Who Lost Antony Tudor's Romeo and Juliet?
Posted 11 November 2008 - 11:33 AM
Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:15 PM
This Romeo and Juliet was done in the 70s - Makarova did it - so there must be dancers around who remember the staging.
Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:25 PM
Would a lot depend not on what ABT want but what the Tudor Trust have to say in this matter?
Romeo and Juliet is a Tudor ballet I have not seen. I telephoned a friend (justnow) who had seen the ballet and his opinion was that the costumes would not be so expensive but the architectural setting that Tudor had required might well be very expensive.
Everything first of all, depends on the ABT having a real desire to revive the ballet. They say they have looked at the possibility, so it may happen in the future.
As everyone is aware, the rules of the ball-game for life changed dramatically in the last few months.
Today, the arts, like almost everything else, will probably be subject to financial limitations until worldwide economies stabilise. Until this happens, expensive revivals and likely the number of new ballets produced, may well be curtailed. I live in hope for Tudor revivals in America as his centenary has been ignored in the UK.
Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:35 PM
Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:41 PM
Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:26 PM
Posted 11 November 2008 - 02:22 PM
Posted 11 November 2008 - 02:54 PM
I believe they said at the Tudor night that the sets had been sold. I wonder if they are still in existence and if, perhaps the owners might loan them to the company--you would think it would behoove them to do so.
Posted 11 November 2008 - 03:27 PM
I saw a number of performances back in the early 70s with Makarova/Prinz and Fracci/Nagy(I think Nagy partenered Fracci). My memory is not all that detailed except that I was swept away by the piece. It was as atm describes a "total package" as they would say today, Berman's drops were very detailed and although mostly canvas, very structural and the costumes very Rennaisance-through-the-looking-glass-of-the-1940s. Tudor's choreography was centerpieced in the staging with the physical and musical atmosphere that Eugene Berman created.
I have a hard time, with the memory limits I have, trying to reimagine the piece with a different setting. Part of the problem is that Tudor's "language" is not longer so current and it has become on it's own somewhat of a period piece so Romeo and Juliet might appear sort of bare in a less elaborate setting.
It's not just that the physical settings were lavish but rather that they contributed to the overall effect. It's not really the same thing as , say, a Sleeping Beauty with a lush production.
There are a number of photos in Charles Payne's 1978 coffee table book American Ballet Theater, including a few from the revival in the 70s. Especially striking is Juliet's blue costume with yellow stars (I remember this one the best). These give a good idea of the overall effect.
I guess this all boils down to the question is the original setting the only one possible? I would like to think no, with the right creative force. But certainly the original production where the physical elements, the music, the choregraphy, and the dancers (I didn't see the original dancers, though!) were all part of a whole.
Some time back, I think Leigh(?) posted that he believed the origanl sets and costumes were still in existence but were very fragile .
Posted 11 November 2008 - 04:03 PM
Clue enthusiasts try to solve the mysterious death of a "Mr. Body" at (appropriately enough, Tudor mansion) by sifting through a list of suspects, weapons and rooms to determine the who, how and where. For the purposes of this game, we will be more concerned with the "who" rather than the "how" and the "where". Clue features six possible suspects -- Mr. Green, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet and Mrs. White. The Ballet Talk version of Clue will replace these six suspects with the following list of suspects (in descending order from the serious to the ridiculous):
I was initially reluctant to join the game except to try to explore some actuality and factuality in response to contributions made.
Re: Suspect No.2
I do not know anything about the Tudor Trust as ditherers. I do know that in 2004 I was able to see 4 Tudor Ballets with Ballet West staged by people who had worked with Tudor who had pretty sharp memories as far as I remember. So the Tudor Trust does appear to meet its remit at times and not so long ago. It has been my experience that Trusts, Foundations and those that have inherited individual rights to ballets have not gone out and exploited their status for merely a financial reward. (Well not many).The reason for this is that they are aware of a "duty of care" in respect of creators wishes.
Part of the problem may be Suspect No 1 [and his attitude(s)] and how he couched his wishes. He is reputed to have been both stern and meticulous and I would not be surprised if he has in writing guided the production of his works for all time. He may have also left directions on the settings.
Is there a Eugene Berman estate involved? I can imagine Stravinsky sitting with Berman(born in Moscow) giving his fellow Russian advice on business matters and royalties
Posted 11 November 2008 - 04:33 PM
As a Balanchine-trained ballet watcher, I too tend to minimize the importance of sets and costumes. However, in most of the Tudor ballets I've seen, the designs are intrinsic to the works. Imagine Pillar without the sets, with costumes that don't immediately identify the characters as the familiar ones do. It wouldn't be the same ballet.
Posted 11 November 2008 - 06:16 PM
The Corpse Isn't Dead! = 3
Mikhail Baryshnikov = 2
ABT Board = 1
cowardly administrators = 1
Martha Hill = 1
Kevin McKenzie = 1
Antony Tudor = 1
Using Inflation Calculator, I determined that the 1992 cost of reviving Tudor's Romeo and Juliet would have been a not inconsiderable $1.3 million. Certainly a number to give pause (even then) but with so much possible "upside". In a globalized world where everyone is converging around the same trends (Balanchine Night! Forsythe Night!! In the Upper Room!!!), how refreshing it would be to have a work that is unique to ABT (or New York Theatre Ballet) and to New York! Almost like a delicate flower that only comes into bloom for a few days each year . . .
As to whether or not Tudor's Romeo and Juliet is truly dead, I believe it was Mindy Aloff who wrote that dances don't have theoretical existences -- they only have performance existences. At the moment, I would have to say that Tudor's complete Romeo and Juliet is dead since it has had no life over the last 32 years other than in theory. The tragedy of it all is that the "death" is not a function of a lack of knowledge. As others have mentioned, a nearly complete film exists, the work is notated and there are still plenty of people from 70s-era ABT (including, among others, Fracci, Makarova, Nagy and Prinz) who presumably remember some or all of it and would be willing to help. But without the will to reconstruct it, the $$$ will never materialize to utilize all those resources.
Posted 11 November 2008 - 08:35 PM
p. 237: Makarova as Juliet alone on the balcony.
p. 238: 2 shots with John Prinz and cordps, at the ball. You can see the flats described elswhere on this thread.
p. 239. With John Prinz and Martine van Hamel (as the Nurse). Makrova wears the dress with stars.
p. 240: Makarova and Prinz alone on stage (end of ball scene?)
Here is Makarova on Tudor:
... and on her reservations about about Tudor's (and Delius's) R&J:
Posted 12 November 2008 - 12:36 PM
Posted 12 November 2008 - 12:41 PM
shown left to right:
Alicia Markova and Hugh Laing in the bedroom scene.
Nora Kaye and Hugh Laing (2 times) in the tomb scene.
each shows to some degree or other the characteristically angular (for lack of a better word) plastique that seems to have guided Tudor in his choreographic language for this ballet.
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