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Scotch Symphonyas usual...input appreciated!

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#16 Jack Reed

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:46 PM

Maybe I missed something, but on the one hand Balanchine was annexing ways of moving and making music to classical dancers' territory, and on the other Bournonville was annexing setting and story (or myth). Is there an implied competition for earliest? I don't get the essential comparison, though there is certainly a connection. In a passage in his autobiography, "Prodigal Son," mainly about Stanley Williams, Villella remarks along the way that

...Bournonville dancing required clean, fast footwork, beats, ballon, and good placement. Scotch Symphony and Donizetti Variations were examples of ballets in which Balanchine had incorporated the Bournonville style.

#17 bart


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Posted 02 February 2011 - 06:09 PM

Jack, Croce doesn't develop her statement, which she drops into a discussion of Union Jack. My feeling is that Croce was talking about both of of these categories -- "annexing ways of moving and making music to classical dancers' territory" and "annexing setting and story (or myth)" -- with an emphasis on the former. ( * )

P.S. In retrospect, I realize I should have added a :wink: to my last sentence, the one about Bournonville.

( * ) See "Trooping the Colors," in Going to the Dance, p. 224.

#18 ViolinConcerto


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Posted 02 February 2011 - 08:27 PM

longtime NYCB watcher Edward Gorey recalled that the once-famous 'throws' - that is, when the sylph, originally Tallchief, was passed from the hands of small group of the corps de ballet Scotsmen by means of throwing the ballerina through the air into the arms of her swain/partner(originally Eglevsky) - were changed to a kind of pass-off from the men's arms into those of the leading male dancer when Tallchief went crashing to the floor in a cast-change performance that involved Erik Bruhn.
i have no way of checking the accuracy of the recollection or just what he, Gorey, recalled during the 1970s as what happened earlier, presumably around 1960.
my copy of Goldner's BALANCHINE VARIATIONS is not to hand, but if mem. serves, she addresses the ballet in one of her essays.

And Tallchief comments on the "throw" in the video Dancing for Mr B". She speaks of how nervous the toss made her, "there were four boys throwing me and only one boy catching me"....

Sean Lavery, speaking before the panel with 3 young dancers (as discussed in the NYCB January 22nd thread), talked about having to learn the ballet in one day (after some earlier coaching with Jacques d"Amboise), and Balanchine being very casual about the catch.... then going off to make his birthday dinner. So it's not just the "Sylph" who gets nervous.

#19 carbro


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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:04 PM

First time I saw this was with ... Patricia Neary as the Girl in a Kilt.

:blink: , because I've only seen Scottish Girl danced by shorter dancers -- as mentioned above. I have no doubt that Neary -- who was what? about 5'9"? 5'10"? -- could deliver all those fast, little steps, but what a different sense we would have gotten of that role!

One of my most memorable "Sylphs" was Nichol Hlinka's farewell performance -- soft, light, and not quite tragic.

#20 Mel Johnson

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 03:40 AM

Neary gave a powerful reading to the part, and suggested to me what another "powerhouse Pat" - Wilde - must have been like in the original cast.

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