Alan M. Kriegsman 1928-2012
Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:03 PM
Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:28 PM
Here's a quote from the obituary (which is quite nice, I thought):
In an interview, Mikhail Baryshnikov, the Soviet-born dancer and former artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre, called Mr. Kriegsman “one of the best writers” on dance. He said that Mr. Kriegsman, who was known as Mike, was an accomplished pianist whose educational background in music “brought an intelligent approach to writing about music in choreography.”
His background in music was an important part of his writing. He had an extremely sensitive ear, and he loved musical dancers, and musical choreographers. Alan Kriegsman was my mentor, and started me, at the Post, as a critic. One of the things I remember about him is how careful he was, filling notebook after notebook with ideas, outline his piece -- this took hours -- and then start typing and finish the review in about 20 minutes. Once I came back to find him writing about "Swan Lake" Now, he had seen "Swan Lake" about 500 times, but he was almost hidden by books piled up from the floor to his shoulder. "How was it?????" he asked, excitedly, about a Gerald Arpino ballet to a very contemporary score. He would have seen both, were it possible.
Posted 01 September 2012 - 10:13 PM
More concretely, I remember the opening of his rave review for Macmillan's Requiem (Faure) for the Stuttgart--saying that sometimes a critic had to go out on a limb and going on to make the case not just for the ballet's success/beauty but for its importance. I loved the ballet too -- I have not seen it since then and don't know what I would think now, years later and w/o the original cast, but I rather expect I would still think highly of it.
My parents and I often sat right behind him (and his wife) in our subscriber seats during the mid-70's -- I believe I was mortified when my mom once said something to him about enjoying his writing, but he was, of course, quite polite and pleasant in response.
Posted 02 September 2012 - 06:34 PM
Alastair Macaulay has an obituary in the Times today:
His eclectic tastes were driven by a passionate sense of inquiry and an abiding search for meaning. Though his musical background helped him to write with insight about European and American ballet, and the choreography of the modern-dance choreographers Paul Taylor and Mark Morris, he brought the same excited open-mindedness to choreography by Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown that is independent of any music, and to the dance forms of India, Spain and Africa. The acting of Laurence Olivier in “The Dance of Death,” the emergence of break dancing and the changes in the nature of the circus were all among his subjects.
Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:32 AM
Posted 09 September 2012 - 01:12 PM
(and that high school photo is astonishing!)
Posted 09 September 2012 - 01:29 PM
Posted 09 September 2012 - 01:56 PM
Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:24 PM
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