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CharlieH

Are there any great Classicists today?

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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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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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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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I am coming to this conversation quite late but I'd like to throw a nomination out for Marianela Nunez.

 

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6 minutes ago, ECat said:

I am coming to this conversation quite late but I'd like to throw a nomination out for Marianela Nunez.

 

I've never seen her live, but her cinema appearances have been lovely.

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@sandik I have not seen her live either.  Just many beautiful cinema appearances and Youtube videos.

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Nunez is lovely but I would say that the real classicist of the current RB is Akane Takada

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Late to the party, but for my money: Maia Makhateli.

I’d argue that all of those classical ideals — cleanliness, musicality, genetics, turn-out, etc. etc. — with Maia they are just…*chef’s kiss.* (And the fact that she can do anything and is, most importantly, not a bore is a rare and enjoyable cherry on top.)  

 

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@variated I have not seen enough of Akane Takada but I imagine that she is a beautiful dancer indeed!

 

36 minutes ago, Syzygy said:

Late to the party, but for my money: Maia Makhateli.

I’d argue that all of those classical ideals — cleanliness, musicality, genetics, turn-out, etc. etc. — with Maia they are just…*chef’s kiss.* (And the fact that she can do anything and is, most importantly, not a bore is a rare and enjoyable cherry on top.)  

 

Oh I didn't even think of her and I must agree that she is indeed a great classicist!  Great choice!

 

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