juliajane

Gelsey Kirkland

77 posts in this topic

Wow! What artistry! Thank you for posting these clips.

Simon, these clips are wonderful. They make this ballet look easy, while doing the difficult transitions,a true testament to their artistry.

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Thank you so much for posting this, one of the performances that I can point to when people ask me what got me started as a dancer.

It's a shame though that we can only enjoy this performance, from the 1970s, in a form that looks like a kinescope from the 1950s. Why can't our venerable dance organizations, charged with preserving Balanchine's work, do something about remastering and redistributing this. Yes, I know it's about money and permissions, but it's also about institutional will: do they care?

Enjoy it before the "Balanchine police" take it away--censorship is something they seem to have plenty of time and energy for.

Does the Foundation or Trust (whoever it is) take off clips only from NYCBallet performances, or ANY performance of Balanchine? Kirkland and Barishnikov did not dance in NYCB at the same time as far as I can recall.

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Does the Foundation or Trust (whoever it is) take off clips only from NYCBallet performances, or ANY performance of Balanchine? Kirkland and Barishnikov did not dance in NYCB at the same time as far as I can recall.

Yes, you do not mess with Mr B's Foundation. Have you seen Pulp Fiction? Do you remember Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta's characters? They're like that, only with ballet.

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Does the Foundation or Trust (whoever it is) take off clips only from NYCBallet performances, or ANY performance of Balanchine? Kirkland and Barishnikov did not dance in NYCB at the same time as far as I can recall.

Yes, you do not mess with Mr B's Foundation. Have you seen Pulp Fiction? Do you remember Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta's characters? They're like that, only with ballet.

Well, to mangle a quote from Barry Goldwater, "Extremism in the preservataion of beauty is no vice."

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Yes, you do not mess with Mr B's Foundation. Have you seen Pulp Fiction? Do you remember Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta's characters? They're like that, only with ballet.

Well, to mangle a quote from Barry Goldwater, "Extremism in the preservataion of beauty is no vice."

Indeed--and just what good is accomplished by this particular wild extremism? Denying both the knowledgeable public, which is starving for performances like Kirkland's in T&V which literally can no longer happen live, and the potential public which might, enraptured by such ravishing accounts of Balanchine, become balletgoers?

Ludicrous and deeply wrong. Balanchine, by the way, called his own ballets 'butterflies', and said that no one wanted to see last year's butterflies. Apparently the Foundation is determined that no one see them except at steep prices in a few cities a few times a year. Not coming soon to a theatre near you.

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Her dancing in that clip is both delicate and luxurious. It's simply intoxicating! :wub:

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Her dancing in that clip is both delicate and luxurious. It's simply intoxicating! :wub:

Thanks a wonderful way to describe it!!!! :tiphat:

I've watched this several times this week. It's a bit addictive.

I can only hope that this ABT program sees a commercial release one day. They have already released a few of their mixed programs but this one seems much stronger. I'd love to have it in some version better than one of the fuzzy old copies of people's VHS tapes

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I remember watching this performance live on PBS when it was first broadcast.

THAT was when I first became interested in Balanchine's choreography beyond just dancing it.

THAT was when I truly appreciated the beauty, exquisite control, and precise phrasing, of both principals (ie. a showcase for virtuosity instead of the bravura of previous PBS broadcasts)

THAT was the music and costumes I remembered despite many subsequent incarnations at ABT and elsewhere.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting this. So short a view, but it's restored my memories and soul from a time when I was still young, still innocent, and still dancing.

Two years ago, I was able to view the whole performance at the NYPL Performing Arts archives etc. at Lincoln Center. I think they have a 3/4" master, but I don't remember the wrinkle. The original was probably recorded on 2" quad, or maybe 1" by then. But like everything else, it all devolves to who owns the rights to release it. And if it's the B'Trust, then we have a long time to wait.

But after my experiences in LA, I am not surprised by the obtuseness of those who do not recognize the value of an audience that is many many times larger than those that can travel to or fit into a theater, no matter how many performances are held. Or the value of cross promotion of an art form, or dancers, or a company.

