Posted 18 December 2002 - 05:08 PM
Posted 18 December 2002 - 09:07 PM
I can often leave the theatre and dance passages from a good ballet the next day, after seeing it once.
I never had the desire to dance any passages from "Tricolore".
Images of Colleen Neary come to mind. But the picture that is seared in my memory is the image of Nina Fedorova (closest thing to the mythological siren), as Madamoiselle Marrianne (a non-dancing role), entering the stage with the Tricolore, draped in a short Grecian robe with bare feet and legs, swan neck and long blonde hair.
Posted 19 December 2002 - 03:36 AM
Posted 19 December 2002 - 03:51 AM
My memory of both "Union Jack" and "Tricolore" is not happy. I'm one of those people who were obnoxed in "Union Jack" by the use of music firmly associated with the British Army in the Royal Navy section, among other things. And "Tricolore" was quite a mess (Watch out - here comes the Garde Republicaine -- CHARGE!) , what with the production being turned over to Bonnefoux before its premiere. I think I was somewhat mollified when it opened by the realization that the Old Man was very ill, and had been for some time, hence the mistakes a healthy and aware Balanchine would never have made in musical choices and choreography.
Posted 19 December 2002 - 04:17 AM
My copy of "Repertory in Review" isn't with me...
But probably "Emeralds" or "La Source" are a better homage to France that such a ballet (was there really something about the Garde Républicaine? Argh, I've always found their uniforms quite ugly...)
Posted 19 December 2002 - 04:38 AM
Posted 19 December 2002 - 05:02 AM
Chasseurs alpins with their big strange bérets?
Polytechniciens with a tricorne? Saint-Cyriens with their casoars? Sounds like the défile of July 14th... Eek! :eek:
Posted 19 December 2002 - 07:26 AM
I was disappointed that it wasn't by Balanchine, due to his illness at the time. I had hopes, however, which were quickly dashed, and the ballet became perhaps a classic example of too many cooks spoiling the bouilliabase. I wish I could remember more -- I suppose I could take down my boxes of programs and look for Tricolore, but then I'd spend a few hours going down memory lane.... So forgive me if I remember anything incorrectly.
Some (all?) of the sections had cute names beginning with "Pas." I remember Robbins' contribution was "Pas Degas," with, I think, jockeys and ballerinas? Thinking Peter Martins might be the young up-and-coming choreographer (this was shortly after he did Calcium Light Night), I was interested in his contribution, based on folk-dances, the very cutely named "Pas de Basque." (Not eponymous, as I don't think they actually did any. None of the names were as cute as Edward Gorey's wonderful "Pas Devant les Domestiques.") Some steps were derived (or so the notes said) from Basque traditional dancing; certainly it was bouncy and colorful, if not particularly inspiring.
I think I was either asleep or covering my eyes by the time the finale heaved itself to life.
Tricolore would certainly belong on any list of NYCB turkeys.
Posted 19 December 2002 - 07:36 AM
Balanchine devised the libretto, and the choreographers had to stick to it. That was half of the problem, since Balanchine's notions were so nutty that only he could have made something of it. The others just weren't on his wavelength. The other half of the problem was the absolutely ghastly music by Georges Auric. It was gassily vaporous and had no dance impulse at all. I used to joke that seeing the score was what caused Mr. B's heart attack. But seriously, I doubt even he could have made anything of it.
My mind has drawn a merciful veil over most of the choreography. I do remember how miserable the dancers all looked; you could tell what they thought of the piece. I also remember Nina Fedorova, embarrassed and miserable, being hoisted into the air as Glebb describes. Later in the run, Stephanie Saland took over that part and managed it with grace and dignity, for which she deserved an award.
I realize this means that I actually saw it twice. But I was younger and stronger then.
Posted 19 December 2002 - 07:46 AM
Music: (1978) by Georges Auric, Commissioned by New York City Ballet
Choreography by Peter Martins, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux And Jerome Robbins
Premiere: May 18, 1978, New York City Ballet, New York State Theater
Original cast: Colleen Neary, Adam Luders, Merrill Ashley, Sean Lavery, Karin von Aroldingen
Ballet conceived and supervised by George Balanchine
Posted 19 December 2002 - 08:28 AM
"Overcast skies, dankness, gloom. A spiritless tribute to the French nation, Tricolore is a ballet to forget as quickly as possible. The New York City Ballet, which introduced it this season out of some misbegotten loyalty to the virtue of finishing what you've started -- in this case, a trilogy of nationalist extravaganzas which already included Stars and Stripes and Union Jack -- seems to forget it in performances. The dancers look as if they hated it quite as much as the audience does; their dour little faces and dutiful movements tell us that they won't help the least bit, even with a turkey that they know will fold. ....
The ballet, a failure in every department, turns out to have no partisans -- none. "
I saw it once and all I remember from the ballet was the women's costumes (lots of peasant-style dresses with schmatas) were awful.
Posted 19 December 2002 - 09:03 AM
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