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it's kinda sad...


zetty twine

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A muse inspires the song's creation, though, no?

Classical muses are always feminine. So, next question: can a man function as the muse of a woman? And, what relevance, if any, does age have to the process? Is it a question of youth=beauty, or do definitions of beauty change as one ages (mine have, for instance, but I may be the odd one out)?

As Mad points out, in Zeppelin's case, there was a lot of improvisation, reaching, dancing on the edge going on. Muse in that sense is not limited to one song, it informs a way of performing.

To me a muse is feminine in a spiritual sense too, not only in a gendered sense. I have a friend who is an animal communicator, who opened my eyes to how gender-based we are when she said that animals don't know what gender they are, and don't care. That's a trippy thing to contemplate! Surely there's no reason a man can't be the muse for a woman. Think of Rose on the Titanic... :D

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As Mad points out, in Zeppelin's case, there was a lot of improvisation, reaching, dancing on the edge going on. Muse in that sense is not limited to one song, it informs a way of performing.

To me a muse is feminine in a spiritual sense too, not only in a gendered sense. I have a friend who is an animal communicator, who opened my eyes to how gender-based we are when she said that animals don't know what gender they are, and don't care. That's a trippy thing to contemplate! Surely there's no reason a man can't be the muse for a woman. Think of Rose on the Titanic... :D

I agree there--but it IS interesting how muses have been historically and classically imagined as feminine.

I still tend to think, though, that the muse informs the creation of the song, rather than its performance. At least traditionally.

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I agree there--but it IS interesting how muses have been historically and classically imagined as feminine.

I still tend to think, though, that the muse informs the creation of the song, rather than its performance. At least traditionally.

Only God creates; you simply find what is already there.

Ballets have included roles for Muses that have been performed by dancers to music.

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Only God creates; you simply find what is already there.

Ballets have included roles for Muses that have been performed by dancers to music.

Yes but the civilization that thought in terms of nine muses didn't think in terms of a single god, or creator. It's true, though, that their role was simply to inspire the artist to find what already existed, like the sculpture within the block of stone.

The ballets do indeed represent muses, but that's different from the role of the muses themselves.

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Yes but the civilization that thought in terms of nine muses didn't think in terms of a single god, or creator. It's true, though, that their role was simply to inspire the artist to find what already existed, like the sculpture within the block of stone.

The ballets do indeed represent muses, but that's different from the role of the muses themselves.

The ballets contained the roles. It's interesting how the concept of muse has spilled into popular culture.

Robert Schumann’s ‘Davidsbündlertänze’ is one of George Balanchine’s last ballets. Made in 1980, the only major work that follows is Mozartiana in 1981. The ballet is for four couples and bears a superficial resemblance to Liebeslieder Walzer in the music used and its physical structure. Both ballets are danced to linked cycles of short musical pieces, both use four couples and involve the women changing from heeled slippers to pointe shoes and then returning to heeled slippers. However, where Liebeslieder is one of Balanchine’s most delicate utterances; Davidsbündlertänze explores torment and anguish through the life of its composer.

The original cast was Adam Lüders and Karin von Aroldingen; Jacques d’Amboise and Suzanne Farrell; Peter Martins and Heather Watts; Ib Andersen and Kay Mazzo. They are all still relatively young and still actively associated with ballet or NYCB itself. The ballet was televised in 1982 with that cast with the exception of Sara Leland for Mazzo. It is therefore documented better than much of the targeted choreography of the sessions sponsored by the George Balanchine Foundation’s Interpreters Archive. These sessions of von Aroldingen coaching Jenifer Ringer and Charles Askegard provide a secondary document of the choreography but even more importantly they provide a record of the process of entering into it.

