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Lichine's "Graduation Ball. Miami, Ballet Etudes


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#1 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:40 AM

Ballet Etudes, the little company for which recently retired Cuban ballerina Dagmar Moradillos is its Ballet Mistress, will present a Cuban company staple, Lichine's "Graduation Ball". I have fond memories of this beautiful ,light ballet, and I'm glad that Miss Moradillos keeps staging all those jewels she learned from back home. In the same program, "Munecos"-("Dolls")-by Alberto Mendez, another Cuban classic, which reinvents the story of the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the ballerina, which in this case is a typical Cuban rag doll, with a very moving twist. I wish I could go and revisit those, but I'm working that night...Posted Image

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4rqhkBrlKY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keRUW8xWqBU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QPXLigcpTg&feature=related

#2 Birdsall

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:02 AM

That does remind me of Steadfast Tin Soldier!!! Except the doll does not fall in the fire but just becomes a rag doll again.

Graduation Day looks good too. What is the actual story? Is it normally a full-length ballet or a short one?

#3 Brioche

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:55 AM

From Wikiepedia:
"[font=sans-serif][size=3]The ballet, in one act, is set in a fashionable Viennese finishing school for girls during the 1840s. The headmistress has invited the cadets of the city's military academy to attend a ball celebrating the graduation of the senior class. The senior and junior girls have planned a series of [/size][/font]divertissements[font=sans-serif][size=3] as the evening's entertainment and are greatly excited by the event. Flirtations, exuberant dances, and a secret romance ensue.'[/size][/font]




[font=sans-serif][size=3]I had the pleasure of performing it in two company's and staging it for a ballet school. A wonderful experience on all levels! [/size][/font]

#4 Helene

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:30 AM

Thank you, cubanmiamiboy! What a great opportunity to see a rarely presented in North America ballet.

#5 Hamorah

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:33 AM

I love Graduation Ball. As a child I often saw it performed by London's Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) and it is such a lovely light ballet. Funny that the company dancing it now is called Ballet Etudes, because the ballet Etudes was another one that was frequently performed by Festival Ballet!

#6 dirac

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:37 PM

San Jose Ballet just presented Graduation Ball as the finale of their first program of the season. They've done it before but not for some time. It's dated a bit but retains considerable charm, as cubanmiamiboy says, and presents some technical challenges for its dancers. It was my first time seeing it and I enjoyed it very much.

#7 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 04:30 AM

from then-LFB's production in a c1980 broadcast:



#8 CM

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:49 AM

I've never watched a performance of Graduation ball but I love the music and I enjoy these clips from Argentina







#9 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:45 AM

Graduation Ball is a lovely ballet, but you can't do it if you don't have ballerinas able to do those fouettes, for which is the very essence of those fragments...the technical fireworks of the merry youth. If you don't have that, the ballet looses its whole allure. The ballet is "light" in content, but the whole opposite on the technical side, so because you won't be able to focus too much on the "story"-(is there any, after all...? Posted Image )-it becomes all charm and TECHNIQUE. The two ballerinas duet was specially interesting. Alonso used to cast two ballerinas that were very close in technique and with a different fan base, so the whole thing became very real. I remember vaguely having a very young Lorna Feijoo and Alyhaidee Carreno on those, and there was FIRE on the air. It would be interesting, for instance, to see how could that be done over here, for example, if Mary Carmen Catoya could be presented side by side with Jeannette Delgado in the fouettes competitions....I would LOVE that...!! Posted Image

#10 atm711

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 02:02 PM

I cannot resist commenting on the first 'Graduation Ball' I saw by Ballet Theatre---Lichine and Riabouchinska were the leading couple with a delightful Rosella Hightower as the pig-tailed girl and John Kriza as a droll sexy Drummer Boy,Alonso in the classical PDD and Marjorie Tallchief and Margaret Banks in the fouette competition .....it must have made quite an impression as I have not forgotten it or the cast all these years....Posted Image

#11 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 04:34 PM

Hamorah, then you must have seen Flemming Flindt as the Drummer. He was just wonderful, I have not seen many versions of Graduation Ball, but Flindt was the best, superb. Nobody can get even near his performance. Then of course there were the original Nicholas Orloff and Lichine (who created the ballet) who were supposed to be good, but that was before my time. Like atm711, I have never forgotten Flindt's Drummer so I must have found that stunning.

#12 sandik

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:12 PM

Graduation Ball was a staple of the touring Ballet Russe companies, and then of the small, regional ensembles those dancers founded around the US, but it's fallen out of favor in most settings -- it's good to know that it's still being performed.

#13 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:57 PM

I cannot resist commenting on the first 'Graduation Ball' I saw by Ballet Theatre---Lichine and Riabouchinska were the leading couple with a delightful Rosella Hightower as the pig-tailed girl and John Kriza as a droll sexy Drummer Boy,Alonso in the classical PDD and Marjorie Tallchief and Margaret Banks in the fouette competition .....it must have made quite an impression as I have not forgotten it or the cast all these years....Posted Image

Once again I admit my complete envy to you for having been able to see al those stars that I have so much read and admired-(if in a platonic way)..Posted Image (So Alonso was in the classical PDD...? Posted Image THAT I didn't know...(I knew she had danced the ballet, but never knew which role...!)

#14 Drew

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:42 PM

Graduation Ball was a staple of the touring Ballet Russe companies, and then of the small, regional ensembles those dancers founded around the US, but it's fallen out of favor in most settings -- it's good to know that it's still being performed.


I remember it as a staple of the (now defunct) National Ballet of Washington, which, name notwithstanding, falls into this category as it was founded and directed by Frederic Franklin (later joined by Ben Stevenson). I remember enjoying the ballet a lot--and have a few images in my head, though my memories are not very concrete...I'm pretty sure I saw Christine Knoblauch (later O'Neill) dance in it and, probably in the role of the drummer boy, Kirk Peterson?? (Those programs long since tossed...) Glad the ballet is still being danced--quite a tribute to its craft and -- however dated -- charm...

#15 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 02:09 AM

Reading the multiple responses to my OP-(still surprised, for the amount), once again I wonder what's going on with the AD's nowadays. Why to keep comissioning expensive and forgettable "ballets" which we can't even remember anything about the next day when there are so many good ones from the past repertoire just waiting to be revived for the general pleasure...? Why all the neglect to Tudor, Fokine, de Mille, Massine, Lifar and so on...? There are certainly people still around who remembers their "lost" works, so WHY the hesitance...?

Sometimes I wonder what will happen with the Cuban repertoire once Alonso is no longer there...


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