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SFB: Dances At A Gathering & Elite Syncopations, 2-8 mat


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#16 cargill

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 06:31 AM

This is probably off topic, but I am one of those tiresome people who feel that if you didn't see Lynn Seymour as the Girl in Green, you have missed so much! She was so very funny, flirtacious and fussy, and then all of a sudden so still, when walking with one of the boys. And then a burst of I don't care at the end. And that little wave of her arms at the end--she wasn't needy at all.

#17 Paul Parish

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 09:09 AM

Seymour was tops.... a really complex person, simultaneously old and young, whimsical and thoughtful, ardent and shy, playful -- she had a way of dragging her feet, she dug her toe in and held back and let herself go at the same time.....

But hte thing about talking about particular dacners -- though that is SO tempting, and God knows, I'm grateful to you all for mentinoing Delia Peters, -- could somebody please try to characterize her as a dancer -- I have no picture of her in my mind at all, if Glebb loved her she must have been something....
well, after all that, what I love most about this ballet is how the ENSEMBLE takes you into an ideal world, a place where Poles and Russians and Jews don't fear and hate each other, where the movement wells up from a common pool of rhythms and postures and little brushes and tilts and turning-in and turning-out that makes a common lore and a common heritage, an ETHOS like that in the family of any mixd marriage where the children must try to reconcile the traditions of the parents -- which will make it forever relevant.... the peaceable kingdom that Chopin was in love with and lamenting and hte whole of Europe came under the spell of in 1848 has a lot in common with that one in 1968 that so many people thought we could actually bring about if we just hoped hard enough..... That's not ALL there is to it, but it is what makes it a great work, in the company of Wordwsworth's Immortality Ode.... It's already there in the music, what's miraculous is how approproate the dances are to the music, and how much they actually add to music htat was already so great ....

It's the "place for us" that Robbins so often made dances about... and into this mix I guess should go the reconciliation of hetero- and homo-sexuality --it's there in a powerfully sublimated way, nothing direct, but it's pervasive......

#18 glebb

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 06:59 PM

Oh cargill, I can only imagine Lynn Seymour as the Girl in Green. I'm sure she was divine. Her Natalia Petrovna was perfection. I had the great fortune to watch her teach "Five Brahms Waltz in the Manner of Isadora Duncan".

Paul Parish, I can't tell you that much about Delia Peters, but she was perfection as the wife in "The Concert". Edward Gorey must have based his illustrations of dancers on her.

#19 Mel Johnson

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 07:37 PM

Delia Peters was for years a "workhorse" of the corps de ballet, until someone in the public or the company discovered her quick wit, great attractiveness, and organizational abilities. At one point, while she was still in the corps a New York critic dubbed her the NYCB Corps de Ballerina. She was everybody's favorite at benefits as a sort of hostess with the mostest, and backed all of this up with good dancing, too.

She is currently an attorney specializing in performing arts law.

#20 carbro

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 07:48 PM

Who but Mr. Parish would find a way to make "Dances at a Gathering" a statement about global politics? ;) It makes good sense, though. Clearly, the work succeeds when it exudes a utopian harmony. I just never expanded its meaning beyond the 10 dancers on stage at any given time.

Yes, Mel, Delia was a workhorse. Many people will be surprised (alarmed :eek: !) that she never gained soloist status. Neither tall nor short, neither dark nor fair, she exuded intelligence, warmth and musicality and seemed capable of an infinite range of roles. As versatile a ballet dancer as I've seen -- completely unpigeonholable.

#21 Alexandra

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 07:51 PM

I'm another Delia Peters fan. I remember her as having a droll wit, which she used only when appropriate, and then sparingly, but the implication, the possibliity of it, was in everything she danced. The "top corps" of that generation, of which Peters was a part, was full of individuals -- not characters, but dancers whom, one could imagine, led interesting lives.

#22 carbro

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 08:18 PM

Originally posted by Alexandra
The "top corps"  of that generation, of which Peters was a part  . . .  


I would say she stood atop the "top corps" -- not of "that" generation, but of "those," as photos reveal her as a member of three generations of the corps, about one and a half of which were in my time.:(

#23 Alexandra

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 08:24 PM

Sigh. By "top corps" I mean the top level of the corps. While Peters, or anyone, might have been in the corps for three generations (? a dancer generation is usually 10 years. I don't think she was in the corps for 30 years, but I haven't looked it up) they're not at the top level -- top on the pay scale, or the group of dancers in the mid and late 1970s that Balanchine used as demisoloists or corpyhees.

