Off Topic Topics



  • Thanks for the positive comments. Hope Louise checks in. lol
  • Sorry, VA! I fell asleep last night and I'm away from my computer right now and HATE trying to post on my phone! Lol! I will get back to this later on today. I'm not ignoring you, I promise.
  • No probs.
  • Oh, great, great story about your little boy, VA_in_CA! What a smart little guy.
    Yes, I did follow Nureyev to some degree, though I wasn't as obsessed with him as with Baryshnikov. I always loved ballet and even took ballet for years, but when Nureyev was in his prime, I think I was otherwise occupied with college, partying in college, and all of that. Lol Of course, I knew about him and thought he was wonderful.

    Sadly, I've never been to a ballet with national and international stars like you have. The only place close to me during my obsession with Baryshnikov where I could have seen him was in New Orleans and I was unable to go. I've been to the ballet in New Orleans and it is wonderful, just no HUGE stars. I really hope to go again soon because it's been years.

    Did you ever watch Sex and the City when Baryshnikov was a semi-regular for a few seasons? I still love to watch him even when he's not dancing. I think I'll go look up some Youtube videos and see if they have any good ones out there.

  • No, never watched Sex and the City. It was on during my busiest teaching years for one, and for two, I didn't have cable TV. What did Baryshnikov do on the show?
  • Oh, he played Carrie's (the main star of the show) rich love interest for awhile. However, he ended up being kind of abusive to her so it didn't last. Haha. He was good in it, though.
  • VA_in_CAVA_in_CA Member
    edited February 2015
    Yeah. The story ballets require acting, too, especially facial expressions Remember that other Russian dancer who defected, Alexander Godunov? I remember they held up the plane the ballet company (the Bolshoi) was traveling on because his wife was in the company and she didn't want to remain in the US, but Alexander did. It was quite awhile before they were convinced she was not being forced to return to Russia under duress and they let the plane depart. I don't know if he danced here, but he did act and was very good in Witness, in which he played Rachel's good-looking blond neighbor, Hocheitner. Sadly I think he committed suicide in 1995 at the age of 45. I never saw him dance, but he was very spectacular. Here he is in a brief piece fro La Corsair: and this next one is astounding. He gives Baryshnikov some pretty stiff competition here. It's the same Pas des Deux from Don Quixote that appears in The Turning Point toward the end. During his solos, all you can do is say, "Wow." I did love him in Witness. He had such a sexy smile. Also , Wow. hahaha
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited February 2015
    Oh! I didn't know about Alexander Godunov having a background in ballet. Yes, he did play his part well as a rival love interest against Harrison Ford in Witness. Wasn't this the first starring role for Kelly McGillis too?
  • May have been. It was his first movie.
  • Interestingly he was dismissed from the American Ballet Company by its artistic director, Mikhail Baryshnikov. lol.
  • Oh, I loved him, too! He was also in the very first Die Hard movie. He made a great bad guy. I think it turned out he died of natural causes caused by alcoholism and he wasn't found for a few days. He pretty much drank himself to death. Thanks for the videos of him dancing, VA. He was good, too, and I thought he was a good actor also.
  • For Louisecastello. (and anyone else who enjoyes ballet) This subject evolved out of a discussion about Mikhail Baryshnikov after I saw there is a horse named Baryshnikov.

    It's so neat to find someone who also enjoys ballet. Did you follow Rudolf Nureyev at all? I remember babysitting while I was in college for a couple who were going that night over into NYC to see Nureyev and Fonteyn and I was soooo envious. I didn't think Fonteyn would be dancing much longer, but 6 or 7 years later both Nureyev and Fonteyn came to Los Angeles and I went to see them. In fact I went 3 times while they were there. I think it was twice to the Hollywood Bowl and once to the Shrine Auditorium. I remember one was Fonteyn's ballet--Giselle--another was evenly balanced between both--Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev)--and the third was Nureyev's. It was an avante garde piece I've never seen or heard of since, that was at the Shrine. It was ultra-modern and called Paradise Lost. It was amazing and the most erotic thing I've ever seen, but not the least bit pornographic. Just wonderful. Then in 1969, when my mother came out to help with my wedding preparations, I took her and my future sister-in-law to the Hollywood Bowl to see them one last time. I think Margot Fonteyn retired soon after. She was really old then. I can't remember what the ballet was though. It was one of the classic ones, I think, possibly Coppelia. I also got to see Eric Bruhn dance on one of my trips East to visit my family. My sister took me to the Lincoln Center to see him, She was a big fan of his. Unfortunately it was really hard to get tickets, so we had to sit in different parts of the theatre. Funny. And, as I mentioned I saw Barushnikov live in LA.

