Jump to content


Western Symphony


  • Please log in to reply
32 replies to this topic

#16 ksk04

ksk04

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 479 posts

Posted 16 September 2012 - 11:21 AM

Thank you for posting this, lmspear! A true joy and privilege to watch. Posted Image



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.


I thought the Scherzo is the section that is usually omitted, but added back in by Villella? The Rondo is most well-known part of WS, no?

#17 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 16 September 2012 - 05:31 PM

Right. Sorry for the mistake, which I often make for some reason. I got "Scherzo" in my first post but "Rondo" (wrong !) on the second. Thanks, sks04, for catching this.

#18 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:36 PM

I watched it again today, liked it even better. The corps is CONSTANTLY on the move, and they're SO full of moxie. their attack is thrilling. Tanny made me laugh out loud with her mule kicks and her applejacks and her turned-in bird steps -- but frankly, I think it's the corps that makes this one so great.

It is a GREAT ballet masquerading as a bumptious divertissement.

And maybe Balanchine was right to cut the Scherzo -- it is fun, but the whole is tighter and maybe funnier without it -- though i DEFINITELY prefer this to every other performance I've ever seen.

#19 jsmu

jsmu

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 173 posts

Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:23 PM

The idea of seeing four ballerinas this great in one wonderful ballet is inconceivable.
Never again.
Adams's legs were once compared to the Solingen scissors, among other flattering comparisons.....one can certainly see why. What amplitude. what beauty.
Hayden also has gorgeous legs, in a completely different way.....and is funnier than anyone has ever been since in the Adagio, without mugging and with flawless technique.
Kent--well. She was, on top of everything else, a jumper when she was young.
LeClercq--where does one start? Superb in every particular.
Balanchine cut the Scherzo not because the ballet was too long but because in the absence of Kent and Wilde he felt no one was adequate to the task (when one sees Kent's entrechats, one sees WHY.).....
it was revived by NYCB in the Eighties and early Nineties with Nichols, who was marvelous as usual--however that revival did not last long.

#20 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:45 AM

This helps me to understand where Edward Villella was coming from -- what he was visualizing -- when he set this ballet on his company. He knew all the originals. This must have affected his casting of the quick-silver, super-springy Jeanette Delgado and Renato Penteado for the Scherzo on the Dance in America video. (Delgado, then a corps member, also danced this in 2006 -- with Alex Wong.)

Balanchine cut the Scherzo not because the ballet was too long but because in the absence of Kent and Wilde he felt no one was adequate to the task (when one sees Kent's entrechats, one sees WHY.).....
it was revived by NYCB in the Eighties and early Nineties with Nichols, who was marvelous as usual--however that revival did not last long.

I wonder why companies don't train the dancers UP to choreography like this, rather than eliminating it. I understand Paul's point about tightening (concentrating) the effect. But deleting the Scherzo seems like a kind of fudge. Having grown up with the original, I miss the movement when it's not there.

#21 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,394 posts

Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:17 AM

Watching this for the 3rd time, I am particularly fixated on the energy and carefree style of the entire corps. Compared to this, today's dancers are too 'pretty and proper' in their delivery. Just because Balanchine came from St Petersburg doesn't mean that every one of his big-corps ballets need to be danced as if they're all Swan Lake!

#22 jsmu

jsmu

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 173 posts

Posted 18 September 2012 - 01:11 PM

Absolutely, Natalia. I was so flabbergasted by the ballerinas and d'Amboise I neglected to mention the corps, which is beyond stellar in a perfectly 'American' way......Balanchine loved his ballets NOT to look like Imperial restagings when , as here, they were intended to be colloquial.

#23 Quiggin

Quiggin

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 834 posts

Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:36 PM

And how freely Robert Barnett dances... In inventiveness this version of Western Symphony seems more like one of the Warner Brothers cartoons of the same time rather than contemporary musicals. The scherzo develops fewer ideas than the other sections, so maybe that's why it was dropped. And every now and then there seem to be odd structural remnants of Swan Lake or Giselle or some other sad Petipa work, but here they laugh.

