Bronze Idols

I’m not a fan of ballet. I’ve seen performances I’ve enjoyed (usually not classical ballet) but I’m not going to go out of my way to view it. So it’s exceptional that I’m offering some ballet clips below.

How’d I get there?

A NY Times article nearly convinced me that there may be visions of “The Nutcracker” ballet which may be fun rather than agonizing and boring as hell.

Over to Youtube I went…and was reminded that, no, I just don’t much care for ballet.

Then I happened upon a performance of “The Bronze Idol” that was riveting. As there were a number of videos of other soloists performing the same dance, I went through them for comparison’s sake. Though each is outstanding in his own way, there were none, to me, that approached the power of this particular dancer. And I don’t mean just physical power.

Angel Corella at Covent Garden.

Sergey Antonov with the Bolshoi.

Andrey Bolotin with the Bolshoi.

Morikhiro Ivata with the Bolshoi.

Wilfried Romoli with the Paris Opera Ballet. Wonderful staging in this one.

Now watch Ivan Vasiliev take possession of the Bolshoi stage as the Bronze Idol. Knowing nothing of ballet, I can’t deconstruct it. All I can say of it is that his precision is bolder, and his timing, the way that he works with the music, is exceptional.

After watching Ivan Vasiliev’s version about 30 times, I looked up some information on him.

He’s new. Eighteen years of age.

I had reason to be impressed.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

3 thoughts on “Bronze Idols”

  1. They were all magnificent. I can’t even imagine being able to do that, however, you’re right, Ivan was by far the most fun to watch. Not knowing the right terminology, I can only say he had a much more manly presence. He was beautifully controlled power.

  2. The others dance for. They perform. And the fact they perform makes them subject to the viewer and the music. Whereas Ivan’s idol dances as one who may be unmindful of any who may be watching.

  3. I only last night got to watch all of the performances you had linked. I do like dance, though have never known quite how to talk about it. I don’t know the language. I actually watched the Ivan performance first and was totally bowled over. It isn’t just power, it’s as if his body knows precisely the right place to go for every move and has somehow memorized that so precisely that it goes to that place each and every time. Part of what was amazing was that he is powerful and strong, certainly, but also has the capacity to express so much physical flexibility, which is not something I particularly associate with male dancers. Really impressive! And to be only 18! After seeing him dance, I watched all the others and I can see exactly what you meant, they were performing. By comparison, there was something a little tepid about their performances, though if I had not seen his I might not have thought of it that way. I haven’t yet gotten to watch all of the Rite of Spring. I’ve watched two of the three and would like to watch them all at least twice. I would never have thought to look up dance performances on YouTube. That’s a treat. Thanks for posting those.

    And a brief and more personal note…things have not been going well with my father. He’s in a rehab center, sleeping most of the time, no one really seems to know what went wrong following his surgery. I’ll try to call you this weekend. Too much to go into an email.

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