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"Balanchine Then and Now"Responses???


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23 replies to this topic

#1 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 06:38 PM

I just spotted this book at a NYCB performance. I haven't heard of it. Has anyone read it? What did you think??

#2 Eileen

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 11:56 AM

I just spotted this book at a NYCB performance. I haven't heard of it. Has anyone read it? What did you think??


I also found this book at the gift shop. My verdict: fascinating. More to follow.

#3 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 07:40 PM


I just spotted this book at a NYCB performance. I haven't heard of it. Has anyone read it? What did you think??


I also found this book at the gift shop. My verdict: fascinating. More to follow.


Great! Looking forward to your thoughts.

#4 Eileen

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:36 AM



I just spotted this book at a NYCB performance. I haven't heard of it. Has anyone read it? What did you think??


I also found this book at the gift shop. My verdict: fascinating. More to follow.


Great! Looking forward to your thoughts.

I've been meaning to take another look at this book, and now that the season has begun, I took the opportunity to page through it during intermission, quickly. I have mixed reactions, because the choice of subjects interviewed was rather odd. The chapters with comments by Violette Verdy and Suki Schorer were wonderful, they are so insightful and knowledgeable. But there are some minor dancers in the company and in ABT (Francia Russell and Nanette Glushak) who are interviewed, and I'm not sure how much they add to a book on Balanchine. And then there are several individuals who are in contemporary dance and have nothing to do with classical ballet at all, and I have no idea why they are included. So if you read the introduction and the chapters on the major dancers, that's really all that's interesting. And the price at the Gift Shop is an unreasonable $50! That alone is enough to make this a "look through" during intermission rather than a purchase. I think the editor of the book did not have access to enough subjects to fill an entire book, so resorted to "filler". But the photographs are sublime.

#5 Amy Reusch

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 11:48 AM

Not sure I would discount those two too much.... Besides been co AD for PNB, doesn't Francia Russell set pieces for the Trust?

. - Setting Balanchine on Het Nataionale



#6 Eileen

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:15 PM

Not sure I would discount those two too much.... Besides been co AD for PNB, doesn't Francia Russell set pieces for the Trust?

http://youtu.be/0Rh0plzv-a4. - Setting Balanchine on Het Nataionale



Thanks for your correction. I did not realize.

#7 California

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:15 PM

And the price at the Gift Shop is an unreasonable $50!


It's $34.20 today on Amazon. If you click the little box at the top of the site to buy it, Ballet Alert gets a small cut.
http://www.amazon.co...16203981&sr=8-1

#8 Ray

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:34 PM

But there are some minor dancers in the company and in ABT (Francia Russell and Nanette Glushak) who are interviewed, and I'm not sure how much they add to a book on Balanchine.


Actually, both these women have a lot to say about Balanchine that's very interesting. (NG has had a fascinating career, in and outside of NYCB.) But I think your larger point is right: readers of a book like this should hear from the "major" voices; on the face of it, it sounds like the interviews were selected for expediency. That said, I think there is a real need to interview thoughtfully all of the "minor" players, too, who are still around; this kind of research would appear in a different kind of book, though (one I would certainly read!).

#9 bart

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 01:30 PM

Eileen got me to look more closely at what little information is available about content, at least as far as a short Google search turns up. I guess I was expecting something more on the order of Francis Mason's collection of memoirs: I Remember Balanchine. Now THAT's a roster of big (and smaller) players. (1991, 598 pp.)

Balanchine Then and Now is a more slender book (128 pp.). The list of contributors seems, as Eileen and Ray suggest, rather unfocussed. The likelihood of this being definitive in any way seems slight, to me at least. I think I'll hold off until reader reviews appear on Amazon. OR here.

#10 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 06:13 PM

Nanette Glushack is the artistic director of "Ballet du Nord" in France, which has long been a respected venue for Balanchine works. She also sets works by Mr B. for the Balanchine Trust.

#11 Quiggin

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 07:18 PM

Bart:

I guess I was expecting something more on the order of Francis Mason's collection of memoirs: I Remember Balanchine.

For me "I Remember Balanchine" is really the essential Balanchine book – or Balanchines, because all dancers who are interviewed have different points of view. The Elliott Carter discussion is also included.

What I found most valuable about "Balanchine Then and Now" was the "Divertimento from Le Baiser de la Fee: Ghost Stories" chapter about how Helgi Tomasson's solo was built with pieces of the pas de deux out of older versions. Violette Verdy's interview was also good but that may be in Mason.

By the way, Artbook also lists forthcoming titles on Michael Clark (Violette) and Merce Cunningham (DAP). (And since Artbook done the curating in this case, it might be more appropriate to order these two from Artbook rather than Amazon, which acts more as a general store / clearinghouse.)

Artbook

#12 bart

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 03:17 AM

Another valuable addition to print material on Balanchine might be gathering the written descriptions of some (or all) of the Interpreters Archive coaching sessions, sponsored by the Balanchine Foundation.

DanceView has published some of these, and I believe Ballet Review has as well, though I may be confusing the latter with interviews with Balanchine coaches.. Such poices are invaluable to the ballet professional but also can be read and enjoyed by non-dancing ballet lovers.

It would be marvelous to have this type of piece -- which gives a feel for the way Balanchine is interpreted, experienced, and passed by dancers -- collected in one location.

#13 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:29 AM

If you're talking about my reports on the Interpreters Archive, those have all been in Dance View (the print magazine). Forthcoming is a piece on Suki Schorer coaching La Source (second ballerina role) and Conrad Ludlow coaching Liebesleider Walzer.

#14 Eileen

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 09:57 AM

Another valuable addition to print material on Balanchine might be gathering the written descriptions of some (or all) of the Interpreters Archive coaching sessions, sponsored by the Balanchine Foundation.

DanceView has published some of these, and I believe Ballet Review has as well, though I may be confusing the latter with interviews with Balanchine coaches.. Such poices are invaluable to the ballet professional but also can be read and enjoyed by non-dancing ballet lovers.

It would be marvelous to have this type of piece -- which gives a feel for the way Balanchine is interpreted, experienced, and passed by dancers -- collected in one location.


Barbara Horgan has written me about the Balanchine Foundation's efforts to videotape coaching sessions - original Balanchine dancers coaching younger dancers - so the Balanchine interpretation is recorded and his original intent preserved. But it's very expensive and so she is searching for funding. To have videotape of dancers like Verdy coaching Emeralds would be wonderful, and I have seen tape of Allegra Kent coaching Darci in Sonnambula years ago. Miss Horgan wrote that she is working against time, as the older dancers, an irreplaceable resource, are dwindling.

#15 bart

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 10:02 AM

Barbara Horgan has written me about the Balanchine Foundation's efforts to videotape coaching sessions - original Balanchine dancers coaching younger dancers - so the Balanchine interpretation is recorded and his original intent preserved. But it's very expensive and so she is searching for funding. To have videotape of dancers like Verdy coaching Emeralds would be wonderful, and I have seen tape of Allegra Kent coaching Darci in Sonnambula years ago. Miss Horgan wrote that she is working against time, as the older dancers, an irreplaceable resource, are dwindling.


Videos are definitely important. I was thinking however of written accounts by observers of these sessions. Several have appeared in DanceView in recent years, I believe. (Unfortunately I recently gave away my archives of DV and similar serious publications, and cannot recollect the specific works.)


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