    The first ballet I saw live was the Royal Ballet, I think, at the Hollywood Bowl. That is the best venue for ballet because it's outdoors and the gentle breezes blow over you as you get wrapped up in the storied world on the stage. They did Swan Lake and it was really magical seeing it outdoors. I was disappointed in how short the first act was and was shocked, when checking my watch, to see that it was almost an hour long. It was so fantastic and beautiful. We sat very close to the stage, too.

    I have such eclectic tastes, that back in the 60s, I had two sets of friends--two women that I would go to the ballet with and two different women that I would go with to see baseball games. hahaha In 1966, I went to 14 Dodger games and 7 Angels games. Those were happy days. I was single and had money. That was also the year I went to a lot of those ballets.

    We went to see Baryshnikov in early January of 1978. It was my Christmas present for the family (husband, son, and me). We went to see The Nutcracker. Can I tell you my amazing son story? He's kind of a genius (with Asperger's syndrome, I now know, but we didn't then) and he made a big impression on the woman sitting next to us at the ballet. Kenny was just turned 7 and he was absolutely enthralled. We were in the front row of the first balcony of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and he sat on the edge of his seat holding onto the lower railing in front. During the intermission the woman sitting on my other side said, "Your little boy is so well-behaved. He's really watching this and seems to be enjoying it." I assured her he was. She wanted to know how old he was and was surprised that he was only 7. Well, as the next act began, the music for the Sugar Plum Fairy started playing, and the ballerina who was dancing Clara came dancing onto the stage, and Kenny turned to me from his position at the railing and said, "I guess there's no Sugar Plum Fairy in Baryshnikov's version, either." The woman next to me gasped and said, "What did he say?!" LOL I explained to her that a few weeks earlier we had watched the Bolshoi version on TV, which didn't have a Sugar Plum Fairy, either. I have to admit it was pretty amazing for a 7-year old to make that connection upon hearing the music and seeing Clara dancing to it. He was always astounding me that way. hahaha
    Awesome! I saw Baryshnikov and Nureyev, but not on the same program, and probably not even on the same coast. It was so long ago I have trouble recalling where and when. I do know Nureyev danced the Spectre of the Rose. I wish I had kept a journal back then! All I have now are a few vivid memory flashes.
  • Thanks for sharing, Delamont. I watched some YouTube videos of Nureyev, Baryshnikov, and Godunov last night and concluded that Baryshnikov was the absolute best. He was so amazing in his prime.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited February 2015
    Finally got around to upload a few photos from last year's trip. These are personal photos taken while at the Wiener Staatsoper Museum (Vienna State Opera) which had displays of Ballet & Opera performances. Unfortunately, most of the other photos had too much reflective glare from background lighting on the glass cases.

    The Premier Announcement of the Ballet Der Schwanensee (Swan Lake) performed in October, 1964 with Nureyev in the lead role...a public appearance three years after his defection.
    image Personal photo from Vienna April 2014

    This is a video of the October 15, 1966 Swan Lake (Act II) performed at the Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper). One of Nureyev's masterpieces with Margot Fonteyn. From YouTube:

    One of the costume displays at the Wiener Staatsoper Museum
    image Personal photo from Vienna April 2014

    Costumes used in Don Quixote
    Personal photo from Vienna April 2014

    Here's a short video of Don Quixote performed in 2011 at the Wiener Staatsoper
    which had been choreographed by the late Nureyev:

    Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev (3/17/1938 to 1/6/1993)
    A six-part documentary of Rudolph Nureyev's life struggle to become a
    ballet icon and glimpses of his performances (from YouTube):
  • Thanks for sharing, Delamont. I watched some YouTube videos of Nureyev, Baryshnikov, and Godunov last night and concluded that Baryshnikov was the absolute best. He was so amazing in his prime.
    Wasn't he? I got hold of White Nights just to be able to watch him again and again. The contrast in styles between him and Gregory Hines, an equally great dancer from a different discipline, was amazing.

