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Subject: ""Marguerite and Armand"" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Helen

08-02-00, 03:49 PM (GMT)
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""Marguerite and Armand""
 
   It's been interesting to read the comments in this month's magazine about "Marguerite and Armand". I saw it seven times between 1963 and 1967, from the sixth performance onwards (which was incidentally the night President Kennedy's assassination was announced from the stage before the final ballet "The Invitation"). I can honestly say that the reports of the electric excitement Fonteyn and Nureyev generated aren't exaggerated. They were so blazing with commitment to their roles that to us they became the people they were portraying. At the time, one of my friends said, "Do you think we ought to have been watching that?", so great was the sense of intruding on a private passion. And they looked so ravishingly beautiful. Fonteyn looked almost exactly like the description of Marguerite in the novel,with her jet-black hair, huge dark eyes, finely arched eyebrows and creamy oval face' and Nureyev had at that time a sort of post-
adolescent beauty. I think the way they looked was central to Ashton's conception of the ballet.The film, made later, (did they make more than one?)is a useful reminder, but I don't find it very like the real thing. I think "the first fine careless rapture" had gone by then. I am afraid that people who have only seen the film may possibly wonder what all the fuss was about. I'd love to hear impressions from people who have only seen the film.

I was shocked at first when I heard about the revival, but now I feel very intrigued. I can't begin to imagine anyone else in those roles, but I can't wait to see it and I'll try to keep an open mind. It will be interesting to see if the ballet has any substance when separated from its original interpreters. I think it may have, but it will need superb interpreters.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: "Marguerite and Armand" Anneliese 08-02-00 1
  RE: "Marguerite and Armand" David Leonard 08-02-00 2

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Anneliese

08-02-00, 06:55 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: "Marguerite and Armand""
In response to message #0
 
   I have only seen the film. I have also seen footage of Margot when she was much younger, and been impressed by her, but I wasn't impressed by her in the film. Just a lot of rather old-fashioned histrionics (that's too harsh but Tim's crying and I've got to be quick). Nureyev, on the other hand, stunned me - most of the film footage I've seen of him was when he was older and slower- I'd forgotten how magical he was. For the ballet as a whole though, my impression was not as special as I'd hoped.


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David Leonard

08-02-00, 08:37 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: "Marguerite and Armand""
In response to message #0
 
   >I was shocked at first when I
>heard about the revival, but now
>I feel very intrigued. I can't
>begin to imagine anyone else in
>those roles, but I can't wait
>to see it and I'll try
>to keep an open mind. It
>will be interesting to see if
>the ballet has any substance when
>separated from its original interpreters. I
>think it may have, but it
>will need superb interpreters.

I also saw the early performances, and agree with everything you say.

However, I think it's a much better piece than it's sometimes given credit for, and I shall be intrigued to see how it works with a new cast.
Perhaps it's better to have someone so "un-Fonteyn" as Guillem: at least we shall then be able to judge the ballet on its own merits, rather than making possibly unhelpful comparisons.


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