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Dale

where is the heartbeat in the Balanchine legacy?

50 posts in this topic

I agreed with one line in particular from the article, the one about so many of the Balanchine dancers (Hayden, Villella, Farrell...) not being a part of the daily NYCB activities, that they're working elsewhere. But on the flipside, there are many former dancers from that same era working, most notably, Rosemary Dunleavy, who despite the odds, has done a remarkable job.

I think it's inevitable when someone passes on and there wasn't an "obvious" choice for someone to take over, it's always controversial. But times are far different now than they were back when Mr. B was alive. There's no cold war anymore, ballet has become a money making machine, when (at least I think) back then it was expected not to make much money. The Nutcracker now competes with $10 Harry Potter movie tickets.

What I've always had a hard time with at NYCB is why we don't/can't see a NEW Balanchine piece brought back. The coming back ballets they feature are usually only out the rep for a few seasons. The 93 Balanchine Celebration was so magnificent b/c it brought pieces up that weren't seen (and haven't since been seen) in ages.

I think the toll of losing Stanley Williams will have a far greater impact on the next generation. Gone is a master of a teacher.

But, alas, the Balanchine legacy at NYCB may be stale but as noted, it is quite nice that the rest of the country is enjoying it as it should be.

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I found the points Ms. Homans made in the article defensible up to point, but at the same time, we've been reading about the imminent doom of the Balanchine repertory since 1983. I think the picture is less gloomy. What I've seen from watching is that certain ballets fall into eclipse, then they get refurbished (and other ballets fall into eclipse!). I've also seen dancers who never knew Balanchine or get adequate rehearsal or coaching give stunning performances. And yes, I've also seen ballets deteriorate. But the article reads like recycled Croce or Acocella, ca. 1989 but with fewer details to back up the assertions.

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Ms. Homans seems to think that Balanchine received no inspiration from working in the US for 50 years. He might have been surrounded by his 'Russian peers' at his School, but so were other dance studios in NY at the time. She comes to the heart of her article in the last couple of paragraphs, and it comes across as just another 'Martins Bashing', and I'm the last one to defend Martins. Unrelated to the article is the photo accompanying it---the well-known one of Villela and Balanchine rehearsing 'Swan Lake", where they are both posed in fifth pos. with arms overhead. Everytime I see this photo I think Villela should sue to have himself cut out of it. The contrast between the two men is so great. Villela is all tautness, hunched shoulders , tenseness, while Balanchine is all lyricism., and his arms should be the envy of every dancer.

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I found the picture of early City Ballet as a little nest of Russian Imperialists wafting around in green scarfs rather original.

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The idea that the Balanchine era was one of "a Russian-American hybrid culture, which nourished generations of American dancers" is novel and interesting. Jennifer Homans then goes on to blame the current state of the Balanchine repertory at NYCB on the fact that many dancers thus nourished have left and are rarely invited back to teach or coach. Although the latter point has been made often, that doesn't make it any less valid. Still, it seems a ludicrous overstatement that "at the City Ballet, Balanchine ballets have become boring, pompous, and passe." The enthusiastic audiences that throng the all-Balanchine evenings at NYCB indicate otherwise.

From my admittedly prejudiced perspective, the key sentence in this article is. "Suzanne Farrell's company, based in Washington, continues to present his ballets with dramatic freshness and a lively intelligence." But for Peter Martins, she could have done the same at NYCB.

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Sort of a little Preobrazhensky Guard in chiffon!

Actually, this very sort of discussion came up this afternoon between a longtime balletomane and me regarding City Ballet's stewardship of the Balanchine repertoire, and much similar ground was covered, neither of us having yet seen the Homans article. We both noted a blurring of details in steps and in mime, in the former in things like 4Ts and in the latter in Midsummer Night's Dream where the mime used to be all exclamation points - now it's more like a string of comma splices.

Some things have actually sped up since Balanchine died, as if speed alone were the touchstone of the style, as exemplified in the fourth movement of Symphony in C. In this case, faster is not better, it's just faster.

For me, Homans' points were well-taken, and familiar to a certain generation of people who studied at SAB in a certain era!

