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Sebastian

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Avid!
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    London
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    UK

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  1. I could not agree more. Modern audiences have come to expect ballet to deliver “a psychological journey" or "gymnastics" (misnamed as "dancers are so much better these days": as someone who has watched many dozens of hours of recordings, official and unofficial, of British dancers performing many different versions of Sleeping Beauty from the 1930s to the present day, the experience is far more one of a gradual decline in technique, pace, musicality and meaning). This combination of (ahistorical) expectations produces a rather simplistic and low-grade set of metrics for judging performances when set against the more sophisticated audience of St Petersburg in the 1890s, still in touch with the roots of ballet in Louis XIV and his court, and able to catch the many and various allusions packed into the text of Sleeping Beauty. Ratmansky's experiments are probably the most serious attempts in the world today at re-educating dancers, managements and the public. Bravo!
  2. The title of the article is “Inheritance: an historical overview of the Sleeping Beauty”. It's written by Tobi Tobias.
  3. Many thanks: NYPL do indeed have what looks like a full run so I have written to them.
  4. Wonder if anyone can help. I am looking for an article in the summer 1976 issue of “On Point” (vol.2, no. 1). This periodical was published from 1975 by the American Ballet Theatre, New York, but it does not seem any libraries in the UK (where I am based) carry it. I would be most grateful for further information as to where I might find a copy.
  5. That is probably true, in one sense. However, as the NYPL catalogue entry makes clear, the films have been digitised. They now exist in digital form (as computer files which the NYPL can stream) so things have clearly moved on from the days of rare rolls of film in cans.
  6. This excellent summary of the Victor Jessen "Sleeping Beauty" films dates from 2003. So - as it is now 15 years later - does anyone know if there are any other ways of seeing them without going to New York Public Library? Here is the full link to the NYPL holding: https://catalog.nypl.org/search~S1?/Xjessen+victor+beauty&searchscope=1&SORT=DZ/Xjessen+victor+beauty&searchscope=1&SORT=DZ&extended=0&SUBKEY=jessen+victor+beauty/1%2C4%2C4%2CB/frameset&FF=Xjessen+victor+beauty&searchscope=1&SORT=DZ&4%2C4%2C
  7. There is an extended compare-and-contrast piece here (if the abstract appeals most libraries should be able to get a copy of the original journal article): https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/drs.2017.0181
  8. There are some contemporary recollections here:
  9. The greatest Lilac Fairy I have seen a recording of is Dame Beryl Grey. Dame Beryl - still going strong at 90 years old (and with a book out for those who want to learn more) - made her debut as Odette / Odile on her 15th birthday, so perhaps she was even younger when she debuted Lilac Fairy. For those who can find the recording, Beryl Grey was just extraordinary. Total control, legs like steel, yet with such grace, musicality and, above all, real expression and meaning.
  10. I know it has been, ahem, fourteen years but does anyone know what happened to this article (the link doesn't work nor does a Google search)? It probably got modified and is now elsewhere: any information welcome!
  11. Westminster Reference Library, just off Leicester Square in London, has long been a happy secret for those interested in researching the performing arts. Their holdings, covering many aspects of performance including dance and ballet, are impressive, comprising a collection of some 15,000 books, a third of which are available to borrow if one joins the Library (which is free).The collection includes Anna Pavlova's personal library of books, which has recently been taken out of storage. Some are only available for consultation in the reference section; but many others were added to the Lending Library. More about the Library here:https://www.westminster.gov.uk/library-opening-hours-and-contact-details#westminster-reference-libraryhttps://trib.ent.sirsidynix.net.uk/client/en_GB/wcc/?rm=PERFORMING+ARTS0|||1|||0|||true&dt=listTo search the catalogue online:https://trib.ent.sirsidynix.net.uk/client/en_GB/wcc/
  12. Amy, congratulations! I have sent you a PM with some more.
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