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1st Balanchine ballet produced for American public


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#16 Marga

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 10:57 AM

Alas, the problem with oral history.  There are so many stories, all of them good.

As for Night Shadow, Franklin recalls that Danilova was not given a choice.  She heard the plot and that the two main female roles were the Sleepwalker and the Coquette.  "Of course I am Coquette!  I am coquette!" Danilova said, and was told by Balanchine that no, she was the Sleepwalker and was quite miffed until the first rehearsal when she realized that her part wasn't half bad!

Oh, yes, the stories are good! I do find that when I cross-reference historical incidents, Danilova's telling of them is always a little different than someone else's. She sometimes even contradicts herself!

I still value -- tremendously -- that these stories are told at all. If only I had as good a memory for details of the past as many of these dancers had. I marvel at how Tamara Geva, for one, seems to have remembered entire conversations word for word.

#17 Mel Johnson

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 11:47 AM

That's what makes my "day job" so interesting. "Which of these primary sources is telling the story reliably? What is their point of view? Does self-interest play a part in this particular recounting of an incident?" And then there is forensics: "What about this given object reflects the veracity of the information given by the donor?" Once I found a pocket knife in a George Washington collection and identified it clearly as identical to one in a 1902 Sears, Roebuck catalogue! :wink:

A bit :offtopic: but, I think, reflective of the state of a lot of ballet history.

#18 atm711

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 11:49 AM

Anatole Chujoy states that 'Mozartiana' "originally staged for 'Les Ballets 1933 in Paris. Revived and given once by American Ballet, Met Opera House, NY in 1936..", and then the 1945 version.

I would just like to add my appreciation of Maria Tallchief as the Coquette and I, for one, was happy she got the part, others I have seen in the part pale in comparison.There was an underlying mysterious quality about her interpretation
which was so appropriate for the ballet. As much as I love Danilova, I fear she would have had more woman-of-the-world weariness. The sonnambulist is one role that, I felt, did not suit Danilova. I knew this for certain when I saw Allegra Kent in the role.

#19 Marga

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 12:37 PM

The sonnambulist is one role that, I felt, did not suit Danilova.  I knew this for certain when I saw Allegra Kent in the role.

I agree with you, even though I never saw Danilova dance it! To me, Allegra Kent IS the Sleepwalker, bar none.

#20 rg

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 04:57 PM

The first ballet Kirstein and Warburg got Balanchine to produce for the American public, in 1934, was a lively spoof of a Harvard-Yale football game.

to return a tad to the initial topic, it would seem that the key here is in the phrase: 'got balanchine to produce for the american public'
the author of the review - the author of PATRON SAINTS - a hefty study of kirstein and his monied pals w/ an interest in ballet - knows his stuff about these guys. so his point is to refer to the ballet that balanchine's american patrons GOT him to produce for the american public. SERENADE came from balanchine himself: ALMA MATER was more obviously someone else's idea: i.e. kirstein's and warburg's, thus the point of the initially posted sentence.


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