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Marina Harss: Suzanne Farrell Ballet and the Balanchine Preservation IOnline Article


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#16 dirac

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 10:16 PM

When Suzanne Farrell Ballet first started its operations I remember reading the gushing reviews. Those high standards are difficult to maintain for a pick-up troupe without a steady roster, and now the critical shine has worn off. Sad, but true.

 

Yes, Farrell has had her ups and downs as a stager. There was that near-legendary week in D.C. that left people with their tongues hanging out and for awhile she could do no wrong. Then rising expectations were not fulfilled and a critical backlash set in. I didn't think it was altogether fair - some of the problems mentioned later were already evident before the backlash - but that's life. I'm sure many of the difficulties stem from the severe constraints Farrell works under, but not all, perhaps.

 

Regarding these minor works, I agree with those above who say it's a question of company goals and priorities, although I'd hope no blood is shed and not too much treasure expended in the process. Given the nature of Farrell's enterprise I think it's valuable for her to present these rarities and well within her portfolio, although I sometimes wonder (and not only in Farrell's case) how much of what we're seeing is what audiences saw at the time.



#17 bart

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 03:49 AM

.... although I sometimes wonder (and not only in Farrell's case) how much of what we're seeing is what audiences saw at the time.
Good point.

 

After I posted above about wishing to see Clarinade again, I went to Google and learned that SF restaged only the pas de deux which she had herself danced.    It must not be easy for a dancer who has to concentrate on her own part during performance can restruct what other dancers were doing, at different times in the piece.   This is especially the case for works for which the visual record is limited.



#18 kfw

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:56 AM

 

When Suzanne Farrell Ballet first started its operations I remember reading the gushing reviews. Those high standards are difficult to maintain for a pick-up troupe without a steady roster, and now the critical shine has worn off. Sad, but true.

 

Yes, Farrell has had her ups and downs as a stager. There was that near-legendary week in D.C. that left people with their tongues hanging out and for awhile she could do no wrong.

 

 

If you're referring to her first week there, in '99, when she presented the two bills of Suzanne Farrell Stages the Masters of 20th century Ballet, that's the week when she had Jaffe and Alexopoulos and Calegari and others of that caliber for principals to work with. I don't know how long she'd had to rehearse them, but for what it's worth she didn't even call that company Suzanne Farrell Ballet. 




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