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Which Florimunds have you seen?

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umm, sweeping away cobwebs....(and keeping it to live performances)

rudolph nureyev (with karen kain, nadia potts and veronica tennant)

patrick armand (with trinidad sevillano)

vladimir malakhov (with julie kent)

igor zelensky (with svetlana zakharova)

stephen jeffries (with gelsey kirkland)

that's what comes to mind for now. assessment later? smile.gif

[ November 06, 2001: Message edited by: Mme. Hermine ]

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Well, it's difficult to do anything with Florimund, isn't it? I suppose nobility and good technique are the most you can hope for. I think it's a role where good looks help, too.

I've seen Nureyev, Dowell, David Blair, Donald Macleary, Anton Korsakov, Fadayev, Zelensky, and various others I've forgotten, and some on video. I wouldn't say any of them "defined the role" for me, but they were all acceptable. Dowell was the best dancer, and since he had the looks too, he probably wins! Nureyev had too much personality for Florimund, I feel, too dominating.

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I agree with Helena -- Dowell defines Florimund for me since he had the looks, noble bearing and technique required of the role. The only other memorable Florimund for me was Nureyev in the film of SB with Karen Kain. I loved the way he ran and jumped around the stage in the Awakening scene -- he was so in sync with the dramatic spirit of the music.

Does anyone know why the Prince has 2 names, Florimund and Desire? This has puzzled me for years.


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Sleeping Beauty is so much the ballerina’s ballet, that sometimes Florimund is almost an afterthought, but when the role is pumped up too much as in the Nureyev version, it doesn’t look right. However I very much appreciate Ashton’s awakening pas de deux, as it adds the right romantic atmosphere at that point in the story and gives Florimund more to do.

Best performances? Dowell and John Gilpin were two of the best for looking noble. Nureyev was perfect with Fonteyn but a degree or so less perfect with other partners, but Nikolai Fadeyechev, whose performance is captured on video manages to dance superbly and look the part. I think he is the dancer who most defines the role for me.

Last year I saw Nikolai Tsiskaridze dance the role in Barcelona and he was a revelation. I have seen no one dance quite like that. He dances at phenomenal speed and then has the ability to accelerate into a kind of overdrive. It was incredibly exciting for the audience. Has anyone else seen him in that role?

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Melissa, I think the Prince was originally called Desire. (Sorry, my laptop doesn't do accents.) When it was staged by the Sadlers Wells (Royal)Ballet in England in the 1930s, problems arose with the name because it was the name usually used for princes in pantomimes, which were considered a downmarket form of entertainment, so it was changed to Florimund, presumably considered more distinguished. Other companies sometimes adopted this name. The Kirov still uses Desire.

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I've always wondered about the Florimund/Desire naming -- which came from where, and why the change was made. (I'd vote for Desire. smile.gif )

My two Princes were Nureyev and Dowell. I saw Nureyev much more often -- I didn't like the four-solos-in-the-second-act version either. I liked Nureyev and Dowell not only for the beauty of their dancing, but because they could fill the role, something very few people can do. I never wanted the Prince to "do more" or wondered why he wasn't dancing. Both Nureyev and Dowell WERE always dancing -- their walk was dancing.

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I saw Nureyev as the prince with National Ballet of Canada at The MET. I mostly remember thinking that his choice of ending his wedding variation in fifth position was interesting.

Many years before that, I saw Peter Martins as the prince with my civic ballet in Miami. We performed Ben Stevenson's version with National Ballet of Washington's sets and costumes (plus many of their soloists and principles). I was mostly interested in watching Violette Verdy as Aurora, so I don't remember much about Martins except that he seemed very noble in the hunting scene.

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Originally posted by glebb:

I saw Nureyev as the prince with National Ballet of Canada at The MET. I mostly remember thinking that his choice of ending his wedding variation in fifth position was interesting.

Ah, that ending. I swear I saw one performance where he ended in attitude on high demi-pointe, THEN slammed into fifth position (after having done a double air turn in between each turning jump in the coda), and stood there, arms up, gathering in his applause, making it absolutely clear that nothing further was going to happen until the entire Met stood. (We responded.)

