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Subject: "Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Lynette

01-12-99, 04:44 PM (GMT)
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"Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
 
   Bruce asked for some contributions to the Dancers pages: here's a few notes on Ms Guillem.

Sylvie Guillem

Where do you start ? Sylvie Guillem is a star. She is probably (though such lists are odious) one of the top five ballerinas in the world today. A uniquely gifted dancer, with an amazingly flexible body, imperious technique and impossible extensions. She has great authority, though not without a certain skittishness. Sylvie is a guest artist with the Royal, appearing in some 25 performances a year, on her own terms, with her choice of partner. Her influence has been strongly felt at the Royal: not only has she caused a generation of female dancers to emulate those famous extensions, but itís largely due to her that the Royal introduced pieces by Forsythe to the repertoire. She has swept aside previous stereotypes of the ballerina as some sheltered unworldly creature, and is a strong, competent woman in charge of her own career.

Sylvie is both wonderful and maddening, willing to trust her own judgement rather than the choreographerís intentions, to impose Guillem over the character. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesnít. Sheís not really a true classical ballerina, but a mesmerising presence all the same. She is at her most successful when the role matches her own independent instincts and foxy sexiness - a memorable Kitri or Manon. Itís more difficult for me to accept her as a frail, doomed 19th century heroine, but she is more convincing as Odette than expected, given her stated lack of fondness for the role, and a glamorous, triumphant Odile. Her Giselle isnít fragile, but a bright shiningly happy girl who is completely shattered by betrayal: not the most conventional reading, but a deeply touching one. Itís a role which particularly interests her, and she has made her first foray into directing and choreography with a new version of Giselle for the Finnish National Ballet in 1999.

Guillem has been dancing with the Royal for a number of years now, and the experience has changed her. I recall seeing her in Manon about five years ago, and although the body and what she could do with it was awesome, emotionally it left me quite cold and uninvolved. She has really developed and matured as an actress since: she knows when to do very little to achieve maximum effect, and her mad scene is Giselle is all the more effective for its restraint.

In Britain, Guillem has developed a remarkable, passionate partnership with Cope in the classics, and they complement each other perfectly. I donít enjoy seeing her in some Ashton works (though she was quite charming as Cinderella) because those extensions, astonishing as they are, donít really fit. She is in need of some new repertory to conquer, which the Royal with its conservative approach of the last few years has not provided: she ought to be working with a major choreographer while she is still at her peak. I hoped the opening International Choreography programmes at Covent Garden might give her something suitably challenging, but it doesnít seem to have happened.

Sylvie is a very reliable dancer: she is very rarely injured and always gives the role her full commitment, and there are very few off days. She has a remarkable effect on ticket sales - book early.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation eugene 02-12-99 1
     RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation Jim 02-12-99 2
         RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation kylie 18-12-99 3
         RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation Anneliese 18-12-99 4
             RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation fabio mariotti 01-05-00 6
                 RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation Emm 30-07-01 16
     RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation Catherine 20-12-99 5
         RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation lucy joyce 07-05-00 7
             RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation Emm 30-07-01 15
                 RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation Pete 30-07-01 17
     RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation Karalyn 08-07-00 8
         RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation norns 09-07-00 9
     RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation chloe 26-06-01 13
         RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation Ann Williams 26-06-01 14
             RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation chloe 09-10-01 18
                 RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation Bruce Madmin 09-10-01 19
  RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation jayn 09-07-00 10
     Where is Sylvie performing? Michele 14-09-00 11
         RE: Where is Sylvie performing? Stuart Sweeney 14-09-00 12

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eugene

02-12-99, 12:26 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #0
 
   I think that in ballet there are horses for courses. Gulliem is unrivalled in Forsythe and other modern roles but is in my view rather unsuited for the more elegant classical ballerina roles or some of the Macmillan roles.

As well as the leg extension which to me look rather vulgar - (why not have her do a 270 degree extension like professional contortionist?) her steely, haughty personality comes across too strongly for the roles such as Cinderella and Giselle. But if you like her for that personality then you will like in these roles.

I do not think any ballerina can cover the breadth of all ballet roles. There is alway some roles in which the greatest dancer will be badly miscast. Sometimes I think that Gulliem's more devoted fans do not accept this and think she is wonderful in everything!


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Jim

02-12-99, 08:23 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #1
 
   > she is wonderful in everything!

Of course she is. It's axiomatic.



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kylie

18-12-99, 06:51 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #2
 
   mr. Jim, "HELLO?'"
you just confirmed what mr Eugene said!


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Anneliese

18-12-99, 12:25 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #2
 
   But she has very knobbly knees.


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fabio mariotti

01-05-00, 10:09 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #4
 
   Knobbly knees? Who cares?
ciao

fabio


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Emm

30-07-01, 00:50 AM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #6
 
   knobbly knees? After 2 knee surgeries, I'm sure you might also may be a bit knobbly? no?


