HomeMagazineListingsUpdateLinksContexts

 


 Ballet.co Postings Pages

 Some Special Threads:
  GPDTalk about George Piper Dances ! NEW !
  NBTTalk about Northern Ballet Theatre
  SBTalk about Scottish Ballet
  ENBTalk about English National Ballet
  BRBTalk about Birmingham Royal Ballet
  TodaysLinks - worldwide daily dance links
  Ballet.co GetTogethers - meetings and drinks...

  Help on New Postings


Subject: "Sarah Wildor 2" Archived thread - Read only
 
  Previous Topic | Next Topic
Printer-friendly copy     Email this topic to a friend    
Conferences What's Happening Topic #1396
Reading Topic #1396
Gerald Dowler

27-02-01, 05:19 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Gerald%20Dowler Click to send private message to Gerald%20Dowler Click to add this user to your buddy list  
"Sarah Wildor 2"
 
   What a lot of abrasive and truculent comments there have been recently about Sarah Wildor; certainly a great many would-be critics out there...
What Sarah represents is, as Martin Cooper perceptively writes, a continuation of a precious English-style tradition of pliancy and upper body expressiveness which can be traced back through Collier and Sibley to Fonteyn and beyond. For us to lose that would be a disaster in itself. In addition, she is an exceptionally musical dancer and this is a rare commosity indeed, but of which many seem not to notice either the presence or the absence...
As for the comments reagrding her acting skils, well she has scored great successes in dramatic roles from Ondine and Juliet to Chloe, Anastasia and The Invitation... I see no problems there.
Some particularly high-handed comments have been posted by Jason and jANE concerning her technique, although they were notably absent from this site when Wildor appeared alonside Rojo and Yoshida in the gruelling and exposed Symphonic Variaitions - perhaps he has only just noticed her failings...
As for the comments regarding her not being up to the footwork of Lise (my own personal observation is that she is) perhaps Anneliese should care to remember that she has successfully danced the filigree footwork roles of Titania and Dorabella as well as the Lead Girl in Rhapsody !
I am not a Wildor groupie, but I feel compelled to write in defence of some savage and unsustainable comments. Prejudice, partisanship and condescension have always been part of the make-up in some of the 'regular' audience but some people would do well to invoke the spirit of humility and to remember that the French for fan is 'amateur'. That is exactly what we ALL are, despite all the performances we see and the books we read...and as such we have our place and should not attempt to pretend otherwise


  Printer-friendly page | Top

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Sarah Wildor 2 David Leonard 27-02-01 1
     RE: Sarah Wildor 2 eugene merrett 28-02-01 2
         RE: Sarah Wildor 2 eug 28-02-01 3
             RE: Sarah Wildor 2 pantoose 28-02-01 4
         RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Gerald Dowler 28-02-01 5
             RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Jenny Graham 28-02-01 6
             RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Tony newcombe 28-02-01 7
                 RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Jim 28-02-01 8
         RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Alice 28-02-01 9
             RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Alice 28-02-01 10
                 RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Richard J 28-02-01 11
                     RE: Sarah Wildor 2 norns 01-03-01 12
                         RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Patricia 01-03-01 13
                             RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Sonja 01-03-01 14
                             RE: Sarah Wildor 2 eugene merrett 01-03-01 15
                             RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Gerald Dowler 02-03-01 16
                             RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Helen 02-03-01 17
                             RE: Sarah Wildor 2 Claire S 02-03-01 18

Conferences | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic
David Leonard

27-02-01, 07:58 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail David%20Leonard Click to send private message to David%20Leonard Click to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #0
 
   Thank you for posting these very perceptive comments, Gerald.

For what it's worth, coming from someone who's only been watching the RB for a mere 35 years, Sarah Wildor is one of the best things to happen to the company for a long time.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
eugene merrett

28-02-01, 00:31 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail eugene%20merrett Click to send private message to eugene%20merrett Click to add this user to your buddy list  
2. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #1
 
   I am sorry I do not agree with Gerald comments. The comments made about Wildor are quite reasonable although I certainly would call her "bland" Whilst I do not pretend to pull my punches I would suggest that Gerald looks to his earlier postings as examples of truculency and abraisiveness. ( I refer particularly to the posting about "outrageous prices" at the Bolshoi) .

