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"Lost" Balanchine Ballets

83 posts in this topic

Definitely Roma-- a lost treasure it seems... Metamorphoses, which also has a wonderful score; Cotillon; and

VALSE-SCHERZO, a marvelous piece of music which was set for Wilde and Eglevsky. {drool}

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A version of Balanchine's Danses Concertantes was revived again in 1989, and performed in 1993 as well. I have them listed as five movements, all coded by color. I'm sure these aren't the only casts, just the two I saw.

1989

Green: Cass, Sosenko, Frohlich

Purple: Tsetsilas, White, Reeder

Blue: Jackson, Z. Karz, Byars

Red: Sh. Stevens, Whelan, Boos

Yellow: M. Roy, Woetzel

1993

Green: Mahdaviani, Sosenko, Gold

Purple: Reyes, White, Lyon

Blue: Borree, Z. Karz, Byars

Red: Calvert, K. Tracey, Evans

Yellow: Whelan, Soto

According the Choreography by Balanchine, the 1944 cast was:

I. Variation: Svobodina, Talin, N. White

II. Variation: Boris, Goudovitch, Etheridge

III. Variation: Lanese, Bliss, Goddard

IV. Variation: Tallchief, Magallanes, Moylan

Pas de Deux: Danilova, Franklin.

The 1972 cast was Lynda Yourth, John Clifford, 8 women, 4 men. The sections are listed as: Marche; Pas D'action; Theme Varie (4 variations); Pas de Deux; Marche.

Listening to Maria Tallchief and Mary Ellen Moylan in Dancing for Mr. B describe the fourth variation that they performed made me wish I was there.

Francia Russell also described Clarinade, which was the first new ballet NYCB performed at the New York State Theater, as a ballet that didn't need to be recovered. The score was by Morton Gould, and it was danced originally by Govrin/Mitchell; Farrell/Blum; and couples/corps.

Also in response to a question about "lost" Balanchine ballets, Russell mentioned that there was a reconstruction of Cotillon recently. I thought she said it was done in Tulsa, but, unfortunately, I'm getting an error from the Tulsa Ballet site which I try to click their "Repertory" link, so I can't confirm. A Google search found a link to an article from Dance Magazine article by Hedy Weiss that references a Joffrey Ballet revival of the ballet in 1988.

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Also in response to a question about "lost" Balanchine ballets, Russell mentioned that there was a reconstruction of Cotillon recently.  I thought she said it was done in Tulsa, but, unfortunately, I'm getting an error from the Tulsa Ballet site which I try to click their "Repertory" link, so I can't confirm.  A Google search found a link to an article from Dance Magazine article by Hedy Weiss that references a Joffrey Ballet revival of the ballet in 1988.

The Joffrey did indeed revive Cotillion -- Illaria Ladre, who had danced with the Ballets Russe and had performed in the work, assisted in the revivial. It doesn't seem to be in their current repertory, however...

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I saw the Tulsa's "Hand of Fate" pdd and Joffrey version each once, but only a few weeks apart, and very little of what I recalled from the Tulsa version was there in the Joffrey. I recall Tulsa's pas being much more mysterious and ominous than anything in the Joffrey piece.

Such are the ways of the diaspora, I guess. :shrug:

Editing to add: At least in the days before the Balanchine Trust.

Edited by carbro

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I'd like to see Figure in the Carpet too... but call me sadistic, I'd also like to see PAMTGG because I wonder if now that "jet set" seems "period" there aren't aspects to PAMTGG that are "period" as well.... just curiousity..... everyone seems to have thought it pretty bad, it's sort of fascinating for that reason alone. What would the Trocks make of it, I wonder?

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Apparently, the Mariinsky has La Chatte on their White Nights Festival schedule. Has it been "found"?

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Apparently, the Mariinsky has La Chatte on their White Nights Festival schedule. Has it been "found"?

Are you sure it's the Balanchine? I seem to remember something by Roland Petit (?) by that title.

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I sincerely hope it's not Petit's La Chatte, because it's part of the "Balanchine and Diaghilev" evening with Apollo and Prodigal Son :sweating:

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i believe the LA CHATTE planned for the maryinsky is the hodson/archer 'reconstruction' of balanchine's ballet. (this followed closely the attempt to have markova recall/reconstruct 'le chant du rossignol'.)

so markova had some input for this 'reconstruction' as well, overseen by hodson and archer - who as usual did thorough work recreating the designs.

it was originally done for les grands ballets canadiens; i thought i could find a library catalogue entry for it but cannot at the moment.

perhaps someone else on this board has the particulars.

so far as i know after the initial run at grands ballets c. it was not done elsewhere.

