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"Le Combat" By William DollarQuestion about the ballet


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24 replies to this topic

#1 dancerdee

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 02:50 PM

I was wondering if anyone had recently seen a performance of "Le Combat", also called "The Duel"? It was premiered Feb 24, 1950 with NYCB. Have recently read about it and would like to find out more. If you have seen it recently, who danced it, and when.

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 04:30 PM

"Le Combat" was based on the Metrical Romance by Torquato Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered, which also made a pretty good silent movie. Before that, it is credited as a probable source for parts of Shakespeare's Cymbeline. When it was produced with its "corps" of male soloists, It was usually called "Le Combat", but when only the introduction, central pas de deux and final duel was shown, it was usually called "The Duel". I haven't seen it in over 40 years.

#3 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 06:36 PM

It became a signature piece for Melissa Hayden. I can't recall any recent performances, but am I totally off base in thinking that Dance Theatre of Harlem did it back in the seventies?

#4 carbro

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 08:39 PM

Didn't Dennis Wayne's short-lived company do it in the late '70s, too? I think I may have seen it there.

#5 Amy Reusch

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 08:11 PM

If you're curious to see it live, I just noticed New York Theatre Ballet is mounting it in April:

April 11-12, 2008 at 7:30 pm

A mixed repertory of works by Antony Tudor, plus William Dollar's Le Combat

and a premiere by Matthew Neenan.


http://www.nytb.org/...n_repertory.htm

#6 Ray

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 04:01 AM

Didn't Dennis Wayne's short-lived company do it in the late '70s, too? I think I may have seen it there.


Pittsburgh Ballet did it as late as 1986-88. The complete ballet. Not fun to dance, btw!

And I believe Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet (under Tallchief) did it in the late 70s/early 80s as well--I remember hearing from a friend who was involved in excruciating rehearsals for it. (Which makes me ask, since most of the old Chicago rep was based on her personal repertory experience, did Tallcheif ever dance it?)

#7 AG

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:32 AM

I believe I saw "The Duel" performed a few times by Pennsylvania Ballet, probably late 60s or early 70s....

#8 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 07:55 PM

I did see "Le Combat" In Havana sometime in the period between 1999-2001...Loved it, but didn't see it again. Since I left I've been told it has been danced pretty much regularly...
This are pics from one of the performances from 2005.

http://jgimage.smugm...#14061260_7DVZQ

#9 bart

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 03:20 AM

Wow! Thank you, Cristian, for those photos. A great set of images of the ballet -- and (parenthetically) a wonderful chance to look at another side of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.

I put The Duel on my wish-list on an earlier thread (late 2007) and Leigh replied, as follows:

Le Combat - or the Duel - I saw for the first time this year; New York Theatre Ballet performed it. I think it is also being done in December in Buenos Aires (I noticed it a year ago on the schedule of the Teatro Colon - though being performed "in exile" as the Colon is closed for renovations)


Here's a video of a pdd from this ballet performance: I'm not sure of the company -- is it the NY Theater Ballet? Tancred, the Cristian Crusader, has fatally wounded Clorinda, in who has masked herself and fought in in a duel. The story comes from Tasso's long 16th century poem, translated in English as Jerusalem Delivered. Walter Terry, quoted in Rep in Review, wrote: "The death scene is touchingly realized; the placement of the mortal wound, the unmasking of the girl,k the comprehension and despaire of the Crusader who has caused the death of the beloeved, are all realized in unpretentious but highlyi expressional dance terms."

http://www.youtube.c...re=channel_page

Here are still photos from that New York Theatre Ballet production:
http://lucaskrech.li...com/133368.html

Here's Kansas City Ballet's page on the ballet:
http://www.kcballet....s/lecombat.html

Here are Melissa Hayden and Francisco Moncion in an early performance (1949 or 1950) by NYCB. I can imagine how great Hayden, one of the most expressive dancers I've ever seen, must have been in this role. I don't know if it was revived, but I never saw it at NYCB, much to my regret.
http://digitalgaller...l...p;pos=2&e=r

#10 Natalia

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:21 AM

Le Combat (The Duel) by Dollar is on the recently-released DVD titled Asami Maki Ballet Group. It was filmed in 1990 during the Japanese troupe's visit to the Kirov-Mariinsky. Also on the program is Dollar's Constantia, to Chopin, as well as four ballets by the troupe's founder, Ms Asami. It is a rather low-resolution film but definitely watchable; invaluable for these two rarities.

#11 richard53dog

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:46 AM

I seem to remember seeing this with ABT ca 1970 with Lupe Serrano not long before she retired. My memories are pretty dim though .

#12 LiLing

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:33 PM

There used to be a week of dance performances after the end of the Shakespeare season in Central Park sponsored by The Harkness Foundation. It was a mixed bill, ballet, modern, ethnic, and Free! I saw Lupe Serrano do The Duel, and still remember how powerful she was, with astonishing elevation. It was a wonderful setting for it too, outdoors, with the castle in the background.
Id love to see ABT revive this.

#13 vipa

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:50 PM

I seem to remember seeing this with ABT ca 1970 with Lupe Serrano not long before she retired. My memories are pretty dim though .


ABT ll did it probably in the mid to late 70's and it was popular in regional companies for a while around that time.

#14 bart

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:22 PM

Does anyone have any memories of any of these performances that they can share with us?

#15 duffster

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:30 PM

Pennsylvania Ballet did perform The Duel in the late 60's and early 70's. I remember it being danced by Barbara Sandonato and her husband [the now deceased Alexie Yudenich] I was in the school at the time. It was beautifully done and quite moving. I'm surprised that more companies have not performed it.


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