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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Dancers known for their Artistry


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A dancer known around the world for her supreme artistry is Evelyn Hart. Her life-in-ballet story is unique and compelling for the sacrifices she made and the challenges she met. A compleat artist, she was and is very demanding of herself, with stunning results. A true creature of the ballet, Evelyn has devoted her life to the art in an immersion not often found, even in the most devoted of dancers.

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And the guys are especially focused on acrobatics and tricks - not "dancing." It's interesting to hear his critique of professional dancers - especially females. He, too, looks for the overextensions when he judges someone's quality of dancing. I can only surmise that this is something that has been emphasized in his schools.


This is a "trend" in ballet, maybe especially amongst dancers, that has been going on for quite some years. I think we are looking at a major generation change, specially for the men. Earlier, the artistic side of the dancing had much more emphasis, contra the tricks, than today. Just think about Brühn, Nurejev, and dancer from that era - not a bad word on men today, but the approach was different.

Also, I believe this is something that comes from the school. If you learn a certain way "ballet should be" there, it is hard to start to change that as you grow older and more expirienced.

Just my 2cents...

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Except now what we're hearing is that men "pander" to the audience (yes, I quoted that from a recent review) and focus on tricks with no knowledge or ability of how to connect the tricks into some kind of "dance." This was another interesting article I read after the New York Ballet Competition. So maybe it's been a trend in the past, but it seems like the trend is going to reverse again and our kids aren't prepared to deal with it.

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Did anyone happen to take a look at the youtube link Hans posted earlier in this thread of Cynthia Gregory doing the Rose Adagio? Oh my goodness, it is amazing --she is amazing. I haven't seen dancing like that ever! The artistry, the technique, the sheer joy she shows in her dancing. Beautiful! It made my day. Thanks, Hans, for posting it.

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I've just watched the Cynthia Gregory clip. It's amazing how she did not have "leg to ear" extensions and yet her Rose Adage is one of the most exciting and captivating Rose Adages I have ever watched.


What I liked about her interpretation is that she wasn't Cynthia Gregory when she was dancing. She was Aurora. The way that she performed every step had thought and meaning behind it. For me it felt like her dancing wasn't just acting added on top of technique, it was a whole embodiment of it.


I'm not sure if there are any DVDs / youtube videos of Johan Kobborg in any ballets available, but he is one of the best dancer-actors that I see in London. Every time I see him dance I can almost see speech bubbles appearing above his head -- every action and gesture had a reason and a meaning. And it goes for not only his own actions, but reactions to other dancers on stage too.


May I also add Marianela Nunez to this list!



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Wow. I just watched the Cynthia Gregory clip, too. That was an enjoyable 8 minutes! I feel as if I've just walked in a beautiful garden with all my senses refreshed -- what an experience. She is GORGEOUS from head to toe.

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Galina Ulanova, Violette Verdy, Patricia Renzetti, Yulia Lopatkina, Maya Dumchenko. No particular order, a mention of dancers who have inspired an artistic spirit in this teacher which in the end brings something forward to the students in my classes.

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VRS--I can't believe I forgot to put Ulanova on my list! She is right up there with Fonteyn as far as I'm concerned.


I'm glad everyone is enjoying the Gregory video--that is one of my favourite performances of the Rose Adagio. I also recommend looking up Lynn Seymour in "A Month in the Country" and Eva Evdokimova in "La Sylphide" and "Giselle", all of which are on Youtube.

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Interesting how most of the dancers on here are retired now...a testament to the rarity artistry has become?


I'd like to mention Gabriella Yudenich on this thread...she had me weeping in her very first steps as Myrtha in Pennsylvania Ballet's Giselle. She was absolutely ethereal. The steps didn't matter; she could have been turned in, sickled, off balance, ANYTHING, and all I would have seen was the embodiment of grace and elegance!

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I'm not sure if there are any DVDs / youtube videos of Johan Kobborg in any ballets available, but he is one of the best dancer-actors that I see in London. Every time I see him dance I can almost see speech bubbles appearing above his head -- every action and gesture had a reason and a meaning.




There are videos on Youtube of Johan Kobborg in 'The Lesson', and he is properly scary in it. It's horrible to watch (if you know what I mean).


Alina Cojocaru (also in the lesson) seems to bring a quality of sweetness to anything she dances - although I'm not sure if that's what's meant by artistry.


I think that Maya Plisetskaya in the Carmen Suite is Carmen, from top to toe. Looking at her Carmen:




versus Svetlana Zakharova's




really shows, for me anyway, how much fire and vitality she brings to the role.


I could be havering, though, I'm not especially clued up. How do you define artistry? Is it like the quality some actors have, where you just can't tear your eyes away from the screen when they're on - or is that 'presence'?

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