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CharlieH

Are there any great Classicists today?

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3 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

(As for Tiler Peck, I have a sneaking suspicion that the day following her retirement from the stage is the day I stop going to the ballet, because what comes after her is a wasteland of underfed contorionists.)

Which is why I thought of her right away. I find her dancing, if daring and exciting, beautifully and properly controlled and aligned at the same time. I am a huge fan of Osipova-( I nominated both on the "Today's rulers" thread)- but in regard to overall detail to proper classicism I don't see Osipova the way I see Peck.

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Posted (edited)

I love the Lund and Imler examples...Imler a rare female classicist who is larger-than-petite! I’m so grateful to Ballet Alerters who pointed her out, so that I was able to see her live before her retirement. ❤️ 

In my original post, I should have mentioned one of my first great “classicist loves”: 1980s Royal Ballet Prima, Leslie Collier! In another thread, Cubanmiamiboy mentioned the VHS/DVD of her exquisite Sugarplum in the first taping of Wright’s Nutcracker. That’s a keeper. Actually, without the “Collier Collection,” my ballet library would be so much poorer.

I greatly admire Tereshkina but I wouldn’t call her a classicist. In fact, she began her career as quite a risk taker - not so careful - falling quite often (notably, in her A1 entrance as Medora at the Kennedy Center, ca2005)! She tamed her wild ways after that but is not as prim a classicist as her colleagues Osmolkina or Novikova, IMO...but I still love her dancing...equally grand as (almost) classicist and neo-classicist!

adding - ITA that Peck is the most classical among NYCB primas, despite my feelings about port de bras. It’s no coincidence that Ratmansky selected her for his Petipa reconstructions film...and she was selected to demonstrate the Balanchine Harlequinade in the same lecture-demo in which Angelica Generosa demonstrated the same dances by Petipa (Doug Fullington emcee).

Edited by CharlieH

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2 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

 

In my original post, I should have mentioned one of my first great “classicist loves”: 1980s Royal Ballet Prima, Leslie Collier! In another thread, Cubanmiamiboy mentioned the VHS/DVD of her exquisite Sugarplum in the first taping of Wright’s Nutcracker. That’s a keeper. Actually, without the “Collier Collection,” my ballet library would be so much poorer.

 

Mme. Collier yes, yes YES! Her Fee Dragee ought to be the quintessential mark of pure female classicism. I also treasure that video, because not knowing that the original pdd had survived in England, I truly missed it when I came to the States and started watching MCB Balanchine's. Then one day I bought the video by chance and VOILA' ! There it was the beautiful pdd just as I remembered it from Alonso's staging after Fedorova..! 

And danced nonetheless by the amazing Collier and Dowell. A real feast for the academic-loving eyes. Two thumbs up, Charlie!

🤗🤗🤗🤗

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I also think Olesya Novikova is a classicist. Not many ballerinas can pull this sort of thing off the way she does:

 

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2 hours ago, canbelto said:

I also think Olesya Novikova is a classicist. Not many ballerinas can pull this sort of thing off the way she does:

 

 

Wow...what a beautiful piece and performance.  Thanks for the uploading.

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And if an audience member believes that a conductor is distorting the temping and/or shape of the music, they might post about it and/or not go to hear that conductor again.

The biggest difference between dance and music is that for classical music, the is a score, which is a printed record that can be recovered, unlike the vast majority of ballet, which is passed down and sometimes resembles a long game of telephone.

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I adore Olesya and think she is one of the best dancers in the world.  However, I don't know that she makes it as a classicist if we apply the same rules we've applied to others.

1.  A very high extension with some distortion of the torso.

2. That foot looks too high? and 3. (below) a pretty slow tempo.

 

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Novikova used to be a dancing machine, she is not, however, a paragon of academically pure dance; artistically, I find her often remarkably unappealing, like in her Sleeping Beauty in March.

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3 hours ago, Helene said:

And if an audience member believes that a conductor is distorting the temping and/or shape of the music, they might post about it and/or not go to hear that conductor again.

Exactly, and I feel the same with dancers that habitually distort a familiar ballet score.  I stay away.

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14 hours ago, Mashinka said:

Exactly, and I feel the same with dancers that habitually distort a familiar ballet score.  I stay away.

I usually hear that conductors adapt to the demands of dancers, although there are stories in which conductors have stood up against it. In an infamous one a Cuban ballerina was calling for an excruciatingly slow tempo in the white swan Adagio during rehearsal and the conductor stopped and, to the question of why he was going against her choice, he angrily screamed from the pit "because that's how Tchaikovsky composed it!!".

There are segments that remain famously unchanged in ballet in certain companies. Kitri's variation with passes at the Bolshoi is one of them. I haven't seen one instance in which the tempo have slowed down by any ballerina there. It is famously fast, and I think Struchkova set the difficult bar for generations to come.

@ 1:12

 

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17 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

I usually hear that conductors adapt to the demands of dancers

Sometimes this turns into a vicious circle. I once talked with a Swan Queen after a performance in which the lakeside scenes had been painfully slow and asked about it, because it was atypical for her. It turns out that she, too, had asked the conductor why he had been conducting so slowly. "I was following you," he answered, to which she replied, "But I was following you!" And so the music kept getting slower and slower...

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2 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

Sometimes this turns into a vicious circle. I once talked with a Swan Queen after a performance in which the lakeside scenes had been painfully slow and asked about it, because it was atypical for her. It turns out that she, too, had asked the conductor why he had been conducting so slowly. "I was following you," he answered, to which she replied, "But I was following you!" And so the music kept getting slower and slower...

But I was following YOU! A conversation very familiar among (conductorless) chamber musicians.  In performances that require collaboration, an excess of deference can be a real problem. There are various techniques we use to speed up or slow down to get back to the agreed-upon tempo, but in the heat of the moment those attempts can be unsuccessful.  

Some people have a rock-solid absolute sense of tempo (most conductors, obviously), but to many musicians it's quite relative and we have to guard against being led astray by our perceptions in the moment.  I imagine it's the same for dancers.

Edited by Quinten

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9 hours ago, Quinten said:

But I was following YOU! A conversation very familiar among (conductorless) chamber musicians.  In performances that require collaboration, an excess of deference can be a real problem. There are various techniques we use to speed up or slow down to get back to the agreed-upon tempo, but in the heat of the moment those attempts can be unsuccessful.  

Some people have a rock-solid absolute sense of tempo (most conductors, obviously), but to many musicians it's quite relative and we have to guard against being led astray by our perceptions in the moment.  I imagine it's the same for dancers.

Where did I read that Spessivtzeva had to had someone on the wings clapping to keep her on tempo, given that she had a tendency to get off it quite easy...?

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20 hours ago, macnellie said:

What about Sofiane Sylve?  

Exciting ballerina who always pushed the boundaries when at NYCB! Hence, for me, the very opposite of a prim and pure classicist. 

RB’s Sarah Lamb, at least in her early competitions days, was very much a classicist in the making. Over the years, she seems to have maintained her cool refinement. Her Aurora in cinemas four years ago was pure classical joy.

Someone mentioned POB’s Myriam Ould-Braham on another thread. Yes!

Edited by CharlieH

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