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Don Q, a NBoC-Suzanne Farrell Ballet production

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This in from the NBoC:

THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA AND

THE SUZANNE FARRELL BALLET PRODUCE

GEORGE BALANCHINE'S DON QUIXOTE

Premieres in June 2005 at Kennedy Center, Washington

Toronto, Ontario...April 6, 2005...National Ballet of Canada Artistic Director JAMES KUDELKA today announced that SUZANNE FARRELL will stage George Balanchine's Don Quixote in a co-production between The National Ballet of Canada and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Ms. Farrell's staging of Balanchine's Don Quixote will have its premiere at The John F. Kennedy Center for The Peforming Arts' Opera House, performed by her company in Washington, D.C. June 22-26, 2005. Ms. Farrell has invited 18 dancers from The National Ballet of Canada to perform as guests with her company for the premiere. The production will have its debut in Toronto, performed by The National Ballet of Canada at a later date, to be announced.

The world premiere of Suzanne Farrell's staging of Balanchine's Don Quixote is the first such collaboration between The Suzanne Farrell Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada. "All through my time as Artistic Director, the company has been fortunate to have the masterful Suzanne be the producer and arbiter of the Balanchine repertoire. It is thrilling that our relationship with this dance icon has developed into such a wonderful marriage of resources. It is a pleasure, also, to begin a relationship again with the Kennedy Center," said Mr. Kudelka.

Balanchine's Don Quixote, which premiered in 1965 with Balanchine himself, as Don Quixote and Suzanne Farrell as Dulcinea, has not been performed in more than 25 years. Ms. Farrell will stage the work in Toronto in May of 2005 at the Walter Carsen Centre working with National Ballet dancers and members of her company, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. ZACK BROWN will design the set with costumes by HOLLY HYNES and lighting by BRAD FIELDS. The National Ballet of Canada's production department will build, store and maintain the production in its Toronto facilities.

Ms. Farrell has had an extensive relationship with The National Ballet of Canada. She performed as guest artist with the company in 1969, 1970 and 1978. Mr. Kudelka invited her to coach the company's debut of Balanchine's Mozartiana in 1998. In May 2000, Ms. Farrell supervised the staging of the company's premiere of Balanchine's Jewels. Ms. Farrell returned to the company last season to direct the staging of Balanchine's Serenade. Over the past five years, Principal Dancers JENNIFER FOURNIER and CHAN HON GOH have both guested with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet in Washington at the Kennedy Center and on extensive US tours.

Balanchine's Don Quixote is a gift from Roger and Kevin Garland.

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Minor point of usage: I assume that Kudelka means the “masterly” Suzanne and not the “masterful” one. She may very well be masterful on occasion as it’s called for, but I don’t think Kudelka meant to describe her so in this context. :D

Looking forward to the production!

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I think that the "masterful" usage is still acceptable. There seems to be a movement these days to attach connotation to that word which means, "arrogant, bullying". "Masterly" is supposed to be the "completely competent" word. As of right now, the words are denotative equivalents, and can be used interchangeably.

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As a rule, you will see "masterful" where "masterly" was clearly intended, but you will not see the reverse nearly as often. The first meaning of "masterful" as "imperious, domineering" is not especially new. It is all too true that they are used interchangeably, but it is unfortunate that a useful distinction is being lost. However, it's been on the way out for some time now, so I suppose there are now only a few of us clinging to the flag.

It will be interesting to see how the ballet is received this time around.

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I am delighted to note the new sets and costumes!

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carbro, it's a large flag, and you may not have noticed me clinging to another corner of it in the stiff wind blowing nowadays, but I assume Kudelka is of the dancer species, not wordy by custom, and so, might he be allowed his approximation in usage?

Juliet, why?

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It was me doing the niggling, not carbro. I wasn’t picking on Kudelka, who has big things on his mind, I'm sure :) -- just couldn’t resist pointing it out for the record. Now that I think about it, he may very well have been trying for both senses – strength and skill, so to speak.

Who did the original costumes – was it Karinska? I forget.

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Who did the original costumes – was it Karinska? I forget.

In Repertory in Review the costumes, décor, and lighting are attributed to Esteban Francés, assisted by Peter Harvey.

In Costumes by Karinska it says "Karinska created several costumes from Francés's designs, but perhaps the most charming was the silver-blue tutu made for Dulcinea's reincarnation as Marcella the shepherdess, in mourning for the death of the Poet."

As to why Balanchine chose the Spanish painter, Francés, for both scenery and costumes: "Balanchine hoped to achieve some of the weighty effects of 17th century Spanish culture."

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When I heard from her late last year, the masterly/masterful Suzanne called the new sets and costumes "beautiful." Of course I'm not a disinterested or uninterested observer.

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Of course it was you, dirac, I'm sorry for the silly blunder.

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I didn't mean to imply or infer that you needed to apologize. Sorry!

Thanks for the info, Marga, you saved me having to look it up.

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It was me doing the niggling, not carbro.

Of course it was you, dirac, I'm sorry for the silly blunder.

I take your mix-up as a compliment, Jack! Certainly no offense taken on this side, either.

