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Showings of 1965 Performance Film of Balanchine's "Don Quixotin 2007 restoration by New York Public Library


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#16 Jack Reed

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 03:22 PM

Thanks, nysusan, I hadn't understood from carbro's comment that access was so restricted. Actually, it seems a little odd to let people see items they can withdraw anyway, or do I still misunderstand something? But maybe they make a policy of "asking questions" just to keep crazy fans like me from showing up regularly.

bart, easy does it! I want to see this available, too, but compare Jackson's remark with my last long paragraph. Also, here's the list of permission-givers as printed in the program:

This videotape of George Balanchine's Don Quixote is screened courtesy of: Suzanne Farrell, George Balanchine Trust, New York City Ballet, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Bert Stern, American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA); American Federation of Musicians, Local 802; International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local One, I.A.T.S.E.; and Schott Music International.



On further thought, maybe Jackson has heard more than I have. Hmm. At any rate, there's not much we can do but keep our eyes and ears open for further showings, right?
Oh, and pray!

#17 Natalia

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 09:41 PM

Jack Reed, I have very little to add, you expressed yourself so eloquently! :)

The depth and quality fo the 1965 cast astounds. For example, in the 5th divertissement in Act II -- the languid Harem Princess solo by Patricia McBride -- is accompanied by a pre-teen girl who stands behind the dancer, holding aloft an ostrich-feather fan, trying to keep pace with the haughty princess. The child in the film was Coleen Neary, herself a distinguished NYCB soloist of the 70s. Judith Fugate -- star of the 70s and 80s -- has a prominent part among the younger children. And on and on.

This film and this cast is the mid-20th-Century equivalent of the Imperial Ballet of the Pavlova & Nijinsky era -- a pleiad of stars appearing together on one stage. It boggles the mind.

edited on 17 September to correct first name of Ms. Neary.

#18 rg

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 03:36 AM

the child/attendant in the Ritornel is Colleen Neary; her older sister, Patricia, dances in the Danza della caccia earlier in the selections of divertissements.

#19 bart

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 04:05 AM

This film and this cast is the mid-20th-Century equivalent of the Imperial Ballet of the Pavlova & Nijinsky era -- a pleiad of stars appearing together on one stage. It boggles the mind.

This makes me regret especially that I responded to the identical performances of this ballet so cooly back in its first year. We knew we had a great resource in NYCB and felt we could afford, I suppose, to be picky. Who suspected at the time how just unique those glory days were, and how difficult it would be to replicate them later on? Perhaps there's a moral for us in the present: pay close attention to what you're seeing, learn to value the best of what you have, and remember that things can always get worse.

#20 vipa

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 01:50 PM

The Sept. 17 issue of New Yorker lists a 9/18 6PM showing of the film at the Performing Arts library. Joan Acocella writes "get there early because there are fewer than 200 seats."

This would indication that it is open to the public.

#21 kfw

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 04:52 PM

At any rate, there's not much we can do but keep our eyes and ears open for further showings, right?
Oh, and pray!

Heck, I think this calls for a prayer chain. :) Seriously, given Farrell's association with the Kennedy Center, we can hope this will be shown there again, and on a weekend for Pete's sake. The Center never puts on seminars and conferences, do they? Hint hint, marketing people, Millennium Stage people.

Many thanks for your faithful reports, Jack.

#22 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 03:32 AM

To reiterate the notice about this week's NEW YORKER, with the piece by Joan Acocella, "DANCE NOTES" she says in part:
"Next week's hottest dance ticket is free but get there early because there are fewer than 200 seats."

She goes on to describe (as Jack reed did) the primitive quality of the film, and then the miracle of it, and how it shows -- according to her -- that today's NYCB cannot hold a candle to what it was under Balanchine. I can't say, I wasn't there. However, I have a time machine reserved, and after I see Nijinsky, I'll be at City Center and the NYST, and let you know.

I think that access to the research library is easier than described above -- I've spent some hours there -- not enough, but that's my fault.

#23 Jack Reed

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 02:04 PM

Hmmm. About that time machine, ViolinConcerto... Is that one you've used before? I've always wanted to try one, but I never wanted to be the first one...

