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About Anthony_NYC

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    Bronze Circle

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Fan, musician
  • City**
    United States
  1. ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    Has anybody ever flung themselves into a lake with more spectacular beauty than Herman Cornejo?
  2. Glad to see the tepid reviews, actually, since otherwise it's gotten such great notices. The choreography was really so dull--more "let's pretend like we're dancing in an old musical" than the real thing. I guess that's intentional, but the charm wears thin over two hours. The movie is perfectly pleasant--I myself wasn't bored--but I don't really understand all the raves. The performers are very likable. People compare it aptly to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. If you loved that movie, you might love this one. The score, by a composer I've never heard of, was also pleasant and unmemorable. I wouldn't mind hearing that the same forces try another one. Maybe they'll get bolder or more original with experience.
  3. I wonder if anybody can help me with a little more information about the "Luna Park" section of Charles B. Cochran's 1930 Revue (link below). Most of all, I'd like to confirm that the Luna Park this is about is the original one on Coney Island; and, if so, which of the creators are known to have visited it. (Was Kochno ever there?) Was any element of the actual Luna Park depicted on the stage, or was it more general or impressionistic? And finally, do we know for sure who choreographed this section? The liner notes for the recording state it was Balanchine, but the Balanchine Catalogue doesn't really spell it out, unfortunately. http://balanchine.org/balanchine/display_result.jsp?num=99
  4. I agree with pretty much everything abatt said. (I too saw it in a late preview.) There is so much talent and joy on stage, so much pure pleasure to be had, it's a shame the whole show isn't quite good enough to keep the crowds coming in. (With his book, Wolfe begins to seem like the kind of obsessed fanboy who just can't keep himself from telling you every little fact he has learned about the the original "Shuffle Along.") Nevertheless, I plan to see it again before it closes. I'm a gigantic Audra McDonald fan, and it's fun to watch her having so much fun. If you're in New York, try and get a ticket--send the wonderful company off on a string of sold-out houses. They deserve to be cheered.
  5. Fancy Free - threatening?

    Having just come across this discussion about a favorite ballet of mine, I just wanted to say that I think you're spot about this. I don't think Robbins is being misogynist at all with the handbag moment--he's just being true to life. The ballet is so wonderfully specific about its time (the 40s), place (New York), gender and age (guys in their late teens), situation (out in the world on their own for the first time: big stuff!), etc., that I feel sure Robbins meant this moment to be a little mean--because that's how inexperienced boys act, teasing instead of seducing, and showing off for one another and for one girl for whom they're all competing. You're right about the score, too: I always notice how there's a twitch of adolescent sexuality throughout, sometimes on the surface, sometimes below it. Eventually it comes to outright violence, of course--at which point Robbins has the girls stand up and walk out permanently on the boys, and good for them! (And boys being boys, after a moment of seeming reflection and remorse, they continue chasing girls, lessons unlearned.) Anyway, this is just to say that I think the undercurrent of danger and violence is a deliberate theme and it gives the ballet more substance and interest than it otherwise might have--and makes it funnier and more touchingly real at the same time.
  6. I enjoy "Give a Girl a Break" too. Wally Heglin, who also did "Singing' in the Rain," among many other credits, orchestrated the dance numbers and they sound fabulous. (André Previn was the music director.)
  7. Balanchine Ballet Game

