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Part of the festival is announced: Jewels, July 20-23, 2017, with three companies: Paris, NYCB, Bolshoi:

http://lincolncenterfestival.org/

 

I wish Paris and/or Bolshoi would arrive early or stay later with additional programming. At least from today's live Facebook announcement, it sounds like the entire festival will be announced March 29, so that's still possible, I suppose.

 

The live press conference that just ended will appear shortly on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LincolnCenterNYC/

 

 

Edited by California

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The Bolshoi had previously announced that it would also be performing Maillot's The Taming of the Shrew on July 26-30.

http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/performances/3122/

 

It's kind of a tour on the cheap, what with splitting duties in Jewels and given that Shrew has a fairly small cast, and you can also be pretty sure that the soloists who will be appearing in Jewels are the ones who also dance in Shrew,

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I wonder how they will organize the Jewels performances.  PNB participated in a version a couple years ago with Nevada Ballet Theater and Ballet West -- each company did a different section of the work  (BW - Emeralds, NBT - Rubies, PNB - Diamonds)

 

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1 minute ago, sandik said:

I wonder how they will organize the Jewels performances.  PNB participated in a version a couple years ago with Nevada Ballet Theater and Ballet West -- each company did a different section of the work  (BW - Emeralds, NBT - Rubies, PNB - Diamonds)

 

At the live press conference on Facebook, they explained some of this. For the opening night, POB does Emeralds, NYCB Rubies, Bolshoi Diamonds. But different configurations for the rest of the run.

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There are interesting, important ballet productions that have not made it to NY -- at least some of which would surely sell very well, though presumably expensive to produce (Ratmansky Swan Lake with either La Scala or Zurich Ballet for example)...And major companies that are too little seen in NY or elsewhere in U.S. In comparison, I confess this seems like a stunt to me. I am sure it will be very interesting and enjoyable to compare performances of different sections of Jewels by different companies, but even if I lived in NY and could see everything I wouldn't be altogether thrilled. (As it is I don't think I can justify a trip to NY to see this...it may be a "tour on the cheap" for them, but it's just as expensive for me.) I have long wanted to see the Maillot Taming of the Shrew--and may try to come up for that. but I'm still hard put to really understand bringing the Bolshoi to NY to do that one ballet plus Jewels--touring costs notwithstanding. Though I guess that must be the explanation. I've never thought I would be a better director of a ballet company than even the most maligned of today's directors, but I do sometimes wish I were in charge of ballet offerings at the Lincoln Center Festival.

Edited by Drew

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The different configurations for Jewels may be an attempt to get people to attend more than one performance. This does come across as a bit of a stunt and a cost-saving measure. They don't even have to import New York City Ballet. But as Drew points out, for visitors the costs of tickets, flights, hotels and meals won't be any smaller.

 

Reaction to Maillot's Taming of the Shrew has been mixed, and some people are very enthusiastic about it, but it really sticks in my craw, so I couldn't see myself boarding a flight to see this. I've seen the POB Jewels only on film, but I would rather not see the company dance only a third of it. If the POB were to bring something really wonderful in addition, I might reconsider, but for the moment, I'll pass.

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This does seem a less interesting project than the festival usually presents -- I wonder what the state of affairs is.

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I'm not clear about whether the corps that will appear in each section of the ballet will come from the same company that is dancing the leading roles.  For example, if the leads of Diamonds are from the Bolshoi, does that mean that the entire corps used for Diamonds will also be from the Bolshoi, or will they just use the home team NYCB dancers to save money?

 

I also found it very strange that no information on any other offerings of the Festival were provided.  Clearly they are trying to raise money for Jewels as the centerpiece of the Festival

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The whole thing sounds like a crazy gimmick with no sound artistic intent.  I live in NYC and won't go to see it.  There is too much else to spend money on!

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Of late, we've been lucky to see even one classical ballet company programmed for Lincoln Center Festival. So, if some embattled balletomane in the planning office has had to resort to a little ballet-can-be-cross-cultural-non-19th-century-and-splashy gimmickry to justify getting more companies on the calendar, I'm fine with that.

 

Yes, I'd prefer to see a longer run by one of these companies in a ballet not usually seen in NYC. But if that isn't possible, I think this is a very cool alternative option:  I'll be there, if I'm on that coast.

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6 hours ago, choriamb said:

Yes, I'd prefer to see a longer run by one of these companies in a ballet not usually seen in NYC. But if that isn't possible, I think this is a very cool alternative option:  I'll be there, if I'm on that coast.

 

Agreed!   I've never seen the Paris Opera Ballet live, and I've only seen the Bolshoi once.  So I don't care what they bring, I'm just happy they are coming to NYC.  I will definitely be there.

