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Dancers Who Make You Cry (or feel very moved)

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22 hours ago, SPD444 said:

Alina and Johan’s last performance at RB in Mayerling, top of the list.

Alina in R&J at O2 - big close up on big screen, sitting on bed.

Alina - Giselle.

Osipova and Marianela ditto.

Lauren in Winters Tale.

Akram’s Giselle

ENB’ tribute to WW1

 

looking forward to many more watching Frankie and Yasmine ( and Alina).

 

Oh my, I remember that night.  I was with a friend who had only ever seen one ballet before and had never been to ROH.  She went wandering while I kept a date with a glass of something in the bar, and then when she came back she kept saying the stars were leaving.  I was dismisive and then the news started to spread through the Floral Hall like wildfire.  I was beyond gutted.  They were, and remain, my favourite couple and Icouldn’t believe this was the last time I would seethemdance.

 

As you will know, the Curtain Calls went on forever and I kept expecting a management presence to acknowledge these two stars.  I am a great supporter of KOH but I still think it was shabby treatment.  Whatever bad blood there may or may not have been, KOH should have put the audience need to have their favourites recognised ahead of any other concern.  Still rankles with me.

 

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5 hours ago, ninamargaret said:

As a theatre of many years standing I have found in recent years that theatre moves me rather less than ballet. As an example the scene in Winters Tale where Leontes and Hermione are reconciled I find .more affecting in the  ballet than in the play, which is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. Is it my age, are actors less skilled,dancers more skilled or what? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that the impact of movement to music (at its best) is so powerful that it caps the more cerebral effect of words.

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Tears of sadness:

 

Eva Evdokimova as the Sylph in La Sylphide as she lost her wings and her sight 

Sarah Wildor in Ondine as she mourned the dead body of Palemon under water

Jennifer Penney and whole cast of Gloria

Sylvie Guillem and Jonathan Cope in Manon third act pdd

For the hopeless, isolated, dejected Julia in A  Wedding Bouquet (thank goodness she has her dog for comfort)

The moment when Giselle discovers Albrecht's deceit, and the end of the ballet as he is left there alone knowing he will never see her again

Svetlana Beriosova

Bryony Brind

 

Tears of happiness:

Nadia Nerina/David Blair, Lesley Collier/Michael Colemann, Roberta Marquez/Alexander Campbell, Francesca Hayward/Marcelino Sambé in La Fille Mal Gardée during the final pdd and the finalé

For whoever is performing The Two Pigeons final pas de deux, when the pigeons behave

Watching Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov dance together in Nutcracker

Many moments in Sir Fred's Cinderella

The finalé of Firebird  - its the hope in the music and the whole spectacle

Margot Fonteyn's entrances in Sleeping Beauty and her joy of dance

 

Tears of laughter:

Chenca Williams as Mrs. Dimple in Pineapple Poll (and I was crying uncontrollably!)

When the Pigeons don't behave!

 

 

 

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I remember being incredibly moved when I first saw L'Arlesienne with LFB, starring Mirielle Bourgeois & Peter Schaufuss. I went again to the following performance it was so amazing. It was recently on Sky Arts danced by POB - I had my tissues ready knowing how emotional I'd been last time. But somehow it just didn't move me as it had in 1985. LFB had a special magic in those years under Schaufuss. 

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On 12/7/2017 at 08:40, penelopesimpson said:

 

First time I saw Asymuratova at the beginning of my ballet journey.  She and Faroukh Ruzimatov were just so magnificent and opened up a world of beauty for me

 

YES!

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7 hours ago, bridiem said:

 

I think that the impact of movement to music (at its best) is so powerful that it caps the more cerebral effect of words.

 

Yes. I can go further, with an example of ballet sometimes trumping words with music: even though the opera Eugene Onegin is one of my favourite works, the ballet Onegin has on occasion moved me more deeply.

 

 

Edited by Geoff

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7 hours ago, Sharon said:

I remember being incredibly moved when I first saw L'Arlesienne with LFB, starring Mirielle Bourgeois & Peter Schaufuss. I went again to the following performance it was so amazing. It was recently on Sky Arts danced by POB - I had my tissues ready knowing how emotional I'd been last time. But somehow it just didn't move me as it had in 1985. LFB had a special magic in those years under Schaufuss. 

 

 

 

I do agree with you about the Schaufuss era at LFB/ENG.  To see him dance with Evdokimova in Giselle and La Sylphide,  Haydee and Cragun in Onegin would be on my list of all time weepies.  Then we had Patricks Armand and Dupont in Etudes who made me cry with joy.

 

There are another couple of artists who often moved me to tears, both through moving me and bringing me joy and they were Marion Tait and Michael O'Hare.  I would particularly single out Marion as Juliet and in Two Pigeons.  For Michael it would be Two Pigeons and as Will Mossop when in the big pas de deux he has his arm round Maggie and throws the right arm towards the roof as if looking on a golden future.

