Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Maria Tallchief

I was looking around for DVDs of Ballerina Maria Tallchief. For someone that I'd heard so much about I was surprised that I only found 1 DVD devote to her: an anthology of NBC and Radio-Canada performances. Well OK, I'll take whatever I can get.

Beautiful artistry, that's what it is.

In the performance of 'Les Sylphides' (B&W photo above), the nuances of the music are breathed into the performance. Also striking to me was how the quality and size of the movements matched up with the changing dynamics (loud/soft) of the music. I've not seen that so brought out until now.

With a few exceptions, changing of dynamics/tempo is something that most popular music does not have. If you want a change of mood, you play a different song. Only in classical-based music are there shifts of mood/tempo/dyamic and that adds a another dimension that can be expressed in a dance choreographed for the piece.
So the dance can change from lilting and delicate one moment to forceful and sharp the next. She does it all with refined artistry.

If anyone knows of any more DVDs of her, let me know !

voice of dance page on Maria Tallchief with video (at the time of this writing)

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