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What do you think of the Balanchine Celebration?

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25 replies to this topic

Poll: What do you think of the Balanchine Celebration? (7 member(s) have cast votes)

What do you think of the Balanchine Celebration?

  1. It's great! What a birthday bash!! (1 votes [2.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.13%

  2. On balance, it's a good way to celebrate Balanchine's centennial (5 votes [10.64%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.64%

  3. It could be worse. They could be doing no Balanchine. (12 votes [25.53%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.53%

  4. It's a disappointment (14 votes [29.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.79%

  5. It's an outrage (15 votes [31.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.91%

  6. Other (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%


#16 Estelle


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Posted 29 June 2003 - 05:20 AM

One could do very nicely (if one had the time and money) following Balanchine around the country :(

Well, outside the country too: there will be 7 Balanchine works in the next POB season, and also some in the Royal Ballet season... :)
But well, let's say that with such a program for the NYCB Balanchine Celebration, it's a bit less frustrating for me to be far from NYC. ;)

#17 Farrell Fan

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Posted 29 June 2003 - 07:03 AM

Two things I plan to do are: 1) stop contributing to NYCB when I renew my subscriptions, and 2) drop my membership in the NYCB Guild. Although I'm far from being in the Anne H. Bass league, for someone like me, who's retired and living on a relative pittance, my contributions to the company have been substantial. Of course I intend to let them know my reasons. And whatever money I would have sent them I will contribute to the Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

#18 Alexandra


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Posted 29 June 2003 - 07:07 AM

NYCB will bring a Balanchine-only season to Washington next year -- its first appearance here in many years.

#19 Kevin Ng

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Posted 29 June 2003 - 07:41 AM

At least for their one-week tour to St. Petersburg beginning on 30 July, the repertory fortunately consists mostly of Balanchine's masterpieces. I noticed from the Mariinsky playbill that Gergiev will conduct the opening night at the Mariinsky Theatre.



I am considering a trip to attend the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg to see the company instead of coming to NYC next season in view of this very disappointing centennial programming.

#20 Calliope


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Posted 30 June 2003 - 01:48 AM

With the exception of the one Edinburgh Festival, I've noticed they tour with mostly Balanchine. What an unjustice for those of us who live in NYC.
After their gross misconduct (IMO) with the press articles that came out (Details, The NY Post costume article) I sent a letter withdrawing my funding from the company and sent it to SAB instead. I've still never heard anything from them.
I think I'll make the trek to see Suzanne Farrell Ballet in NJ.

#21 Nanatchka


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Posted 30 June 2003 - 05:42 AM

"So I am upset by the allocation of NYCB's precious resources: i.e., the amount of money it will take (1) to mount new works and (2) to bring the Georgian State Company to perform. "

It may actually have been easier to raise money to mount new works--funders like that, to see something they've made possible--and to do the international exchange thing. (One can hardly imagine NYCB mounting a Save Balanchine Campaign, sort of like Save the Whales, but it's not a bad idea.) It will be interesting to see the credits.

#22 Alexandra


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Posted 30 June 2003 - 11:46 AM

Calliope posted:

With the exception of the one Edinburgh Festival, I've noticed they tour with mostly Balanchine.

I've noticed that too, Calliope. It could be that the tour presenters get to set the program. But I've wondered, too, if there isn't a Danish twinge to this. The Danes, too, see Bournonville as a calling card, but, more and more in the past 2 decades, something for the international press, not for home consumption. There, both the audience and the dancers will say they're sick of Bournonville. It's a love-hate thing. Every time the company is in disarray, if you do a critic-in-the-street or person-in-the-street interview and say, "What should the company do to get back on track?" the answer will invariably be, "Bournonville, Bournonville, Bournonville." But if they really do go back to Bournonville, then there are screams that it's too much.

I don't see the situation in New York that way. I don't sense that either the dancers or the audience are tired of Balanchine. Nor the critics. So there doesn't seem to be an external pressure to put Balanchine into that great, horrid Heritage Bin as is happening elsewhere.

My take on the season is that it's disappointing -- and puzzling, since expectations were obviously so high. Perhaps that wasn't realized? I don't mind having new ballets, but my disappointment is that there aren't revivals, nor imaginative programming that would make the company and audience look at Balanchine differently. Do some programs by date order, say, then mix up the ballets by theme. A program that puts three or four ballets that "all look alike" force one to see the differences (presuming there are, and with Balanchine, I think there are).

Perhaps the company felt this is what they'd done for the earlier Balanchine celebration and they wanted to do something different. I will say I'm not sure it's fair to blame this on the marketing department. Their job is usually to sell what's presented to them.

#23 Dale


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Posted 30 June 2003 - 11:52 AM

Alexandra, I agree. My expectation was that the season would be similar to the 1993 Balanchine Celebration season. Because Martins did revive ballets then and I was happy to see them. I also think the season looks a little different in a press release than on the schedule, which does include many all-Balanchine evenings, which I'm going to enjoy. I'm excited for the exhibit of Balanchine photos, programs etc... and I'm hoping they'll be interesting lectures.

And, celebrating Balanchine aside, I will go to the new ballets, as well as the Robbins and Martins revivals (I am interested to see Concerto for 2 Solo Pianos again).

#24 Michael


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Posted 01 July 2003 - 05:40 AM

My reaction, viewed at two or three days distance, has a lot to do with "how" this is being done and not only with "what" is being done. There is a apparently lot of "heart" in my reaction to this in addition to "head," and I sense that this is also true of the huge mass of posters. The idea of an "outrage" has something emotional in it. The reactions to the season on this board have been quite emotional.

But don't misinterpret this, saying that does not dismiss these reactions, it validates them.

"The heart has its reasons that reason ignores," etc.

The question is why the reactions here have been so passionate? You cannot analyze it merely as a matter of disappointed expectations. Perhaps it is the sense that something I love is being attacked, that this is the last phase of a coup d'etat aimed at the ancien regime at City Ballet, and that this does represent Martins' final declaration that it's his company now and that we'd all better like it or lump it? When those persons who watch a company the most overwhelmingly react to something in a certain way and many explicitly feel like withdrawing their support for the regime in charge over it you have to wonder what instinctive message they are reacting to and why they are reacting that way.

#25 GWTW


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Posted 02 July 2003 - 12:03 AM

Michael, I have been reading all the threads about the Balanchine centennial season with great interest and as an outsider, I found the most encouraging and positive matter to be the intense emotional reaction from all posters. I cannot comment on the significance of the programming itself, but these threads obviously mean that there are many people who care deeply about NYCB, Balanchine and the mutual cultural treasure created by Balanchine and his company, and who just won't let "the powers that be" do whatever they will with this legacy. This is a very difficult time for art (and especially the performing arts) everywhere. To be able to maintain this level of intensity and identification is quite astounding (but I don't think that was Peter Martins' intention:) )

#26 carbro


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Posted 04 July 2003 - 03:45 PM

Originally posted by GWTW To be able to maintain this level of intensity and identification is quite astounding (but I don't think that was Peter Martins' intention:) )

You don't? :( :)

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