Let's talk about the Black Swan. In before that movie gets released and this becomes all ~famous. Bitch pls btw.
To some extent, Swan Lake is easy to snark, it can be said. Because it's so precise and technical that it's easy to see when it goes wrong. Oh but the beauty ensues when it *is* perfect technically and hideous everywhere else.... It should also be said that SW is really boring.
So much that I once fell asleep watching a video of it. True story. But it's still snarky.
GILLIAN MURPHY - AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
Haters to the left. This bitch is one of the fiercest Odiles and one of the most sublimes Odettes of our generation.
Oh man, she is so mean, so evil and so full of mischief. This is by far the best of her qualities for Swan Lake. Gillian uses her technique as a tool to be this evil bitch. And it is delicious. On the side, Gillian has the best upper body of most Swan Laker's these days. From her waist to her wrists she's so alive that I bet Paloma Herrera has nightmares featuring her.
SVETLANA ZAKHAROVA - KIROV BALLET
Oh hai gurl, we meet again.
Lol on youtube people are fighting about her passe not being open enough. HEATHUS FUCKING CHRIST. WHO CAN SEE HER PASSE INSTEAD OF BEING DISTRACTED BY HOW BORING SHE IS OMG. Julie Kent does the barre with more interest than this bitch's interest in this variation. For fuck's sake, Tamara Rojo walks with more attitude! And I could snark about things Gillian Murphy does with more interest but they would involve Ethan Steifel and that may be inappropriate. Look, I don't give a fuck if you can put your foot next to your ear in developpé, if you can't be on time with the music, or engage the audience in something other than your extensions then you really don't need to show that off. I continue to be baffled by her, tbh. And worst, by all the kids on youtube thinking she's perfection. Odette is not about extensions, it's about mischief and seduction and evilness. This is not seductive, it's boring. I died. Omg make it stop.
It's funny though that she actually happens to do a decent job during the PDD but here she dies again. You're a boring ass gurl. A boring ass with great extensions but still boring. Moving on.
MARIANELA NUNEZ AKA HBIC AKA BOW THE FUCK DOWN TO THIS BITCH - ROYAL BALLET
Where does the Royal Ballet find these women? What do they feed them?
I remember Marianela when she was a soloist. And I agonized for her to become a principal because Good God! Bitch is perfection!
She's like brb showing you all how it's done. There's something about her, the way she makes a movement become the next one and then that one becomes the next one. And this is hard to achieve with Petipa and especially with Swan Lake because it is so precise it's almost mechanic. But she does it. Quite flawlessly too. The Royal Ballet is the future. dealwithit.gif
WHITNEY JENSEN - BOSTON BALLET
Now she's Boston Ballet. Back then this was YAGP. You'd think wtf is she doing up there? Well there is no full video of Polina dancing this and so few dancers do this variation. It's pretty easy to see why though. Because it's a little bit out of tune with the PDD and it's much harder and it's much sexier.
That being said, look at this GQMF bitch. It's not even about how hot and awesome her pirouettes are, it's about how she performs them at such ease and so into her character. It's be easy to see why Seigfried ends up so dazzled. Because this is the variation of a HBIC. It's so complex and fast and sexy. Honestly, it's awesome. But yeah it doesn't fit the rest of Swan Lake. For this to be in the ballet, would mean something actually appealing (other than Angel Corella in tights) is on this ballet. God forbid.
OH WAIT I LIED POLINA SEMIONOVA AKA YOU JUST DIED.
It starts at 1:35.
IDK I COULD TALK ABOUT THIS BITCH AND HOW FLAWLESS SHE IS FOR DAYS BUT OMG DOES THAT DANCING NEED ANY FURTHER EXPLANATION? ALSO MY BREAK IS OVER AND I HAVE TO GO BACK TO MY JJVERSE'ING.
Oh God I hate this variation. I have absolutely no love for it. Yes, maybe it is in great reason, due to the fact that it is so overrated and overperformed in every single goddamned competition across the world. Or maybe it's the fact that the music is borderline annoying and that after a while, you feel that if you've seen one red tutu you've seen them all. Maybe it's cause it's so boring and dull and anticlimatic compared to the other Kitri variations.
But oh God. I am doing this while being slightly tempted to just watch Cloverfield on tv. True story.
Let's start with something nice to
snark talk about.
Let me start this off by saying, I am biased. I hate Paloma Herrera. She started a movement of overrated 19 year olds becoming principal dancers of major companies, dancing their asses off way below the artistic standard of aged, more mature artists. And she is a poor dancer. Feel free to disagree, but she is. She has very poor control of her line, which btw, is not even pretty. She has one of the most awful upper bodies around, with such poor musicality all around that I just find it unbelievable that she was made a principal at such a young age.
