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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:45 pm 
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
I definitely understand that when there is a part to be portrayed it is equally important. However, I was simply commenting on the fact that dance for dance's sake is so often put down. And obviously someone is putting a lot of value on the technical tricks, because If I was as good as Carreno, Steifel, Corella, Malakhov or Cornejo, I'd have one of their jobs. No one ever gasps over the guy who only does 3 turns in his variation, and the girl with mediocre turn out and so/so extension gets cut after the barre. Im just saying that there's nothing wrong with all of the high flying tricks in my book. I enjoy them for the amazing physical feats that they are.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 5:17 am 
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blbrown04 wrote:
I just think it comes down to the simple fact that it is not 1960 anymore and the level of technique has dramatically increased. It's a whole new world. And there is nothing wrong with it. Dancer's put their bodies through so much in training, and are then scorned when they get on stage and use it.

You have a point, it is not 1960 anymore and I don't think anyone here is critisizing dancers for what they are doing on the stage. For me the problem lies within the people who are creating and presenting the repertoire of this last 15-20 years. If a dancer is told to do 32 fouette's on stage or go and jump around trying to imitate a gymnast then that is what they have to go an stage and do. However for me, the bigger question is should they be consistantly asked to do this? The very fundamentals of ballet do not lie within being able to execute multiple pirrouettes, or jump the highest, or have the best extension, they never have and never will. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with wanting and striving to achieve those types of feats, however, when choreographers and artistic directors rely too much on those "feats", that is where I have the problem. Reason being, your entire post on this message board. It influences younger generation(s) into thinking that what they are now seeing is the "ONLY" form of ballet worth watching and puts emphasis solely on technical achievements rather than individual influence, interpretation and artistry. If every ballet dancer and choreographer was putting emphasis on the same technical feats then there wouldn't be too much variety now would there. The very backbone of any art form including ballet is individual influences that help to shape individual artistry. I promise you that dancers who execute 3 pirrouettes as opposed to 8 or 10 are just as jaw dropping, all you have to do is open your eyes to see it. You seem so hypnotized by bravura technique that you have forgotten about the fact that something like a triple pirrouette to most people including many dancers IS an amazing beautiful thing.

blbrown04 wrote:
Personally, I couldn't care less about how believable Paloma H. or Sofiane S. are as princesses, likely because my generation is so far removed from it.

Once again folks, here is the problem.

blbrown04 wrote:
and Carreno's perect pirouettes,

uumm, I hate to break it to you and YOUR generation but nothing in an art form is perfect.

blbrown04 wrote:
Is it ever okay to be simply a dancer, and not a sylph or a swan?

Sure, when you are in a company that does not perform that type of repertoire.

blbrown04 wrote:
My generation is simply coming from another side of the spectrum. If the "exciting" and visually pleasing aspect isnt recognized and utilized, then where will the ballet audience come from in the future?

China :D ! Where the visually pleasing and exciting aspects of ballet are TRULY realized by putting a ballerina on your head in arabesque and doing a promenade. Maybe next year, there will be a ballerina who pushes the bar even further and does multiple pirrouettes on someones head. After all, it would be boring to just stand on someones head over and over again, right? :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:33 pm 
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Osiris661, I think that everything you have said is very valid. I just want it to be understood that I am not knocking, or against artistry by any means. My stance is just that these "feats" are exciting to watch. If I could dance like Carreno then I could play the Prince, but I guess its like you said- it's about the presenters and creators who are requiring these "tricks". And I dont know, maybe its still perpetuating the same thing, but I enjoy watching the classics also, just present productions of them. In 2006, Corsaire isnt going to be danced the way Fonteyn and Nureeyev did it. For those from her era, Im sure this is a bad thig, but for me, while I respect her as an artist, Id rather see it done in 2006 fashion.

Simply put, Im not a bravura dancer, and I would hope that an audience would still enjoy my performance. I say this to emphasize that Im not hailing bravura as the "be all, end all" of dance, Im just saying that it's exciting to watch. I could watch Malakhov or Ferri dance all evening and enjoy their beautiful lines without a single trick, and I'd enjoy it as much as watching Carreno and Herrera do Corsaire.

