Jump to content
Sim

Dancers Who Make You Cry (or feel very moved)

Recommended Posts

I thought this might be an interesting topic.  On another thread, a few people have said that they love Marianela Nunez's dancing, but that she has never moved them, or elicited an emotional response from the depths of their souls.   I have also seen many dancers who are wonderful technicians, or who can make me laugh but not cry;  rare is the artist who has it all.

 

So.....who are the dancers that really move you?  Who makes you cry at the end of Giselle, Manon, Mayerling....or any other ballet????  What is that extra something, in addition to being able to do the choreography?

 

Jumping straight into my head without me having to think very much,  the following have reduced to me to tears at the end:

 

Alina Cojocaru/Johan Kobborg in Giselle (even my husband cried!), Onegin and the MacMillan Big Three

Natalia Osipova in Giselle and as Natalia Petrovna in Month in the Country

Brandon Lawrence and Delia Mathews in Swan Lake (and, for some reason, Nutcracker!)

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Romeo & Juliet

James Hay and Francesca Hayward in Rhapsody

Mara Galeazzi as Juliet

Lauren Cuthbertson as Juliet

Laura Morera and Federico Bonelli in Mayerling

Vladimir Shklyarov and Natalia Osipova in Marguerite and Armand

Vadim Muntagirov as Des Grieux in Manon

Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nunez in Giselle

Australian Ballet Theatre's Swan Lake (cheating on this one as it's not a particular dancer, but the whole)

 

There are many more over the years, but my memory is such that going further back I will have to think a bit more!!  So while I'm doing that....over to you all!!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I very rarely cry at the ballet, but have cried at the opera a fair bit.

 

On the rare occasions I have shed a tear, it has been because of the beauty of the dancing, rather than the emotion on stage, though certain moments of choreography have moved me deeply.  Very rarely have I seen absolute perfection on stage but on those few occasions I've wept for sheer joy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always feel very moved and shed a tear when I see the Royal Ballet School matinee, especially for the final Grand Defile - a very emotional and moving climax every year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sim said:

I thought this might be an interesting topic.  On another thread, a few people have said that they love Marianela Nunez's dancing, but that she has never moved them, or elicited an emotional response from the depths of their souls.   I have also seen many dancers who are wonderful technicians, or who can make me laugh but not cry;  rare is the artist who has it all.

 

Funny... Marianela Nunez's Tatyana in Onegin was probably the most I've ever cried at a ballet.  Her Giselle made me cry too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alina Cojocaru has made me cry as Giselle, as Mary Vetsera and in Onegin as did Johan Kobborg in Maylering and Onegin.Lauren Cuthberson made me cry in Romeo and Juliet and I cried watching Frankenstein for all of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like MAB, I'm not much of a crier at the ballet: the odd tear, perhaps, a lump in my throat, but not much in the way of real blubbing.  Apart, that is, from when the RB revived Requiem for the first time in a long while.  I was sitting halfway up the amphi, "In Paradisum" started, and I suddenly found myself sobbing uncontrollably. And trying to do it silently so I didn't disturb anyone else, too :)

 

Sheer beauty does it for me too: I think it may have been a performance of Symphonic Variations in this last year which did have me crying, or maybe Sleeping Beauty - but then, it's been an emotional year, which may have been a contributing factor.

 

Oh, and definitely what turned out to be Cojocaru and Kobborg's last Manon, on the big screen: but then I'd swear half of Trafalgar Square was crying at that one.

 

More later about the dancers who regularly move me, I guess ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first time I sobbed out loud at a ballet was a performance of LFB/ENB dancing Sir Frederick Ashton's R&J in Manchester.  It was Virginie Alberti and Patrick Armand.

 

I was reduced to hysterical sobs by Samira Saidi and Kevin O'Hare at a BRB Big Top performance of Giselle in Lancaster.

 

My friend and I were in an even worse state in Paris when we saw Agnes LeTestu and Jiri Bubenicek  in a performance of Lady of the Camelias.  I think JB had been a late replacement because he was on the cast sheet but not even listed in the programme.  To this day I cannot understand why a dancer reading a book at the side of the stage made me cry so much.  We couldn't speak for over an hour after the performance!

