An article about the demise of ANB and its devastating effect on the dancers. There’s an interesting tidbit about use of social media in here too.
Note about JW April 3, 2018
Her photo is finally up on the Universal Ballet’s website; she is indeed a principal. Thank goodness they did not use that awful Vampira portrait that she used when with the Kremlin Ballet; however, this one has a very strange and somewhat unsettling depiction of the musculature in her back.
Anyway, she’s finally there.
Swan Lake when you’re drunk April 2, 2018
Warning: strong language, adult content; viewer discretion strongly advised. But very, very funny:
Another video from the same channel. It’s about auditioning and the prospects for an actual ballet career; also lays down the hard fact that ballet is for rich kids (quite like figure skating used to be and still is to an extent). It’s very depressing, so I don’t recommend that anyone seeking a ballet career watch it. For the rest of us, it’s good information:
There’s a very pointed message here March 30, 2018
Read Julie Kent’s article for Pointe magazine. She is addressing something we’ve discussed frequently here: very few ballet dancers become instant stars…and if that isn’t meant to be, social media won’t help their case.
Missed Fouettes March 29, 2018
I’ve probably missed something, but I admit that I have never seen a video of Maya Plisetskaya completing the famous 32 fouettes in the Black Swan act.
Further, while on her way up in the Mariinsky, Oxana Skorik frequently slipped up on the fouettes. Heck, she could’t even do the famous variation in the first act of Giselle “correctly,” meaning she couldn’t complete the hops on pointe (she can now). But she got promoted anyway.
But apparently Misty Copeland slipped up on her fouettes during Swan Lake sometime recently, which resulted in this. (BTW, the offending Twitter account has been taken down.)
While I admit that I consider Copeland to be a bit limited as a strictly classical ballerina (she seems fine in more modern works), I’m wondering if anyone else gives a damn about how many fouettes a ballerina performs in Swan Lake or any other ballet?
I recall a similar bogus argument that erupted in figure skating in the 1980’s when skaters were finally excused from undergoing those tedious figures competitions so they could concentrate on jumps. All of a sudden skaters without triple jumps “couldn’t skate,” even though they could. This idiotic argument continues to this day; in the men’s field, it now concentrates on the hip-destroying quad jumps.
All the while the real problem was that the skaters were concentrating on multi-rotational jumps at the expense of actually skating. That has only been corrected in recent years, and it’s still a work in progress. For an example of what I’m talking about, watch a video of the 1961 U.S. Worlds team at their last Nationals (this is the team that perished in a plane crash), and observe all the little “in betweens” that have been lost. Skaters are only just now re-learning some of them.
I think something similar must apply to ballet, only here we’re talking about big tricks like fouettes.
Gaynor Minden addresses myths March 21, 2018
Here’s an interesting video that popped up on YouTube yesterday: