pherank

Bits and Pieces of Balanchine

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

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:

Bugaku (generous) preview from MCB:

La Sonnambula - Mikhail Baryshnikov & Alessandra Ferri:

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

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

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

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Agon as danced by NYCB is currently available online:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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

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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.

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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"

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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

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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.

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

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Farrell and Martins

in Chaconne:

(part 1)

(part 2)

In an excerpt from Apollo:

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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.

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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.

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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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"Selections from Apollo"

Thank you Pherank for posting this. This "all star cast" is a good example of the variations of dance training:

Zhanna Ayupova of the Mariinsky / Vaganova

Patricia Barker of Pacific Northwest Ballet / "old school" 1950's / 1960's Balanchine

Isabella Guerin of Paris Opera Ballet / POB School

Nilas Martin of NYCB / RDB School

One of the things I notice is the deliberation in the movements of Ms Ayupova, the quicksilver lightness of Ms Barker and the full bodied grace of Ms Guerin. I don't necessarily think Mr. Martin is the best example of Bournonville or 1980's Balanchine style. Then again, the role calls for some sort of roughness at the start, as Apollo grows over time. Anyway, I felt dissatisfied watching him.

I'm trying to put into words how the Balanchine style looks different, and I think when it really works, the dancers look as if they are low flying starlings.

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Yes. The Muses are good in this. The Apollo is quite another matter. UGH.

Have sent you a private message with a bit more detail, Jayne...

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Yes. The Muses are good in this. The Apollo is quite another matter. UGH.
Have sent you a private message with a bit more detail, Jayne...


LOL! Anyone seeking a 'palette cleanse' after the Martin/Apollo version, might want to watch this (also you get to see the original prologue of the ballet):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlhH7EaqbRM

And if anyone knows who is dancing the roles of the handmaidens, it would be great to know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWft-39NHAc

Also, here we have the only longish clips I've ever found of Concerto Barocco:

http://www.dailymoti...on#.UUOFFBmNSrI

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Most foks have probably seen this, as it's the only officilaly released version of Theme and Variations, but I will include it here:

(Kirkland and Baryshnikov with ABT)

I posted these links elsewhere, but they are great videos, and in the interest of consolidation, now appear in this thread:

[Amateur video from the Théâtre du Châtelet, July of 2011]

Theme & Variations (MCB)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDJmjSKjQoY&list=UU6ibh5197dqyQbEFNDUhtmg

Square Dance (MCB)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRTlLj9aigw&list=UU6ibh5197dqyQbEFNDUhtmg&index=2

Ballet Imperial (MCB)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zdv681E8eyg

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And if anyone knows who is dancing the roles of the handmaidens, it would be great to know.

Jilliana - Calliope

Francia Russell - Polyhymnia (she had red hair back then)

I'm really enjoying these links, hope they don't disappear too quickly!

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And if anyone knows who is dancing the roles of the handmaidens, it would be great to know.

Jilliana - Calliope
Francia Russell - Polyhymnia (she had red hair back then)

I'm really enjoying these links, hope they don't disappear too quickly!


Actually I meant only the 'handmaidens' that appear with Apollo in the Prologue (with the long tresses), not the Muses. I haven't found anyone to identify them.


And now, here are excerpts from La Source
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=surgkR4dfmA&list=PLfhtpU5peNAQ5ME9RHoEs71RyFkKDBqHo

Tchaikovsky Suite No.3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJBuiR_V_qQ

Rubies clip - NYCB I believe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoOT2cLZwRg&list=UU6ibh5197dqyQbEFNDUhtmg

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Linking to these videos makes me think (for some reason) of The George Balanchine Trust, about which, there are plenty of angry words online. But I thought I would quote from the following which gives a nice description of what the Balanchine Foundation/Trust do:

"Whenever people ask me--as the frequently do--what is the difference between The George Balanchine Foundation and The George Balanchine Trust, I have the answer ready: The Trust, which licenses Balanchine ballets for performance, makes money; the Foundation spends money."

--Nancy Reynolds

If a company wants to dance a Balanchine ballet, it goes to the Trust and makes the request. The Trust determines if the company is able to handle a particular work, if it has the dancers to perform it, and if it has the wherewithal to produce it and also to pay for live music. Although the Trust realizes that many companies have had to cut back on orchestras, it discourages the use of recorded music, just as it draws the line at sets and costumes that stray too far from the original.'

Balanchine’s spirit presides over the Trust. In keeping with his generosity, it licenses ballets without charge to all kinds of educational institutions, including colleges and universities, and keeps fees appropriate to the companies that ask to license a ballet. Ballets disappear if they are not danced, and more companies are dancing Balanchine ballets today than in 1983, the year the choreographer died." This is a tribute to the Trust and to its belief that dancers, companies, and audiences should have access to Balanchine’s choreography.

--Lynn Garafola

Both from "Balanchine, Celebrating a Life in Dance" - Photographs by Costas

[Admin note: there's a 250-word limit to sources to stay within copyright compliance.]

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George Gershwin: "Who Cares?"

Another view of Heather Watts, Jock Soto in "Embraceable You" - the video transfer is a bit better here.

Walpurgisnacht Ballet

BAE Student Company

Balanchine's Musical Theater Choreography

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And more film dance clips...

Vera Zorina, William Dollar -- A Balanchine PDD from 'The Goldwyn Follies' (1938)

Vera Zorina (and Eddie Albert!) in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Vera Zorina and Charles Laskey -- Pas de Deux (George Balanchine, 1936)

[Wait for the still images to pass - there is live action]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6UxJz0oGxM

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