Balanchine acknowledged, even in the naming of the ballet that emphasized Schumann as well as the work, that the ballet drew from Schumann’s anguished life including his love of his wife and piano student Clara Wieck. All the roles in the ballet assume some aspect of this relationship, although von Aroldingen (and Balanchine as well) referred to Lüders’ and her roles specifically as “Robert” and “Clara”. The pillars of the work were the pairing of Lüders with von Aroldingen and Farrell with d’Amboise. There is a duality within the entire ballet that comes from Schumann’s conception of the music. They arise from two polar opposites within him that he named Florestan, the fiery extrovert, and Eusebius, the gentle and contemplative introvert. The parts for Lüders/von Aroldingen and Farrell/d’Amboise seem to represent these opposing personalities, although Balanchine ignores sharp boundaries: at one point he has Farrell and d’Amboise dance the haunting waltz originally danced by Lüders and von Aroldingen. In expressing the poles between the von Aroldingen role and the Farrell role, Arlene Croce dubbed von Aroldingen as Clara the bride and wife and distinguished Farrell’s also unnamed part as being that of Clara the artist and muse.

Four sections are scheduled to be examined during these sessions: the initial pas de deux in heeled rather than pointe shoes; Clara’s solo variation; Robert’s solo variation along with the brief dance together that follows it and the final leavetaking. There are two other dances not coached in these sessions, the two pas de deux danced en pointe. The first is molto agitato with rustic steps, almost like a frenzied folk dance. The second is anguished, reaching and reaching. The sessions are set for two consecutive afternoons, the first with only von Aroldingen and Ringer; Askegard will join the following day. Von Aroldingen’s part is presently danced by Kyra Nichols, who has done it for many years. Von Aroldingen chose Ringer instead of Nichols for exactly that reason; she felt it would not be useful to coach someone who had formulated her own successful take on the role for so long. Ringer has danced in the ballet before, but not in this role.

They begin with Clara’s solo variation. The variation comes as a pensive moment right before the climax of the ballet. It is directly after a sextet with the three other couples. Clara enters searching, but then seems to be wandering lost, spinning gently as though pushed by air currents, a milkweed seed adrift in wind. As she leads Ringer into the entrance onstage, Von Aroldingen is barely audible across the studio. It is as if the corrections and advice were only meant for Ringer. She begins with the first rush in and immediately starts talking about internal states. “You’re searching. It’s like going through fog.”

The atypical nature of how one might approach Davidsbündlertänze shows almost immediately. In sessions in Seattle earlier this year (Dance View, Autumn 2000), Melissa Hayden was able to coach Episodes and Divertimento No. 15 almost solely by just teaching the steps. If one did the steps correctly with the correct rhythmic attack, one could give a good performance of Episodes or Divert. Most ballet dancers work this way, learning the steps first and adding coloration later, but here the cameras are rolling from the onset.

Ringer attempts to flesh out the steps that von Aroldingen indicated. But the last thing von Aroldingen wants to see are steps. What we’re watching during this coaching session is two people moving towards a common language. Von Aroldingen is breathless in her explanations, “no posing, no posing.” What she doesn’t mention is a narrative or even a motivation except at the outset. It’s as if she senses it would be against Balanchine’s ethos to do so, even if it would seem natural in this ballet.

The variation is much more complex than it looks; there’s a fiendishness in its porosity. The steps are not difficult, but the Schumann has an amorphous musicality, a legato that suddenly becomes taut, then releases again. Stitching a pointework variation on it is like embroidering on fog. One needs to be musical about moving on notes that seem isolated in suspension. Even the steps themselves are difficult to remember. The structure of a classical variation can propel the muscles to the next step. Here, there are too many hesitations, drifting arabesques that are only slightly differentiated. It’s easy to see the searching and yearning when one is watching the choreography take shape from the audience; but what about when a dancer is just trying to find the musicality of the Schumann, or trying to negotiate how to correctly do an arabesque turn out of a series of chaîné turns? There is often little room for an external viewpoint when you’re trying to get the steps. Sometimes, Ringer just wants to know which leg she is supposed to step on.

