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Apollo


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I found this CNB version of Apollo.

There are some interesting choreographic differences between the version that Balanchine later staged for NYCB. For instance in the Apollo Terpischore pas de deux Terp doesn't dance on her heels but on pointe. I always thought dancing flat-footed on her heels was an iconic part of the choreography. Can anyone shed some insight into the differences in choreography?

A comparison:

 

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3 hours ago, canbelto said:

There are some interesting choreographic differences between the version that Balanchine later staged for NYCB. For instance in the Apollo Terpischore pas de deux Terp doesn't dance on her heels but on pointe. I always thought dancing flat-footed on her heels was an iconic part of the choreography. Can anyone shed some insight into the differences in choreography?

I do remember reading not too long ago that the heel dancing (which certainly is iconic, even if it's not 1928) was not a constant in the work's history, but I can't remember where, and I haven't found it in a quick check of some of the obvious candidates. Will keep thinking, though. Certainly, Apollo is a work that Balanchine continued to tinker with throughout his life even more than most.

Edited by nanushka
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There are other differences in accents too. For instance the moment when the three muses clap and Apollo puts his head in their hands -- in the Cuban version it's a gentle silent clap away from Apollo's face, while in the NYCB versions it's the loud bossy clap right in Apollo's face. And again, I had always thought of that move as really iconic. 

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Danilova in her memoir Choura, which is full of all sorts of good things, writes about some of the changes in Apollo over the years and compares her approach to Suzanne Farrell's:"... I was a light on my heels as I was on my toes. Now dancers go very light on toes but stamp back when they go on their heels." "My version was jumpier than the one they dance today [early 80s]... What I danced was lighter, smaller, quicker. I did fifth, arabesque, fifth, arabesque, nobody does that anymore. ... Balanchine changed the role when Suzanne Farrell learned the part because she couldn't jump as well... My accent was up, hers is down." She thinks that Farrell looks like a goddess but perhaps too tall for the role, and that Martins has something cold about him that is right for the part.

Of course the version in the CNB clip looks wrong, there's no reason for her to be on pointe really. And I do like Farrell's mannerist approach, her off balance, oddly cantilevered extensions in the second clip. For the same reason I like the 50's broadcast on John Clifford's channel of Divertimento #15 with Jillana and Verdy and Wilde that's so lively and full of odd balances and wildly shifting locus points. How great it would be to see a clip of the "lighter and quicker" and apparently less serious 1928 Apollo. Danilova: "Balanchines's idea for Apollo was that the three muses would be in love with this god. They would have, as the French say, un béguin."

 

Edited by Quiggin
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On 10/20/2019 at 8:45 AM, canbelto said:

I found this CNB version of Apollo.

There are some interesting choreographic differences between the version that Balanchine later staged for NYCB. For instance in the Apollo Terpischore pas de deux Terp doesn't dance on her heels but on pointe. I always thought dancing flat-footed on her heels was an iconic part of the choreography. Can anyone shed some insight into the differences in choreography?

A comparison:

 

That's the Apollo I ever knew until I came to the US in 2001. Never saw the white tights/no birth/no Parnassus/no headdresses version ever, not even on video. You can imagine my surprise when I first saw the 70's version in NYC. It looked to me like a rehearsal with no finale. Very bare. Very odd. 

This is how Alonso danced it with Eglevsky, as she has said. The staging was/is unauthorized by the Trust-(as it is CNB's T&V). I'm sure many of this productions will change or dissapear now that Alonso is dead, but I'm glad I saw it all. It is like watching POB's Le Palais de Cristal vs Symphony in C. A glimpse of the past . 

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, canbelto said:

So with a worsening ankle I decided to watch the different versions of Apollo and compare:

https://humbledandoverwhelmed.blogspot.com/2019/11/will-real-apollo-please-stand-up.html

I am sorry your ankle is worsening. I have chronic ankle problems that have developed partly from ignoring an earlier ankle injury in its nascent stages (it was a repetitive stress injury). For what it's worth--perhaps not much--my experience is that the only thing that abets healing is rest, rest, rest, rest, and more rest.  (Which unfortunately led to a bit of weight gain in my case, though I eventually lost most of it again.)

My 2-3 worst ankle injuries --which were all primarily soft tissue, repetitive stress injuries--needed something approaching a year of babying to get better. And attempts to "strengthen" with exercises often led to setbacks and re-injury. I am sure there is some sweet spot that I missed--where you can rest it, but still do some gentle strengthening exercises--but basically, however much time I (or anyone else) thought my ankle needed to get better...it needed at least twice that. 

Over the years, I have found that wearing shoes designed for people on their feet all day--nurses for example--has helped to keep the chronic problems mostly -- but not entirely -- under control. However, it does mean that to match the shoes I usually dress very dully...

Anyway, I trust your problems will be deal with more efficiently than mine, and I wish you luck. And thank for your very interesting writing...

Edited by Drew
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Drew I might need surgery. Don't know. But it's been incredibly depressing having to cancel so many things. Thanks for your kind words. At this time I really wish I had the tough sturdy ankles of Cuban ballerinas. I've seen them -- their ankles are so resilient.

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On 11/3/2019 at 7:13 PM, canbelto said:

Drew I might need surgery. Don't know. But it's been incredibly depressing having to cancel so many things. Thanks for your kind words. At this time I really wish I had the tough sturdy ankles of Cuban ballerinas. I've seen them -- their ankles are so resilient.

When Cynthia Gregory danced in Havana, she was favored by audiences. I think people detected and appreciated how solid and centered she was. She really embodied the Cuban likeness for such great "a terre" ballerinas . I'm sure Ashley Bouder would be a darling over there.

Edited by cubanmiamiboy
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canbelto - I just saw your posting about your ankle getting worse.  It must be so frustrating to be missing performances etc.  I hope the doctor(s) can come up with a plan soon so you can finally get this resolved.  Please keep us all posted.

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