Tanny

Tanaquil Le Clercq

195 posts in this topic

How did I miss this longer clip of Le Clercq in La Valse posted last May (authorized by the Balanchine Foundation?):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R3oqV5-Wng

Fantastico! Great find, Neryssa - you get the gold star today. This looks to be the footage that was used in the documentary. The audio sounds like it was added on later - either that, or they went to some trouble to mic the piano in this presentaton footage at Jacob's Pillow, and clean things up.

The first thing I notice is how closely Le Clercq's movements correspond with the movements of the earlier "Three Fates" dance - the sharp/spikey elbows, and jarring movements that succumb to inertia, soften and fade.

When the two partners intertwine arms, the tempo of their movements is quite different from what I've seen in modern versions. Not that one way is necessarily "right", but here we get to see what was first developed with Balanchine presiding over matters. Pretty thrilling, I have to say. I'll have to watch this a number of times and give it more thought...

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The first thing I notice is how closely Le Clercq's movements correspond with the movements of the earlier "Three Fates" dance - the sharp/spikey elbows, and jarring movements that succumb to inertia, soften and fade.

Fine observation. Thank you for your thoughts, pherank. I'd like to hear more from you on La Valse.

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I see now that at the end of the sequence that the credits mention piano music being added on later - the original footage was silent (I kind of ignored the credits the first time through).

My understanding is that there is a full version of the ballet somewhere in the Jerome Robbins media library, and I don't think it was recorded at Jacob's Pillow, but elsewhere.

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This is a treat -- thanks for the link.

I agree that the arms here echo the earlier section, but they also refer to other works -- 4 T's and Prodigal Son just off the top of my head.

I think this was one of the films that Dianne Chilgren played for -- she helped put a piano score on several silent films of Balanchine's work.

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The piano accompaniment was done by Dianne Chilgren, a stellar pianist who played for NYCB before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet in 1985. Here's an article about her:

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20030803&slug=behind03

PNB screened documentary footage in which she explained how she had to tweak the timing to reflect the condition of the film.

(sandik: we were typing at the same time :))

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the complete film of LA VALSE w/ LeClercq is Jessen's work, if mem. serves, and is silent.

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the complete film of LA VALSE w/ LeClercq is Jessen's work, if mem. serves, and is silent.

You are right, RG - I finally found the link that mentions this material at the NYC Library:

http://www.worldcat.org/title/valse/oclc/438155528

[DVD, transferred from 16mm reversal print via Digital Betacam cassettes]

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The piano accompaniment was done by Dianne Chilgren, a stellar pianist who played for NYCB before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet in 1985. Here's an article about her:

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20030803&slug=behind03

PNB screened documentary footage in which she explained how she had to tweak the timing to reflect the condition of the film.

(sandik: we were typing at the same time smile.png)

Did Chilgren also play the piano onstage for Mr. B's Davidsbündlertänze?

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Did Chilgren also play the piano onstage for Mr. B's Davidsbündlertänze?

On the videorecording, at least, the playing is credited to Gordon Boelzner.

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Did Chilgren also play the piano onstage for Mr. B's Davidsbündlertänze?

On the videorecording, at least, the playing is credited to Gordon Boelzner.

Thanks KFW, I think that must be the version I've seen online - from 1980 with Farrell, d'Amboise, Mazzo, Watts, Martins, Von Aroldingen, Luders and Andersen. The video quality is poor and the audio doesn't always seem synced well with the images, but at least almost all of it is there.

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i believe all the on-stage pianists for DAVIDSBUNDLERTANZ have been men, unless i'm forgetting something.

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I didn't see it until Winter 1983 season, and in the eight full performance I saw from then through January 1986, Gordon Boelzner played, and in the other eight performances I saw from February 1986 through June 1993, Jerry Zimmerman played it. Kozlova and Kozlov danced a variation (or maybe two) for the Dancers' Emergency Benefit performance in February 1986, but I didn't record who the pianist was.

I don't remember ever seeing Dianne Chilgren play onstage for NYCB -- she joined PNB in 1985 -- but that doesn't mean my memory isn't faulty or I missed the performances in which she played.

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A question to the group: there is original rehearsal footage (from 1947?) of The Four Temperaments showing Mary Ellen Moylan and Tanny Le Clercq, and probably others - Does anyone know who shot this footage, and where it resides these days? Is it in the Jerome Robbins Media LIbrary?

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this is likely the footage noted above, as listed in the NYPL dance cat. entry:

Call No. : *MGZHB 12-1637
Title : Four temperaments (Motion picture)
Imprint : 1946.
Description : 1 reel. 27 min. 975 ft. : si. b&w. ; 16 mm.
Notes : Filmed at the Central High School of Needle Trades, New York, on November 20, 1946 with the original Ballet Society cast and original ending. Variation three, Phlegmatic, is omitted.
: Choreography: George Balanchine.
: CONTENTS. - Theme 1: Danced by Beatrice Tompkins and José Martines. Theme 2: Elise Reiman and Lew Christensen. Theme 3: Gisella Caccialanza and Francisco Moncion. - First variation: Melancholic. Danced by William Dollar, Georgia Hiden and Rita Karlin. - Second variation: Sanguinic. Danced by Mary Ellen Moylan and Fred Danieli. - Third variation : Phlegmatic (not included) - Fourth variation: Choleric. Danced by Tanaquil Le Clercq and ensemble.
it's this filmed footage of Le Clercq that's excerpted in the Le Clercq under discussion on this site.

