Jump to content
Plisskin

Joy Womack

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, vagansmom said:

I think the difference between Misty Copeland and Joy Womack is that Copeland appears to have more social communication skills. She knew enough to hire a good PR person and to follow the advice.  As dancers go, however, I'd much rather have to watch Womack in a performance than Copeland. Neither have the musicality I need to see in order to enjoy a performance and both are too earth-bound for me. But Misty scales down the technique whereas Womack doesn't.

 

That poses an interesting question: Ignoring everything but their dancing, who do you think makes a better ABT principal?

Don't agree that Joy is earthbound.  Check out her instagram, Gamzatti and Don Quixote.  Communication skills are definitely a difference between them, with Misty in the winning seat.  Joy is developing her musicality with experience.  Don't think she could have done so well in her various competitions without musicality.  Misty is more a modern ballet type and definitely earthbound.  Joy is more lyrical and classical, with killer turns.  There is no comparison on the technique, with Joy the winner.  Joy has had problems with turnout, showing up in her attitudes.  With her Kremlin Ballet coach that has dramatically improved, although it still shows up.

 

Misty Copeland would never be promoted to soloist, let alone principal, in any of the first- or second-tier companies in Russia.  As you can probably gather, I am a fan of Russian Ballet.  They are the best, and in my view that is because of their training.  They ALWAYS stand out in class.  Both artistry and significant performance start in Year One.

 

Love these ballet discussions, but not sure that I am comfortable comparing two dancers on public forums. Each has his/her strengths and weaknesses -- even Lopatkina and Zakharova.  Fouettes are not their strengths.  I am very mindful of the trials and tribulations, difficulties and hurdles of ballet.  Just to make it to the corps of any well established company is a feat in itself, especially, now with dancers in the West who more and more have to compete with dancers trained in Russia. 

 

Share this post


Link to post

But you know, the current mix of full-length and mixed bill ballets is, to me, a strength of the company. To me, the company is so good at both. I just checked my choices for my upcoming subscription for 2017-2018 and I see that without thinking much about it I selected two full-length ballets (R&J and SL), one pure Balanchine classics mixed bill,and one new choreographers evening. For me this is the perfect mix and it plays to all the strengths of the company. To me, no other company can match this. I'm starting to salivate already for September's schedule.

Share this post


Link to post
24 minutes ago, Nzoia said:

 

It was Martins who had to start focusing on the classical ballets to save the company.

There is some evidence that Balanchine's 1951 one-act Swan Lake was produced for financial reasons. It would take me awhile to find the source on this, but originally Balanchine was going to omit the four little swans and Kirstein objected, as that's what ticket-buyers want to see, so it stayed in.

 

Note in the contemporary summary that they mention producing this version in hopes they could do something more daring later.  To me, that means they needed to survive for a better day and this was one way to help ensure that.

https://www.nycballet.com/ballets/s/swan-lake-(balanchine).aspx

 

His Nutcracker was in 1954 and there is quite a bit of historical evidence that he knew he needed a money-maker to bring in revenue to support the rest of the repertoire.

Share this post


Link to post
40 minutes ago, Nzoia said:

 As you can probably gather, I am a fan of Russian Ballet.  They are the best, and in my view that is because of their training.  They ALWAYS stand out in class.  Both artistry and significant performance start in Year One.

 

As I said before Nzoia, it really boils down to individual taste. My favorite company is, and probably always will be, NYCB. I love the rep, the musicality, attack and sense of values. Others think differently and, as interesting as it is to hear other points of view, I can't imagine anyone's mind will be changed by a discussion. We are all lucky that there is so much out there to see and follow.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Nzoia said:

 

It was Martins who had to start focusing on the classical ballets to save the company.

My Google searches show no evidence that Martins has focused on classical ballets to save the company. Classical ballet is more than "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty":  I don't see a full-length "Paquita," "La Bayadere," or "Le Corsaire," for example, and there's no Romantic-filtered-through-and-"after"-Petipa "Giselle" on the NYCB list of ballets.   If you would share yours, I'd appreciate it.

 

He hasn't created a new full-length since the financial crisis, as far as I know.  Please let me know if I've missed any.