    I think the subject of the Grandfather Dance" (Großvatertanz) has been discussed here before. It basically functioned in Germany the same way "Good Night, Ladies" used to in America, as the tune that indicates to the guests that the party is over. The Stahlbaums are a German family, of course, so it's appropriate, but it also gives all the ballets characters (including the grandparents!) a chance to all dance together one last time before dispersing, now with charmingly simple formal steps that emphasize the feeling of long family tradition. It works well dramatically as well because the music then transitions nicely into that lovely fade-out music that, in Balanchine's version, segues into the middle-of-the night violin solo when all that is traditional and familiar and comfortable starts to give way to disruptive forces. I don't think any reference to Schumann was intended.
  8. I suspect I can get an instant answer here, so here goes. I'm trying to find a famous photograph of Balanchine rehearsing (or perhaps choreographing) Robert Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze. In the photo, there are at least two couples dancing in costume amidst Ter-Arutunian's set, while Balanchine himself is in profile in the middle, arms flung in the air, looking for all the world like Schumann himself in an ecstasy spinning out his poetic dreams (as in Lüders's solo in the ballet). First of all, I'd love just to know who is the photographer was. And is a print available for sale anywhere, even if only in a book? Anthony
  9. I had the privilege of meeting him briefly a few times over the years, and wish the obits could say that in addition to his many well-known accomplishments, he seemed always to be just the nicest guy.
  10. This talk about what Charisse is wearing in the "Dancing in the Dark" number makes me smile. I watched this movie a couple years ago with a female friend, and her first comment after the number was over was, "I want that skirt!" And I guess I'd always noticed how attractive it is, too. Interesting how something so simple can make such a difference. Anyway, it's a wonderful number, once of the very best of the Astaire duets. (My other favorite part of the movie is the timpani player.)
  11. I didn't get to see it, but tonight at ABT somebody told me that the Sutton Foster character is based on Heather Watts?
  12. They're available only to libraries, so pass this information on to your librarian! Full press release here.
  13. (Sorry everybody! I realize now that the article by Croce, which I wasn't able to get to at the time dirac posted the link and so only just now read, actually addressed the very subject of the songs introduced by Astaire.) While it's true that his dancing was what made Astaire a star, I think Gershwin must have recognized him as possibly the ideal vessel for his songs. Astaire could sing presentably (certainly better than Rogers) and moreover was one of those rare performers who could deliver a song straight up and as naturally as if he were speaking--a definitive statement, as it were; but then he could elaborate on that, highlight the jazzy sophistication of the music alone, by dancing it and turning it into everybody's fantasy of glamour and wit and romance. Given that kind of treatment, is it any wonder that so many of the songs Astaire introduced did go on to become standards? And could be that given the unadorned way Astaire sang the songs, it left the door open for more cultivated singers to re-record them in their own unique style.
  14. Actually, those comments are even easier to incorporate into computerized catalogs, though they weren't always in the early days of conversion. And many library catalogs nowadays also give users the ability to write comments and reviews of items in the Library. (They never were supposed to write on the old catalog cards!) As somebody who has spent thousands of hours over many years at NYPL and other research libraries, I'd say that both the quantity and the quality of information available in WorldCat and individual library catalogs as compared to the old card catalogs is fantastically high, and in the last ten years or so has only gotten better and better. However--and this is a big qualification--the web interface for most libraries' catalogs is just terrible, and they all seem getting worse (as at NYPL, where they seem to be catering to the children in preference to the adults). People in love with technology for technology's sake seem to want to treat catalogs as toys rather than tools. The librarians themselves complain bitterly about this, so I have no idea why it's happening. If you're doing a lot of research, I recommend asking the librarian for information about getting telnet access to the catalog. It gives you exactly the same information, but this now old-fashioned format actually makes searching the catalog a lot easier.
  15. Since I know them, I can tell you this: The staff is very demoralized. Their numbers have been reduced probably by at least half in the last ten years, thus each one's work load has increased proportionally, and they are paid shockingly badly; yet they care deeply about what they do but must watch as the NYPL system is dismantled to the point where it can barely function as the great research institution it once was. I don't mean to defend the unhelpfulness or rudeness one sometimes has to put up with. But a little understanding and pity is in order. Also, remember, if they fired these people nobody at all will replace them. Yes, and buying them is exactly what you are supposed to do, right? Or, if a score is in the public domain, nine times out of ten you can find it free on the web. The Music Division is a research collection. The materials are meant to be used on the premises, for study, for writing your dissertation, for learning, for exploring. It is one of the world's premiere music collections, vast and deep: no matter what your subject is, you will never come to the end of it using that collection. How did they get such a collection? It is their mission to obtain one--one!--copy of every score and book they can get their hands on. They then must preserve that one copy in perpetuity--forever and ever, until the world ends. Now, imagine if they just let everybody come in and slap any old thing on the copy machines. In fact, they do allow a certain amount of this, but the item must in good condition and able to survive the process. It must also be in the public domain. If NYPL let everybody photocopy copyrighted materials, publishers would not be so generous in donating their materials to them. And NYPL would be sued into oblivion. (ASCAP's offices are right across the street.) Criticisms of rudeness and ineptness are fair (believe me, I know all about it), but please don't also criticize the librarians when they do exactly what they need to do.