Von Aroldingen keeps trying to get beyond steps. “It’s not about dancing.” “More earnest.” “You’re thinking of steps.” It’s hard for Ringer to stop posing; von Aroldingen’s still teaching and Ringer is still learning steps. “It’s hard to verbalize,” von Aroldingen says later. The shifting emotions of the variation are difficult to put into words. At one point she searches for an adjective, but only one in German comes out and she is at a loss for a translation. To get Ringer to move in a more natural fashion, von Aroldingen says, “You know, like Modern [Dance].” It isn’t technically accurate, but it has an effect. Part of the reason Von Aroldingen is at a loss for words is that they wouldn’t have been necessary with Balanchine. Balanchine knew her, knew her “perfume” and the variation is tailored to fit how von Aroldingen would have instinctively danced. It’s made up of her personality. “Don’t try to be me,” she admonishes Ringer after she tries to imitate her, but in fact on some level that is exactly what she needs to do; find the thing that Balanchine wanted out of von Aroldingen and call it forth within herself. Ringer’s perfume is sweet and floral; it fades gently as it lingers. Von Aroldingen’s perfume has all sorts of aftertones and resonances, oak, vanilla, earth. . . even when Ringer understands von Aroldingen’s motivation it will still have a very different impact.

Ringer is a dancer who, like von Aroldingen, has a very particular quality within the repertory, one she and the company are only beginning to define. She has a Rebecca-like beauty, pale skin and raven hair, and a delicacy and lyricism in the upper body. A few performances of the Intermezzo in Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet half a decade ago showed extraordinary promise and depth. The promise is still there, but the contralto richness of the Intermezzo doesn’t seem to be where she is headed at present. In Liebeslieder Walzer, she has performed both the Hayden role with its exquisite, dusky adagio and the more youthful Jillana role and it was the lyric soprano tone of the Jillana role where she seemed to have her most unaffected and honest dancing “voice”.

As the session continues, von Aroldingen emphasizes again the elasticity of the whole variation. In an arabesque turn: “Do you want [to use] two arms? I had one but it doesn’t matter.” She also switches to external comments over internal ones (“We have to see this arabesque right here.”), acknowledging Ringer’s need to know the steps first. She’s encouraging and kind. Watching one of the final run-throughs of the solo, she says, “I was touched.” She corrects the beginning again, returning to narrative to explain the first gestures, “There’s some vague force, but no. . .and it’s gone.”

Ringer does two more runs and they are much better. “It needs to be done more. You need to just do it more.” Again, one regrets that this is an isolated project not leading to a performance, because von Aroldingen is absolutely right. Ringer remarks informally, “I’m never at my best the first or the second day. I need at least a week.” The role is outside of Ringer’s natural range but not outside of her possible range. How valuable it would be to see the coaching it takes to ease and stretch her into the role, but we only see the first two hours. A drawback of the Archive recordings is that there aren’t the circumstances or resources to show the process over time. Von Aroldingen has Ringer mark the variation once again, ostensibly for camera close-ups, but the dividend is a more relaxed and richer performance as well. At the end von Arodingen quotes Balanchine, “I can provide you with food, I can chew it for you, but you have to digest it” and gives her own advice, “Think about it. And once you have it don’t think about it any more.”

The sessions on the following day begin with the initial pas de deux for those dancers. It is the second piece in the work, after an introductory dance for the d’Amboise and Farrell roles. The two walk in together, Clara senses his disturbance and probes for the cause through a touch or a glance even while she gently dances with Robert. One sees both her concern and her inability to fathom what he is going through. Even when clinging to him or offering support, he is never with her, but elsewhere, tormented. Her constant query seems to be “What’s wrong? If you could only tell me what was wrong I could help.”

The choreography seems amorphous, but again even in its free musicality there’s an insistence to the beats in the repeated opening accents of the waltz, like a bell that rings inexorably but in the distance. Von Aroldingen briefly again explains the state of the outset (“You walk in, but he is in his own world.”) Askegard has done the part before, and this makes things immediately clearer for Ringer and gets better results, but von Aroldingen starts correcting and coaching Askegard, removing a bounciness from some dragged steps. Askegard has the same tall lankiness as Lüders, but he is not as hollow-eyed. His suffering is in the resoluteness of a clenched jaw.

