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School of American Ballet Workshop 2014May 31 & June 3


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#1 California

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:54 AM

The program has been announced for the 2014 SAB Workshop performances:

 

http://www.sab.org/n...information.php

 

Serenade, Swan Lake (excerpts), Coppelia (excerpts), Western Symphony (4th movement)

 

Interesting that it's an all-Balanchine program, which hasn't been the norm in recent years.

 

Dates: Saturday, May 31 (2 & 8 pm), Tuesday, June 3 (7 pm)



#2 Dale

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:21 AM

A release was sent. No new news but I thought people might like to see who is staging what:

 

"The 2014 Workshop Performances program will include Balanchine's Serenade (staged by Suki Schorer); and excerpts from Coppélia (staged by Dena Abergel, Yvonne Borree, Kaitlyn Gilliland, Arch Higgins, Katrina Killian, Lisa de Ribere, Jock Soto and Sheryl Ware), Swan Lake (staged by Darci Kistler) and Western Symphony (staged by Susan Pilarre). Additional performances of the evening's program will take place at Lincoln Center's Peter Jay Sharp Theater on Saturday, May 31 at 2pm and 8pm."



#3 Dale

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 01:23 PM

More:

Highlights of the 2014 program include:
 
• Serenade. 2014 marks the 80th anniversary of 
the formation of the School of American Ballet and
the creation of Balanchine’s enduring 
masterpiece, which he began to choreograph on SAB’s
students less than three months after the School 
opened in 1934. The first performance by
students took place on June 10, 1934, at the 
estate of Felix Warburg near White Plains, NY.
Balanchine continued to make revisions to the 
ballet over the succeeding four decades, and it
became a cornerstone of the repertoire of New 
York City Ballet (founded by Balanchine and
Kirstein in 1948) and one of the most-performed 
Balanchine ballets by companies worldwide.
Serenade was added to SAB’s Workshop repertoire 
in 1974 on the occasion of the ballet’s 40th
anniversary and subsequently performed by SAB’s 
students in 1984, 1989, 1994, 2004 and 2009.
This year’s seventh Workshop staging (along with 
each of those since 1974) has been undertaken
by former NYCB principal dancer Suki Schorer, a 
member of SAB’s permanent faculty since
1972. Among those former SAB students coached by 
Suki Schorer in the various Workshop
productions of the ballet are Judith Fugate, 
Maria Caligari, Kyra Nichols, Lourdes Lopez, Nichol
Hlinka, Wendy Whelan, Margaret Tracey, Brian 
Reeder, Monique Meunier, Maria Kowroski,
Riolama Lorenzo, Tiler Peck and Lauren Lovette.
 
• Excerpts from Coppélia. SAB’s students will 
perform dances (Waltz of the Hours, Dawn,
Prayer, Spinner, Discord and War) excerpted from 
Act III of the full-length Coppélia created in
1974 for New York City Ballet by George 
Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova. Famed for her
interpretation of Swanilda during her 
international performing career, Alexandra Danilova chose
dances from the ballet for SAB’s first Workshop 
in 1965 and returned to it several times during
her 25 years overseeing Workshop. It remains the 
ballet with which she was most closely
identified. Four faculty members (Yvonne Borree, 
Katrinan Killian, Lisa de Ribere, Sheryl Ware)
will each stage one of the solos, and Dena 
Abergel and Arch Higgins will oversee the children’s
corps of 24 dancers.
 
• Excerpts from Swan Lake. Students will perform 
portions of George Balanchine’s one-act version
of Swan Lake, featuring the white swan pas de 
deux and a corps of 20 swans, to celebrate
Madame Danilova’s Russian Imperial heritage. 
Danilova staged excerpts from Swan Lake on a
number of occasions for Workshop, most notably in 
1980 when she introduced 15-year-old Darci
Kistler to Workshop audiences as Odette in a 
fully staged presentation of the Act II lakeside
scene. Ms. Kistler, currently an SAB faculty 
member, will stage this year’s performance.
 
• Western Symphony. Students will perform the 
fourth movement Rondo and finale to close the
performance. The ballet has been performed at 
three previous Workshops with notable past
casting including Peter Boal and Wendy Whelan 
(1984), Maria Kowroski (1994) and Robert
Fairchild (2004). It will be staged this year by faculty member Susan Pilarre.
 
The School of American Ballet, founded by 
legendary choreographer George Balanchine and
Lincoln Kirstein in 1934, is the premier ballet 
academy in the United States. Approximately 530 boys
and girls ranging in age from six to nineteen 
attend classes during the Winter Term at SAB, which is both
a constituent of Lincoln Center for the 
Performing Arts and the official school of New York City Ballet.
Each year, 20 SAB students on average sign 
professional contracts with dance companies around the
United States and abroad. Not only do SAB alumni 
comprise 95 percent of New York City Ballet, but
dancers trained at the School also currently 
appear on the rosters of over 60 U.S. and more than a dozen
international companies.
 
Tickets for the 2014 Workshop Performances may be purchased online at
www.sab.org/workshop . Ticket prices are $50 for 
May 31 (2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m). Tickets for the
June 3 benefit performance and dinner dance are 
available at $100 (performance only), $1,500 and
$2,500. The Peter Jay Sharp Theater is located at 
155 W. 65th Street (between Amsterdam and
Broadway). 


#4 Jack Reed

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 11:13 AM

(editing mistake here, somebody feel free to delete)



#5 Jack Reed

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 11:14 AM

I've seen the Friday dress rehearsal and both Saturday performances so far.

