In my ongoing quest to experience more ballet, and understand it better, tonight I watched Laurent Gentot's Prima Ballerina, a two-part film focusing on the beautiful Russian dancers Svetlana Zakharova (Moscow; Bolshoi) and Ulyana Popatinka (St. Petersburg; Mariinsky, or Kirov). What amazing graze and beauty, and the work of these two stars allowed me to delve more into understanding why comparisons of style are made, that although there are basic rules there are also differences in presentation. Although Popatinka is in my mind what I am used to seeing as a ballerina, I was swept away by the strength, flexibility, and unique style of Zakharova. Her Dying Swan was great. I was also taken back by the wonderful costumes and the beautiful productions of the Russians. I liked being able also to see both dancers do a modern piece; Zakharova's piece seems exceedingly difficult.
Also, I finally caught the old The Turning Point, a delightful movie that horrifyingly reminded me of the atrocious fashions we wore back in the seventies. Great dancing in the movie, including a young Russian import, Baryshnikov. A lot of nice parts featuring American Dance Company.