Makarova/Godunov triumph in molasses-tempoed Don Q pas de deux

Dance
Both are Russian-born-and-trained sensations: she of the Kirov, he of the Bolshoi. Both were Soviet defectors. I never saw him dance in person, but he fascinates me. I saw her dance many times, with American Ballet Theatre. I worship her. Note his one-armed lift (of her) at 0:53. Note her turns — every one of ...

Review: ABT’s Misty·fying ‘La Bayadere’ disappoints 2

Dance · Reviews
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Let’s start at the end: During curtain calls at American Ballet Theatre’s “La Bayadère” Friday night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, ballerina Isabella Boylston gave her bouquet to her partner Jeffrey Cirio with a deferential flourish. Then, in a strange, gender-bending moment, she and third lead Misty Copeland curtsied, and curtsied some more to Cirio, ...

Be sublime! instructs ‘Bayadere’ coach Susan Jones

Dance
It was nice to hear from Susan Jones, the impassioned ballet mistress of American Ballet Theatre who lately admits to a special assignment indeed. “For weeks we have worked on every detail of La Bayadère Act 2 Shades,” she shares on Facebook, referring to the famous sequence that opens the second act of “La Bayadère,” ...

Natasha & her men 1

Dance
Natalia Makarova, the divine, visiting Costa Mesa, California, from New York City, saunters backstage at “Kings of the Dance,” and announces “Well, I want to meet the Kings of the Dance.”  The great exiled Russian ballerina faces off with five of the top guys in global ballet world. Marcelo Gomes immediately retorts “Well, you’re the ...

Natalia Makarova visits California 2

Dance
The glorious prima ballerina, Natalia Makarova, middle, captured in a charming photo taken at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, California, in October 2011. On her either side, Gaiane Danilian, of Ardani Artists, and Ivan Vasilev of the Bolshoi Ballet. The occasion was the latest chapter of “Kings of the Dance.” photo courtesy ardani ...

Natalia Makarova’s 40-year anniversary in the West

Dance
It was a blunder. I thought I was calling her assistant to arrange an interview. Instead, I dialed the New York number and Natalia Makarova herself answered the phone. Frozen in fear, I tried to recover gracefully and still get an interview. She wasn’t feeling well and demurred. Later that day, a statement concerning her ...

The dignity of ballerina Natalia Makarova 7

Dance · Film
I was struck by a passage in Natalia Makarova‘s biography, “A Dance Autobiography,” (Knopf, 1979) edited by Robert Gottlieb (“What did ballet ever do to deserve this?”) when he was editor-in-chief at the New York publishing house. The text recalls an indignity Makarova suffered at the Kirov Ballet soon before she defected to the West ...

Great Los Angeles-born ballerina Cynthia Gregory returns to West Coast 1

Dance
This Martha Swope photo of Cynthia Gregory with the Hungarian, Ivan Nagy, was published in a dance book I pored over as a teenager. The image had a huge impact on me — it was a proto-feminist portrait of a powerful, free young woman. Boy, did I ever want to be her. I enjoyed a ...