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Morris Neighbor

SAB Workshop

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For anyone not on the mailing list, here's the news of this year's workshop performances at the School of American Ballet. Tickets (at $30 each) are now available at www.sab.org

The future of American classical dance in general (and NYCB in particular) will be on display on Saturday, June 1st at 2:00 and 8:00 PM (plus a benefit for the high rollers on Monday, June 3rd).

Program and my own commentary:

Ballo della Regina (Verdi/Balanchine). A technically demanding showpiece created for Merrill Ashley and Ricky Weiss. Its presence on the program seems to confirm reports that Ashley is playing a more active role in teaching students and coaching young dancers. Given her keen eye for details and analytic mind (displayed in her book, Dancing for Mr. B.) this should be good news indeed. But it may be difficult for young dancers to master the complexities of this piece of choreography.

New Woetzel Ballet (Copland/Woetzel). Continuing the so-far successful trend of letting fledgling choreographers work with fledgling dancers.

Les Gentilhommes (Handel/Martins). Martins created this elegant little all-male divertissement to show off an exceptionally strong male "recruiting class" at NYCB. Its presence here suggests that SAB has a bumper crop of what were once called ballerini.

Brahms-Schoenberg QuartetThird and Fourth Movements (Brahams/Balanchine) A large ensemble and a flashy finale make this a wonderful curtain piece, affording many dancers the chance to appear on stage and enjoy the tutelage of Suki Schorer. If I may pre-empt FF, it's a pity the original "gypsy" isn't available for coaching.

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I'm having some senior moments. Didn't Robbins do a ballet to this music? Also, who was the composer for the ballet Balanchine did for Rudy N. -- called Les Bourgeois Gentilhommes? Is this the same music?

But thanks Morris Neighbor. I've already ordered my ticket for SAB's workshop -- one of the highlights of the ballet season. I attended a Jock Soto advanced class way back in February of this year, and can confirm that there are quite a few good young men in this year's class. Also, let's hope there's another Ashley Bouder there too!!

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Bobbi, the music for Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme is by Richard Strauss, and is incidental music to Moliere's play - it's based on music by Lully and is unrelated. The Robbins piece you may be thinking of is a collaboration with Twyla Tharp, Brahms/Handel, which is made to Brahms' Handel Variations, which was composed for piano and orchestrated by Rubbra.

Alexandra posted this URL a few days ago, but a great resource for Robbins' choreography is www.jeromerobbins.org

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Bobbi may be thinking of "A Sketchbook," from 1978, which was a mix of works-in-progress by Robbins and Peter Martins. Various composers were used -- Handel, Rossini, Telemann, Biber, Verdi. There was a Robbins section called "The Arts of a Gentleman" (or perhaps that was the subtitle for the entire work), which featured a terrific pas de deux for two men with foils or epees or whatever they were. I was always sorry "The Arts of a Gentleman" was never developed into a full-scale ballet.

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I talked to my friend Morris Neighbor about this and he reminded me that another part of the Sketchbook later found its way into the spring section of Robbins' Four Seasons -- the part where the boys act like Mexican jumping beans, as Clive Barnes put it at the time. That accounts for the Verdi in the list of composers I got from the excellent Robbins website cited by Alexandra and Leigh.

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Thank you, Farrell Fan, for reminding me about the Sketchbook piece. That's exactly what I was trying to think of. And thanks too, Leigh Wichtel, for pointing out that it was Strauss music that Balanchine used. I drew a complete blank on that one.

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Do any of you know if there are tickets being sold at a student rate like the $10 standing room tickets that NYCB has? I would love to attend the workshop but don't know if I can pay the full amount!! Thanks!

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To my knowledge, the Workshop tickets are all the same price ($30) except for the Monday evening, which is a fundraiser, as well. The performances are at Juilliard, which is not a huge house, but the sight lines are adequate....

