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SAB at 75A list of Commemorative Events


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#1 carbro

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 09:35 AM

From the SAB Newsletter, a listing of anniversary programs:
  • Full Circle: From SAB to NYCB and Back -- Photography exhibit at New York State Theater [sic] during NYCB's winter and spring performance seasons.
  • Tribute to SAB. Monday, January 26 at 6:00 pm -- NYCB Seminar at the New York State Theater [sic].
  • The Art of the Pas de Deux. Saturday, February 14 at 6 pm -- A master class featuring Jock Soto and SAB advanced students at Symphony Space, free to the public.
  • Balanchine's Contribution: Teaching and The School of American Ballet. Sunday, February 22 and Monday, February 23 at 7:30 pm -- Works & Process event at the Guggenheim Museum with Suki Schorer and SAB students.
  • From Studio to Stage: Training at The School of American Ballet. Saturday, March 14 & 21; Sunday, March 15 -- Free public lecture-demonstrations featuring Katrina Killian and SAB students in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx (venues TBA).
  • Spring Arrivals: Historic debuts at SAB's Workshop Performances. Monday, April 13-Tuesday, June 30 -- Photographs on display at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
See http://www.sab.org/n...rates_75_years/ for full details.

#2 Jack Reed

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 02:53 PM

(from Raleigh, NC, for what that's worth) I went to the lecture-demonstration "Tribute to SAB" in the Koch Theatre (formerly the New York State Theatre, as carbro noticed) on 26th January, and I'd like to share what little I managed to scribble down and to remember, for what they might be worth to those who weren't there; I hope some other BTer's I saw there will add to and correct my account.

There was a panel discussion by Peter Martins, Kay Mazzo, Darci Kistler, and Jonathan Stafford, and then three dancers demonstrated:

PM: SAB is independent of NYCB, but as Balanchine said, enriched by their association...

4 T's was the first black-and-white ballet [a woman 3 rows in front of me shook her head].

KM: He knew what he wanted, a school.

PM: He let his teachers teach what they knew -- He hadn't developed his esthetic.

DK: Many of his first teachers, Russians, taught me.

KM: [I got some earlier ones.]

JS: Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet [where Stafford and his sister Abby trained] is about 50 years old now, it's always had a strong Balanchine base.

DK: I visited Balanchine in the hospital [where he died]. I think he was jealous, he didn't want to be not working. He asked me, Who are you going to work with at SAB? Stanley Williams, I said. He said, You know dear, I think it will be just fine.

PM: [Originally the school had taught a wide range of dance, but he changed his mind:] Instead of a general practitioner, a brain surgeon; teach classical ballet, like a specialist.

In the 1970's NYCB imported male dancers, like me from Denmark and Helgi Tomasson from Iceland and [a third example I've forgotten]. Today we make our own...

Early workshops had little Balanchine. One Petipa, one Bournonville, maybe one Balanchine. I emphasized Balanchine after his death.

Dana Johnson, a student at SAB, was the first demonstrator, with Kay Mazzo narrating for us and instructing Johnson. The demonstrations often proceeded by comparison: "Our way" (Balanchine's way) vs. ways done elsewhere "not necessarily the bad way" [or words to that effect]. But I can testify that "his" way seemed a little grander and more effective, more beautiful, in every comparison. All the dancers had some difficulty with the "other" sides of the comparison!

I noticed the easy piano accompaniment for Johnson's barre demonstration, and Mazzo explained the reason.

KM: The piano plays just a few notes softly -- the dancer is supposed to do the work... Plies and jumps with energy are interesting and beautiful; "others", dumb, with no energy.

Soon the bar was removed from the center of the stage, and we had a demonstration of a traveling lift from Concerto Barocco by NYCB corps member Justin Peck and NYCB apprentice Sara Adams. The boy kept the girl high up for four counts, and Martins commented:

PM: The Bolshoi keeps the girl way up; that's too much, too high... I remembered when we were rehearsing, she came down on three, and I said to him, "Then nothing happens," and he said, "That's right."

The couple did the sequence again, not so high and not so long, and we got to see her in her pose at the end of it for most of a count we hadn't got previously, because then she had moved on right away.

This reminded me of Balanchine's saying (according to Martins on another occasion) to a girl's partner standing behind her, "Don't stand so close. Step back, and show her off" (which must have made things physically harder for the boy). Here again the lower, shorter lift subtly "shows her off" for a moment afterward. For some, that phrase might have summed up Balanchine's esthetic, although I'm not so sure the man or his art were quite so simple as to be so easily summed up.

#3 richard53dog

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 03:20 PM

PM: In the 1970's NYCB imported male dancers, like me from Denmark and Helgi Tomasson from Iceland and [a third example I've forgotten]. Today we make our own...


Maybe Jean-Pierre Bonnefous?????

#4 carbro

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 03:39 PM

Yes, Bonnefous/x.

Thanks, Jack, for transcribing the notes.

As much as Martins likes to cite this anecdote (as he did on NYCB's 2009 opening night), implying that Mr. B's prediction has come to pass is disingenuous. NYCB has continued importing men.

The printed program listed the student as Dana Johnson, but Mazzo introduced her as Jacobson. A friend, at the reception afterwards, asked Martins which was correct, but unfortunately, I forgot his reply. :dunno:

#5 bart

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 03:56 PM

Soon the bar was removed from the center of the stage, and we had a demonstration of a traveling lift from Concerto Barocco by NYCB corps member Justin Peck and NYCB apprentice Sara Adams. The boy kept the girl high up for four counts, and Martins commented:

PM: The Bolshoi keeps the girl way up; that's too much, too high... I remembered when we were rehearsing, she came down on three, and I said to him, "Then nothing happens," and he said, "That's right."

The couple did the sequence again, not so high and not so long, and we got to see her in her pose at the end of it for most of a count we hadn't got previously, because then she had moved on right away.

This is a wonderful example of how revelatory dance demonstations can be. Thanks, Jack, for your eyes, ears, and effort on this.

#6 perky

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 04:14 PM

Thank you Jack. As always your notes on these lecture-demonstrations are very much appreciated.

#7 Jack Reed

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 01:01 PM

I think you're right, richard53dog. And, you're welcome, perky.


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