#24 Farrell Fan

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 08:39 AM

Now with Jennifer Dunning's Times article of Sunday, Sept 16. we have yet another printed reference to "a public screening" of this film on Sept. 18. I feel I should say something since I posted the original info (quoting my phone call to the the NYPL) that this event was not open to the public. What can I say? There has never been a notice of it on the NYPL calendar. So I don't really know what the press's "open to the public" means in this circumstance, with a 200-seat house. If it means what it appears to mean, there should be a monstrous mob scene outside the Bruno Walter Auditorium

#25 Jack Reed

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 11:43 AM

Natalia wrote

It boggles the mind.


It does. It did, most evenings. And then there were the matinees!

bart wrote

We knew we had a great resource in NYCB and felt we could afford, I suppose, to be picky. Who suspected at the time how just unique those glory days were, and how difficult it would be to replicate them later on?


This reminds me of something a little OT, but one evening, operating according to my discovery that, to a considerable extent, I remembered more if I saw less, and not getting on well with the music for Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, I had finished my conversations on the Promenade of the New York State Theatre at the end of the second intermission, and, all by myself, started down the steps to the lobby on my way out, when guess who I passed walking up those steps, all by himself, to see Karin von Aroldingen's debut (in the second movement, I think)? I think I blushed.

(I did eventually see and get to know BSQ, of course, and many years later, I thought it made a conclusion to a program of SFB like the Rocky Mountains make a backdrop for Denver: Everything before it looked puny by comparison.)

#26 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 05:45 PM

Hmmm. About that time machine, ViolinConcerto... Is that one you've used before? I've always wanted to try one, but I never wanted to be the first one...


I'm normally quite a chicken, but if given the opportunity to see Nijinsky, and performances of NYCB at City Center (some of which I did see as a child), or Mr. B., performing as Drosselmeier and Don Q., I'd do it!

#27 bart

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 12:27 PM

Hidden away on p. 17 of the Sept. 17 issue of The New Yorker is a brief notice of the NYPL for Performing Arts showing. She makes some points already posted on this thread. I've added paragraph breaks to make this selection more easy to read.

[Bert] Stern had two cameras, one wide-angle and one for closeups. The library's film experts have edited some of the closeups into the wide shots and "restored" the whole thing, meaning that, where they could, they fixed the scratches on the print and the growls in the soundrack.

The result is still rough, but you'll nver again see dance footage like this. Farrell has spoken of the "off-balance" style of ballet that Balanchine invented in collaboration with her. Dulcinea's long solo in Act III (the solo, or the first one, that she finishes by kneeling, with her face in her hands) is the best example on record.

More than that, the film shows what New York City Ballet was like in the nineteen-sixties. To the critics complaining of N.Y.C.B.'s current way of dancing, others often say, "What are you belly-aching about? The company is fabulous." Look at this film, and not even at the astonising Farrell, but just at the female demi-soloists -- how much they can do, clearly and musically, in one bar of music. That, or the loss of that, is what the critics are complaining about.

One of the great puzzlements of recent Balanchine history, to me, has been the lack of interest in allowing the public to have a more generous visual record of NYCB's dancing, then and now. A cynic might ask: "Maybe some people are trying to hide the evidence that allows comparisons like Acocella's to be made."

#28 Farrell Fan

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 02:58 PM

Sounds to me like Peter Martins is going to be mad at The New Yorker again. Whom can he fire this time?

#29 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 04:14 PM

Hmmm. About that time machine, ViolinConcerto... Is that one you've used before? I've always wanted to try one, but I never wanted to be the first one...


I'm normally quite a chicken, but if given the opportunity to see Nijinsky, and performances of NYCB at City Center (some of which I did see as a child), or Mr. B., performing as Drosselmeier and Don Q., I'd do it!


well film can be a poor substitute, but go to the library! :)

**************

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)

#30 Natalia

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 10:58 AM

the child/attendant in the Ritornel is Colleen Neary; her older sister, Patricia, dances in the Danza della caccia earlier in the selections of divertissements.


Thanks, RG. I've corrected the name on my posting.


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