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Proteges program at Kennedy Center


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#16 Natalia

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 01:17 PM

Thanks for all of this, RG. Well, Hersh & Clark....Clark & Hersh...were both wonderful. Now I'll trust your RBSchool info that indeed Ms. Hersh is the taller of the two, who I especially admired in yesterday's final solo with the violin. As I watched her I kept thinking "The next Darcey...future RB Aurora!"

Upon seeing your list of musical numbers: My knowledge of the music of LES SAISONS tells me that the music was performed in its originally-intended order, here in DC. Ms. Kaiser seems to have danced the Beriosova Variation in its proper place in the order (5th), although she wore the white tutu and danced the rest of the ballet as Fonteyn.

Now if the rest of you aren't totally confused by this then you are eligible for a prize of some sort!

Edited to note: I have since googled "Quenby Hersh" and seen her photo on a number of competition sites. YES! That's "my" star! Ms. Hersh is definitely the lady who danced the 7th (final) variation in DC. Wow - the Royal Ballet Academy is certainly lucky to have her. Years from now, we'll be writing "We saw her when she was a student..."!

#17 Whitney

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 06:07 PM

Hi Natalia,

I think perhaps that the tall "Italian looking" fellow about whom you asked is Pietro Zambello, who is Italian. He was my partner both of my summers at RBS (at that time he studied at a school in Italy). He is a wonderful partner and dancer. I attended the night he was the male dancer in the lead couple so I am not perfectly sure of his placement when he danced in the corps.

Whitney

#18 LAC

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 08:08 PM

Natalia and rg certainly know a lot more about the history of Birthday Offering than I do, but I do want to add something to further add to the confusion about who originally danced the variations. I checked Julie Kavanagh's "Secret Muses: The Life of Frederic Ashton," and she lists the dancers in the following order on pages 421-422 --

Elaine Fitfield
Rowena Jackson
Svetlana Beriosova
Nadia Nerina
Violetta Elvin
Beryl Grey
Margot Fonteyn

At least Vaughn and Kavanagh agree that Fonteyn's was seventh variation.

Also, just a comment that I agree with others who thought that Birthday Offering improved considerably from Thurday to Sunday. Most of the problems on Thursday were probably just opening-night jitters.

#19 ami1436

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 03:30 AM

Both Kaiser (2005) and Naeda (2004) are also Prix de Lausanne scholarship winners.

I wish we could see more of the RBS performing here in England!!!!!!!!

I don't know if this is the right place to put this, or if I'm being incredibly naive and missing something (quite possible), but I have been puzzling over the end of Alexandra's review of the program in the Washington Post. I've not really participated in many discussions besides reviews of performances on this board, so please forgive me for being a relative 'newbie.' :wink: :(

At the end, she writes

If the "Proteges" program becomes a yearly attraction, it could become one of the Kennedy Center's calling cards. It's amazing what one can learn about the state of ballet from a single evening. This one showed that ballet is healthy -- or could be. If the parent companies let it happen, ballet may well be on the brink of renewal.


It's the last two sentences... ballet could be healthy? Is it sick now? And how are parent companies the impediment? And a renewal from...?

I realise there are probably many thoughts on this - and some probably covered elsewhere on this board. What do people think?

#20 Jane Simpson

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 03:54 AM

I've always assumed that the solos in the original Birthday Offering were in that order (as given by Kavanagh) because the dancers appeared in reverse order of seniority - I think Fifield still wasn't a principal dancer at the time, for instance. But I don't think I've ever seen that written down and I suppose it could be coincidence.

Working it out from the details in Alexander Bland's The Royal Ballet, only Nerina and Beriosova from the original cast ever danced the pas de deux: they both kept their own solos and Merle Park did the Fonteyn solo. In the RB's last run I remember Muriel Valtat doing Fonteyn's solo when someone else (Guillem, perhaps?) did the pas de deux.

#21 koshka

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 05:57 AM

I would absolutely love it if they did a Proteges-type run every year. If it were to become a regular occurrence, it would be even more amazing if they could work up some sort of cycle/coordination, so that, for example, one year all of the schools would send students at an early level, then the next year more advanced students, or...I don't know.

Does anyone have a sense of whether tickets for this run sold well? I'd guess it was a tough sell since last 2 weeks ago Swan Lake and this week/weekend is Romeo and Juliet. But maybe the audiences were different.

Also, I'd love to see the Japanese company in for a full run of its own.

#22 LAC

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 06:20 AM

I seemed to me that Proteges sold about as well as Swan Lake, if not better. It's a little hard for me to tell because I was there on different nights of the week for the two runs. Of course, the Proteges program had three fewer performances than do companies that come in for the entire week.

I second koshka's sentiment that it would be great if this could be done every year (or two). It would be nice to see NYCB's SAB participating in this in the future.

As far as the parent companies go, I would also like to see more of the Japanese company and the Paris Opera Ballet. It would also be great to see the Royal Danish Ballet more frequently than we do now.

#23 LAC

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 06:49 AM

Ami,

You might find the following discussion interesting --

http://ballettalk.in...?showtopic=3017

#24 Helene

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 06:49 AM

It's the last two sentences... ballet could be healthy?  Is it sick now?  And how are parent companies the impediment?  And a renewal from...?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I've opened up a new thread here to discuss this.

#25 Mike Gunther

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 03:02 PM

There seemed to be a pretty good house on Sunday. I liked Springtime (RDB, 2005) quite a lot, in addition to Peches. Also, the professionalism and artistry of the Tokyo troupe seemed outstanding to me. The program notes make the Tokyo Training Program sound like a kind of graduate school. They accept eight dancers every two years, which is also the length of the training period. I, too, would like to see them here for a full program.

My only reservation about "Proteges" was that some of the dancers were (recent) graduates rather than students. (I wonder if perhaps the Tokyoites also come under the "graduates" category.) In any case, I hope the Festival happens again next year. It is an innovative, promising, and enjoyable bit of programming.

#26 Whitney

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 05:04 PM

The proteges program was about young dancers from all over. Whether they are 16 or 18 or even 19 doesn’t really change it for me. I found it interesting to compare the styles of, for example, the delightful Danish dancers with the French dancers. After all, Bournonville was a French trained dancer. But for me, the biggest pleasant surprise was the Balanchine danced by the students from Dance Theatre of Harlem. Here was a group of students of all colors, of different body types, dancing beautifully, enthusiastically, and doing justice to the choreographer. I look forward to seeing more of them.

#27 rg

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 07:02 PM

i don't claim to 'know' this history myself. my list comes from scribbled notations made when ABT did Birthday O and when i asked the likes of David Vaughan and Dale Harris and Clive Barnes for help sorting out things next to ABT's dancers. (i could well have misunderstood something said at that time - 1990.) a glazunovian might be able to sort out the music to at least settle the order as given by vaughan. 'marionettes' is clearly the first, and i believe nerina's 'hail' is obvious from both glazunov and the fille-like quality to the solo itself. if grey's was the languid/'summer' variation then kavanagh's list would seem correct.

#28 ami1436

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 09:23 AM

Thanks for the link, LAC, and the thread, Helene!
:P


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