sandik

time travel

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Judith Mackrell is running a survey in the Guardian, asking which dancers from history (near or far) would you like to travel back in time to see. I thought we should run our own here, so, who would you want to see, ballet or modern, recent or far past?

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Oh...all the big stars! Kschesshinskaya, Preobrajenskaya, Karsavina, Pavlova, Nijinsky, Spessivtseva, Markova, Toumanova, Alonso, Youskevitch, Chabukiani, Dudinskaya, Chauvire, Bruhn, Fonteyn, Nureyev, Fracci, Kirkland, Misha, et all...

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I've got a big list, too, and some of yours are on mine as well, but when I think about it, I'm most curious about people I've only read about tangentially. Sure I'd like to see Markova, but I'm fascinated by Pearl Argyle as well, and much less likely to find film clips about her. Look at this -- I'm so curious to know what she looked like in motion.

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I would like to see all the legends ancient and more recent... I'd also like to have seen Louis XIV conquer the night, but perhaps not the entire ballet... and I would like to have seen all my teachers when they were about 23....

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I would like to have seen all my teachers when they were about 23....

Oooh, I hadn't thought of that! (adds it to list)

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Pearl Argyle, courtesy of the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center:

Title: Mars and Venus: excerpt [motion picture]

Publisher:[1932?]
Characteristics: 1 reel. 7 1/2 min. 186 ft. :,si. b&w. ;,16 mm.
Notes: Excerpt (?) filmed in dress rehearsal by Walter and Pearl Duff at the Mercury Theatre, London, ca. 1932
Choreography: Frederick Ashton. Costumes: William Chappell
Danced by members of the Ballet Club: William Chappell (Mars), Pearl Argyle (Venus), Andrée Howard and Prudence Hyman (nymphs)
Title: The lady of Shalott: excerpt [motion picture]
Publisher:[1931?]
Characteristics: 1 reel. 2 1/2 min. 61 ft. :,si. b&w. ;,16 mm.
Notes: Excerpt filmed in costume by Walter and Pearl Duff at the Mercury Theatre, London, ca. 1931
Choreography: Frederick Ashton after poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Costume: William Chappell
Performed by Pearl Argyle (the lady) of the Ballet Club

Title: Cinderella: excerpts (Motion picture)

Publisher:[1935]
Characteristics: 1 reel. 4 1/2 min. 110 ft. :,si. b&w. ;,16 mm.
Notes: Onstage rehearsal in costume, probably at the Mercury Theatre, London
Choreography and designs: Andrée Howard
Performed by Ballet Rambert. Cast includes Pearl Argyle (Cinderella), Frederick Ashton (Prince), Andrée Howard and Elizabeth Schooling (Ugly Sisters), and Walter Gore (Barber)
Title: Les masques: excerpts [videorecording]
Publisher:[1938?]
Characteristics: 1 videocassette (2 1/2 min.) :,si. b&w NTSC ;,1/2 in.
Credits:Scenery and costumes, Sophie Fedorovitch.
Performers:Performed by members of Ballet Rambert.
Robert Helpmann (a personage), Alicia Markova (his lady friend) [in white], Pearl Argyle (his wife) [in white and black with tiara], Marie Rambert [in black], Elisabeth Schooling, Maude Lloyd, Diana Gould (?), Prudence Hyman (?), and Sally Gilmour (?).
Event:Filmed onstage at the Mercury Theater, London, probably in 1938, during rehearsal or photography session in costume
Summary:Very brief dance sequences and poses.

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Adding this to my list of things to watch the next time I'm at the library (thanks so much for the references!)

Now do you think you could find us some film clips of Louis XIV?

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That Les Masques must exist somewhere on film... Hopefully safe in some archive. The NYPL shares only a VHS copy? (I can't imagine it's reel-to-reel 1/2" video.). Maybe we're lucky and it's a high end broadcast digital format.

I only mention this because there are members of this board who were born after the advent of videotape, and therefor might not realize it didn't exist in 1938...

Videotape for the broadcasting industry was introduced in experimental form in the early 1950s but not to the consumer market until the mid 1970s.

Ancient history, right?.

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I only mention this because there are members of this board who were born after the advent of videotape, and therefor might not realize it didn't exist in 1938...

...

Ancient history, right?.

Just ask me about the brontosaurus ballet!

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If a time machine were available to me I'd re-visit those performances in the past that had had a profound effect on me. Fonteyn and Nureyev would top the list especially in Sleeping Beauty and Raymonda and I would want to see the original RB cast of Dances at a Gathering once more.

