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"Lost" Balanchine Ballets

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undated ballet russe de monte carlo publicity photo of balanchine's BAISER DE LA FEE stamped on back w/ Franklin's name as well as that of Marie-Jeanne, which is crossed out next to a stamp of Ruthanna Boris. (i assume Boris is correct.)

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Oh! thanks rg---that is Marie-Jeanne---complete with the small white flowers which sat straight on her head in a circle. I don't recall Ruthanna Boris dancing the Bride.

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thanks for the confident correction. i trust those who saw and admired these ballets in these years over those who stamped names on the back of publicity handouts.

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I wonder if anyone saw Balanchine's ballet Sheherezade that he created for the Ravel Festival in 1975? Could you tell me about it if you remember it? Thanks so much.

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"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 heartily second rg........ this is now readily available, thanks to the wonders of digitization of many library books......I read it many years ago (in my previous career as a children's librarian) and thank him for prodding my memory!

(Do a Google search of Ice Maiden Andersen and there are quite a few hits.)

Back to topic....

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I was recently suggested to post a comment i made regarding a staging of one of Balanchine's "lost" ballets. Here i can't speak for the accuracy of the revival, or the involvement of the Trust/Fundation,if there was any (which i think there wasn't) as well as any other reference other than my memory. In one ocasion, Ballet Nacional de Cuba presented "Waltz Academy" as a part of a Balanchine program. I was a teen, and i can't really remember that much about it (back then i didn't even know who Balanchine was, but i had started going to ballet performances with my mother ). I still have the old program somewhere.

Anyway, I dont know if this can be of any interest, given the fact that Alonso has always staged her versions by herself, without being overwatched...and i know how respected the whole protocol on the Trust and coaching is on BT.

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According to Richard Buckle's biography of Balanchine, Waltz Academy, "to music by Vittorio Rieti, his old collaborator on Barabau and Le Bal," was created for Ballet Theater in 1944. It's described as "Balanchine's first original work for Ballet Theatre."

Here's a story from Buckle's book:

On the afternoon of the fifth [of October, 1944], after the dress rehearsal of Waltz Academy, he went for a walk with Rieti and discussed another project. Some years before Rieti had written the scenario of a melodramatic ballet set in the Romantic 1830s that wove melodies from some of Bellini's operas into a striking theatrical series of numbers. He had not been able to interest either Dolin or Nijinska in the project, but Balanchine was quick to see its possibilities. Suddenly Rieti expclaimed, "What are we doing -- walking about Night Shadow? In an hour or two we are going to see Waltz Academy on the stage!" "That old ballet! said Balanchine.

The ballet is listed in the printed Catalogue of Balanchine works. I hope rg can post the catalogue entry. Alicia Alonso isn't in the cast list for the opening, though Fernando Alonso is.

Does anyone know anything about this ballet? Is it truly "lost" outside Cuba? How about the score? (The catalogue does ay that it was orchestrated by Rieti from his 2-piano suite, Second Avenue Waltzes.)

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there is a solo portrait of Alonso on the BT's Ballet History and Music in the "Links to RG's photographs - 2007'

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.p...st&p=212721

the BALANCHINE CATALOGUE has the following entry, cat. no. 222:

WALTZ ACADEMY

Music: By Vittorio Rieti (orchestrated by the composer from his two-piano suite Second Avenue Waltzes, 1944, on commission from Ballet Theatre).

Choreography: By George Balanchine.

Production: Scenery by Oliver Smith. Costumes by Alvin Colt. Scenery executed by Eugene B. Dunkel Studios; costumes executed by Karinska.

Premiere: October 5, 1944, Ballet Theatre, Opera House, Boston. Conductor: Antal Dorati.

Cast: PAS DE SIX: Margaret Banks, Mildred Ferguson, Barbara Fallis, Roszika Sabo, June Morris, Fern Whitney; PAS DE QUATRE: Janet Reed, Albia Kavan, Harold Lang, Fernando Alonso; PAS DE TROIS: Miriam Golden, Diana Adams, John Kriza; PAS DE TROIS: Nora Kaye, John Taras, Rex Cooper; PAS DE DEUX: Nana Gollner, Paul Petroff; FINALE: Entire cast.

Note: A suite of waltz variations, opening with morning ballet practice in a rehearsal room; the set suggested a loft under a cupola. Balanchine's first original work for Ballet Theatre.