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What Leigh said. As one who doesn't get to see NYCB, I can't address this from the point of view of a regular attendee, but it does seem to me that even those who were most sternly critical of Martins about a decade ago have seen some light at the end of the tunnel. They could, of course, be wrong, but I don't think Homans makes a very persuasive case here. I mean, what is Martins supposed to do about the fact that SAB is no longer crawling with White Russians? It's a matter of tone; her criticisms tend to be made with a "Tina, bring me the axe!" approach when a scalpel could do the job much better. Some of her articles for The New Republic so far have also shown a similar lack of nuance and rhetorical overkill. I'd enjoy reading her more if she just settled down a bit.

At least the Times now has a defense against anyone who would say the paper has taken a monolithically pro-Martins stand. :)

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What I took away from today's article was the detrimental effect of the break in coaching ballets at NYCB by Balanchine-era dancers.

In fact, one of the most satisfying "revivals" of late for me was the Liebeslieder Waltzes, which I understand was coached very intensely by some of the Balanchine-era principals who danced it. And what a difference!! The little nuances that are so vital to that (and any ballet) were there.

As a matter of fact, at Saturday matinee's Cortege Hongrois, while watching the ballet, I remembered what Patty McBride said Balanchine told her. He used the image of "begging for money" for one of her hand movements during her solo variation while turning on pointe. Although Jeny Ringer was lovely, I so missed that one little detail. It's just lost now -- as so many, many other little details are. And don't get me started on details lost in The Four Temperments!!

That being said though, I only find "boring" performances by those dancers at NYCB today who -- because they are not coached -- do not go out of their way to find out how the ballets should look. So, yes, it would be ideal and wonderful to have Balanchine-era dancers coach today's dancers. But it's not going to happen. However, those enterprising dancers can find on tape and through interviews some sense of what the ballets should look like. But I agree with Ms. Homans that the break in the human chain is very real at NYCB and very sad.

What is that saying, "it's all in the details." How true for ballet.

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Bobbi, why is it that you say so definitely

"So, yes, it would be ideal and wonderful to have Balanchine-era dancers coach today's dancers. But it's not going to happen."

Why does this have to be true? I really don't believe it has to be so at all. There are quite a number of former dancers from Balanchine's era who are still more than alive and kicking who could easily be invited to work with the current company members.

However, I do think your remembrance of Patti McBride's saying how it was that Balanchine communicated the subtle nuance of that particular move - of using her hand as though she were "begging for money" is truly the kind of detail that makes all the difference in the world...visually speaking. I know from my own limited experience of watching a rehearsal during which the choreographer, or the experienced dancer in the role if it is not a new one, has shown the tiniest detail in the way the fingers are held or the angle at which the wrist is bent, or the slightest change in the angle of the head...changes the whole effect.

I found Ms. Homans' article to be very interesting and well written. Yes, there was a great deal of history thrown in...but I've seen pictures of some of the Russians with their flowing scarves and the references she makes to George Balanchine's history is important. I think in reading this article one must remember that not everyone is up to speed on the history of the New York City Ballet.

Actually, I found it rather refreshing...to see someone be so direct. Is she correct? I couldn't possibly say. I only know what I've seen myself and what I've heard from those who performed at NYCB while Mr. Balanchine was still alive.

But back to the initial idea that there is real value in bringing in dancers who danced in the originals or, at least, in the versions danced while George Balanchine was still alive. As someone posted, this observation is not new. This being said, why is it not generally done?

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I agree with the other posters who said that Homans's argument is nothing new and that she offers less support for her thesis than other writers have. Like these other writers, she doesn't go one step further and take into account the realities of running a ballet company, especially a large, internationally-ranked one.

She calls for more dancers who worked with Balanchine to take over rehearsals. Of the ten people listed in the program as assistant ballet masters and teachers (in addition to Martins), only one, Russell Kaiser, did not work with Balanchine (and I don't believe he rehearses Balanchine ballets anyway). Homans ignores a couple of important considerations in the choice of such people. One is that the head of the company, be it Peter Martins or anyone else, must be the ultimate authority on the company's style, and he cannot have people working with him who have strong contrary ideas, or who—pace Farrell fans—have personalities strong enough to encourage a following that might threaten this authority. In addition, Balanchine, like any artist, was always changing elements of his style, and a member of the NYCB of 1952 is going to remember ballets being danced very differently from a member from 1962, or 1972. Martins has, understandably, chosen to preserve the style that he remembers (circa 1967-1983), and has gathered other dancers from that era to help him. Even if Homans prefers an earlier style (and I doubt she remembers it—she was, I believe, a student at SAB in the 1980s), earlier generations of NYCB dancers are retiring and dying out. Villella himself is in his sixties.

