Fascinating. Natalia Makarova practices in center floor. The video quality is very poor, but we can still see her extraordinary control and balance. Notice how she always “gets on her leg”—she places it accurately and it is absolutely perpendicular to the floor—and therefore the free leg and her torso and arms simply float into position. She knew she had to place her toe and drive down. And notice when she does the pirouette en attitude en dedans how she throws the leading arm and simply “coasts” the turn. It’s mesmerizing.
A thrilling performance from the 1978 Wonder of the World. How about the solo-defining pas de chats en tournant? Notice how she works in opposition to the direction and movement. She is the classical example of “ears back” and reaching back so you can move forward. When the music speeds up, she is still ahead of it, fearlessly, even while turning and changing directions. And, does it matter that she had limited extension? Not a bit—she pushes the air with her pointes and phrases her movements so beautifully her movements have amplitude and power. So inspiring! Bravo!
Makarova & Dowell in Macmillan’s bedroom pas de deux from Manon. The longest kiss in the ballet repertoire? They display the sculptured poses that highlight this rapturous music with polished performances that can only come from fabulously successful careers. At this moment in time they are reigning spirits of the ballet stage.
A joyful experience! Lovely quick footwork with a young Darci showing her fabulous talent. I remember seeing this documentary in fall and at the end Darci is having trouble with the piqué attitude turns, and Stanley very quietly says “toe” (he never said much) and she emphasizes how she places her toe and her body and floats the turn magically. I say this repeatedly in class during pirouettes: toe, toe, toe. Everything begins and ends with the toe.