkland? Oh, come on! Quote Link to comment
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