I personally find Wildor to be so weak technically it overshadows her many outstanding points. When I saw her in Coppelia I did not really want to see her again. Compared to Benjamin, Wildor was stronger from the neck up but from the neck down it was a very different story. She never seemed comfortable with the steps and always seems to look if she is dancing to the absulute limit of her technical ability. I am sorry but it was not good at all. If you want a extreme comparison I saw Margeret Tracey do Coppelia for the NYCB (but Tracey does not have the acting ability of Wildor)

I do find Wildor to be a beautifully passionate dancer with a great ability to communicate with body language. That is why she was such a wonderful Bread Fairy - That role requires the dancer to comunicate a feeling of genorisity and purity. Sarah Wildor does that better then any dancer I know. Her acting abillty as seen in the Invitation and RandJ are beyond question.

That said she has yet to the big classical roles except the Nutcracker where she seriously miscast. It would also seem that she is technically not up to these role (why has she not them). Like all small dancers she is nimble footed but I do not think she has the speed of Jane Burn or Durante. In my view her performance of Rhapsody was not as good as Durante or even Jane Burn (although I would concede it was over 5 years ago since I saw her in two performances of Rhapsody).

I do find Wildor to be symbolic of the decline in the technical standards of the Royal Ballet. Wildor was promoted to principal and the same time as Maria Kowaralski was similarly promoted in New York. I find the contrast in technical abiltity of these dancers rather disturbing. It does not reflect well on the RB.

Personally I would rather see some to the stronger dancers like Jaime Tapper to be promoted rather then Wildor.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
eug

28-02-01, 00:35 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail eug Click to send private message to eug Click to add this user to your buddy list  
3. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #2
 
   slight correction in first sentence - I meant to say that Ms Wildor is NOT bland.

I just remembered a comment made by a ballet critic (sorry cannot remember his/her name!) in a newspaper a few years ago. He/She described Wildor as "terminally mousey!"

That is not me who said that so no flames please!!!!


  Printer-friendly page | Top
pantoose

28-02-01, 02:32 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail pantoose Click to send private message to pantoose Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
4. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #3
 
   Dance is very subjective.

As a point of comparison, you mention Margaret Tracey of NYCB as someone you admire. She's a fine dancer with a great history with the company. However, three weeks ago she took a bad fall on stage. In a subsequent evening's performance, she received a tepid notice from Anna Kisselgof in the NY Times. Nevertheless, she is admired by many and people have enjoyed her dancing for years. That's apparently the way people feel about Sarah Wildor.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Gerald Dowler

28-02-01, 09:31 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Gerald%20Dowler Click to send private message to Gerald%20Dowler Click to add this user to your buddy list  
5. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #2
 
   Ah technique, technique, technique.... That is all we hear about these days; it counts for so much and all the other elements in the equation seem to have less and less importance. What about soul ?...I am interested in your comments on technique - could you elaborate and identify exactly what Wildor's great failings are in technical terms ?
nb. Don't forget that Giselle is a classic too and very well danced by her.
nnb. The Faux-Bolshoi prices ARE outrageous in anyone's book.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Jenny Graham

28-02-01, 10:17 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Jenny%20Graham Click to send private message to Jenny%20Graham Click to add this user to your buddy list  
6. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #5
 
   indeed, if all we are looking for in our principle dancers is a perfect technique, why don't we just let them do their daily class exercises on stage and leave it at that? fonteyn had a limited jump etc. but that didn't matter. a dancer's technique should be a means to an end, not an end in itself.
sarah wildor has a beautiful english style. she's not like other american dancers, but with this i see no problem.
i had the great pleasure of seeing sarah in R&J on monday, and she moved both the people sitting either side of me and myself to tears.doesn't this speak for itself?


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Tony newcombe

28-02-01, 10:48 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Tony%20newcombe Click to send private message to Tony%20newcombe Click to add this user to your buddy list  
7. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #5
 
   I am with you on this. Being able to scratch the back of your ear with your instep is not what ballet is all about. You mention "soul". Was it not Asylmuratova herself who was bemoaning this lack of soul in the present young Kirov ballerinas?. I accept that Sarah does not exhibit this so called "technique" but I have seen everything that she has danced and there have been times when she has been very strong on this so called "technique". I have seen her dance a perfect Birthday Offering and I have seen a performance where she did wobble a bit. However in the context of the role she was superb.
Elsewhere on these pages I was amused to see the comparison between her Swanhilda and that of Leanne Benjamin. There are a series of arabesques on point moving backwards in one solo that Leanne did not attempt. Yoshida had done these perfectly and I did wonder whether Sarah would attempt these. She did them perfectly of course. As for her Juliet with Zelensky, enough people have indicated how wonderful they thought she was. I queued for a day ticket for this and it was certainly worth the effort.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Jim

28-02-01, 01:10 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Jim Click to send private message to Jim Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
8. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #7
 
   LAST EDITED ON 28-02-01 AT 01:30 PM (GMT)

I have followed the evolution of this topic with interest, and we keep coming back to the inevitable "personal value judgement" - whether it be to do with technique, lyricism, acting or something elusive may may call "style" - it all boils down to a matter of taste.

