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Bits and Pieces of Balanchine


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#1 pherank

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:52 PM

This video of the Perm Opera and Ballet company features sections from Mr. B's Monumentum Pro Gesualdo and Kammermusik No. 2.

https://www.youtube....h?v=YBL9GwgamVc

The first piece, "Variations on a Rococo Theme", I'm not familiar with. Is this Wheeldon's ballet? Doesn't really look like Wheeldon.

Donizetti Variations, Pas de deux:
https://www.youtube....h?v=guTq-1qUQR8

https://www.youtube....h?v=072pNpwS_NY

Bugaku (generous) preview from MCB:
https://www.youtube....h?v=QomyCafiWhM

La Sonnambula - Mikhail Baryshnikov & Alessandra Ferri:
https://www.youtube....h?v=1LpmL_NeiAU

#2 Jayne

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:00 AM

Here's a little Symphony in C with Allegra Kent / Conrad Ludlow, with voice over from the master himself:



#3 sandik

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:42 PM

Here's a little Symphony in C with Allegra Kent / Conrad Ludlow, with voice over from the master himself:

https://www.youtube....h?v=1pGa5c-lB8o


Thanks for the reminder -- I need to go back and watch this documentary again.

#4 pherank

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:24 PM

Agon as danced by NYCB is currently available online:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Allegra Kent & Arthur Mitchell in Balanchine's Agon rehearsal:


#5 jsmu

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:51 PM

Thank you so much for the clips, pherank--rare for other companies to do Monumentum and unheard-of for them to do Kammermusik!
Alas, you posted Kent and Mitchell after Watts and Tomlinson--the comparison is appalling. Tomlinson is no Mitchell in any way,
and as for the egregious Watts, the less said the better.

#6 pherank

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 05:16 PM

Thank you so much for the clips, pherank--rare for other companies to do Monumentum and unheard-of for them to do Kammermusik!
Alas, you posted Kent and Mitchell after Watts and Tomlinson--the comparison is appalling. Tomlinson is no Mitchell in any way,
and as for the egregious Watts, the less said the better.


Right now, more is just better - I can't worry much about the display order, with so little to show...

Darcey Bussell and Peter Boal, selections from Agon


"DAY 4 - Serenade and Agon"


"Agon de Stravinsky" - a fun 'homemade' video



And on a different note -

"Selections from Apollo"


#7 bart

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:11 PM

Re: the Kent-Mitchell Agon pdd clip. I think they first danced this as a partnership in 1962, and subsequently in 1965 and 68.

However, based on the filled-out appearance of Mitchell's torso -- and the color film -- it looks like it dates from 1972, when Mitchell was performing as a "guest artist."

Anna Kisselgoff's review is here:
http://query.nytimes...78AD95F468785F9

What a program -- Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Agon, and Symphony in C. And what casting!

I love Darcey Bussell in that 1995 clip. She projects more glamour than the role probably calls for (Adams and Kent conveyed tension as well as control), but her physical beauty puts her in the same camp as those earlier dancers.

Anna Kisselgoff, 1993:

The program will always be remembered for the astonishingly sensuous performance that Darcey Bussell, the golden girl of the Royal Ballet, drew out of the familiar pas de deux in "Agon," clearly inspiring her City Ballet partner, Lindsay Fischer, to dance with newly charged intensity. There is nothing like sex appeal to set an audience roaring.


http://www.nytimes.c...-food-food.html

#8 jsmu

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:50 PM

pherank, I didn't mean to sound ungrateful. lol. you are very kind to post these and they are fascinating.
You were correct that that was not Wheeldon. it's the head of Perm Ballet I think.
To me Bussell is far *too* sexy (almost vampish) in Agon. I was not fond of her at all in Balanchine--she 'acted' way too much.
Farrell was sometimes also criticized for sexing up Agon.

#9 pherank

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:41 PM

Here's a short video of Manuel Legris in Square Dance:



#10 aurora

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 02:35 PM

Farrell and Martins

in Chaconne:
(part 1)


(part 2)


In an excerpt from Apollo:


#11 Jack Reed

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 06:22 PM

Some of the Millennium Stage preview-performance webcasts by the Suzanne Farrell Ballet remain in the Kennedy Center website archive, as do my guides to them on Ballet Alert!:

October 25, 2012; my guide.

September 23, 2011; my guide.

September 30, 2010; my guide.

#12 pherank

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:40 PM

Maria Tallchief and Nicholas Magallanes - 'Allegro Brillante'


I tend to agree with some of the commentators that the actual quality of the dancing is not particularly great, but you do get to see Allegro Brillante, so why complain?

Edit: compare to some footage of AB on the big stage at NYCB:



#13 sandik

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:49 PM

Many thanks for these all, but particularly for the Legris Square Dance solo -- we saw Benjamin Griffiths in this solo for a lec-dem at Pacific Northwest Ballet last week. As usual, he gave a truly thoughtful performance, and it sparked a very interesting conversation about whether this could be danced by a woman. Since then, I've been wondering what it might look like if it were coached by someone with a background in modern dance rather than specifically ballet, especially since there are so many moments in it that remind me of Doris Humphrey or Isadora Duncan.

#14 Jack Reed

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

I tend to agree with some of the commentators that the actual quality of the dancing is not particularly great, but you do get to see Allegro Brillante, so why complain?

Edit: compare to some footage of AB on the big stage at NYCB:


I'm afraid I tend to agree with some of the other commentators on the YouTube page that technique isn't everything and that the older dancers had virtues lacking - or harder to find - today.

But what Tallchief and company do in these break-leg tempos! I hadn't seen this for a while, and I had forgotten. When "Dance in America" broadcast AB with Farrell and Martins in 1979 in "Choreography by Balanchine" Part 4, it ran about 14 or 15 minutes, as does my favorite recording of the music; but this one rips by in under 10 minutes, and doesn't seem much cut to me. (In the theater, the music starts with the curtain down, and it rises on the dancing already in progress; in the 1964 Bell Telephone Hour telecast this comes from, there's an on-camera introduction over the music, thoughtfully cut by the YouTube poster. It's on VAI 4234 in slightly clearer picture and sound, with three more bits and pieces of Balanchine and four by others.)

When you compare the recent footage, you notice the easier tempos, and the cleanliness of the dancing in the earlier performance becomes impressive considering the unprecedented speed, not to mention the rock-hard floor they probably had to contend with, like the ones Tallchief complains about in her autobiography.

#15 pherank

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 06:17 PM

When you compare the recent footage, you notice the easier tempos, and the cleanliness of the dancing in the earlier performance becomes impressive considering the unprecedented speed, not to mention the rock-hard floor they probably had to contend with, like the ones Tallchief complains about in her autobiography.


Now that you mention it, I do recall reading in a number of places about how abysmal the dancing conditions were in those TV studios, and I believe it was Suzanne Farrell who said she wished that her taped performances were destroyed, since they didn't accurately depict how she danced on the stage. But it's important that we have these artifacts all the same (sorry Suzanne!). They act as a cultural record of a great many things.

And it's great we have someone like Jack Reed to provide some additional, necessary details. ;)


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