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About carterstephen

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    Ballet Alert!

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. I think that the Pennsylvania Ballet's "distinguished tradition," to quote Alastair Macaulay from his laudatory review last May, elevates the stature of the company at least in an intangible way. Barbara Weisberger founded the company with the support and encouragement of Balanchine and Kirstein and generous grants from the Ford Foundation gave it stability in the early years. More recently, Chris d'Amboise led the company through its dramatic and successful "Save the Ballet" campaign, so it has always had high-profile names associated with it.
  2. carterstephen

    Spring Season 2014

    I appreciate this site because of its serious discussion of ballet that tends to eschew gossip and politics. Not all dance lovers despise the Kochs. I'm grateful for all the private citizens who donate to the arts.
  3. Thanks for the notification! I do hope they bring up Catherine Littlefield's 1937 production, the first full-scale, full-length version presented in the U.S. Nearly all of the participants (dancers, designers etc.) were Americans.
  4. carterstephen

    Swan Lake

    I also saw the performance last night and, as a novice-watcher of NYCB, I'm happy to have my reactions confirmed by both Ceeszi and Abatt. Highlights: Mearns (great from the start but got even better as the night went on), Ulbricht, Ramasar and the delightful Pas de Quatre; lowlight for me was definitely Prince Siegfried, who, though appropriately statuesque, lacked charisma of any sort. I kept wondering how amazing the performance might have been if Mearns had a partner of equal pizazz. But it's easy to be critical and I was very happy to have been there!
  5. carterstephen

    RIP Seamus Heaney

    When I was a lowly 20-something public relations staff writer at Villanova University, I had the opportunity to interview Heaney for the school's alumni magazine. Even though I had never heard of him, it was made abundantly clear to me how important he was and I was nervous. Not to worry! After dinner at a professor's home (he attended, I didn't!) we sat in the living room by the fire and had a lovely time talking. He couldn't have been more warm and encouraging and the published interview turned out splendidly. I read that he was 74 at his death and I realized that I was probably the same age as his children.
  6. I'm working on a biography of Catherine and am looking forward to being in NYC from late August through mid December. Regarding the photo, I'm pretty certain that the women are as follows (from left to right): June Graham, Betty Kerns, Miriam Golden, Dania Krupska, Joan McCracken and Norma Gentner. The only man I can identify is Carl Littlefield--Catherine and Dorothie's youngest brother--who is second from left.