Von Aroldingen’s face contorts with the effort of translation, not from one language to another, but from movement to words. She knows what she wants, but sometimes a movement does not translate to a single adjective. Trying to explain a touch to Askegard: “It’s gentle. . .no, but still intense.” There are height considerations for Askegard and Ringer because Askegard is so tall (6’4”) that resting her head on his shoulder becomes an issue. They run the dance once and it goes well. Von Aroldingen corrects and now we see her begin to coach finer details. “I know you are downcast, but Robert would not be inner. He’s looking out into space.”

To show Ringer, Von Aroldingen does the dance once with Askegard. Her interpretation of the dance is fascinating for her reactions, which are caring, but they come from a time before there was such a thing as “mental illness.” She is tender, but Robert’s condition is an absolute mystery to her to the point of her not even seeing it some of the time. She knows something is wrong, but her vantage point from within is totally different than ours. At the end of the dance, when they walk off and she takes his hand at her waist and clasps it on to her hands, the quiet moment says more about Clara’s fear than any show of desperation.

At this point, she asks Ringer simply, “How do you feel?” “It feels very . . .pensive. Quiet.” Ringer’s impressions continue to emerge, talking informally with Askegard on break, one finally overhears the word “sad”.

After the break, Von Aroldingen coaches the final pas, which is so dependent on atmosphere it’s almost impossible to perform out of context. It feels as if there are almost no steps. Ringer pulls Askegard to the center, from the walk they begin to sway into a waltz. The first hint of a movement becomes a problem, Von Aroldingen works to get it from motion down to a mere suspicion. Things move more quickly, she alters Askegard’s final farewell to have him turn away before he faces Clara. Instructing Ringer at that moment, she says, “Reach! You want to hold him back.” And more fine points: “In the beginning there’s joy. ‘Come dance with me.’ and yet. . .There’s a togetherness alone.” Von Aroldingen takes to dancing with Askegard as the most effective method of showing Ringer what she wants, but she’s changed her tactic. Rather than dancing it with the subtlety of the earlier pas de deux, she takes a broader brush, telegraphing her effects in order to teach them. It’s a bit dangerous to do this in a very literal profession, but it seems she knows Ringer won’t act at all this early on without prodding.

The final section examined is the “poison pen” section, which comes directly after the solo Ringer learned yesterday. This section begins as a solo for Askegard and continues to Clara’s entrance and a brief dance together that is interrupted by the other couples to become a dance for all the couples. The black cloaked and hatted figures carrying enormous quill pens and books from a fully staged production that enter, stand silently and withdraw upon Clara’s entrance can only be seen in the mind’s eye. It’s a bit amusing to watch this section among a bank of writers at the side of the studio. Von Aroldingen invites us up to play our part.

Von Aroldingen says at the outset to Askegard, “I hate to use the word ‘mad’ but you are disturbed.” Little explanation of steps is needed as Askegard has performed the role before. He attacks Robert’s wild-eyed entrance with gusto and relish. I have worked professionally with Askegard; what’s amusing to anyone who knows him is that his disposition is of the sunniest kind. One can tell from his full throttle attack that he’s actually having tremendous fun going right round the bend. It’s the sort of personal knowledge one strives to forget in the theater. Von Aroldingen picks up on this as well and reins him in. “Don’t act too much. It’s already there. You have it in you, I know.” She refines his focus to vary where he is looking, now up and out, now to the ground. We now see von Aroldingen not in a teaching session, but a coaching one; she can emphasize finer points as when she asks for a pause at the end of each iteration of a series of repeated arm movements. “I hear different things than you but that’s all right.” At the end of his solo section she remarks “That was fine with me and I think [she looks up] Mr. Balanchine.”

