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szymanowski

Balanchine DVD - Chabrier music??

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Greetings all:

Can anyone give me the name of the piano music used when the narrator talks about Balanchine's ballet Cotillon (from the American Masters DVD...Part 1)? I have a list of all the Chabrier music used for the ballet & I bought all the sheet music and sight-read all of it, but none of it matches what I heard on the DVD!

PLEASE HELP!

Thanks!

-Szymanowski

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w/o double checking my sense of this dilemma, i think it's true that the musical soundtrack for the PBS-made docu is more or less random: the tracks under the various and often brief clips are not necessarily matched to the footage, so far as i can recall.

so if you've researched this ballet and know your music and can't find a 'match' here i suspect this is b/c the music you're hearing on the vid isn't nec. that connected to the ballet itself.

alas, there are no commercial vids of the joffrey (or any other) reconstruction of COTILLON. there was a program by EYE-ON-DANCE in the NYC area (no longer on the air) pegged to hodson and archer's work on this ballet; it included some clips of the ballet too, which was filmed w/ sound. (the BALANCHINE docu shows a silent clip to which sound was 'added' - as i say, perhaps arbitrarily.)

here's the NYPL cat. entry for the tv prog: 29 min. : sd. color

Eye on dance ; 268

Produced by ARC Videodance as part of the television series Eye on dance. Recorded on location in New York on October 26, 1988 in New York. Telecast on November 10, 1988. Producers: Celia Ipiotis and Jeff Bush. Video director: Richard Sheridan. Program director: Celia Ipiotis. Technical director: Jeff Bush. Host: Celia Ipiotis.

SUMMARY: Dance historian Millicent Hodson and art historian Kenneth Archer discuss their recent reconstruction of George Balanchine's Cotillon (first performed in 1932) for the Joffrey Ballet. They note Robert Joffrey's belief in the significance due to its transitional position in the development of Balanchine's style. They describe the close collaborative effort of Balanchine, the designer Christian Bérard, and Boris Kochno, who wrote the scenario, and talk about the ballet's sense of mystery, symbolism, and fashion. They recount how they reconstructed the ballet, primarily with the help of Tamara Toumanova, as well as Alexandra Danilova, Tamara Stepanova, Irina Baronova, and others. In conclusion, they discuss some aspects of Balanchine's choreography that were revealed during their research.

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Hello!

Thank you so much for your reply! I was afraid that the music was just random - but I was still sort of hoping that the clip of the the ballet had the appropriate Chabrier music accompanying it.....Ugh, I'm so disappointed!!!

Just seeing that little snippet of Cotillon (with that charming, nostalgic piano music) makes me terribly sad that there isn't a recording of a reconstruction somewhere out there.

I wish someone long ago had hypnotized Balanchine & the surviving dancers to suss out their memories about this ballet when it was fresh in their minds.....ah well.... :blush:

Thank you for taking the time for such a thorough reply - I *so* appreciate it!

-Szymanowski

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Bourree Fantasque?

Marche Joyeuse (1888); Bourrée Fantasque (1891); Prélude from the opera Gwendoline (1885), Féte Polonaise from the comic opera Le Roi Malgré Lui (The Reluctant King) (1887) by Emmanuel Chabrier

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Hi!

The music I heard from the DVD sounds like it's played with four-hands one piano (or maybe four-hands two pianos?) Do you think it could be a *transcription* of music from one of Chabrier's operas, as you mentioned (Gwendoline or Le Roi Malgré Lui)? I don't have the vocal scores for either opera unfortunately. And sadly, I already played through Marche Joyeuse & Bourrée Fantasque and couldn't find the music for which I was hoping.

(I hope, atleast, that the music from the DVD is by Chabrier...if it's by a different French composer, then I'm gonna have a really hard time tracking it down! Argh!)

It's very bad that the director of the program just put in music & didn't credit it (that seems really inappropriate to me!) I felt like the music accompanied the footage of the ballet so well - it fit perfectly, IMHO.

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll definitely try to get my hands on some vocal scores & recordings of the Chabrier operas!

My quest continues.....

-Szymanowski

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i have now looked at my videocassette of the balanchine biog. prog and can say that to the best of my recollection the chabrier piano accompanyment scoring the segment(s) showing the silent-film footage of COTILLON are Chabrier, but they are not from COTILLON itself but from BOURREE FANTASQUE - specifically the 'fete polonaise' [see listing(s) below] that scores the BOURREE's third and final, climactic movement.

here is some of data from the NYPL dance coll. cat. about Balanchine and Chabrier - the first of these notes a LP in the library's holdings:

Bourrée fantasque; ballet.

Vox PL 9320. [1955]

1 s. : 33.3 rpm. microgroove. ; 12 in.

Notes :Arranged for orchestra.

:New York City Ballet Orchestra; Leon Barzin, conductor.

:Duration: 22 min., 5 sec.

CONTENTS.--Marche joyeuse.--Bourrée fantasque.--Gwendoline (Interlude).--Fête polonaise.

