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About Quiggin

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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    San Francisco
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  1. I can understand that being the case. I remember when a friend bought the same special perfume in Paris for his new partner that he used to buy for his ex-wife (with whom he was still friends) It was a bit of a shock to all of us, seemed somehow an act of disloyalty. Or like an incident from a Hitchcock film. Regarding dirac's commented on the guy coming out during his wife's pregnancy, I agree and sense the relationship might have been entered in a bit of bad faith on his part.
  2. The Arthur Pita choreography has gotten fairly good notices – it's the cluster of ballets with violence against women at the Royal Ballet that was the issue. Pherank you're right about the old plot device but a lot of fine choreographers have passed on it – too many other much fresher things for them to work with. And Jennings does say, "Elsewhere in the British arts establishment, the question of female agency in performance is a live topic. At Covent Garden, it’s not even a conversation." Some of this choreography is by gay males – so I'm wondering what that says: a kind of internalized lessened self-regard, or a preemptive move of some sort, or a kind of beating the other choreographers at their own game? Somewhat related to this the Washington Post today has opinion piece by Allison Yarrow on the misogeny of Saturday Night Live writers – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/20/al-frankens-saturday-night-live-era-was-full-of-jokes-disparaging-women/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.7e63ba2b0f47
  3. The topic of violence against women on stage has come up again with the Royal Ballet's production of Arthur Pita's "The Wind." As posted in Sunday links, Luke Jennings in "Royal Triple Bill – and Yet More Sexual Violence" notes that – https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/nov/12/royal-ballet-mixed-bill-review-arthur-pita-twyla-tharp Hannah Furness (also citing Burke's essay) summarizes the responses – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/12/royal-ballet-accused-gratuitous-abuse-audiences-despair-rape/ So what it that makes violence against women a go-to dramatic device in contemporary ballets – at least in big opera house venues? This doesn't seem to be the case with small companies, at least as I can glean from watching clips at Jacob's Pillow. With British choreographers is it a sort of Francis Bacon existentialism intensification and activization of the choreographic narrative? etc etc
  4. Gene Kelly sometimes swoons in a silly maleish way after a kiss or returned glance in various musicals. With the deMille ballet ("Jean and girls") at 55:00 above, you might see references to Giselle and Coppelia act III (weaving or grain). I was wondering if theses sorts of enrichening references or figures occur in the Wheeldon version. Canbelto says the sword dance is pretty much the same as the original. Added: I guess my question is: when a ballet's distinguished choreography is superseded by a new version, will the originals disappear? In this case could a suite of de Mille's dances for Brigadoon – which have seem to have a very contemporary grace and ease to them – be assembled and documented while there are dancers around who still remember them? Perhaps it should be a requirement just as distinguished buildings in some cities are photographed and documented before they give way to new office towers.
  5. For comparsion, there's a very dim version of the 1980 Broadway revival online, difficult to see. But this bit of Agnes de Mille choreography really shines through - Begins at 51:00 (with setup) or 55:00 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTHpFFm7RAY Edward Villella in the sword dance from the 1966 tv version (with Robert Goulet and Peter Falk(!); choreography uncredited) at 55:30 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW5N7K1gFiw
  6. most popular composer for dance

    Adding to Helene's list: Martins with Michael Torke Peck with Sufjan Stevens Also forgot to mention that Ravel has provided the basis of many ballets. Purcell through Sadler's Wells (& Constant Lambert's affection for his music) – and Mark Morris. Douglas Dunn's use of Mozart, Handel, Bellini, etc: https://vimeo.com/149334099 Joplin's music seemed safe and got overly familiar quickly. Maybe Glass's? – from overuse in commercials, backgrounds etc.
  7. most popular composer for dance

    My somewhat subjective list would include (not in any order): Satie – used by Massine/Picasso, Ashton, Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Rene Clair (Entr'Acte) and, even once in the twenties, by Balanchine (Jack in the Box). Cage – Cunningham used him many times. But also his chance operations ideas influenced choreographers like Trisha Brown and filter down through other composers. Stravinsky – Rite of Spring alone has been choreographed, what, 100? times. Justin Peck used Pulcinella as a score for his most recent ballet. Chopin – Fokine, Robbins, Ashton. Bach – Balanchine, Paul Taylor (several times), Trisha Brown. Interesting how Doug Varone makes almost throwaway use of Chopin and Bach at Jacob's Pillow: https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/doug-varone/nocturne-e-minor-opus-72-1/ https://danceinteractive.jacobspillow.org/doug-varone/the-bench-quartet/ Why: Stravinsky for complex and solid percussive lines. The others for the structure and portals through which to enter and leave the music(?).
  8. "Where are the Women in Ballet?"