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RE: Desire (haven't yet learned to put the acute accents but both e's get them) vs. Florimund. Don't now have a handle on the Florimund moniker but according to the authoritative Francine du Plessix Gray (authority on Marquis de Sade and Marie Antoinette, among other French luminaries), writing a review of a Evelyne Lever's "Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France" in a NEW YORKER piece entitled "The Child Queen," Aug. 7, 2000, p. 81, Louis XVI was known at the time of his marriage (when he was still Dauphin) as Louis le Desire (w/ accents, of course).

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Nureyev initially refused to do the Prince role with the RB because he found it too boring - too much work and not enough dancing (only 1 variation). He did perform the Bluebird, however, with Vivyan Lorraine as his chosen partner. I don't know that he ever did it in London, but he did it twice at the Met in 1965.

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Sorry, I made a mistake in the former message.

I would have liked to write as follows:

I don't think the role of Prince Florimund (or Desire) boring at all. It should be as difficutl and scaring for the male dancers to dance as Princess Aurora for the female dancers.

I think to dance Prince Florimund reveals what he is, where he comes from, or what kind of dancer he is. Actually he doesn't seem to have so much free scope for his acting. If he does, he may look a bit over the top. There seems to be nothing for him to hide himself.

Some of my impressive Prince Florimund are Manuel Legris, Jean Guillaume Bart (POB), Andrei Uvalov, Sergei Filin (Bolshoi), Igol Zelensky (Kirov), Bruce Sansom, Stephen Jeffries, Jonathan Cope (Royal), Roland Price (Birmingham Royal), Valdimir Malakhov, etc. I saw Anthony Dowell dancing Prince Florimund on video only and he looks brilliant.

Prince Florimund is not a role to show off techiniqe or to act a lot. But I do love this role, because it seems to show us the essence of

danse classique.

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Thank you for that, Robert! I'd never read that (I don't know how to do accents either. It's something with knowing a number code, and using the alt key plus the number pad, but I've never cracked it. Sometimes I'll write Desire' -- which probably doesn't help much, but makes me feel more virtuous.) smile.gif

Angleterre -- no apologies necessary. I deleted your first post. Did you know you can edit your own posts? Just click on the little pencil icon at the top of the message block, and you can go in and change things. All of us drop words, or make spelling mistakes when we type and you'll see a lot of "edited by xxx" lines at the end of posts smile.gif

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Technical advice for poster in need of "alt" characters: Press the "alt" key and use the following number codes on your numeric keypad to get the various "alt" characters.

alt 130 = é

alt 138 = è

alt 133 = à

alt 131 = â

alt 136 = ê

There are many others, but those, I think will get you started - experiment a bit. You'll find the rest. If your keyboard doesn't have a numeric keypad, then check the owner's manual for how to cause alt characters. smile.gif

[ November 12, 2001: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]

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taking Mel Johnson's advice w/ eagerness, and gratitude, i keyboard for the first time out of my normal word program: the name of THE SLEEPING BEAUTY's fair prince, Désiré. voila! quelle magique! keystrokes that now seem to be blessed by the wand of the beneficent lilac fairy.

p.s great Florimunds/Désirés (seen live) in my view include:

Anthony Dowell, Vyacheslav Gordeyev, Vladilen Semenov, Alexei Fadeyechev, and Patrick Bissell, (probably forgetting one or two more).

[ November 12, 2001: Message edited by: rg ]

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Oh, Patrick Bissell! Thank you, RG. I'm chagrined to have forgotten him. I remember one Friends of ABT rehearsal I attended of the Vision Scene at the Kennedy Center where Bissell -- I think yet to make his debut in the role, and about 20 -- was very patiently explaining to the corps, "You're supposed to keep me from getting her." He had everything for the role, to me -- the presence, the height and proportions, the grandeur, and, probably most importantly, the sense of being a real person (Prince) on stage -- filling the role.

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