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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Born to be Wild -- Men of the ABT


2 Left Feet

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Curious to see what others thought of the Dance in America special on PBS this week, "Born to be Wild" about the leading men of the ABT.

 

Anyone see it?

 

I finally watched today. Mixed thougths on my part. I loved seeing the technical displays, especially Manuel Careno (sp) in the Havana Competition dances. Wow! It was also cool seeing footage of them all when they were younger.

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The woman in the Cuban competition was amazing. Cuban Balletmanes are really into the performance.

 

MJY

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I really enjoyed the program. Although, I thought that it was pared down too much to make it fit into the 1-hour time slot. Maybe the producers didn't think the audience that they were targeting would stay with it for 2 hours. I certainly would have! Besides the great dance footage and seeing the creative process at work, I really liked seeing the reaction of the students when Malakhov and Stiefel walk into their old schools.

 

The one major criticism I have is that there was almost no display of partnering abilities anywhere in the program:( . It seems like such a major part of every male dancer's job that I don't think it should have been ignored. Maybe the time or fiscal budgets would not allow them to include it? But everything I hear and read says that male dancers must display strong technique and strong partnering abilities to succeed. Although it was left out of the program, does anyone have an opinion on who of the four is the most dedicated to being a stellar partner?

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Good note on the partnering issue, but then again, partnering is about the woman, not the man, so I can understand it not being part of the program.

 

Of the four I enjoy Careno's partnering the most. I've seen him with Julie Kent before in "Merry Widow." He's got good chemistry. But I'd have to say the best ABT man for partnering is Marcello Gomez. He is not quite the blazing talent these four are, but he got a natural instinct for partnering, almost giving over his performance for the sake of the woman. Makes for some exciting partnering.

 

I liked the show, was glad they did it, but found it far from "wild." I found Steifel down right stiffling compared to passionate types like Careno and Corella. So much seemed forced. The best parts were the old footage, the competition scenes and the parts with Morris staging the new work. Watching him work was pretty cool.

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Yes 2LF, I understand your point about partnering. It makes me wonder what Balanchine would think of a documentary focused on male dancers..."Ballet is woman." (I use that quote for affect but I can't deny that Balanchine nurtured and produced a number of incredible male stars and roles.)

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You get to see men partnering ladies every time you go to the ballet. This program was there to showcase the men, not to show everything they're capable of.

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