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#1 lmspear

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:57 PM

http://www.ina.fr/vi...ymphony.fr.html

This is from a French site, dated 1954. I haven't watched it yet. Is this the original cast?Posted Image

#2 sandik

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:16 PM

And what's with the opening credit for the Ministry of Agriculture?

#3 Natalia

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:21 PM

Oh, my...those entrechats by Allegra Kent in the 3rd mvt, around the 18-minute mark! Did she have springs in her pointes? And her partner, Robert Barnett's energy. This is extraordinary. All of the soloist and corps are terrific. Thanks for posting.

Cast:

1st - Adams/Bliss
2nd - Hayden/Magallanes
3rd - Kent/Barnett
4th - LeClerq/D'Amboise

#4 bart

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:19 PM

Impsear, this is fantastic. I echo your Posted Image . And add a couple of Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image .

This is MOSTLY the original cast. And what a cast. The film was distributed by the U.S. Information Service, probably as a promotion for a NYCB tour to Europe. Western Symphony was performed on the 1956 tour, including Paris (which might explain the French version of the film). Less than two weeks after Paris, The company was in Copenhagen. It was there that Tanaquil Leclerq, after dancing the Rondo with Jacques d'Amboise, experienced the first symptoms of polio.

Allegro: Diana Adams and Herbert Bliss are original cast.

Adagio: Nicholas Magallanes is original cast, but Melissa Hayden replaces Janet Reed.

Scherzo: Allegra Kent replaces Patrica Wilde; Robert Barnett replaces Andre Eglevsky.

Rondo: Tanaquil LeClerq and Jacques d'Amboise are original cast.

The Scherzo is usually omitted now,, but Edward Villella, who actually danced it, put it back in for Miami City Ballet.

It's fascinating to compare the style to the way the ballet dancers perform this work today. In those early days, it was about energy, wit, fast footwork, and big (almost "Broadway") gestures. Those dancers were enjoying themselves..

It will be interesting to look back at recordings of Miami City Ballet's 2011 performance for Dance in America. Villella must have been thinking of the look and especially the feel of this original group of dancers, almost all of which he actually had the chance to work with, when he was coaching his young MCB dancers last year. I'm looking forward to comparing those two performances -- one filmed shortly after the premiere, the other filmed over half a century later.

#5 lmspear

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:32 PM

WoW. Thanks!!!

#6 Helene

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:43 PM

What an opportunity to see why Balanchine loved Diana Adams so much: in the adagio in particular she is exquisite. Kent is a wonder, too. It's amazing to see how powerfully Hayden takes over the camera, and Magallanes was so sweet in the opening. They do it straight, with no winks.

:flowers: lmspear!

#7 PeggyR

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:48 PM

[font=Helvetica][size=3]
What surprised me the most was Hayden: she's likable and actually funny. [/size][/font]
[font=Helvetica][size=3]
And LeClerq and that hat![/size][/font]
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What a treat. Thank you so much. Posted Image[/size][/font]

#8 bart

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 05:56 AM

What surprised me the most was Hayden: she's likable and actually funny.

That was the big delight of the video for me. All my memories of Hayden are so positive, and I'm convinced that she, and to a slightly lesser extent d'Amboise, Kent,Verdy, and Arthur Mitchell were the dancers who opened my eyes to just how wonderful the varieties of ballet dancing can be.

I suspect that the small amount of high-quality videos featuring Hayden -- and the never quite enthusiastic write-ups she received from reviewers -- may have left people with a distorted impression. Hayden on stage was charismatic and "theatrical" dancer, in the sense of completely inhabiting the role. Her technique and personality were more than sufficient for the wide range of roles she danced, not just the bravura dancing for which she is known. She was capable of softness (watch the video of The Still Point pdd on the Jacques d'Amboise dvd), pathos (I still think of her as the most moving of all the NYCB Odettes), emotional warmth (her Sugar Plum Fairy), and a wry kind of subtlety (just look at the way she bids farewell to Nicholas Magallanes before bourreeing out of his life at the end of the Adagio).

#9 bart

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:01 AM

I just had the chance to compare on side-by-side screens the original Allegro section with Miami City Ballet's televised version from 2011. It seems apparent that someone was looking very closely at this old video. Many details of gesture and characterization -- the kind of thing that is often lost when ballets are passed on only by the memory of dancers who performed in or observed them -- are very close.

