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Who's who in Dances at a Gathering?

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I'm going to see Dances at a Gathering on Saturday. I love this ballet. But I have a problem I hope someone will be able to help me with. For the longest time I've been trying to figure out what part (colors) did the original cast dance. If anyone can help me I would be deeply grateful. Thanks

ALLEGRA KENT

SARA LELAND

KAY MAZZO

PATRICIA McBRIDE

ANTHONY BLUM

JOHN CLIFFORD

ROBERT MAIORANO

JOHN PRINZ

EDWARD VILLELLA

P.S. If anyone seen the original cast performance, what was it like

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Anita Finkle's magazine had a long article on the early history of Dances at a Gathering, which is the best description I know of who danced what. If you like, I can photocopy the article and send it to you.

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One woman missing - Violette Verdy, who danced in green.

I'm trying to piece this together from descriptions - there isn't a cast list in my books.

ALLEGRA KENT - mauve. Robbins describes her as doing the second waltz with John Prinz

SARA LELAND - yellow (my guess)

KAY MAZZO - blue (ditto)

PATRICIA McBRIDE - pink - she has the pas with Villella, which involves a shoulder lift.

ANTHONY BLUM - purple - Sara Leland mentions he does the male duet with Villella.

JOHN CLIFFORD - brick - my guess, but also the photos show him at the end walking with Verdy and I think Carmena and Sylve were together at the end.

ROBERT MAIORANO - blue. Process of elimination!

JOHN PRINZ - green - see above on Kent

EDWARD VILLELLA - brown - he is the one who touches the ground at the end.

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I was surprised when I consulted Repertory in Review that the dancers were not identified by costume. My memory has faded, but Leigh's guesses sound correct to me, and I can definitely confirm that Maiorano was the boy in blue. He used to joke that he extorted money from mothers of girls in yellow to guarantee his catching them. And recalling the competitive duet of Blum and Villella reminds me that I've always preferred it when, as in that case, the two men are of different sizes.

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I believe that Kay Mazzo was the original girl in Mauve, Allegra Kent was the original girl in yellow, and Sally was in blue. Sorry. I also recall that the last time the company performed Dances, Jennie Ringer performed the girl in yellow, but still did the second pas de deux, i think that's where you're confused Leigh.

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There have been other reassignments of Dances' dances. When Stephanie Saland danced Green, she also performed the first pdd, usually given to Mauve. Judy Fugate (in the color formerly known as Apricot) sometimes took over one of Pink's pdds. I believe -- but cannot cite specifically (other than the "Competition" duet) -- other switches among the men's roles, too.

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How could I have forgotten Violette Verdy! Thanks Leigh for remaining me of her. In fact a big thank you to all of you who have respone to my message. You all have been very helpful! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! :)

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from the NYPL catalogue Might not be premiere cast, but close.

http://catnyp.nypl.org/search/tDances+at+a...+gathering&3,,4

Filmed at the matinee performance on June 7, 1969 [May 8, 1969 erroneously given in credits], at the New York State Theater, New York.

Danced by members of the New York City Ballet: Allegra Kent (in apricot), Sara Leland (in blue), Kay Mazzo (in mauve), Patricia McBride (in pink), Violette Verdy (in green), Anthony Blum (in mustard), Robert Weiss (in blue-green), Robert Maiorano (in plum), John Prinz (in olive), and Edward Villella (in brown).

Pianist: Gordon Boelzner.

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Just to confuse things irremediably, "apricot," "mustard," "blue-green," "plum," and "olive" are no longer identified as such in the program.

The performance of Tuesday, May 11, listed the cast thusly: Ashley Bouder (in yellow), Kyra Nichols (in pink), Jenifer Ringer (in mauve), Rachel Rutherford (in blue), Sophiane Sylve (in green), Antonio Carmena (in brick), James Fayette (in blue) Sebastien Marcovici (in green), Jock Soto (in purple), Damian Woetzel (in brown).

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Oh, does anyone remember the Trocks version -- or is this "Yes, Virginia, Another Piano Ballet?" -- with the Girl with the Slight Tilt to the Left and, I think, the Girl with the Green Dress and the Gray Overlay, or something of that sort.

