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 Post subject: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2001 7:47 am 
Theres a short in Dance mag about Deborah Bulls new job behind-the-scenes. However the article states that she was sort of in Darcy Bussells shadow as far as recognition ffor her dancing was concerned-Deb says she was Salieri to Darcys Mozart;Whos seen her dance? How would you describe her technique.<BR> From the exercise books and articles I've read she seems like a REALLY hip and with it lady...not the stereotype of a ballerina at all!


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2001 1:51 pm 
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Deborah excelled in the gutsy modern roles - Forsythe's "Steptext" being the best thing I have ever seen her in. Her style and mastery are completely different from Darcey Bussell. There is a school of thought that she was undervalued by the Royal Ballet and denied roles in which she would surely have succeeded. I will posting some of these shortly when I have permission from the relevant people to reproduce their comments.<P>Aside from her role as ballet dancer, Deborah has done more than any other dancer to raise the profile of dance in this country. At the ROH she has encouraged unknown dancers to come in as part of the Artists Development Initiative to cut their teeth, she has collaborated with choreographers that have not worked with ballet dancers - Wayne McGregor, Siobhan Davies etc.<P>Try to purchase her book "Dancing Away" in which she describes the hectic periof of the ROH's redevelopment. It is a very good read.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2001 3:20 pm 
THANKS much Emma!


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2001 9:45 am 
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James Huw Jeffries, opera singer, has the following to say on the topic of Ms Bull:<P>“I was interested to read the interview of Deborah Bull by Susannah Herbert. The article somewhat grudgingly acknowledges Deborah Bull’s very real quality as a dancer. I believe no one could match her in Forsythe and her Swan Lake wasn’t so bad either – particularly in 1998 at the Coliseum when she was at the peak of her powers and not suffering the inevitable lack of stamina emanating from performing so little (whatever the reasons were for the management giving her so few performances). In addition, it overlooks the fact that her keen audience of admirers were fully aware that her Swan Lakes in November/December were likely to be her last and there were many flowers and not a few tears at that last matinee performance.<P>Personally, I never understood why First soloists en debutante were scheduled for Aurora when Deborah Bull, who danced a few performances as substitute, was never offered one in her own right beyond that at Hammersmith which she had to decline due to illness. One would think that the management would have offered her a performance in the subsequent summer season at the Coliseum if only to make up for that disappointment, and to thank her for all the times when she stepped in to save the show. Unfortunately, the workings of the managerial mind are beyond my comprehension.<P>I hope that Ms Bull will make at least the occasional guest appearance in the future, perhaps in the Forsythe repertoire at the Royal Opera House or, for example, with George Pier Dances (Michael Nunn and William Trevitt’s new baby). However, the need to keep in top physical shape for any such appearance would not go well wither new administrative duties so I fear that we really have seen the last dance of this wonderfully intelligent, musical and exciting dancer. I feel sad that she was not more appreciated during her time at the Royal Ballet and that her wider fame was as much due to the extension of her professional activities into the written word and television. Nevertheless, her legacy will be greater than that of many a more obviously acclaimed dancer now that she is in a position to implement a more varied artistic policy which we know is vital if classical dance is to remain a potent force in the 21st century.<P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2001 9:57 am 
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Emma - Funnily enough I was re-watching a taped episode of Travels With My Tutu, in which Deborah Bull was learning a bit of Tango with the help of various people.<BR>It was you, wasn't it? The name clicked this time I watched it.<P>How did you start off, and where?<P>Probably on the wrong topic space here, but just wanted to get your attention! Image <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2001 10:58 am 
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It was me, actually. I've been dancing tango about 4 or 5 years now - after a while you lose count. I started in London and then went to Argentina for classes. I've always danced something in my life and came to tngo after seeing a class of Argentinean tango being taught - it looked so real when stripped down to its constituent parts. And Buenos Aires is a pretty addictive city.


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2001 10:54 am 
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I've never tried tango, but studied ballroom and some Latin-American while at the RAD.<BR>We had to learn the men's part, as we were going to be doing teacher's exams (ISTD).<P>After that I found it virtually impossible to be 'led', to the frustration of my father when he got me on a dancefloor once.<P>The thought of getting up and not knowing what the man is going to lead you into baffles me: I like to have everything ready in my head before I start.<BR>Is it very difficult to let the man lead, and does it depend on how good he is at leading? I mean, if you have a man who is also a beginner one surely goes wrong quite a lot?<P>And that Junior chap and Deborah Bull MUST have been doing a choreographed piece, surely? It seemed too slick and acrobatic for it to have been improvised. Or would realy good dancers have been able to dance up like that without any rehearsal?<P>Excuse my ignorance, but it's so very different from ballet.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2001 10:43 am 
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The piece was choreographed between Junior and Deborah although Deborah did learn to tango and still can.<P>A good male lead could lead the majority of what she was doing and what you saw me dancing was totally improvised - I had never even spoken to Junior before let alone dance with him, when I was asked to do that piece. <P>The woman should wait for the man's lead and he dictates everything - she responds with "adornos" - decorations and embellishments of her steps - the more she is enjoying the dance, the more she will want to do this. Some men allow time for this - others are very dictatorial and your every move and pause is controlled.<P>But it is true to say that, however good you are as a follower - "it don't mean a thing, if he ain't leading...."


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2001 10:37 am 
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Thanks for the insights Emma.<P>I still think I'd feel strange not knowing what was coming, but I suppose it's something that has to be felt and you just go with the flow. Never having tried I can't make much comment.<P>Just one more thing - can the female do whatever she likes as regards fancy bits, or is there a clear lead into the various frills? I mean, when the man pauses, is he expecting a certain movement from the female, or can she do her thing as she sees fit? Or could it be either? Some 'free', some 'fixed'? <BR>Take that sideways split jump Deborah Bull did. How would he lead into THAT in an improvised dance? Could he indicate that, as I don't think the girl would start leaping around like that without fair warning Image ?<P>Sorry if I sound dim over this, but there ain't much opportunity to tango here where I am!


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:10 pm 
THANKS ladies for the additional info on Ms Bull-and shes NO BULL!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2001 9:46 am 
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The female can use any embellishment but they are mostly established embellishments and have to be in sympathy with the male's lead step and in the line of dance ie he can pretty much guess the parameters within which your decoration will come.<P>Deborah's split was choreographed...you could never lead that nor leave room for it..


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2001 4:38 pm 
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For the record, Ms Bull did dance Aurora at the ROH, and very well indeed. She was/is a superb classical dancer, especially in allegro variations, most memorably the Raymonda 4th variation


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2001 10:10 am 
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Thanks for that input!


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:45 am 
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Pace Michael LL, although Deborah Bull did dance Aurora at the ROH it was always as a substitute. Her only scheduled performance was that at Hammersmith which had to be cancelled owing to illness. the full story is in Dancing Away.


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Bull as Dancer
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2001 4:37 am 
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Welcome to criticaldance, James. Your information is interesting and perhaps underlines what others have said in the past that Deborah Bull was not given the chances that she deserved in the classical rep.<P>As Gamzatti in 'La Bayadere' she brought intelligence, haughty grandeur and malevolence to the role. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited September 24, 2001).]


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