I guess if the choreographers and presenters went back to emphasizing dramatic interpretation, then this generation would clamor for it, because when you think about it, everyone is just trying to do what the last person who got promoted did. Not that its right by any means, but it kind of is what it is.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:57 pm 
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Blbrown04...

With all due respect, I certainly don't think you speak for all of your generation - ballet fans or ballet dancers. I know many of this generation who enjoy watching the classics and Bournonville, and appreciate mime, characterization and the non 'acrobatic' part of dance. And certainly many young ballet dancers aspire towards much beyond the 32 fouettes and the multiple pirouettes. For instance, I interviewed a young Polish RDB soloist, and the one role he really wants to do is Romeo - hardly a role full of spectacular feats.

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Not that we wont go and see classics, but I like to see dancers enjoying themselves dancing, rather than staring off into the enchanted forrest with his fair maiden. Give me Balanchine and Wheeldon over Bournonville anyday.


Have you ever seen much Bournonville? Or ever seen it done by the Royal Danish Ballet? Because there's not much 'staring off into the enchanted ballet' at all. Bournonville's ballets are packed full of action and his choreography contains some of the most technically, demanding, fiendish dancing out there. His dancers don't get to parade across the stage in preparation for a big pirouette or step series across the stage - nope, they usually have a step sequence back across the stage. No breaks.

And the beats and jumps in Bournonville's ballets are technically challenging as anything in Balanchine or Wheeldon (who, for the record, tend to have a LOT more pure dancing in their ballets than fancy technical stunts) or Le Corsaire. It's just that most people don't appreciate the difficulty behind it. One of my balletic 'epiphanies' occured a few years back, sitting on the floor of a rehearsal studio in the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen watching Thomas Lund go through some of Bournonville's echainments. The height of the jumps, the speed of the beats, and above all the pure musicality of the dance was mind blowing. I love Balanchine and Wheeldon, but also Bournonville and others.

Osiris661 wrote
Quote:
I promise you that dancers who execute 3 pirrouettes as opposed to 8 or 10 are just as jaw dropping, all you have to do is open your eyes to see it.


So true! There's nothing worse than a ton of pirouettes finished in a wobbly, off-kilter fashion. I'd rather than three pirouettes ended spot on, in clean releve. There's a time and a place for showing off, but it's certainly not in Balanchine or Wheeldon.

Kate


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:30 pm 
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All very valid arguments. As for using Balanchine and Wheeldon as examples in the one statement, I was alluding to the physicality of their choreography, not to them being built for tricks. And I have nothing against Bournonville (I actually danced 2 of the male variations in Napoli quite a few times.) It was just an example.


Last edited by blbrown04 on Sat Feb 18, 2006 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:46 am 
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For the other side of the coin, ie the hyper-flexible gmnastic approach, have a look here:

http://www.ballet-dance.com/forum/viewt ... 934#173934

While this young woman's flexibility is remarkable, I found it dull aesthetically.

On the whole, I don't agree with them, but many, including regular posters here on CD, feel that ballet has already gone too far down the gymnastic route, inspired by dancers such as Sylvie Guillem and that even the Kirov has been "corrupted" by this influence.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:32 pm 
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I've been watching the Swan Lake video clip a bit, and I think the stunt looks much harder than it really is, which is not to say that it's at all easy. Have you ever balanced a stick on its end on your hand? You make slight movements with your hand to keep the stick standing up. I believe it's the same idea here because you can see the guy moving his head and walking around to keep her on top. Though the ballerina on top has to be tremendously strong to hold her position so it's easier for him to keep her balanced.

What was really impressive is that after her promenade, he stops rotating, but she keeps on turning from her momentum!

--Andre


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 1:41 pm 
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Andre, you're absolutely right about the bottom person (in any acrobatic balancing act) being the one who keeps the top person balanced. Even in something as simple as one person standing on the shoulders of another, the top person just holds the position and relies on the bearer to make necessary adjustments. Still, doing a promenade on pointe on your own (whether or not you're having to do the balance) is impressive.

And I still want to see someone do hops on pointe on her partner's head!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:51 pm 
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djb wrote:
And I still want to see someone do hops on pointe on her partner's head!


LOL! I'd pay to see that! Or maybe not.

BTW, notice how I started the topic and then ran away... It's one of those things that will have many different opinions I think as to where to draw the line or if it needs to be drawn at all.


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