Amy Reusch

Tudor Centennial

49 posts in this topic

I also remember the 3 women, most recently from Miami's performances. Amy, you're right: there is an Edward Gorey feeling to it. Running while carrying a prophet's recently hacked-off head on a platter would indeed tend to encourage feelings of urgency. Not to mention THREE such heads. Question: to whom were the heads being delivered? :)

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I also remember the 3 women, most recently from Miami's performances. Amy, you're right: there is an Edward Gorey feeling to it. Running while carrying a prophet's recently hacked-off head on a platter would indeed tend to encourage feelings of urgency. Not to mention THREE such heads. Question: to whom were the heads being delivered? :)

Actually, the shape wasn't hands holding a platter, but actually holding the head, at about eye level or slightly above--the top hand on the top of the severed head, and the bottom hand holding the (presumably bloody) neck-stump--so a different kind of urgent, perhaps (i.e., motivating the dancers to run like they're carrying a bloody head?--never mind that most of us wouldn't pick one up to begin with). Gruesome. And three of them!

I think most viewers imagine that they are holding boxes, perhaps gifts.

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Happy Birthday Mr. Tudor -- born this day in 1908!

Thanks for the link to the juicy article bart. I'm not sure which was juicier -- the reference to the simmering "anti-Balanchine animus" or the apparent simmering animus toward Kevin McKenzie for his stewardship of the Tudor repertory at ABT.

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As a musician, I was always struck by the fact that Tudor absolutely dared to use the music of Mahleer and Schienberg for ballets. While I am not a fan of PILLAR OF FIRE, I have always been struck by the movements devised by Tudoe for KINDERTOTENLIEDER. His use of the arms, the head, and the eyes, are quite touching and, more to the point, totally complement the msuic. It is as if the msuci and movement were organically thought through, a la Petipa and Tchaikovsky.

It is a masterpiece, and I am not one to so easily use that word!

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wow! What an article. I liked the final bit:

"Ah, you can attempt a comeback, and on it goes until you are too aged to look forward to anything other than fame beyond the grave," the choreographer wrote.

"Bah humbug, says I," he continued. "The only question being whether you ever loved what you were doing in the first place."

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I am quite curious to hear what more people on BT think of Tudor--we have a large Balanchine-friendly population, and Tudor seems to often be seen as Balanchine's opposite, perhaps along the lines of Martha Graham but with ballet. I have unfortunately not had the opportunity to see much Tudor, and so I wish that his works would at least be revived for film if ballet companies are not going to perform them anymore. Of course film is not a substitute for continuous performance, but it is better than nothing.

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I'd love to get to know Tudor's work as well. Susan Reiter has written about New York Theatre Ballet's Tudor and Limon Celebration on danceviewtimes.

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Performing Tudor came up today at an ABT Teachers' Workshop. It was interesting to hear Raymond Lukens talking about how chassee pushing down through fifth to slide out to tendu (my poor paraphrasing, please don't blame Lukens) doesn't seem to be taught much these days, with tombe taking it's place, and how this makes it difficult when it comes to mounting Tudor work on today's dancers.

At the symposium, was there much discussion of changing styles of technique affecting the mounting of Tudor works?

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It was interesting to hear Raymond Lukens talking about how chassee pushing down through fifth to slide out to tendu (my poor paraphrasing, please don't blame Lukens) doesn't seem to be taught much these days, with tombe taking it's place, and how this makes it difficult when it comes to mounting Tudor work on today's dancers.

This is just the kind of detail that those of us who are neither trained dancers nor teachers need to hear. I can visualize it based on the way you describe it, Amy. But it would NEVER had occurred to me that something so simple -- so basic -- could make much of a difference. I can see this now, however, and it makes me long to see more Tudor (performed correctly). Thanks for the insight.

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Joel Lobenthal of the New York Sun weighs in on the Tudor Centennial:

Tribute to Tudor

http://www2.nysun.com/article/74260

But there were notable absences — former ballerina Sallie Wilson, who danced the Tudor repertory at ABT in the 1960s and 1970s among them. No absence, however, was so noticeable as that of Airi Hynninen, Tudor's assistant at ABT during the 1970s and '80s, who drew up most of the notation scores for Tudor's ballets (Tudor was a great believer in dance notation). Ms. Hynninen was not invited to speak at either panel, and indeed, both she and Ms. Wilson seem to have become estranged from the Tudor Trust in recent years, which, while unfortunate, has resulted in some favorable circumstances for New York dance audiences. During the past decade, Ms. Wilson has worked primarily with the New York Theatre Ballet, and at the Florence Gould Hall last week, NYTB performed a mixed program that included Ms. Wilson's stagings of "Lilac Garden," "Little Improvisations," and "Judgment of Paris." Ms. Hynninen has not staged a full-length Tudor work since the beginning of this decade. For NYTB's program, however, she staged the bedroom duet from Tudor's "Romeo and Juliet," which has not been seen in its entirety for 30 years.