    When I read Ratmansky's comments, I thought a little along Marina Harss' comment in the same thread: I think she's being very diplomatic with the last sentence – but she's right that what Ratmansky actually does on stage seems to contradict his fusty comments off. At least in Bolt and Shostakovich Triology there seem to be many odd coupled and odd numbered passages. A bit nutty that he has it both ways.
  9. "Avid Reader" by Robert Gottlieb

    I wanted more from Gottlieb about working at the New Yorker. Renata Adler (who was there) said he was "almost comically incurious" – compared to William Shawn – about the workings of the magazine. He talked mostly about himself and wasn't interested in the staff. His voice was "bored", his manner "languid." He said he, Adam Gopnik and Martha Kaplan (his "girl Friday") could probably edit the magazine by themselves. I agree with canbelto that Gottlieb's dance writings are far more involving. Sometimes with artists their more "personal" work is their least personal and their impersonal work tells the most about them. Avid Reader seems like something Gottlieb promised himself one day he would do and one day he did.
  10. "Avid Reader" by Robert Gottlieb

    I didn't think of that – but of course! I immediately thought of doe-eyed Susan Sontag, especially the photograph by Peter Hujar (who you can see laid the groundwork for Robert Mapplethorpe's square format aesthetic): http://mwr.nytimes.com/2015/09/10/t-magazine/1970s-new-york-history.html My beef with Gopnik is that he takes up the space in the New Yorker that used to be occupied by more serious writers and writing in the past. Instead of hearing about current intellectual or political ideas in France, we merely hear that Jean Baudrillard, "the terror of West Broadway" (a block away from NYU???), is not so formidable in person – merely a mundane "stocky little guy" in his fifties. Also with Gopnik all high art is approached through low art and giggles first – Picasso's portrait of Gertrude Stein is not related to Ingres' Mons Berlin but to crude comic book sketches, etc. Good interview with Renata Adler at the Guardian, mentions the break with Gottlieb: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/07/renata-adler-new-york-author-interview And thanks for your good comments on romance novels.
  11. "Avid Reader" by Robert Gottlieb

    In this past Sunday's New York Times Book Review: Robert Gottlieb's roundup of silly romance novels: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/books/review/macomber-steel-james-romance.html?action=click&contentCollection=review&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront Vivian Gornick on Adam Gopnik's new memoir, which begins in generic praise mode and then shifts tone into something very serious: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/books/review/adam-gopnik-memoir-at-the-strangers-gate.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbook-review&action=click&contentCollection=review&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=sectionfront Gottlieb and Gopnik barely mention each other in their respective memoirs, yet they worked closely at Knopf and at the New Yorker. According to Renata Adler's account in Gone - The Last Days of the New Yorker (which generally squares with Gornick's review), Gopnik didn't have much use for Gottlieb after Gottlieb left the magazine. Odd though to see them appear side by side in same issue of the Sunday Times.
  12. Nobel Prize 2017

    Here's a Ladbrokes odds list: Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Kenya, 4/1 Haruki Murakami, Japan, 5/1 Margaret Atwood, Canada, 6/1 Ko Un, South Korea, 8/1 Amos Oz, Israel, 10/1 Claudio Magris, Italy, 10/1 Javier Marías, Spain, 10/1 Adunis, Syria, 12/1 Don DeLilo, United States, 14/1 Yan Lianke, China, 14/1 Jon Fosse, Norway 18/1 Antonio Lobo Antunes, Portugal, 20/1 Cesar Aira, Argentina, 20/1 Ismail Kadare, Albania, 20/1 Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Hungary, 20/1. I like what I've little read of Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, and would be happy if he won. I prefer Cesar Aira to Murakami (often popular with the same readers). Aira is a wonderful old fashioned story teller, influenced by the jewel-like tales of Silvina Ocampo. I've read most of Marías, and love his philosophical digressions, and his commentary on the Spanish civil war in "Your Face Tomorrow". (The much shorter "Man of Feeling" is about an opera singer's involvement with a married couple.) And liked DeLilo for the "Angel Esmeralda" stories. Krasznahorkai is a steep mountain I've yet to climb.
  13. Favorite SFB Short Video Clips

    Not sure if all of this travel is good for 1) company style 2) the ballets themselves that the dancers are supposed to serve. Dancing with so many different partners, do dancers develop a generic style? Do they pick up mannerisms and bad habits trying to quickly fit into a program or another company? Do they still care about being in a new Ratmansky or Peck work or a revival of Dances at a Gathering – or just accumulating quirky instagram juxtapositions. Frances Chung, who doesn't seem to travel from home base that much, says, "I continue to dance because of the community I am in" (which I take as being the immediate community).
  14. Your Desert Island Triple Bill

    Maybe there were so many choices of Balanchine works because they wear well on repeat viewings. There are so many twists and turns and trick endings that you are always surprised how they come out. Each is both a ballet and the critique of a ballet. Ratmansky also has his surprises and enrichenings of content. I could add Shostakovich Symphony #9 (the first of the Trilogy) and parts of Bolt to a desert island menu. (I initially picked Seven Sonatas.) I've only seen one Peck ballet here in San Francisco and intriguing snippets of Rodeo – so I guess there could be a triple bill of Rodeo (Peck), Rodeo (deMille) and Western Symphony.
  15. Your Desert Island Triple Bill

    What kind of island is this? Prospero's? Morel of Bioy-Casares? New Yorker cartoonists'? I'm listing ballets I've seen often without getting tired of. And Faure/Scarlatti or Donizetti/Stravinsky I wouldn't mind hearing over and over (Bizet would drive me crazy). – 1. Emeralds 2. Donzetti Variations or Seven Sonatas 3. Violin Concerto