 

One ballet which I saw a few times which always got to me was Michael Corder's Wand of Youth and its depiction of a golden generation destined to be lost in the Great War.

 

One final memory of unstoppable tears was a matinee performance of Enigma Variations when i sat with my mother in the front row at the Hippodrome for what was almost her last visit.  I think a large part of this was the superb playing by the orchestra under Philip Ellis but at the end we turned to each other and we were both sobbing our hearts out.

 

I could remember other golden moments but I think I will leave it with that memory.

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I'm so glad you mentioned a conductor. Ashton's Enigma variations was originally conducted by Sir Adrian Boult who in his earlier career had conducted for the Diaghilev company and under his baton those early performances were perfection to me.  At the curtain calls, among the dancers, he was always positively beaming.  That ballet in particular is unique in drawing you into a real person's life, a specific time and place with manners and mores so very different from today, my grandparents generation in fact.  I've always considered Enigma totally unique, I can think of nothing else even vaguely like it.

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4 hours ago, Two Pigeons said:

 

 

 

I do agree with you about the Schaufuss era at LFB/ENG.  To see him dance with Evdokimova in Giselle and La Sylphide,  Haydee and Cragun in Onegin would be on my list of all time weepies.  Then we had Patricks Armand and Dupont in Etudes who made me cry with joy.

 

There are another couple of artists who often moved me to tears, both through moving me and bringing me joy and they were Marion Tait and Michael O'Hare.  I would particularly single out Marion as Juliet and in Two Pigeons.  For Michael it would be Two Pigeons and as Will Mossop when in the big pas de deux he has his arm round Maggie and throws the right arm towards the roof as if looking on a golden future.

 

One ballet which I saw a few times which always got to me was Michael Corder's Wand of Youth and its depiction of a golden generation destined to be lost in the Great War.

 

One final memory of unstoppable tears was a matinee performance of Enigma Variations when i sat with my mother in the front row at the Hippodrome for what was almost her last visit.  I think a large part of this was the superb playing by the orchestra under Philip Ellis but at the end we turned to each other and we were both sobbing our hearts out.

 

I could remember other golden moments but I think I will leave it with that memory.

And I agree with you 😉 those performances with Evdokimova were beautiful. I remember him dancing Onegin with Patricia Ruanne.... And your right those performances with Patrick Armand & Dupont were fantastic! Weren't we lucky? I remember thinking as a young dancer that Etudes was just the cleverest of ballets, that it was a great way to not only explain classical steps but was an opportunity for a company show off their technical prowess in a direct manner. Love that ballet.

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Tamara Rojo and Irek Mukhademov's pdd as Frida and Diego in Broken Wings brought a manly lump to my throat, as did Alina Cojocaru in the Skeaping Giselle and Tamara in the Khan version.  I've had the occasional manly lump watching Polina Semionova too, but that's best left for another thread.

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The cast of Mayerling  April 2007. Rojo was Mary Vetsera, but the other principle artists were from the home team as it were. Martin Harvey as Rudolph, Belinda Hatley as Larisch, Christina Arestis as Elizabeth, Victoria Hewitt as Stephanie, Lauren Cuthbertson as Mitzi and Leanne Cope as Louise. The pain that  Larisch was feeling watching  Rudolph watching his mother with Bay Middleton during the Birthday celebrations was very sad. I remember talking to Leanne Cope about this. A very happy cast with what they had achieved. 

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I am not really a cryer but watching ballet does have the capacity to moisten my eyes and tighten my stomach.

As this thread started with a question focused on dancers, I have made the following list (oldest to youngest, I think! ) and have limited myself to 10 with a maximum of three examples so as not to be boring:

Vladimir Vasiliev* (the Nutcracker Prince awakening, Act 1 Grigorovich version, Spartacus)

Irek Mukhamedov (Spartacus, Ivan the Terrible and Rudolf in Mayerling)

Altynai Asylmuratova (Medora in Le Corsaire, Nikiya in La Bayadere, and Natalia Petrovna in Month in the Country)

Nina Ananiashvili (Juliet, Giselle (and Myrtha), and Kitri in Don Quixote)

Daria Klimentova (the older Clara’s entrance in Nutcracker, the Tchaikovsky pdd and other gala pdd with Vadim Muntagirov)

Sarah Wildor (Manon, Juliet, Ondine)

Elena Glurdjidze (Marguerite and Armand in Tiblisi, Aurora, and Raymonda Act 3)

Ivan Putrov (Pierrot Lunaire, Prodigal Son, and Romeo)

Alina Cojocaru (Tatiana in Onegin, lead woman in Scarlett’s No Man’s Land, and Manon)

