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School of American Ballet Workshop 2014

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Here in Chicago, it's getting one showing - at 12:00 noon on Sunday! Lunchtime, but in daytime! (On their second sub-channel though, in standard definition, not HD.) Thinking to alert friends in south Florida, I couldn't find any broadcasts to tip them off about, and in West Palm Beach and Naples, it's at 3:00 AM.

It used to be, many years ago, that Live from Lincoln Center was prime time material. Apparently, things went downhill gradually:

PBS discovered that

high-culture programming is (a) hugely expensive to produce and (b) not nearly as popular as "Antiques Roadshow."

So there we are. (?)

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PBS discovered that
high-culture programming is (a) hugely expensive to produce and (b) not nearly as popular as "Antiques Roadshow."

So there we are. (?)

I wonder if that was during the same meeting in which CBC came to the same conclusion.

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It used to be, many years ago, that Live from Lincoln Center was prime time material. Apparently, things went downhill gradually:

Thanks for the link to Teachout's essay. I was particularly interested in this statement

Such a series would, of course, be a costly venture, and I doubt that it would rack up especially high ratings. But I'm certain that it would exert a beneficial influence on the arts in America all out of proportion to the size of its viewership. If I had to pick a single program that showed what public TV can do, it would be "Great Performances: Dance in America." Throughout the '70s and '80s, "Dance in America" regularly aired performances of major works by most of the key choreographers of the 19th and 20th centuries. As much as anything else, it was these telecasts that triggered the "dance boom" in America—not by telling viewers that George Balanchine and Paul Taylor were important choreographers, but by showing them uncut performances of masterpieces like Balanchine's "The Four Temperaments" and Mr. Taylor's "Esplanade."

There were indeed other elements that were also drivers of the surge in dance work in the 70s and 80s, but DiA was an astonishing program. Like most people my age who were dancing in smaller communities, it was an incredible education.

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Washington, DC's PBS affiliate, WETA, has this scheduled for Friday, Dec. 19, at 10PM. A 90-minute program.

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Yes, thanks for the link (I was going to have to do some fancy gymnastics to be in front of a television when it's broadcast here).

I have a question for the denizens -- during her interview before Serenade, Suki Schorer compares the work to the big three Tschaikovsky ballets (Nut, Swan and SB) in reference to narrative (Serenade the only non-narrative work). While I can see all sorts of references in the choreography of Serenade to those three program-length works, I rarely consider them as all part of a group -- am I in a minority in that?

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. . . during her interview before Serenade, Suki Schorer compares the work to the big three Tschaikovsky ballets (Nut, Swan and SB) in reference to narrative (Serenade the only non-narrative work). While I can see all sorts of references in the choreography of Serenade to those three program-length works, I rarely consider them as all part of a group -- am I in a minority in that?

I thought she was making a different point to the PBS audience not very familiar with ballet or Balanchine, viz.: You know about Tchaikovsky's big-three (Nutcracker, SL and SB), which are all narrative. Serenade is different, as it's set to Tchaikovsky, but it's not a narrative.

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That's likely it -- I was just intrigued by the grouping.

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Just watched it on PBS channel 13 in New York this afternoon and enjoyed it so much, especially Serenade, which I don't remember seeing before. This was a very impressively staged and danced ballet. At the beginning of the broadcast Peter Martins says that what he admires most about these young people--even those as young as 8 or 9-- is their dedication. They give their all. That was evident in all the selections. I especially loved the joy on the faces of the little girls. A few standout performances-- the one I will remember most is the lead cowboy in Western Symphony, whose grace, boundless energy, and joie de vivre made him stand out. Bravo to all the dancers, teachers, and NYC BALLET!

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I just watched it too and it was wonderful! Serenade never fails to give me goosebumps at the beginning and the end. The little ones were adorable and lots of promise in the older students. So glad I caught this.

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They certainly caught Darci Kistler at a very sweet moment with the kids !

Also at the end, you saw just what makes Suzy Pilarre great at staging Balanchine - everything she's done at workshops always has the feel of the ballet, the spirit, the way of moving for that work - so you watch her coaching the young woman for the rondo in Western Symphony and the note she gives, is that when she goes up in big leg swings, to go up with her entire body, to lift through chest and shoulders and arms and not just in the leg . . . it's simple and perfect and just right. But dancers don't always get things explained in just that right way.

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I attended the Saturday night program where they taped this show. I was thunderstruck at how gorgeous Serenade looked. Much better than when NYCB performs it, IMO. During intermission an SAB student (who was not performing due to injury) told me that Suki told the students she was teaching it differently than Peter. It shows.

I was amazed by the first soloist to come out in Coppelia (Lyrica Blankfein). Rock solid technique and the poise of a seasoned professional. Also the lead male in Western Symphony (Christopher Grant) was outstanding. Both these dancers received the Mae L. Wien awards. I look forward to hearing more about them in the future.

Does anyone know if any of these dancers made it into NYCB?

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Just saw on the SAB website that Lyrica Blankfein was offered a contract with Dresden Ballet. However, a recent L.A. Observed article has more recent news. Lyrica was unfortunately not offered a spot at NYCB. She also did not accept the Dresden offer because she did not want to be so far from home. She did perform in Susan Stroman's Little Dancer and is currently back in L.A. (along with Joy Womack) doing Nutcracker. She plans to audition for ballet companies in the spring. BTW, she was apparently also in the TV show Bunheads.

I'm sorry Lyrica didn't get a NYCB offer but I think narrative ballets would suit her quite well.

