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Tanaquil Le ClercqQuery


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#181 Neryssa

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 11:56 AM

I need to find the issue and quote the part about Adams and Le Clercq - if the editor(s) of Ballet Review do not mind. Ménage à trois is perhaps overstating it but things were arranged in a way that kept the personal and professional pressure off both dancers and their relationship(s) with Balanchine. Wilde called Le Clercq a "free spirit" who wanted to go out and do other things and would have been fine after the separation and divorce - had it happened.



#182 kfw

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 12:00 PM

I've never gotten the sense, in my readings on the subject/people, that Diana Adams had any romantic interest in Balanchine, and more importantly, was very uncomfortable playing muse, or principal dancer for that matter. 

 

That was my impression, but Wilde gives a different one. I wish she'd been more specific.



#183 Neryssa

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 12:04 PM

 

I've never gotten the sense, in my readings on the subject/people, that Diana Adams had any romantic interest in Balanchine, and more importantly, was very uncomfortable playing muse, or principal dancer for that matter. 

 

That was my impression, but Wilde gives a different one. I wish she'd been more specific.

 

 

I thought Wilde was quite specific blushing.gif



#184 Neryssa

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 09:48 AM

I love Ballet Review. I've been a subscriber since the mid-1990s. So I hope they do not mind the following excerpt from the Summer 2013 issue "A Conversation with Patricia Wilde - II":

 

BR: Were you aware that Le Clercq and Balanchine were on the verge of separating?

Wilde:  No, but I don't think it would have lasted much longer. When we were on tour in Europe, Tanny's mother Edith was with them, and Mr. B liked Edith, but Diana was always around. It was always Diana, Tanny, Mr. B.

BR:  He was creating a provocative situation.

Wilde:  Very much so. But both girls liked it in a way. They helped each other. A third person along can be helpful; it took off some of the responsibility off each one of them.

BR:  But at that point he was moving Diana in?

Wilde:  He was kind of moving Diana in and I think Tanny would have been happy to move out. She was a free spirit. She wanted to dance, but she also wanted to be off and doing things. She liked people, liked doing things much more so than Diana.

 

There is more about Diana Adams and Patricia Wilde, of course. The interview is by Joel Lobenthal. Highly recommended.

 

N.



#185 Helene

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:52 PM

I think it was in the Kirstein bio that stated that Balanchine and LeClercq were on the verge of separation before the tour where she contracted polio.  My memory is a bit murky, but I believe she was about to start the process, but it got delayed, and then she became ill and paralyzed, and they remained married until he wanted to marry Farrell.

 

According to Adams' obituary, she married Ronald Bates after divorcing Hugh Laing in 1953.  (None of the other obituaries mention timing of her second marriage.)  They were married at least until 1971; in "Dance as a Contact Sport," Joseph Mazo wrote, "Ronnie Bates is married to Diana Adams, who was one of the company's finest ballerinas some years back.  They have a daughter who looks like a Christmas tree angel." (Georgina Bates)  They were married in 1963 when Adams was pregnant and taught Suzanne Farrell her role in "Movements for Orchestra" from her living room couch.  If Adams and Bates had, indeed, gotten married in 1953 or 1954, what Wilde described would have been during the early years of their marriage, which lasted in some form or another at least for 17-18 years and survived a Balanchine intervention.

 

For someone who counseled his dancers not to get angry or waste energy, he certainly wasn't averse to creating circumstances that were emotionally explosive.



#186 Neryssa

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 02:40 PM

For some reason, I was under the impression that Adams became involved with Ronald Bates in the late 1950s or early 1960s after breaking up with Balanchine. What is somewhat evident to me from reading Amanda Valli's Somewhere The Life Of Jerome Robbins is that Le Clercq was trying to move on during the summer of 1956.

 

"They have a daughter who looks like a Christmas tree angel." (Georgina Bates)"

 

Another tragedy.

 

For someone who counseled his dancers not to get angry or waste energy, he certainly wasn't averse to creating circumstances that were emotionally explosive.

 

A really good point. However, I don't think he emerged unscathed from the events he helped to create -



#187 Helene

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 02:44 PM

Maybe I'm reading into the LA Times obit.



#188 pherank

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 03:20 PM

For someone who counseled his dancers not to get angry or waste energy, he certainly wasn't averse to creating circumstances that were emotionally explosive.