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Le Baiser de la Fee and Card Game have been on my want list for a long time, partly because of what I hear in their scores, partly because of what I read by those who saw them:

"[Le Baiser de la Fee's] images of destiny, its tragic illuminations, are as convincing as any I know in literature; but the lightness, the grace with which these dramatic scenes develop is peculiarly Balanchinian. Baiser de la Fee is poetic theatre at its truest." So wrote Edwin Denby about the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo's performances in 1940.

And about their Poker Game, which he called a "minor masterpiece", he wrote, "Besides being easy to look at, what you see is amusing. The steps emphasize a kind of staccato and a lateralness that may remind you of playing-card figures; many of the steps you recognise as derived from musical comedy. But the variety, the elasticity of dance impetus, the intelligent grace are qualities you never get in musical comedy routines. Nor does the musical comedy routine allow everyone onstage to project intelligent and personal good spirits. Poker Game, by allowing the dancers just this, makes you feel as if you were for a while in the best of company, with everybody natural and everybody interesting." (There's a subtext here about what's right and wrong about Balanchine performance which puts the stagings we see today into perspective, and says, for me, why Farrell's are the best of them, but that's another story.)

I never saw these, of course, but to pass something like from the sublime to the ridiculous, I am with those who say we don't need to see PAMTGG again. I looked at it a couple of times, and can even remember some irrelevant bits, like the clear plastic luggage piled up left and right on stage and the rising and falling passage of horizontal dancers across the stage on the hands of the corps, though not anything consequential like a pas de deux.

But even the Joffrey's Cotillon was something to see, although it went a little blank right where it should develop powerful mystery, in the "Hand of Fate" pas de deux; Chabrier's music points the way, but the Joffery dancers didn't take us very far, and so it was encouraging to read here that a better one had been staged in Tulsa. Maybe they will get put together. And then again...

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I'm with Carley about hte Hand of Fate from Cotillon--

Oakland Ballet did it here, danced it beautifully -- SUsan Taylor I think was the ballerina at first, and later it was done by Joy Gim, both were sensational. It was staged by the Tulsa people (Moscelyn Larkin? I think), and it was a glorious dance -- very clean action, very few steps, actually, but haunting, truly mysterioous -- -- I remember I htink, hte ballerina doing a huge renverse with a weird timing to it, so that it did not become a releve until the leg had already begun to sweep around to the back, and then somehow she collapsed behind her partner in slow motion.... Could not tell you how it happened, though it was slower than slow and it all took place right in front of you, downstage and en face, and yet it was SO strange.....

Hodson and Archer's version for the Joffrey was much brisker -- and not very atmospheric. I found myself tempted to believe in the Larkin/Jasinski version, because it had such poetic force to it.

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I would love to see Glinka Pas de Trois @ nycb... I do not remember the last time it was performed, but it is definitely one of my favorites to dance!

In addition I would also love to see The Fairy's Kiss, or Baiser de la Fee.... I am unaware also, of the last time this was performed.... In any rate, I adore the music! :-)

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I would love to see Glinka Pas de Trois @ nycb... I do not remember the last time it was performed, but it is definitely one of my favorites to dance!

In addition I would also love to see The Fairy's Kiss, or Baiser de la Fee.... I am unaware also, of the last time this was performed.... In any rate, I adore the music! :-)

The full Basier de la Fee hasn't been performed in a very long time (except a pas de deux set by Tallchief at a Works and Processes program in 2004). If you mean, the Divertimento from "Le Baiser de la Fée" - NYCB performed for 2 seasons a year ago and it's on next winter's schedule.

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As some others have said I would like to see Figure in the Carpet. Some dancers who were in it were quoted as saying it is a shame it was lost and others say it is just as well.

I'd also like to see the earlier version of Valse Fantasie. The most recent version has a principal couple. I've been told that the earlier version had several "ballerina parts." Correct me if I'm wrong.

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I would love to see Glinka Pas de Trois @ nycb... I do not remember the last time it was performed, but it is definitely one of my favorites to dance!

In addition I would also love to see The Fairy's Kiss, or Baiser de la Fee.... I am unaware also, of the last time this was performed.... In any rate, I adore the music! :-)

The full Basier de la Fee hasn't been performed in a very long time (except a pas de deux set by Tallchief at a Works and Processes program in 2004). If you mean, the Divertimento from "Le Baiser de la Fée" - NYCB performed for 2 seasons a year ago and it's on next winter's schedule.

That's great news!! But I would still love to see the full version, as I have all the music. :off topic:

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In her autobiography Irina Baronova wishes Cotillon ("a tender, mysterious dream of youth") and La Concurrence ("inventive and funny with brilliant choreography" were revived. She describes how in La Concurrence Balanchine had Toumanova, Riabouchinska and herself line up and "execute thirty-two fouettés in unison, a thing never seen before" and how both the company during rehearsal and the audience during performances reacted with excitement. She comments that it wasn't a problem for the three ballerinas--they "could do the fouettés on one spot, travelling in any direction or on diagonale" and that it was "great fun".