 

 

56 minutes ago, Nzoia said:

Love these ballet discussions, but not sure that I am comfortable comparing two dancers on public forums

I am putting on my Admin hat here:

 

Our rules and policies are here, including our policy against discussing the discussion:

http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/34250-rules-rules-and-our-mission/

 

If you don't feel comfortable comparing two dancers on public forums, don't compare two dancers on public forums.  If you don't want to read others doing this, we're not for everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, California said:

There is some evidence that Balanchine's 1951 one-act Swan Lake was produced for financial reasons. It would take me awhile to find the source on this, but originally Balanchine was going to omit the four little swans and Kirstein objected, as that's what ticket-buyers want to see, so it stayed in.

 

There's lots of evidence that many Balanchine ballets were produced for financial reasons, ie, to be popular fare to put butts in seats.  "Vienna Waltzes," "Western Symphony, "Jewels," and "Stars and Stripes" among them. 

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Helene said:

There's lots of evidence that many Balanchine ballets were produced for financial reasons, ie, to be popular fare to put butts in seats.  "Vienna Waltzes," "Western Symphony, "Jewels," and "Stars and Stripes" among them. 

No disagreement from me - and also no criticism of any company that looks at the bottom line in various ways so they can survive for another season. I thought the focus of this discussion was Balanchine reverting to Russian classics to bring in revenue and I think the 1951 Swan Lake was his first (for NYCB). That company was only 3 years old at that point and it's pretty clear they were struggling financially.

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry for the multiple posts in a row:  Ballet Alert! still only works for me on IE, which, in edit mode, has disabled the "enter" key.

 

According to the Balanchine Catalogue, there were a number of revisions to the one-act "Swan Lake," and, happily, audiences haven't boycotted because the dance of the four little swans was replaced by "Valse Bluette.":
 

Quote

Revisions:  New York City Ballet, changes from first years in repertory: 1956, traditional ending of pas de deux replaced by coda for corps de ballet (to Tchaikovsky's original score rather than the traditional Drigo interpolation); 1959, PAS DE TROIS omitted and new Prince's solo added to that music (Grand Waltz from Act II), replacing original Prince's solo to fourth variation of pas de six (Act III), traditional entrance of Swan Queen in coda rechoreographed; 1964, traditional Swan Queen solo replaced by new choreography (to Un Poco di Chopin, Op. 72, no. 15, 1893, orchestrated by Drigo) and subsequently changed several times, Prince's solo rechoreographed (to music from Act I pas de trois) and subsequently changed several times and often omitted, pas de quatre (DANCE OF THE FOUR CYGNETS) replaced by WALTZ BLUETTE for 12 Swans (to orchestrated version of Valse Bagatelle, Op. 72, no. 11 in E-flat), role of Benno omitted; 1980, traditional Swan Queen solo and entrance in coda restored.

 

Share this post


Link to post
58 minutes ago, Helene said:

My Google searches show no evidence that Martins has focused on classical ballets to save the company. Classical ballet is more than "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty":  I don't see a full-length "Paquita," "La Bayadere," or "Le Corsaire," for example, and there's no Romantic-filtered-through-and-"after"-Petipa "Giselle" on the NYCB list of ballets.   If you would share yours, I'd appreciate it.

 

He hasn't created a new full-length since the financial crisis, as far as I know.  Please let me know if I've missed any.

 

 

I am putting on my Admin hat here:

 

Our rules and policies are here, including our policy against discussing the discussion:

http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/34250-rules-rules-and-our-mission/

 

If you don't feel comfortable comparing two dancers on public forums, don't compare two dancers on public forums.  If you don't want to read others doing this, we're not for everyone.

 My comment was strictly relating to me, alone.  I don't recall saying I didn't want to read others doing it or that I would not.  Just expressed my feelings about my own input. As a dancer, I understand the sensitivity of comparisons for those being compared.  

 

About the ballets.  Sometimes companies don't put on some of the full length ballets because of the number of dancers in the ballet and problems with licensing.  Also, of course cost of staging the particular version of a new ballet to a company:  the choreography, commissions, repetiteurs, costumes, scenery, etc.  

 

I am a fan of Russian ballet:  that includes Vaganova training in the West.  It also does not preclude appreciation of great dancers in the West.

Share this post


Link to post
40 minutes ago, California said:

I thought the focus of this discussion was Balanchine reverting to Russian classics to bring in revenue and I think the 1951 Swan Lake was his first (for NYCB). That company was only 3 years old at that point and it's pretty clear they were struggling financially.

