Jump to content


Favorite Balanchine Dewdrops


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#16 tempusfugit

tempusfugit

    Senior Member

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 117 posts

Posted 16 December 2004 - 07:34 AM

Amen about LeClercq, whom it would have been amazing to see in ANYTHING. in I Remember Balanchine, Pat McBride says..."as the Dewdrop in Nutcracker, she had worked with Balanchine and he had really taught her. she was like a little jewel..."
Morris was exquisite in this role, perky, and though I was quite young when I saw her the performance made an indelible impression. I did not see Kirkland in the part and understand hers was beautiful as well.
Weese does look good as Dewdrop, doesn't she?

#17 violet

violet

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts

Posted 20 December 2004 - 07:08 PM

No, the Dewdrop in the televised version was Allegra Kent.  Who was wonderful!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Is there a videotape of this? Or any of Allegra Kent's performances?

#18 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,701 posts

Posted 20 December 2004 - 08:38 PM

you can see it at the new york public library though alas it is not available commercially:

Telecast by CBS Television on Playhouse 90 on December 25, 1958. Produced by John Houseman and Jack Landau. Directed by Ralph Nelson. Narrated by June Lockhart.
Choreography: George Balanchine. Music: Peter Tchaikovsky. Scenery: Bob Markell. Costumes: Karinska. Properties: Horace Armistead.
Performed by members of the New York City Ballet and children from the School of American Ballet.
Cast: George Balanchine as Herr Drosselmeyer, Debbie Paine (Clara), Robert Maiorano (Nutcracker prince), Diana Adams (Sugar plum fairy), Allegra Kent (Dewdrop fairy), Arthur Mitchell as Coffee (Arabian dance), Barbara Walczak and Roy Tobias as Chocolate (Spanish dance), Deni Lamont as Tea (Chinese dance), Edward Villella (Candy cane), and Judith Green (Marzipan)

#19 Dale

Dale

    Emeralds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,019 posts

Posted 20 December 2004 - 08:46 PM

Kent can be seen on video at the Performance Arts Library at Lincoln Center in the following performances (and others but I'm only listing these [other performance arts libraries might have these]):

-- editing to add that I must have been posting at the same time as Mme. Hermine --

The nutcracker (Videotape)
Imprint 1958.

LOCATION CALL # STATUS
*MGZIA 4-407
Descript 1 cassette. 90 min. : sd. b&w. NTSC. ; 1/2 in. (VHS)
Note Telecast by CBS Television on Playhouse 90 on December 25, 1958. Produced by John Houseman and Jack Landau. Directed by Ralph Nelson. Narrated by June Lockhart.
Choreography: George Balanchine. Music: Peter Tchaikovsky. Scenery: Bob Markell. Costumes: Karinska. Properties: Horace Armistead.
Performed by members of the New York City Ballet and children from the School of American Ballet.
Cast: George Balanchine as Herr Drosselmeyer, Debbie Paine (Clara), Robert Maiorano (Nutcracker prince), Diana Adams (Sugar plum fairy), Allegra Kent (Dewdrop fairy), Arthur Mitchell as Coffee (Arabian dance), Barbara Walczak and Roy Tobias as Chocolate (Spanish dance), Deni Lamont as Tea (Chinese dance), Edward Villella (Candy cane), and Judith Green (Marzipan)

A midsummer night's dream [videorecording] / directed by Dan Eriksen ; produced by Richard Davis ; choreography by George Balanchine ; music by Felix Mendelssohn.
Imprint c1967.


LOCATION CALL NO. STATUS
PerfArts-Dance *MGZIC 9-1405 AVAILABLE
Prod cntry U.S.
Descript 2 videocassettes (93 min.) : sd., col. NTSC ; 3/4 in. (U-matic)
Note Full-length motion picture.
Performer Performed by members of the New York City Ballet and students of The School of American Ballet.
Cast Suzanne Farrell (Titania), Edward Villella (Oberon), Arthur Mitchell (Puck), Mimi Paul (Helena), Nicholas Magallanes (Lysander), Patricia McBride (Hermia), Roland Vazquez (Demetrius), Francisco Moncion (Theseus), Gloria Govrin (Hippolyta), Richard Rapp (Bottom), Jacques d'Amboise (Court danseur), and Allegra Kent (Court danseuse).
Credits Released by Michael Taines ; director of photography, Arthur J. Ornitz ; production design, Howard Bay ; art direction, Albert Brenner ; costumes, Karinska.
Contents Cassette 1. Act I -- Cassette 2. Act II.
Summary Ballet based on the play of the same title by William Shakespeare.

#20 oberon

oberon

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 843 posts

Posted 21 December 2004 - 08:06 AM

Who owns the rights to these videos? It would be wonderful to have them released commercially!! Or is that asking too much? So many things from various opera archives are coming out on DVD...there must be alot of balletic treasures buried in libraries and private collections.

#21 ballerina1023

ballerina1023

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 21 December 2004 - 09:37 AM

Sorry if this is slightly off-topic, but RE:1958 Nutcracker video -- the excerpt posted by Mme. Hermine shows Arthur Mitchell as the Arabian/Coffee dancer. Is this a typo or was the variation originally danced by a male? I wasn't aware that the version we see today was not in the original production. Did anyone see the male variation? When was it changed to a solo for a female?

#22 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,701 posts

Posted 21 December 2004 - 11:08 AM

No typo, it is a dance for a man, with four children if I recall correctly, serving him coffee and minding a hookah? Haven't seen it in a while..

#23 Dansuer85

Dansuer85

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 172 posts

Posted 21 December 2004 - 01:07 PM

Arabian is a dance for a single female in Balanchines Nutcracker.....or so I thought....

