atm711

Frederic Franklin

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After the closing of the Ballet Russe Ballet Co. under the direction of Mr. Denham, many of it's dancers being out of work, were obliged to scatter their talents elsewhere. Mr. Franklin took over the direction of the National Ballet Co. in Washington DC. I danced 2 yrs with the company 1964/1965 and Mr. Frankilin's repertoire consisted of many of the ballets performed by the Ballet Russe's repertoire. He created/choreographed for the company "Ballet Imperial". Andrea Vodenhal in the principal role was gorgeous. He also brought many international stars to the company, as guest artists. We toured the US following the footsteps of the itinerary used by Ballet Russe when they used to tour. Mr. Franklin, Kokitch, Vilzak, Swoboda, Danilian are all part of American Ballet history !

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All I can remember of it was Alexandra Danilova picking him up in her arms and bourreeing off upstage left with him cradled in her arms. Could that really be right?
I've been thinking about this, because I so like your memory, but ...

The Sleepwalker never lets go of her candle, does she? I can't imagine that she -- even in the person of the great Danilova -- could lift a man from the ground while still holding onto the prop, even with a fake flame. How would she slide her hands beneath him? Not saying it didn't happen, just that I can't envision it.

You are absolutely right, it WOULD be hard to imagine. I did say eariler that I was quite young. a bit of a teenage twit and also it was the very first ballet I had ever seen. I also had never seen anyone on pointe before so this was astonishing from the start. Just prior to that, Danilova and Franklin had done a pas de deux of some sort, probably the one from Nutcracker. That vision was still locked in my mind. So forget about the en pointe. But she definately was enfolding him in her arms, that part remains most vivid.

The main ballet I wanted to see that evening of long ago, was Scherherezade, which was first on the program. I must say I was totally disappointed. Perhaps because it wasn't as glamourous as the accounts I had been reading of the Diaghilev days, with Nijinsky. That was what I was expecting. However, after seeing the Bolshoi production many years later, my opinion changed drastically. I had thought Ballet Russe may have been winding up a long tour and the dancers may have been very tired, but many years later, becoming friends with Misha Katcharoff who was the ballet master of the company during all those years, he assured me the tour then was just STARTING OUT! So there you are.

At any rate, Night Shadow (a.k.a. La Sonnumbula) was enough to keep my interest in ballet going and remained so all my life.

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I don't know if I've mentioned this before but there were several of us NYCB "groupies" (what other word can I use??) who also thought the Sleepwalker backed offstage on point carrying the Poet. So at Patty McBride's retirement party we asked her. She had the same reply as Danilova . The guys place him in her arms under the arch, and she takes two steps back.

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Perhaps this should be a different thread, but while we're thinking of Danilova & Franklin's partnership... did they do Coppelia together?

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Perhaps this should be a different thread, but while we're thinking of Danilova & Franklin's partnership... did they do Coppelia together?

Yes, they both danced in the London Sadlers Wells production of Coppelia in 1949 and I am not certain that they danced this ballet before that date but someone will certainly post the date of their first performance together.

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Perhaps this should be a different thread, but while we're thinking of Danilova & Franklin's partnership... did they do Coppelia together?

Yes, they both danced in the London Sadlers Wells production of Coppelia in 1949 and I am not certain that they danced this ballet before that date but someone will certainly post the date of their first performance together.

They both famously did independent stagings of Coppelia, but I've never heard these compared in light of their having danced the lead roles opposite each other... Can't imagine this hasn't been done... hmmm... what search words to use...

Thank you Leonid!

Well... I'm not finding much, though after reading a few excerpts on Google books I really want to get the Franklin biography... wish it were selling for about $10 less... seems a lot for a paperback, but I'm sure it's going cheap considering what's between the pages.

One quote in the NY Times on the occasion of his ABT Coppelia staging

Not one for undue nostalgia, Mr. Franklin has capitalized on these expanded technical capacities by choreographing a new third-act solo for Franz, and tailoring the ending to each dancer's particular skills. ''Alexandra Danilova, who I often partnered in this ballet, told me that I had to give it a little juice,'' he said, referring to his tenure with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. ''But the other day, a Russian dance critic came to watch a rehearsal, and at the end she said to me: 'Yes, it is the Sergeyev choreography. I knew him, and this is how he did it.' I was so glad.''

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Aha...! Last night me and my peer Natalia went to see if we could greet Mme. Alonso at her box, which never happened, for she was locked up inside. Instead we got a glimpse of the great Mr. Franklin right in front of the box door!...and so we decided to approach and say hi.

I mean...the guy was standing there...chatting with some people and sipping champagne! :D -(good for you Freddie!).

We then got a hold of him and exchanged some words. The guy, almost 96, was more alert than myself, for God's sake!

Lovely, lovely person. I reminded him of the first time I met him when he came to Miami to get a Life for Dancing Achievement Prize a while ago. I also told him that that same afternoon, during my long hours watching Alonso's videos from her Ballet Theatre period and Ballet Russes guest appearances-(what a great service at the NYPL!)-I even had seen a Don Quixote Pas de Deux clip of him dancing with her :flowers: -(from a VHS called "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo: 1953-1955").

http://catalog.nypl.org/iii/encore/record/...amp;suite=pearl

When I said so he looked amazed that such records were still around, and asked me where had I seen it.

We then thanked him from all his dancing and left. What a charming man! :P

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