I once gave a CD of Kings' College choir's Fauré requiem to someone as a present. I knew that the work and the choir were what had been asked for, so why the lack of pleasure upon receipt? Turns out I'd got the "wrong conductor".

Any art form is an intensely personal matter - it has to be. It just seems that Sarah divides us more than many. I suggest that if her style does not appeal to you, then you go to see somebody else.

Vive la différence!


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Alice

28-02-01, 04:54 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Alice Click to send private message to Alice Click to add this user to your buddy list  
9. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #2
 
  
>Personally I would rather see some
>to the stronger dancers like
>Jaime Tapper to be promoted
>rather then Wildor.


Im sorry?? but are you comparing Tapper to Wildor? I watched Tapper in the Nutcracker....and i have to say she was nothing compared to Wildor


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Alice

28-02-01, 04:58 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Alice Click to send private message to Alice Click to add this user to your buddy list  
10. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #9
 
   To add, I prefer the RB to the NYCB anyday.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Richard J

28-02-01, 11:56 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Richard%20J Click to send private message to Richard%20J Click to add this user to your buddy list  
11. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #10
 
   "There exists in my imagination a life in the country of eternally late Spring, a leafy pastorale of perpetual sunshine and the humming of bees - the suspended stillness of a Constable landscape of my beloved Suffolk, luminous and calm."

Thus Ashton wrote about his conception of 'La Fille mal gardée'. The title may be French, the original scenario French, the music mainly French, but the vision evoked by Ashton is as English as a Constable or a Gainsborough, or the poetry of Clare and Crabbe.

It is all the more ironical that the vehement debate in these postings about Sarah Wildor and the associated business of how far one can decently go in criticising the work of individual professional performers should have been initiated by comments about her performance in an Ashton ballet. More than one experienced ballet-goer has expressed the view that Sarah Wildor typifies the best of the English tradition (even if Nadia Nerina, who created the role of Lise, is remembered particularly as a sparkling virtuoso of her era).

Entering a new century means that it is natural to look back; ballet companies can now do this more effectively as they are able to store archive material on video. Nevertheless, the Ashton tradition is highly vulnerable; the world out of which it grew is fading, even if it still exists. It wasn't only in ballet that qualities of neatness and restraint, of subtlety and understatement were to be found in English artistic life in the early 20th century. During the 1960's I was a student at the Royal College of Music, where I was a pupil of the composer Herbert Howells. I knew what it was to be in touch with that tradition which extended back to Holst and Vaughan Williams, and also sensed the change in English artistic life which was happening at that time. I also happened to have been brought up in Suffolk, so I can fully appreciate Ashton's sentiments about the Suffolk countryside c1960. (At the time of the creation of the ballet he was also constantly listening to Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, for its moments of 'serenity and noble simplicity').

No doubt there will always be argument as to who is best for this or that type of role, and (as we don't want to try to live in a time-warp) there will always be need for sensitivity to different styles as works are re-interpreted. But the context obviously has to be perfectly understood before a realistic judgement is made; if you don't like what you see, for whatever reason, there are ways of saying what you mean without being destructive of individuals.

I must admit that I haven't seen Sarah Wildor dance for some time, but I especially remember her in a performance of MacMillan's 'La Fin du Jour' in which she was absolutely delightful.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
norns

01-03-01, 02:22 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail norns Click to send private message to norns Click to add this user to your buddy list  
12. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #11
 
   This correspondence amazes me! We should be grateful to have such a varied and talented group of female principals and soloists in the RB - there is plenty of soul around, and no clones. Sarah has been a joy to watch since her days in the RBS, and long may she grace our stages


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Patricia

01-03-01, 10:04 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Patricia Click to send private message to Patricia Click to add this user to your buddy list  
13. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #12
 
   I wonder whether having very little technical knowledge is an
advantage....I just enjoy everything! After all, I probably share
that with about 90% of the audience! But I have always loved
Sarah W`s dancing, I thought she was a lovely Juliet, certainly
the rest of the audience seemed to agree. I was at a masterclass
last year..she had been rehearsing all day and must have been
exhausted, but she carried on for another hour with such charm
and enthusiasm that one might have imagined that she had been
resting all day!


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Sonja

01-03-01, 11:44 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Sonja Click to send private message to Sonja Click to add this user to your buddy list  
14. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #13
 
   >I wonder whether having very little technical knowledge is an advantage....I just enjoy everything! After all, I probably share
that with about 90% of the audience!