Cotillon : Chor: George Balanchine; mus: Emmanuel Chabrier, orchestrated by Chabrier & Vittorio Rieti; lib: Boris Kochno; scen & cos: Christian Bérard. First perf: Monte Carlo, Théâtre de Monte Carlo, Apr 12, 1932; Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo.//Revival: New York, City Center Theater, Oct 26, 1988; Joffrey Ballet; reconstructed & staged by Millicent Hodson; reconstruction and design consultant for scenery and costumes: Kenneth Archer; cos: John David Ridge after Bérard; lighting: Thomas Skelton.

Trois valses romantiques

Chor: George Balanchine; mus: Emmanuel Chabrier (orchestrated by Mottl); cos: Barbara Karinska; lighting: Ronald Bates. First perf: New York, State Theater, Apr 6, 1967, New York City Ballet

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Thank you so much!!!!

I wonder why that information wasn't included on the insert for the DVD...

Mystery solved! I will now track down the sheet music for Fête polonaise and a video-recording of Bourrée fantasque. I'm thrilled! :smilie_mondieu:

Thanks again!

-Szymanowski

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i'm afraid you'll not likely find any video recording of BOURREE FANTASQUE - as w/ COTILLON, BOURREE FANTASQUE has not been filmed for commercial release. I don't even think that there is silent footage of this Chabrier work, as is the case w/ COTILLON.

even though many more companies have performed BOURREE F. than have done COTILLON, it hasn't been filmed to the best of my knowledge, except, of course for in-house records per company: besides New York City Ballet, London Festival, if mem. serves, Boston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre have all danced this work. if i had any influence i'd lobby for the work to be in active rep somewhere, year after year.

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Oh, hehe....thanks for the "heads up". It saves me from endless hours of scavenging through Amazon.com!

Now I'm beginning to feel the downside of loving something that isn't widespread like American Idol (yuck): It's so difficult to get DVDs of cultural programs like ballets & operas that I love (recently I e-mailed PBS & asked them when they might release concerts that I had seen on TV to DVD. They replied that they wouldn't since they there's no profit in it. There would have to be very big "stars" in the performance for them to consider such a venture.) END RANT.

So I guess I'll have to arrange a ballet travel tour in the (hopefully) near future!

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New York City Ballet, London Festival, if mem. serves, Boston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre have all danced this work. if i had any influence i'd lobby for the work to be in active rep somewhere, year after year.
Go South, young man! Miami City Ballet is doing it (with Pas de Dix and Edward Villella's "The Fox-Trot: Dancing in the Dark") in February-March:

West Palm Beach, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts: Feb. 15-17

Fort Lauderdale, Broward Center for the Performing Arts: Feb. 22-24

Miami, Adrienne Arsht (formerly Carnival) Center for the Performing Arts: Feb. 29 - March 2

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i'm afraid you'll not likely find any video recording of BOURREE FANTASQUE - as w/ COTILLON, BOURREE FANTASQUE has not been filmed for commercial release. I don't even think that there is silent footage of this Chabrier work, as is the case w/ COTILLON.

even though many more companies have performed BOURREE F. than have done COTILLON, it hasn't been filmed to the best of my knowledge, except, of course for in-house records per company: besides New York City Ballet, London Festival, if mem. serves, Boston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre have all danced this work. if i had any influence i'd lobby for the work to be in active rep somewhere, year after year.

Bourree Fantasque may be performed more now! It gave us all a real jolt saturday at Lincoln Center as danced by the Miami City Ballet. It had not yet been reviewed, and my guess is not many knew what was coming up. If I might quote from today's (monday's) Alastair Macaulay review:

The exhilarating production of “Bourrée Fantasque,” staged by Susan Pilarre, is a special triumph. Despite being choreographed here for New York City Ballet and despite brief-lived stagings by that company, American Ballet Theater and School of American Ballet in the last 35 years, this has become one of the Balanchine classics least known in this city. Set to three dance-filled scores by Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-94), it moves from comic absurdity, via coolly ceremonious romance, to dazzling ebullience. There’s a dash of crazy intoxication to the whole ballet that’s entirely insidious.

Even if you think you know how exciting a Balanchine massed-ranks finale can be, the one that ends “Bourrée” proves yet more intense than others, with astounding shifts of geometric formations. There’s one ultra-ebullient sequence where no fewer than four concentric rings of dancers are all moving to, fro, in and out and around, while a ballerina at the center (the fabulously fearless Nathalia Arja) is bursting into the air in lifts like a champagne cork. A moment later, they’re all arrayed in vertical lines, moving with no less energy.

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You know, if I were her, I'd get this embroidered on a pillow.

"the fabulously fearless Nathalia Arja"

But more to the point, I'm thrilled that this ballet is getting another production, and like the rest of us, hope it leads to more. Perhaps the Trust can beef up its work here, and encourage companies that are looking to add more Balanchine to their repertories, to take on these distinctive works. The Joffrey used to have that kind of "conservation through performance" philosophy as part of their mission -- they seem to have stepped away from it for now, but other companies and organizations need to take that on.

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