(Irina: Ballets, life and love. Page 76)

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She describes how in La Concurrence Balanchine had Toumanova, Riabouchinska and herself line up and "execute thirty-two fouettés in unison, a thing never seen before" [ ... ]
And I always thought that Balanchine had contempt for the 32-fouette trick. :)

There's been some nostalgia here for PAMTGG. The score was truly annoying. If a joke, it was not funny. (The Pan Am jingle is hovering just outside my memory as I type. Go AWAY!)

I recall this as feeling dated even when it first appeared -- though costumes and story line may have made it appear more so. I would be interested to see this again if only for the movement quality and the imaginative uses that Balanchine made of his of dancers. Would it work better without the period costumes?

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She comments that it wasn't a problem for the three ballerinas--they "could do the fouettés on one spot, travelling in any direction or on diagonale" and that it was "great fun".

(Irina: Ballets, life and love. Page 76)

Oh, those "Baby ballerinas"... :jawdrop::)

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I'm curious about a couple of Balanchine ballets from the fifties -- "Roma" (1955) and "Native Dancers" (1959). The first was the other Balanchine ballet to Bizet, and the second, named for a famous racehorse, was a showcase for a pair of NYCB thoroughbreds: Patricia Wilde and Jacques d'Amboise. I never saw either ballet, and I'm not optimistic about ever seeing them. Peter Martins seems uninterested in Balanchine revivals. Perhaps Suzanne Farrell's Balanchine Preservation Initiative might be interested, but maybe not, since they predate her arrival at NYCB. Does anyone remember them?

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There's been some nostalgia here for PAMTGG. The score was truly annoying. If a joke, it was not funny. (The Pan Am jingle is hovering just outside my memory as I type. Go AWAY!)

I recall this as feeling dated even when it first appeared -- though costumes and story line may have made it appear more so. I would be interested to see this again if only for the movement quality and the imaginative uses that Balanchine made of his of dancers. Would it work better without the period costumes?

I'd LOVE to see PAMTGG, bad costumes and all (although I'm glad you brought it up first, Bart)! I wonder if someone like John Clifford could put it back together?

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'Le Baiser de la Fee' is the one I would love to see again. When the Ballet Russe did it in '46 it had a pretty marvelous cast.Franklin was the boy, Tallchief the Gypsy, and Danilova alternated with Marie-Jeanne (who surpassed Danilova in the role) as the bride. I saw it in later revivals with other dancers and it was Marie-Jeanne's bride I missed the most. She was soft and looked like a romantic ballerina in the role---a far cry from her usual steely pointed technique.

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I too would love to see the full-length Baiser revived. The score is just so haunting, and the descriptions of it so tantalizing. I've always heard the reason Balanchine finally gave up on it was he was never satisfied with the staging of the final tableau. Maybe with today's technology that could be fixed.

I don't believe I ever saw PAMTGG (maybe I blocked it out), but I wouldn't mind seeing a revival. With an artist of Balanchine's caliber, it can be really instructive to see the failures. Without the distracting splendor of a masterpiece, you can sometimes see some of the mechanics you might otherwise take for granted; and the flaws of a poor piece can set the greatness of others into clearer relief.

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1/3 on topic and 2/3 off, my dream 'lost' ballet triple bill would be BAISER x3:

Nijinska's

Ashton's

Balanchine's

all that now exists so far as one can tell of Nijinska's is the Bride' solo - reconstructed by Nina Youshkevitch and presented once at Dance Critics Assoc. conf.

of Ashton's the Bride's solo as reconstructed and rehearsed by Fonteyn w/ Nicola Katrak as shown on Foy's MARGOT FONTEYN docu.

of Balanchine's the bits researched by the Interpreters' Archive Project of the Balanchine Foundation - available only in select libraries.

in any BAISER fan hasn't ever read THE ICE MAIDEN tale i recommend it highly. it's beautifully told, even in the english translation of the danish that i finally found. (it's hard to find, i learned, b/c many compilations of H.C.Andersen tend to include THE SNOW QUEEN but not the Ice Maiden, which is a very different tale.

the attached foto is uncredited and undated but i suspect it shows F.Franklin as the the Bridgroom in the ballet russe de monte carlo staging of balanchine's ballet.

post-848-1196778400_thumb.jpg

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Here's another vote for Baiser, with that beautiful score I'd also love to see the nightmarish Opus 34 and experience what the fuss was all about.

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1/3 on topic and 2/3 off, my dream 'lost' ballet triple bill would be BAISER x3:

Nijinska's

Ashton's

Balanchine's

What a great idea. :D:wub::P You've made me really regret that it is impossible.

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