Ringer now enters for a duet. “There’s an urgency,” von Aroldingen instructs and Askegard yanks her airborne into a sauté that lands into a promenade. Once she recovers from the surprise and figures out the timing, she’s flying. Things move smoothly here, Von Aroldingen’s corrections are now cosmetic. (“Lift everything in your whole body in the tour jété.” “You should be in front of him in the chaîné turns so he sees you when he kneels.”) They’ve finally eased into rapport as the sessions abruptly end.

by Leigh Witchel

DanceView, Winter 2001

copyright © 2001 by Leigh Witchel

http://www.danceview.org/archives/balanchi...undlertanze.htm

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What does it mean to pretend to act 20 ? :huh: Too much fun ? Showing too much energy ? Still enjoying the things you enjoyed at age 20 ?

We are EVERY age up to what we are. 20 is still inside these guys. They can pretend to be one day older, they're not there yet. But to be as anything you've been up to the point in your life...is just who you are.

Act your age ? What does that mean ? It's cumulative.....I'm still 5, 10, 20...and even 50. It's all part of my makeup.

Tell you the truth...some of their actions and antics are still as if they're 20 and I like it....:D

EXCELLENT Joelmon ! ! ! ! You Hit the Nail on the Head ! ! ! :thumbsup:

Unless it is truly love, people really should not be too far outside their own age group. But, who's to say she doesn't get something other than material goods out of her relationship with him? I hope so, for both their sakes. Those sorts of relationships always make me think less of the man, than the woman.

I was thinking of “women shouldn’t let that happen” from the stand point of, why allow ourselves to be pigeon-holed as washed up after a certain age? Why let men get all the silver-haired, distinguished, respected, attractive older person action?

Yes, true love knows no bounds! But, recreational activites tend to be frowned upon if the age difference is too great.... But, as for Men aging better than women.... this may be generally viewed, but, I have seen many expections to this, in both genders.... I do want to say, that I think there is some poetic justice in how this plays out in the older years.... I know, that when I was young lad of 12-13-14, that I was desparately seeking female companionship, and, becuase I wasn't on the Football Team, or a drug connection.... no attractive females my age would have anything to do with me. Those girls were gladly accepting all of the attention from older boys. And, so, it's a little bit of justice, that all these years later.... I am in much more in a postition to get a younger girl in a serious relationship, than someone of the opposite sex, my age, would have in getting the younger "man" in a serious relationship, all thing being equal (ie., no Sugar Daddies or Sugar Mommas considered!!). The struggles I went through as I went into puberty.... I counterpose those to the struggles an older woman now faces... Tables turned a bit.....

But.... I'm not trying to engender Hatred here.... I love All the Ladies !!! ;)

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I agree there--but it IS interesting how muses have been historically and classically imagined as feminine.

I still tend to think, though, that the muse informs the creation of the song, rather than its performance. At least traditionally.

Maybe that's because we know more about male artists, and what inspries them?

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EXCELLENT Joelmon ! ! ! ! You Hit the Nail on the Head ! ! ! :thumbsup:

I hope it's not too late to second The Rover... I love your post, Joelmon!

Yes, true love knows no bounds! But, recreational activites tend to be frowned upon if the age difference is too great.... But, as for Men aging better than women.... this may be generally viewed, but, I have seen many expections to this, in both genders.... I do want to say, that I think there is some poetic justice in how this plays out in the older years.... I know, that when I was young lad of 12-13-14, that I was desparately seeking female companionship, and, becuase I wasn't on the Football Team, or a drug connection.... no attractive females my age would have anything to do with me. Those girls were gladly accepting all of the attention from older boys. And, so, it's a little bit of justice, that all these years later.... I am in much more in a postition to get a younger girl in a serious relationship, than someone of the opposite sex, my age, would have in getting the younger "man" in a serious relationship, all thing being equal (ie., no Sugar Daddies or Sugar Mommas considered!!). The struggles I went through as I went into puberty.... I counterpose those to the struggles an older woman now faces... Tables turned a bit.....

But.... I'm not trying to engender Hatred here.... I love All the Ladies !!! ;)

Gee, never thought of it like that... great point!

