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On Your Toes (1939)22 April on TCM


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#16 Natalia

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 08:01 AM

.....Arnold and Zorina are in front of the curtain taking a bow. He notices that he is not wearing trousers (a reference to the opening of the film). In embarrassment, he and Zorina shuffle off (as in "shuffle off to Buffalo") into the wings. The joke here is that Zorina's shuffles are in the form of tiny pas de chats. (Try it at home. It works.) I wonder if Balanchine invented that. :mad:


I would guess so. A lot of the Dolan Family vaudeville skit at the beginning of the film made me think of Balanchine's Union Jack - Pearly King and Queen pdd section.

My favorite part was the Princess Zenobia ballet, an absolutely-hilarious take on Fokine's Scheherazade. Not just the story and the characters; it very much mirrors -- in a friendly-mockery manner - the Fokine steps.

#17 Jack Reed

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 10:26 AM

Success! I briefly watched the Slaughter on 10th Avenue ballet and -- although I loved it -- I was astonished how this has morphed, in most companies, into a much grander piece, sleeker, wtih greater amplitude, etc. If you like the ballet, you have to see the original

As small point about the last few seconds of the film. ... I wonder if Balanchine invented that.


Congratulations on recording it, bart! I didn't even see it, as TCM is part of an expensive package in my building.

But as to inventing that bit, and I don't diminish Balanchine's talents in any way, but the man who remarked "I don't create, God creates, I only assemble," or words to that effect, may merely have seen this somewhere, like London or New York, and remembered it, and felt it went appropriately in what he was assembling at the moment, in On Your Toes and in Costermonger.

What tended to set him apart from much lesser choreographers is this sense for what's appropriate -- what things went together -- that made his work look fresher, as though he had just invented it all. I think what he invented was that new assembly, those new relations of music and steps and gestures we'd not experienced before. (Yeah, I know, that's quite a speculation for someone who missed the film!)


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