and

Tudor had been the sun around which a close-knit group of favored interpreters at ABT during the 1940s revolved. They included Nora Kaye and Tudor's longterm partner, Hugh Laing (as well as Diana Adams, Laing's wife for a while). Tudor's immersion in a cliquish group of intimates is perhaps the origin of the bugaboo clinging to his ballets as ingrown and hermetic, requiring mystagogues rather than ballet masters. But this is ridiculous. Any well-trained ballet dancer with the inclination and opportunity to excel at Tudor can bring his work to life.

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There was a brief review in today's NY Times by Jennifer Dunning of New York Theater Ballet's presentation of a pas de deux from Tudor's Romeo & Juliet

Rare Revival of Tudor’s Take on Young Love

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/14/arts/dan...o.html?ref=arts

Created in 1943 for Ballet Theater, this one-act version is set to Delius’s “Walk to the Paradise Garden” rather than the more familiar Prokofiev score. The piece is as typical of Tudor’s distinctive style as it is different from familiar full-blown versions by John Cranko and Kenneth MacMillan.

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Another company celebrates Tudor's Centennial: Sarasota Ballet

The season will close in April 2009 with another tribute piece, this time in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of choreographer Antony Tudor, an Englishman who, like Webb, trained at the Romberg Company, went to the Royal Ballet and moved to the United States.

Webb got on the phone to the Tudor Trust, outlined the parallels between his life and Tudor's and said, "I feel like I have a connection to Mr. Tudor."

The gambit worked, and Webb will present "The Lilac Garden," a 1936 work that tells the story of a young bride on her wedding day; the other characters are Her Lover, The Man She Must Marry and an Episode in His Past.

"He somehow looks at the characters in the pieces," said Webb. "Tudor always seems to somehow go deeper into the characters. It's very dramatic, very powerful."

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080.../804200378/1661

Company website: http://www.sarasotaballet.org/

Romberg?

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Romberg?

You know -- Sigmund Romberg. Tudor was moonlighting, doing choreography for operettas -- Desert Song, The Student Prince. I understand he made a couple very nice duets for Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald in New Moon.

(removes tongue from cheek)

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On May 10th in Hartford at the Bushnell, the Ted Hershey Dance Marathon 10th Anniversar concert will present Julliard Students performing excerpts from Dark Elegies.

http://www.tedhershey.com/program/

Choreographers include:

Michael Uthoff: Guest Artist Director and Advisor for the 10th Anniversary, and former director of Hartford Ballet. Danced by members of the Hartford Community chosen by audition.

-Duet from Romeo and Juliet originally created for Ted Hershey

-Mock Turtle from Alice in Wonderland

-Ode to Jose

Antony Tudor: One of the great choreographers of the 20th Century who was highly revered by Ted Hershey. His work will be performed by Juilliard Students to honor the Centennial of his birth.

-Dark Elegies

Jose Limon and Limon Company: The José Limón company, which is celebrating the Centennial of Limón's birth, will be performing -Excerpts from There is a Time

Ted Hershey

-Between Us Glimmering, originally commissioned by the Hartford Ballet in memory of Rob Kowalski

-Village Suite, choreographed with Laura Glenn

-One, created by Ted for Laura and performed at the Bushnell by WORKS alumna Lisa Matais

Pilobolus:, DVD screening of excerpt of work performed by Hartford Ballet while on tour in China featuring Ted Hershey.

-Land's Edge, with Ted Hershey as “The Foolâ€.

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Another addition to this thread:

Alistaire Macauley in the NY Times: Under Analysis: The Psychology of Tudor's Ballets (2nd page has a nice photo of Tudor in a 1942 performance of Pillar of Fire)

Too few of Tudor's ballets are left for his work ever again to equal the stature of that of his contemporaries Balanchine, Martha Graham and Frederick Ashton. But we can still recognize that he was a major artist and a major influence. Even Balanchine ("Emeralds") and Ashton ("Enigma Variations") owe debts to "Jardin aux Lilas"; the choreography of Jerome Robbins and Kenneth MacMillan owes Tudor many more; and so, often, does Paul Taylor's. After this centenary is over, however, how much Tudor will any of us see again? Catch what you can before the year is out.

