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Ballet video wish list


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#1 Dale

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Posted 11 December 1998 - 07:55 AM

Somebody asked for this so here it is...ballet vidoes we wish for!

I'm hoping for the re-release of Don Q. with Baryshnikov and Harvey as well as ABT at San Francisco and ABT at the Met. All three were Dance in America programs and broadcast before I had a VCR. The ABT at the... vidoes were for sale but I failed to pick them up before they were discontinued. I'm very annoyed.

I'd love a tape of those dance bits from the Bell Telephone Hour and the Ed Sullivan Show. I've seen a few at the Broadcasting Museum in New York but it's not the same as being able to watch at home.

At the NYPL Performance Library they have three "private viewing" tapes of NYCB Dance Emergency Fund. Kistler and Zelensky dance the pas de deux from On Your Toes.

Dale

#2 Jane Simpson

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Posted 11 December 1998 - 08:11 AM

The Rambert company archives contain some wonderful film from the thirties - things like Ashton partnering Markova in the Swan Lake Act 2 pas de deux, and lots of the legendary early Ashton etc on the tiny stage of the Mercury Theatre. They show these occasionally at the National Film Theatre in London but one of the problems about releasing them on video is that they don't have a sound track and it would be hugely expensive to add one.

The NFT, incidentally, has a policy - i.e. an unbreakable rule - that when they're showing silent films they have a live pianist playing 'appropriate' music: so you get the weird experience of Swan Lake accompanied by meandering piano music with now and then a faint, and disconcerting, echo of the real thing!

#3 Giannina

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Posted 21 December 1998 - 07:25 PM

In 1994 Nederlands Dans Theater came to California's Orange County Performing Arts Center and presented Jiri Kylian's "Kaguyahime". Since then I've heard nothing about this ballet. I found it simply beautiful, mostly because of the choreography for the lead ballerina. With the passage of time I'm not even sure what the ballet was about. At times the ballerina did nothing but present a slow motion of ballet poses and steps, angular and flowing. I saw it only once, and my seat had a visual block so I missed some of it without even knowing it! I would love a video of this ballet.

Also, Robbins' "I'm Old Fashioned" and Martins' "Ecstatic Orange".

Giannina

#4 Dale

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Posted 22 December 1998 - 05:20 AM

The pas de deux from Martins' "Ecstatic Orange" was on a PBS program about eight years ago, along with Beethoven Romance, Barber Violin Concerto, Valse Triste, and Sophisticated Lady -- all by Martins.

#5 Giannina

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Posted 22 December 1998 - 04:45 PM

How did I miss that?!!

Giannina

#6 Dale

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Posted 23 December 1998 - 02:17 PM

When it was first broadcast, it was postponed because of Desert Storm congress voting. Channel 13 (WNET in New York) promised that it would show it after the voting, which ended at, I think, about 1 am. I fell asleep only wake to see the last two ballets, which I recorded. It took another year or so for them to show it again.

Dale

#7 Estelle

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Posted 04 January 1999 - 09:55 AM

Giannina:
Kylian's "Kaguyahime" once was broadcasted
on the French TV, a few seasons ago... It was
filmed with the NYCB, and I think the main role was danced by Fiona Lummis. It was not my favorite Kylian ballet, but I did like some of its parts (and the dancers were very good).

Estelle

#8 Lillian

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Posted 30 January 1999 - 09:46 PM

About ten years ago I saw 4 films from the National Film Board of Canada which just blew me away! The first was a black and white film of Liebeslieder Waltzer with Violette Verdy and Melissa Hayden, a very young Suzanne Farrell and I believe the fourth was Gloria Govrin (not sure). Verdy was just divine!
This film was magical and quite beautiful in black and white. I much preferred this video to a live performance I saw in the mid-eighties in New York (1985?).
I then saw a great film of Chaconne with Farrell and Martins which is far more exciting than the one available on video today. There are no sets, no clouds.
They also have a beautiful film of Bugaku with Patricia McBride and J-P Bonnefous. This role is not quite suited to McBride, but the ballet is so well filmed that you have the impression you are at a live performance!
But of all the films I saw at the National Film Board, the most breathtaking is the film of Messe pour le Temps Present, by Bejart. There is beautiful dancing by a very young Rita Poulverde (spelling?). The ballet is a little much and quite dated, but in the middle, there is a pas de deux with Suzanne Farrell and Jorge Donn that is the most stunning and sensual 10 minutes of dancing I have ever seen. It is "danced" (they barely move on a small platform) to spoken poetry. Donn and Farrell are both in white and Farrell has her hair down. I don't think I have ever seen her look more beautiful and mysterious than in this film (there are many close-ups). No wonder Balanchine was so taken with her!
These films are great, and it is wonderful to see these ballets on large screens rather than TV sets. The color, quality and clarity is unbelievable. One of the film makers spoke of his experience working with Balanchine making these films in the late seventies. Sometimes video just does not do justice to dance. But these films comes awfully close. I think the NFB has others as well!
The person responsible for the viewing of these movies was none other than the wonderful Vincent Warren at Les Grands Ballets Library in Montreal. I was also always very jealous of videos he has of Gelsey Kirkland and Baryshnikov in Theme and Variations and a tape of a young Heather Watts in The Cage!


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