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"Lost" Balanchine BalletsWhich ones would you like to be "found"


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#46 atm711

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 03:59 PM

'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.

#47 Anthony_NYC

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 09:27 PM

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.

#48 rg

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 06:26 AM

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.

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#49 EAW

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 08:11 AM

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.

#50 bart

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 10:50 AM

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.

#51 rg

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 11:15 AM

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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#52 atm711

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 04:07 PM

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.

#53 rg

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 08:13 PM

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.

#54 Renata

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 06:09 PM

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.

#55 Juliet

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 06:44 AM

"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....

#56 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 09:48 AM

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.

#57 bart

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 12:01 PM

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.)

#58 rg

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 12:39 PM

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.in...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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#59 atm711

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:17 AM

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

#60 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 05:25 AM

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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