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Dale

Erik Bruhn - Bell Telephone Hour

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VAI has released Erik Bruhn - The Complete Bell Telephone Hour performances. On DVD, it has been put together with the previously released Nureyev BTH performances (interesting that they should be on a DVD together).

Here's a description:

Two legendary male ballet dancers are featured here in their best BELL TELEPHONE HOUR APPEARANCES. Rudolf Nureyv is showcased in rare performances of FLOWER FESTIVAL, LE CORSAIRE, BLACK SWAN, and DIANA AND ACTEON. Erik Bruhn is seen in clips from DON QUIXOTE, LA SYLPHIDE, SWAN LAKE and the balcony scene from ROMEO AND JULIET.

The Don Q. is with Maria Tallchief (already released on Maria Tallchief BTH tape); Romeo and Juliet is with Carla Fracci - the balcony scene); Swan Lake is the Black Swan pas de deux with Sonia Arova; La Sylphide is from Act II with Fracci. I don't have the tape yet, but he also did Coppelia pas de deux with Arova for the BTH.

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Dale, this is great news! Any idea of where it is available? I want to order this immediately :D

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You can order it on Amazon.com. The VAI also said that they are looking into more releases from their CBC and Bell Telephone archives.

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This is wonderful news -- I hope they do dig back into the archives. There were several appearances by NYCB and ABT dancers of that era.

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I've gone through the episodes (at least the ones listed on the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library) and you could make about two Balanchine tapes, one of other rep. performed by NYCB dancers, and another two of ballet favorites performed by international stars of that era. I really do hope they release more of the performances. It's important that people see the dancers of the past, and those dancing the works that were created on them (there are Massine works as well). Yes, the performances were often taped in less-than ideal conditions, but it is better than nothing. How else are the future generations to know how great Maria Tallchief and Svetlana Berisova etc... were? And their greatness still shines through, even in these TV performances.

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Bruhn and Fracci's La Sylphide performance happened on the night of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and part of it was never seen. I was in it, and I have never seen it.

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victoria, i've seen it at the ny public library and i remember well the small corps de ballet. hope you get to see it soon. would you tell us about the filming?

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This sounds very exciting! I guess I really should buy a DVD player as everyone says the quality is so much better. Dale, thanks so much for this information - and your point is well taken when you write

It's important that people see the dancers of the past, and those dancing the works that were created on them (there are Massine works as well). Yes, the performances were often taped in less-than ideal conditions, but it is better than nothing. How else are the future generations to know how great Maria Tallchief and Svetlana Berisova etc... were? And their greatness still shines through, even in these TV performances.
I experienced this last night on WNYE's production of "Bright Nights Big City". Really loved it.

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For those of you looking for Victoria, she's the first ensemble sylphide to appear, beginning the sequence with an arabesque penché looking down into all that wonderful dry ice foozz.:)

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Actually, Mel, I don't think that part is in the film, but I can't remember for sure. Mme. Hermine, I remember very little about the filming except that it was actually a live show, and we did the scene but evidently not all of it was seen because of the news of the Cuban Missile crisis. What I remember most about it was that it was a small group of us, 8 I think, and Erik staged it. Working with him was the best part of it all :)

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