Jump to content


Symphony in C... please excuse the question :-/


  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#16 tempusfugit

tempusfugit

    Senior Member

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 117 posts

Posted 13 January 2004 - 01:06 PM

I should say that everyone who saw Roma and wrote later about it (Denby, Garis, Haggin, et al.) raved. those are connoisseurs, though. the ballet may not have made much of a splash with the general public--- a shame--

#17 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 13 January 2004 - 07:16 PM

Its modesty turned out to be an extremely avant-garde effect.

Kind of proto-PoMo? :shrug:

#18 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 13 January 2004 - 07:25 PM

No sort of just Mo. The failure of the ballet was attributed to the Berman scenery, which seemed to owe a lot to the spikiness of Jean Carzou, combined with a lot of what looked like wash drying on clotheslines. The costumes were OK, but the Carzoudledom was too much for most of the 1955 audience.

#19 Guest_IrishKitri_*

Guest_IrishKitri_*
  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 19 January 2004 - 12:24 AM

Thank you all for your infos! You´re really helpful guys! Thanks!!! :-)

#20 Andre Yew

Andre Yew

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 224 posts

Posted 19 February 2007 - 01:13 PM

Reviving an old thread. I had a chance recently to see a video of the Royal Ballet dancing Symphony in C in 1997 (Yoshida/Sansom, Bussell/Saunders, Benjamin/Trevitt, Bull/Cassidy), and I found their interpretation to be just delightful, because it so highlighted all their English qualities. They had a soft elegance that's so different from NYCB's jagged edges. We often have discussions here about the right style and whatnot, but I wonder if there are certain ballets that better serve as vehicles for showing off a company's own style, and are the better for it because of the diversity of interpretation. I can only imagine how awesome the POB must look in Symphony in C, and I find the idea of a Russian version danced by the Kirov to be very intriguing.

Since it was made on the POB so long ago, I can't imagine Symphony in C to be one of those ballets that really demands Balanchine style, whatever that may be! Its use of mostly pretty fundamental ballet steps would seem to let it be easily adaptable to many different schools of style.

--Andre

#21 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,256 posts

Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:54 PM

The day after tomorrow I will be watching my first ever Symphony in C. I will watch clips of whatever is available online in advance, but I still would like to get some info and insights from you guys....WHATEVER you can add will be very helpful.-(as it has been in the past with other B. newbies for me)
Thanks!

#22 vrsfanatic

vrsfanatic

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 673 posts

Posted 28 January 2009 - 06:38 AM

I will also be at the performance in Miami, cubanmiamiboy!

I have not seen Symphony in C in about 10 years. My memories are ample as a performer and an observer however. All are wonderful, although I must say seeing NYCB dance it 10 years ago did leave me a bit cold. I am interested to see MCB on Thursday. Hopefully the joy of my memories will return. :thumbsup:

#23 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 28 January 2009 - 09:35 AM

Cristian, Symphony in C was on the City Center program (I), so there are references to the current state of MCB's performances in the reviews that have been posted here.

According to my notes, I first saw it at MCB in March 2004. Jack started a thread on this, here:

http://ballettalk.in...showtopic=16401

The 2003-2004 season was MCB's "Balanchine Centennial Celebration." It was ballets like Symphony in C that hooked me on this company. At that time, the couples in the 2 casts I saw were:

-- Katia Carranza with Mikhail Ilyin in the pyrotechnical first movement, allegro vivo; they are supported by 2 demi-solo couples and a corps of 8 women.

-- Kronenberg and Guerra in the second movement adagio; supoprted by 3 couples and a corps of 8 women.

-- Catoya with Luis Serrano (Carranza's husband and now director of the Ballet de Monterey, Mexico) in the third movement/ this was Villella's role, allegro vivace; supported by 2 couples and a 6-woman corps;

-- Joan Latham (now an MCB ballet mistress) with Didier Bramaz, allegro vivace; supported by 8 couples and an 8-woman corps.

(Deanna Seay and Isanusi-Garcia Rodrigues also danced the first movement at another performance.)

The 4th movement segue-ways right into the finale, with each couple -- and everyone else as well, over 50 on stage -- reappearing. Make sure your eyes are OPEN ALL THE WAY for the conclusion -- one the most thrilling, in my opinion, in classical ballet.

MCB nexted danced it in April 2006.

The performance thread for that is here:

http://ballettalk.in...showtopic=22009

Casts I saw were:
-- 1st Movement: Carranza and Ilyin ( I put a big "GOOD!" next to his name in the program. Ilyin, a principal, later left the company and is now dancing with ABT in the corps.)
also Seay and Kenta Shimizu at another performance
-- Kronenberg and Guerra (Haiyan Wu and Mikhail Nikitine at another performance)
-- Catoya and Penteado (Katia Carranza and Mikhail Ilyin at another performance);
-- Jeanette Delgado (still in the Corps) and Serrano (Patricia Delgado and Didier Bramaz at another performance).

Looking over old cast lists is interesting. In a big-cast ballet like this, Villella is very willing to give new dancers a chance at prominence. Wong, for example, has a demi-solo in spring 2006, during his first season with the company.