Random/Funny fact: On Wiseman's Ballet, there is this moment when they are doing class and Paloma is standing behind miss gorgeous Julie Kent herself... the contrast between them is delicious.
Paloma Herrera - ABT
WAIT WAIT NO. WTF THOSE ARMS OH GOOD GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR AAAAAAARMS?
For a change: Here's a hot, hot bitch
Cinthia Harvey - ABT
This is my choice for favorite Don Q performance, hands down. Cinthia and Misha have a chemistry onstage that is to die for and the whole production is fabulous. All of that aside, this is a hot bitch who knows her craft. And still this is underwhelming. She's supposed to be overjoyed and play her flirty hot, pretty self... But even with a dancer the size of Cinthia, it doesn't happen. She made me think something though, a certain overshadowing of Kitri takes place in this act. Because before she's all this fierce and killer and hot and borderline bitchy. And then she marries him and she becomes... this. :/
Svetlana Zakharova - Maya Plisetskaya Gala
Don't even get me started on how this version is even worst than the last one. What the fuck is she even doing in this? What the fuck? Nothing is what she's doing. It has none, absolutely NONE of the spice of the first act. There is nothing to it, it's a snore fest, it's dull and boring and it underplays the music so badly that it's weep inducing. Which is not to mention she dances it like it's a compulsory gymnastics exercise instead of an art piece :/ way to go.
Natalia Osipova - Moscow Competition
GET IT GIRL!
Oh God, she does a fantastic job, she kills it. She OWNS it! It's delicious and envy inducing. Notice at her mischief and the precision of her arms. How her echappés are almost violent with precision and how she hardly fans herself. Bitch doesn't need no fanning. lol. This is how a kid dances this, take notes, Paloma. On the side, her dress is gorgeous.
Tamara Rojo - Royal Ballet
Tamara... why? I love how her face is so, so very spot on. But the rest of her isn't really. And once again, it's just how it's done. The piece is not interesting, it's not amusing, it doesn't have great music. It has to be a testament to the quality of a piece when a dancer like Tamara or Cinthia just can't pull it off to being something great. It isn't something great. Tamara is adorable and flirty and spot on. But this is still boring and foggy. Besides, bad lighting and even worse camera work does NOT help.
Let me now end this with a historical note
Gelsey Kirkland - Live at Wolftrap
Everybody knowsIt is often assumed that he did it on purpose because it is of common knowledge that things were shitty between them at the time. That he made sure to be on his absolute best - which... he is - while she would be at a new low, so he could crash her like a bug and have it on video for all eternity. How much of that is true, well we may never know, but the fact is he pretty much does crash her.
Gelsey dances herself out at a newfound, sad and depressing low here. It gives me second hand embarrassment to see her trying to jump, completely unable to lift herself off the air. It's sad, because at some point that was one of the best dancers around. Im pretty sure she did a lot better on her good days. But sadly for her, this is the one going into history. Sucks to b u.
Oh fuck, now youtube's gonna rec me Don Q stuff for a month D:
Next times I will do Don Q, I'll do the male variation of this act and ironically, one of my all time favorite variations: Kitri's challenge variation from act 1.
Social experiment. brb making it.
What better way to premiere this than with Manon?
Kenneth McMillan is complex and difficult to perform. He makes people uncomfortable. Because even the average ballet fan just about prefers to go see some harmless dancing candy, instead of people having dancing sex. The ooohs and aaahs on Center Stage are exaggerations, but yeah. Sex on stage makes people uncomfortable. It's also hard to perform. And I don't think a lot of people realize how much of sex on stage the pas de deux from Manon is. It's on virtually every Gala of every company, and this has resulted in many a video around showing off different performances. It has to be said though, that the complexity of Manon - and most McMillan pieces, thankfully -, however, has saved it from the Dolly Dinkle syndrome, and it has to be said that only rather accomplished dancers execute it.
That being said, though... Oh, this is gonna be good.
A few things, first:
I think it's unusual for a pas de deux to be so musically different. Part of the reason is obviously that Manon is a collage of music form Massenet as opposed to a specifically composed ballet. But that difference in the layers of the composition makes it quite remarkable. Some dancers do good on some sections but they struggle with others, so that makes it even harder.
I judge a Manon since the second she gets up from the bed and walks out. It's a series of little steps and they are ridiculously simple movement. If you can't put proper intention into that, the rest is sure to be doomed.
Habana Festival 2000 - Alessandra Ferri/Carlos Acosta
Alessandra is a goddess. Yes, that is not news. Her steps are firm and determined but she's still flirty. She plays Manon with sophistication and strength. That alone is more than a bunch of principals can say of their... well, can say period. That being said, her emotion is spot on and she doesn't miss a beat but she's not as musical however. A lot of her small details are more seductive than sexual and her approach to the character is very mature and defined. Manon is essentially a kid, and in a lot of ways, Alessandra, lady that she is, can only play Manon as a kid so far. I love Alessandra, and I think her emotion and execution is spot on, but it's just not perfect.
