Posted 28 March 2003 - 11:34 AM
It's often said that ABT doesn't really have a style, not having had a formative choreographer with a body of works that defined the repertory or a school. It's sometimes said that ABT is a collection of different styles. However, there are company differences; the balletmasters don't say, "oh, just go out and do whatever you want." There may be some differences among dancers they don't smooth out, but I think there are other elements that the company does want in its classical dancing. (This could be discussed too, of course.)
Posted 30 March 2003 - 01:16 AM
the issue of VIRTUOSITY has been brought up elsewhere. i get the impression that ABT *IS* a virtuosic company - i.e. a company where virtuosity is highly regarded, and is considered marketable. is that a fair comment?
Posted 30 March 2003 - 04:29 AM
Posted 30 March 2003 - 04:32 AM
They're not as "fast" as NYCB, but seeing as they rely more on storybook ballets, they're ability to emote is sharper.
this is far harder than I thought
Posted 31 March 2003 - 11:43 AM
Posted 31 March 2003 - 12:17 PM
Posted 31 March 2003 - 10:37 PM
by that, of course i do not mean to imply that ABT was NOT 'groundbreaking' - but rather that THEIR progressive efforts (ABT's) were progressive in the same way as the traditional european-style companies were progressing (such as: updating the narrative ballet form with new versions, and more 'risky' stories and more 'local' stories, experimenting with more abstract ballets, adding the odd humorous ballet, whatever/etc...)
hope that isn't too confusing to be understood...
of course another way to express it - or another distinction to make - is that ABT had/has the eclectic repertoire, similar to major european-style companies, while NYCB *was* ONE choreographer's company - a tool for his own expression (of americanism in...) ballet...
Posted 01 April 2003 - 06:13 AM
The corps de ballet were dancers who were well trained but not stylized in one particular method, and seemed to be able to dance Les Sylphides, La Sylphide, Swan Lake, as well as the Tudor rep, the DeMille rep, Billy the Kid, Caprichios, some Balanchine work, and even some Tetley work. Some might argue, but I felt that we were able to adapt to the style of Tudor as well as to the classics and neoclassics which we were given to dance. Dimitri Romanov coached Les Sylphides to the eyelash! Tudor coached his own work, as did DeMille, Loring, Ross, and Tetley. We did Robbins Les Noces too, which I will say was definitely one of the more challenging works for many of us!
So, I think, at least at that time, while there was "no style", it was intentional and it worked. IMO, of course, which is admittedly somewhat prejudiced! ;)
Posted 01 April 2003 - 07:58 AM
I know that Balanchine is often portrayed as existing solely to smash the bounds of ballet, but I've always seen NYCB as Balanchine's transplantation of his heritage to New York. They didn't do full-length ballets until he had a big enough theater for them, and he didn't have a theater bureaucracy and hierarchy, but he's still within that tradition -- and with a single style and aesthetic. ABT didn't start out imitating anybody -- that came later, in the 1960s, when it began to model itself on the Royal. The blueprint for ABT was to create a museum with different "wings" and, from the beginning, it was a conglomeration of choreographers, and I don't think that had ever been tried before.
Posted 01 April 2003 - 11:11 AM
Posted 01 April 2003 - 11:28 AM
Thanks for reminding me that Hightower did Myrtha -- some awareness of emploi, at least. I never saw her dance, but she's on my Most Intriguing list from photos.
Posted 27 September 2003 - 03:22 PM
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