 

I've always found Ambra Vallo a moving dancer.  I particularly loved her dancing with Chi Cao and I can vividly remember performances of them in Two Pigeons and R&J.

 

Alex Campbell has moved my soul on many occasions most notably as Will Mossop in Hobson's Choice and as Cyrano.  He and Yuhui Choe had me reduced to mush in Two Pigeons.

 

Desire Samaii and Martha Leebolt, both of Northern Ballet moved my soul in virtually anything they did.

 

Kenny Tindall as Heathcliff ... I remember a Saturday matinee in Hull was I was sobbing so much I was incapable of joining in the standing ovation!  This was all the more remarkable because I have never really liked any of the characters in Wuthering Heights before but he found something in the role that made me care tremendously what happened to him.

 

Chiaki Nagao and Rachael Gillespie as Butterfly.

 

Alexander Sombart as Onegin, particularly with Eva Evdokimova.  Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun in Onegin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously a strictly personal list, and Royal Ballet focused just because I see RB most frequently. Also mainly within the context of memories of being profoundly moved.

Both Roberta Marquez and Lauren Cuthbertson as Giselle. Also Polina Semionova as Giselle outside of Royal Ballet.

Lauren Cuthbertson as Juliet.

Bennet Gartside as both Rudolf and Leontes.

Marianela Nunez as Hermione.

Mara Galeazzi as Tatiana.

Laura Morera as Anastasia/Anna Anderson.

Sarah Lamb and Rupert Pennefather as Manon and Des Grieux.

Leanne Benjamin in Requiem.

Emma Maguire as Clara.

Leanne Benjamin and Edward Watson in Invitus Invitam.

Deirdre Chapman and Bennet Gartside in Ceremony of Innocence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, how could I forget James Hay as Alain in Fille! He made him real and pathetic instead of a knockabout figure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Sim said:

I thought this might be an interesting topic.  On another thread, a few people have said that they love Marianela Nunez's dancing, but that she has never moved them, or elicited an emotional response from the depths of their souls.   I have also seen many dancers who are wonderful technicians, or who can make me laugh but not cry;  rare is the artist who has it all.

 

So.....who are the dancers that really move you?  Who makes you cry at the end of Giselle, Manon, Mayerling....or any other ballet????  What is that extra something, in addition to being able to do the choreography?

 

Jumping straight into my head without me having to think very much,  the following have reduced to me to tears at the end:

 

Alina Cojocaru/Johan Kobborg in Giselle (even my husband cried!), Onegin and the MacMillan Big Three

Natalia Osipova in Giselle and as Natalia Petrovna in Month in the Country

Brandon Lawrence and Delia Mathews in Swan Lake (and, for some reason, Nutcracker!)

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Romeo & Juliet

James Hay and Francesca Hayward in Rhapsody

Mara Galeazzi as Juliet

Lauren Cuthbertson as Juliet

Laura Morera and Federico Bonelli in Mayerling

Vladimir Shklyarov and Natalia Osipova in Marguerite and Armand

Vadim Muntagirov as Des Grieux in Manon

Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nunez in Giselle

Australian Ballet Theatre's Swan Lake (cheating on this one as it's not a particular dancer, but the whole)

 

There are many more over the years, but my memory is such that going further back I will have to think a bit more!!  So while I'm doing that....over to you all!!

 

 

 

Firstly what a great topic Sim.

When I was young I remember crying a lot at certain performances by SWRB - Barbieri in Giselle., Ashmole, Kelly, Tait. And watching Nicola Katrak debut in some roles...aaah memories.

Then of course Viviana Durante in Manon. And Cojocaru in Giselle.

More recently I was moved by the beauty of Symphonic Variations - again.

But the ballet that gets me every time without fail is Gloria - I can still see Penney, Hosking and Eagling clearly, I will never forget that first time I saw it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is making me cry!! With laughter - at the thought of us blubbing away because of the beautiful art form - and dancers - we love. I've cried many times at and after performances, but since I'm at work probably best not to start remembering them now or my keyboard will get damp. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with so many of these.

 

Osipova and Ed Watson in Mayerling last season had me bawling - the final PDD just had an extra weight of inevitability in the tragedy; these two figures who are so clearly not long for this world. Marvellous!

