Ray

Balanchine Ballet Game

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As balletomanes, do you find watching orchestras sufficiently entertaining, elucidating, or satisfying, in the absence of viewing a physical interpretation through dance?

Did music bring you to ballet or ballet bring you to music?

How did you educate yourself about music?

Listening to classical music live, I tend to close my eyes and retreat into my inner 'visuals' - not so with modern musics though (I suppose watching the stage is all part of the show for Pop music).

I think it's fair to say I came to ballet from the music side of things - dancing was more 'alien' to me because I didn't know anyone who participated seriously in dance when I was growing up.

My father, and his mother and sister, were all very interested in music and play(ed) and sang music most of their lives. So I was exposed to music from an early age. I've noodled on guitar for years, and I recently started again to try to learn some piano. [And that's been an interesting, and frustrating, learning experience knowing what I already know.]

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I think the subject of the Grandfather Dance" (Großvatertanz) has been discussed here before. It basically functioned in Germany the same way "Good Night, Ladies" used to in America, as the tune that indicates to the guests that the party is over. The Stahlbaums are a German family, of course, so it's appropriate, but it also gives all the ballets characters (including the grandparents!) a chance to all dance together one last time before dispersing, now with charmingly simple formal steps that emphasize the feeling of long family tradition. It works well dramatically as well because the music then transitions nicely into that lovely fade-out music that, in Balanchine's version, segues into the middle-of-the night violin solo when all that is traditional and familiar and comfortable starts to give way to disruptive forces. I don't think any reference to Schumann was intended.

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I think the subject of the Grandfather Dance" (Großvatertanz) has been discussed here before. It basically functioned in Germany the same way "Good Night, Ladies" used to in America, as the tune that indicates to the guests that the party is over. The Stahlbaums are a German family, of course, so it's appropriate, but it also gives all the ballets characters (including the grandparents!) a chance to all dance together one last time before dispersing, now with charmingly simple formal steps that emphasize the feeling of long family tradition. It works well dramatically as well because the music then transitions nicely into that lovely fade-out music that, in Balanchine's version, segues into the middle-of-the night violin solo when all that is traditional and familiar and comfortable starts to give way to disruptive forces. I don't think any reference to Schumann was intended.

Thank you, Anthony--I missed that thread, and it makes sense.

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An interesting link to baroque music, upon which Stravinsky based Pulcinella.

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as a child he had a "French nanny" he was very close to, French, but with the name Fanny Dürbach, who taught him fluency in German as well as French. Doesn't look like a French name to me. She was from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montbéliard.

The Wiki description of Montbéliard states it was 13km from the German-speaking Swiss border and wasn't part of France until the 1790's, after which it remained a Protestant enclave in heavily Catholic France.

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Oh, how interesting. This is so close to the Stravinsky, and yet not -- I had it playing in the background as I was working and several times I looked up from what I was doing with that "what was that!?" sensation. Thanks so much for the link!

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