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I think it's a fantastic idea.  Mr B after all envisioned Emeralds as a tribute to French style, Rubies to The Americans, and Diamonds to the (Vaganovian) Russians.  This will be the first opportunity to see all 3 styles on one bill of Jewels.  

 

Wish I could be there, will be something extraordinary, even if I would prefer Mariinsky to get the proper style for Diamonds.  Hopefully the prima Diamond will be Vagonova trained.  I do enjoy the Bolshoi Diamonds costumes, and the POB Emeralds costumes are Lacroix's most successful.  

Edited by Jayne

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On 12/1/2016 at 2:38 AM, sandik said:

This does seem a less interesting project than the festival usually presents -- I wonder what the state of affairs is.

 

The press release (or was it the NY Times story?) mentioned that the multi company Jewels was being done as a commemoration of the ballet's 50th anniversary - it debuted at the State Theater in 1967. As such, I think its a great idea.

 

I will definitely go to a few. I'd love to see Smirnova & Zakharovas in Diamonds, and I'm sure POB will be lovely in Emeralds but based on their DVD I'm not so keen on seeing them in the other 2/3.

 

Edited to add: Just saw this in Dance magazine - POB will dance Emeralds for all performances, NYCB & Bolshoi will alternate Rubies & Diamonds. NYCB orchestra will play for all performances:

http://dancemagazine.com/news/coming-soon-epic-jewels-ever/

 

It doesn't specifically say whether it will be only the leads or the full corps from each company but it sounds like each company will bring their own corps & soloists. It would be really weird to see POB & Bolshoi leads with NYCB corps - the stylistic differences would be very jarring.

Edited by nysusan

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On 12/3/2016 at 6:55 PM, Jayne said:

I think it's a fantastic idea.  Mr B after all envisioned Emeralds as a tribute to French style, Rubies to The Americans, and Diamonds to the (Vaganovian) Russians.  This will be the first opportunity to see all 3 styles on one bill of Jewels. 

 

Very true -- this is a chance to see how that plays out in a single performance.

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Intriguing and suggestive but not exactly Balanchine's (I think) vision if one believes a 'tribute' made for his own dancers is not a literal recreation.  Which wouldn't be possible in any case as the styles themselves have greatly morphed over the decades. 

 

But, say, Suzanne Farrell was nothing like most Russian ballerinas; her seeming spontaneity quite different, in particular, from most great Vaganova trained dancers.  That doesn't mean this won't be interesting or enjoyable. (And I have loved video of Vaganova trained dancers in Diamonds.) But in many ways these ballets  and Jewels as a whole seem to me about memory; they are abstractions or stylizations of national styles as understood by Balanchine, not imitations or reconstructions of those styles. 

 

Perhaps the performances will turn out to be revelatory in their way--but I am, for now, a bit skeptical.

Edited by Drew
Edited for greater precision

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Indeed, there's little inherently compatible between Balanchine and Vaganova training. Vaganova began teaching in 1920, and spent decades developing her methodology. Balanchine left the USSR in 1924 and developed his style abroad. They may have come out of the same school and both studied with Pavel Gerdt, but subsequently their styles developed quite independently. If Ratmansky, after having studied the Stepanov notation of Petipa's ballets, is to be believed, Petipa's truest heir is Ashton. Perhaps Balanchine is his own brilliant, unique thing.

 

I've seen the Bolshoi perform Jewels, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't revelatory. I thought its "Emeralds" came across best. Surprisingly, "Diamonds" somehow lacked grandeur, and I don't think the Bolshoi has anyone who can come close to Sara Mearns in that ballet. I don't particularly like the idea of a "mix and match" Jewels, but then I'm not terribly fond of the gala format in general. If I had my druthers, I'd rather see each company perform the piece in its entirety on successive nights. That said, I think a lot of the success of these performances will depend on the conductor and the orchestra, because when the ballet falls short, the fault often lies in the pit.

 

I hope it isn't a violation of board rules, but I can't help but think of a conversation I had with a Russian principal who doesn't dance "Diamonds," and I was very curious as to why this was--because I suspect the hypothetical interpretation would be gorgeous. I made my case for the ballet as best I could, but it turned out, sadly, that despite exceling in the after-Petipa repertoire, especially the Tchaikovsky ballets, this dancer felt no affinity for "Diamonds." Just not interested. Those of us raised simultaneously on after-Petipa and Balanchine may see all sorts of connections between them, but they're not necessarily felt by others. Sigh. But I still hope.

Edited by volcanohunter

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Mulling this program over, I think what I would really love to see would be an evening of Jewels as it's scheduled, and then another shared evening, with each company performing something that is uniquely theirs.  I sincerely doubt I'll be seeing this any time soon, but a  girl can dream...

