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 Post subject: Roles and casting
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2001 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 218
In the recent discussions that started here<BR>in the UK after the recent promotion of the<BR>Royal Ballet's Alina Cojocaru to principal<BR>dancer an interesting point has come up in my<BR>opinion.There seem to be quite a few people<BR>who think someone who has never danced Odette/Odile or Aurora is not fit to be a<BR>principal.<BR>I do not doubt that the dancers that are<BR>argued about have the ability to do these<BR>roles. I just cannot help but wonder if every<BR>dancer really has to do every role?<BR>Unfortunately I am to young to have seen<BR>Anthony Dowell in his prime but somehow I<BR>doubt that Spartacus would have been "his"<BR>role.<BR>Nobody seems to dispute that not all actors<BR>are eaqually suited for each role. Why should<BR>it be any different for dancers? Should we<BR>not enjoy them bringing their individual gifts to roles that suit them instead of<BR>insisting that in order to be considered a<BR>deserving principal they have to do everything? Any thoughts anyone?<p>[This message has been edited by OdileGB (edited April 26, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Roles and casting
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2001 5:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Odile you bring up some very interesting points - and well made too.<P>Perhaps what some people might be confusing is technical ability with artistic suitability.<P> Prima Ballerina Cynthia Gregory was glorious in many roles, but was considered unsuitable for Juliet. And, I don't think she ever danced that, but no one doubted her technical ability to do so. I, for one, would have liked to have seen her in that role, it would have been an interesting evening.<P>I have a tape of a documentary on "Giselle" in which several ballerinas are featured - to the best of my memory - Markova, Alonso, Evdokomova, Fracci. Glaringly missing is Fonteyn!! She was asked to participate but stated that though she had danced Giselle so many times, she considered herself unsuitable. That she felt she had never truly mastered (as much as that is possible!) the role.<P>Having seen Fonteyn in Giselle, I would not agree with her. But that was her assessment. <P>So, no, I don't think it is a necessary prerequisite for a principal dancer is to have danced all the major roles.


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 Post subject: Re: Roles and casting
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2001 1:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Hi OdileGB and welcome to criticaldance. I think your points are well made. Understandably dancers want to dance and also want variety and thus I can understand if companies are under pressure to provide these opportunities. However, for some with relative strengths and weaknesses some roles will be more suitable than others.<P>For the really outstanding dancers, with great technique, style and acting ability, as Rojo is rapidly becoming, they do look good in everything and then one just has favourite roles for them. For instance, entirely delightful though it was, Rojo's Giselle did not move me nearly as much as her Juliet.<P>I suspect that Alina will also be in this latter category. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited April 27, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Roles and casting
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2001 2:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 218
Hi Stuart,<BR>I agree that most truly outstanding dancers<BR>look good in everything. Rojo is certainly<BR>one of those.<BR>But I think if any dancer for whatever reason<BR>feels he or she is not suitable for a certain<BR>role there is nothing wrong with admitting<BR>that. It does not make them lesser dancers as<BR>some people seem to imply. Their attitude towards dancers seems to be:"... if you are<BR>not an allround genius you have no business<BR>ever being promoted." I do not agree with<BR>this kind of black and white thinking at all.


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