Considering that they started as a secret society, it's pretty amazing they ever survived, Lincoln Kirstein's friends or not.

 

The irony was that the US was accustomed to a different definition of ballet, one that Ballet Theatre more emulated, which was the Ballets Russes model.  Was it the 1949 Sadler's Wells tour to NYC where Fonteyn made her big sensation in "Sleeping Beauty" to beginning of the path to Americans having a taste for the full-length classics?  Or did the Soviet company tours pre-date that?

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, CTballetfan said:

But you know, the current mix of full-length and mixed bill ballets is, to me, a strength of the company. To me, the company is so good at both. I just checked my choices for my upcoming subscription for 2017-2018 and I see that without thinking much about it I selected two full-length ballets (R&J and SL), one pure Balanchine classics mixed bill,and one new choreographers evening. For me this is the perfect mix and it plays to all the strengths of the company. To me, no other company can match this. I'm starting to salivate already for September's schedule.

 

I completely agree.  A mix is good, and I think all top companies strive for that mix.  At one time the NYCB didn't have enough of a mix.  As we have discussed, that has changed.  I appreciate your love of the NYCB.  From my perspective of loving Russian Ballet, it was, after all founded by a former Vaganova Academy graduate and former Mariinsky Ballet dancer.  But as I mentioned, I am not a Balanchine fan.  I believe the NYCB is beginning to open up to outside dancers now, as is the POB -- a positive move I think.  My absolute ballet idol at one time was Suzanne Farrel, but tastes and preferences change with life's experiences.  That is good too.  If all ballets and companies were exactly the same, the ballet world really would be pretty boring -- and struggling even more for funding.

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, Helene said:

The irony was that the US was accustomed to a different definition of ballet, one that Ballet Theatre more emulated, which was the Ballets Russes model.  Was it the 1949 Sadler's Wells tour to NYC where Fonteyn made her big sensation in "Sleeping Beauty" to beginning of the path to Americans having a taste for the full-length classics?  Or did the Soviet company tours pre-date that?

Here's one source that puts the first Soviet Bolshoi tour of the US at 1959. I don't think anything in the cultural exchanges happened until after Stalin's death in 1953.

http://theappendix.net/issues/2014/7/dancers-and-diplomats-new-york-city-ballet-in-moscow-october-1962

 

I'm not aware of any US tours by the Kirov prior to tours by Bolshoi Ballet. Of course, Ballets Russe in various forms toured decades earlier, but they weren't doing Swan Lake!

Share this post


Link to post
13 minutes ago, Helene said:

Was it the 1949 Sadler's Wells tour to NYC where Fonteyn made her big sensation in "Sleeping Beauty" to beginning of the path to Americans having a taste for the full-length classics?  Or did the Soviet company tours pre-date that?

Pretty sure it was the 1949 Sadler's Wells tour to the U.S. (think they went across the country).

Share this post


Link to post
12 minutes ago, Nzoia said:

it was, after all founded by a former Vaganova Academy graduate

 

No, Balanchine studied at the Imperial Ballet School. Big difference.

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

 

No, Balanchine studied at the Imperial Ballet School. Big difference.

 

The Imperial Ballet School and Vaganova Academy are one and the same.

Share this post


Link to post
11 minutes ago, Nzoia said:

 

The Imperial Ballet School and Vaganova Academy are one and the same.

That is not true.  A good source in English is Catherine Pawlick's book, "Vaganova Today."

 

23 minutes ago, California said:

Of course, Ballets Russe in various forms toured decades earlier, but they weren't doing Swan Lake!

That's why I find it ironic:  US ballet audiences had been exposed to very different kinds of rep, including Folkine, Massine, Nijinska, and Balanchine, ie mixed rep and some of it contemporary rep, not to mention the film ballets, many also choreographed by Balanchine, and the ballet-like performances in vaudeville.  The expectation for ballet was different than full-length classics.

Share this post


Link to post
10 minutes ago, Helene said:

That is not true.  A good source in English is Catherine Pawlick's book, "Vaganova Today."

 

You can check the history out right on the Vaganova website.

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, Nzoia said:

You can check the history out right on the Vaganova website.

Here's a link to their history (in English). Given that Vaganova herself lived well into the 20th century, the place needed a name before that, viz., Imperial Theatre School. So we could still wonder if "Imperial Ballet School" is the same place. But note that they list Balanchine as a graduate (in 1921), so presumably it was one and the same.