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Danced by members of the New York City Ballet: Allegra Kent (in apricot), Sara Leland (in blue), Kay Mazzo (in mauve), Patricia McBride (in pink), Violette Verdy (in green), Anthony Blum (in mustard), Robert Weiss (in blue-green), Robert Maiorano (in plum), John Prinz (in olive), and Edward Villella (in brown).

Pianist: Gordon Boelzner.

The casting must have been switched around a bit, because in Dance as a Contact Sport, Joseph Mazo writes that, because of injuries,

[Robbins] is replacing Peter Martins with Bruce Wells, Bob Maiorano with Bart Cook and Tony Blum with Jean-Pierre Bonnefous.

(Page 237). On p. 238 he quotes the program insert for the performance:

Friday Evening, May 25, 1973, at 8:00 P.M.

Because of injuries to Merrill Ashley, Gelsey Kirkland, Anthony Blum, Robert Maiorano and Helgi Tomasson, the following cast changes will take place in Dances at a Gathering:

In mauive:  Kay Mazzo; In pink: Susan Hendl.

In mauve:  Jean-Pierre Bonnefous; In brick: Robert Weiss; In blue: Bart Cook.  In brown:  John Clifford...

Five years after the premiere, Blum was dancing mauve and Maiorano was dancing blue. (And "mustard" was replaced by "brick"?)

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I only remember seeing Leland in apricot or yellow - the role with the spectacular throw at the end of the waltz pas de six. She was unforgettable in that part, so reckless and daring.

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I've got Finkel's article, which I'll dig out today after a little cleaning. :P

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Reading this thread over, all the references to people and their colors reminded me of a game of Clue.

Mr. Blue, in the pas de deux, with Ms. Yellow

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I only remember seeing Leland in apricot or yellow - the role with the spectacular throw at the end of the waltz pas de six.  She was unforgettable in that part, so reckless and daring.

:shhh: My friends and I call that moment -- no matter who's dancing -- as "throwing Sally into the pit." :rolleyes:

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Oh, does anyone remember the Trocks version -- or is this "Yes, Virginia, Another Piano Ballet?" -- with the Girl with the Slight Tilt to the Left and, I think, the Girl with the Green Dress and the Gray Overlay, or something of that sort.

Alexandra,

I think I saw that not too long ago on Ovation-it was part of a program where they also did their 'Dying Swan', among others.

It was hysterical!

If I see that it's on again, I'll let everyone know.

Clara :P

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My friends and I call that moment  -- no matter who's  dancing -- as "throwing Sally into the pit."  :rolleyes:

In Yes, Virginia, don't they throw her into the piano? :P

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Just a question: why the "Yes, Virginia" in the title?

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correct me if i'm wrong, everybody! :P but i think it's a reference to an unrelated, but famous, letter to a newspaper editor in the late 1800s, when a little girl wrote to the newspaper asking if there really was a santa claus. the editor who responded began by saying "yes, Virginia (her name), there is a santa claus."

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Yes, Mme. Hermine, there was such an event. :P Except that the "Yes, Virginia," part closed the editorial. And using "Yes, Viriginia," in the ballet's title almost puts the word "Another" into an echo chamber, as if the question "Another piano ballet?" is asked all the time. The title is as clever as some of the dancing.

I saw Yes, Virginia waaaaaay back in the good ol' days, during the annual dance festival at the Delacorte. I don't remember Ari's moment of the "girl" being thrown into the piano, but it certainly sounds right.

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Does anyone remember what color Suzanne wore in Dances at a Gathering? I'm ashamed to say I don't, even though I know she performed in it in 1977 and perhaps beyond.

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Pink. But now that you ask, I'm having a lot of fun imagining her in Apricot's "finger" pdd, or Green's "Chatterbox." Thanks, FF, for sparking that!

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Thanks for the explanation about the "Yes, Virginia". :-) Actually I saw only one part of that ballet, on TV (I caught it by chance) and found it very funny (even though it would probably have been funnier if I had seen "Dances at a gathering" more than twice!)

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