Vadim Muntagirov (Des Grieux in Manon, Solor in La Bayadere, Albrecht in Giselle and – cheating my own limits here - along with Campbell and Ball as The Young Man in Two Pigeons)

* mainly from recordings

Thinking further about these choices and why these artists have moved me over the years I realise that what most stirs my emotions  is the sheer beauty of dancing combined with totally believable characterisation. Other factors can include:

  • the storyline and the choreography (obviously) but not necessarily the sad stuff
  • a specific (fond) gesture, anguish or another particular facial expression
  • stage magnetism (or  even technical wizardry)
  • the music which can sometimes overpower one (in a good way, not least in the Royal Ballet School’s grand defile)
  • the chemistry of a partnership (a separate list would also include Guillem/Cope in Manon Act 3 and Naghdi/Ball especially in Romeo and Juliet)
  • the surprise factor (for example, Cojocaru’s wonderful Tatiana when she was barely into her twenties);
  • the circumstances (for example, Mukhamedov’s last Rudolf at the ROH, Muntagirov’s first performance with the Royal Ballet and many more, including Naghdi’s debut as Aurora)
  • the ‘can it be true that I’m lucky enough to actually be here seeing this?’ factor which applies to many of the performances above and so many more (including Gediminas Taranda as Abderakhman in the Bolshoi’s Raymonda)

I appreciate that my Top Ten is far from contemporary, that my choices lean heavily towards Russia/Eastern Europe and that I have omitted many amazing dancers from the past and the present. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really around to see in their prime Fonteyn, Nureyev, Dowell, Seymour, Baryshnikov or many of the Festival Ballet/ENB principals that others have mentioned. However, looking to the future and on the basis of the effect that they have had on me over the last year, I have an inkling that it won’t be long before other ‘great artists in the making’ (such as Yasmine Naghdi and Cesar Corrales) will simply have to be on my list.

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I think that it's the music as much as the dancing and characterisation which makes me feel emotional. I have felt rather emotional at the following:.

- the Prince's solo in the Derek Deane Swan Lake as danced by Vadim Muntagirov (for the sheer beauty of his dancing)

- the ending of the 'traditional' Giselle with Alina Cojacaru 

- the ending of the Khan Giselle, as danced by several casts but particularly Cojacaru again (the sad flutey music - although it's actually a

Greek Lyre, apparently - is so moving as Giselle and Myrtha are gliding away into the darkness with Giselle looking back at Albrecht and Albrecht's desolation as the wall shuts him out from both communities)

- the Rose Adagio (for some reason I feel a sort of maternal pride when a dancer has successfully negotiated this)

- the corps as Snowflakes (Nutcracker), Willis (Giselle) and Swans (Swan Lake) - the discipline and synchronicity never fail to thrill me.

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38 minutes ago, aileen said:

I think that it's the music as much as the dancing and characterisation which makes me feel emotional. I have felt rather emotional at the following:.

- the Prince's solo in the Derek Deane Swan Lake as danced by Vadim Muntagirov (for the sheer beauty of his dancing)

 

I do so agree - absolutely superb and I'm wondering how I came to overlook it. But the (lovely) problem with some dancers is they offer an embarrassment of riches from which to choose and Muntagirov is one such artist :)

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Yes, an intriging topic. I'm not a teary person, but there were memorable moments which brought a lump to my throat. Being non-U.K. -based my choices are quite different: Lucia Lacarra as Marguerite in "Lady of the Camellias", the whole of Neumeier's "Illusions - like Swan Lake", a stupendous re-make of "Swan Lake" by Neumeier, which touched me much deeper than the original, esp. the end when the king gives way to his fate accompanied by waves of Tchaikowsky's music - spine-tingling. Also Alicia Amatrian as Tatiana, Friedemann Vogel as Lensky and again in Bejart's "Bolero". I could go on ad nauseam, but will stop here.

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I watched the Nunez/Muntagirov Giselle DVD last night, having not done so for a while, and ended up tears once again from the expression on Vadim’s face as he does that perfectly timed walk forward at the very end.

 

Muntagirov often moves me, both from the sheer beauty and purity of his dancing, and the sincerity of his acting. His Des Grieux (looking forward to seeing that again!), and his sheer elegance and perfection in Diamonds.

 

Other then that - Symphonic Variations for the wonderful music and the choreography that expresses it so perfectly.

 

The Nutcracker Grand Pas de Deux, mainly for the music, which always gets to me.

 

The final Pas de Deux in the Two Pigeons.

 

The Pas de Deux in the middle of Rhapsody (the combination of the music and choreography again).

 

Marguerite and Armand - enough said.

 

I could go on....

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Perfect choices Balletfanp, just perfect!

 

But the Marguerite and Armand cast has to be right - in keeping with original topic- I am not sure they all make me cry. .I do wonder whether it should have died with Fonteyn /Nureyev but- Cope/Rojo were pretty good.