 

I also remember, alongside the Manons, Mayerlings, R&Js, etc. - a performance of Swan Lake with Alina Cojocaru & Johan Kobborg in which the Act II PDD had me practically on the floor. I can never explain why - it was just something magical in the air that evening. Indescribably beautiful, and sorrowful.

 

I often find myself shedding a tear in Sleeping Beauty, too, often with a debuting Aurora. I think it's some vicarious feeling of the pride they and their families must feel when they get to finally wear that pink tutu and become a *proper* ballerina!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me too, bridiem and what baffles me reading this is So why do I always seem to be the only one clutching a damp hankie to my face as I stumble out of the auditorium?

 

Not just dancers but, sheer spectacle, beauty makes me cry- Midsummer Night's Dream always. The end of Symphony in C. Anything with  a procession in it.

Not just sorrowful or touching scenes- Two Pigeons Muntagirov was a 3 hankie job-  but very intense fun such as Rubies- Acosta/Rojo and McRae/Lamb last time.

 

Looking round at a full auditorium humming with excitement before the performance.

Warm applause.

Curtain calls.

Flower throws.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great topic and so difficult to choose! I used to be a bit stone-cold but as I've grown older I seem to be moved by everything I see! Here are the ones that come to mind for me:

 

Flight Pattern by Crystal Pite - again not a dancer specifically but it made me blub from the start! I also remember spotting Ashley Dean's face which conveyed the despair of the situation and this moved me a lot too.

 

Johan Kobborg and Thiago Soares as Rudolph in Mayerling - I haven't seen this done better than these two. Perhaps not as technically impressive as others, but their acting and expressions said so much and they are the only ones to make me really pity Rudolph. Urgh that bit in the final scene when he's on his knees and the piano is playing makes me so emotional! I just want to give him a hug!

 

Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg in Giselle and Onegin - no words! 

 

Natalia Osipova as Giselle, particularly when I first saw her do it when she guested at the RB and did it with Carlos Acosta. She really became a spirit and there was something in the way she moved her body and expressed herself that made her seem so ethereal. She forgave Albrecht and you could feel that through her dancing and it made her seem like this great, heroic almost saintly martyr. I found that very emotional.

 

Evgenia Obratzsova as Juliet when she guested with the RB with Steven McCrae - she was a revelation! So beautiful and I really felt like she was a child. There was a moment when she looked out into the audience almost asking us for help and she seemed so isolated and vulnerable. Just beautiful!

 

Yuhui Choe in Requiem - the music alone gets me but Yuhui dances this so beautifully and with so much grace that this alone makes it a tearjerker for me!

 

Lauren Cuthbertson as Juliet - has been bringing me to tears for years and years in that role

 

Vadim Muntagirov as Des Grieux and as the Boy in Two Pigeons and to be honest pretty much everything!

 

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Romeo and Juliet and I also found their debut in Sleeping Beauty so beautiful that it moved me to tears!

 

James Hay and Frankie Hayward in Rhapsody - utterly divine and incredibly moving

 

But I think above all something that never fails to move me and make me cry is Act 2 of Giselle during the Wilis dance and their infamous 'crossing' section. I am so moved by their beauty every time and it is so beautiful to watch that I need a bundle of tissues to get me through it!

 

(writing this very quickly at work as couldn't resist so excuse any typos I have in here!!)

Edited by ToThePointe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A great list, TTP;  how could I have forgotten Thiago Soares as Rudolf?  The first time I saw him I cried at the end and I was astonished;  he was the first Rudolf who had that effect on me!

 

Thanks for describing why you feel like you do;  very interesting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cry for the beauty too, usually, or the music. Sometimes I just have goose-bumps ( a lot, in the recent Sylvia). but a few tears arrive for especially moving moments. 

 

- Tamara Rojo as Juliet sitting on the bed before she runs off to Friar Laurence

-  Alina Cojocaru in Aurora's frenzied dance after pricking her finger, and in the final pdd in Giselle

- Marianela Nunez as Giselle, in the final pdd of Fille, as Tatiana at the end, in the final pdd of Sylvia in Rome where she danced with David Hallberg

-Lauren Cuthbertson in Sylvia last week

 

Also, but I can't pinpoint specific moments, Lucia Lacarra, Friedemann Vogel, Aurelie Dupont, Matej Urban in illusions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't cry all that often at the ballet but I do get goosebumps. However, I easily shed a few tears when the music is too beautiful for words combined with watching a dancer who has the ability to touch my heart and visually moves me through her/his physicality and beautiful line (I am really not asking for much :))

 

I am really restricted now to seeing the RB only ( occasionally ENB and BRB when in London) but I am sure there must be other dancers out there who would move me too.