Hope you can attend--

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In the locked thread, Juliet wrote:

When to make your dinner reservations depends on a couple of factors, not just the length of the performane....if you have a dancer with whom you are planning to dine and they are in B/S, they will need time to get out of costume, make contact with *all* their friends, meet their friends' friends and parents, and do the usual post-performance decompression. This takes time and should not be rushed as it is an important element of the evening for them................Given the energy level both onstage and in the audience at Workshop, a post-performance gathering is a great idea.....

Actually I am wondering for friends who are attending the performance with us. They are planning on going to Tavern on the Green and I know my 14 year old son will just want to rip off the tie and chow at Harry's Burritoes or somewhere else a bit less fancy than Tavern on the Green.If he would get to visit with his Dancing Buddy after the performance, that would just be an extra bonus.

So I just need an idea of how long these pieces might run.

Thanks, Miss

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Miss -

Your best bet is to call SAB (phone # at www.sab.org), and ask if anyone knows the running time of the performance. Given that Gentillhommes has been out of rep a couple of years and the Woetzel ballet is new, it's hard to estimate.

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Thanks Leigh great idea.

Now my next question. How do people dress for the Monday Gala? I have a good idea for myself, but my 14 year old son is usually only happy in jeans or tights. Are Khakis and a dress shirt and tie appropriate or should I spring for a dress pants and a jacket? I don't want to look the Beverly Hillbillies go to the Ballet. But, here in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, I don't have alot of occaisions to dress my son up.

so HELP!!!!

Miss

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Miss -

I'd actually say it depends on where your seats are on Monday. If you're sitting with people who are there on business (eg, teachers or directors) or for the gala, you'll want to dress more formally. But if you're simply going to the performance, I'm pretty sure you'll be fine with neat attire for your son, especially if you're not sitting in the orchestra among the gala patrons.

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Performance times for dinner afterward...

Ballo is not that long (I haven't checked), then a pause, then the Copland, which should run about half an hour...a good half hour. Then one intermission, 30 min. or so. Gentilhommes is 25 minutes and B/S is just under 20 (if it were up to me they'd do the 4th mvt twice, but....:) )

Your son will be fine in khakis and a tie .... although he may be more inspired to get boots and a cape after the last number!!! It is a great excuse to dress up (well, I dress up for everthing, so I am no benchmark) and people-watch.

The performance should be over around 10, I imagine....I'd say dinner reservations for 10:30, just to be on the safe side.

Hope you have a wonderful time!

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NO BOOTS AND CAPE!!!!!!

He already thinks he needs the dance boots he saw at the Sansha store last trip into the City and he has had a things for capes all his life!

Thanks for the input. It may be a good excuse to get him real dress pants. He insists khakis count as dress pants, but I may drag him in to get something dressier. He needs to show his best buddy how proud we are of him.

Miss

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Miss wote:

NO BOOTS AND CAPE!!!!!!

Gee, how did I know? Only trying to be helpful!:)

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Juliet, I think your timing estimates add up to about a 2-1/4 hour show, in other words getting out at 9:15PM. Ending at 10 would mean a three-hour program, quite a record-breaker in my experience.

But Leigh's advice ought to be safe. As to dress, this is after all a school performance, not professional theatre, and I've seen over the years a wide range of styles in the crowd, so blending in shouldn't be a worry.

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Hi!

On Monday the performance starts at 7pm, but on Saturday it starts at 8pm.

Kate

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Good morning!

Kate, thanks for your reminder about times--very useful--

Jack, it may be a school performance but when people pay $2500 for tickets (this is a fundraiser and there is a dinner afterward) the level of dress-up is considerably higher, or at least this is what I've observed there. No one should be intimidated --this is not the court of Louis XIV--but it is fun to dress appropriately for performances and shows respect for the work involved.:D

The performance time you mentioned may be close to ideal; and indeed you may be right on the mark. They will allow another 1o minutes for the Wien award presentations on Monday. I was allowing for the general excitement and greetings afterward when suggesting times for dinner reservations.

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