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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2002 3:42 pm 
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Speaking of which....

Sleeping Beauty on tape and otherwise

<small>[ 08-09-2002, 15:56: Message edited by: Basheva ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2002 4:08 pm 
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Maybe Makarova doesn't move me because she focuses so much on turnout.<P>I think the longest balance I've seen (except for Joyce Cuoco's balances, which were too phenomenal too even be used as a comparison) was done by Paloma Herrera in the Don Q PDD, on the <I>ABT Now</I> video. However, the impressiveness of the length of her balance is negated for me because she lifted her arm from her partner's hand very slowly, so as to make it easier to balance, and she did the see-saw trick, and then she held the balance for so long that she had to miss doing the 2nd repetition of the phrase. Should it be acceptable to leave out part of the choreography so you can balance longer? Apparently the audience found it desirable, judging by the applause.


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2002 4:11 pm 
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Oh no! No circus balances!!!<P>I like Makarova's because the line is so pretty and it doesn't stop the show.


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2002 4:23 pm 
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Interesting -- I initially made a reference to circus acts in my last post and then edited it out. Yes, you are right, Makarova maintained the integrity of the music.


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2002 4:44 pm 
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Yes, she did. I liked her so much in this video (as well as live), and I agree that Dowell's dancing was exceptionally good in this performance. He didn't have to do much more than stand on stage to impress me, though... In later years, I loved his Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty (I know, that's a different thread). Those eyes...


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2002 4:54 pm 
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I had the good fortune of meeting (Sir) Anthony Dowell just a few months after that performance. <P>He said that despite there being a knee doctor and back doctor back stage for Ms. Makarova, they both were very pleased with the performance.


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2002 5:31 pm 
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I agree, no circus act balances. That's another distortion, in the same category as distorting the music, in my opinion.<P>Can you see yourself in ballet class, holding the balance through the choreography of the next phrase....my teachers would have gone ballistic. A ballistic ballet teacher is not a pretty sight. That was considered self serving.<P>Fonteyn is not immediately thought of when one thinks of balances, and yet, she very quietly held them. Many are memorable, the Rose Adagio for instance...but that should be in the other thread.<P>What kind of ending do you like for Swan Lake?<BR> <BR>The lovers dying in the lake?<BR> <BR>Von Rothbart dying and the lovers living? <P>Nobody dying, but the lovers torn apart?<P>How about the lovers living happily ever after and Von Rothbart gives up and marries the Queen? <P>(ok, just kidding on that last one.)


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2002 6:10 pm 
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Fonteyn's very nice (albeit short) balances in <I>Sleeping Beauty</I> were also edited out of my last post because they weren't in <I>Swan Lake</I>.<P>I go for the bittersweet ending -- united in death. My favorite is the current San Francisco Ballet production -- Odette and Siegfried reappear upstage, above the stage, with the lighting creating an underwater effect. The beautiful music at the end tends to make me teary-eyed anyway, but the SFB version really gets to me (to my S.O., too).


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2002 6:13 pm 
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Of the happy endings, however, my favorite is in the old Bolshoi film. I loved Vladimir Levashev as Rothbart, and his bird character was great. When I saw this production live when I was a little girl, I was so upset when his wing got torn off that I almost cried.


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2002 4:26 pm 
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Funny you should bring it up, Basheva. I asked my students that very question this afternoon. They are in the 10-12 range and opted for the bad guy dying and the prince and Odette living happily ever after. Actually, it was their last class of the summer session, so I felt I had some latitude. There was music from the Black Swan Pas on our class CD. I told them to listen carefully, and then after barre we watched the pas de deux (Makarova/Dowell; yes, she certainly did milk it but I still liked it). Later I explained the rest of the story and offered the options. <P>I'm with djb -- I like united in death. ABT used to have a very effective ending that reduced me to tears on a regular basis. Kevin's is OK too, but there are parts excluded from his Act IV that I really miss. The emotional impact of the double suicide isn't the same because of how the act is put together.<P>My kids wanted to know if Odette and Siegfried got married. I said we'd have to create a sequel to find out. One suggested that maybe they'd find out they didn't love each other so much after a while. They also wanted to know what happened to Odile.<P>I do like the idea of von Rothbart hitting it off with the Queen Mother. Image


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2002 9:51 pm 
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Nancy, I'll bet the ABT version of this ballet that I saw with Cynthia Gregory is the version you're talking about. I thought that was the best tearjerker ending until I saw SFB's.<P>Speaking of von Rothbart and the queen hitting it off, in the Kirov version with Yevteyeva and Markovsky, Rothbart seems to be making eyes at the queen at times. I like Yevteyeva very much, and Panov is a great jester.


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2002 2:12 am 
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In Vladimir Vasiliev's version of Swan Lake the Queen Mum and Rothbart are actually married and he is Seigfried's father! He is called simply the King and is promoted to being the central character.<P>The Mats Ek version of the ballet has a female Rothbart who even appears nude at one point, now that’s a video I haven't watched in a while.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2002 6:28 am 
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Could have sworn I posted here yesterday, maybe I forgot to hit the right button!<BR>Anyway, I like the NYC Ballet ending. I agree with Peter Martins that it's much harder for a person to live their whole life knowing they won't have what they most want, and that the lack is due to their own failure. Jumping off a cliff or something sounds cheap by comparison! What makes this ending especially strong is that it looks at first like the ballet will have a happy ending; Rothbart collapses, apparently dead, swans dance around, Siegried & Odette embrace ... and then she leaves. He's broken his promise and that means the spell can't be ended. She must be a swan forever and he is left alone.<BR>I just don't think Swan Lake is meant to have a happy ending.


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2002 9:53 am 
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I know what you mean, crandc. It's true; the prince blew it, but he was tricked into it. If he had gone after another swan princess, then he'd deserve the Martins' ending, or worse. But he truly thought he was swearing fidelity to Odette. It just seems unfair that this should result in such a practical ending. Personally, I need the happy/sad double suicide to wrap it all up, make me cry and send me on my way.<P>In McKenzie's version, Rothbart in his human form tries to win over the Queen Mother. I've seen it twice; the first cast I saw had a seductive Rothbart and a queen who fell for him. The second time, Rothbart was powerful and magical, rather than seductive, and his queen stood on ceremony, not paying him much attention. <P>Cassandra, I am intrigued by your report of Vasiliev's version, where Rothbart is Siegfried's father. That has all kinds of possibilities. As for Ek's version...maybe I'm just too old for that...


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 Post subject: Re: Swan Lake on video
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2002 10:20 am 
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Cynthia Gregory did the best fall off the rocks I've seen. She didn't hesitate for an instant, or noticeably check to be sure there were people below to catch her. She just ran up the rocks and did a beautiful swan dive. Even her Siegried (can't recall who it was) gave a little look before he fell.


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