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Everything posted by bart

  1. Mme. Hermine, according to the obit in the Chicago Tribune, that 1966 Bell Television Hour R&J was her last performance in America. John Butler's choreography for this great dance of awakening love is certainly unique, with almost nothing for poor Romeo to do except support and occasionally lift Juliet. Also from the Tribune is something relating to her comment about "changing completely" when she began to dance for Balanchine: http://www.chicagotr...0,3364156.story
  2. Everything you say is true, phrank. I love your phrase, "an entire workshop on the use of the arms." This is not the sort of number, danced to this sort of music, I ordinarily appreciate. Maybe I am too cynical or addicted to irony.. But Plisetskaya invests the choreography with such sincerity and artistry, that it becomes genuinely moving. At the end, I was startled by way the long, slowly developed "maladie" of the rose turns suddenly to anguish and death. I also love the way the white background -- and uncomplicated camera work -- allow you the to see every aspect of the movement and body-shaping so clearly.
  3. Wonderful clips. It's remarkable to see Tallchief as someone who was so curious about unfamiliar technique -- so willing to learn, not only from an established ballerina by Moylan but also from a very young LeClercq. That's a very attractive quality in someone who was already an established star. In the clip posted above in #9, she discusses Firebird, saying that after a while with Balanchine "I had completely changed." The rehearsal clip of the Berceuse gives a hint of the result of that change. The snippet of performance film from 1961, dancing with Michael Maule, shows even more, though we still have a sense of ballerina magnificence in that last gesture. http://danceinteract...f-michael-maule The Ballet Russe influence is still visible, I think, in both clips As it was with the dancer who followed Tallchief as the most frequent Firebird, Melissa Hayden, from Ballet Theater. Both dancers had grandeur, largeness of scale, even when pleading with the Prince. Gelsey Kirkland's approach with the revised choreography later on -- more fragile, more febrile, more airborne, more "birdlike" -- was at the other extreme of Firebirds. I guess all dancers who have done the role occupy a place somewhere along the spectrum whose poles are Tallchief and Kirkland. By the way, I've been told that Tallchief was involved in the mid-80s NYCB revival that featured Lourdes Lopez, a superb Firebird,who expressed the qualities of woman and bird in a very satisfying way.
  4. Sorry to double-post, but I just discovered this excerpt from an article by Edwin Denby, 1953. It speaks to the matter of Tallchief as both a Balanchine and a classical dancer.
  5. I'm sorry to have been away from Ballet Alert for a few days and thus not able to join this discussion earlier. Tallchief was phasing out of the NYCB when I firsts began attending regularly, so I don't recall details from that period. I especialy regret that I never saw her Firebird. She was still the great name in the company -- still the prima ballerina. I do remember that an appearance by Tallchief in a regular rep evening -- never publicized in advance, if I recall correctly -- was thrilling news indeed. I guess that I will always think of her name in intimate association with Balanchine's, though she was never what became to be known as a "Balanchine dancer." Drew and others are right to call our attention to the "non-Balanchine" aspects of her career prior to and after NYCB -- her return to the classical rep, her guesting, coaching, and teaching, and her work with her own companies in Chicago. Thanks, phrank, for that clip of Tallchief and Bruhn in the Don Q pdd. Tallchief never had a partner in Bruhn's league at NYCB. I was touched at how wonderfully he supported her and how she blossomed in his hands and company. I loved the untypical big smile at certain points. (It was interesting to watch her "Balanchinian" take on the fouettes. 6 or so fouettes -- followed by a transition of quick chainees into a rapid blur of pique pirouettes around the stage.) It is sad to know that she is no longer with us. But ... she lived. And how she danced.
  6. Welome to Ballet Alert, DanielBenton. It might also be a good idea to look closely at some of the still photographs of Balanchine at work. -- especially those shot in the studio or on stage by Martha Swope, Steve Caras, and others who understood ballet movement thoroughly. There are photographs of Balanchine demonstrating a step, even just sketching what he wanted, that tell you more about quality of movement and even musicality than one might expect. Trying out the position you see in the photo -- and extrapolating what you think might have come before and after the photo was shot --can be an interesting experiment. I find that I learn about dance best by "dancing" (moving and imagining the music in my head), no matter how limited my skills.
  7. Marvelous report and analysis. The links, too. Thanks so much, volcanohunter. P.S. Love the screaming goat. Much more memorable (and deserved) than a "thumbs down."
