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New Balanchine film being made"In Balanchine's Classroom"


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#1 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 09:11 PM

Connie Hochman, a former dancer who studied at the School of American Ballet, is making a film called "IN BALANCHINE'S CLASSROOM."

The film will consist primarily of interviews about Balanchine's teaching methods, with dancers who studied and danced with Mr. B. The list is very long and inclusive.

The Dance Films Association has it listed as a film in progress, and is assisting in funding by asking for contributions. Here is a link to their "Films in Progress" page, where you can read more about the film, and make a donation.

The film is also on Facebook, where you can see umpteen photographs of the many dancers Ms. Hochman has interviewed, classes given by many teachers trained at SAB (from Jillana to Diana White) and the wonderful fund raising reception given for the film. There are many positive comments by dancers past and present. There are even photos of Martha Swope herself!! I don't know how to provide a link to facebook, since I am not a member (but somehow, I got onto the page, go figure!) but if you have access, this is a MUST SEE!

Here is another link to the film, and a clip, which uses Quick Time.

I urge anyone who is able to donate to the completion of this film to do so.

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:33 AM

I just learned of this film a few weeks ago. They came to film at KAB (John Clifford is staging "Serenade" here, a first for the school, and they were filming the rehearsals). I had the chance to talk to Ms. Hochman about the film and it certainly sounds like a worthy project, and one very much of interest to Ballet Talkers.

#3 bart

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 06:09 AM

There is an active "In Balanchine's Classroom" page on Facebook, which anyone can access. One of the posts includes wonderful photos of an event in November at the NY Public Library, with ballet eminences including Violette Verdy, Martha Swope, many NYCB dancers who worked with Balanchine, etc. (It's an opportunity see a photo OF this wonderful photographer. She's looking great.)

http://www.facebook....115525185145296

There is also a link to a place where we can donate to support this important project.

#4 sandik

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 11:09 AM

Oh, the photo page is such fun -- I loved the image of Linda Hamilton and Victoria Simon!

#5 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 07:37 AM

A year later and they are still fundraising, now for post-production.

Many new photos on facebook, (Merrill Ashley, Suzanne Farrell, Dan Duell, Carol Divet, David Hays, Stacy Cadell, Afshin Mofid, Karin von Aroldingen, Bart Cook and Maria Calegari). There are comments and "likes" by many old friends as well.

The Dance films page is also a good place to donate, they have Pay Pal.

So, tis the season!! Use those links again! Shake that purse!! We wiil all be so happy when the film comes out.

#6 4mrdncr

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:57 PM

I, too, am glad this documentary is being made both as an informative, educational, and finally tribute to the inspiration, work, and dedication of both teacher and students. I very much want to see this film when completed. However...

FYI: My doc is the second film listed under the DFA's works-in-progress fiscal sponsorship page. It too has been in production for several years now (I began filming in Jan.2008, with several return trips to Spain that year and again in Jan.'09. I now have 80hrs of HD footage) and yes, I too am still trying to raise funds to do a rough-cut and finish the film before it's too late. Because I have worked on this entirely alone, time and lack of funding (don't know if it's the economy, or lack of knowledge of its existance, or interest?) has made progress agonizingly slow.

#7 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:42 AM

Let us know if there is anything we can do, and tell us how. Small amounts help!

#8 Ray

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 10:03 AM

The film will consist primarily of interviews about Balanchine's teaching methods, with dancers who studied and danced with Mr. B. The list is very long and inclusive.


I am excited about seeing the outcome of these efforts, but I do wonder about what the larger frame will be holding these interviews together, and/or a critical/contextualizing/focusing point-of-view. Will there be any? If not, I fear that this film will hold little interest for those beyond us balletomanes. And as much as I love Balanchine, I hope this doesn't become just another hagiography.

#9 sandik

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 03:02 PM

I understand Ray's concerns about finding a context for the information. I'm one of those people who loves to watch class, and to see how certain ideas get transferred from a classroom correction to a stylistic choice onstage, and while there's been a chunk of textual discussion about this process with Balanchine's repertory, it would be great to see this project actually illustrate some of those connections. It would be ever greater to see something that did this across styles, or even across disciplines, but that's asking too much of this project, I imagine.

#10 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 10:51 AM


The film will consist primarily of interviews about Balanchine's teaching methods, with dancers who studied and danced with Mr. B. The list is very long and inclusive.


I am excited about seeing the outcome of these efforts, but I do wonder about what the larger frame will be holding these interviews together, and/or a critical/contextualizing/focusing point-of-view. Will there be any? If not, I fear that this film will hold little interest for those beyond us balletomanes. And as much as I love Balanchine, I hope this doesn't become just another hagiography.


If you go to the Dance Film Association site, Hochman has posted a short clip of what the film will be like. It is focussed on Balanchine in the classroom, and as such may in fact be limited in interest for students and devotees, but it has a lot to offer even just that limited audience. Something like this will NEVER attract a major popular audience, unless, say, Natalie Portman gives it a major pitch.


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