Jump to content


National Ballet of Cuba archival question


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Victor5678

Victor5678

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts

Posted 22 September 2007 - 05:36 PM

I am wondering whether anyone can provide information about a supposed staging of Jerome Robbins' "Dances at a Gathering" by the National Ballet of Cuba. From what info. I have, I know it was in 1978... and the costumes were by Oscar de la Renta. I was hoping someone had a cast list, and date/location of the premiere for the company. Thanks!

#2 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,435 posts

Posted 22 September 2007 - 06:46 PM

i have no definitive data on this but i think it seems unlikely the ballet in question is jerome robbins's DANCES AT A GATHERING.
in '78 DANCES was not yet 10 years old; robbins was always very watchful of where his ballets might be staged. perhaps a robbins trust site catalogues the robbins repertory around the world.
during his lifetime - he died in '98 - he rarely had any of his ballets restaged with new designs. the original and to the best of my knowledge only designer connected with DANCES was joe eula.
maybe others here can shed some light on your query.

#3 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,239 posts

Posted 22 September 2007 - 07:49 PM

i have no definitive data on this but i think it seems unlikely the ballet in question is jerome robbins's DANCES AT A GATHERING.
in '78 DANCES was not yet 10 years old; robbins was always very watchful of where his ballets might be staged. perhaps a robbins trust site catalogues the robbins repertory around the world.
during his lifetime - he died in '98 - he rarely had any of his ballets restaged with new designs. the original and to the best of my knowledge only designer connected with DANCES was joe eula.
maybe others here can shed some light on your query.

rg, i really don't have information about "Dances at a Gathering" danced by Ballet Nacional de Cuba, but i know that Mme. Alonso :bow: has restaged several Balanchine and Robins ballets, always claiming of presenting them in their best choreographic accuracy, having learned them from the main source, (e.g, Fokine's "Chopiniana" and thus the whole controversy over its presentation with the Fokine trust when the troupe came to the US and tried, unsuccesfully, to danced it years ago). Now, what i know for fact is that she did actually staged a Robins ballet in oct. 28 .1978, with designs by Oscar de la Renta, and it was "In the Night", with music from Chopin. As a curiousity ,this entry is listed as a "world premiere".

#4 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,132 posts

Posted 22 September 2007 - 08:22 PM

I do remember Francia Russell saying in one of the post-performance Q&A's at PNB that on one of her staging trips, she went to China, which at the time had no rights to any Balanchine ballets, to fix a production that they -- I don't remember which company or which ballet -- had tried to stage from a videotape.

#5 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,239 posts

Posted 22 September 2007 - 09:06 PM

and I've also seen "Apollo", "Ballo de la Regina", "Theme and Variations" "TPDD" and "Sylvia PDD" in Havana ...so Trusts..? :bow:

#6 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,132 posts

Posted 22 September 2007 - 09:18 PM

Did you keep your programs? Often they mention whether or not there are stagers from the Trust (with all of those copyright symbols all over the place.)

I don't know if Alonso every performed in Apollo, but there are so many people with experience in the ballet from so many companies that it wouldn't be that hard to stage, especially with at least three video versions. Ballo was filmed within a few years of its premiere. Odds are it was staged from that video, if the Trust didn't send someone.

#7 drb

drb

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,508 posts

Posted 22 September 2007 - 09:37 PM

... Now, what i know for fact is that she did actually staged a Robins ballet in oct. 28 .1978, with designs by Oscar de la Renta, and it was "In the Night", with music from Chopin. As a curiousity ,this entry is listed as a "world premiere".

The Oxford University Press Dictionary of Dance does confirm the Cuban performance of the Robbins ballet In the Night in 1978. Wasn't this ballet a sort of year-later addendum to Dances at a Gathering?
http://www.answers.c.../in-the-night-2

#8 Victor5678

Victor5678

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts

Posted 22 September 2007 - 10:02 PM

Thank you. In fact is IS "In the Night" that I was looking for information on.. I knew it was one of those two. Does anyone have any idea who danced in this (unauthorized, I am sure) premiere of "In the Night"?
I seem to recall now that the premiere may have even been in Spain in October 1978, while the National Ballet of Cuba was on tour...? Does anyone have any connections to this company to confirm who the dancers may have been? Thanks.

#9 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 22 September 2007 - 10:04 PM

I remember a story about the apparently ubiquitous Lourdes Lopez visiting the land of her birth to dance as a guest with Ballet Nacional maybe two or three years after she retired from NYCB. Maybe she did some staging during that visit.


Okay, this story explains the presence of the Robbins and Balanchine works in BNdC's rep.