As to why Balanchine chose the Spanish painter, Francés, for both scenery and costumes: "Balanchine hoped to achieve some of the weighty effects of 17th century Spanish culture."

And to some eyes, he succeeded to excess. While individually, most of the costumes were effective and beautiful, there were times, as I recall, when the image on stage was just too heavy and grim. Heavy and grim was the intended effect, but probably not to that degree.

I look forward to seeing the new designs.

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I remember a writer – I think it was the music critic Andrew Porter or was it Denby? – who spoke admiringly of the effects Balanchine achieved with the court sarabande – as the dance went on, that sense of heaviness grew on you, and you felt you were in the stifling atmosphere of Philip IV’s Escorial. (I haven’t checked my dates before posting this, so I might have cited the wrong Philip.)

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However, Rouben Ter-Arutunian, who did the sets, made the most wonderful Act III Swan setting in the great hall of the Duke's castle.

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tho' karinska built all the costumes for balanchine's DON QUIXOTE, and separate credits were given for "giant" puppet as well as for masks and armor, the sets and costume designs were all the work of ESTEBAN FRANCES, who was a kind of 'house designer' before balanchine regularly worked w/ ter-arutunian. here is the n.y.p.l. listing for the ballet's credits:

Don Quixote : Chor: George Balanchine; mus: Nicolas Nabokov; scen, cos & light: Esteban Francés. First perf: New York, State Theatre, May 28, 1965, New York City Ballet Company.

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My apologies for the lapse. I honestly misrembered that Rouben had done the sets. Still the Duke's Palace IS the perfect Act III Swan set.

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I, too, look forward to seeing the new designs, even though I seem to remember some tableaux making reference to, if not literal quotation of, paintings on the subject of the Don, and the worrier in me frets that these effects, if they were actually there, will be lost.

But I am reassured by knowledge of who is responsible for the project, the same Suzanne Farell who provided new, enlarging choreography for the variations in eleven voices in the Stravinsky Variations which quickly converted my shock into delight, and who showed a new dance by a Florida colleague (when she could have presented another Balanchine revival) which proved far more satisfying than two premieres I had just seen elsewhere (more than once) by name choreographers.

To make a long story short, she knows what she's doing, evidently!

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I, too, look forward to seeing the new designs, even though I seem to remember some tableaux making reference to, if not literal quotation of, paintings on the subject of the Don, and the worrier in me frets that these effects, if they were actually there, will be lost. 

Quite a few of the Balanchine tableaux were based on the Doré illustrations for the novel. That's one reason the souvenir booklet for the ballet contained the sections of the story covered by the ballet, illustrated with reproductions of the Doré steel engravings. I still have that booklet from the first season.

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No mention of the Nicolas Nabakov score? I still remember how deadening the effect of the music on what was otherwise quite a moving pageant, especially with Balanchine as Don Q. It's possible, of course, that a second hearing might be an improvement. But in 1965 the music did nothing to enhance the visual aspects of the production, and much to distract from them.

the court sarabande – as the dance went on, that sense of heaviness grew on you, and you felt you were in the stifling atmosphere of Philip IV’s Escorial.  (I haven’t checked my dates before posting this, so I might have cited the wrong Philip.)

The 1604 publication date for the first book of Don Quijote would make it a very young Philip III. Seems he was a rather melancholy fellow, so "stifling" would probably apply.

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Does anyone knows if this production will be traveling to the New York area? I would love to see it!!! I can't get to Canada or even to Washington, D. C.!! I'm sure, even though he would never admitted it, that Peter Martins is burning inside that he wasn't unable to get DonQ performed at NYCB during the Balanchine year-long celebration!!! If he was able to put his feelings aside and had Suzanne Farrell stage the ballet, those performance would have had sold-out tickets for every performance. That would have been the crown jewel of the NYCB season of last year.

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Gasp! A sold-out house for Balanchine's Don Q for the first time after its opening week! History!

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GeorgeB Fan -- Mel Johnson remembers, as I do, when Balanchine's Don Q meant a half-empty New York State Theater. Subscribers stayed away in droves. Nevertheless, I agree with you that this ballet would have been the highlight of the NYCB Balanchine Centennial. In fairness to Mr. Martins, I believe he tried to get it and Ms. Farrell (who owns the ballet) turned him down.

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Any news about a tour of this production, or Canadian dates? I have been hoping and planning to go to DC in June for this gig, pretty much since it was announced, but I am just not sure that it is going to happen for me. Too much going on in my life right now.

Has there been any news of any other venues or dates? I can't imagine that all of the time and finance invested in this production will result in five days of performance and then....nothing.

Please give me some encouragement.....

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The co.'s website does not include it in the 2005-2006 rep, rkoretzky.

The press release at the head of this thread says:

The production will have its debut in Toronto, performed by The National Ballet of Canada at a later date, to be announced.

Awfully non-committal.

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The press release at the head of this thread says:
The production will have its debut in Toronto, performed by The National Ballet of Canada at a later date, to be announced.

Awfully non-committal.

I suspect it will be one of the highlights of the first season in the new Opera House (Fall 2006) along with Kudelka's new production of Sleeping Beauty.

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