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I can't believe I missed this! I thought it would be on this evening and I was planning to record it so I could watch Serenade over and over. Ugh. Serves me right for not reading the nytimes until it was too late. Thankfully I'll be able to watch it online, thanks to amckean for the link!

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I can't believe I missed this! I thought it would be on this evening and I was planning to record it so I could watch Serenade over and over. Ugh. Serves me right for not reading the nytimes until it was too late. Thankfully I'll be able to watch it online, thanks to amckean for the link!

I'm really mad about the show's airing time, too, though I captured it on my DVR. It was originally supposed to be aired Friday the 12th at 9pm and then they buried on Sunday and with no repeat showings. And no DVD available. I feel like complaining to PBS.

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Christopher Grant was the lead cowboy in Western Symphony. Such an exciting young dancer. Where is he now?

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Christopher Grant was the lead cowboy in Western Symphony. Such an exciting young dancer. Where is he now?

I looked up Christopher and couldn't find any news other than that he received a Mae L. Wien award. His Facebook page is pretty uninformative and shows no workplace (only that he's friends with Ashley Bouder and some other dancers).However, the SAB website only lists dancers who have received contracts in the past 5 years (but it does not include NYCB apprentices). He was not on that list (only about 4 dancers from the class of 2014 were, none of them at NYCB). I suppose it's possible he did get into NYCB as an apprentice but likely it would have shown up on his Facebook page. Perhaps SAB would let you know if you call them.

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Out here in the heartland (Iowa City)...Iowa Public Television is showing this program, once, AT 2AM DEC 15. I tried to shame them into reconsidering but they are incapable of being shamed. The executive director told me they were going to show something, in the primetime slot, more in line with Midwestern values - an opera from Minnesota Public Television. It makes me sick. I guess they don't know that there are many aspiring young ballerinas dutifully taking ballet lessons in this state.

The part I find most dispiriting is that they don't think it would be a good idea to show both.

off%20topic.gif Would it be too much to ask PBS to start a dedicated arts channel? There is already PBS World, which groups together news, documentary and science programs, and PBS Create, which collects the DIY shows. It wouldn't even require creating huge amounts of new programming. There is so much in the vaults already. And yes, there is arts content produced by local PBS stations that never gets wide distribution. Why not show the entire country any operas shot by Minnesota Public Television?

I know the science shows and Antiques Roadshow are more popular, but what genuinely surprises me is that we haven't seen the launch of PBS Drama, which would show re-runs of Masterpiece Theater and Mystery 24/7. There must be an audience for that.

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Addie Tapp is now listed as a member of Boston Ballet's corps de ballet.

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Out here in the heartland (Iowa City)...Iowa Public Television is showing this program, once, AT 2AM DEC 15. I tried to shame them into reconsidering but they are incapable of being shamed. The executive director told me they were going to show something, in the primetime slot, more in line with Midwestern values - an opera from Minnesota Public Television. It makes me sick. I guess they don't know that there are many aspiring young ballerinas dutifully taking ballet lessons in this state.

The part I find most dispiriting is that they don't think it would be a good idea to show both.

off%20topic.gif Would it be too much to ask PBS to start a dedicated arts channel? There is already PBS World, which groups together news, documentary and science programs, and PBS Create, which collects the DIY shows. It wouldn't even require creating huge amounts of new programming. There is so much in the vaults already. And yes, there is arts content produced by local PBS stations that never gets wide distribution. Why not show the entire country any operas shot by Minnesota Public Television?

I know the science shows and Antiques Roadshow are more popular, but what genuinely surprises me is that we haven't seen the launch of PBS Drama, which would show re-runs of Masterpiece Theater and Mystery 24/7. There must be an audience for that.

I suspect that one of the big obstacles to a dedicated PBS arts channel focussed on recycling content already in the vaults is rights negotiation. It's likely that current broadcasting contracts make provisions for things like streaming, re-broadcast on Netflix / Amazon / Hulu / Whatever, etc but that the older contracts didn't. Those rights would have to be negotiated now in order for PBS to make them available again. Rights negotiations take time and cost money. It's also not inexpensive to restore and digitize old media. PBS may be looking at its coffers and thinking the money would be better spent on new programming.

A lot of the Masterpiece Theater and Mystery content came from the BBC; since the Beeb now has any number of potentially lucrative avenues by which it can make its own back catalogue available to US audiences, it's unlikely to let PBS do it for free. There's a ton of old BBC content on Netflix, for instance, including performing arts broadcasts. To the extent that they're independent from PBS, local public media outfits like Minnesota Public Television could make their own deals with the Netflixes of this world too.

Personally, I'd love it if some deep-pocketed sponsor came along and said "Here's a gazillion dollars: go free what's in those vaults! Oh, and go scoop up all that local stuff while you're at it."

ETA: Most of the BBC content on Neflix is on DVD. Some of it is available for streaming, but not a lot.

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I don't doubt that re-negotiating rights would be complicated, but at least PBS could start by making the locally produced content more widely available. It's absurd that KET's documentary about Wendy Whelan, for example, wasn't given a national audience.

And obviously I wouldn't expect the BBC to give PBS anything for free.

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Our local PBS affilliate in Washington has so many Anglophile members that they added an all UK digital substation to replace the crafts DIY substation. It's mostly the detective shows and lots of the Brit. Antiques Roadshow and a smattering of the comedies. When they switched over they celebrated with a marathon showing of "I, Claudius." yahoo.gif

http://www.weta.org/tv/uk

Edited to add link.

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