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It boogles the mind to think that Le Clercq was only 15 or 16 when she danced Choleric flowers.gif

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I just finished watching this Q&A with director Nancy regarding her documentary on Tanaquil Le Clercq:

Does anyone know if Le Clercq's "heirs" or closest friends such as Holly Brubach were interviewed in the documentary?

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Does anyone know if Le Clercq's "heirs" or closest friends such as Holly Brubach were interviewed in the documentary?

This interview was a great find, Neryssa - thanks.

I'm afraid I can't answer your question though, as I don't know enough about Le Clercq's actual heirs and surviving friends. But this very thread was begun by a relation of Tanny, so I know they are out there somewhere. ;)

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I don't think any heirs were filmed, but Le Clercq's close, dancer friend Pat McBride, sometimes called Pat McBride 1, not to be confused with the later day Patricia McBride of a subsequent era and the creator of such roles as the leading ballerina of Rubies and as Swanilda in the Balanchine/Danilova COPPELIA, was quoted and heard somewhat extensively.

Jacques d'Amboise was quite prominent in the film as was Randall Borscheidt a close friend and onetime connected to NYC Cultural Affairs.

Brubach was not interviewed on camera.

there were recordings of Le Clercq's voice from various interviews.

Robbins voice was included as were his words from letters read, as were those by Le Clercq, by voices only credited in the film's final credits.

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I haven't seen this preliminary version of the documentary, but the impression I got from the Q&A session was that the film's producers might be open to adding interview footage if various people came out of the woodwork.

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Is this a preliminary version? Subject to revision? I don't know much about the film biz, but my impression is that this is pretty final. I don't get a sense of the running time of this presentation (preceding the Q&A), but don't the broadcast versions of American Masters features run a bit shorter (by maybe 15-20 minutes) in broadcast format than as theatrical or DVD/Streamed versions?

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Is this a preliminary version? Subject to revision? I don't know much about the film biz, but my impression is that this is pretty final. I don't get a sense of the running time of this presentation (preceding the Q&A), but don't the broadcast versions of American Masters features run a bit shorter (by maybe 15-20 minutes) in broadcast format than as theatrical or DVD/Streamed versions?

Final enough to appear at a film festival. ;)

But there can always be revisions as needed - I was just pointing out that Nancy Buirski sounded like she was open to include more if anything/anyone important came up. Exactly who controls the final cut on this documentary I don't know. Hollywood is full of sad stories in which director's films are ruined by the studio that has final cut say, but I doubt this project will have those issues.

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Thanks for the clarification. I hope this film attracts more acquaintances so they can add their recollections to the Final-Final document. smile.png

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I remembered (through a Google search) that I read Amanda Vaill's acknowledgements to Le Clercq's heirs for her biography on Jerome Robbins. She thanks "Norma Pane the executor for the estate of Tanaquil Le Clercq, for correspondence from Le Clercq to Robbins; and the heirs of Tanaquil Le Clercq: Abraham Abdallah, Una Bates, Carla Bigelow, Holly Brubach, James Lyles, April Stevens Neubauer, and James Newhouse."

Pherank wrote: I'm afraid I can't answer your question though, as I don't know enough about Le Clercq's actual heirs and surviving friends. But this very thread was begun by a relation of Tanny, so I know they are out there somewhere.

Wasn't this a second cousin (not mentioned in her estate) searching for additional information? Heirs do not always include blood relations, as you know.

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I remembered (through a Google search) that I read Amanda Vaill's acknowledgements to Le Clercq's heirs for her biography on Jerome Robbins. She thanks "Norma Pane the executor for the estate of Tanaquil Le Clercq, for correspondence from Le Clercq to Robbins; and the heirs of Tanaquil Le Clercq: Abraham Abdallah, Una Bates, Carla Bigelow, Holly Brubach, James Lyles, April Stevens Neubauer, and James Newhouse."

Pherank wrote: I'm afraid I can't answer your question though, as I don't know enough about Le Clercq's actual heirs and surviving friends. But this very thread was begun by a relation of Tanny, so I know they are out there somewhere.

Wasn't this a second cousin (not mentioned in her estate) searching for additional information? Heirs do not always include blood relations, as you know.

Yes: "my name is Tanaquil Elizabeth and I was named after Tanaquil Elizabeth Le Clercq. She was my second cousin on my mother's side." Thanks for the list of heirs, Neryssa. A few of the names I recognize, but not all.

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Has anybody read the latest issue of Ballet Review? There is the 2nd part of an interview with Patricia Wilde who made some very interesting comments about Tanaquil Le Clercq and Diana Adams and their relationship with Balanchine. I am surprised that Nancy Buirski didn't interview her.

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