ivanov

Harlequinade

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Reading about the mauve Pierrot costume in P.G. Wodehouse's Joy in the Morning reminded me of Balanchine's Harlequinade, and a look at the ballet's Wikipedia page shows that it will be fifty years old next year (and Petipa's Les millions d'Arlequin will be one hundred and fifteen). Dare I hope that NYCB will revive it as part of the 2014-2015 season? It has not been seen since 2005...

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It seems potentially a good role for De Luz...

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Dare I hope that NYCB will revive it as part of the 2014-2015 season? It has not been seen since 2005...

From your lips to the gods' ears.

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Joy in the Morning is my favorite Wodehouse book!

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I've only ever seen Harlequinade in 2005 and cannot recall--does NYCB perform it as a full-evening work, or would there be another piece on the program? I realized they've done the one-act Swan Lake quite a bit recently, but I wonder if it might make a nice pairing as a sort of "Balanchine homage to Ivanov/Petipa" evening.

After watching Harlequinade, I remember feeling as if I didn't want to see another commedia dell'arte character for a long time, but I'd definitely be interested in seeing this piece again, especially with more experienced eyes. I recall the costumes constantly dropped their pom poms all over and the corps members had to deftly kick them offstage. (Not sure if that means a major costume refurbishment would be needed for a revival...) I assume all the dropping pom poms weren't intentional?

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Although I found many reviews that would make it appear that "Harlequinade" is always a stand-along, because no other ballet was mentioned or the subject was only "Harlequinade" (Nancy Dalva's) Mary Cargill wrote a review of a performance on 20 January 2004, when "Harlequinade returned after a hiatus, and "Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2" was the opener:

http://danceviewtimes.com/dvny/reviews/2004/winter/nycb4.htm

There's also a current offer on amazon for a program with the same two ballets listed as from January 18, 1980.

I've also found reviews where the opener was "Allegro Brillante" (2005), and I think I saw it once paired with "Who Cares?" -- a long evening -- in 2004, but I can't read whether the "Who Cares?" date was November 2004 or January 2004.

Along the way I found a poster of McBride and Villella in "Harlequinade":

http://www.allposters.com/-sp/New-York-City-Ballet-Company-Stars-Edward-Villella-and-Patricia-Mcbride-Performing-Harlequinade-Posters_i5173371_.htm

It's like "La Sylphide," which is often paired with another ballet. (In Copenhagen, I saw it with "Etudes" in 2003 and "The Lesson" in 2012, for Thomas Lund's retirement performance.)

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Although I found many reviews that would make it appear that "Harlequinade" is always a stand-along, because no other ballet was mentioned or the subject was only "Harlequinade" (Nancy Dalva's) Mary Cargill wrote a review of a performance on 20 January 2004, when "Harlequinade returned after a hiatus, and "Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2" was the opener:

http://danceviewtimes.com/dvny/reviews/2004/winter/nycb4.htm

There's also a current offer on amazon for a program with the same two ballets listed as from January 18, 1980.

I've also found reviews where the opener was "Allegro Brillante" (2005), and I think I saw it once paired with "Who Cares?" -- a long evening -- in 2004, but I can't read whether the "Who Cares?" date was November 2004 or January 2004.

Along the way I found a poster of McBride and Villella in "Harlequinade":

http://www.allposters.com/-sp/New-York-City-Ballet-Company-Stars-Edward-Villella-and-Patricia-Mcbride-Performing-Harlequinade-Posters_i5173371_.htm

It's like "La Sylphide," which is often paired with another ballet. (In Copenhagen, I saw it with "Etudes" in 2003 and "The Lesson" in 2012, for Thomas Lund's retirement performance.)

Thank you for all of this very helpful information, Helene!

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I've only seen Harlequinade once and the one dancer I recall was Deni Lamont - it's been a little while(!) don't recall if there was another ballet with it.

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I've only ever seen Harlequinade in 2005 and cannot recall--does NYCB perform it as a full-evening work, or would there be another piece on the program?

I saw NYCB's "Harlequinade" in January of 2004. It was performed in two acts with an intermission. The program opened with "Apollo." I remember thinking at the time that "Harlequinade" could easily have been edited down to a single, if longish, act, but I liked it anyway.