#24 Rachel Howard

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Posted 19 February 2003 - 09:19 PM

Alexandra, when you speak of Delia and her "droll wit," it reminds me we had a wonderful principal at SFB who retired last season after having her first child--Julia Adam, now choreographing. Probably nothing like Delia, but such a comedian! SFB really could have used her in "Elite Syncopations." There is no woman in the company right now to match her sense of humor.

#25 Ari

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 08:20 AM

Another word about Delia — in addition to lending her subtle wit to character parts (and Glebb, she will always be the perfect Wife in the The Concert for me, too), she was a lovely classicist. She danced the first (Victoria Simon) variation in Raymonda Variations beautifully.

#26 Paul Parish

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 09:13 AM

wit is a wonderful quality in a dancer -- Monica Mason had it in everything.... it makes them accessible.

THis shold be a tpoic of its own -- the corps dancer whom everybody loved. I can think of 4 or 5 right off the bat in San Francisco -- startng with Kim Davy, who isn't here any more but in Symphony in C, in hte last movement, there's this tiny moment where 2 girls run forward from hte back and make a huge circle and run back to the back, before then next big section begins -- Kim was hte girl stage left, and wshe made this one of the HIGHLIGHTSA of the entire ballet -- it's kind of like a drumroll -- it announces that something even MORE wonderful than everythign so far is ABOUT TO HAPPEN, and she made it like a cascade of pearls.......

And there was Askia Swift, also gone -- to Ailey? -- wonderfully musical,always, in everything. He wsa especially thrilling in Val Caniparoli's LAmbarena, the plastique in the jumps was amazing, and hte part of hte body that initiated the movement -- it's a character ballet, with lots of Senegalese movement fused with ballet -- was always extremely clear -- his ribs were so expressive.....

And Chidozie Nzerem, who's also african american - -still with SFB, anda wonderfully answerable dancer-- when he was young, he was rather rigidly classical -- he was oneo f Larissa Sklyanskaya's greatest students, and his clarity and power were so noble and so Russian -- I saw him do the barrel turns from Corsaire at the student show, it was like the young Nureyev -- He's a wonderful character dancer -- as a guest at the Nutcracker party he steals he show, the character has been so thought through -- and of course, as the black face at the party, he does stand out..... but he does nothing to gravb focus, he just is responsible for what you see. I LOVE that. As hte tuba in Robbins fanfare.... he understands the vaudeville side of the role; he's a scream. And in d'Amboise's role in Western Symphony, again he understands the relation of the creature he;'s presenting to antecedents in American popular theater and he uses all the tradition -- he's got some black shtick, he's got some cowboy shtick, he's got his Russian tricks, he's got his sweet danseur noble deference (as he ducks under her leg, well, that's what a cavalier would do, the lady's the man, its SO SWEET).... and with Leslie Young (who's CHinsese American) , they really look like hte old wild west, where such racial mixing on an absolutely equal basis was a real possibility, maybe the first place in the world......

NOt to mention Sara Sessions, the TALL GIRL in everything who was never out of hte corps and in everything, a wonderful dancer in modern stuff (Lar Lubovitch' has his corps BE the storm in Othello -- kind of an awful ballet as a whole, but with so MANY redeeming features, and she was fantastic), perfect in Agon, perfect as the Wili center left in hte back row, very fine in "Company B" -- and now the poster girl for ballet.co (here's he link to her interview.... http://www.ballet.co...ra_sessions.htm)

And that's just a start.....

#27 Brioche

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 11:17 AM

Glebb-
I believe Allegra Kent was the inspiration for the Gorey drawings.

Anyone?

B

#28 glebb

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 05:23 PM

That makes a lot of sense, Brioche.

I was just guessing.

Peters still looks a lot like the leotard and tights drawings to me. :o

#29 carbro

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 09:44 PM

At risk of veering far off topic, let me run this by you.

I have found that in ballets where I have had a favorite dancer occupy a role for a number of years, my eye becomes trained to her (usually her) blocking. After she has moved on (up or out), I have a hard time not watching her usually less worthy successor.

I still "follow" Judith Fugate's corps/demi successors in Serenade and Who Cares! :rolleyes:


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