Jennifer Kronenberg has a lot of Diana Adams' charm and a similar body type (those long gorgeous legs, for example). She seems to be channeling Adams' plush quality of movement. Adams, however, seems more natural and spontaneous while relating to her partner; Kronenberg is more knowing, more of a coquette. It was marvelous to be able to watch this as the two danced side by side on different screens.

Carlos Guerra is more balletic than Herbert Bliss, especially his feet. Guerra wears softer shoes and is less of a hoofer, but he's a charmer, too -- and equally enthralled by his lady.

MCB's corps is technically more precise than the NYCB corps of the 1950s -- crisper, cleaner, with greater technical consistency -- than NYCB in the 1950s. I'd probably give an edge to NYCB for energy and for the illusion of true spontaneity.

There are two points in the Allegro in which the original NYCB version outshines MCB's:

-- The pas de deux's highpoint comes as the cavalier/cowboy promenades his ballerina while she does a developpe a la seconde, transitioning to arabesque. In the 1950s video, the music swells to make this clear. MCB's music does not swell, so the full effect of this promenade -- with its witty allusion to the grandeur of classical ballet -- is lost.

-- The tempo of the end of the finale is much accelerated in the 1950s version, noticeably faster than Miami's version. Miami's dancers have nuance and precision at their slower tempo tempo. NYCB's dancers have greater energy and a heart-racing, almost desperate joie de vivre.

The similarities, however, outweigh the differences. Both sets of dancers are joys to watch.

I'll be checking the other 3 sections over the next day or so. I'm especially interested in comparing the Rondo -- with MCB's Patricia Delgado and Yann Trividic dancing Tanaquil le Clercq's and Jacques d'Amboise's parts. Villella decided to revive this section (the "dance with the hat" as it is sometimes known) MCB as far as I know is the only company to perform it.

#10 Paul Parish

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:28 PM

Adams has a truly amazing sous-sus -- it looks like a sword or a lance planted in the floor.

Thanks for posting this -- it's got magnificent energy. Very few clean fifth positions, but the rhythms are VERY precise. leclercq is truly hilarious.

#11 AlbanyGirl

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 05:31 AM

Good morning, Bart, is the 2011 MCB Dance in America soon t be released on DVD? I looked for it recently on Amazon and did not find it. Thank you.

#12 AlbanyGirl

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 05:35 AM

It is indeed fantastic! I'm working on an old computer right now while my brand-new all-in-one is being repaired Posted Image so I cannot watch this video very well right now - I'll park it for later on! Can't wait. Wonderful! Posted Image Imspear!

#13 bart

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:13 AM

Good morning, Bart, is the 2011 MCB Dance in America soon t be released on DVD? I looked for it recently on Amazon and did not find it. Thank you.

Not to my knowledge. The Midsummer Night's Dream of Pacific Northwest Ballet -- a regional company comparable in size and quality to MCB -- WAS released commercially on dvd, so there is always the possibility. The Rondo [EDITED TO ADD. I MEAN "SCHERZO." THANKS ksk04 FOR THE CORRECTION], especially, is a rarity which few even in NYC have the chance to see..

#14 Helene

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:35 AM


Good morning, Bart, is the 2011 MCB Dance in America soon t be released on DVD? I looked for it recently on Amazon and did not find it. Thank you.

Not to my knowledge. The Midsummer Night's Dream of Pacific Northwest Ballet -- a regional company comparable in size and quality to MCB -- WAS released commercially on dvd, so there is always the possibility. The Rondo, especially, is a rarity which few even in NYC have the chance to see..

The PNB performance on tour in London was filmed by and shown on BBC and later released on the BBC's own Opus Arte label.

Was the last "Dance in America" released on DVD the Balanchine Celebration from 1993?

#15 bart

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:31 AM

Helene, I should have checked the information on the box.

Was the last "Dance in America" released on DVD the Balanchine Celebration from 1993?

I don't know how many have been released since then, but ABT had at least three: "American Ballet Theater Now: Variety and Virtuosity" (1998); Ashton's "The Dream" (2005); and the Murphy/Corella/Gomes "Swan Lake" (2005).

New York City Ballet appears as a Live from Lincoln Center production. in "Swan Lake" (1999) and "The Diamond Project" (contemporary choreographers, i.e., no Balanchine) (2002).

I'm sure there are others. The two Balanchine ballets on the MCB video Might be a problem if it ever comes to negotiating rights from the Balanchine Trust.


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