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Everything posted by DanielBenton

  1. Many thanks for all the great information on Ballet Alert; thanks for all your work on it.
  2. And I will leave it to others more knowledgeable than I am to discuss the intricacies and beauty of partnering.
  3. Try approaching any ballet movement this way: The music is the critical element - what is the dancer doing to enhance that? As Edward Villella said, "in ballet, music IS movement." If you keep in your consciousness BOTH music and movement, you will quickly see that every dancer is different in how well their movements coalesce with the music (note I didn't say "match" the music - most dancers with really fine musicality will "play" with the music, making it even more interesting, a la Balanchine's dictum). Or, a short answer would be, yoga and other physical activities have nothing in particular to do with music; ballet does.
  4. I agree; Spectral Evidence is kind of trashy and still enjoyable. Cage's music,rarely to be taken seriously, is at the core. The best part of Vespro is when the dancer puts his forearm down on the bass register of the piano, twice I think - then he puts his body onto the pianist.
  5. The Ballet Review issue just received (41.4 - Winter 2013-14, pp.4-6) has a review of Kendall's book byJay Rogoff. He pretty well dissects the strengths and weaknesses of the book and sums it up: "Kendall displays a touching protectiveness toward Ivanova and Balanchine, whom she familiarly calls 'Lidochka' and 'Georges'. While such intense affection for her subjects leads her into biographical fiction and skews her insights about his work, her obsessive devotion to both has yielded a major contribution to our understanding of the Russian nurture and development of Balanchine's genius."
  6. Thanks for pointing to Harss' review. She certainly gives a better feel for what it was like to be there and see it.
  7. I can't believe I find myself defending Macaulay (thank you Jack Reed) but I thought his review brought out (by way of his typical hypercritical style) some interesting aspects of Scarlett's work. I appreciated Macaulay's comments about the lack of music/dance coordination and also his overall impression of "intense but murky". I think his review was actually favorable (sort of) to Scarlett. Also, sitting through the first two pieces was kind of a penance to pay in order to see Scarlett's new piece.
  8. I agree with Pherank; Macaulay has changed his tone. More importantly, he is introducing aesthetic and artistic concepts for his readers to think about.
  9. As Ms. Ashley rightly points out, Balanchine-trained coaches just cannot entirely replicate what Balanchine did now that he is gone. Balanchine understood "families of gestures" [i think this is a paraphrase of what he said]. Thus he could substitute one gesture for another to suit a particular dancer. No one else can do that.
  10. Welcome and thanks for the blog. As a nascent Balanchine scholar I appreciated reading your blog entry.
  11. I would love to see these clips. I searched YouTube but came up empty. Any help? Thanks!
  12. Jack Reed, your apologia is noted. According to Wikipedia "the gods" may refer to the fact that the seats were very close to the theatre ceiling which was often painted with mythological characters. It jogged my memory of watching the great film Les Enfants du Paradis, in which Baptiste's true friends, the poor people, sat in "the gods".
  13. Carbro, very interesting comment about viewing Liebeslieder from the orchestra. I heartily agree it should be the GB theatre!
  14. I have sat in the fourth ring first row (seat AA1) at what used to be called the New York State Theatre and thought it was a great view, except that some detail was lost to my aging eyesight. I would reserve that seat on a subscription but they don't put the Fourth Ring on sale unless and until they need to.
  15. Sandik, thanks. I knew it had been introduced in another forum and wanted to make it an independent topic.
  16. A dissertation by Elizabeth Kattner-Ulrich at the Frei Universitat Berlin (2008) is titled: "The Early Life and Works of George Balanchine (1913-1928)." This thesis is available online and there is a link in Kattner's website "Elizabeth Kattner- Dance Artist". This is a very well-written and well-documented discussion of Balanchine and his contemporaries. In particular there is a discussion of every piece he was known to choreograph up to and including Apollo (1928). The chapter headings are: 1) Introduction 2) First Encounters at Theater School (1913-1920) 3) From Classical to Avant-garde: Early Soviet Influences 4) The Repertory of the Young Ballet (1921-1924) 5) The Bridge from East to West: The Tour of the Soviet Dancers (1924) 6) Choreographer for the Ballets Russes (1925-1927) 7) Apollo: The Final Transformation (1928) Also includes appendices: Summary of early works; Correspondence from George Balanchine to Serge Diaghilev, and The challenges of dance reconstruction and restaging. Well worth reading by anyone interested in Balanchine's early works and influences.
  17. Erick Hawkins once said (to paraphrase him): "If all you're doing is self- expressing, then you might as well just get off the stage".
  18. Thanks Stage Right for your comment. I think Kendall's book should be read together with Kattner-Ulrich's 2008 dissertation, which covers not only the pieces GB did before leaving Russia, but also the works he did after leaving. Both works have their strengths and together we hopefully get a more complete picture. Kattner-Ulrich also mentions Ivanova and her demise and makes a surmise about her influence on GB. Moreover, Kattner-Ulrich systematically discusses the influences on GB of Isadora Duncan, Kasian Goleizovsky, Fyodor Lopukhov and Diaghilev, and traces these influences in his pieces we know about up through Apollon Musagete
  19. I have read both Kattner-Ulrich's dissertation and Kendall's book and can state that Kattner-Ulrich's work is clear, sober, attributable research which is easy to read and understand. I would read the dissertation FIRST and then enjoy other speculative works for what they are. I guess Kendall was not aware of Kattner-Ulrich's dissertation when she wrote Lost Muse??
  20. Reading Kattner-UlrichI had a strange sense of deja vu, as if I were reading portions of Kendall without the speculative aspects.
  21. Pherank, many thanks for the link to Kattner-Ulrich's dissertation. Too bad this hasn't been widely advertised.
  22. Isn't this person sort of stating the obvious? Couldn't the same be said about a live musical performance or a theatrical performance of any kind?
  23. Having developed an interest in ballet only 3 years ago I of course missed Ms. Kent's live performances. But I have seen video of her in the 2nd movement of Symphony in C (from the infamous Berlin 1973 filming), and part of the pas de deux from Agon with Arthur Mitchell (with a german announcer's voice-over!). I thought her autobiography was also very interesting (and fun) to read.
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