Patricia, I fully agree with you! Irregularly, I take my mother to a performance (while I go quite often) - and she has asked me sometimes to stop my criticism or my gasps if a step/lift was not performed right not to spoil her impression!
I would not call myself an expert, and I always try to keep some "innocense", or maybe better "open-mindness" towards everything and everyone I see. I believe a big part of how you like a performance is how you approach it. I have found myself watching dancers extremely critically because they were not my favourites or because I thought of them in certain stereotypes - and on the other hand I cannot help but forgive my favourites almost everything... But I try not to be rude in any statement as I know EVERY dancer works terribly hard...
So I hope you will continue to enjoy what you are seeing!


  Printer-friendly page | Top
eugene merrett

01-03-01, 01:23 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail eugene%20merrett Click to send private message to eugene%20merrett Click to add this user to your buddy list  
15. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #14
 
   I agree that dance is very subjective and I respect all those who like Wildor, In fact I like her VERY much in certain roles. But it seems that for many no critism of Wildor is acceptable. If that is so then I see no reason for critics and reviews whatsover. Those who have critized her have been labelled as "abraisive" and truculent" (well their comment have!).

I have been challenge to point out Ms Wildor technical weakness. Well not withstanding the fact that she has never done Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadere, her jump is average, extension unacceptional, her balances are often uncomfortable and ultimately there is always that sense that she dances at very limit of her ability especially in solos.

But I must emphasize that she has outstanding charisma and exude great feeling in her steps. When I think of Wildor I am reminded of Cortot the great French pianist. His mistakes at the keyboared would make a modern pianist hair stand on end but his probing interpretations more then made up for it.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Gerald Dowler

02-03-01, 09:50 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Gerald%20Dowler Click to send private message to Gerald%20Dowler Click to add this user to your buddy list  
16. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #15
 
   Your comments Eugene are far from being the most abrasive or, indeed, truculent; my posting was a reaction to a forum which comprised over a dozen postings, so son't take it all so personally !
I agree that no-one should be immune from criticism Eugene, not Sarah, not me and not you.

I asked about technical weaknesses because so much store is laid by technique by many I suspect know very little about it - it has become a term that many nod their heads at but in reality about which they have only the most nebulous concept. 'Poor technique' is a term that is used to cover so much.

'Unexceptional extension' - do you mean she can't do the 'six o'clock' leg ? or that she has insufficient turn-out or something more precise ?
'Jump average' - what do you mean by this ? Nerina was, as we know, known for her powerful jump, but this seems to have been 'natural', while other dancers are more 'terre à terre' just by their physical make-up. Or can you identify specific technical weakness or lack of preparation ? Do tell...
'Balances uncomfortable' - why, in your opinion ? Uncomfortable for whom - her or the audience ? I am reminded about a certain soloist in the Royal whose balances were so rock solid that she held onto them in Beauty for an eternity - no reason except that she could and, do you know what ? it was very boring !

Your comments Eugene were


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Helen

02-03-01, 01:04 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Helen Click to send private message to Helen Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
17. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #16
 
   I've been going to ballet for even longer than David Leonard, though probably not as regularly, since I now live in the wrong place. I feel that Sarah Wildor is the most complete of the current RB principals (I'll reserve judgement on Rojo, as I've only seen her once). All dancers, however good, have particular strengths and weaknesses, and there is no one dancer who is absolutely faultless - Fonteyn wasn't, Nureyev wasn't, no doubt Pavlova and Nijinsky weren't perfect. But all four dancers got to the heart of what ballet is all about, and, for me, so does Sarah Wildor.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Claire S

02-03-01, 05:27 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Claire%20S Click to send private message to Claire%20S Click to add this user to your buddy list  
18. "RE: Sarah Wildor 2"
In response to message #17
 
   I admire and respect ALL dancers, and those who reach the very top are all undoubtedly special, whatever our own persoanl preference. We all have our favourites and while praising them we occasionally seem to fall into criticising others. Dancers have their different strengths which should be appreciated without denigrating others.

These posts have certainly reminded me not to jump to conclusions about a dancer. For example I have often found Guillem rather overpowering in dramatic roles, yet in Lilac Garden she was heartbreakingly, brilliantly subtle and now I can't wait to see her Giselle. And Urlezaga has never been one of my favourites (though I've seen him in a couple of leading roles) but when I read in the Poll 2000 that someone had voted Rojo and he best partnership of the year, I realised I might be missing something and I hope to be "converted" at his R&J matinee with Mara Galeazzi.


  Printer-friendly page | Top

Conferences | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic

 
Questions or problems regarding this bulletin board should be directed to Bruce Marriott