Australian Ballet - Justine Summers/Steven Heathcote
I love aussies but wtf is this orchestration? Seriously, like what happened? Let alone the orchestration, this one is a total snore fest. It is quite methodic and not very emotional. I mean, look at the way she walks! She's beautiful and has lovely feet, but idk, go perform Sleeping Beauty or Swan Lake with that. Manon demands so much more than this. Their chemistry leaves a lot to be desired because this pas de deux is very intimate and sexual and personal. Except not. It's boring and technical and anticlimatic. If it were live, I'd be taking a bathroom break. Bah.
Alina Cojocaru/Johan Kobborg
She's a popular kid. So imagine that Regina George does her Jinglebell rock thing, and it's not that good... But nobody says that, cause she's popular. Kinda like that.
I'll admit Alina is not one of my favorite ballet ladies around, but she is adorable and her technique is clean and her line is ridiculously good. But this isn't that good. She has like a nice musicality, she plays the music to its limits, efortlessly. But it looks choppy. Not precise enough, not clean enough. And that's not to mention that he's... kinda just not there. And let me bitch about chemistry again. Man, I'm pretty sure they like each other and stuff, but they are just not there! Her emotion is beautiful but half the time he looks way too focused on something that isn't her. And their lifts are not effortless, he looks either in some kind of pain or about to drop her. And that detracts so hard from her execution. Her musicality is remarkable, though. It's like she extends the music through her movement with beauty and smoothness. She does a playful, young Manon and it comes off quite good.
There is another video around where they do a lot better, and he's not as choppy but that one can't be embedded and that annoys me so w/e.
Diana Vishneva/Vladimir Malakhov
Angel Corella says in Born to be Wild that if he were a girl he'd be afraid to dance with Vladimir... lol no kidding. But if someone out there can tell Malakhov to stfu is Diana. I'm not gonna lie, in some ways, her Manon reminds me of Charlotte from Sex and the City. And Idk, that's not what you want to think of when she's kind of conning him. Their movement is beautiful and smooth. He has a musicality like few men have, and she pairs up with him beautifully. Like she's not afraid to take the stage with him.
But... they're kinda both just quite too fabulous for the other. lol there's this moment when after the kiss De Griex usually goes over to his desk a moment and like, drools... But Malakhov does a pirouette. Lol. That's all.
Polina Semionova/Igor Zelensky
Horrible audio warning.
Let it be said, I have a kind of infatuation with Polina. I think she's so fabulous she's almost hard to look at and her movement is so fluid that it makes me want to cry sometimes. True story. But aw man this is zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I think that in a lot of ways, she's kinda the star of the pas, he steps away a lot from the feeling of the piece and I'm not against Polina being awesome and shiny, but you know... it's a pas de deux and them not being in the same place just strips it from its intimacy. I want to make a sexual analogy about how it's fun but it's not as good as the real thing... But that wouldn't be very classy. It's sad, because like I said, I love her. But it's just not a favorite for me.
Tamara Rojo/Carlos Acosta
Yeah my steps theory? She defies it. Just look at this gqmf! Look at her playful, kinda flirty, kinda firm, kinda determined steps. It's ridiculous, I can't figure out how she puts so many things in something so small. It's impossible how its this fresh, young and flirty feeling. Tamara is in a lot of ways one of the best dancers of our times. She has this flawless technique in a body that is so full of passion she makes you weep with her emotion. You can't watch her strip herself of all she has on stage, and not feel like dying... or something equally life changing. Tamara says McMillan is like the Shakespeare of ballet, and I guess she makes a great effort to show that off.
On the other hand, chemistry is something these 2 eat for breakfast. He's so masculine and strong with her, but at the same time so into her, that you can almost see them responding to each other ahead of time. A lot of this piece has to feel like this is something you should *almost* not even be looking at because it's this real personal moment between these people, and they pull it off flawlessly. Their kiss is gasp worthy and even the harder steps of the piece they execute them in perfect sync with each other's emotion and with the music, and you know what? It's hot! It's really hot.
Notice how much they touch each other, how intimate every step is when they do it together. They hardly look away from each other, hardly do anything without the other's attention. But how musical it all is. Tamara extends every musical note with her body. That very final beat, where before they hug, he pulls her to him. That's the whole piece in one second, the intimacy, the passion, the hotness. And it's beautiful and stunning and weep inducing.
Zakharova or Herrera there are some dancers who prob look at this and feel their eyes burn.