 

http://vaganovaacademy.com/A/History

Share this post


Link to post

Balanchine left the Petrograd Choreographic School the same year that Agrippina Vaganova began teaching there. It's likely he wouldn't have had much, if any, exposure to her pedagogical methodology. I'm sure we can agree that Balanchine never received "Vaganova training."

Share this post


Link to post
29 minutes ago, Nzoia said:

You can check the history out right on the Vaganova website

Perhaps you'd like to provide links or quotes, because the only claims I can find on the English Vaganova site are that she created and codified her own teaching method:

 

Quote

The Academy’s method of ballet training was created by one of its most distinguished teachers - Professor Agrippina Y. Vaganova, who taught at the Academy from 1921 until her death in 1951. Since that time, the Academy has continued to develop and advance the syllabus that has created so many exceptional artists.

http://vaganovaacademy.com/A/Welcome

 

Quote

Agrippina Vaganova graduated from the School in 1897 and, after completing her performing career, began teaching at the School in 1921.  A masterful and astute teacher, Vaganova developed a codified and comprehensive syllabus that established  a new era in ballet education. In 1957, six years after Vaganova’s death, the School was named after her. 

http://vaganovaacademy.com/A/History

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

LOL! Of course the Vaganova Academy and the old Imperial Theatrical School are the same. Just like Istanbul was Constantinople and old New York was once New Amsterdam.

 

And Vaganova's key achievement was in systematizing and codifying the teaching tradition that had already existed at the school while she had been a student there (and later when Balanchine was there), fusing the influences of the French and Italian schools with distinctive features of Russian dance that she learned from Ekaterina Vazem, a great 19th century Russian ballerina. So Balanchine's and Vaganova's styles have ultimately diverged, but they directly originate from the exact same foundational and methodological tradition, no questions about it.

Edited by Fleurdelis

Share this post


Link to post

I have seen Joy dance, and it was utterly thrilling. She danced Sugar Plum Fairy with Chase O'Connell of Ballet West at a guesting here in Salt Lake City with a local ballet school. The performance was impeccable. Joy is so glamorous, technically proficient, and artistically polished. Thier fish dive at the end made the audience catch their breath!

 

Anyone who has doubts about her turnout should watch her most recent video. Her turnout is amazing. So is her extension, strength and flexibility. 

 

Her personality may be somewhat difficult, but she has not been shy about her struggles with anxiety and depression. These things are frowned upon in Russia, so she probably doesn't have much support. I feel for her.

 

I think Joy deserves a break. 

Share this post


Link to post
24 minutes ago, Fleurdelis said:

So Balanchine's and Vaganova's styles have ultimately diverged, but they directly originate from the exact same foundational and methodological tradition, no questions about it.

Except that there are many questions about it, because she was creating a methodology to train dancers to be able to dance current choreography that was being created at that time as well as updated versions of the classics that already distorted the virtues and intent of Petipa's choreography, which had already started before the royal coach stopped showing up to bring him to work.  The demands of that choreography were quite different, and, after stretching her method to an extreme, she finally called uncle when she thought it became too circus-like.

Share this post


Link to post

Once again, she was not "creating" a methodology. She was systematizing the lessons and knowledge that had already existed at the school and at the theater, and which she had herself learned from Vazem, Legat, Cecchetti and Pavel Gerdt (who, incidentally, was Balanchine's teacher too). Of course, she added and expanded on that, but as far as her "distorting" Petipa's choreography, I think that's a bit outlandish to claim. In fact, she helped preserve this classical tradition against the influences of Soviet acrobatic folk-infused ballet, an incredible feat indeed at the time, given how alien (and quite frankly odious) the courtly, lavish and aristocratic imperial ballet tradition must have looked from the point of view of Communist ideology and aesthetic.

Edited by Fleurdelis

Share this post


Link to post

And Balanchine based his teaching on the lessons he learned in the Imperial School, a methodology of practice and example, but that does make what he taught the Imperial style.  And it doesn't make what Vaganova taught the Imperial style, either. 

 

Vaganova was the AD of the company as well as a teacher, and it was she who famously removed the mime from the classical ballets to make the ballets more interesting to audiences, who preferred the tricks.  If that's not a distortion of Petipa, I'm not sure what is.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...