:hysterical: at "recreational activites tend to be frowned upon if the age difference is too great.... "

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Be that as it may <_< I think of a cougar as an older woman who also is attractive to younger men. The definition is not her desire for them, but theirs for her.

Well that’s a nice way of looking at it, isn’t it. :)

...no attractive females my age would have anything to do with me. Those girls were gladly accepting all of the attention from older boys.

I counterpose those to the struggles an older woman now faces... Tables turned a bit.....

I noticed you wrote, “no attractive females my age would have anything to do with me. Those girls were gladly accepting all of the attention from older boys.”

What about girls that were not attractive, were you not interested in them?

If so, then weren’t you doing the same thing to them, that the ones you were interested in were doing to you?

And, so, it's a little bit of justice, that all these years later.... I am in much more in a postition to get a younger girl in a serious relationship, than someone of the opposite sex, my age, would have in getting the younger "man" in a serious relationship, all thing being equal

At first I thought you might be right about that, but the more I think about it, I’m not sure.

In our society women are not conditioned to think about seeking out younger men. And just to clarify I’m talking about maybe up to 10 years younger. If they were to, and this part is important, if they looked 10 years younger themselves, then I don’t think they would have a difficult time with that.

Actually it makes sense since women statistically live longer than men and they seem to look younger longer than men do as well. So maybe a new trend will start... :)

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EXCELLENT Joelmon ! ! ! ! You Hit the Nail on the Head ! ! ! :thumbsup:

Yes, true love knows no bounds! But, recreational activites tend to be frowned upon if the age difference is too great.... But, as for Men aging better than women.... this may be generally viewed, but, I have seen many expections to this, in both genders.... I do want to say, that I think there is some poetic justice in how this plays out in the older years.... I know, that when I was young lad of 12-13-14, that I was desparately seeking female companionship, and, becuase I wasn't on the Football Team, or a drug connection.... no attractive females my age would have anything to do with me. Those girls were gladly accepting all of the attention from older boys. And, so, it's a little bit of justice, that all these years later.... I am in much more in a postition to get a younger girl in a serious relationship, than someone of the opposite sex, my age, would have in getting the younger "man" in a serious relationship, all thing being equal (ie., no Sugar Daddies or Sugar Mommas considered!!). The struggles I went through as I went into puberty.... I counterpose those to the struggles an older woman now faces... Tables turned a bit.....

But.... I'm not trying to engender Hatred here.... I love All the Ladies !!! ;)

You know, when I was a teenager I dated nothing but twenty-somethings. But it wasn't because I thought I was "too good" to date someone in my own age group. It was simply because no one from my own age group ever asked! And if they did show interest, it wasn't clear enough for me to "get it" at the time....

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You know, when I was a teenager I dated nothing but twenty-somethings. But it wasn't because I thought I was "too good" to date someone in my own age group. It was simply because no one from my own age group ever asked! And if they did show interest, it wasn't clear enough for me to "get it" at the time....

Hi Bonnie, :wave: I think that you're very brave to post that. Not everyone is cool with that idea. I was the same way, though, when I was a teen-ager. Only involved with twenty-somethings. It wasn't so much that no one from my own age group never asked but, at least back in the 70's, most of the guys my age were much less mature than the girls. If the "boys" in school did "show interest", it was usually getting crazy about seeing a bra strap or something juvenile like that.

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For all the smack Jimmy did...he looks great....compare him to Keith Richards....YIKES....KR is one scary looking dude!!!

As much as it pains me to say so...me being a HUGE Keef fan...I must agree.

Keith could pass for Jimmy's father at this point. But I also think it's fair to say that Keef did a LOT more drugs, for a longer period of time.

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...to see how, um, old they are looking. Then again, they probably have more energy than me, and hell, at least they are still ROCKING!

I hope when I get their age I have their get up and go....

The only sad thing about this whole affair is the missing member on the drum kit(still, we have his bloodline), that and the fact I won't be there :(

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