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Is there a proper length to a kiss for Odette?


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In the Dance Links today a short article  appeared in which Tamara Rojo mentioned she had been critisized for implanting too passionate a kiss upon dancer Matthew Golding in a performance of Swan Lake.

 

 

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/10183616/Tamara-Rojo-says-kissing-attractive-men-is-perk-of-being-a-ballerina.html

 

Unfortunately, I didn't see any examples of the actual kiss.

 

But it does raise the question of - should the kiss fit the role? 

 

How passionately would a deprived (and presumably untaught) Odette kiss Siegfried in her effort to convince him to confront Rothbart as opposed to a Juliet, who though presumably innocent herself, has probably witnessed much such activity?

 

And, then, there was Fonteyn's lingering hand as she and Nureyev stood before the priest in Romeo and Juliet......

 

Should the kiss fit the role or is the ballerina (or danseur) "entitled" as Rojo claims?

 

Will the oft called "elite" (read "chaste") art form known as  'ballet" ..be finally rid of that "elite" baggage by the length of a kiss? 

 

And, while exchanging thought upon this hitherto unexplored aspect of the ballet, should tongue be kept firmly in cheek?

 

Of shall cheekiness reign unabated by circumstance?

 

 

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Sounds more like tongue in mouth than tongue in cheek Anjuli :P

 

The more of Ms Rojo's thoughts I read, the more I think she would be better imparting them to the 'celebrity' magazines: 'perks of the job' indeed!

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Slightly related - at Rojo's farewell performance in "Marguerite & Armand" at ROH, I heard Polunin virtually suck Rojo's lips off and the breath from her lungs in her dying kiss. His kiss had the force and passion of a Dyson vacuum.  Afterwards, you could hear a pin drop.  A masterclass in melodramatic kissing from Polunin.

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The more of Ms Rojo's thoughts I read, the more I think she would be better imparting them to the 'celebrity' magazines.

 

This leads one to pose the question as to whether ballet 'news' and dancers have a place in 'celebrity' coverage. While part of me shudders at the thought, another part (that which longs for ballet to feel more accessible and 'cool' to more people) wonders whether this might be one way for the art form to enter the public consciousness. 

 

By the way, that Swan Lake kiss lasted just as long with other casts and at least one other couple looked as though it was no hardship!

Edited by capybara
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In Russia ballet dancers were very much a part of the celebrity world.   They were guests of the Tsar, paramours as well as marrying an occasional  Grand Duke or two; an integral part of the social scene. 

 

This spilled over to other countries especially during Diagelev's Ballet Russes. 

 

Should a ballet dancer be any less of a celebrity than a pop star? 

 

Can one be an artist and also a celebrity?

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Should a ballet dancer be any less of a celebrity than a pop star? 

 

Can one be an artist and also a celebrity?

 

'No' to the first question and 'yes' to the second. It's just that we aren't used to it and may need some time to get our heads around the idea..

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Sounds more like tongue in mouth than tongue in cheek Anjuli :P

 

The more of Ms Rojo's thoughts I read, the more I think she would be better imparting them to the 'celebrity' magazines: 'perks of the job' indeed!

She's simply jumping on the  "s** sells" bandwagon and trying to appeal to the masses. It will not work for me.

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'No' to the first question and 'yes' to the second. It's just that we aren't used to it and may need some time to get our heads around the idea..

 

And, yet, that celebrity status - has always been part of its history.

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Slightly related - at Rojo's farewell performance in "Marguerite & Armand" at ROH, I heard Polunin virtually suck Rojo's lips off and the breath from her lungs in her dying kiss. His kiss had the force and passion of a Dyson vacuum.  Afterwards, you could hear a pin drop.  A masterclass in melodramatic kissing from Polunin.

 

...and who can blame him! :wub:

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As long as it doesn't over-run in terms of music and choreography!!

 

Some years ago in Sunderland we saw a super performance of Fille with Ambra Vallo and Sergiu Pobereznic.  In Act 3, when Colas has come out of the hay, there was plenty of "kissing" going on!

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I think that kiss at the end of the in-the-round production of "Swan Lake" lasts the same amount of time for all the couples for the practical reason that it has to last while von Rothbart is being dispatched down the trap door!  I don't remember it happening in the proscenium version because they have to run offstage and get into their 'heavenly boat'!

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so she wants to stop ballet being like "porn" but her next headline is this one... the whole rebranding of the company has been to "sex" it up.. showing men with no shirts and women in sexual poses... tamara rojo is a mess

 

IIRC the ballet being like porn comment was based on the fact that the choreography comes from a male-dominated viewpoint as does porn not from the idea of them being scantily clad. 

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yes, i realise that she was speaking of the lack of women choreographers. That men see things from a physical point of view and women from an emotional one.

I take offence in what she says first of all because it's not true (kylian, neumeier, duato, Macmillan, Scarlett , just to name a few..) , and secondly because all of the sudden she's claiming that she is more interested in the "emotional" side. 

 

She contradicts herself on a daily basis. She brought Le Juene homme et la mort as a "present" for herself (which she is completely unsuited for) only because she wanted to exploit the sexual side of ballet.