What I do think is a problem at NYCB is the fact that the company's real energy these days is directed towards new repertory while the existing repertory, Robbins as well as Balanchine, is not treated as very important. Result: a certain ho-hum attitude that comes across in performance. If the dancers believed that doing well in a Balanchine ballet would get them promoted, we'd see a change in a hurry. The breakdown of the casting hierarchy in the Balanchine rep, something that Calliope mentioned a couple of months ago, is part and parcel of this neglect. (For those who don't remember this thread, Calliope mentioned that roles—even corps roles— that used to take dancers years to get are now given away to newcomers. There's no sense that it's a privilege, an achievement, to be in the ensemble of Concerto Barocco or Theme & Variations, as opposed to lowly Swan Lake or everybody's-in-it Stars & Stripes.)

Another problem, which the company has always had, is the pressure involved in doing seven performances a week and fifty or so ballets a season. When Martins first took over, he reduced the number of ballets performed, but it's long since been back up to fifty. I don't know why he did this, but it pretty much prevents any ballet from being as carefully rehearsed as it should be, whoever the coaches are.

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Okay, I will henceforth refer to Peter Martins as Ballet Master in Chief and Ultimate Authority.

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I thought that Homans overemphasized the Russian emigre influence in making NYCB what it was and is. If Balanchine was the heart of the company, then the dancers, nearly all American, were and are the blood, muscle and bones. To picture NYCB as a transplanted Russian company is a real stretch.

I think it's important that the company try to find a new direction, and new repertory. That's as it should be. Life goes on. Martins seems intent on preserving and creating for the Balanchine dancer. But the Balanchine legacy is just too immense. The work is too great. I wonder if the Balanchine rep is treated with maybe too great a respect in restaging at home - that ithe original intent gets stifled in the desire to preserve it as perfectly as possible. Ballets become mechanical and do lose their heart when treated this way (re--staging of works of Tudor come to mind). I agree that I've seen Balanchine works performed with great artistry outside of State Theater, and maybe that's as it should be as well. I don't think the Balanchine rep will die if it resides with others outside of New York for awhile. And when Martins, Farrell and Hayden and Villella are gone, what then?

Rick

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I certainly agree that Homans was short on details in her critique. Who exactly is "step-driven and one-dimensional"? Maria Kowrowski?! But it is also true that Martins has a lot to answer for. Why, for example, go to the trouble of reviving the Sylvia Pas de Deux for the Balanchine Celebration only to let it totally drop out of the repertoire?

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In my opinion it's the Robbins rep that might need more help.

His ballets depend so much on perfect timing. That was lacking when I saw 'The Concert' last year. I went to dress rehearsal and saw that the problem was not for lack of trying, but I realized that Mr. Robbins had been so specific and in control of his work that no one can do the job he did.

Balanchine on the other hand was so free and generous with his work in general. It is well known that he was always changing his choreography to suit different dancers, and giving his work away to other companies, etc.

I went to opening night of the spring season last year, as the companion of Vicky Simon. It was an All Balanchine program and I thought the company looked exquisite and impeccable. (I am a spacing freak) and this was obviously a well rehearsed performance.

At the first intermission I went with Ms Simon to meet Barbara Horgan and some others that were not in "Peter's Family". Never the less very important people were there. I met Suki Schorer for the first time. The elegant Karin Von Aroldingen asked Vicki Simon: "As the expert on 'The Four Temperaments' what did you think?" Vicky Simon said: "Very good, maybe just a bit too hard edged".

I thought about that and realized that dancing a little hard edged is more the norm these days, so if that is the only criticism, this ballet is doing quite well.

I still hear Mr. Balanchine's voice on the Balanchine Part 1 and 2 for PBS, saying that his works will look different when he is gone.

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In reply to BW's question as to why does it have to be that former NYCB dancers can't be invited back to coach, I can only surmise that petty quarrels and jealousies -- as opposed to major disagreements in interpreting Balanchine style (Ari's theory) -- are the main culprit. Believe me, BW, I really want to see these magnificent ballets coached. But it appears -- just about twenty years after Balanchine's death -- that personality and turfdom have won over preserving great art.

