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Baryshnikov and Thesmar, with Franklin

9 posts in this topic

f.y.i. a newsphoto of Baryshnikov and Thesmar with Franklin in a relaxed moment during a rehearsal of THE PRODIGAL SON (by Balanchine) for Baryshnikov's debut in the role.

the caption notes the intended presence in the Chicago Daily News of another rehearsal photo which I don't have from the same time and event.

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I remember when it happened. It was the same weekend as Gelsey Kirkland's debut in ABT's Swan Lake. The New York Times sent its chief dance critic, Clive Barnes, to Chicago to cover this once-in-a-lifetime performance, while it assigned Anna Kisselgoff to the Kirkland debut in a role that, no doubt, she'd repeat many times over the years. Kisselgoff panned not only Ms. Kirkland but the audience, both, IMO, unjustly (I was there).

Of course, as it turned out, Gelsey never did dance Odette/Odile again, at least not with ABT,* and Baryshnikov danced Prodigal several times during his brief tenure at NYCB and again when he returned to ABT as Artistic Director, having acquired performing rights to it.

*There was a tape of her dancing Act II of Swan Lake with a smaller company (Kansas City?), but if she ever danced the full ballet again, I'm unaware of it. In Dancing on my Grave, she expresses disdain for Swan Lake. :dunno:

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more newsphotos from the same event.

the tall one of Thesmar and Baryshnikov is too large for my scanner thus the tight 'trim' of the scan. the scanned caption is from this particular print.

the stage reh. picture is likely related to one mentioned in the caption for the first photo in this topic.

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at the far left it looks like a dancer named Brian Kelly, at the far right a dancer named David Hough, standing up next to David Hough might be D'Artagnan Petty, 2nd from left i'm not sure. baryshnikov's understudy was a dancer named Gennadi Vostrikov.

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thanks for the idents. Mme. H.

here's another still from this time and event, w/ Franklin rehearsing the drunken scene of the "Friends" and the Prodigal.

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Of course, as it turned out, Gelsey never did dance Odette/Odile again, at least not with ABT,* and Baryshnikov danced Prodigal several times during his brief tenure at NYCB and again when he returned to ABT as Artistic Director, having acquired performing rights to it.

Predicting the future is always a tricky business!

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I'd been abroad for a while and somehow missed all the broohaha about Baryshnikov's defection. I went to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden to get tickets for a matinee, because in those days matinees were always with cheaper priced tickets. The tickets for this particular matinee were normal prices and I really couldn't afford it. When I protested they told me that it was because Baryshnikov was dancing. Me in my ignorance still protested - so what! So I missed out on an amazing opportunity to see him dance live and kicked myself ever after. And every time I'd watch him in films I'd kick myself again at what I'd missed........

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Another press photo of Thesmar from June of '77, which marks the time the Paris Opera ballerina appeared with Baryshnikov in Chicago and with NYCB in NYC later that month.

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