 

A really good point. However, I don't think he emerged unscathed from the events he helped to create -

 

I'm immediately reminded of the incident when Balanchine happened upon Danilova in Paris, and she informed him that she would be dancing with the De Basil company (of which Balanchine was supposedly the ballet master), and Mr. B informed her, "you are much to old to be my ballerina" (she was then 27). Balanchine had promoted the "baby ballerinas" to star with de Basil's company, and that had proven a great success. Immediately after this exchange, Balanchine contacted de Basil only to find out that they had replaced him with Massine as ballet master (and it was Massine who had hired Danilova). Seems like karma, no?

 

I believe it was Freddie Franklin who had made the statement, "you know, the Russians, they weren't very nice to one another."  ;)



#189 dirac

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 04:17 PM

What is notable is that the "situations," by and large, didn't explode. In her Balanchine book Moira Shearer pointed out the low levels of jealousy among the wives and lovers in the company. (Which is not to say that jealousy or upset was nonexistent by any means. Tallchief wrote that she'd regarded Le Clercq as a friend and confided her marriage troubles to her and didn't twig to her husband's burgeoning involvement with Le Clercq till fairly late in the game. Le Clercq herself was said to be under great emotional pressure at the time she fell ill.) But the women remained loyal to the master and maintained a remarkable and unusual degree of collective discretion.

 

From what I've been able to glean, Adams and Balanchine were on-and-off before and after Le Clercq's illness and Adams eventually took herself off the menu with marriage. At the time Le Clercq contracted polio her marriage to Balanchine was in serious trouble but perhaps not fatally so, it's hard to know how such things will play out. I suspect Balanchine stayed married to Le Clercq for reasons beyond loyalty, at least until Farrell arrived to fill and then shatter the muses' mold.



#190 pherank

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 07:45 PM

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

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=6R3oqV5-Wng

 

The more I watch this short film, the more I like it. The movements are finely articulated - no blurring of steps or the all important arm movements. This is definitely the film that carefully lays out the alphabet of movements for Balanchine’s La Valse. The other amateur videos about don’t reveal the same clarity of movement or purpose as we see in this performance. It’s the ‘language’ of the arms that I find most fascinating about La Valse, and what makes it distinct from other Balanchine ballets.

I can see Tanny’s great sense for drama, but she does not overdo any of the ‘emoting’ - she makes a short statement, if you will, and then moves into the next part, and the next, with great economy of motion, and emotion. Balanchine doesn’t overcrowd the choreography with useless details, and neither does Tanny. This all looks carefully laid out, perhaps as a contrast to the bacchanalia of the final waltz.

One thing I wondered about - a couple of times during the PDD Le Clercq holds her arm straight up in the air, like a Maypole, or snake rising up, and I don’t recall seeing that in videos of Lopatkina or Pavlenko. Do the NYCB dancers still incorporate this arm movement in recent versions?

 

Tanny_Maypole.png

She also uses a kind of Gypsy/Flamenco arm flourish at the end of the lifts that catches the eye. I don’t recall seeing that movement used by the Russians either (although it might actually suit them well).

If only we could see the ‘three fates’ dance from 1951 as well. If only.



#191 MakarovaFan

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 05:49 AM

Wonderful analysis, pherank.  In the Tanny documentary, there is a brief clip of La Valse showing the scene where Death confronts The Girl in White.  The way Tanny dons the necklace, looks into the mirror and pours her beautiful arm into the black glove is simply stunning. 



#192 pherank

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 11:34 AM

Wonderful analysis, pherank.  In the Tanny documentary, there is a brief clip of La Valse showing the scene where Death confronts The Girl in White.  The way Tanny dons the necklace, looks into the mirror and pours her beautiful arm into the black glove is simply stunning. 

 

It is great to hear that the "black glove" footage made it into the documentary - that's a moment that is written about in many places with regard to Le Clercq, but most of us have never actually seen it.



#193 pherank

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 03:27 PM

An image I hadn't seen before of Tanny and Mr. B (I love the suminagashi/marbling background). I believe she is wearing her Metamorphosis costume here.

 

05AFTERNOON-superJumbo.jpg

 

A Dancer’s Rare Grace Survives a Horrible Fate
The Unusual Story of Tanaquil Le Clercq, Artist and Muse

http://www.nytimes.c...t-and-muse.html



#194 pherank

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 04:13 PM

Another image (hi-res!) from Metamorphosis

http://www.gstatic.c...e01313af5_large

 

And another great image (that I can't link to directly):

http://www.gstatic.c...b4aa1af12_large

 

Colorized? Or actual colors?

 

tumblr_m217i3GICu1qfj8xgo1_500.png

 

And an image from the Afternoon of a Faun documentary:

 

article_large.jpg



#195 Drew

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 02:19 PM

Love the last image (that Pherank posted) from the documentary.




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