Speaking of which, this week Boston Ballet presents Dark Elegies alongside Balanchine's Concerto Barocco & Tharp's In The Upper Room

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Speaking of which, this week Boston Ballet presents Dark Elegies alongside Balanchine's Concerto Barocco & Tharp's In The Upper Room

I'll be seeing Dark Elegies on Saturday (performed by BBT). I'm looking forward to this ballet, as I have never seen this one.

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Amy's quotation from Macaulay's May 11 article gave me pause, especially the last few sentences of the piece:

After this centenary is over, however, how much Tudor will any of us see again? Catch what you can before the year is out.
The implication that the works may disappear or go into mothballs is a sad one. Is it possible? If so, would this have to do with the relative smallness of his body of works? Or the very different concerns out of which art is created/produced/performed in our culture today?

mbdance, please share your responses to Dark Elegies when you've seen it. This is one Tudor ballet that many of us know little about. The scenario, briefly described in the Macaulay piece, sounds powerful and not your typical Tudor situation.

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mbdance, please share your responses to Dark Elegies when you've seen it. This is one Tudor ballet that many of us know little about. The scenario, briefly described in the Macaulay piece, sounds powerful and not your typical Tudor situation.

I'll definitely write my impressions. A friend of mine had seen it and said that it stands out as one of his most profound pieces.

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bart -- I would throw a third variable into the mix regarding the longevity of Tudor's work.

The April issue of Dancing Times features an interview with Limon stager Sarah Stackhouse in which she talks about staging Limon's The Moor's Pavane and Chaconne for the Phoenix Dance Theatre in the UK. Specifically, Stackhouse discusses how today's dancers are phenomenal in terms of jumping and turning but not so great in terms of performing "gestural movement" or movement that is "slow and dragged-out".

I got thinking about this when I read your post about Tudor because it seems to me that the handicaps Stackhouse discusses in relation to restaging Limon works would also apply to Tudor. Dancers today are geared more toward speed and power rather than the less pyrotechnical characteristics found in Tudor. While it's not impossible to train them up to Tudor, a proper restaging of Tudor probably requires more time than usual and, as they say, time is money. If you're a company director with time constraints and a tight budget, you may say to yourself that Tudor isn't worth it, no matter how much you may love his work.

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miliosr, you're really onto something.... though it's not completely hopeless. The more that young ballet dancers cross-train with contemporary dancers, the more they'll encounter "energy-work." I'm calling it that, not sure WHAT it's called, but in Butoh and also in the descendants of Ausdruckstanz, theyre's intense interest in being able to develop techniques of altering energy states -- to move way into the self, far behindhte surface, to be come very cold, or very forward, -- whatever, these ARE techniques, and it'swhat's missing most in the very facile dancers coming out of hte ballet schools now -- a ballet like Dark ELegies -- which by hte way the Limon company dances superlatively well -- requires that powerful, deeply withdrawn energy, to creat e that "after great grief a formal feeling comes" communal emotion whthout which the Tudor shapes would not have any force as gestures.

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Interesting post Paul.

In the Dancing Times article, Sarah Stackhouse talks about how the early modern dancers (i.e. Limon and Graham) were interested in capturing Expressive states and how they used these states to drive their bodies. She admits freely that many of the dancers were "terrible" from today's technical perspective. But she also says that they had an "engagement" with the material which animated their bodies.

I would love to see the Limon company perform Dark Elegies this Fall. But, alas, it looks like their major non-Limon (or Humphrey) revival will be Anna Sokolow's Rooms.

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What an interesting idea to have a modern dance company take Tudor into it's repertory... which of Tudor's ballets could suffer having the pointe shoes removed?

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Two reviews of Boston Ballet in Dark Elegies

Karen Campbell in the Boston Globe:

http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/arti..._boston_ballet/

Yet Tudor's expressive vocabulary never seems like mime. It is deftly, seamlessly integrated into phrases that cast the dancers in isolated anguish or bring them together in communal mourning. Heather Myers can't resist cradling a ghost child, and Larissa Ponomarenko tries to bear her grief with ramrod straight posture, flat palms pressed to her sides. Jared Redick interrupts angry kicks and jagged leaps with moments of stillness, arms open wide as if asking why. Toward the end, community comes together in a ritual-like folk dance, hands connecting, heel-toe kicks skewing side-to-side. And by the final tableau, there is a palpable sense of acceptance, the backdrop's blue and pink sky suggesting the light of a new dawn.

Jeffrey Gantz in The Phoenix (with photo)

http://thephoenix.com/article_ektid61675.aspx

Set to texts by 19th-century German poet Friedrich Rückert, they make circles (like Tudor in the fourth song) of grief and denial and submission

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