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  1. I don't know this company, but I know the ballet which Ashton choreographed especially for Ballanchine's NYCB. Someone mentioned remembering having seen it in 1960 with the Norman Walker Co. and wondered if it was the same ballet. They said a dancer, Cora Caan (?) danced in it. Anyone know? Kurvenal
  2. Hi, Just curious who might have seen this at the Lincoln Festival, and what they thought? Anna Kisselkoof makes it sound very very exciting. Makes me wish I was in NY this weekend. Fred
  3. ATM - "Quelque Fleurs" - was that a pas de quatre of sorts, or am I mistaking it for the old pas de quatre? I remember seeing Ruthanna Boris dance when I first starting going to City Center. Fred
  4. I'll bet there were more innovative and intriguing movements to be witnessed up there some nights than on stage. En arriere, en avant, en dedans, and en dehors! Tally ho! Fred
  5. Mel is probably correct as Ballet Theatre doing "Choreartium". If I can find the time I will eventually find it in the microfilm of the NYT. I was just down there for an hour looking in vain for a John Martin review of "Seventh". They were doing it in the spring of 1949 but I haven't run across the review yet. I did find this interesing tidbit, however. The night that Mary Ellen Moylan danced "Ballet Imperial", Balanchine's work to Tschaikovsky's 2nd piano concerto (Martin loved her and the ballet), Markova and Tudor were scheduled to dance sometrhing simply called "Pas de Deux". According to Martin, "it proved to be not a pas deux at all but only a single section of the pas de deux from 'Sleeping Beauty'. What happened to the other three sections nobody connected with the company or Mr. Dolin or Miss Markova cared to say, but it was very nicely done, what there was of it." THAT IS FUNNY! Fred
  6. I think Mel is right in that Ballet Russe did Choreartium - and it was done to Brahms Fourth, not his First, which I think I said in an earlier posting. According to Cyril Beaumont's book, it was first done in London in 1933 - and look at the dancers - Irina Baronova, David Lichine, Vera Zorina, Nina Verchinina, Danilova, Riabouchinski. I don't remember seeing the Pas de deux Classique but Denby reports that in 1944 Ballet Russe was performing at the City Center, and it got done with Danilova and Second Class Seaman Igor Youskevitch (dancing on the last night of his shore leave.) Denby devotes a whole paragraph to the majesty of Youskevitch's dancing - "I know of no dancer anywhere who is nearer than he to perfection. And now he is returning to his base, it is hard to think how the Monte Carlo can long continue as a first-class company without him." I was digging into microfilm at my library today - 1949, looking for the report of Beethoven Seventh. Ballet Russe was giving two appearances in NYC in those days, in the spring, and again in the fall. I still haven't found the review, but John Martin wrote a poor review of the company's overall performances, blaming the director(s) for the sloppiness and pedestrian dancing. On the recommendation of Monica Mosely at NY Public Library I ordered Jack Anderson's "The One and Only Ballet Russe" which she said lists every performance, every ballet danced, and the dancers, dates and places, during the company's existence. That should answer a lot of questions. Last night I was watching the first Erik Bruhn Competition on a tape sent to me by a friend. I have no idea what year it took place, and none of the dancers are familiar names. It opened with Bruhn's version of the Black Swan pas de deux, and the opening pas de deux was to music I did not recognize. I also found the choreography less thrilling than what is supposedly the Petipa-Ivanov version. What does anyone know about this?
  7. The NY Public Library's Monica Mosely, evidently an expert on ballet, came to my rescue regarding the Massine. It was done in 1951. I was off a year. I am going back to my library just to read what John Martin of the NYTimes had to say about it. My feeling about ballets such as the Seventh, Les Presages (to Tschaikovskys Fifth), and Choreatium (to Brahms First), all of which I think were by Massine is that the music is just too overpowering, and a ballet orchestra, IMO, is not geared to play these works, only because they don't play them often enough. My recollection of the Seventh is vague but I do remember lots of people running about stage, and I shall never forget that human ramp! ATM, you were so fortunate to see Danilova as Odette. I may have seen her, but I think I would have remembered it. My first great Odette was Fonteyn. What would it have been like to have seen Danilova in a full-length "Swan Lake"? I would have paid a kings ransom - or managed to sneak into the theatre!!! Fred
  8. I am puzzled that there has been no obituary in the NYTimes. Zorina danced the role of the ballerina in Balanchine's "Slaughter on Tenth Ave.", but in London only, and in the movie version. Tamara Geva danced the role in NYC. However, in 1954 George Abbott and Balanchine put together a revival of the show with Zorina. Elaine Stritch was in that also, singing the interpolated song "You Took Advantage of Me." It lasted only two months and was considered very dated. 29 years later, however, it was revived again with Natalia Makarova, and that revival lasted longer than the original in 1936. Did anyone see any of those three shows? Fred