#24 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,394 posts

Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:08 AM

Films like this Western Symphony make me wish that there would be a USA equivalent of the magnificent British DVD publishers, ICA (of the recent Fonteyn, Nerina, 'Russian Treasures' DVDs). I know of many ballet & general perf-arts lovers who would gladly pay to have their own pristene copies of this gem from the NYCB Glory Years.

#25 Neryssa

Neryssa

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 161 posts

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

[size=3][font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif]

Films like this Western Symphony make me wish that there would be a USA equivalent of the magnificent British DVD publishers, ICA (of the recent Fonteyn, Nerina, 'Russian Treasures' DVDs). I know of many ballet & general perf-arts lovers who would gladly pay to have their own pristene copies of this gem from the NYCB Glory Years.

[/font][/size]
[size=3][font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif]I know I would pay to have a copy of this ballet on DVD. Shouldn't most of this footage be digitized and restored too?![/font][/size]
[size=3][font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif]btw, can anybody name some of the corps members from the NYC Ballet footage? I thought I saw Joy Feldman Ludlow in the 1st movement and Ruth Sobotka in the third movement.[/font][/size]

#26 Jack Reed

Jack Reed

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,511 posts

Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

In line with the tantalizing idea of a commercial, restored version of this film mentioned in the two preceding posts, there's been a tantalizing glimpse of what that might look like on YouTube.

As to the corps, yes, that was NYCB, beyond stellar, right down, if that is indeed the word, through the ranks. That's one of the things that astonishes in the mid-60s films of Don Quixote and A Midsummer Night's Dream - both large cast ballets - as well: The energy and freedom, the fullness, [size=4]of their dancing. It was a real company, unlike today, when NYCB's defenders ask, "Oh, but did you see [principal] so-and-so?"[/size]

[size=4]As to the scherzo, I'm sorry, but both its music and its choreography seem a little weak to me, as do that of a number of other numbers Balanchine saw fit to eliminate over the years, like the Servants' Dance in Prodigal Son, recently restored by TSFB, or the Hoop Dance, the fourth divertissement, in La Sonnambula, restored by Cincinnati Ballet in 2002. (What he did to Apollo, though he had every right to do it, was awful, however.) [/size]

#27 Neryssa

Neryssa

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 161 posts

Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:40 PM

[size=3][font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif]

In line with the tantalizing idea of a commercial, restored version of this film mentioned in the two preceding posts, there's been a tantalizing glimpse of what that might look like on YouTube.

[/font][/size]
[size=3][font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif]um, I posted that video Posted ImageDid they colorize it, I wonder? Anyway, it was a revelation to see Diana Adams - and Allegra Kent. I guess she was barely 19 in this film although she looks even younger.[/font][/size]
[size=3][font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif]Neryssa[/font][/size]

#28 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,725 posts

Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:48 PM

no, it's in color, I think the one posted in full is black and white but the original is in color.

#29 Jack Reed

Jack Reed

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,511 posts

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

[size=3][font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif]


In line with the tantalizing idea of a commercial, restored version of this film mentioned in the two preceding posts, there's been a tantalizing glimpse of what that might look like on YouTube.

[/font][/size]
[size=3][font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif]um, I posted that video Posted ImageDid they colorize it, I wonder? ...[/font][/size]
[size=3][font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif]Neryssa[/font][/size]


Aha! I wondered whether that was a coincidence of names. Thank you for posting that clip, neryssa! (Yes, it does look colorized. But maybe it's just faded. Regardless, I didn't see a previous reference to it in this thread, and I wanted to be sure all of the lurkers - this thread has now been viewed over 1,000 times! - were aware of it.)

#30 Jack Reed

Jack Reed

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,511 posts

Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

(accidental duplicate post deleted)


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):