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Viengsay Valdes


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...just switching from the "Best balancing act" discussion to this more apropriate thread.

Thank you, cubanmiamiboy, for posting Viengsay Valdes's Rose Adagio. Her balances were amazing...the best I have ever seen...wow! Even though the choreography is a bit different in some places, it didn't go so far as to spoil the dance and the scene, for me, anyway...She was very sweet and charming in her demeanor, which is just so vital for this famous adagio. She was Aurora...not just a technical whiz. I love her!

I think so too, Gina. I've seen many Rose Adagios in my lifetime, and there have been many, many times where the ballerina didn't fill my expectations, either because:

1-She couldn't nail those balances-(which are definitely the technical highlight of the choreography.

2-She couldn't keep her arms up in couronne in between them.

3-Or she didn't convince me as being a tender teenager, due to real age issues-(something that for some reason Giselle can get away with)

4-For all of the above reasons PLUS getting lost in the character's interpretation.-(a la Somova)

Viengsay, even with her showing off element, does justice to all that...and still can make up for a very exciting performance.

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I love the Magic Flute clip. She's not just a great balancer -- though her aplomb beats anything. There's a lovely delicacy in her dancing that makes her feats of control generous and gracious, and she's always dancing through the moments of stillness.

I agree. I would like to note that Miss Valdes' climbing has been a really hard one. I remember that while I was still living in Cuba she was just a First Soloist all while Miss Lorna Feijoo was everyone's sweetheart and favorite...the real reigning queen of the CNB. I also remember the early critiques from the most hardcore balletomanes about Valdes' said to be lack of artistic skills and refinement. It wasn't really until Feijoo and Alihaydee Carreno defected that she was able to be promoted to Primera Bailarina, and then she had the chance to show off her technical power. To be fair, I must say that I think she has come a long way on her artistic development, and as I said earlier, she's probably not the best actress of this world, but neither the very worst. I think she knows her limitations, and then she tries hard to make it up to her loyal fans with her fierce display of technical fireworks. As Paul noted, I think she was a hit in "The Magic Flute", DEFINITELY as Kitri and even not that bad in Giselle. Her problem seems to be at portraying regal or delicate characters-(Swan Queens, Fairies , Princesses and the like...). Still, I give her credit for always giving an exciting, HONEST performance to her audience, and at the very end, that's what really matters.

Just a thought...

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Thanks, Christian.

i agree about her honesty. She's almost like a Balanchie dancer that way -- at lesat in the things I like -- Corsaire is simply fabulous, and Odette's transformation -- the dramatic sense is powerful, but it's not about herself, it's about hte choreography or the music, the natural BIG questions that the dance itself raises.

And of course in Corsaire she has a real consort in Acosta.

About Black Swan, I find the choreography rather threadbare, and her partner, though he is beautiful, is too refined for her.

What I find most extraordinary is the vehemence of the comments posted on youtube -- my Spanish is good enough to taste the contempt that posters have for those who disagree with them about VV. I've never seen such flames before....

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I agree about her honesty. She's almost like a Balanchie dancer that way...

Interesting thought. I think she could be wonderful in some Balanchine ballets, like T&V...

What I find most extraordinary is the vehemence of the comments posted on youtube -- my Spanish is good enough to taste the contempt that posters have for those who disagree with them about VV. I've never seen such flames before....

Confession. Sometimes I pop in too...You know...that national pride. :FIREdevil:

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What's there not to love about VV? She's extraordinary in allegro, adagio, musicality, technique, stage presence, etc, etc, etc. Isn't it preferable to be the object of disdain for having an abundance of great qualities (like VV) than for lacking the basics (like you-know-who in St Petersburg)?

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I agree with you, Natalia, and more than all that, Valdes is a totally committed ballerina, she dances non stop everything and without fear. She's strong, hasn't suffered too many injuries and you can always count on the fact that she will be there onstage to deliver a good, exciting show. Perhaps not the most refined, princess-like ballerina, but nonetheless great to watch and very reliable. Being reliable in the world of ballet is something I perceived as precious...and I really appreciate that virtue of her.

The next clip of her is an unfortunate one, and it has created quite a buzz among the posters. Valdes was scheduled to dance the Diana&Acteon PDD with Carlos Acosta, who was visiting at the moment in Havana. That very same day she ended up in the Emergency Room of a Havana hospital with an acute asthma attack-(which she has suffered since she was a child). They all tried to prevent her to perform that night, but she announced that her fans had been waiting for a long time to see her and Acosta together, and neither them nor Acosta deserved her absence. Her appearance caused a big controversy, but the audience knew how to appreciate her stubbornness. At 7:21 minutes of this clip, you can tell clearly that Valdes is about to faint, but nevertheless she finished her PDD. Brava Viengsay!


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Thanks for posting the clip. Yes, she really fought through her solo and the fouettes in the coda before toally running out of gas. But did you notice that even at the height of her troubles, she still retained musicality and gorgeous port de bras? I love her as much for her sensitivity as for her pyrotechnics.

A word about the Havana audience: Half of the joy of watching Cuban video clips is listening to audience reactions. What a wild-and-crazy ballet-loving bunch! I'm only sorry that the Cuban dancers cannot take along a few of the fans to the Kennedy Center next summer.

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