(Mikhail) I cannot begin to fully describe how they were different, but it was a very different performance.
As is the way of YouTube, after watching the two performances from Les Sylphides, I watched a clip from the movie White Nights as Mikhail Baryshnikov does eleven pirouettes, and I was amazed at the ease and athletic prowess - only to be led to the next video. (White) I watched as a young girl does thirty-six pirouettes. The physical training, intense focus, and commitment of ballet is overwhelmingly surprising once a bit of it is studied. (36 Pirouettes) As I moved from Les Sylphides to the performance of Sylvie Guillem and Jonathan Cope in Swan Lake, I would find that, not only was I amazed and stunned by the seemingly effortless yet physically powerful and precise work of Silvie Guillem’s legs, I was genuinely moved by the power of the emotionally rich performance. I believed she was a swan.
As modern dance is explored, possibilities open doors of fusion styles that can interpret life in exuberant and surprising ways. To watch the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is to see combinations of styles, including ballet and African movement, in order to express a wide range of emotion. In Love Stories, the movement is clearly expressing the range of feelings one might experience in love.
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