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

One Favorite Moment

Recommended Posts

So many that I have -

Not so known and one that always draws a tear is when Death takes the Old Woman in his arms in Green Table.

I also love the ending of the second pas in Kylian's Return to a Strange Land when the woman is held on the man and he removes his arms leaving her suspended.

In the classics, there are too many for me to name, but my favorite to dance was always jumping off the cliff at the end of Swan. A fitting conclusion to a long, fulfilling evening of dance, acting and partnering.

Link to comment

I can't possibly pick a favorite ballet, but high among them would certainly be Serenade, and the moment that always stuns me is so famous that I almost feel that I am being trite:

During the elegy (Tchaikovsky's third movement, but Balanchine's fourth), when the Dark Angel has that magnificent arabesque, turns completely and so slowly, at the very end extends the arabesque a few degrees higher, the music is a downward scale in the low strings, and that that chord just as she is raising her leg ever so higher.....the waltz girl has realized it isn't going to happen, she is clinging to the guy, etc etc.

To me this is the perfect marriage of music and choreography and there has not been such a moment of perfection anywhere else, although....

A close second would be the Michelangelo moment in Apollo.

Link to comment

There are so many...where to begin.

I suppose one of my favorite moments, the one that pops to the surface when somebody asks a question like this, is the part in the Titania's Bower section of Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream when the big "Athalie" theme is recapitulated, and Titania and her Cavalier also recapitulate the opening movements of their pas de deux, with its "wrong-way" promenade, and then the transition into the scene change with the dancers still onstage dancing strongly as the world changes around them. Sure, it's flashy, and maybe even a cheap thrill, but by golly, I LIKE that!:D

Link to comment

I do so love glebb's moment. Well, the Reel is wonderful, even without the magical flight of Sylph.

My favorite is toward the end of 2nd movement of Concerto Barocco. It is the only time all 11 dancers are on stage, and there is a confluence of opposing energies. The corps is doing the soutenu-tombe combination, the second soloist is doing her grand jetes, releve, releve in the opposite direction -- up against the corps' down, down against the corps' up --and the man is helping the ballerina do her slides into those fabulous fouettes into arabesque. My idea of heaven.

In recent years, NYCB's rendering of Barocco has robbed that moment of its inherent dramatic impact :eek:, so I now boycott their perfomances of it. Too heartbreaking -- in the bad sense.

Link to comment

The finger snaps in Agon come to mind, (does anyone else besides me snap their fingers along with the dancers).

Other favorite moments:

In the coda of Divertimento No. 15 when three ballerinas are dancing and then the fourth and the fifth come skittering and racing in as they all sissonne in unison on the high trumpet note. The entire coda of Divert makes me so happy, though.

In Giselle at the end of the Wili's dance after the arabesques voyages of the corps when Myrtha re-enters flying.

Link to comment

Tchaikovsky Pas, Woman's variation:

The three ecarte developes (with the third reeeeeaaaalllllly slow), into the tiny gargouillade.

Also, in the adage, the arm business in the supported, slow turns into the fish.

What? No Peter Martins fans out there? Anyone? Hello? (Not me.)

Link to comment

A lost favorite moment:

The original finale of Chaconne, with the dancers advancing in such a way as to make us in the audience feel as though they were about to swallow us up. I get giddy recalling the feeling.

I can understand Balanchine changing it for the camera, but then why didn't he change it back?

Link to comment

I love so many of those favorite moments. :)

Mbjerk, you are so right about 'Concerto Borocco'!

That moment is one of the most sublime in ballet.

Leigh, do you remember Nicol Hlinka in 'Norwegian Moods'?

That was a thrilling performance.

PS. I do (or used to) snap my fingers at that 'Agon' moment. :)

Link to comment

Glebb, this is a great topic.... it's wonderful reading your responses....

I've got too many -- but mine are all long moments, like the LONG promenade at the end of the Barocco adage..... as Suzanne did it with Ludlow, it's nearly 16 counts (or is it 24?) from the sous-sus around into passe around into attitude around around into penchee, inevitable as the melody....

but actually it's the snail -- who called it that? is that what everybody calls it? it is my favorite thing in the world... this summer I was doing a lot of Irish dancing, and thread-the-needle kept coming up in the dances we were doing -- somebody pulls a whole line of dancers under an arch -- and I was studying Barocco and kept finding thread-the-needle all through the adage (and similar stitching motifs, like the ballerina tombe-ing through the spaces between a line of corps girls)

and when the snail comes, it's 2 thread the needles happening in sequence, followed by two happening simultaneously, SO SIMPLE but it's fitted to the most intense intertwining of the 2 violins, and the stream of movement is so rich and satisfying it just blows my head off.... it is the climax of the ballet, as I feel it (with respect to Denby, and everybody else who loves it).

