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GNicholls

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About GNicholls

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Composer
  • City**
    Toronto
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    Canada
  1. I noticed this comment while reading my older posts. Thanks vagansmom for noting the Irish slip jig, which is new to me. Being a music theory teacher, just want to mention that 9/8 time is a compound metre, not a complex (irregular) one. In compound metre the top number of the time signature is always a multiple of 3. It shows how many subdivisions of the beat there are in each measure (here 9 8th-notes). In 9/8 metre the 9 subdivisions (8th-notes) are grouped into 3's. Here there are 3 groupings, each of 3 8th notes. Each grouping adds up to 1 beat, represented by a dotted note (here 3 bea
  2. I agree with Quiggin's points. With such an emotional subject, I feel that the director lost control of the tone of the film. Intentionally or not, to me it opened the tear ducts, frankly -- perhaps that's because I worked as a volunteer for our local March of Dimes organization during the 90's and 00's, and learned a lot about the early years of the Salk vaccine which were very tense indeed. The script didn't really present enough of Tanaquil Le Clerc as a dancer and artist for me -- it was about the person and her life story. As a non-ballet expert I could see some of her greatness in the
  3. An exhibit at the Design Exchange in Toronto on the history of design at the National Ballet of Canada runs July 11-September 2, 2012. See here: http://www.dx.org/index.cfm?PAGEPATH=Exhibitions&ID=42850
  4. Bart, I think you have a good point, that though it's obviously suited to dancing and to theatrical dancing, the Great C Major Symphony may be too rich, too full of subtleties of musical metre, harmony, melody, orchestration and texture that capture our attention and emotions to be a viable ballet. Also, the complete work is very long. So I think of it as a king of imaginary ballet, with imaginary "Petipa-choreographed" large ensembles that go on and on, almost hypnotically. Continuing in the Romanticizing direction, there's the long tradition of considering Schubert's very late works as bei
  5. I've seen several references on Ballet Talk to Franz Schubert's "Symphony No. 7" or "Symphony No. 9." These are the same piece, also called the Great C Major Symphony and now numbered as Symphony No. 9. But older sources and some more recent ones may use "No. 7." Actually No. 7 is a symphony Schubert sketched but never wrote. No. 8 is the famous two-movement Unfinished Symphony. No 9 is the completed four-movement Great C Major Symphony. Leonid Massine and Salvador Dali's Labyrinth (1941) was choreographed to the Great C Major, and William Forsythe's The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude (1996
  6. Undecametric. The Latin scholar here here hypothesizes "undecuple."
  7. Thanks for that, Mel. This music is so familiar that I was finally able to imagine in audio terms what one of these meters sounds like.Is there a way we can post audio links to illustrate our threads about music, just as we do with photos and videos on other threads? There's a good example of 5/4 time here. The Danse Générale from Ravel's Daphnis and Chloë. It's clear for counting off in 5 when the clarinet comes in at 0:56. Incidentally, the Philadelphia Orchestra is conducted at a reasonable tempo by the old-school master Wolfgang Sawallisch. Most conductors take this incomparable fina
  8. Not sure if this will yield any 5/4 waltzes, but there are plenty more examples of 5/4 metre in 19th-century classical music here. The search terms "quintuple metre" and "septuple metre" are useful. (By the way, what would 11/4 be called?!) To clarify my previous post, "irregular metre" means a metre whose subgrouping is not exclusively into 2's or into 3's, but rather is into different groups. Common examples are 5/4 (subgroups of 2+3 or 3+2) and 7/4 (subgroups 2+2+3 or 2+3+2 or 3+2+2). Subgroups may be of numbers other than 2 or 3 also. Like you, for these metres I prefer the terms "complex
  9. Does anyone have information about Elliott Carter's significant involvement in the early years of Ballet Caravan? Having long admired Carter as a rather cerebral composer I was surprised to learn recently that he was "musical advisor" for the troupe from 1935-1940. Some sources say "music director," which implies "conductor," but I'm not sure he did much conducting. Anyone know? He composed the score for Pocahontas (1936, 1939), choreographed by Lew Christensen. Some sources mention as well The Ball Room Guide (1937, chor. L. Christensen). Only suite from his last ballet The Minotaur (1947)is
  10. "Irregular metre" is just a traditional Western classical music theory term, maybe obsolete now, for metres that aren't duple or triple. "Mixed metres" is sometimes used when the metre changes frequently. I think the Slavic and Hungarian composers of the early- and mid-20th centuries, influenced by folk music, were the greatest metric innovators of their time in ballet music and indeed in classical music.
  11. There's an exciting and almost violent Finale in 5/4 time in Florentt Schmitt's ballet "The Tragedie of Salome," which featured Loie Fuller. Stravinsky was fascinated by this work, which is said to have influenced The Rite of Spring.
  12. I just listened to a new recording of La Tragedie de Salome by the Orchetre Metropolitain de Montreal conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin. What a beautiful score! My link
  13. I cannot recall other productions of this ballet other than those mention. The ballet was originally performed in 1907 by Loie Fuller. Schmitt revised the score for Natasha Trouhanova in 1912 which was choreographed by Nicholas Guerra. In 1913 the Diaghilev’s company staged a version with the choreography by Boris Romanov starring Tamara Karsarvina. There was a Later production by Serge Lifar. Thank you for the information!
  14. I'm also relatively new to ballet. My reaction to Black Swan was like my reaction to Hitchcock's Psycho which I also saw recently -- a completely drained feeling, followed by anger. Like the latter film Black Swan succeeds as a psycho-sexual thriller. One could stop there. However, I personally have a hunch (as a musician) that in his choice of subject matter Aronofsky is wrestling with Romanticism as well as (more than?) with ballet. Swan Lake is considered by many the high point of Russian Romantic ballet, which as revamped by Petipa-Ivanov and in later versions has remained at the pinna
  15. Exactly. For example I'm a seasoned four-star party general (though in my old age recovery takes longer) and I thought the scene where Nina and Lily are dancing with those two guys brilliantly captures the moment of full-on clubbing. Much more so than many movies "about" clubbing. I'm relatively new to the world of ballet and since "a little learning is a dangerous thing," I'm deadly. So watch out here come my comments. I watched Black Swan three times. When done well, I enjoy being bombarded with lots of stuff going on at once and in my opinion BS nails that, not only visually but in under
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