Benjamin Millepied danced Harlequin, Alexandra Ansanelli danced Columbine (she was divine), Joaquin De Luz danced Pierrot, and Amanda Edge danced Pierette. If I recall correctly, De Luz had joined the company not long before, and was still a soloist.

Oh, and Peter Boal danced Apollo ...

Edited to add: and just for the record, Sofiane Sylve danced La Bonne Fée and Jennifer Tinsley led Les Alouettes. I think it was one of the first times I saw Sylve, and I remember the experience to this day: her take-no-prisoners authority just blew me away.

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^ There was a second cast also, I can't remember who was Harlequin but Tess Reichlen was wonderful as La Bonne Fee. She was still in the corps then.

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I sometimes feel like I do not give Peter Martins enough credit for the many good things he had done (while I am certain I am, as E.F. Benson says of the character Elizabeth Mapp, "lynx-eyed to see what was done amiss"), so I wanted to say how pleased and happy I am that Harlequinade is being given five performances in the spring of 2015. Bravo!

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I sometimes feel like I do not give Peter Martins enough credit for the many good things he had done (while I am certain I am, as E.F. Benson says of the character Elizabeth Mapp, "lynx-eyed to see what was done amiss"), so I wanted to say how pleased and happy I am that Harlequinade is being given five performances in the spring of 2015. Bravo!

Oh, what a great way to start Wednesday -- with a reference to E.F. Benson!

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Well it's Balanchine isn't it, not Martins. And if I remember right Baryshnikov came back and coached those 2004 performances quietly in rehearsal, or at least paid a visit.

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NYCB is doing Harlequinade in the upcoming winter season

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The Baryshnkov/McBride Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux was recorded in the studio and is on one of the "Choreography by Balanchine" DVD's. It was excerpted for the Balanchine doc aired on PBS.

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Baryshnikov definitely danced the full of Balanchine's HARLEQUINADE w/ NYCB. i have a house prog. from Nov. 22, 1978, with a note that this was Baryshnikov's debut as Harlequin; Patricia McBride was Columbine,Stephanie Saland, Pierrette, and Denis Lamont, Pierrot.

if mem. serves, it was one of the roles in which he amplified the grand pirouette called for in the choreography with a sauté move, presumably with Balanchine's approval, similarly to the embellishments he added to the choreography for a similar turn in Balanchine's TSCHAIKOVSKY PAS DE DEUX.

for the next season NYCB, McBride and Baryshnikov were pictured on the cover of the house program in their leading HARLEQUINADE roles. (see scan).

post-848-0-33747600-1400005408_thumb.jpg

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That program cover (blown up) is now on display (I believe in the third ring) in the promenade, along with other past program covers.

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There's a clip on YouTube of the Harlequinade PdD at the White House with McBride and Baryshnikov. I don't see the little saute in the pirouettes, but he might well have added that in performance in the theater:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL_OJbNK-Sw

The saute that he added in the Tchaikovsky PdD is noted in the little booklet that accompanies the DVD for Choreography by Balanchine-Vol. I:

During the preparation for this particular project, Balanchine turned to Baryshnikov and said casually, "Misha, show me what you do best." Misha showed him turns a la seconde. Balanchine asked, "Can you jump up and down between turns?" Misha could and did, and that is what you see here.

He had previously done that move in Push Comes to Shove in 1976, and I'm pretty sure he did it in the Robbins' Four Seasons in 1979.

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I love it when the saute is added to the Tchai pdd. Woetzel used to do that in Tchai pdd and Four Seasons, and Corella did it at ABT in Tchai pdd. Most performers cannot do it (or choose not to).

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Thanks so much for the White House link -- I'm always amazed at what people manage to do on that tiny stage!

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There is an exquisite solo for the female lead in Harlequinade; in fact, it was the role Patricia McBride "retired" in. I'm hoping the role goes to the most musical and technically adept of the NYCB female principals.

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I always remember that solo to a piano, but I see from the Kennedy Center video it was to a harp. The solo was, indeed, the last piece McBride performed at her retirement performance, one of the most gracious gestures I've ever seen.

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