It would make an interesting new thread to ask all of those who have posted to think about what little nuances in both the Balanchine and Robbins rep have disappeared since April 30, 1983 -- you know, the little details that just appealed to you and you looked for in performances. My bet is that each poster could come up with at least five or ten. So add them up and, yes: Houston, we have a problem!

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I absolutely agree that it takes an artist to reset a ballet, and it would never hurt to have more voices involved in resetting masterworks rather than less, but I have a problem when people tick off "little details that disappear". As a choreographer, I know that sometimes those little details were never part of the choreography or the choreographer's intention. They were things the dancer added, and they are wonderful, but individual. There are other things that I allow a specific dancer to do in a work because of how they dance, but I would not have another dancer do that in the part.

When I did a study of Agon a while back, I looked at extant representations of the ballet over 40 years, the majority done in his lifetime. There are small changes in every single version, and some major changes as well made by Balanchine. By 1972 at the Stravinsky Festival, Melissa Hayden was prodding Balanchine to go over the male duet to bring it more to the style of the original; she felt he had lost interest. When I saw her coach the ballet in '00, however, she set the male duet from a tape from '73, rather than the earliest version available from '60, and there are many changes between the two.

I'm not advocating carelessness or a perfunctory restaging, but ballets are also not stone, or digital recordings. Their texts are not absolutely stable. The person resetting any ballet takes responsibility as an interpreter. And the moment they do, someone else will take issue with it.

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On the "little details that disappear" issue, I agree with Leigh that this is rarely black and white. Here's an example. Everone is familiar with the moment in the second movement of Symphony in C where Farrell did a penchee arabesque and touched her forehead to her knee. Kowrowski does the penchee arabesque but the forehead doesn't touch the knee. Why? It's hard to believe she can't do it or is not familiar with the business. I suspect that she chose not to do it for some reason. Does this make her performance inferior? Does it detract from "Balanchine's legacy"? I don't think so.

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That specific detail is a perfect choice, because Farrell's touching the head to the knee is an addition itself, that Balanchine inserted into the adagio about 15 years after it was choreographed because Farrell could do it. I think Kowroski doesn't do it because her arabesque penchee is enough past six o'clock that if she reaches her head to her knee she'll fall over. (I really think she can't feel when she goes past six o'clock. I've known people like that.) I'd actually prefer it if Kowroski were coached to keep her penchee from going past 180 degrees, but the point is although Farrell's was supervised by Balanchine. both approaches were changes to the original choreography.

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Originally posted by Ari

In addition, Balanchine, like any artist, was always changing elements of his style, and a member of the NYCB of 1952 is going to remember ballets being danced very differently from a member from 1962, or 1972. Martins has, understandably, chosen to preserve the style that he remembers (circa 1967-1983), and has gathered other dancers from that era to help him.

I don't know, Ari, certainly the whole ensemble needs to dance a particular ballet in the same style, but beyond that it seems to me that because Balanchine did change the elements of his style, Martins has no business insisting they be danced only one way, when it's possible to preserve other ways. Doesn't he acknowledge that he's in a unique position to preserve Balanchine's work? I'm not aware of anyone who says Symphony in C was danced better in '83 than it was in '48. Soon, of course, that preservation won't be possible.

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The people I know who object to erosion in the company's style rarely talk about this or that detail, but at something larger -- the fact that in Balanchine's day, whatever the detail, there was something in the dancing beyond energy -- I just found a quote about this the other day from a dancer who worked with Balanchine, "He didn't want more energy. He wanted more fulfillment of every step." That the dancing itself isn't as strong, as crisp; that the footwork isn't what it was. (This could be said about ABT and the Royal as well, and I think the footwork is deteriorating because contemporary/crossover ballet doesn't care much for steps. It's all lunge, kick, lift, run. In whatsleftofpetipa ballets, the small connecting steps are going so you can put in a few more turns, or run across the stage.)

I also don't think that because there is debate over which change is authentic and which is not, that the correct conclusion is "anything goes, it doesn't matter, whoever is in charge gets to pick." I don't think that all memories or analyses or opinions are equal; some are more informed than others. Someone who has an deep and instinctive grasp of the style and knowledge of the performance tradition can make these decisions.

