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 Post subject: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2000 11:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
We all have "special" nights !! The ballet has had them,too. Nights when what happened on stage changed history or made history - <P>A special performance<P>An opening night<P>A choreographer<P>A certain dancer<P>Something done that was never done before<P>A history making/chaning event<P>If you could have been present - what night would you chose? <P>I am torn between three different events - but I think my first choice would be ......well .......I will give you a hint..... the dancers received 43 curtain calls on opening night.


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2000 12:09 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The first that comes to mind is the premier of The Ballets Russes 'Rite of Spring'in Paris. There was a book about modern art called 'The Shock of the New' and this performance must have been one of the most extraordinary examples in the dance field.<P>The question arises how i would have reacted. I like to think that I would have been one of those cheering this triumph of the new aesthetic. The thing is that I can be a bit slow with the new and never got used to French Modernist films from the 60s. So I might have been one of those booing.<P>Either way, it would have been a memorable occasion. <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2000 7:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: UK
The first night of Rite of Spring was the one that came to mind for me, too. You don't often get riots at ballet nowadays.<P>Also - the first night of the Sadlers Wells (now Royal) Ballet in New York in 1949, with Fonteyn in Sleeping Beauty.<P>And Fonteyn and Nureyev's first Giselle in 1962. I didn't see it until 1963, when I'm sure it was just as good, but that first time must have really special.<P>In fact, I would like to have been at every great balletic occasion I have missed!


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2000 12:42 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Helen - that is one of the three that I would have chosen - the Sleeping Beauty that was performed in New York City in 1949. It made the Sadlers Wells into the Royal Ballet, made non-Russian dancers acceptable to the audience and made Fonteyn an international star.<P>A third one would have been the night that Mathilde Kschinskaya was the first non Italian to do the 32 fouettes in Swan Lake, I understand her carriage horses were given a rest as her coach was pulled by raving fans. <P>But my first is still the one that got 43 curtain calls..............


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2000 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Oh, you mean in 1965 when Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev took 43 curtain calls after their performance of Romeo and Juliet?<P>Search engines rock... Image<P>That sure is a lot of standing up clapping - how long do you suppose that would take?<P>I like the fans pulling the carriage - what devotion. Certainly beats the sports fans that go out and trash their own communities when their team wins OR loses.<p>[This message has been edited by Priscilla (edited October 29, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2000 4:53 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Priscilla!! Search engines - that's cheating!! LOL - I liked the "drinking a toast to the ballerina out of her slipper" even better - that's devotion.<P> There was also an incident of one rabid male balletomane who actually ate the ballerina's slipper - after she was done with it -I hope.<P>I can't remember who that was...........get the search engine out.


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2000 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 1863
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
What’s the best way to eat a pointe shoe: raw, steamed or boiled?<P>------------------<BR>Michael Goldbarth

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The world revolves around the beauty of the ballerina.


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2000 7:31 pm 
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LOLOL Michael!! - I think he soaked it in wine if I remember correctly -


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2000 4:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: UK
Basheva, I'm going to make you really jealous now, because I WAS at the first night of Macmillan's Romeo and Juliet. I've still got the programme. I didn't recognise your reference to 43 curtain calls, but I looked in Diane Solway's Nureyev book and there were 43. That sort of thing was quite normal at Fonteyn/Nureyev performances in those days, so it wasn't surprising. And it wasn't their record - 89 calls with Swan Lake in Vienna in 1966, still a world record, I think. Audiences just went crazy. Remembering these things is the only reason to be glad I'm quite old! I Was There.<P>I remember the performance as quite wonderful, although Nureyev had an injured ankle. He usually seemed to have something wrong, it all added to the drama. Fonteyn was 45 at the time, looked 16 on the stage (OK, I know she doesn't on the video, but she did in the theatre). And Romeo and Juliet, being the archetypal love story, was just what every one wanted to see them do. Everyone except Macmillan, Seymour and Gable, that is, but we only just knew about all those offstage dramas at the time. We were quite happy with Margot and Rudi! For those who don't know, this ballet was intended for Lynn Seymour and Christopher Gable, but management insisted Fonteyn and Nureyev did the premiere, to ensure a full house.<P>The scenery and costumes were glorious, as was the music, of course. Fonteyn's husband, who had been shot and paralysed about 7 months earlier, was in his wheelchair in a box, very visible. Fonteyn curtsied to him with that ravishing smile. And her beautiful white-haired, dark-eyed mother, who came to almost everything and was well-known to the audience, was also there.<P>Those were the days! I'm suffering from a severe dose of nostalgia.


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2000 6:22 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Helen you are right!! I am insanely jealous of that experience you had. I did get to see them dance Romeo and Juliet when I travelled to Los Angeles and I saw them do Giselle and Swan Lake too. What a marvelous experience. The Swan Lake took place outdoors on a beautiful summer evening. The audience didn't applaud immediately after the performance - there was a deathly silence for what seemed like a long while - everyone was just stunned. And then - the very heavens applauded.<P>I have the tape of them dancing R & J - and without exaggeration I can honestly say I have watched it over 100 times, and I still see things - new things - every time. I must have every book - small as well as the large photograph books of both Fonteyn and Nureyev. <P>The story about Gable and Seymour is very famous. I have read, that apparently Seymour had a abortion so she could dance that ballet - which if true of course adds to the tragedy. Gable left not long after, disillusioned by the whole thing and I think that Seymour went to Switzerland to dance. <P>Fonteyn once said a ballerina had to be in her 40's to dance the young Juliet - and I think there is much truth in that statement.


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2000 8:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: California
Great stories all. Ah, the days of Fonteyn and Nureyev! Will we ever have that again? <BR>I believe Lynn Seymour went to Germany with Macmillian at some point (and a few other Royals as well.) <P>I've had the pleasure of meeting Lynn Seymour recently (a friend worked with her in Italy) and seeing her incredible performance in AMT's Swan Lake. She even had us in for coffee at her home in London. She's interesting, to say the least and the one thing that struck me about her home was the montage of dance photos in her kitchen area. It was really cool. <p>[This message has been edited by DavidH (edited October 30, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2000 11:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 88
Location: US
You are a lucky man to be invited into Lynn Seymour's house. Was the montage of photos of herself? Was it of ballets?


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2000 4:10 am 
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Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
If that abortion story is true - jeez it just shows that human sacrifice is really never worth it.<P>I have a question for you all - do you think we have stars like Fonteyn and Nureyev these days and if not why do we not? Is it something to do with our times compared to the times that they were at their height. Is it because of the hinted romance at that time that we could never confirm - nowadays we know everything about everyone.<P>What are your thoughts?<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2000 6:24 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Very good question Joanne. I think a couple of things are going on. What you say about knowing everything about people is very true. There needs to be a certain mystique about a persona to be a star.<P>But another thing was going for Nureyev - and Baryshnikov - and others. The very act of defecting to the West from the Soviet Union brought a great deal of publicity. Especially for Nureyev - I believe he was the first and it was a very dramatic defection - running through the airport in Paris.<P> Nureyev was also a very charismatic person. He did have that aura - indefinable but very definite. He had only to step onto the stage - in the back - in the midst of a crowd, but the audience knew without any doubt that Nureyev was ON STAGE. You could feel his presence to the very back of the theater - to the last seat in the balcony.<P>Makarova had this to a degree too - and Fonteyn also - but hers was not so much an electricity as a sweetness. <P>What other people can we think of that have this star/mystique quality? Not necessarily dancers - <P>The Pope?<P>Queen Elizabeth?<P>Princess Diana?<P>Gorbachov? <P>Dalai Lama?


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 Post subject: Re: YOU ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2000 8:13 am 
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Location: California
Yes Albrecht, the pictures were of herself and various partners(a lot of Christopher Gable and Nureyve-her good buddy!)<P>DH


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