Jump to content

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Is the Tudor Repertory Dead?

  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

Poll: Is the Tudor Repertory Dead? (13 member(s) have cast votes)

Is the Tudor Repertory Dead?

  1. Yes, it is dead as a doornail. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. No, but it is on life support. (5 votes [38.46%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.46%

  3. No, it is just experiencing a temporary lull. (8 votes [61.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.54%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#31 Levi


    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 05 October 2012 - 07:33 PM

I would venture to say that Kaye or Wilson would have been infinitely preferable in every way for any staging of his ballets. (sadly, of course, they are gone...)

Just for the sake of asking, what are your thoughts on John Gardner and Amanda McKerrow?

Here is a link to an interview with them while they were staging Lilac Garden in OkC.

#32 Helene



  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,052 posts

Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:12 PM

Gardner and McKerrow danced the PDD from "Leaves" on a VHS tape "ABT Now" that started with the big group number from the last act of "Sleeping Beauty" and an intro by Makarova. It had the various performances, with interviews of dancers in between.

From the interview with McKerrow, it sounded like Tudor coached them both in the roles -- confirmed by the interview in the link you provided, Levi -- and she sounded like she had a great deal of respect for him. My first thought about the seeming dearth of Tudor stagers was "What about McKerrow?" and it's good to know she and Gardner are working for the Trust.

Many thanks for the link!

#33 bart


    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 06 October 2012 - 03:52 AM

Yes, thank you, levi, for that very interesting link. You make me want to have another look at the ABT video of Mckerrow and Gardner in the pdd Helene mentions.

I was especially impressed by a couple of points that relate to Tudor's thoughts about dancing his choreography, and his method of handling dancers to push them to where he wanted to be.

-- McKerrow: when very new to ABT, he called her out of the corps during a work session and made her repeat a difficult step many times. Finally she broke: "this is too difficult." At that point he felt she had "gotten" something and allowed her to go to the back of the room to practice. The lesson she derived: Tudor didn't want you to try to "smooth over" a step that seemed difficult or awkward, but to work through it and (not sure if this is what she actually meant) make it your own.

-- Gardner:

He discovered things in your work that you were just pretending and not being really present in the work.

At that point, Tudor "pushed through your point of resistance."

Interesting. Tudor (as other ABT dancers warned the young McKerrow) was clearly a difficult man for many people to work with. There were those dancers who either just survived, or learned the knack, or were temperamentally suited to learn in this way. These are the dancers Tudor seemed to have appreciated and wanted to work with.

A thought: One of the virtues of projects like Oklahoma City's is that it gets people thinking about Tudor. Some of us have mentioned what we see as a slackening in recent performances (as compared to Tudor's own glory days). This is not necessarily a bad thing. The whole process may help us to refocus on what Tudor in performance was like in the glory days and to find ways -- and people -- to push us back in that direction.

Sincere thanks to McKerrow and Gardner (both looking and sounding very fine indeed). And good luck to all at Oklahoma City Ballet.

#34 leonid17


    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,458 posts

Posted 06 October 2012 - 06:32 AM

I have seen the following Anthony Tudor ballets and have been an admirer of the best of his creations over the last forty years and have particularly been moved by performances of the following works:-

Dark Elegies,
Echoing of Trumpets
Knight Errant
Lilac Garden
Pillar of Fire
Shadow Play
The Leaves are Falling

Tudor's dance works, seem to undoubtedly find more more appeal with the introspective members of an audience especially when it is a dance audience brought up on academic classical ballet.

Anthony Tudor (born William Cook)in his ballets often reflects the emptiness that the “Economic Depression” following World War One which had left upon many of his generation, which he in turn, employed in his psychological ballets that pre-empted his social detachment from a number of areas of life.

Born 1909 into a fairly humble working class background, his father was a butcher and he found himself in 1924 working in Smithfield meat market as clerk amongst the daily sight of bloody carcasses of thousands of dead animals. He would in later life became a Buddhist as Ms Judith Mackrell recalls(see below).

There were dark phases of his childhood in London which were coloured by the economic depression that immediately followed the end of the 1914-18 war. Seeing men who had returned from the “War” who were depressed by unemployment and humiliated by the Poor Law which Tudor in the East End of London would certainly have witnessed.

He would have also known of or witnessed the hunger marches from Scotland and the North in the early 1920's as the global economy began to decline and inflation was rampant and the economy was depressed by 25% between 1918 and 1921 and did not recover until the end of the Great Depression in 1930.