 

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Apologies for repetition and linking to the Radio 3 Sound of Dance thread but the final minutes of Song of the Earth are so utterly exquisite that I cannot but be moved to tears.  Monica Mason talks us through these in a wonderful commentary, some 37 minutes into the programme:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09j0rg4

 

The whole programme is an absolute gem, including Ed Watson on Romeo and Juliet and Mayerling and both Ed and Monica on the Rite of Spring.  Only 28 days left on iPlayer.  And Katie Derham is a perceptive interviewer/presenter.

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JohnS thank you very much for posting the link. Even though I can't download the podcast as I'm not in the UK, I can still listen to it.

There are many other interesting interviews too on the same thread.

Looking forward to listening to as many as I can!

 

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 Others have mentioned Daria Klimetova.  Four years ago, I saw the ENB's Sleeping Beauty with Vadim Munatagirov and Tamara Rojo as the leads, but it was Daria's lovely lilac fairy that really moved me for some reason.

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12 hours ago, Mary said:

Perfect choices Balletfanp, just perfect!

 

But the Marguerite and Armand cast has to be right - in keeping with original topic- I am not sure they all make me cry. .I do wonder whether it should have died with Fonteyn /Nureyev but- Cope/Rojo were pretty good.

 

And Polunin/Rojo were sensational!

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John, thanks so much for downloading this.  It saved me having to download the BBC Radio iPlayer (which, I have discovered, is separate from the TV one, although my password/user name for the TV one worked for the radio one....).  This was a fascinating programme and made my horrible commute this morning go much, much better.  The balcony scene from R&J played by the Kirov Orchestra under Gergiev brought a lump to my throat.  Such lush strings, such emotional playing.  I think I need to add that to my list!  

 

And you are right....Monica Mason's description of how it felt to dance the last few minutes of Song of the Earth is incredibly moving as well.  I will remember it next time I watch the ballet.  

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Very late to this thread but would like to thank MAB for that wonderful clip of Fonteyn!!

needless to say she is the dancer who has made me cry the most and am not entirely sure why! 

She always seems to completely epitomise the music and has that true vulnerability in performance that so few dancers seem to have.

Perhaps it's just that she is the first dancer I really sort of "fell in love" with and wished to be like( if only!)

Fonteyn truely danced with her whole body especially her eyes and may not have had the more extreme technique of today's dancers but had a real quality of movement and expression.

 

Not many individual dancers make me cry....its usually more the ballet and the mood I'm in etc etc. Which again is why Fonteyn is special for me. 

Markarova in both Giselle and Swan Lake made me cry .....but the latter ballet was for sheer beauty of movement ....and her Giselle for an extraordinary interpretation and wonderful second Act I'd not seen the like of before ...though Osipova comes pretty close these days.

 

Usually though it's watching the students performances which really get me. Something about watching extremely young dancers producing amazing performances is very moving and in the end of year show of RBS the occasion as well ....the last time they will all be together already sets the mood up!!

Over the years there have been many special performances of ballets which have been very moving but too many to list here! 

 

 

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Oh Lin thank you for writing what you have about Margot Fonteyn, you have expressed my feelings entirely! I am glad you mentioned her eyes. Her Ondine could be heart breaking. Rojo is the dancer who has got closest for me, especially the eyes,

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I still think Fonteyn was the most amazing Juliet! Even when she danced this towards the end of her career she portrayed that wonderful girlish quality so beautifully ....you were always right with her there on the stage! Somehow she made you really care about her characters.

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Fonteyn was even more than the sum of her parts.  She had a quality which she was born with, it could not be taught.  I think Makarova was much the same, ditto Asylmuratova and Ananiashvili.   Without wishing to overstate, they all danced with their heart and soul.  Makarova excepted, they all had an air of vulnerability which came over to the audience.

 

This is different from being a great dramatic dancer.  I would suggest that the quality I am trying to describe was given to Cojocaru but not Rojo (although I mean no detriment to her).  

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I agree about Makarova not having that vulnerability. She was just an extraordinary dancer and it was almost more the sheer beauty of her technique which moved me with her ( and I'm not someone overly into technique) At that time I had never seen a Giselle ( in second act) with such an other worldly being quality as if she was not real somehow!! 

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Makarova was an out and out, utter star.  She knew it,  we knew it and we knew she knew it.  But she was such an intelligent ballerina and had wonderful Kirov/Vaganova training so she was the compete ballerina package.  I know she looked as though she could have had Von Rothbury for breakfast but she was still a great swan queen.   I know she wasn't that musical but when she was dancing somehow it just didn't matter.

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I think this just shows the RANGE of dancers who can be extraordinary performers but for different reasons!

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Matthew Hart as the Prince in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, showed exquisite pathos and vulnerability and made my cry

Alina in Giselle....sobbed through the end of act 1, didn't we all ?

 

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