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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Online Videos:"Acrobatic" Swan Lake


primasylph

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Mel Johnson

That's right. What is fine for the circus is not fine for the ballet stage! (God, I feel like Bournonville writing to Petipa!)

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(God, I feel like Bournonville writing to Petipa!)

:lol::P:lol: LOVE IT!

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(God, I feel like Bournonville writing to Petipa!)

 

....and in hindsight, no one can imagine ballet today without the new level of athleticism brought to the art by the Russians under the leadership of Petipa in the classical period.

 

For the interview with Claude Bessy of POB, look on YouTube for "Chinese Ballet Circus pas de deux troupe du Guangdong"

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nutcrackedup

My feelings are hurt - I did not mean to imply that this is in any way an artistic performance akin to a ballet performance. It is, however, fascinating to watch! Maybe I just don't get out much :wub:

 

 

And thank you, citibob, I think what attracts one's attention is the artistic presentation.

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PinkonPointe

No worries, nutcracked up, I thought it was. :wink: I let my little sis watch it too, and she was very amazed! :shrug:

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Sheherezade

ahhh that's one of my all time favorite videos on youtube! The girl has absolutely amazing balance :(

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perlepetite

aahhhh those videos are incredible. Don't the dancers spend years rehearsing just one piece?! My jazz teacher told us about that....he worked with/met some men in a pilobolus-like company and they had spent a great part of their lives rehearsing this one trick involving incredible strength, teamwork, control, etc. I don't know if I'd have the patience for that!! :green::(

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Mel Johnson

The weird thing is, that Bournonville actually DID write to Petipa, and it sounded something like,

 

"Mari, baby, wotthehell ya t'ink ya doin'? Sweetheart, dey been givin' ya too much o' dat local firewater! Lissen, Mari, baby, cut out all da crapola wit' da lifts and da catches n' all dat shtick, n' get back to doin' it da right ways! Ya been taught better dan dat. I oughtta know, I was DERE!" :yes:

 

Petipa actually wrote back, saying something like,

 

"I know! I know!!! But my audiences want that stuff! They won't leave me alone unless I give it to them!"

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I know some people in this area - you see them one year doing a certain trick - then see them again, a few years later, and its exactly THE SAME! Then you see a video of them from many years before, and it STILL the same! In other words, they have been doing this one thing all their lives. No wonder they do it so well! But how boring can that be?

 

Jim.

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perlepetite
In other words, they have been doing this one thing all their lives. No wonder they do it so well! But how boring can that be?

 

Jim.

 

 

Exactly what I was saying!! I suppose it's not boring for them, but ballet can be frustrating enough for me--I can't imagine the patience and perserverence it would take to practice something like that all your life!! :)

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ballerine177

I've seen their videos on Youtube, and they're pretty amazing. But they probably have been doing the same thing since they were two!

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PinkonPointe

I wonder if she puts something on the end of her box to make it softer for the guys head....

 

Sorry, kinda random. :yes:

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In one I saw, the man had a little cap (presumably hard) with a little hollow in the top, presumably so she was less likely to slide off.

 

Jim.

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I am continuously amazed at the degree to which people go to find something "wrong" about these acrobats/dancers/whatever you call them. First they're not really doing ballet (as if replacing character dances with acrobatic tricks suddenly makes it un-ballet). Or they're not emotional enough (as if one could even tell from a 3-minute video; look on YouTube and you'll find plenty of emotionless traditional professional Swan Lake videos). But now that we have the POB school principal's endorsement of the phenomenon, we can't just blithely say it's not ballet anymore.

 

Now the problem is they've worked TOO HARD. The same arguments being used against these performers can be used against anyone involved with ballet --- gosh, you have to commit your entire life to something. And they keep doing the same thing over and over again? That's exactly what we do in the ballet world, so it's a poor argument against something on a ballet message board. Ten years ago I saw NYCB doing "Serenade" and --- guess what --- they're STILL doing Serenade this year. And those press lifts --- why do they keep doing the same press lift all their lives, why don't dancers invent new press lifts after the age of 30? Not to mention the way everyone performs Nutcracker ad nauseum, always the same, never changing. Why do they have to be so perfectionistic, so repetitious, those ballet dancers? It must be a really awful, boring career, that you have to do since you're, like, 2.

 

Frankly, this reminds me of the arguments I hear so often from modern dancers who may at some level feel threated by the enormous technical challenge offered by ballet. Ballet is "emotionless." "Too repetitous" "Must work too hard." "Modern dance has more content."

 

Sorry guys, I think a lot of people just find this video threatening. We need to be a little more secure with ourselves, our own abilities and our value as artists. Whatever the merits are of these artists (and there are many), they do not negate the merits of other dance artists. Just as modern dance is not negated in value by ballet. There is room for lots of different stuff in the dance world, and opportunity in one lifetime to embody only a small portion of it. The most important thing is that we approach our art with excellence, that we always strive to make it better tomorrow than it is today. Audience really responds to that kind of authenticity, no matter what we can or cannot do.

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Mel Johnson

Bob, my neighbor is a high-iron worker. I've gone to work with him on a couple of occasions as a consultant on historic structures. The things he does on his job are physically taxing, intricate, repetitive and just plain hard to do, not to mention dangerous. Did I mention dangerous? That's why he gets paid the big bucks. But do I think I should put a video of Steve out for comment on a ballet board? I don't THINK so. Asian theatrical circus is its own thing, and while there may be aspects of it that could influence ballet proper, it isn't ballet in and of itself. Given that sort of inclusiveness, everything becomes grist for the ballet mill including Andy Warhol's Empire State Building, slow motion footage of hummingbirds' flight, and time-lapse photography of the Nebraska plains.

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