Posted on Tangle (formerly GodTube) January 20, this is amazing...
Makes me wish I was a dancer! Beautiful!Posted by: Becca at February 24, 2009 1:43 PM
Wow that was amazing! I'm surprised the audience wasn't on their feet.Posted by: Juliette at February 24, 2009 1:48 PM
I found it cold and mechanical. Artistic expression replaced by circus acrobatics. Swan Lake is supposed to be an emotionally moving drama, not a gymnastic display.
When emotion and depth are tossed out and replaced by a shiny surface, that's decadence.Posted by: Tom Jayson at February 24, 2009 4:06 PM
While the balance and flexibility were incredible, I agree with Tom in that it kind of looked like someone rehearsing a pairs ice skating routine rather than dancing a ballet. The best thing about swan lake is the sensual pas de deux that accompanies it.Posted by: PiP at February 24, 2009 4:11 PM
You do realize that some men read your blog? Let's have some monster truck action.Posted by: The Raving Theist at February 24, 2009 5:04 PM
This is a good video for young dancers to learn from. Her balance and the way she shifts her weight is (has to be) spot on.Posted by: prettyinpink at February 24, 2009 6:40 PM
Here is a good swan lake piece- it shows the real beauty of it- how strength and balance are present in the midst of an emotional and expressive movement. Absolutely stunning.Posted by: prettyinpink at February 24, 2009 7:00 PM
This one is just a fabulous piece of work. They are famous for a reason.Posted by: prettyinpink at February 24, 2009 7:07 PM
RT, 5:04 PM, LOL!Posted by: Bethany at February 24, 2009 10:02 PM
Thank you for posting that link to the Makarova version. Now there's the real thing -- makes you cry instead of making you wonder how many hours the acrobat had to practice to perfect her trick.Posted by: Tom Jayson at February 24, 2009 11:48 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't really call this 'ballet.' It's more of a ballet-acrobatics hybrid. But that's not necessarily slander against it.
I remember a team of (I believe) Chinese acrobats who performed at some gala at the 2000 Olympics who did a kind of similar dance/acro hybrid thing, though definitely less ballet-oriented. And I remember thinking that the combination might be some new form of something, some cross between sport and art -- that would arise as historically Western institutions grow more and more affected by Eastern traditions. Stuff like this might be like the dance equivalent of General Tso's or a california roll.
Hey PIP! Here's something short you might like -- a ballet I (mostly) choreographed when I was 12. That's me with the suuuuuuper long hair, the third girl "up" (there was a reason for the hair, a combination of performances and modeling, but I won't get into it now -- I just don't want anyone to judge me for that). I didn't choreograph the first "duet", with the blonde girl and the girl in the pink-ish skirt; they choreographed that part.
This was an assignment for my ballet school. At the time we recorded it I'd had two ballet classes and a 3-hour rehearsal, on top of the normal school day, so I kind of phoned it in because I was majorly ticked off that my friend's mom seemed to think taping this was soooo important. "I have homework!!!!" Of course now I want to go back and slap my 12-year old self because I'm like, "This is the only recording you'll have of anything you choreographed, put some effort in!" My hands, in particular, horrify me. Haha oh well.
Oh, and sorry about the women laughing -- those are my friends moms.Posted by: Alexandra at February 25, 2009 3:53 AM
Stuff like this might be like the dance equivalent of General Tso's or a california roll.
Reading this over several hours later, I think I should clarify what I meant! Basically I meant that some of the things we consider "staples" of our culture and cuisine are actually not the "original" version. And it goes both ways; apparently it's difficult to find pizza without corn on it in Korea, for some reason. etc. Sometimes the hybrids that occur when two traditional concepts combine result in new things -- not worse things, just different things. That's all I meant.
That'll teach me to leave comments at 4am, I guess.Posted by: Alexandra at February 25, 2009 7:46 AM
I watched your video. I loved it! I wasn't horrified by your hands either!! :)
Wow, Alexandra...you are very talented!Posted by: Bethany at February 25, 2009 10:23 AM
That's awesome alexandra! I wasn't even dancing seriously by that age! (I was in transition from gymnastics to ballet). I wish I knew how to get my old VHSs onto youtube to make a fair exchange, but I have no idea how to :(Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2009 11:02 AM
This is, of course, the definitive version.Posted by: Robert N G at February 25, 2009 12:24 PM
I'm in perpetual love with Nureyev. Death from AIDS could not tear me apart..Posted by: prettyinpink at February 25, 2009 1:07 PM
Thanks, guys! That was a long time ago -- my "professional" career ended at about 16, when I decided I didn't want to finish high school in correspondence courses just so I could study and apprentice in Miami. I'd always felt like NYC Ballet was my "home" since it's where I trained/performed as a child, but they are less forgiving of body variations like being short. Thus my career ended and I turned my attentions on the cello. At least they make 7/8-size cellos for us shorties! And you don't have to move to Miami to play them.
PIP, I did the reverse -- did gymnastics for fun until age 10 or so, at which point the seriousness of ballet training required me to quit, both because of time (I was taking 7 ballet classes a week or so by that point) and because they require vastly different types of muscle building. Sometimes I wonder if things would have been easier had I pursued gymnastics instead; you can see from the video that I had more of a gymnast's body than a dancer's body, and that was really hard on me, emotionally, since the school I attended was so competitive. But I am happy with the choices I made -- I was lucky in that I was naturally gifted at ballet so I had a lot of good experiences, and while there were hard parts, I got a lot of valuable experiences and lessons even out of them. When I was 13 I broke my toe and didn't tell anyone -- just kept dancing on it while it turned purple and eventually, after a few weeks of being stuffed into pointe shoes, turned back to normal. I would pound on the broken toe until it went a bit numb, and then I'd go to class. Now I can't move that toe anymore! From that, I learned to listen to my body, even when I don't like what it's saying! Haha. I guess you can sum that lesson up as, "There's no use arguing with a broken toe." Whenever I feel myself struggling against some unavoidable reality, I look down at that toe and I instantly feel a bit more zen about just kind of going with the flow of things.
Anyway, now I'm a very enthusiastic and informed audience member. Which suits me just fine! A lot of my old classmates are in professional companies now so it's fun to see them perform, but I don't really regret quitting. I think I'm happier overall than I would have been otherwise.Posted by: Alexandra at February 25, 2009 2:06 PM
That's really exciting that you got to study at the NYCB! I have heard that they are pretty tough on body types (ack- Gelsey Kirkland). I am jealous though, not a lot of those kind of opportunities in suburban midwest.
I was pretty good at gymnastics because I build muscle really easily and I have the body type but I never had the flexible back it took to take either of them too far (not that I had a desire to, by the time I graduated HS I was burned out from dancing so much and I gained a sense of fear around age 12 which made vault a literal "hurdle" for me, which is why I quit gymnastics). Now my back cracks all the time now (but in my aerobics that's no big deal, haha)
My brother is talented enough though and graduated recently from Butler with a major in dance. Unluckily a very talented friend of ours went to study at the Boston Ballet but was also told she wasn't tall enough, or even flexible enough (even though she was plenty flexible) so she decided to quit. Right now though she is an artist and doing well.
So I like you remain one of those 'informed audience members.' We have a lot in common it sounds like!