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Ballet448

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  1. In addition to her classical roles, Aldous was noted for creating the role of Valencienne in Ronald Hynd's delightful The Merry Widow in 1975. The part made the most of both her virtuosity and her vivacity and was a key element in the success of a ballet which is not only an icon for the Australian Ballet but remains a staple of the international repertoire more than 45 years after its premiere. RIP. Indeed, what an absolutely horrible year this is turning out to be for losing ballet greats.
  2. She was certainly a great beauty - there was a photo of a very beautiful ballerina on the wall in my bedroom as a child which I eventually learned was Violetta - she had become friends with my (Russian) family when she moved to London. I never met her but my mother was very fond of her and always told me that she was a wonderful dancer (very much in the grand Bolshoi manner with a terrific technique) and extremely charming. Given that she was taken into the Bolshoi as a soloist, bypassing the corps, by the time she was 20, she was clearly an exceptional talent and it seems that she was hugely popular with the London audience. She moved to Italy with her second husband at the age of 30, which is very young to retire - one wonders how much better known she would have been and what roles she might have created had she continued to dance. In any case, she certainly seems to have lived life to the full and I am glad to have that gorgeous photo of her as a happy memory from my own childhood.
  3. I saw the RNZB production and it is indeed charming. While it had some flaws (mainly being over-long), I was impressed by how assured and above all how musical the choreography was - the passages for the fairies were scintillating and the slapstick scenes were genuinely funny. I was also impressed by No Man's Land, which I found deeply moving. Choreographers as gifted as this - especially in their musicality - are so rare and so precious. It's dreadfully sad for those who love ballet that his life should have ended so soon - but of course far, far worse for those who loved him.
  4. Truly heart-breaking news. Unbearable to think he has died so young and after going through so much tragedy in the latter part of his life. What a unique and wonderful artist - I had the privilege of seeing him quite a few times on stage, with ENB or in Paris. Also, I was living in Paris during his tenure as AD at the Opera de Paris and felt he did an excellent job, nurturing many outstanding dancers, so it's particularly sad that he seems to have been treated so poorly at the end of his time there. Adieu and RIP.
  5. Indeed, a real end of an era - a great example of someone who was not only an artist in his own dancing, but, in the true Russian tradition, passed on his legacy through his coaching of other great dancers.
  6. SheilaC, I too was present at that Giselle in Paris in 1979 (saw both the shows with Vasiliev and Maximova). I can't agree with you more as to how moving it was - Maximova was past her best technically, but to watch her strive, with every fibre of her being, to dance the steps as they should be danced, was in itself extraordinarily poignant, let alone the power of her acting. I also had the great good fortune to see them twice in Giselle many years earlier - and above all, to see them together, with Timofeeva (although sadly for me, not Maris Liepa) in Spartacus. For 50 years (gulp!) I've believed Vasiliev's Spartacus to be the single greatest performance I've ever seen by a dancer (if you really twisted my arm and made me choose). Like Capybara, that was what really made me fall in love with ballet! I also have the DVD of the filmed Spartacus with Vasiliev, Liepa and Timofeeva, with Bessmertnova instead of Maximova (apparently, according to a recent Russian interview I saw with Vasiliev, they had started filming with Maximova but she was injured so they had to re-shoot everything with Bessmertnova - interestingly, the choreography was supposedly actually created on Bessmertnova and Mikhail Lavrovsky, although Vasiliev and Maximova danced the first night and the role of Spartacus became so identified with Vasiliev). However, the DVD is unsatisfying in that a large chunk of the ballet was cut (it was originally a film released for cinemas, so presumably they thought the full 3 acts was just too long). After watching the YouTube broadcast of the current Spartacus on Sunday (which I much enjoyed), as I was idly browsing YouTube I stumbled across a treasure - something I didn't think existed: a complete recording of the original cast (Vasiliev, Maximova, Liepa and Timofeeva) done by Soviet TV in1970. It's black and white, not terribly well filmed but it is still an invaluable record of 4 extraordinary performances - and it confirmed to me that I wasn't wrong about Vasiliev: nobody has ever made Spartacus so intelligent, so noble or so moving. And for Spartacus afficionados it's interesting to see some changes to the choreography, in particular Spartacus's second solo in the shepherd scene in Act 2 is completely different - I remember first seeing Mukhamedov do it as it's done today (series of barrel jumps with a super-duper twisty one at the end) and being bemused as I was sure it wasn't there before (it's spectacular but a bit too close to circus), so it was nice to be proved right! Here's the link - enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc-w1Zgl4dU
  7. Returning to the original topic 😊, just want to let everybody know that all the books as well as the magazines are now spoken for. It's wonderful to know that they are going to good homes where they will be enjoyed and will help with some excellent research projects. Many thanks again for all the interest and support - and Happy New Year!
  8. I have now sent the list of books to everyone who has already PMed me about them. The books are going fast, but if you are interested please feel free to PM me.
  9. Many thanks to everyone who has replied. All the magazines are now spoken for - my apologies if anyone is disappointed. It was a pleasant surprise that so many people were interested and it's very nice to know that the magazines can be of real use. The 120 books are currently being listed. Once that's done I will send the details to all the people who have expressed interest in them and post again here in case anyone else would like the information.
  10. Many thanks to everyone for their kind suggestions. I have replied to all PMs received. Unfortunately it seems that dance libraries aren't interested, as they already have complete collections and don't need partial ones like these - at least that's what we've found so far, but we can certainly keep trying.
  11. We are looking for a home for a collection of over 300 vintage dance magazines (Dancing Times and Dance & Dancers) mainly from the 1950s and 1960s, with some dating back to the 1940s and a few from the 1970s. These are fascinating reading for anyone interested in the history and development of ballet in the UK and are in very good condition. There is also a collection of over 100 ballet and dance books dating from the 1930s until just a few years ago. Everything is free of charge (we just want them to go to people who'll enjoy them) although if possible we would ask you to collect the items you want (easy access location in South East England). Sadly, if we can't find anyone to take them, the magazines will end up going into the recycling, which seems an awful waste. If you are interested in taking anything, or would like more details, please PM me.
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