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Norman Walker Dance CompanyBritten's "Les Illuminations"


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#1 Kurvenal

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 12:05 PM

I don't know this company, but I know the ballet which Ashton choreographed especially for Ballanchine's NYCB. Someone mentioned remembering having seen
it in 1960 with the Norman Walker Co. and wondered if it was the same ballet. They said a dancer, Cora Caan (?) danced in it. Anyone know? Kurvenal

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 12:49 PM

Good to see you again, Kurvenal.

I know of a Norman Walker who was a modern dancer and a balletmaster for the Harkness Ballet (he now teaches at Butler University, I believe, and is associated with Jacobs Pillow).

I don't think one of the ballets Ashton did for City Ballet was in the Harkness repertory -- the Joffrey Ballet revived his "Illuminations" in the 1970s or early 1980s. I don't know of another company that has performed the other NYCB Ashton commisson, "Picnic at Tintagel."

I don't know a Cora Caan. There was a Cora Cahan who danced with the Feld Ballet for many years, but I don't know of any connection with an Ashton ballet (that doesn't mean there isn't one!)

#3 Farrell Fan

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 02:28 PM

I can't answer the question, but fondly recall the ballet in the NYCB repertory. It made me think that, in addition to all the "lost" Balanchine ballets NYCB could have revived during 2004 but won't, they could have revived this. After all, it's Ashton's centenary as well, and would have been far more appropriate to the history of ballet, Balanchine and NYCB than ballets by Susan Stroman and Boris Eifman.

I saw Illuminations after the 1967 revival, with Robert Maiorano, who had the perfect tough-guy, debauched poet look. I think Sebastien Marcovici would be ideal for the part today.

#4 Swanilda

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 03:29 PM

Cora Cahan was a beautiful dancer and partner of Norman Walker in his company as well as guest appearances. The Norman Walker dance company was a modern company, and I doubt that this piece is one in the same-- they wouldn't have performed Ashton. Norman Walker then directed Jacobs Pillow for a few years and has choreographed all over the world. He is a brillant man and a wonderful choreographer, teacher and mentor.

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 04:45 PM

I believe that this work (by Walker) was performed on television in the late 60s. The tenor was an active participant in the dance.


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