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Mark Dery

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Everything posted by Mark Dery

  1. My pleasure, and thanks for the correction; good to know.
  2. Thanks so much for posting, Bart; wonderful stuff. And your comments frame Gorey's in an illuminating way.
  3. AlbanyGirl: See posts #61-#63 in "Remembering Patricia McBride." If you want to delve deeper, see Gorey's remarks on the subject in the ballet-related interviews, especially Tobi Tobias's for Dance magazine (I believe it's Dance) in Ascending Peculiarity, a collection of interviews with Gorey.
  4. Just for fun: I recently discovered two photographs of Gorey I thought would be of interest to devotees of the NYCB, or Gorey, or both (and how can anyone here not be both? ;>). One is purportedly a Dance magazine snap of Gorey in the State theater http://25.media.tumb...kwdwto1_400.jpg; the other, from The World of Lincoln Kirstein, captures Gorey at a rehearsal http://books.google....anchine&f=false. If anyone has any inside information on either, I'm all ears.
  5. How awful about the loss of NYCB at Saratoga!
  6. Thanks for jogging my memory regarding the RG quote, which does indeed appear on this site and certainly has an authoritative ring to it. (There's no arguing with firsthand knowledge of Gorey, acquired over 25---was it?---years of friendship!) Interestingly, while I gather from RG and published sources that Gorey esteemed Adams and McBride highly (highest?), he seems to have had something like an actual friendship with Kent. To be sure, he refers to her almost as frequently (if memory serves---and it may not!) in his interviews. Having just spent a delightful hour or so on the phone with McBride, I *can* say with some authority that she knew Gorey only as a worshipper from afar, although his fur-coated, tennis-shoed presence at performances and rehearsals was unmissable, if there is such a word. One thing that *is* certain is Gorey's status as conscientious objector to the cult of Suzanne Farrell. He was famously not a fan! (In the Gorey interview collection, _Ascending Peculiarity_, he does admit to having given her a chance, initially, but says she succumbed to "mannerisms.")
  7. You could say that Balanchine chose Farrell to set that standard and exemplify his approach. Which is not to take anything from McBride, but she didn't hold that kind of symbolic role in the company or the Balanchine repertory, as important as she was to both. McBride was Edward Gorey's favorite ballerina. I hope the question isn't impertinent, but do you know this from having spoken with Gorey, or do you have it from a member of his circle of devotees who sat with him during intermissions, or---? He *was* devoted to McBride, I'm sure, but in interviews gives the impression of being no less devoted to Allegra Kent. He also mentions Diana Adams, on occasion, and---less frequently---Jillana, Helgi Tomasson, and Maria Calegari. In any event, I only know this from interviews with McBride, Jillana, Villella, Peter Anastos, and others, and from burrowing deep into his interviews. Curious to know if he or someone told McBride was his favorite.
  8. Marvelous; many thanks for that. I'll run it to ground. In an odd coincidence, I wrote about Morris's "Hard Nut" (his screwloose, New Wave take on The Nutcracker), for ELLE magazine, of all places, back in---what? The '90s? If memory serves, the set design was by the determinedly grotesque graphic-novel artist Charles Burns.
  9. Kind of you to say, thanks. Yes, the McDermott book is superb: the photos are moody studies of Gorey's house, shot within a week or so of his death, and the accompanying text (by the photographer, who had acted in Gorey's plays---"entertainments," he called them) is thoughtful, at times sharply insightful.
  10. Thanks, Albany Girl. Teachout is right: Gorey's balletomania was legendary, the stuff of true obsession. In 30 years of going to the ballet, he claimed not to have missed a single performance. Shortly after Mr. B died in 1983, Gorey---in what one critic wittily called "an act of aestheticism worthy of Oscar Wilde"---moved to the Cape, where he had always summered, for good. Without Balanchine, Gorey reasoned, New York's meager charms (he'd never really liked the place) had little hold on him.
  11. Many thanks, Helene and Bart for that gracious welcome. Here's hoping members of Ballet Alert! who remember EG through close encounters or friendship do come forward to share their insights and anecdotes with me, as you suggest. I'm happy to conduct interviews by e-mail or phone, whichever people prefer. The Norton show you mention, Bart, was Elegant Enigmas, the large-format, handsomely produced catalog for which I thoroughly recommend (http://www.norton.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=exhibitions.details&content_id=119). The accompanying essays are illuminating, and the images are, of course, extraordinary.
  12. Hello, all. I've joined Ballet Alert!, with the kind permission of the moderators, to listen in on the richly informative discussions about ballet in general and the NYCB in specific but most immediately to post what's known in the scribbling trade as an Author's Call. I'm writing a biography of the artist, writer, and legendary balletomane Edward Gorey for Little, Brown. (Details here: http://www.mediabist...iography_b20752) Although I've read with fascination all of the Gorey-related discussion threads on this board, I did want to invite any members of this community who have a Gorey story to tell---whether you were a member of his intermission circle at the NYCB, a dancer he admired, or just someone who had a passing but memorable encounter with the man---to please consider contacting me via e-mail (markdery AT markdery DOT com) or via this site, if you'd prefer. If you're willing to share them, I'd love to hear your anecdotes and insights. I've already interviewed former New Yorker dance critic Arlene Croce, choreographer Peter Anastos, and NYCB veterans Edward Villella, Patricia McBride, Daniel Levans, and Michael Vernon. Thus, anyone who decides to share his or her Gorey anecdotes with me will be in good company! Thanks for taking the time to read this rather lengthy note. (I do hope I haven't violated any rules of etiquette by posting this Author's Call; if so, please let me know and I'll remove it, or post it wherever everyone thinks best.) Yours sincerely, M. Dery
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