Revisions: 1948, Ballet Theatre: Revised, retitled Six Waltzes.. This revised production was announced but it is not certain that Balanchine ever made the revisions or that a new version was ever performed (Charles Payne, American Ballet Theatre, p. 78).

meanwhile here's another photo, shot in a studio, w/ Alicia and Fernando Alonso in the same ballet, as well as a scan of a stage photo clipped from a 1948 Ballet Calendar, published in London and New York. I'm not sure of the identity of the central, female dancer - Gollner? - but believe Melissa Hayden is recognizable at the center of the female trio on the left.

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In the group scene---I would guess the central dancer is Diana Adams....

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there is a solo portrait of Alonso on the BT's Ballet History and Music in the "Links to RG's photographs - 2007'

Thanks rg for the information, priceless as usual...

I have a couple of other shots of Alonso in WA, and will look for them ( for some reason now i'm a little confuse with the absence of a headpiece that i think she shows on those and i can't see in the one with Fernando...)

What about the staging without the overseeing of the Trust...? How is that considered...?

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i don't think the BALANCHINE TRUST allows any stagings of Balanchine's choreography w/o it's approval - except in the case of the works owned and held outside the trust, any work w/ balanchine's name attached must legally be approved by trust, or so it would seem.

if someone thought WALTZ ACADEMY could be restaged, i assume the trust would study the basis on which the restaging was to be made and then approve or not, as it saw fit.

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i don't think the BALANCHINE TRUST allows any stagings of Balanchine's choreography w/o it's approval - except in the case of the works owned and held outside the trust, any work w/ balanchine's name attached must legally be approved by trust, or so it would seem.

if someone thought WALTZ ACADEMY could be restaged, i assume the trust would study the basis on which the restaging was to be made and then approve or not, as it saw fit.

.

...got it.

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atm711 must be right about Marie-Jeanne in that Baiser photo (and my GOd, look at Franklin's elevation!)

That sure looks like Marie-Jeanne's chin to me, and her eyes. It's very characteristic of her, to have her eyelids almost closed like that.

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Balanchine's Le Bal was recently recontructed by the Hodson/Archer team for the Rome Opera Ballet. Any first-hand reports...or links to reviews?

http://operaroma.it/stagione/cartellone_20...rgio_de_chirico

Hodson/Archer also recontructed Balanchine's La Chatte for the Rome troupe, five or six years ago. There may have been others.

It's a shame that these recontructions cannot be presented in New York.

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I'm with atm711 and Paul on the Marie-Jeanne identification. Her prominent chin -- so massive when photographed from the front -- is actually rather pretty in profile. Also, in profile you don't see how very thick and solid her neck was, as visible in this photo from her NY Times obituary. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/03/arts/03marie-jeanne.html

:helpsmilie: Re Franklin's elevation. How can it be possible? And how could a camera of that period catch him in the air so precisely without many different attempts? Was Franklin noted for his elevation?

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I guess I am one of the very few people here who saw 'Waltz Academy' at Ballet Theatre. It did not make a very great impression on me; the best part was seeing one's favorite dancers in one of the roles. Compared to what we saw of Balanchine during the same period with the Ballet Russe (Danses Concertantes, Le Bourgeoise Gentilhomme, Night Shadow, Concerto Barocco, Ballet Imperial...and on....); Waltz Academy was Balanchine minor league. Forget about resurrecting Waltz Academy and give us Danses Concertantes as he originally did it with the wonderful witty costumes by Berman.

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perhaps the 'leash' on such project's by the BALANCHINE TRUST is shorter than i imagine. hodson and archer's re-stagings usually come w/ a 'by millicent hodson and kenneth archer' with an 'after' or 'based on' - balanchine or nijinsky - so maybe on they can do whatever they please w/o the trust's approval, ostensibly b/c they have choreographic credit and balanchine has 'source'(?) credit.

the CHATTE was first done by les grands ballets canadien in '91? and has since been done elsewhere? i think, but never to my knowledge shown in nyc.

so i suppose if this team became interested in WALTZ ACADEMY they might be able to proceed w/o the trust's approval, so long, o'course as they didn't say 'choreography by george balanchine'.

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Not all of Balanchine's ballets are administered/licensed/nursed by the Trust. The Trust was established by the legatees to pool resources, and not all of them joined. For example, John Taras, who inherited the rights to Symphony in C, kept that ballet out of the trust and did his own stagings. This may have been the case with La Chatte and Le Bal. Whoever inherited those rights may have kept them to him/herself. Or is it even possible that, having long been out of any active repertoire, they were forgotten and omitted from the will?

