Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dark Star of the Ballet Stage leaves us

Georgina Parkinson radiant physical presence who moved with a tremendous power in every gesture, and taught an exacting way for students to express that power within themselves, has died. She danced with the Royal Ballet during the peak of Sir Fredrick Ashton's reign, and came to be the ballet mistress of American Ballet Theatre.

There was an androgyny to her face, an almost vampiric stretched quality to her movements, and a tremendous flexibility that defined the unbending steel of her poses. She flowed into positions, and then sustained them, and taught that same way. At the same time, she was always discussing, always changing, always searching, always fitting. For the dancers she knew had talent, she would work and weave their own uniqueness into the steps. She talked about how having a role created on you was an intensely personal act, and how it had worked in the Royal in her time, how the choreographer would set the problem, and the dancers would have to solve it, often having their changes added to the steps.

This vibrant seeking artistic freedom rested on a basis of absolute assurance in technique, and it was liberating, even for those who could only touch their toes into the sea of freedom that she had once sailed on herself.

No comments:

Post a Comment