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Posts posted by DanielBenton

  1. I just watched the new blu-ray DVD of Napoli. There is a lot of new music, written by Louise Alenius, for Act II. The overall look is kind of west-side-story urban Italian. There are almost no program notes. I would like to hear what others who know this piece much better than I think about it.

  2. I think we are agreeable. Although I think Bernstein and Robbins for the most part were very fine artists, it brings to mind Erick Hawkins' great comment - because he believed that the role of the artist is to be like a high priest dispensing universal truths - he said, (to paraphrase), "if you're going to get up and self-express, you might as well just get off the stage". Very funny!

  3. I just read it. Homans describes the production and how Balanchine's emphasis in the ballet diverges from the novel: Balanchine and Don Quixote are similar in character, but in the novel Quixote has more social relationships and in the ballet (apparently) he is much more of a loner. She points out the obvious parallels to Balanchine's own life, most especially with Dulcinea/Farrell. Homans evokes what must have been a poignant spectacle, when on the several occasions including the gala dress rehearsal, Balanchine himself played Quixote.

  4. Ditto Vipa. If he improves from one performance to the next as he did from the first to the second it will be quite interesting to see his development. Watching the performance on Saturday May 9, it struck me that much of Stravinsky's score is sublime, not unlike listening to Schubert. Someone once asked Stravinsky what he thought of those who said Schubert's Great C Major Symphony was too long. He replied, to paraphrase, "what difference does it make how long it is? You listen to it, then it ends, and you realize you've been in heaven". That Balanchine could put the visual gestures and movements to this as he did is, well, astonishing.

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