  8. Birdsall, I missed Friday, but saw the same cast Saturday. DANCES AT A GATHERING: I am one who thinks that Dances ... is a marvelous and very touching work, when properly done. I loved the dancing -- the best MCB has done with Robbins' choreography, in almost every role. But I missed the dramatic texture of the piece -- wistfulness, nostalgia, thoughtfulness, a strange mixture of joy and sadness -- that makes the conclusion so unforgettable. A few years ago, MCB (especially with its casting of the boy in brown) captured these qualities better. Dances at a Gathering was set earlier this season by Susan Hendl Ben Huys came in just a week or so ago to add the finishing touches. Philip Neal and Lourdes Lopez, both of whom were coached by Robbins, also had input. At one of the pre-performance talks, Neal commented that "Robbins wouldn't cast dancers who didn't have a very strong sense of self and personality." Right now, a number of the younger performers at MCB haven't reached this point. It's marvelous, however, to see the progress that dancers like Kleber Rebello (Brick and Brown), Renan Cedeiro (Green), Nathalia Arja (Pink), Chase Swatosh (Blue) and Jovani Furlan (an elegant, lighter-than-air Green) have made in only a few seasons. Lopez is giving them lots of opportunities to grow. Best performance of the weekend for me was Jeanette Delgado's Girl in Pink. She expressed joy without an overwhelming smile -- speed while executing every detail perfectly -- beautiful upper-body expression and (especially) hands. A few years ago this role would have been outside her comfort zone. No longer. Yellow is one of my favorite roles, combining speed with periods of elegant introspection. Tricia Albertson gave life to both sides of this role. Sara Esty had a more jaunty, can-do take on the character. If Esty was excellent the new kid on the block, (full of energy and optimism) Albertson was the more experienced woman who can still do it all. (Albertson was also a fine Mauve in the second cast.) Patricia Delgado, back after being out for several programs, was a gorgeous, expressive Mauve. As for the men: Rebello and Penteado danced beautifully, but did not find the emotional weight that the Boy in Brown needs. The moment when the character kneels and touches his palm to the floor should have been heart-stopping, It was not. Jovani Furlan turned the Boy in Green into a model of elegance, fluidity, and gracious partnering. A favorite solo of mine is the Girl in Green's, created for Violette Verdy. Robbins apparently wanted Verdy to suggest a great dancer -- a diva -- returning to the studio, or possibly the stage, and recalling her earlier days, often just by marking or suggesting the steps. As Philip Neal remembers it, "she thinks, This is where I did this step. And this is how I moved to the other side of the stage." Callie Manning's was gorgeous to watch. She combined a kind of over-elegance along with great simplicity, which made her later attempts to find a partner among the moody, wandering men deeply sad, though also comical. sometimes Green is played with a kind of jejeune goofiness. That can be amusing. But Manning's Green was actually touching -- especially that final gesture that seems to say --- "What's a girl to do? C'est la vie." Robbins integrates lifts into his choreography with great ease. You shouldn't be reminded, "This is hard." There were partnering problems -- especially in some rough and awkward llifts -- among the second cast. These disrupted the flow of things. On the whole, the women in the first cast were better served by their partners. SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE: -- It's always fun to see this. The last couple of times MCB did it, they had recorded music. The score is so much better with a live orchestra, as the company now has. The first-cast leads were Kleber Rebello/ Patricia Delgado. Second cast leads: Renan Cedeiro/ Jeanette Delgado. Each had its strengths. Patricia Delgado has the long legs and the ability to express yearning, passion, Romantic abandon. There are points in which the Hoofer does a sequence of (vaguely) tap steps, and the Striptease Girl follows him, but balletically. Same jazzy spirit; different artistic style. It's a key idea in the choreography, and Patricia captured it very well. At the finale she radiated joy, making it hard to look closely at anyone else on stage. Jeanette Delgado may lack the long legs, but her Striptease Girl had a sexiness of her own: warmth, love of dancing, empathy with everyone on stage, heart. Morrosine, the "Premieur Danseur Noble" who opens the ballet, is a parody of some of the more absurd affectations of "Russian" ballet dancers of that day. Didier Bramaz (elegant to a fault) and Reyneris Reyes (whose mirror tells him every day: you are a GOD! and IRRESISTIBLE TO WOMEN) were wonderful.
  9. Piazza is just for Miami, and I'm not sure whether for all performances there. At the Kravis, the "Gangster" was alternated between Renato Penteado and Carlos Guerra. Both looked great. Penteado had some difficulties with his only laugh line ... "I woulda worn my tux.".
  10. Thanks Victoria, Helene, and everyone else who supported the fundraiser. I know how much work this is, and am grateful for what you do. Wishing everyone -- fans, dancers, those who love dancers, etc. -- another great year of talk and information-sharing .
  11. A new play is set to debut n April at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater of Lincoln Center. It deals with the group of Russian emigres working in the U.S. after World War II. The project: a new ballet on the Orpheus legend. At the center of this circle .... George Balanchine. Nikokai and the Others David Cromer directs. Michael Cerveris -- who played the title role in Sweeney Todd and John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, on Broadway -- will be Balanchine. Here's the NY Times piece on the casting. But .... who will be Magallanes and Tallchief? http://theater.nytim...the-others.html
  12. With this call for an "independent commission," are they also saying, in effect, that they do not trust the ordinary judicial process?