I some of our other MCB-watchers on Ballet Talk will correct any errors I've made in the above.

#24 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 28 January 2009 - 05:11 PM

I some of our other MCB-watchers on Ballet Talk will correct any errors I've made in the above.

New York recently saw this cast:
  • 1st Movement: Catoya, Penteado (plus two demi-solo couples and eight women)
  • 2nd Movement: Wu, Guerra (plus two demi couples, six women, not the eight noted by bart, above)
  • 3rd Movement: J. Delgado, Wong (plus two demi couples, eight women)
  • 4th Movement: P. Delgado, Cox, (plus two demi couples, eight women, later joined by full cast of principals, demis and corps)
I notice that MCB does not list the corps women alphabetically, as I am accustomed to seeing. I didn't notice, but perhaps they are listed in order of appearance?

#25 vipa

vipa

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,076 posts

Posted 28 January 2009 - 05:24 PM

I notice that MCB does not list the corps women alphabetically, as I am accustomed to seeing. I didn't notice, but perhaps they are listed in order of appearance?


Interesting. It might be a good idea. It could solve the problem, that I sometimes have, of identifying a corp member that stands out to me.

#26 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 28 January 2009 - 06:50 PM

[*]2nd Movement: Wu, Guerra (plus two demi couples, six women, not the eight noted by bart, above)

You're right! carbro. I just rechecked, and it's 6 women, not 8. :D

Incidentally, is there universal agreement with Croce's 1993 statement that Symphony in C is "Balanchine's greatest show-piece"? Or should it be amended to something like "greatest show-piece of classical style"?

And how about her claim that the adagio movement is "probably the most privileged [woman's] role in the Balanchine repertory"? (1975)

And here's one more Croce observation, reminiscing in 1983 about Edward Villella:

In Symphony in C, Villella entered flying. For years afterward, at precisely the same moment in the third movement, audiences would respond clamourously not only to the height of the leap and its perfection of form but to the illusion of sustained flight. Villella just seemed to keep on climbing and riding air the whole time he was on stage.

It's interesting to read in carbro's post that Villella chose Alex Wong to dance that particular role when his company made its long-anticipated Manhattan debut. I wonder whether Wong, a young man of huge potential, fully realized the legendary footsteps in which he was being asked to dance -- and to fly.

#27 vrsfanatic

vrsfanatic

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 673 posts

Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:24 PM

Symphony in C corps can be done with either 6 or 8 women in each movement, although I do believe it was first choreographed with 8 ladies in each movement in the corps depending upon the size of the stage.

#28 canbelto

canbelto

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,885 posts

Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:43 PM

cubanmiamiboy, I think it will be one Balanchine ballet you will love. Notice in particularly the second movement adagio, which is maybe the most celebrated part of Symphony in C. And watch whether the ballerina attempts to touch her knee in her penchee, which was the "Farrell move." And be exhilarated by the final.
Prepare to NOT be entranced by the costumes, especially those for the guys.

#29 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 28 January 2009 - 08:16 PM

And watch whether the ballerina attempts to touch her knee in her penchee, which was the "Farrell move." And be exhilarated by the final.

And before Farrell, Allegra Kent. Many ballerinas try it, but IMO few can pull it off without making it look like a stunt.

#30 nysusan

nysusan

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 997 posts

Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:41 AM

The day after tomorrow I will be watching my first ever Symphony in C. I will watch clips of whatever is available online in advance, but I still would like to get some info and insights from you guys....WHATEVER you can add will be very helpful.-(as it has been in the past with other B. newbies for me)
Thanks!


Cristian, you really don't need to do any preparation to enjoy Symphony in C, it's one of the most joyous ballets I've ever seen. Although an unfortunate side effect has crept into my psyche over the last few years - whenever I see it now, as soon as the last movement starts reaching it's climax I start wishing it would start over again from the beginning so I can never truly relax & just focus on the ending!

Sym C was one of the first Balanchine ballets that I loved & I managed to love it with absolutely no insight into it's origins, allusions etc, however several years ago I read some commentary on it that really illuminated it's humor for me. I'm sure I found the info on or through ballettalk, although I don't have time to search the archives for it now. I can't remember if it was Croce or Denby or someone else but the writer pointed out the choreography's fit with the score's youthful exuberance and also pointed out that Balanchine was choreographing for circus elephants at around the same time that he made Sym C, and referred to the ballerinas in the 4th movement (I think it was the 4th) as an oncoming herd of ballerinas. I've never gotten that picture out of my head and it always makes me smile.

While trying to track down that article I found this one by Jay Rogoff – it's long and discusses several Balanchine ballets but I think it's excellent and it discusses Sym C first. You will have to register to read the full article, but it's free:

http://www.articlear.../1262387-1.html

BTW, I saw MCB's Sym C during the City Center engagement and the only complaint I have is with the 2nd movement casting. Wu's dancing is pretty, but too posey for me. She does the knee/head touch but it definitely looks like a stunt rather than an inevitable continuation of the movement. Enjoy the performance!

Susan


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):