    Oooo, videos! Thank you, PanioloGal!
  • Yes, indeed. Thanks PG. Look forward to viewing them with a little more time. hahaha So hard to get anything done when glommed onto the computer, and I need to do stuff around the house and garden. Sigh.
  • This Off-Topic discussion produced a late 1970s blast from the past moment. We had gone to a one-man performance by Richard Harris (songs, stories and outtakes from his movies) at the Bushnell in Hartford, CT. We overhead that Richard was going to the Hilton for a couple of drinks with friends so, of course, we headed over there. He came in about an hour later with five people. It wasn't very nice of us but we did barge in on him, complimented the show, he introduced us to everyone, including his girlfriend, Ann Turkel, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jessica Lange. We received autographs and had pictures taken with all. Now I'm going to be on a frantic hunt for those 35+ year old pictures - after 4 moves since then I have no idea where they ended up.
  • Wow. How exciting! I hope you can find those pictures. What an amazing experience that must have been.
  • It was a totally unexpected experience and exciting. I didn't know until some years later that Mikhail and Jessica had a summer house in CT.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited February 2015
    Not to be "off topic" on the review of the Lipizzaners in the Rare & Unfamiliar Horse Breeds discussion...I thought I'd do a prelude of personal photos as we walked to the Spanish Riding School at the Hofburg Palace.

    ▼From our hotel room, we had a great view of Stadtpark. The Hofburg Palace is located to the right of the park setting below...a few blocks behind the first large building across the park (The Vienna Marriott Hotel) on the right. It was a good walk, but we took our time sightseeing along the way.
    ▼As we were slowly walking to the Hofburg Palace, we came across a string "quintet" who were playing the full version of the Rolex theme song initially made famous in Roger Federer's Tennis commercial...(Trivia: it was created specifically for Rolex, supposedly composed by Vincent Pope and first performed by Lang Lang.) These performers were the "best" street performers I've heard to date. You can see a crowd of spectators watching and enjoying the performance...we also stayed until they finished and then a "Huge Applause" sounded! It was amazing to watch them! (Side note: notice the Rolex gallery just to the right of the musicians.)
    ▼A closer view of these talented musicians...
    ▼A YouTube equestrian video with a short version of the theme song for Rolex

    ▼This is the first sighting of the Hofburg Palace which also housed the Sisi Museum (A collection of personal items of the beautiful and enigmatic Empress Elisabeth) looming at the end of the street. The Sisi Museum is housed in the Stephan apartments part of which can be seen on the 2nd and 3rd level windows of the Hofburg Palace.
    ▼Here is a painting of this royal beauty who had such a misunderstood life and a tragic ending.
    Image from
    Here's a link about Empress Elisabeth (affectionately known as Sisi):
  • Wow. Fascinating pictures. Thanks for posting. You are so fortunate to be able to see these historic places in person.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited February 2015
    Yes...Although I really, really dislike the flight experience which can take sometimes almost a day to reach our destination...once on solid ground, it's really a thrill to actually see these sights that we read about in books or these days...on the internet. You actually have to "see" the volume of space, "feel" the ambiance, "hear" the sounds, "smell" the air, "taste" the local cuisine, etc. to really get a true understanding. I hope others get a chance to share their travel adventures (no matter how close by) as well. :oD

    VA_in_CA...I also appreciate you sharing your personal visits at Mea is through your eyes that we can only imagine what it's like to rub Spider, Gasston and Rowdy's soft muzzles and know their unique personalities. Keep posting as we enjoy your Mea Ola visits and updates.❤

    I have oodles of amateur photos from various trips...but I don't want to bore others...except when it comes to horses of course. LOL!
  • What awesome photos of your trip, Paniolo_Gal!! What a thrill to be able to visit these places and I really appreciate your telling us about your travels and the links to the historic places and people. When in school, my favorite subjects were art and recess with lunch thrown in there as well, so I did not study much of the then boring history lessons. Knowing that wikipedia has its inaccuracies, I still found it very interesting to read about the beautiful Empress Elisabeth, although it does make me wish teachers had found ways to make history and geography more fun way back then.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited February 2015
    Yes...I know what you mean, some history topics were a bit of a strain to stay on focus. But I know you share the same interest in art so if it pertained to artists or for me, architecture...that was a "different category" all together. I bet you couldn't get enough of art. :oD LOL! During high school, I had my adventures during 2-hour senior lunch breaks...we had our driver's license back then and we, as seniors, got to drive to other schools to visit with friends or just hang out at our favorite eating spots. hey-hey-hey. The following year, they stopped the senior lunch privileges. We had definitely "abused" it for sure. :oP
  • Oh that is too funny!
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