This story, from 1998, describes Lopez's first visit as guest of the company; this one the outgrowth of that visit.

Edited by carbro, 22 September 2007 - 10:15 PM.
Adding Links


#10 drb

drb

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,508 posts

Posted 22 September 2007 - 10:13 PM

As reported in a New York Times article written by Erika Kinetz, November 6, 2004, it seems Mme. Alonso's Company was authorized by Jerome Robbins to perform In the Night:

...The embargo has also made it difficult to maintain ballets by American choreographers, and some say that the quality of even those ballets that were obtained legally has decayed over time. In 1978 Jerome Robbins's production of "In the Night" was licensed for two years to the Ballet Nacional. In 1998 Ms. Lopez went to Havana to dance in the International Festival of Ballet and saw the piece performed. "The ballet was unrecognizable," she said. "It had disintegrated. The choreography had been changed. Hard steps were taken out. I know this ballet well. I had danced it. The music was slow. It was not the same ballet."
Ms. Ara˙jo said the dance had been pulled from the company's repertory. "Alicia thinks it is not done the right way," she said. "It was something given to her by Jerome Robbins, and she takes good care of it."...



#11 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,239 posts

Posted 23 September 2007 - 07:57 AM

Did you keep your programs? Often they mention whether or not there are stagers from the Trust (with all of those copyright symbols all over the place.)
I don't know if Alonso every performed in Apollo, but there are so many people with experience in the ballet from so many companies that it wouldn't be that hard to stage, especially with at least three video versions.


Hi, Helene. Yes, i kept the program. It was a Gala Tribute to George Balanchine that Mme. Alonso :bow: prepared and presented with great fanfarre the night of Oct. 20 2000, at the Lorca Theatre in Havana, which included "TPDD", "SYlvia PDD" and "Theme and Variations". There is no trace whatsoever of the copyright sign on it, or any mention of the Balanchine Trust. :bow: I remember veeeery well that performance, because i was shocked at the hight security displayed at the theatre that night, even police scanning everybody before getting in. Right before the courtains went up, guess who showed up right up in the theatre...Fidel Castro :o . Anyways, back to topic and Alonso, yes, she danced one of the muses role in "Apollo", along with Nora Kaye and Barbara Fallis, and Andre Eglevsky in the title role. I have a beautiful pic. of the three from the ballet taken by the photographer Fred Fehl in New York, and is not dated, but it has to be from before 1947, pre- "Theme and Variations'. Balanchine also had her in "Waltz Academy" around those years ...

#12 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,239 posts

Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:18 AM

I remember a story about the apparently ubiquitous Lourdes Lopez visiting the land of her birth to dance as a guest with Ballet Nacional maybe two or three years after she retired from NYCB. Maybe she did some staging during that visit.


Okay, this story explains the presence of the Robbins and Balanchine works in BNdC's rep.

This story, from 1998, describes Lopez's first visit as guest of the company; this one the outgrowth of that visit.


Thank you, Carbro, for the link to Ms. Lopez's story. I could identify with it and really got deeply moved ...

[font="Comic Sans MS"][size=2]"For her trip to Cuba, she chose 'Pavane for a Dead Princess', a ballet created by George Balanchine for Patricia McBride,(...)After rehearsal one day, Ms. Lopez was asked why she had picked that ballet. (...)'You know how it begins, a solitary figure center stage, wrapped in a long veil?' she asks. 'Well, it occurred to me that, oddly enough, this ballet is like Cuba. Like Cuba, I'm raising my hands to whatever, government or God, and I'm imploring. I'm saying: 'Do something. I'm isolated. I'm by myself, buried down here.' But no one comes, and, in the end, I'm back under the wraps, crying.''[/size] [/font]

#13 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,435 posts

Posted 23 September 2007 - 03:06 PM

i have now tried watermarking a press photo from my collection.
it shows Alonso in WALTZ ACADEMY - all it says, rubber-stamped, on the back is: LUCIA CHASE AND OLIVER SMITH PRESENT BALLET THEATRE 8TH SEASON
[in pencil] Alicia Alonso

Attached Files



#14 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,239 posts

Posted 23 September 2007 - 03:26 PM

i have now tried watermarking a press photo from my collection.
it shows Alonso in WALTZ ACADEMY - all it says, rubber-stamped, on the back is: LUCIA CHASE AND OLIVER SMITH PRESENT BALLET THEATRE 8TH SEASON
[in pencil] Alicia Alonso

What a beautiful pic of my beloved Mme, RG! I have another variation from that same photoshoot. Thank you for sharing it. It's my new screen saver now!.


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):