ARTISTRY IN MOTION #24 – Gelsey in Theme


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!


  1. I made this comment in my activities for the community on my profile page, however, because no other comments have been posted here, I thought it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to copy and paste my original post.
    Enjoyed watching ARTISTRY IN MOTION #24. I’ve watched it more than once so that I can understand the description. Something to think about for sure and yes, it is very inspiring. I get where Gelsey Kirkland is coming from with regard to characterisation. The change in emphasis from the long lines of extended poses to timing, phrasing and a bold approach to the choreography was obviously appreciated by the audience in that place at that time and most definitely appreciated by me here and now. A fresh look at dance in performance and a reminder that there is more than one way to dance. I made a point of looking at Gelsey Kirkland’s website. There it states that one of the influences on her work has been August Bournonville who is recorded as making the comment that dancers should not forget that what they are doing is an art. Like all arts, dance is a living language. After watching Gelsey dance I can confidently add something new to my dancing. That something will be to at least stay with the music rather than wait for the music to push my movements forward. Gelsey’s timing is amazing. For now, I’m happy that I can see that and be amazed as well. For the future, the best thing to do is to keep dancing.

  2. There is some wonderful choreography is many of the older ballets, however, perhaps the stories are outdated now. Maybe dancers need to think about choreography more and the stories they are telling with their chosen art form.

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