Okay, i suppose i liked spectre well enough, and i appreciated the history and all that, but to be honest i never quite loved this ballet as much as i thought i was supposed to, given it’s legendary status. i must confess i have never seen it live, but have seen many videos and studied it in dance history class and as much as i tried to love it, i just didn’t.
In case you may be unfamiliar with le spectre de la rose, it is a short ballet created about 100 years ago for vaslav nijinsky. choreographed by fokine, the ballet was inspired by a poem by theophile gautier and is about a young girl who falls asleep and dreams of dancing with the essence of a rose she acquired at a ball. most of the dancing in this ballet is done by the male lead, who plays the spirit of the rose, and i have to give enormous credit to any guy who dances this role because it is nearly all jumping and he really doesn’t get to rest much. personally, i would die after the first minute.
of course i have never seen nijinsky dance the rose, and maybe he was insanely awesome and i would have loved it had i seen his interpretation, but i guess that’s something we’ll never know. as it stands, i think my problem with this ballet was that the choreography for the rose is just too damn……. flowery. and yes, i do realize that the rose is indeed a flower, and that the role is supposed to be androgynous, but to me it tends to come off as too effeminate. i don’t care much for foufy, girly port de bras in general- i don’t like it on girls, and i appreciate it even less on men. if i was the debutante having this spirit of the rose dream, i’m afraid i would want my rose guy to man up a little and to stop being so self indulgent.
then one day i saw this video of herman cornejo (here with xiomara reyes) in spectre and OMG! it was possibly the most beautiful thing i’ve ever seen in my life. and i thought “oh, now i get it – this is how it should be danced”. i watched the video over and over, marveling at the beauty and masculinity of his port de bras and the generosity of his dancing – his artistry so prevalent that somehow even his astonishing, impeccable technique became secondary. i was completely floored and this performance certainly played a role in my falling madly in love with herman’s dancing : ) (okay, to be honest i was pretty much a goner for herman even before seeing this but still…)
~herman cornejo as the spirit of the rose ♥~
i particularly love when herman awakens his debutante (about 2:45) because you really get the sense he arouses her with the scent of the rose and then gives her such care and attention when she begins sleepwalking. (or sleep-bouree-ing, i should say). previously, this moment in spectre had always put me off because it’s so often the super-girly-fluffy-swan-arms moment that i can’t quite digest. not to say the more feminine interpretation is wrong or bad- many people adore the fluff- (and it’s probably closer to the original nijinsky version) but i think it’s just a matter of personal taste.
so anyway, i have obviously not come close to seeing every interpretation of this ballet and i imagine there are other guys besides herman who give the rose a bit more masculinity, but this video gave me a different perception of “le spectre de la rose”, making me finally love this ballet, and for that i will always be grateful : )
and one last thing…… herman’s final jump out the window! glorious!!!