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Wow. Seeing her dance like this makes her career even more tragic in my eyes. Being to young to have seen Ms Kirkland live, video snippets are all I have seen. I usually will not judge a dancer on he basis of a video since generally artistry is lost. If that holds true with Kirkland, I can not even imagine what she was like live. I hope more videos of her will eventually find their way to the public so that many more generations will be able to see a glimpse of the artistry so rarely seen today

Fraildove, although I was too young fully to comprehend her brilliance, I did see Kirkland a few times live. Multiply the greatness by a power of 10,000 (from the video) and you have some idea. BTW, there are a few clips of her on YouTube--one in the Giselle Act 1 variation which is jawdropping...the attitude turns are beyond beyond. She, like several other great artists, had a ravishing unreality, a quality of evanescence which is impossible even to describe in words.

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Just wanted to bump these to the main page so as many people get a chance to see them as possible, before the inevitable intervention.

Just found these by accident, must have been busy during most of the viewing. They're still here, though. Sublime, thanks.

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These videos been taken off YouTube by now, but there's a clip of Kirkland's variation from Theme and Variations on this site - http://www.mystagepro.com/trinarina (click through to video and scroll down) - which is completely stunning.

There's also a silent clip of her first act Giselle variation, which looks like it's from rehearsal footage - it seems to be one of the two tapes that were edited together to make the Giselle clip that was posted on YouTube a while back. Does anyone know where it comes from?

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There's also a silent clip of her first act Giselle variation, which looks like it's from rehearsal footage - it seems to be one of the two tapes that were edited together to make the Giselle clip that was posted on YouTube a while back. Does anyone know where it comes from?

If you check the on-line catalog of the New York Public Library/Performing Arts Collection (www.nypl.org), you can sometimes learn interesting tidbits about these clips. It appears that Kirkland donated to the Library many tapes of rehearsals and performances, often recorded in silence. The YouTube clip had the piano accompaniment added later and you'll see on YouTube that it was posted with permission from Kirkland.

Some tapes in the NYPL collection say they were "preserved with support provided in part by Save America's Treasures through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service." Although these generally are not of the quality that could be shown on television (and I'm sure there are frightful issues of permissions from all the performers involved), at least we have footage preserved of great performances from the 1970s by Kirkland, Baryshnikov, and many others. Only researchers who can get to the NYPL library can see them, alas, but we can hope that some day some of this material will be used in documentaries or somehow distributed to educational institutions around the country.

PS: Thanks for that link. If you scroll down, you'll find all sorts of goodies -- which will no doubt be removed from viewing very soon -- take a look ASAP.

PPS: Am I the only one who is amused that the Chinese channel has so far fended off pressure to remove their copyrighted material by you-know-who?

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If you check the on-line catalog of the New York Public Library/Performing Arts Collection (www.nypl.org), you can sometimes learn interesting tidbits about these clips. It appears that Kirkland donated to the Library many tapes of rehearsals and performances, often recorded in silence. The YouTube clip had the piano accompaniment added later and you'll see on YouTube that it was posted with permission from Kirkland.

Some tapes in the NYPL collection say they were "preserved with support provided in part by Save America's Treasures through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service." Although these generally are not of the quality that could be shown on television (and I'm sure there are frightful issues of permissions from all the performers involved), at least we have footage preserved of great performances from the 1970s by Kirkland, Baryshnikov, and many others. Only researchers who can get to the NYPL library can see them, alas, but we can hope that some day some of this material will be used in documentaries or somehow distributed to educational institutions around the country.

Thanks! Just spent some time going through the catalogue - yet another reason to try to get to New York again as soon as possible :)

PS: Thanks for that link. If you scroll down, you'll find all sorts of goodies -- which will no doubt be removed from viewing very soon -- take a look ASAP.

What I liked about it as well was the sense that this was someone's personal collection of things they liked over the years - nice to have a curated list rather than wading through YouTube for a change :wink:

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If you check the on-line catalog of the New York Public Library/Performing Arts Collection (www.nypl.org), you can sometimes learn interesting tidbits about these clips. It appears that Kirkland donated to the Library many tapes of rehearsals and performances, often recorded in silence. The YouTube clip had the piano accompaniment added later and you'll see on YouTube that it was posted with permission from Kirkland.