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Catherine

20-12-99, 00:45 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #1
 
   Hello,

At the beginning I have the same opinion as you, her extension wasn't for the classical ballet but a dancer friend of mine show me the quality of this extension, the sense of movement. For example when I saw her in Swan Lake Last july in Paris. I think it was Guillem in Swan Lake It's not Swan Lake by Guillem. All is too studied but when I saw Letestu just after, I think Guillem was an other kind of dancer unbelievable. And really at the beginning I love her just in Forsythe, Bťjart and all modern choregraphy.
I'm waiting for her in bolero, I know she was great but I'm waiting more her sleeping Beauty because I don't imagine her at all in these rule. I think she's too woman and not just little girl as Aurora. I will say my appreciation about her in january.
But I love her in Juliette and Manon. The only thing I don't care. It's what she never makes the choregraphy as all the other dancer, why she's not dressed as the other ballerina. Why ? If she was so exceptionnal, she doesn't need other things like that. Her dance quality is suffisant.
But it's Guillem, it's not just a ballerina, it's a star and instead of her, too many people interess to dance. That's great

Catherine


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lucy joyce

07-05-00, 00:37 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #5
 
   Miss Guillem has matured into a great actress as well as a wonderfull dancer, to each performance she gives 200% the french dancers always give their best i.e Valtat and Yanowsky the french dancers are dedicated to their art, and my goodness it shows.


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Emm

30-07-01, 00:45 AM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #7
 
   Sylvie is an undoubted etoile... but what's this about Yanowsky being french??


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Pete

30-07-01, 02:21 AM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #15
 
   Zenaida Yanowsky along with brother Yuri were born & raised in Lyon which I guess makes them French! ...and for anyone who has yet to see Zenaida dance, she is a true etoile!

As for Sylvie, she is a superb technician but I do feel that in some roles her arrogance creeps in. As Eugene stated, (2yrs ago!) in roles such as Giselle & Cinderella 'her steely, haughty personality comes across too strongly' -I believe this is a touch of arrogance.


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Karalyn

08-07-00, 08:44 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #1
 
   How can anyone say that Slyvie is not suited to classics such as manon!!!! I mean my god this women is absolutely breathtaking.
WAKE UP PEOPLE......this is the real world of ballet,ballet has advanced past Margo 's times!!


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norns

09-07-00, 03:59 AM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #8
 
   Sylvie has now reached a stage of artistic maturity where she emanates a special glow of star quality whenever she is on the stage. It has taken a few years for this to supplant her in your face attitude that she had in the past. Her influence is such that big extensions are now so common that she can look quite reticent. This seasons Marguerite and Concert have shown her off wonderfully as an actress and comedian of great subtlety. I would love to see her in more Ashton - because of the epaulement and the footwork - she did a lovely Elvin variation in Birthday Offering. How about Rendezvous, Scenes de Ballet, Thais?


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chloe

26-06-01, 10:06 AM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #1
 
   Sylvie guillem is the best ballerina in the world by far and she has been blessed with a phonomenal technique, a fluidity of line which reaches every part of her body, such an outstanding technique your eyes are drawn to watch her.
She spins in fouettes like a spinning top, fast, very fluent and dead on time with the music.
Her leg slowly unfolds like a petal in a time lapse film to 160 degrees, this makes ballet look streamlined. This doesnt look vulgar at all, it makes ballet look better, in my opinion it doesnt look good when ballet dancers cant get their legs up very far, it doesnt look streamlined.
If sylvie guillem can get her leg up behind her ears then its great, stick that old classical ballet rule.
everybody is an individual, every prima ballerina has their own technique, so stick the margo fonteyn era and say hello to those wonderfull soaring leg extensions, sylvie guillem is the best.


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Ann Williams

26-06-01, 10:36 AM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #13
 
  
>Sylvie guillem is the best ballerina in the world by far<

Chloe, shouldn't you have added 'in my opinion' to that statement? I do not agree at all that she's 'the best ballerina in the world', although I've enjoyed many of her performances and think she's great fun.


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chloe

09-10-01, 06:10 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #14
 
   To Ann Williams, Actually, it aint a matter of opinion `Ann`, whoever you are, you must be blind if you cant see that she outshines all the other dancers, shes bloody outstanding!
No other dancer can move as good as she can, can do those amazingly fluent pirouettes with great speed...there are so many things to say about her talent...i just dont want to go on!
Why dont you give me a reply and tell me who you think is the greatest dancer then.....and by the way....dont say`Darcey Bussel`.....or `Fonteyn`..........my arse!
And if you still dont agree about Guillem being the greatest dancer, just get her video `Portrait` and then say whos the greatest dancer! you dont really need to think about that, because its Guillem! So there you go `Ann`.


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Bruce Madmin

09-10-01, 07:01 PM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #18
 
   Nothing in life is ever cut and dry Chloe and we all have different views. Luckily we don't all parade them in quite such a hostile way before everybody because it adds nothing to anybodies enjoyment of this site or of the dance. By all means contribute, share with us and enjoy but if you just want to carry on like this you need to go elsewhere. And if your wondering who I am, I'm Bruce Marriott and I run this site.


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jayn

09-07-00, 05:37 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Sylvie Guillem: an appreciation"
In response to message #0
 
   I am currently looking for a video of Sylvie Guillem performing manon, maybe with the royal ballet(i do not know). Please can you help me find a copy of a video which is suitable for use in Australia
Thank you for your help.


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Michele

14-09-00, 06:43 AM (GMT)
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11. "Where is Sylvie performing?"
In response to message #10
 
   Hello everyone,

I heard that Sylvie was guesting with a company that is touring right now. Does anyone know how I can find out where she will be performing?

Thank you,
~Michele


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Stuart Sweeney

14-09-00, 08:15 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Where is Sylvie performing?"
In response to message #11
 
   Sylvie is performing 'Bolero' with Bejart Ballet Lausanne at Sadler's Wells, London on Sunday and Monday, September 24th and 25th.


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