It appears that Tudor grew up as a rather isolated person perhaps due perhaps to his latent (or otherwise) homosexuality in that rough, tough, milieu that he inhabited.

Having tyically left school aged 15 he must have found interests beyond his home background as at 19, he saw Anna Pavlova(or was it Lifar in “Apollon Musagete) dance and decided that this was the career he really wanted.

He maintained his employment from early morning to early afternoon in the raucus and noisy atmosphere of Smithfield Market and went to study with Marie Rambert in her evening classes following an interview with Cyril Beaumont who had recommended her.

He found himself with two lives as far apart as one could imagine. Tudor's keen observation of human nature and his somewhat isolated approach to life, made him an observer of types which he would later integrate into his choreography.

I saw him in London and Edinburgh Theatres on a number of ocassions and both he and Hugh Laing seemed to glide in another worldly atmosphere detached from those around them.

I noticed that often when Tudor was acosted, there was rarely a glimmer of a smile as he spoke.

On reflection it seems to me that it was in his detachment that his keen observation had been developed.

His ongoing interest and then devotion to Buddhism seemed to perfectly suit the somewhat distant disciplined aesthetic person he appeared to have become.

This distancing could become intimidating as a number of dancers have recorded.

I am sure that a number of his ballets will continue to be performed and admired for a long time yet.

Judith Mackrell, wrote the following about Anthony Tudor in 2004.


#35 Helene



  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,052 posts

Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:24 PM

A ray of light: PNB dancer Margaret Mullin -- a phenomenally talented young dancer -- is choreographing a work for the upcoming "All Premiere" program, and this is what she said in the PNB blog (scroll to "All Premiere Insights: Margaret Mullin, Lost in Light choreographer"):

Are there choreographers you particularly respect or find inspiring?

I've really been feeling that this work is an homage to Antony Tudor, so that's been my focus. He's such an emotional choreographer; his work has such sensitivity to it, without always needing or using a strong narrative. I did my first Tudor ballet when I was still in high school. It's the most graceful I've ever felt as a dancer. I sometimes feel that Tudor's choreographic language has been lost in recent years and for me this is one opportunity to bring it back. His aesthetic holds a large dose of humanity, which is tremendously important to me as a choreographer, and is a reminder of how glorious it can be to be a ballet dancer. I hope my work will allow the dancers in my own ballet to feel their most beautiful, as Mr. Tudor's work did for me. ...

#36 sandik


    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,401 posts

Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:05 PM

A ray of light: PNB dancer Margaret Mullin -- a phenomenally talented young dancer -- is choreographing a work for the upcoming "All Premiere" program, and this is what she said in the PNB blog (scroll to "All Premiere Insights: Margaret Mullin, Lost in Light choreographer"):

Well this is really cheerful information! I wonder what Tudor she's performed.

#37 Stage Right

Stage Right

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 135 posts

Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:55 AM

It is indeed "cheerful information"! It would be such a loss if the Tudor legacy disappeared. He is more subtle than most choreographers, and that is a challenge for the dancers and the viewers alike (and for the companies that present his work), but so worth it when they meet that challenge.

#38 LiLing


    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 205 posts

Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:07 AM

I think you need to bring a certain amount of life experience to appreciate some of the Tudor repertoire. Years ago, after I had recently lost someone in a community disaster, I saw a performance of Dark Elegies that brought me to tears. There was also what I saw as a shamelessly vulgar hard sell performance of DQ pdd. with long balances ignoring the music etc.

The next morning in the dressingroom for a mixed professional class, I overheard a teenage dancer raving to her friend about the fabulous performance by ----- in DQ. "and they did this boring ballet in ugly costumes by Antony Tudor."

#39 DanielBenton


    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 221 posts

Posted 12 April 2013 - 02:16 PM

One hopes it is not dead! I have seen a brief video clip of Echoing of Trumpets, showing a truly unique and sophisticated artist. Very rare.

#40 Alexandra


    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,301 posts

Posted 12 April 2013 - 02:54 PM

Thanks for your post, Daniel -- and for reviving this thread. I liked "Echoing of Trumpets" very much, though I can't remember which company I saw dance it.

Yes, a truly unique and sophisticated artist.

Edited by Alexandra, 12 April 2013 - 04:34 PM.
To correct a possible inaccuracy

#41 California


    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,986 posts

Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:09 PM

Colorado Ballet performed "Echoing of Trumpets" in March 2010. This Denver Post article mentions that Gil Boggs, the company's artistic director, performed in a 1994 revival. Boggs was an ABT principal at the time.

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. (If it doesn't appear below, your computer's or browser's adblockers may have blocked display):