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I don't think anyone has mentioned Trumpet Concerto (to Haydn). I confess I had never heard of it before coming across a brief discussion in John Percival's biography of Cranko. The tempting part of Percival's comment is here:

[W]ith hindight it is possible to see it's light-hearted, semi-military manoeuvres, for a cast dressed in a stage adaptation of uniforms, as containing the seed that blossomed in two notably popular ballets he made years later, Stars and Stripes and Union Jack.

The ballet was first danced by the Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet in September 1950. Balanchine apparently had reservations, Percival says, "as he never revived it for his own company." Balanchine had a hard time establishing himself with British audiences. You also have to wonder how well the Theatre Ballet, Sadler's Wells second company, a kind of nursery for developing younger dancers and choreographers, could have handled the demands of Balancine's choreograph at that time..

I'm no big fan of ballets which come across as colorfully costumed, nostalgic military romps -- but it would be interesting to have the chance to see this if only as a precursor of the 2 major ballets that came later.

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....hodson and archer's re-stagings usually come w/ a 'by millicent hodson and kenneth archer' with an 'after' or 'based on' - balanchine ....

Oh, rg....apparently not in the Roman restagings of old Balanchine ballets. Exhibit A, from the Rome Ballet's website:

La Chatte

Musica di Henri Sauguet

Coreografia da George Balanchine

Ricostruzione di Millicent Hodson

Scene e costumi da Naum Gabo

Ricostruzione di Kenneth Archer

If my small knowledge of Italian is correct, I believe that the above states "Choreography of George Balanchine. Reconstruction of Millicent Hodson." How do you like them apples? As you suggested above, it's probably because these very-early Balanchines escaped the grip of the Trust.

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i guess my sense of these credits was mostly second-hand. thanks for the first hand report.

i guess the same applies to the hodson/archer staging of LE CHANT DU ROSSIGNOL.

LA CHATTE seems to date from around '91, so the Trust was obviously consulted by then and must have given approval to the 'choregraphy by george balanchine' credit line.

interestingly the NYPL has no listing for CHATTE or ROSSIGNOL like this below for COTILLION:

Cotillon : Chor: George Balanchine; mus: Emmanuel Chabrier, orchestrated by Chabrier & Vittorio Rieti; lib: Boris Kochno; scen & cos: Christian Bérard. First perf: Monte Carlo, Théâtre de Monte Carlo, Apr 12, 1932; Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo.//Revival: New York, City Center Theater, Oct 26, 1988; Joffrey Ballet; reconstructed & staged by Millicent Hodson; reconstruction and design consultant for scenery and costumes: Kenneth Archer; cos: John David Ridge after Bérard; lighting: Thomas Skelton.

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TRUMPET CONCERTO

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Music: By Franz Joseph Haydn (Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major, 1796).

Choreography: By George Balanchine.

Production: Scenery and costumes by Vivienne Kernot. Scenery painted by Alick Johnstone; costumes executed under the direction of Eileen Anderson.

Premiere: September 14, 1950, Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet, Opera House, Manchester. (First London performance, Sadler's Wells, September 19. Trumpet: Harry Wild.)

Cast: Svetlana Beriosova, David Blair; Elaine Fifield, Maryon Lane; David Poole, Pirmin Trecu; 8 women.

Note: Trumpet Concerto was choreographed at the request of Ninette de Valois, founder and director of the Sadler's Wells (later Royal) Ballet. It was never seen in the United States.

i'm not sure how soon Patricia Miller entered the cast of TRUMPET CONCERTO - i think i learned something about this casting from clive barnes a while back when i sent him a scan of the photocard, but my recent loss of back emails prevents me from checking.

in any case i've attached this postcard which is, for me, a rare glimpse of this 'lost' balanchine ballet.

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T

i'm not sure how soon Patricia Miller entered the cast of TRUMPET CONCERTO - i think i learned something about this casting from clive barnes a while back when i sent him a scan of the photocard, but my recent loss of back emails prevents me from checking.

rg, Trumpet Concerto opened on 19 September 1950 and Patricia Miller danced the leading role (created by Beriosova) for the first time on Sept. 30th, according to Dance & Dancers. Peter Williams thought she looked better in the role than Beriosova (who he thought was too tall and too lyrical) but thought it would have suited Elaine Fifield better than either of them. (Beriosova was still a few days short of her 18th birthday at the premiere and I gather that was her first London appearance with the SW Theatre Ballet.)

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Thanks for the photos. The costume details are especially interesting. Percival's book contains performance photos of Fifeld, Beriosova and Miller. Though the ballets and costumes are different, the solidity of the body (even stockiness? or is that the position) in rg's photo looks like Fifeld, thought the mouth and chin look like Miller. Any ideas of who this dancer is?

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