Some tapes in the NYPL collection say they were "preserved with support provided in part by Save America's Treasures through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service." Although these generally are not of the quality that could be shown on television (and I'm sure there are frightful issues of permissions from all the performers involved), at least we have footage preserved of great performances from the 1970s by Kirkland, Baryshnikov, and many others. Only researchers who can get to the NYPL library can see them, alas, but we can hope that some day some of this material will be used in documentaries or somehow distributed to educational institutions around the country.

Thanks! Just spent some time going through the catalogue - yet another reason to try to get to New York again as soon as possible :)

PS: Thanks for that link. If you scroll down, you'll find all sorts of goodies -- which will no doubt be removed from viewing very soon -- take a look ASAP.

What I liked about it as well was the sense that this was someone's personal collection of things they liked over the years - nice to have a curated list rather than wading through YouTube for a change :wink:

Are you kidding me...? :) This AMAZING catalogue is always one of the highlights of my trips to the city. I usually spend several hours wandering around old clips of the BRdMC and BT. The staff there is also SUPER friendly. You can actually request several entries at a time, and even if there's supposed to be a limited number-(I think 4 or 5..?)-they usually let you get away with way more than that. Highly recommended place! :thumbsup:

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I was fortunate enough to see one of her early performances with Baryshnikov in Canada, as well as a few later performances--there was no one quite like her. I agree with the comments above about her two books. I wish she would write another book! She must have many more interesting things to say about the art and her experiences since she was a performer.

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Thanks, all, for these clips and comments. The fuzziness of the video is more than made up by the great clarity and detailing of the dancing.

I made a quick comparison with the Kistler/Zelensky performance in the 1993 Balanchine Celebration tape. I have always liked that, but Kirkland/Baryshnikov, dancing the same steps, show us ... more.

The Kistler/Zelensky performance was exquisite and truly beautiful. Kistler had so much control, more than in other ballets I have seen her in. Her body looked suited for this ballet. Zelensky partnered her with such elegance and matched her in beauty.

Does anyone have recommendations for viewing additional work by Zelensky?

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The Gelsey Kirkland Academy has posted some interesting news about future plans. They have formed a Studio Company, with dancers on 32-week contracts, and refer to future plans for a Gelsey Kirkland Ballet company. They also acquired a collection of sets, costumes and props at a liquidation auction of the New York City Opera:

http://www.gelseykirklandballet.org/new-year-gka/

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I had never seen that footage of Kirkland--it's marvelous. Thank you.

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the Kirkland footage is silent, pirated film from her NYCB days, probably taken by Lucia Wayne, whose collection of such films is partly? in the NYPL Jerome Robbins Dance Division - all still silent.

she's seen here in Jacques d'Amboise IRISH FANTASY, see following credits:

Irish fantasy - Chor: Jacques D'Amboise; mus: Camille Saint-Saƫns (ballet music from Henry VIII); scen: David Hays; cos: Barbara Karinska; lighting: David Hays. First perf: New York, New York State Theater, Oct 8, 1964, New York City Ballet.

and yes, the Vivaldi music on top of this early 1970s? footage is patched in from left field, so to speak...

the two soloist men seen at times framing Kirkland look like they might be either the Sackett brothers, or Robert Maiorano or maybe Bruce Wells?

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Thanks for this. Gelsey had just this special "ease of movement" not always seen in today's dancers. Even Osipova. I'm always aware of her doing things. Gelsey just did. It seemed to come from no-where, but stayed in the mind. Translucent. And Makhalina was always a favorite. Never got her due.

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Thank you RG that was very enlightening. She and Makhalina both have special qualities that elevate them above the stratosphere. Just wonderful to watch.

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MORE GELSEY VIDEO! And wonderful, too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGAXPd_JEus

In Balanchine's Tarantella -- without music, alas, but as I watch it I can hear the music. Fantastic performance -- she gives great respect to McBride's creation, keeps to McBride's big effects all the way, but throws her head back on her travelling steps and does her Rockettes-kick with her own attack and REALLY sits down in the echappes; also a fantastic Suzy Q exit, almost as if this were Bulerias.... Funny, , funny, funny, she's a scream in this.

Also interesting that she's not bothered by obsessive perfectionism. The rhythm is perfect. But she stays in character: in entrechat-quatre, she doesn't pointe much; in pique turns, she over-crosses her passe and doesn't turn out a whole lot -- just like Patty.

Not sure who her partner is. He's not bad.

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