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Adding this to my list of things to watch the next time I'm at the library (thanks so much for the references!)

Now do you think you could find us some film clips of Louis XIV?

innocent.gif

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Ulanova and Kschessinskaya.

And the more recent greatest stars like Vasiliev & Maximova, Sizova, Soloviev, Terekhova, Asylmuratova, I could go on for some time..

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The Big Three for me are Adams in "Agon," LeClercq in 2nd Movement of "Symphony in C," and Soloviev in anything. Then Kent in 2nd Movement of "Symphony in C," Nijinsky in "Faun," Pavlova in anything but "The Dying Swan," Spessivtseva's Giselle, Kolpakova's Aurora and Raymonda live in her 30's, Tallchief's opening night in "Firebird," the Seymour/Gable "Romeo and Juliet," Alonso in "Theme and Variations," Karsavina's "Spectre de la rose," Nora Kaye in "Pillar of Fire," one Soviet ballerina whose name I don't remember but didn't get to tour (or tour much) and always got the second night and never the TV broadcasts, but whose name invokes sighs and "You missed an incredible dancer" (maybe Shelest?), and, going into a third dimension/alternate universe, Thomas Lund, Leta Biasucci, Carrie Imler, and Jerome Tisserand in PNB's "Giselle."

Later:

Adding Danilova and Franklin in "Gaite Parisienne," Baronova, Balanchine in the hoop dance from "The Nutcracker," Henning Kronstam, Hans Brenaa, Hans Beck staging Bournonville and putting together the schools, Beriosova.

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going into a third dimension/alternate universe, Thomas Lund, Leta Biasucci, Carrie Imler, and Jerome Tisserand in PNB's "Giselle."

I was saving the fantasy casting survey for later in the summer!

There is film of Kaye in the Tudor at the Dance Collection

http://catalog.nypl.org/search~S99?/XNora+Kaye+Pillar+of+Fire&searchscope=99&SORT=D/XNora+Kaye+Pillar+of+Fire&searchscope=99&SORT=D&SUBKEY=Nora+Kaye+Pillar+of+Fire/1%2C47%2C47%2CB/frameset&FF=XNora+Kaye+Pillar+of+Fire&searchscope=99&SORT=D&20%2C20%2C

You have to watch it in the library, but it's worth the fuss.

And this is supposed to have some of Ann Barzel's footage of Alonso in T and V.

http://catalog.nypl.org/search~S99?/XAlicia+Alonso+Theme+and+Variations&searchscope=99&SORT=DZ/XAlicia+Alonso+Theme+and+Variations&searchscope=99&SORT=DZ&extended=0&SUBKEY=Alicia+Alonso+Theme+and+Variations/1%2C28%2C28%2CB/frameset&FF=XAlicia+Alonso+Theme+and+Variations&searchscope=99&SORT=DZ&3%2C3%2C

Sounds like we need a field trip to the library. For a couple of months.

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Ooops, jumped the gun blushing.gif .

I hope in a decade or so to do a year-long apartment swap and commute between the NYPL and the Museum of TV (or whatever it's called these days).

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Not ballet: Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor live and in their primes.

Ballet: No dancer in particular, but I'd like to be transported back to the theater for the first performances of Giselle, La Sylphide (Bournonville's), and the Sleeping Beauty to see what they really looked like and to feel what the house vibe was like when these works were really new.

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A season of Balanchine's NYCB in the 1950's. Not sure about the specific year.

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I would definitely want to see some ballets that are forever out of reach to me (but nice to imageine what they might have been like). So many choices, but I'll start with Mr. B:

Cotillion (1932), Ballet Russes with Tamara Toumanova, and George Balanchine in the supporting cast

Caracole (1952), cast: Diana Adams, Melissa Hayden, Tanaquil Le Clercq, Maria Tallchief, Patricia Wilde, Andre Eglevsky, Jerome Robbins, NIcholas Magallenes

Seven Deadly Sins (1958), Allegra Kent, with Lotte Lenya singing the role of Anna

La Valse (1951), cast: Diana Adams, Tanaquil Le Clercq, Yvonne Mounsey, Patricia Wilde, Herbert Bliss, Frank Hobi, NIcholas Magallenes, Francisco Mancion...

Ashton's Illuminations with Tanaquil LeClercq, Melissa Hayden, Jillana, Jacques d'Amboise and others

And then there's ballets like Figure in the Carpet and Card Game that hold a certain fascination for me.

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Would be fun to see Danilova before she left Russia, very early Balanchine too... Just to see his first attempts...

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The early, gymnastic stuff would be fascinating.

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