The picture of Peter Frame in performance is stunning. I agree that the original event was really a one-off -- we can't expect subsequent versions to have the same gravity, but Taylor did several works with ballet dancers around the time of this photo, and I think they were very interesting experiments.
Two new Principals, and other roster changes, at MCB--WITH INFORMATION ON "EPISODES," TOO
Posted 09 August 2013 - 02:44 PM
Accoarding to Jovani Furlan on the MCB blog, Patricia Neary has been down in Miami setting Episodes, along with Peter Frame. (Furlan is one of the most interesting young corps members.)
Webern was a daring musical choice back in America in 1959, for a ballet choreographer at least. I'm listening to the Webern Ricercata (a six-part fugue from Bach's Musical Offerings) as I type this. I plan on listening to all the Webern music before the performances. When I saw Episodes, I had not even heard of Webern. My firdst experience of the music back in 1959 or '60 (and the chance to see it, thanks to Balanchine's dancers) was an extraordinary experience and one which entirely re-directed my musical taste.
Here is Balanchine talking about Webern, as printed in Nancy Reynolds Repertory in Review.
Webern's orchestral music fills the air like molecules; it is written for atmosphere. The first time I heard it, I knew it could be danced to. It seemed to me like Mozart and Stravinsky, music that can be danced to because it leaves the mind free to see the dancing. In listening to composers like Beethoven and Brahms, every listener has his own ideas, paints his own picture of what the music represents. How can I, a choreographer, try to squeeze a dancing body into a picture that already exists in someone's mind? It simply won't work. But it will with Webern.
And, from Stravinsky:
Doomed to total failure in a deaf world, Webern kept cutting his diamonds, the mines of which he had such a perfect knowledge.
And, from Violette Verdy:
The one thing that disconcerted me at first was to dance with so little sound coming from the pit, but then I realized that what we had to imprint on top of the musical line was making its own time, and was in complete correspondence, and the sound came then as a kind of reward, rather than the expected motivation.
Here is the original January '59 cast of the Balanchine portions of Episodes:
-- Symphony, op. 21 (1928). Violette Verdy, Jonathan Watts, 3 couples;
-- Five Pieces, op. 10 (1911-13). Diana Adams, Jacques d'Amboise;
-- Concerto, op. 24 (1934). Allegra Kent, Nicholas Magallanes, 4 women;
-- Variations, op. 30 (1940): Paul Taylor;
-- Ricercata in 6 voices from Bach's Musical Offering (1935). Melissa Hayden, Francisco Moncion, 13 women.
I hope that South Florida audiences are ready for the challenge something unfamiliar -- a "new" ballet (1959) with "new" music composed from 1911-1940. West Side Story Suite (also on Program III) it is not.
Episodes is on Program III, which will be danced in Miami, Feb. 14-16 -- Fort Lauderdale, Feb. 21-23 -- and West Palm Beach, Feb. 28-March 2. I don't know the dates for Naples, but Program III is usually performed there as well. (That's the "Naples" on the Gulf of Mexico, not the one on the Tyrrhenian Sea.) Program III consists of Episodes *, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, and West Side Story Suite *.
(*) Company premiere.
Posted 14 August 2013 - 04:21 PM
One corps member has left, Ezra Hurwitz, who first came to MCB in 2006 as an apprentice.
The five new members are:
-- Briana Abruzzo. First professional position.
-- Nieser Zambrana Reyes. No information available yet.
-- Ariel Rose (mentioned above)
-- Eric Trope. Danced with Pennsylvania Ballet. Here is a brief interview from the MCB website:
-- Damian Zamorano. Trained in Cuba and at MCB School; danced with Compania Nacional de Danza.
This is an increase of four in the size of the corps, three of them men.
Two familiar faces are back as "Guest Artists," former principals Katia Carranza and Jeremy Cox.
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