  9. This was a tremendously exciting hour and a half. It began at 9:30 and the time flew by. I could not believe the beauty of this work - incredible dancing by everyone, Yuan Yuan danced like she was weightless, and the Othello - my God! And the score was so great - and the sets. What a marvelous piece of work - and my station, which just infuriated me a day earlier by showing those two tenors in "Duetto" singing a bunch of awful songs and then begging for money, is going to show "Othello" again on Saturday and they didn't ask for a cent. I am taping this ballet. Fred
  10. Leigh, Thanks for the email address. I sent off a plea for help. In answer to your question, I never recall meeting Francis Mason. I remember he reviewed for some publication, but I don't know which one. When I was in the library today I noticed that Balanchine's book had been updated since 1956 and Mason's name was on it. Monica might be able to help you with that Op. 34 you were asking me about. Fred
  11. My muddled memories of Massine's "Seventh Symphony" (Beethoven) drove me to the pulbic library. I spent over an hour reading about ballet in NYC in 1950, going through the NYTimes on microfilm, specifically the de Cuevas company's two week stay. Lots of interesting writing by John Martin, but they didn't do the ballet. I checked Ballet Russe who were in the city in the spring and they didn't do it either. Where and when did I see it? It was performed for the first time in Paris in 1938 one month after "Gaite "Parisienne", but I wasn't there for the opening! Ballanchine doesn't even mention it in his book' Walter Terry does but doesn't give any U.S. dates. Dangerous business looking up things like that! I kept getting stopped by headlines - GB Shaw's obituary, new tenor coming to the Met - Mario del Monaco. Met opens with a flurry of expensive furs, diamonds, and limousines. Amazing how much space the opening got in those days! If anyone can help me out on the Massine work - when and who danced it in NYC and when - I will be eternally grateful. Fred
  12. I am sure I saw him dance with Ballet Russe - for some reason, a ballet using one of the Chopin concertos comes to mind. I am glad that he lived so long. I hope his life was happy and fulfilling. Kurvenal
  13. You're surprised you're getting it in Baltimore! We are getting it in Scranton, PA TWICE! in one week, Tuesday night, after Duetto (which has been getting nasty reviews on the opera websites), and again on Sat. night. We'll have to pay for it with endless hours of Yanni, Church, and all the rest. fred
  14. ATM Chances are we did rub elbows at any number of venues in NYC. I know I stood in line all afternoon in 1949 for standing room to see Sadler Wells' first trip to NYC, and I think I stood in standing room most of the time for all the other performances, plus all those of Ballet Theatre. I am going to have to go to the Public Library as soon as I can and look up a NY Times from April 1949. It was the de Quevas company but known as "The Grand Ballet de Monte Carlo" - all this re the Massine. The Slavenska-Franklin Company was in NYC in Dec. of 1952 but I don't think they would have done Massine's "Seventh". Strangely, Balanchine does not include it in his book of ballets, although he does include all the ballets done up to the publication of the book. And yet, I cannot erase from my mind that scene of a human ramp and some woman (or man) scrambling up, arms outstretched, maybe waving a banner with the words "Excelsior", doing an arabesque - God knows what, but I know I and the friends I was with were finding it hard not to laugh. Maybe we did laugh - it's so long ago, we might have been asked to leave. I find it hard to believe that any company today would be so hard pressed as to want to revive any of those "symphonic" ballets. And I still want to know who's left who can remember the choreography. Maybe they will contact me! Fred
  15. How wonderful for you Paul to have seen Sibley, Seymour, and Nureyev. I saw Fonteyn, of course, but with Helpmann, Michael Somes, and John Hart as her partners. I have seen them both on video, and while I never saw Baryisnikov in person either, I have him on video. Leigh, I am amazed I can find nothing in my library on Massine's "Seventh", but Denby does refer to it in an essay on Massine. "He can get away with murder. If one took him seriously he would be guilty of murdering the Beethoven Seventh." And of the dancers, "they get on top of each othrs, lie down, run around, crouch, whirl, pose, wave, or huddle." Sounds very much like what I saw, but I can't imagine why Cincinnati would want to try to bring this behemoth back to life when there are so many other ballets that need reviving. And who is reconstructing the choreography? I also found out Massine did the first movement of "Moonlight Sonata" at the Met with Ballet Theatre in 1945. Toumanova and Massine danced - Denby hated it, and loathed the orchestration, too. I checked into the NY Public Library. Again, it amazes me that they would have films of Massine's works while so much else is lost. Tell me, is Labahn dance notation still used at all? I recall back in the '50s when it was in use, but I wonder now if we rely on film as an accurate record of ballets? You spoke of doing a ballet for Atlanta Ballet II. I would like very much to know what your profession entails when you have time. You could email me privately. I talked to a friend who has a son, a lawyer working in NYC, who is married to a girl who goes by the professional name of Leonora Volpe. She choreographs/directs, and just did a "Traviata" for some company, in the TriBeCa area. His name is Howard Mulligan. Do you know anything about that? And I never did see "Ivesiana". When was NYCB doing that, and who did the choreography? Enjoyed your Merrill Ashley story. Fred
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