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Lynette H

Credits on cast sheets for Balanchine ballets - a query

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The recent run of Jewels at Covent Garden has made me ponder what the conventions are for crediting performers and staff for Balanchine ballets. When Symphony in C is staged at Covent Garden, it seems that all the corps names are listed in full on the cast sheet. But not so for Jewels. We get the names of the principals only. A pity really, as one would like to see the names for the four men in Rubies. Does this vary according to who is setting the work ? In other companies it is usual to get more detailed credits ?

In previous runs of Jewels the stager has appeared on the first night for the curtain calls, but that didn’t happen this time, I think. (I’m sure we saw Patricia Neary before). Is it usual for the stager to appear ?

The Jewels credits given are as follows. Emeralds, Staging Elyse Bourne, principal coaching Elyse Bourne, Ballet Mistress Samantha Raine. Rubies: Staging Patricia Neary, Principal coaching Patricia Neary & Christopher Saunders, Ballet Master Christopher Saunders. Diamonds: Staging Elyse Borne, Principal coaching Elyse Bourne and Christopher Saunders, Dance Notator Anna Trevien. These don’t seem to have changed much since the last run in 2011, except Sam Raine replaced Ursula Hageli as Ballet Mistress.

I understand that all works are notated at Covent Garden, including new-to-the-company Balanchine acquisitions. I have a feeling we were told once that when the stager for one of these pieces changed, they had to notate the differences in the setting. I think that might have been Diamonds. (The Royal first took on Jewels in 2007 or so).

Forgive me if this sounds a bit nerdy, but I am curious why some roles are thought to mention an acknowledgement and others aren’t.

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from general recall but not specific checking, both NYCB and ABT tend to name all the dancers in program credits per performance, even corps de ballet names, tho' o'course only the leading or solo dancers get noted in a slip or announcement if the planned cast needs changing after the program has been printed, so checking back in a program of a performance one didn't see or that one didn't personally cross reference doesn't guarantee that the dancers named were the dancers who actually appeared.

i suspect the appearance of a stager at a ballet's first outing is dependent on whether or not the stager is still on the premises (and o'course acc'd to company tradition).

Borne and/or Neary might not have been on hand in the instance of these recent JEWELS performances.

also if a company has an arrangement with the holder of a ballet's copyright saying that after the official staging is done the troupe may rely on its records and in-house ballet masters and mistresses, then the initial stager need not be on hand for subsequent revivals.

i think the Balanchine Trust licenses a ballet for finite period during which the company is meant to maintain the staging, and then, after a specified time, must again re-negotiate the license and the staging stipulations, etc.

i'm not aware of too many US companies notating stagings acc'd to formal notation for their archives. to the best of my understanding neither ABT nor NYCB has a resident choreologist.

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