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Original Cast of ONEGIN on Youtube

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Katharine Kanter

Inscrit le: 19 Jan 2004
Messages: 1166
Localisation: Paris

MessagePosté le: Jeu Oct 04, 2018 12:09 pm    Sujet du message: Original Cast of ONEGIN on Youtube Répondre en citant

Some Benefactor to Mankind

has recently posted what appears to be the entire original cast of ONEGIN onto Youtube.

Although the film quality may of course be appalling (from a VHS), the dancing !!!!


Without wishing to expatiate, a note or two:

- the conductor's light touch. Faced with a cobbled-together score all the seams shewing, the conductor has faded out the rather bombastic orchestration while keeping the tempi constantly "enlevés".

Which is more than one can say for the score as conducted at the moment in several different theatres, bogged down in treacle. Makes it much harder than it has to be for the dancers.

- Obviously, Marcia Haydée was a great ballerina and in a class by herself, but the other three are extremely interesting as well.

In the two pas de deux with Onegin, Haydée does not lose the plastique for one instant.

Every single pose, if time-stopped, would be text-book perfect, although cast away in a paroxysm of ecstasy.

How is this possible?

By remaining an absolutely pure classical dancer, filling one's mind with the concepts peculiar to the art form, and avoiding the ugliness of the "thoughts" of people like Jan Fabre. Or MC14/4 Ceci est mon corps.

Also, this dancing comes from a time when dancers did not care about what they looked like. The job was to go out there and dance.

Could we try to understand the glaring gap between "how do I look in this? Romantic eh?" and "can we do this difficult thingamiggie at speed and still keep the purity of the forms"? Not the same idea.

-- there are a great many details that need careful study. For example, in the ballroom scene with Olga, Lensky and Onegin, Olga's dancing is anything but frontal (problem we had here at Paris), and the many different directions she uses, are actually metaphors for what is passing through her reckless little head.

- the soloists go over or against the beat much more often than we tend to do today, lending tension and excitement. I also have the feeling that we have now lost a few of the piquant linking-steps we see here along the way, but as my memory for steps does not bear scrutiny, I may be wrong. Or perhaps it just the piquant that has gone lost.

Overall, this is what the Russians would call "kulturny" dancing - there is a lot going on in the mind. Has to do with thinking about the historical period, its social codes, and who was that man Pushkin. There are 200 years of history going through one's body as one dances this, and I must say, Marcia Haydée commands the naval battle setting fire to the seas.

Footnotes to history: for those who regret that Heymann has not been cast as Onegin: take a good look at the double-work. He was simply fantastic as Lensky, so be grateful for it. The double-work for Onegin is far more dangerous than for Basilio. Heymann has metal rods in both shins, and doesn't need that much lifting, throwing, braking and dragging in his life. Cranko was heavily influenced by the Bolshoi Goleizovski-style partnering of the 50s and 60s. Except for the small detail that Soviet dancers of that period, were trained to do this, and had a chest and legs the width of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.

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