#24 Dale

Dale

    Emeralds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,019 posts

Posted 21 December 2004 - 01:25 PM

Arabian is a dance for a single female in Balanchines Nutcracker.....or so I thought....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As he did in many of his ballets, Balanchine constantly tinkered with the Nutcracker. And indeed, the original Arabian was for a man. He later changed it for a woman. In the Playhouse video, there is no cavalier. Diana Adams' Sugarplum Fairy is partnered by the four men in the other variations.

#25 richard53dog

richard53dog

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,401 posts

Posted 23 December 2004 - 05:16 PM

To sort of take this back to the original survey of "favorite Dewdrops"
mine was Gelsey Kirkland at about age 19 or 20. She was just lovely in the part.

I did see Ashley Bouder a few weeks ago and thought she was really terrific.

Last Sunday I saw Weese. who added lots of balances, which was very impressive.

I have to admit that I just love the Dewdrops different little segments

#26 flipsy

flipsy

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 57 posts

Posted 27 December 2004 - 02:31 PM

My favorites -- Calegari and Meunier. Thanks to Oberon for his vivid recollection of Meunier's performance. For my part, I will never forget her ronde des jambes in the air as she went down that diagonal line -- she had more kick in them than any female dancer I've ever seen.

Calegari was just the opposite, thin and diaphanous. That silver costume with its transparent panels seemed to turn her into the picture of an actual dewdrop. And her smile was serene and ethereal -- like a demi-goddess in a renaissance painting.

What a role! The chance to top yourself, over and over, and carry the corps with you.

#27 oberon

oberon

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 843 posts

Posted 27 December 2004 - 06:29 PM

Did Merrill Ashley ever dance Dewdrop and does anyone have a recollection of her in the role? She was my first SPF, with Colleen Neary as Dewdrop. Later I saw Heather Watts do it as part of an all-Tchaikovsky evening. I regret that I only started going to lots of NUTCRACKERS seven years ago, so I missed such people as Kirkland and Calegari...

When I first started going to NYCB, Marnee Morris & Colleen Neary were my pet dancers...wish I had seen Marnee dance it!

Margaret Tracey was another dancer who made a nice impression as Dewdrop.

#28 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,996 posts

Posted 27 December 2004 - 07:43 PM

Did Merrill Ashley ever dance Dewdrop and does anyone have a recollection of her in the role?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I saw Ashley dance the role during one season, on 16 December 1984 and on 6 January 1985, in the years when NYCB performed Nutcracker past New Year's Day. They were vintage Ashley -- clear, precise positions and crisp turns and jumps. After that year, though, I only saw her in a handful of SPF's.

#29 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 19 January 2011 - 05:34 PM

you can see it at the new york public library though alas it is not available commercially:

Telecast by CBS Television on Playhouse 90 on December 25, 1958. Produced by John Houseman and Jack Landau. Directed by Ralph Nelson. Narrated by June Lockhart.
Choreography: George Balanchine. Music: Peter Tchaikovsky. Scenery: Bob Markell. Costumes: Karinska. Properties: Horace Armistead.
Performed by members of the New York City Ballet and children from the School of American Ballet.
Cast: George Balanchine as Herr Drosselmeyer, Debbie Paine (Clara), Robert Maiorano (Nutcracker prince), Diana Adams (Sugar plum fairy), Allegra Kent (Dewdrop fairy), Arthur Mitchell as Coffee (Arabian dance), Barbara Walczak and Roy Tobias as Chocolate (Spanish dance), Deni Lamont as Tea (Chinese dance), Edward Villella (Candy cane), and Judith Green (Marzipan)

I've just had the chance to watch this. It is especially evocative for me, since my first NYCB Nutcrackers must have included many of these dancers, including both corps and children. Thank you, Mme. Hermine, for posting a cast list. You reminded me, for example, of the excellent Denis Lamont and (something I had forgotten) that Balanchine himself danced Drosselmeyer.

Allegra Kent's Dewdrop is lively, fresh, and very beautiful. She is also dazzling in a surprisingly contemporary sense: sharp, fast, almost dare-devil. In fact, she and Arthur Mitchell (Coffee) are the dancers who would most fit into a major company today.

Four OFF TOPIC points:

1) Edward Villella, in his second season at NYCB, is rather understated and doesn't make much of an impression in this. The bravura and stagecraft that made him a star lie in the future.

2) Diana Adams, a dancer I remember only from a powerful Agon, seems uncomfortable. She smiles a big smile but conveys only a little of the Sugar Plum Fairy's warmth and allure. Technically, as well as dramatically, her work is lackluster and, consisdering her reputation, disappointing.. Certainly when compared with Kent's.

3) Arthur Mitchell is the class act among the men. This is especially evident in the finally, pdd, in which Adams is partnered by four men: Tea, Coffee, Candy Cane, and Chocolate. Balanchine's choreography for the four men, as they weave their way through the complicated partnering, is fascinating. Even more fascinating is the thought of what much of America (especially the still-segregated South with its White Citizens Councils and memories of lynchings) must have thought to see a beautiful white woman partnered by a handsome, shirtless black man -- AND by a Chinese. (Of course, the dancer, Denis Lamont, is not Chinese, but he has been allowed to drop all those silly and stereotyped oriental gestures that he performs in the Tea variation. His partnering role in the pdd is serious and important. In fact, the major share in the partnering is given to Coffee and Tea.)

4) This was an ambitious venture for the early days of color television. So, of course, there were accidents. It's fun watching stagehands and off-stage dancers caught by the cameras in Act II -- especially those who stiuck their heads out from behind a wall and suddenly jumped back out of sight.


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):