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

Dancer you changed your opinion of?


Recommended Posts

Have there been any dancers that you either had a preconceived notion of, or saw in a performance and didn't like and now you find you have a totally different opinion of?

For example. For me, initially Wendy Whelan was a little too "modern" for my taste. She didn't have soft, delicate features, she was very angular. And I used to see her over and over in the black leotard pieces.

Then when I saw her in both "Midsummer's" and as "Aurora" completely changed my opinion (and I felt a little guilty being so judgemental)

Has anyone else had this happen?

Link to comment

When I first saw The Joffrey Ballet in 1975, there was a dancer named Starr Danias.

I thought she was delicate and pretty. She had a great dancer's body and the face of a film star. I remember thinking that she wasn't really a very strong dancer but because she was pretty she was featured.

Then over the years I saw other dancers learning her part in KETTENTANZ and realized how strong and able Starr had been.

Link to comment

The first time I saw Suzanne Farrell was when she was with Bejart, in Nijinsky Clown of God, and I really really didn't like her. I thought she was all extensions and no line, not to mention no taste. (Though the costume wasn't her fault.) It took me years to recover from that, and it was really only once she retired that I found out how wonderful and unique she was.

Link to comment

In 1999, I was really appalled by Irma Nioradze's Aurora when the Kirov was doing Sleeping Beauty at the Met. Although clearly very strong technically, she was a bit on the mature side for Aurora, her sledgehammer presentation was not at all right for the role. She later turned in a rather astonishing (for not exactly the right reasons) rendition of the First Movement of Symphony in C (in which the Kirov didn't cover itself in glory). I made some less-than-complimentary posts about her here, and was firmly corrected by others who were a bit more familiar with Nioradze. I wondered if we'd been seeing the same dancer.

Then, on the last night of the Kirov's season, she danced a beautifully realized, carefully thought-out Giselle. Her dancing was heroic, and I won't soon forget the tenderness with which she cradled her Albrecht near the end of the second act.

Link to comment

Nina Ananiashvili. I used to consider her boring; I'd avoid her. Several years ago I saw her in "Swan Lake" with ABT and it was one of my weepy evenings; she was gorgeous. Since then I see her whenever I can. I saw her R&J from the 2nd row of the orchestra and it was so moving that I was in the ballet rather than just seeing it.


Link to comment

For me it has many times been the opposite. I have gone especially to see a performance of a certain dancer and have come away disappointed and let-down. I went to see Paloma Herrera because I thought she was a world class virtuoso,another Plisetskaya, and after I saw her I did not think so at all.The same with Amanda McKerrow. When Margaret Tracey was performing I used to think she was boring,I didnt know why they used her so much,she was practically onstage every night.Now that she is retired I saw that her beauty lay in the fact that she could be counted on to give a more or less good performance every night something that cannot be said every principal at NYCB.

Link to comment

I first thought of Merrill Ashley as a cold technician who always looked at the floor while dancing. Then in one rehearsal she accidentally kicked a dancer in the head and was so sweet and touching in her concern that my eyes never saw her the same way again, even though she didn't change at all.

Link to comment

A belated welcome to the forum, Lucy -- I've been busy and haven't had a chance to check on all the posts for the past few days. I think meeting a dancer can change one's opinion, as often the idea we have of that dancer is different from the reality.

I've changed my mind about so many dancers it's hard to remember them! Often it's because a young, rather callow dancer simply grows up. It's one of the advantages of being a reviewer. I have to go to performances that I might not choose to see otherwise, and I'm often surprised about dancers. Often for the better :)

Allegro, I think what you wrote about Guillem happens with a lot of dancers. The first few times we see them we see the brilliance -- and many people only see a dancer once or twice, so that's enough. But if we keep seeing them in different roles, we see that they don't have a very broad range.

Link to comment
Guest tigger_fan_ann

I used to think the guys from the corps of ABT weren't that good until I saw some of them perform individually last year. They were really good!

Link to comment

I am ashamed to say that I would have rather seen anyone else in a video (I never had the honour of seeing her dance in person) than Galina Mezentseva, Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the Kirov Ballet, St. Petersburg.

It was something about her face, her skinny, skinny arms and upper legs, and, and......I don't know, but something!

Now, I watch the same videos with respect that grows greater each time. She is, of course, absolutely worthy of her title, but it was my personal taste that made me take a long time to warm up to her.

Now, Altynai! I could watch her dance forever! Too bad she packed it in so quietly.

Link to comment

Watching RB dancers in class or masterclasses tends to skew things for me a little. I first saw Marianela Nunez in a Coppelia masterclass and I thought she was just fantastic. When it came down to the actual performance I was less than impressed. But she's been extraordinary in her soloist roles and has become a favourite. I'd really like to see her cast in more principal roles next season.

I think Muriel Valtat is another. She doesn't seem to dance an awful lot these days - the only major role I've seen her in is Natalia Petrovna in A Month in the Country and I was a little unsure, especially after seeing Guillem the night before. But in an Insight Evening last week we saw Valtat rehearse the first and final solos from 'Month' and wow! I thought she was terrific, such a beautiful expressive Natalia. Plus Ashton's steps were even more dizzyingly fast up close than I had ever realised! Such a shame that she's getting more character roles these days than dancing ones.

Link to comment
Guest JulieK

Well, I used to be so impressed by Paloma Herrera and her gorgeous overly-arched feet, but now I find myself favoring the more classical lines appropriate for classical ballet. Not to mention, I haven't seen a more current video of her other than ABT Now or Le Corsaire, but her port de bras really bothers me!I much prefer Julie Kent to her now.

Link to comment


I have to say I really only started to enjoy watching Julie Kent about recently. Perhaps it was just a question of seeing her so often (really, she *does* seem to be cast in just about everything, and she seems to cover a lot of roles when other people are injured or otherwise withdraw), that I didn't really appreciate her so much. Pretty much whether I intended to see her or not, I would see her multiple times in a season. But about a year ago, I really started seeing a number of excellent performances from Julie Kent, and I enjoy seeing her a lot now. Seeing her almost back to back with Alessandra Ferri last week in Onegin was fascinating; both turned in wonderful performances, but quite different.

Speaking of "Onegin," really only started to appreciate Robert Hill with this season. Really hope to see him some more before he retires, because the performance in "Onegin" was special.

Finally, kind of liked Paloma Herrera for a while, then did my best to avoid her on the schedule, now enjoying some of her dancing again.

Link to comment

Let's see.

Kyra Nichols.

Then: cold, withdrawn, nothing but technique.

Now: Terpsichore personified.

Julie Kent.

Then: Barbie on pointe. Acting the gamut of emotions from A to B. (I know, I stole that.

Now: Last year danced an astonishingly subtle and moving Giselle. Keeping my fingers crossed for this year.

Wendy Whelan.

Then: Alarming physique. So different, she was hard to pigeon-hole.

Now: A Goddess of the dance. Sui generis.

Jock Soto.

Then: No line at all. Seemed invisible when not partnering Heather Watts, and more so when he was partnering her.

Now: Surprising depth and presence onstage (as in Liebeslieder a few years ago). One of the best partners ever.

Heather Watts.

Then: Mannerisms held together by tics.

Now: I don't mind her dancing quite so much.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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