Lauren Cuthbertson made me shed tears with her silent cry in "Infra", and the music gave me goosebumps.

Yasmine Naghdi made my tears roll several times during her performance as "Juliet", as well as when she danced the Girl in "The Invitation" (oh that moment when she "cried" it out after being raped). I always loved Lauren Cuthbertson's Juliet (I still do) but Yasmine Naghdi's "Juliet" was so very different and Matthew Ball as Romeo made me very emotional too.

Leanne Benjamin in "Requiem" made me cry.

Alina Cojocaru in Giselle, Alina in anything really. Loved her.

Francesca Hayward as Clara gave me goosebumps during the pas de deux, and she also moved me in Rhapsody.

and yes, as above, Rojo simply sitting still on the bed, my tears rolled and rolled.

Vadim Muntagirov in Symphonic Variations (and goosebumps in most of his performances)

Marianella Nunez in Concerto and Diamonds.

I am sure there are a few more but that's what I remember right now.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was moved to tears watching Manon. I don’t know whether it was Marianela Nunez’s acting and dancing or the power of the ballet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I am with those who are moved to tears by 'the beauty' - and trying to find any rationale as to what moves me and what doesn't is a hiding to nothing.

 

Sometimes there is an obvious reason - for example seeing Requiem soon after my father died left me a sobbing wreck. But other times I find my reactions inexplicable. Manon is one of my all time favourite ballets and I have seen many fantastic casts over the years but have never cried at it. However, despite being a bit ho-hum about Romeo and Juliet, every time she wakes up in the tomb - whoever is dancing it - brings a lump to my throat.

 

Many posters have mentioned Cojacaru in Giselle and I totally agree with that. Even in her recent performances with ENB where it seemed to me her technique wasn't as good (particularly in Act 1) she is second to none in loosening those tear ducts in the second act!

 

Other crying memories:

 

Hay and Takada in Two Pigeons - made me cry properly ie tears rolling down cheeks.

 

Francesca Hayward's debut in Rhapsody - beautiful and a star was born.

 

Muntagirov in Sylvia on opening night - the sheer beauty of his dancing made me feel really emotional.

 

Jenna Roberts and Tyrone Singleton in the Concerto pas de deux - again sheer beauty and sheer simplicity: unbeatable.

 

Watching students at the Royal Ballet School and thinking of all the years of blood, sweat and tears that goes into making a beautiful movement - and wondering how many will actually make it.

 

It also really moves me when a dancer pulls something totally unexpected (to me at least) out of the bag eg Bonelli in Mayerling, Matthew Golding with Osipova in Onegin.

 

Could go on and on but enough already!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, BMC said:

Muntagirov in Sylvia on opening night - the sheer beauty of his dancing made me feel really emotional.

 

Ditto.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cojocaru /Kobborg coming up a lot- hardly a surprise.

I shall now cry because I no longer see them dance together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also found James Streeter and Tamara Rojo in Akram Khan’s Giselle extremely moving and was brought to tears by their performance and the brilliance Khan’s choreography 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Mary said:

Cojocaru /Kobborg coming up a lot- hardly a surprise.

I shall now cry because I no longer see them dance together.

They were my favourite dance couple and to write “were” is very sad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leanne Benjamin in Gloria brought a tear to my eye when I saw it live.  I love many of the other suggestions made here, but I think the most intense emotion I have felt has been while I have been watching clips on Youtube.  Are we allowed to include those, or does it have to be live performances?   

 

There are some of Fonteyn dancing in both the Rose Adagio and the Act III pdd of the Sleeping Beauty that are so stunning, I can feel myself starting to well up when I watch them.  And another of her dancing the second act of Giselle with Nureyev.  Gets me every time.   Edited to add the film of R & J, with Fonteyn and Nureyev is also full of weepy moments.  

 

Am I a bit odd crying over snippets on Youtube?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Fonty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×