 Also,I feel sorry for Matthew Goldings wife whos feelings were completely disregarded by Tamara Rojo by these inane statements. 

My opinion is that ballet should stay out of  trashy celebrity magazines. If this is Tamara's goal I'm very much questioning her "vision" of the company. 

I'm curious to know how the dancers in the company are feeling. 

I for one am hoping Johan Kobborg will take over the company and put this nonsense to rest. 

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yes, i realise that she was speaking of the lack of women choreographers. That men see things from a physical point of view and women from an emotional one.

I take offence in what she says first of all because it's not true (kylian, neumeier, duato, Macmillan, Scarlett , just to name a few..) , and secondly because all of the sudden she's claiming that she is more interested in the "emotional" side. 

 

She contradicts herself on a daily basis. She brought Le Juene homme et la mort as a "present" for herself (which she is completely unsuited for) only because she wanted to exploit the sexual side of ballet.

 Also,I feel sorry for Matthew Goldings wife whos feelings were completely disregarded by Tamara Rojo by these inane statements. 

My opinion is that ballet should stay out of  trashy celebrity magazines. If this is Tamara's goal I'm very much questioning her "vision" of the company. 

I'm curious to know how the dancers in the company are feeling. 

I for one am hoping Johan Kobborg will take over the company and put this nonsense to rest. 

 

Thanks for the link Jane.  I actually think Ms Rojo comes over rather well in the full article.

 

Re "trashy celebrity magazines" balletfan101 - it is a fact that these magazines are widely read.  If it encourages people to come to the ballet who might not otherwise have thought about it, then it cannot be a bad thing.  I admit to reading and enjoying some of these magazines on an occasional basis and if I see something relating to ballet then I am thrilled that this wonderful art may be reaching a wider audience.

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I apologize Janet... I thought the reference to "celebrity" magazines meant we were talking about the ones that talk about Katie Price and Big Brother gossip. My mistake  :unsure:

 

The length of the kiss is all relative in my opinion. you cant have the same length of kiss in Sleeping Beauty as you can in romeo and juliet. It's also musical... The danger with swan lake is that the music at that point is so dramatic that it must be hard not to let it take you over. If the rest of the ballet is equally as emotional the kiss wont look out of place. From a lot of the reviews I have read of TR's performance (i didnt see it) there was a lack of passion between her and Matthew Golding until that kiss. Which is why it looked out of place and too long. So in that case, it was a bad choice for her artistically because it wasn't making a fully developed interpretation.   I'm sorry to sound so harsh and sorry to offend anyone who disagrees. It just seemed from the reviews I read that this time around her approach was a selfish one. more about what she wanted to do rather than what the story needed. I'm very much looking forward to Alina joining because i find her to be a very selfless artist.

Edited by balletfan101
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They are the ones! Even the likes of Woman and Woman's Own cover celebrities these days! I avoid features on BB and KP though.

oh hehe... well, i love reading these magazines too. They are fun if you just want to zone out and have a light flip through.  :)

 

Saying that though, Im not sure if i want to see something as beautiful as ballet represented this way in them "porn" "sex" "kissing" "ballet wars" ... I believe that ballet can be a spiritual experience and these articles truly offend me. Tamara was very vocal about how she HATED the movie Black Swan because it was detrimental to the art form but she is now making that same mistake. I know it's important to make it accessible but lets do it through education. Wayne Mcgregor is a leader in this, visiting schools and teaching children the joy of movement. Lets document that...  I have enjoyed most of the documentaries I have seen about ballet so far. The Ballet Boys are wonderful. And although it was controversial, I loved being a fly on the wall in Agony and Ecstasy... I just re watched the latest South Bank show and found it was very informative and represented TR well. More docs would be great.

 

But I have read the comments on these newspaper articles and they are NOT good. the general public seems to be very turned off by what she is saying and in the hopes of creating more fame she is loosing respect... meaning loosing audiences.  

Edited by balletfan101
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I hesitate to use the phrase 'tongue in cheek' in this context, but reading the article her description of the kiss sounds lighthearted to me (with some PR push behind it), and it's not easy to be nuanced in a foreign language - i.e. I also don't think you'd get a native English person saying "I'm a great self abuser" !

 

She's clearly trying to broaden appeal, and I suspect one of the barriers she is chipping away at is the pretty widespread perception in the general public that ballet is 'gay', populated entirely by ice maidens and effeminate men.  Rightly or wrongly, that preconception does exist and puts off a very large male constituency;  she's probably seeing a degree of hetero-sexualisation as helping to overcome that.  I remember posting on Facebook that I was going to see Giselle, and getting some pretty crass comments from my mates - subsequently posting a picture of Polina Semionova from Caravaggio miraculously broadened their minds... There's a route into ballet appreciation for men that starts with the amygdalla before evolving on to the cortex!

 

There's also the fact that the journos and editors have an angle on any of these interviews and also want to sex them up.  It's becoming a tedious angle, but makes a change at least from Darcey Bussell and Billy Elliott coming up every time a newspaper mentions ballet..

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if Tamara was the Odette, then about 2 hours should do the trick! (well, in rehearsal anyway! ;)   )

 

 

...assuming the swan's bill had changed into something resembling human lips - else you are in for quite a peck, DaveM.

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