  13. This one is for cubanmiamiboy: From the Balanchine Foundation:
  14. MCB is starting to tease those on their email list, as well as Facebook followers, with tiny bits of information -- in this case, a photo of their "secret project" with Justin Peck. Photo shows Peck partnering Jeanette Delgado, with Kleber Rebello watching and Renan Cedeiro and Sara (I think) Esty in the background.
  15. I was enchanted by the Salzburg Marionette Theater's MagicFlute. The quality of movement was both real and eerily, beautifully, unreal. It took only a a few minutes for me to enter completely into the unique movement world of mariionettes.. But I suspect that watching them perform an extended all-dance classical ballet would probably over-stretch my ability to suspend disbelief.. Here's their Waltz of the Flowers from Nutcracker. Choreography is fairly rudimentary, but the imagery is lovely.
  16. rg, as you know, ALL photos of Verdy are much appreciated by many of us. Don't recall having seen a shot in which she has long (and very dark) hair. Also, didn't know that she had an 8-year marriage to Colin Clarke, the son of Kenneth Clarke. (Thank you Mr. Google for that info.)
  17. Thanks, rg. I had never heard of the "Grand Ballet Classique de France. It is stonishing that they did a five-week engagement -- performing 5 big works ballets -- at a theater as big as the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. Would love to learn more about this company and this dancer. Also, what is Noir et Blanc? Never heard of that either. Googling Liane Dayde turned up this from British Pathe -- a brief set of answers during an interview, and some performance shots. She's lovely in closeup, like a very young, slightly chubby-cheeked Audrey Hepburn. http://www.britishpa...deo/liane-dayde
  18. Parsifal Encores are scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, which is when I'll see it.I'm a fan of both the interviews (especially Deborah Voigt's) and the sequences showing the stage hands at work. I've learned a great deal from both.
  19. Something tells me we aren't in The Land of Sweets anymore.
  20. The NY Times article today adds another element to this story: the question of how young ballerinas' careers are pushed (or not), with some of the unanticipated consequences of that. Parsing Possible Motives in Bolshoi Acid Attack) This question of pushing dancers too quickly -- and the unrealistic (or unrealized) expectataions this may produce -- might we worth a thread of its own at some point.
  21. I'm intrigued by Symond's use of "morbid" in "morbid grace." I love O'Hara's "you were always turning into something else." Only a truly interesting dancer --and one capable of a varied repertoire -- provokes a response like that.
  22. Thanks, Quiggin, for bringing back this thread, as well as the poetic spirit you find in several unlikely places. You give me the chance to respond (QUITE belatedly) to Farrell Fan's 2008 reminder about the book Tributes. I like Robert Lowell's little poem, written during a visit to New York City Ballet while on a Ford Foundation fellowship to write powetry about .... opera. Marianne Moore on "Arthur Mitchell" (1956) Ron Padgett's "Litle Ode to Suzanne Farrell" (1998), which concludes ... And James Merrill, evoking the experience of watching a ballet -- "Farewell Performance" (1995) -- illustrated by the great Steve Caras photo of Balanchine's "Last Bow" (1982). It begins .... And concludes:
  23. The latest issue of the Times Llterary Supplement includes a review of a new book by Christina Ezrahi, Swans of the Kremlin: Ballet and Power in Soviet Russia (University of Pittsburgh Press). The discussion of this book -- which focuses primarily on the 1940s to 1968, and includes the 1956 Bolshoi tour to London, from which Plisetskaya was excluded -- starts about half-way through the article. http://www.the-tls.c...icle1222095.ece Has anyone read this? It sounds as if it might be a little specialized for my interests, but the role of cultural politics in the Soviet Union is always fascinating ... so, I'm thinking about it. This is available on Amazon. If you click the Amazon box at the bottom of the page and order from there, a bit of the purchase price will go to help keep Ballet Alert online. Any chance for a reconstruction, do you think?
  24. Beautiful. It is a joy to see a young Eglevsky so relaxed -- almost languidly so. Quite different from the performance photos -- inevitably showing tensions -- one usually sees from later on his career. Another Philpot portrait illustrates Wikipedia's entry on Eglevsky. It is dated 1937, the year Eglevsky left Europe for the U.S. Since Philpot was based in England (his portraits of figures from the arts and society are often reproduced in books about the interwar years in Britain) the costume is probably something from the European rep of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
  25. It's slightly earlier than last year. They tie rapid renewal (by April 5) in with an invitation to a company class, probably presented from the stage of each of MCB's theater venues.Birdsall, did you also get the automated call (taped message) from Lourdes Lopez, alerting us that the subscription material was in the mail? I liked the idea. She sounds young, smart, cheerful, and welcoming. A good way to introduce her to those who haven't met or heard her. She's a really good communicator with audiences.
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