 

 Suki Schorer and Susan Pilarre staged their parts (Serenade and Western "Rondo") very well, and that the Coppelia divertissements were so well staged by several of the younger generation is good news for those of us concerned for the maintenance of the Balanchine repertory.

 

 

...

 
• Excerpts from Swan Lake. Students will perform 
portions of George Balanchine’s one-act version
of Swan Lake, featuring the white swan pas de 
deux and a corps of 20 swans, to celebrate
Madame Danilova’s Russian Imperial heritage. 
Danilova staged excerpts from Swan Lake on a
number of occasions for Workshop, most notably in 
1980 when she introduced 15-year-old Darci
Kistler to Workshop audiences as Odette in a 
fully staged presentation of the Act II lakeside
scene. Ms. Kistler, currently an SAB faculty 
member, will stage this year’s performance.

...

 

Whose Swan Lake is this?  We got an adagio with corps of eighteen, then the four little swans, a variation for Odette and one for Siegfried, and a concluding ensemble with a corps of twenty.  Several of us - I began watching Balanchine's half-hour distillation in the mid-70s - doubt the attribution of this, and I think there's a good clue in the press account.  My guess - it's only that - is that Ms. Kistler has set the Danilova version she debuted in, instead.  

 

For one thing, by my time, Mr. B. had already abandoned the four little swans - the dance in the "traditional" Act II where they link up alongside each other by crossing forearms and holding hands, maintaining this configuration as they move about - Clive Barnes, if I remember correctly, complained that Balanchine had "banished" them.

 

Not only that, but the rest of what we do see here doesn't look very familiar to me, nor, for what it's worth, do I like it quite as well.  Especially those four little swans; but I'm the odd man out:  They get the best hand of this part of the program!  There's something to be said for pleasing the crowd. 



#6 Jack Reed

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 11:17 AM

Video alert:  The Friday dress and Saturday evening performances were recorded by PBS for the Live from Lincoln Center series this fall, possibly in conjunction with the PBS pledge drive.  Friday all I could see from the balcony was a boom camera swooping and diving, and I thought, Who would want to see that footage?  But Saturday I sat in the Orchestra and saw five pedestal cameras, so it may be okay in the end.



#7 sandik

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 08:24 PM

Oh, that would be excellent!



#8 Amour

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 09:12 PM

I saw the Saturday evening performance and was very impressed by everything except Swan Lake where the cygnets were a mess and Odette was soulless. However,this was the best Serenade I have seen in years; NYCB no longer performs it this well or in an authentic Balanchine style. My takeaway was twofold: 1) these are exceptionally gifted young dancers, and 2) it is a terrible shame that Peter Martins has so alienated former Balanchine dancers and refuses to let most teach the company.


Edited by Dale, 02 June 2014 - 07:34 AM.
As per our Workshop review policy, I removed a name.


#9 mimsyb

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 05:36 AM

I saw the Saturday evening performance and was very impressed by everything except Swan Lake where the cygnets were a mess and Odette was soulless. However,this was the best Serenade I have seen in years; NYCB no longer performs it this well or in an authentic Balanchine style. My takeaway was twofold: 1) these are exceptionally gifted young dancers, and 2) it is a terrible shame that Peter Martins has so alienated former Balanchine dancers and refuses to let most teach the company.

I attended the Saturday matinee performance and agree about the "Serenade".  It was absolutely splendid.  One of the best ever! Can't say that about the "Swan Lake" excerpts, however.  This was a bit of a mess and danced at such a breakneck tempo  so to dilute the magic of the dancing, especially the pas de deux.  The cygnets were very sloppy.  The divertissments from "Coppelia" were OK, especially the 24 little ones from the school!  They looked to be well rehearsed and seemed to be having a wonderful time.  Can't say as much for the "Western Symphony" finale.  Not much punch here.  Everyone working hard, but not much to show for it.  Nerves?  First show is always difficult.  But the "Serenade" was the main deal here.  Kudos to Suki Schorer for her care and finesse with this work and the students.    I took a friend with me who had never seen ballet before.  All he could say at the end of "Serenade" was "wow"!   Indeed!



#10 Dale

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 07:36 AM

I enjoying reading reports from the SAB workshop. Just a reminder about writing about Workshop performances:

 

http://balletalert.i...rkshop-reports/

 

We don't want to stop conversation but on the other hand, as Alexandra wisely wrote, "Please remember that you're writing about Very Young People, people who are not yet professional, who are students, who cannot be expected to dance like 30 year olds. Please remember that, especially with SAB, it is very likely that the students will be reading what you write -- parents, too."



#11 Jack Reed

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 12:04 PM

Now that our rules have been clarified, I'll just say I'm in general agreement with what people have said.  It's gratifying to think that what I saw was seen by others, too!  At its best, ballet seems miraculous.  Those must be real miracles, then...



#12 Jack Reed

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 01:20 PM

...though not everything was miraculous:  Alastair Macaulay also saw pretty much what I saw, and wrote about it in Monday's New York Times.



#13 Jacqueline

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 05:09 PM

I was at the Saturday night performance and pretty much agree with the postings here...but disclaimer, I am not an expert -- far from it.   Beautiful rendition of "Serenade."   Also, I thought Alastair Macauley's description of Lyrica Blankfein as "audacious and authoritative" was spot on.



#14 abatt

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:53 AM

There is a dancer whose first name is Lyrica?  Sounds ready made for a life in the arts.



#15 bagg

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:57 AM

Lyrica Blankfein also recipient of this year's Mae Award.  Hopefully she will be picked up for Apprentice.

 

http://westsideballet.com/




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