I showed it to a friend, who then dragged me off to see the movie Rivers and Tides, and showed me a chain of leaves flowing down a river and over a waterfall, revealing the secret deep inner working of the current as you could never have seen it otherwise.... the leaf-chain is maybe 30 yards long, the leaves are pinned together with thorns and Cartier never made anything more beautiful, and as it twisted and surged in the grip of the clear water moving ove the rocks I found myself flashing on Barocco, just in awe of Balanchine's ability to see into the life of things -- it's like seeing where dance comes from...

Link to comment

I know I'm being greedy. Glebb asked for ONE moment, and I've already posted 3 or 4, depending how you count the Tchaikovsky pas.

Here Goes: Sleeping Beauty, Vision pas de deux (adage), when Aurora does the reverse fouettes (from arabesque to fourth front). I don't know why it's so affecting, but I love it.

Link to comment

The final sequence of the grand pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty, which is surely one of the most difficult in ballet: from a semirecumbent posture, she rises to arabesque en pointe, performs two promenades with her partner, a penchee followed by a balance. I also like the Act I coda with the fouette rond de jambe sequence, and also various parts of the Rose Adagio.

Link to comment

In no particular order:

1. At the end of the coda in the Black Swan pdd, when Odile does those arabesques, hopping further and further away from Siegfried, and she periodically freezes every few hops for a split second, staring him down triumphantly. Miranda Weese does this really, really well in the PBS broadcast of NYCB's otherwise dreadful production of Swan Lake.

2. The part of the polonaise in Theme and Variations when all of the couples line up with the principals at the front and get ready to march around the stage.

3. In Macmillan's Romeo & Juliet, when Juliet goes and sits on the edge of her bed before going to Friar Laurence, just staring into space.

4. Ditto on the opening of Serenade, and the ending isn't bad either. ;)

5. Also fond of Apollo's Michelangelo Moment, and the ending of the truncated version with the muses' legs all fanned out.

6. The part of the 2nd act waltz in Ashton's Cinderella when the corps dancers and season fairies make a t-shape and dance around in a circle as the music hits the climax.

7. The very end of Giselle's mad scene when she dies in Albrecht's arms and he lets her go and she flops lifelessly on the stage.

Link to comment
Originally posted by BalletNut

The very end of Giselle's mad scene when she dies in Albrecht's arms and he lets her go and she flops lifelessly on the stage.

Kirkland would take that run to Albrecht, take that last step before flying into his arms and visibly "die" before he caught her. How the hell did she do that????

Link to comment

Most of my great moments are inextricably linked too the dancer who performed them. But in general, I think my two favorite endings are from "The Four Temperaments," when the soloists (men lifting the women) run through the corps. And the women aren't in a pose; they're moving. It reminds me of what one reads about turn of the century Russian productions of Swan Lake, where the soldiers, under the stage "waves" and Siegfried drowned in them (Nureyev tried to do this, without the soldiers). The corps are the "waves" and the dancers would drown, but for those lifts. It's a metaphor for the triumph of those human temperaments.

The second one is the ending of "Symphonic Variations," which they didn't do well when the company was here, but one has an imagination and thank god for video :( SV looks easy but it isn't; it's a grueling test of stamina, and at the end, the music turns suddenly happy -- and you realize that, even though there hasn't been any melancholy about the piece, but now, suddenly, it's happy. And the soloists ride that happiness, rise to it -- another triumph of the human spirit. Both of these ballets were made shortly after World War II's ending, and I don't think that's a coincidence.

Link to comment

There are so many favorite moments, of course, but one of my very favorite is in the prologue to The Sleeping Beauty (or can the entire SB count as a favortie moment? In a really good production it seems to last only a moment.) when the Lilac Fairy sanding in second position gives Carabosse an ironic little bow. It looks so elegant--one of the things I didn't like about Peter Martin's version is that at that momement he had the Lilac Fairy standing with a bent knee, like a show girl.

I think my other favorite moment is the mime scene in Swan Lake, when Odette says if she can find someone to love her she won't have to be a swan. It is just so moving.

As for dancing moments, the descent of the bayaderes is unbeatable. And the frieze in Lilac Garden, where Caroline's soul seems to come to life.

Link to comment

serenade: when they turn their feet out.

fille: lots of moments: the mime scene, the fouette's sautes en cloches by lise in her solo, the final pas de deux, and when (IF) they really SING as they all go off.

nutcracker: when the tree grows (if it does), the snow scene (if well done), and when the choir comes in (if it does).

bayadere shades

i better stop - i'm getting too general and predictable.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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