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A Hello Too Long Deferred . . .


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#1 odinthor

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 11:23 AM

Having joined the site several years ago, I have put off for much too long both introducing myself and posting comments!

I'm Brent, alias BCD (from my initials) or odinthor (from my e-mail moniker). I've attended ballet performances regularly, as a season subscriber, in the Los Angeles/Orange County area since the mid-1970s--ye gods, has it been so long?--first primarily at the L.A. Music Center, and now at OCPAC or I should say the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

If I were asked to reach back and tell you of memorable performances of single artists which I saw in the earlier part of my ballet-viewing, the first three I'd think of would be Glenn Edgerton in Ashton's "Monotones" (I or II? I forget!) as well as in "Petrouchka," and Erik Bruhn as, can you believe it, The Chosen One in "Sacre du Printemps." Ah, but I can't forget Peter Martins in "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme." Hm, I look at the list, and am surprised to see that my memory is favoring the gentlemen. Whole-show performances which have moved me to tears (in a positive way!) have been the Royal Swedish Ballet's "El Greco" and any number of perfs. by various companies of "Swan Lake." An aspiration would be to manage to see such Petipa and Buornonville ballets as are rarely-produced here (has a "Raymonda" ever come to Southern California?).

Most recently, I attended "Reflections" last Saturday night at the Segerstrom Center. What struck me most was the palpable sense of relief and enthusiastic gratitude which clearly swept over the audience with the Balanchine segment . . .

Having long read and appreciated the knowledgeable, articulate, and insightful postings here, I hesitate to post mere babblings; but, posting or not, here I am, and appreciating your efforts and ponderings!

Best Wishes,

--BCD

#2 GianninaM

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 11:38 AM

Welcome to Ballet Alert, Brent; it's nice to finally meet you. Loved your introduction, especially the reference to Monotones (I'm going to guess II); one of my favorite ballets. Thank you for your compliments, and we hope you'll feel free to babble away; many of us do!

Giannina

#3 Mel Johnson

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:17 PM

Hi, Brent, and a welcome from me, too! Easy way to tell the Monotones apart - I has 1 man, II has 2 men. If you don't remember another guy with Glenn, then it was very likely I. When we did them at Joffrey, our original I man was Burton Taylor, the II men were Robert Thomas and...Kevin MCKENZIE(!?!)

#4 odinthor

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 04:54 PM

Hi, Brent, and a welcome from me, too! Easy way to tell the Monotones apart - I has 1 man, II has 2 men. If you don't remember another guy with Glenn, then it was very likely I. When we did them at Joffrey, our original I man was Burton Taylor, the II men were Robert Thomas and...Kevin MCKENZIE(!?!)


Thanks, Giannina and Mel! As this is an "introduce yourself" area, maybe I shouldn't be stretching out this thread; but it's interesting how many of my memories are Joffrey-related, when my Joffrey experiences were limited to the short time the company had a second home in L.A. When the Nederlands company was at then-OCPAC several years ago, I had the pleasure of "meeting" Glenn E. at a pre-show talk (that is, I was in the small talk audience); which leads me to what is perhaps the most unusual pleasant ballet memory I have, which unfortunately has a lot of set up without much payoff: At the intermission that evening, I noticed that Glenn was hanging out in the public area, and so was going to step up and mention my appreciation of his performances decades earlier. However, another gent was interminably bending his ear about which Nederlands shows were on DVD and so on, so I gave up and strolled about for the rest of the intermission. The chimes at length sounded for us all to return to our seats, and so there was quite a press of people moving along where Glenn and the gent were still talking. Still talking! Huh! Now, when it comes to crowds, I am a scurrier-through rather than a stately walker-among. The only path to my seat lay through a narrow bottleneck between, as it happened, Glenn and the wall. Nothing daunted, I forged ahead, gracefully I like to think, Glenn could see where the arc of my "choreography" was leading, and, as he must have done hundreds of times on stage in cramped conditions, subtly accorded this other "dancer," me, just enough room to complete my step without affecting his own bit of "business" with the chatting gent. It's not much in the telling! But I always smile to think of it, as for a moment it made me feel as if I were on stage in a crowd scene, indeed a co-performer with a dancer for whom I had had so much admiration for so many years... And so you see, we in the audience are performers too, in our way.

Best Wishes,

--BCD

#5 bart

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 06:31 PM

Now, when it comes to crowds, I am a scurrier-through rather than a stately walker-among. The only path to my seat lay through a narrow bottleneck between, as it happened, Glenn and the wall. Nothing daunted, I forged ahead, gracefully I like to think, Glenn could see where the arc of my "choreography" was leading, and, as he must have done hundreds of times on stage in cramped conditions, subtly accorded this other "dancer," me, just enough room to complete my step without affecting his own bit of "business" with the chatting gent. It's not much in the telling! But I always smile to think of it, as for a moment it made me feel as if I were on stage in a crowd scene, indeed a co-performer with a dancer for whom I had had so much admiration for so many years... And so you see, we in the audience are performers too, in our way.

Yes, indeed. I love stories about the inadvertent choreography in so many human interactions. I also love to read about memories of favorite dancers and long-ago performances.

Thanks, odinthor. And welcome to Ballet Talk.

#6 GianninaM

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 06:41 PM

Mel, you danced Monotones II? :wub:

Giannina

#7 Mel Johnson

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 06:51 PM

I wasn't that lucky. I was Mr. Joffrey's Secretary, and took notes from him and the ballet master (Basil Thompson). I did learn a lot of choreography in passing, though.


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