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Alicia Alonso on "Theme and Variations"Transcriptions


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#16 Jack Reed

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:54 PM

Questions, always questions. Sort of the Socrates of ballet.


Balanchine the teacher, teaching everyone who might be willing, by challenging them, his dancers, his audience, his musicians, maybe even his stagehands, and - not least - himself! Everything since "just footnotes to Plato" including among some pretty impressive footnotes, Fred and Merce? Maybe that strains the analogy a bit. But yeah, the Socrates of ballet.

#17 bart

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 05:45 AM

Regarding the need for speed. Today's NY Times has an article about Gelsey Kirklands new school in New York City.

To help dancers with speed, the school includes instruction in the technique of August Bournonville, the Danish ballet master whose style is marked by radiant jumps, swift footwork and a sense of lightness. (Karina Elver, a former member of the Royal Danish Ballet, will soon join the faculty.) The Bournonville classes are related to Ms. Kirkland's decision to teach Balanchine's "Theme and Variations." And, she was quick to point out, she does not allow cheating.

"The heels have to be down," she said. "You have to be in the classical positions and just move quickly. There's so much beauty that shouldn't be twisted, so I try and teach them how the Petipa relates to the Balanchine. They've got to change their accents" — she snaps her fingers — "and ability to get into the steps more quickly, which is what the Bournonville technique does."


The article is by Gia Kourlas:
http://www.nytimes.c....html?ref=dance

#18 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 07:27 AM

Regarding the need for speed. Today's NY Times has an article about Gelsey Kirklands new school in New York City.

To help dancers with speed, the school includes instruction in the technique of August Bournonville, the Danish ballet master whose style is marked by radiant jumps, swift footwork and a sense of lightness. (Karina Elver, a former member of the Royal Danish Ballet, will soon join the faculty.) The Bournonville classes are related to Ms. Kirkland's decision to teach Balanchine's "Theme and Variations." And, she was quick to point out, she does not allow cheating.

"The heels have to be down," she said. "You have to be in the classical positions and just move quickly. There's so much beauty that shouldn't be twisted, so I try and teach them how the Petipa relates to the Balanchine. They've got to change their accents" she snaps her fingers "and ability to get into the steps more quickly, which is what the Bournonville technique does."


The article is by Gia Kourlas:
http://www.nytimes.c....html?ref=dance


Thanks for that article, bart....how clever! ..."she does not allow cheating..." That's EXACTLY the PERFECT way to describe a travesty's rendition of T&V..."cheating".

#19 bart

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 07:06 PM

Returning to the theme of Balanchine's willingness to xhoreograph in a way that made use of the strong points of his dancers -- this weeks Quote of the Week from the Balanchine Foundation:

It is my job to create a ballet and simply use dancers in the way they move best. Different bodies have different shapes, different qualities. Some dancers are strong on pointe; others are not. In a ballet I give them what they can do." George Balanchine



#20 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 07:49 PM

[font="Comic Sans MS"][size="4"]Mme. Alonso about "Theme and Variations-(Grand Finale)

[size="4"]"I didn't have the opportunity to see Mr. Balanchine toward the end of his life, but I did get some messages from him. I remember-for example- one anecdote from 1976, when I was dancing Carmen at the MET as a guest artist of American Ballet Theatre .Back then I was getting some physical therapy by an ex-dancer friend of mine, Bill Weslow. Balanchine was also having treatments with Billy, so he sent me a lovely message with him :

GB-'Please Billy, tell Alicia that after all this years no one has ever danced "Theme and Variations" as good as she danced it'.

I was thrilled...and so I truly cherish this judgment coming from the master himself, plus the very fact that he still remembered me... "[/size][/font][/size]

Returning to the theme of Balanchine's willingness to xhoreograph in a way that made use of the strong points of his dancers -- this weeks Quote of the Week from the Balanchine Foundation:

It is my job to create a ballet and simply use dancers in the way they move best. Different bodies have different shapes, different qualities. Some dancers are strong on pointe; others are not. In a ballet I give them what they can do." George Balanchine


Lovely. So if you're dancing the ballerina role in T&V, you better practice those entrechat-sixes really well...! :thumbsup:




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