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On 12/7/2016 at 0:28 AM, volcanohunter said:

If Ratmansky, after having studied the Stepanov notation of Petipa's ballets, is to be believed, Petipa's truest heir is Ashton. Perhaps Balanchine is his own brilliant, unique thing.

 

 

:offtopic:It's an interesting notion. I'm a huge fan of Ratmansky's choreography--he has restored a lot my own personal excitement about classical ballet as a contemporary art form. But I'm hard put to go along with several of his pronouncements about ballet history.

 

I guess I believe the notion that Ashton is Petipa's truest heir is true for Ratmansky, true to his vision of the tradition -- a vision which is ostensibly based on the Stepanov notations but may well also have something to do with his own aesthetic.

 

Even with Balanchine's more experimental and modernist works one can still make the argument he is carrying on the Petipa tradition as much as any other choreographer since tradition is not about static imitation but about development, revision, and even, occasionally, rebellion. It's about catching the impulse behind Petipa as much as doing what he did. Another way to put it would be that Balanchine's works develop certain tendencies of the classical tradition in order to arrive at something new. Ashton likewise. For me, being one's own brilliant, unique thing--which Balanchine certainly is and Ashton too--is part of that process.

 

(Uh...if I wanted to argue against myself I would probably turn to the variations for the seasons' in Ashton's Cinderella and the final Act of Sylvia. But though sections of both of these full length works seem to be Ashton channeling Sleeping Beauty in an almost preternatural way, in the big picture of ballet history I'm hesitant to see the choreographer of Enigma Variations as a 'truer' heir of Petipa than the choreographer of Theme and Variations.)

 

Edited by Drew

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I take your example of Enigma v Theme, but if you think about the technical point of view, look at Ashton and his Cechetti influence -- Balanchine is certainly working in response to Petipa's classicism, but he extends it both literally and metaphorically.  Ashton, with his more self-referential use of the body, could be seen as working more clearly in that tradition.

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I watched a bunch of RAD classes a long time ago, and was astonished at how self-contained even young students were.

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[Continuing OT]

 

 Interesting about Ashton and Cechetti and the upper body, and being an heir to Petipa that way.

 

I think of Balanchine continuing Petipa architecturally. Compare the corps of Kingdom of the Shades to the corps in Symphony in C with the long lines and diagonals, and how everyone alternatingly faces one direction, then the other, continually changing register. I don't think Ashton had that command of space, it was more a kind of balletic intimacy with him, maybe it was a cross of Petipa and a bit of English music hall for leavening. It definintely depends on a certain "high" or slightly ironical sensibility to bring off.

 

But Balanchine is both an heir to Petipa and to the anit-Petipa  Soviet cubo-constructivism and biometrics of the 1920's,. You see that in Agon (the pas de deux half on the floor) and The Four Temperaments (the opening figures which come directly from Balanchine's New Ballet work) and in general how things quickly flick unexpectedly from one figuration to another. Petipa and Meyerhold are like his estranged parents or grandparents, and he's sometimes loyal to one and sometimes loyal to the other and sometimes, when no one's looking, he mixes them up together.

Edited by Quiggin
missing sentence

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Quiggin, Sandik, Drew, et al:  Many thanks for this very articulate discussion of the influences on Balanchine and Ashton.  The more Balanchine I watch, the more I see both Petipa and the early post-revolutionary Russians, in whatever mix he chose for a particular piece.

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16 hours ago, Quiggin said:

I think of Balanchine continuing Petipa architecturally. Compare the corps of Kingdom of the Shades to the corps in Symphony in C with the long lines and diagonals, and how everyone alternatingly faces one direction, then the other, continually changing register. I don't think Ashton had that command of space, it was more a kind of balletic intimacy with him, maybe it was a cross of Petipa and a bit of English music hall for leavening. It definintely depends on a certain "high" or slightly ironical sensibility to bring off.

 

Good point about the ensemble work.  I think, though, that there's more of an argument to be made for the Ashton/Petipa connection in the sense of intimacy and aplomb in the partner work -- though he could tie knots with the best of them (Agon!), Balanchine often had more air in between his couples. 

 

(in some ways this might relate to the common criticism of Wheeldon's partnering, that the men can't ever leave the women alone)

 

Quote

But Balanchine is both an heir to Petipa and to the anit-Petipa  Soviet cubo-constructivism and biometrics of the 1920's,. You see that in Agon (the pas de deux half on the floor) and The Four Temperaments (the opening figures which come directly from Balanchine's New Ballet work) and in general how things quickly flick unexpectedly from one figuration to another. Petipa and Meyerhold are like his estranged parents or grandparents, and he's sometimes loyal to one and sometimes loyal to the other and sometimes, when no one's looking, he mixes them up together.

 

 

Hadn't thought of Meyerhold, you smartypants!

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