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I'm not sure that what we are seeing isn't from without as well as from within. Forgive me for using Agon eternally as my example, but it's the one I know in this context better than any other. Agon has changed irrevocably from '57, and only the smallest amount of that change is within the steps themselves. Part of the reason we can't get the Agon of 1957 back is because the dancers don't have any of the same social dances in their vernacular. We are a different society. Even two decades is long enough for there to be a shift in the cultural milieu. Again, I am not saying that assiduous, loving coaching and advocacy are not absolutely instrumental in dance preservation. Without them, the works are doomed. To take a different example (to everyone's relief!) in a work as recent as Kammermusik No. 2 (ca. 1977, now 25 years old) it would be irresponsible for someone resetting the ballet not to think about the Jazz Age references, not to take into account Balanchine's intentions in the original casting to say nothing of the steps and timing themselves. But the ballet will still never look the same. And the farther history removes us from the date of creation, the more changed the ballet will look.

I can't argue with people's recollections from the time, I will say one has to sift through a great many contradictory ones and decide whom one believes. No, all opinions are not created equal, but I do think in the instant case we have several people with legitimate claims to expertise, including Martins and Farrell. I've seen work from both of them that was excellent and work from both of them that was luckluster.

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Interesting posts all. My opinions are closely alighned it would seem with Ari's.

But first, I question the article as a work of journalism. Is it an article on the erosion of Balanchine's school and company, or an opinion piece. If it is an article, it seems to be one made without any outside reporting. That's bad journalism. The article would be richer if Homans had interviewed a few other people. But this is not a surprise, as she has done the same thing in her work for the New Republic. Is it a column? If it is, she should at least establish her credentials so the reader can place and weight her opinions. What is reference for viewing the company? So she was a student at SAB in the 80's. She doesn't make this clear in the story. Has she been watching since the 60's, the 70's? It would have helped me take her points more seriously if I knew what performances are her reference points.

In addition, I found her writing more than a bit cowardly. She mentions that the school no longer has the perfume-spreading Russian teachers. Does this mean the current teachers are at fault? Suki Schorer? Kay Mazzo? Jock Soto or Peter Boal? She mentions some NYCB dancer, "struggles to find more, as if she knows something is missing. But she ends up contriving emotion with breathy flourishes and fake ornamentation." Homans doesn't have the guts to mention the dancers by name. Which one is contriving emotion or using fake ornamentation?

The older Russian teachers are gone. They couldn't live forever. I'm sorry as I'm sure they were inspiring and had much to impart. But Homans does not suggest a solution to replace them. Should the company hire some teachers away from St. Petersburg, whose "Vaganova" teachings might be different than the "Imperial Russian" technique taught by Danilova and Co? I do believe they have had a few visiting Russian teachers and I think it is a good idea. One idea that has been brought up on these boards is that those dancers who receive a solid education elsewhere, but come to SAB for a year or so of polishing, prove to be better off in the long run. Why is this? It has been suggested that SAB, by way of those charming Russian teachers, taught a solid Imperial Russian technique to its students, who then learned the Balanchine Style in company class. Now, the Balanchine style is being taught at SAB, or so I understand, which it wasn't meant to be. There is another belief that it is Stanley Williams' influence or trust in his method and what he stressed at the school that has somewhat changed the company's accent from a Russian one to a Danish one (although he himself was taught by a Russian). I have noticed that NYCB does have a lighter touch than it did during the 70s and 80s. There was a certain gravity in movement (maybe the difference between hitting flatter vs. hitting with top spin in tennis) 20-30 years ago. That might be Williams' influence or Martins'.

About the world that these "Russian" teachers showed to the dancers might be something we can never get back. Unfortunately, it's a different world. "Being real" is where it is at now. Suzanne Farrell was taken to museums, introduced to important people and told stories about the Ballet Russe by Balanchine. According to Robert Garis' book, she was bored by it as a teenager. About 15 years later in Winter Season, it was noted that she and Balanchine both favored gourmet food. Now, she takes her students to museums and talks to her about the important people she met. Is she the only one? I don't know if Peter Martins talks to Janie Taylor or Jared Angle about the artists and writers he met during the 70s or incourages them to go to the museum so they can see the poses of Agon, Apollo or Concerto Barocco in the greek vases. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. It takes two to tango. There are some dancers at NYCB who do a lot of research of the ballets they dance, and others who go their own way.

