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The Millenium Awards

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#1 Guest_rrfan_*

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Posted 27 December 1999 - 08:01 PM

Okay, since it's the topic of the week for everything else, why not ballet?

If you could nominate one person who's contributed the most to ballet in this century who would it be and for the entire millenium? And how about the ballet for the century

I'd have to nominate Balanchine for the first and Pavlova for the second. My ballet would have to be Serenade.
Cast your votes, only a few days left!!

#2 Guest_bunhead_*

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Posted 27 December 1999 - 08:21 PM

Excellent subject!
I think my first nominee would have to be Diaghalev, and second would be Balanchine. As for ballet of the century that is a real toughie. One of my all time faves that I think is still a very thought provoking and effective work today would be Kurt Joos' The Green Table. An amazing piece of theatre.

#3 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 27 December 1999 - 08:34 PM

Oh dear!

Considering ballet as we know it is a bit shy of a half-millenium old, aren't we a bit of a young art form to be thinking of millenial voting? We are discriminating against all the twelfth and thirteenth century geniuses who might have done a great ballet. . .if they knew what it was!

That being said, I cast my vote for the ballet figure of the century to Balanchine (but that was a foregone conclusion - not that he was the man of the century, just that I would cast my vote that way!) For the Millenium? How about the folks like Beauchamp and Carlo Blasis who codified it way back when? How about Petipa?

This is Alexandra's cue to chime in on Bournonville.

Millenially yours -


#4 Kevin Ng

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Posted 27 December 1999 - 09:55 PM

I would also cast my vote on Balanchine as the ballet person of this century, and his "Apollo" as this century's ballet.

[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited December 30, 1999).]

#5 Lillian



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Posted 27 December 1999 - 11:04 PM

Person: Hmmm...hard one
top three- Diaghilev, Vaganova, Balanchine
ballet: Agon

#6 Alexandra


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Posted 27 December 1999 - 11:25 PM

For the millennium, Louis XIV, without whom....

For the century, Diaghilev, because even Balanchine is his child (and the idea of the artistic director who can't actually do anything but holds it all together and is proclaimed a genius dies hard)

Ballet of the century. That so depends on where one lives. I think I'd say Fokine's "Les Sylphides." It still presents the image of "ballet" to many people who've never seen it, it gave permission to thousands, if not gazillions, of choreographers to do divertissements rather than story ballets, quickies rather than full-evening extravaganzas, and the first cast (Nijinski, Pavlova, Karsavina -- never can remember the third) -- can't be beat.

#7 dancersteven



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Posted 28 December 1999 - 11:01 AM

I am going to cover all of the bases here;

Of the century; Barishnikov, for what he did for classical ballet in America (even at the expense of ABT's budget. . .)

Of the millenium; Vagonova, for starting us down the road that we are now on

Ballet; Serenade, for being plotless and theatre at the same time. . .

#8 cargill


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Posted 28 December 1999 - 01:54 PM

For the ballet figure of the century, I would have to choose Diaghilev, for the staggering influence he had on NYCB, ABT, the Royal Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet (via Lifar), and all of their offshoots. Without him, there would probably have been no serious ballet, just music hall entertainment. And for my ballet of the 20th century, I would have to vote for the Sleeping Beauty, for without that, there would have been no Diaghilev, and thus no etc., etc.

#9 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 28 December 1999 - 02:55 PM

I forgot to do ballet of the century!

The Four Temperaments - if the 20th Century represents the dawn of the age of technology, Four T's is the ballet that shows on that precipice - Agon, a few years down the road with Sputnik and IBM, takes us a little further into urban culture.

I love Agon , but for me, Four T's shows us both the humanity and the mechanization of the century. And I love both scores, but I have a special place in my heart for the Hindemith.

#10 dirac


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Posted 28 December 1999 - 07:24 PM

To choose between Diaghilev or Balanchine for the century is so difficult that I propose not to do it. My first thought was of Diaghilev, because of the reasons mentioned above, but Balanchine deserves fifty percent of the credit because he raised the game to an even higher level; because of him ballet is taken seriously in intellectual quarters where even the Ballets Russes did not gain admittance -- he's acknowledged as the equal of figures in other arts such as Picasso and Stravinsky, which hasn't happened before in ballet, as far as I know. Diaghilev was the prime mover, but without Balanchine ballet might have continued to be a marginalized art (it's still marginalized to some extent). He also redefined the art, placing the emphasis on dance as dance, something that was expressive with music in itself without scenery, elaborate costumes, and libretto.

As for the millenium, I have to second Alexandra's nomination of the Sun King. We owe much to his well-turned ankle.

Ballet: can't choose. I really don't think I've seen enough of them to make a truly informed choice. If I had to, however, I'd opt for Apollo, for its classical purity, its score by the preeminent ballet composer of the century, and its status in its time as a harbinger of things to come.

#11 Andrei


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Posted 28 December 1999 - 09:01 PM

I'm agree with Alexandra about millenium person - Lois XIV and century person - Diagilev. Ballet of the century and, so, the choreographer of the century for me is tandem of Nijinsky and Diagilev, who produced "L'apres-midi d'un faune", the first modern ballet, where everything was new - movements, music, costumes, story. They turned all ballet world upside down, it was absolutely unpredictable from the leading male dancer refuse to jump or make any technical difficulties to the detriment of artistic impression. Only so brave man as Diagilev could make it happened, even it needed 100 rehearsals for 12 minutes piece. But it showed to Fokine that he had a right thougts about reformes in classical ballet and it showed to Balanchine how he can listen to the music.
Cargill, "Sleeping Beauty" was made in XIX century and it's a real crown of all XIX c. ballets with the best ballet composer - Tchaikovsky and the best choreographer of the century - Petipa, IMO. Continue this line, I think the best XX c. composer is Stravinsky and the best choreographer all the same Balanchine! Well, I'm still thinking the most important performance of the century was "L'aptres-midi d'un faune".

#12 Guest_Nnikiya_*

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Posted 28 December 1999 - 10:18 PM

I was thinking about Louis 14th too but I'll name another, similar Millenium Leader. I vote collectively for the Romanov Family, particularly Alexander III and Nikolai II, whose patronage & support of the Imperial Ballet brought about the treasures that we call classical ballet. Balanchine wins the award for the 20th century. However, I give the nod to another choreographer, McMillan, as creator of the greatest single work in the century, Romeo & Juliet. The spirit of Leonid Lavrovsky deserves Honorable Mention.

#13 cargill


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Posted 29 December 1999 - 09:30 AM

I just wanted to assure Andrei that I did know when The Sleeping Beauty was done--I was trying to stress its continuing importance!

#14 atm711


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Posted 29 December 1999 - 01:04 PM

I enjoyed reading all of your nominations and agree with all of them--EXCEPT:


"of the Century, Baryshnikov for what he did for classical ballet in America"

---pshaw!!!Dancersteven!! There was life before Baryishnikov--we weren't exactly in the boondocks as a nation.

#15 Alexandra


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Posted 29 December 1999 - 05:04 PM

ATM, I agree, but it could be worse. On another site I found a Woman of the Millennium poll. As of last night, Queen Elizabeth I was neck and neck with Oprah Winfrey.

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