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Joan Acocella's NYCB/ABT piece in The New Yorker


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 24 June 2002 - 08:45 AM

Ari posted this on Links, but I thought it deserved a thread of its own.

What do you think?

http://www.newyorker...crte_television

#2 Calliope

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Posted 24 June 2002 - 09:18 AM

I'll have to gather my thoughts on this one, but the one thing ABT has done (that NYCB doesn't have) is to really take advantage of ABT II. I like that if the company isn't sure about a dancer, there's a place for them to grow, as opposed to being thrown onstage when they may/not be ready.

#3 Michael

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Posted 24 June 2002 - 10:07 PM

I would not want to have to defend every comment Accocella makes but I found the general drift of the article expressed some of my own impressions. And the New York Times (Anna Kisselgoff in particular) has been so slavishly, so fawningly supportive of NYCB that the article comes almost as a breath of fresh air. When the Emperor really is Naked it's a relief to hear someone say it. If Boris Eifman really is going to do two ballets for City Ballet in the Balanchine Centenniary season . . . I really can't say what it means in general. But if one of them is actually going to be based upon the life of Balanchine, I think the Board should step in and prevent it.

#4 Mel Johnson

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 03:20 AM

Ah, ah, ah...as Balanchine is once reputed to have said, "Aprés-moi, Le Board!"

Actually, the artistic content of repertoire is the decision of the Artistic Director, and the Board can advise, cajole, persuade, and what-have-you, even to the point of refusing to fund a project they don't think good for whatever reason. To start the Board on a course of second-guessing artistic decisions of the artistic staff, however, is the proverbial nose of the camel into the tent, and inevitably leads to micromanagement of the day-to-day operation of the company by committee!:)

#5 Michael

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 04:50 AM

Well, that was not really my point. It was just a very dramatic way of saying that -- if it really is true that an Eifman Ballet about Balanchine's life (who will dance Mr. B?) is planned for the Centenniary of his Birth -- I wish someone, anyone were in a position to stop it. I don't want to get off thread more than that so check your email Mel.

#6 BW

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Posted 25 June 2002 - 05:40 AM

What an incredibly good article. Thank you so much for giving us the link to it and giving it its own thread. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I check out the daily links section. :D It will be interesting to see if, perhaps, some of the readers who didn't care for the article several weeks ago in the NY Times will find this one more illuminating.

Ms. Acocella writes very well and is not without a nice sense of humor - re the "dreamboats"! :)

#7 Ray

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Posted 26 June 2002 - 08:23 AM

Is it possible that NYCB is trying to market to the Russians and Russian Americans who pack Eifman's performances at City Center? (Interesting issues in re Jennifer Homans's recent NYT article about the Russians at NYCB and SAB.)

Ray

#8 Ray

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Posted 26 June 2002 - 08:50 AM

How pathetic that the NYorker website can't even give dance a category of its own--JA's review is under the rubric "The Critics: On Television" !

#9 dirac

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Posted 26 June 2002 - 09:21 AM

Ray, I think that's a quirk of The New Yorker's website, which is not exactly on the cutting edge, technically speaking. :P The magazine itself, under the editorship of William Shawn, gave a regular forum to Arlene Croce at a time when dance criticism showed up sporadically if at all in the nation's weeklies.

#10 Ray

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 01:14 PM

Well they're certainly making up for past generousity now--Joan Acocella's articles on dance appear very infrequently. But the periodical seems to be short-shrifting all of the arts; most pieces are long enough to fit onto 2 facing pages, including illustrations. In fact, I think all of the periodical's articles are shorter.

Ray

#11 Farrell Fan

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 04:14 PM

Earlier in the Martins regime, I thought of Arlene Croce, Joan Acocella, and Lynn Garafola as the Mafia, out to ice poor Peter. (It's okay, I'm Italian.) But my sympathy for him evaporated after the Balanchine Celebration, when it became clear how he had marginalized the role of former Balanchine dancers in that event, and, to top it off, fired Suzanne Farrell.

The Acocella piece seems generally on-target, although I disagree on Kowroski. I think she's matured considerably. But it is certainly true that aerobics reign supreme at NYCB these days. And the lack of ballerina coaching is evident, just as is the ballerina happiness at ABT. The Latin danseurs there are terrific. If only NYCB could arrange a baseball-type trade for one or two of them. Angel Corella has indeed developed from a boy into a man -- and at Susan Jaffe's farewell, developed further into a mensch, by appearing in the small, non-dancing part of Wilfred.

I've never seen an Eifman ballet, and apparently should consider myself lucky.

#12 Kevin Ng

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 06:30 PM

I would be interested to know if NYCB is planning a Balanchine festival, similar to the Balanchine Celebration held in 1993, to celebrate the centenary of Balanchine's birth in 2004. I guess it's unlikely if an Eifman ballet is planned. Also I doubt if Martins is really interested in reviving any 'lost' Balanchine ballets.


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