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Jack Reed

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About Jack Reed

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
  • City**
    Chicago, Illinois, USA

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  1. The 2013 Ballet Chicago staging rg lists above exists on a good video by them, unlisted on YouTube (no telling for how much longer): My profuse apologies for not having posted here earlier, when you could access it through the Ballet Chicago site at balletchicago.org and find an RSVP button that worked - i.e. that admitted you to a path to the video page. On the other hand, we did talk about it on the 2021 streaming thread: https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/46027-2021-free-streaming-during-covid-19-crisis/ around page 4. Another thing worth mentio
  2. Buddy's question is a little old now, but here where we are talking about the last Ballet Chicago Studio Company program, Balanchine's Swan Lake, which is supposed to be available until Friday April 2nd at 7:00 Central Daylight Time, I can say, having just learned it, that four of the soloists there, the four who accompany the Odette in the eighth number, Dana Coons, Meghan Behnke, Devin Johnson, and Taylor Richard, ranged in age from 11-14. The girls in Barocco and Divertimento may be a year or two older. It may also be worth pointing out that the Studio Company carries out the intentio
  3. The only reference to costume changes in Nancy Reynolds' Balanchine Catalog was the 1964 one for the move to the State Theater; I even searched the page for the word black, but it didn't come up.
  4. For what it's worth, I don't remember anything being said about the black costumes being Mr. B's idea from the time I saw it. Alain Vaes's design was a Martins innovation, as far as I know, though as far as I know, Mr. B. could have said something about it in his last, long decline. (Martins was said to be practically commuting from the State Theater to Roosevelt Hospital, a few blocks away, where Balanchine was dying, for advice.) Probably better not to speculate on that; better to treat skeptically reports of his unrealized ideas. In general, he drew on his past, his heritage, but
  5. "[S]o Balanchine!" Yes, yes. The real thing, to this old man. "That's the way it was." Regarding the Zoom material, I'm afraid we may be out of luck; I think those are strictly live. (The red "Recording" dot I've seen in the upper left corner of a Zoom meeting was not on, so BC may not have a recording themselves.) But regarding Reynolds, yes, Repertory in Review is copyright 1977, but the redoubtable Nancy Reynolds is research director of The George Balanchine Foundation, which publishes and updates the Balanchine Catalog; its main entry on Swan Lake has more recent material, in
  6. Agreeing with both statements; correct me, but I think that on the rare occasion when NYCB does this short version, they use the new costumes - the corps in black - and an augmented corps at that, so that the clarity of Mr. B's designs - his "luminous clarity" I believe Edwin Denby called it once, not just here but generally in Balanchine's works - is lost. Black is the least visible color, and the stage looked clotted when I saw this revision many years ago. So this restoration is wonderful - literally full of wonders - as you say. But more than that, there may be a number here that's
  7. I passed your question about dancers' ages along to B.C., and I'll post if and when I hear back. I think you want to know how old they were when they performed in these videos, but in the meantime, I gather that the oldest members of the B.C. Studio Company are mostly pre-collegiate; since these videos were shot, one has gone on to Harvard, another divides her time between B.C. and Northwestern, which she chose partly for its proximity to B.C., I think, as well as family - behind every dance student, there's a family, as far as I know, a very close one, which reminds me - have I mentio
  8. Agree with Quiggin about that Ballo. Not the least of the enjoyment for me was Ashley's own joy in what they did for her. (And for what they all did for us, in another sense.) Also agree that NYCB's ability to give us Balanchine's Balanchine anymore has faded - through neglect, I'd say. (In the theater if not on screen Farrell's work with them a couple of years ago restored a lot of it to a few of his ballets.) So, some archive videos from them were also wonderful to see, the Midsummer Night's Dream from 1986, at least the last act of Coppelia from 1978, and best of all of these, the
  9. This is a big subject, and two thoughts come to me at the moment. The trivial one is that Ballet Chicago, run by Dan Duell and Patricia Blair is not exactly the Chicago Ballet - or the Chicago City Ballet, to be precise, whose artistic director was Maria Tallchief - although the earlier Chicago company company was in the same vein, directed by Balanchine dancers (besides Tallchief, Paul Mejia) in his "manner and style" (to quote a phrase used by yet another of the Balanchine "diaspora" who directed a company, Edward Villella). But as to the Balanchine manner and style - I think he wanted
  10. I don't know anything about company class as it's given at NYCB now, but back in the day it emerged that Balanchine was likely to give whatever he thought the company needed. There was the famous (or maybe infamous) instance of one class where he gave battement tendu, a movement he regarded as basic, for an hour - the dancers, so my friends, some of whom worked for the company or who knew dancers, told me, came out complaining that their legs felt like they were going to drop off. Nor did I ever have the experience of seeing class at MCB, but it looks like from what you say that Villel
  11. That's the kind of life and enjoyment we got every night (and twice on weekend afternoons) from Balanchine's New York City Ballet, only more so, as the dancers were a little older, a little longer in their development under his supervision, and so, a little stronger than these Ballet Chicago dancers. A member of what NYCB's marketing department called the "Old Audience" in the mid '80's, I saw hundreds of performances of his company between January 1973 and May 1986, because I had to: I had figured out around 1970, when NYCB stopped coming to Chicago for a week in Summer, that something was
  12. Jack Reed

    Simone Messmer

    Way to go, friends! I want to thank pherank for his compliment, but the report of my expertise was exaggerated, to paraphrase one of my favorite American writers. I'm glad canbelto filled in; that's what makes BalletAlert! true to its origin, a circle (online now) of ballet lovers cluing each other in. But in that ancient New Yorker piece, Arlene Croce refers at the end to "the audience": If it weren't for us, there'd be no one there except the audience. I'd like to bring the more general audience in too, and I'm glad for reports of difficulties with access that I can bring to the attenti
  13. Jack Reed

    Simone Messmer

    Ballet Chicago is a school; their Studio Company is the best of them.
  14. Jack Reed

    Simone Messmer

    cobweb and nanushka, according to the program we get with access, the Barocco cast is indeed lead by Messmer, Nina Montalbano, and Jordan Nelson, and as I saw both programs in the Harris Theater here in Chicago, I can testify the date was May 11, 2019, though I'm not sure whether we are getting the matinee or evening show. Adding a little more testimony, in case you'd like it: https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/44785-2019-spring-repertory-may-11-in-the-harris-theater-choreography-by-duell-seymour-balanchine/ (Scroll down. Barocco concluded the program.)
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