Homans brings up the idea of former dancers such as Villella, D'Amboise, Farrell etc.. coaching at NYCB. 1) I'd love it, but 2) they have there own companies. Yes, Farrell was fired and hardly utilized while she was there. That's awful and I definitely believe that she should have a place in the company and personal differences should have been put aside or worked out. And I would love to see, as Villella did in Miami, NYCB have the dancers for which certain ballets were created for come in and coach. In interviews, dancers raved about working with Tallchief or Von Aroldingen doing the Balanchine Foundation interpreter project. I think the ballerinas would benefit from, for example, working with McBride when Coppelia re-enters the rep. I'd like to have these people feel at home at NYCB for other "interpreters" have a few guest runs.

NYCB doesn't have McBride, D'Amboise, Hayden or Farrell. But it does have some very good coaches. I've watched Leland, Hendl, von Aroldingen, Martins and Lavery work and I've seen good results. People lauded the coaching the Kirov got when they put on Jewels. Yet, those are the same people who coach the ballet at NYCB. They also are staging Balanchine's ballets all over the world, they can't be incompetent or the Balanchine Foundation wouldn't use them.

However, I believe Alexandra makes a good point. Use it or lose it. In many of the new ballets over the years at NYCB , dancers hardly have had to use their "classical" technique. Class also is important. I remember reading that Balanchine and Williams wanted a step done correctly, but also that it should have a certain special quality. NYCB had had a guest teacher for several years, now Merrill Ashley does most of the teaching this season. I've read that she gives a good, hard class. Are the dancers taking it?

As Dirac pointed out, there are others that believe the company has turned the corner. I would like to see the Balanchine and the Robbins (whose works, by the way, have been coached by his personally selected crew way before he died, so I don't know about a decline), and a few other rarely seen ballets by others, including Martins, given more rehearsal time. I'd like to see revivals, but revivals with proper coaching and time.

Some ballets that were brought back for the Balanchine Celebration (such as Bourree Fantastique or Haiff Divertimento), but were hardly shown in subsequent seasons until they've been out of the rep for almost 10 years now. Instead of programing Tchiak. pas de deux again and again, why not Minkus Pas de Trois or Glinka Pas De Trois? I haven't seen Robbins' Mother Goose Suite or Martins' Concerto for Two Solo Pianos in ages. Try a reconstruction such as Cotillion (already done for the Joffrey) or À la Françaix, which is notated. There's a video of it staged by Eglevsky.

I've poured out a lot here, hopes it make sense. I don't think this article tread any new ground or offered any solutions.

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Unlike the rest of you, I did gain something from her piece, however I am but a lowly neophyte in this Byzantine world of ballet:)

Dale, thank you for wrapping it all up so well. Leigh, Alexandra, Ari, dirac, Calliope, Mel, atm, Farrell Fan, stan, kfw, Bobbi, glebb, and Brymar - I've gotten a great deal from reading your posts, too. Okay, so if Ms. Homans, who danced with PNB and is apparently writing or has written a book on classical ballet, has truly not offered those with experience and longevity anything new, then where does one go from here?

What's next? What do you propose to do about airing your own views in regard to her article? Write a letter to the editor? Write a nice note to NYCB? Not waste your breath? Actually, I am not meaning to sound "flip" - but for those who have the experience of watching this company over the course of many years, and have mentioned your concerns about various aspects from coaching to training, what happens next? Something? Nothing?

I'm not suggesting that NYCB is an organization built on the "will of the people" or that it has any democratic leanings within itself as an institution, but how are changes made? Generally speaking who are the people who have enough influence to effect change? Is it the board of directors? Or, do you think that this too shall pass and that New York City Ballet, along with its School of American Ballet, shall evolve on its own, all in good time?

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I'm no NYCBer myself, but I would like to think that the death of the founding choreographer shouldn't have to mean the death of an entire legacy. Maybe his ballets are getting stagnant; maybe the dancers' training isn't what it used to be. However, I am a little wary of romanticizing the past the way that Homans does, however idyllic it may have been. I think that that sort of reactionary attitude might be the culprit behind the stagnation she so deplores. She doesn't seem to want to accept the inevitable fact that dances and choreography change over time, no matter what, and in doing so is damning the NYCB to an eternity of--gasp--museum companyhood. Isn't this what Balanchine and his exalted Russian colleagues were trying to escape in the first place?

Originally posted by BW

Or, do you think that this too shall pass and that New York City Ballet, along with its School of American Ballet, shall evolve on its own, all in good time?

Maybe the Balanchine legacy as many people know it is going to hell in a handbasket; but maybe, just maybe, the company is "between choreographers" and going through an artistic rough spot.

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