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Everything posted by miliosr

  1. I've been rereading Pauline Koner's autobiography, Solitary Song, this summer. The chapter on Doris Humphrey is unintentionally revealing regarding the disappearance of the Humphrey repertory. As I read along, I kept a tally of the dances Humphrey created from 1946-1958 and Koner mentions: Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Meijas (1946) Day on Earth (1947) Corybantic (1948) Invention (1949) Night Spell (1951) Fantasy and Fugue (1952) Ritmo Jondo (1953) Ruins and Visions (1953) Felipe el Loco (1954) Airs and Graces (1955) Theatre Piece No. 2 (1956) Dance Overture (1957) Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 (1958) The last time the Limon company performed any of these dances was in 2006, when Day on Earth and Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Meijas were revived. The latter was supposed to be revived in excerpt perform this summer but, other than that, the Humphrey repertory is non-existent at Limon. Dance Overture (1967)
  2. The circumstances involving the New Rock City Ballet and the "non-renewed" corps members in 2008 involved two unique circumstances: (1) a roster that had grown much too large and wasn't experiencing the yearly churn it needed to make room for new dancers fresh out of the school, and (2) the Great Recession of that year. While I don't think it was literally untrue that the company was experiencing financial difficulties in 2008. I believed then (as I do now) that the Great Recession gave Peter Martins cover to do something he wanted to do anyway: get rid of a number of corps members who weren't fitting into his plans or weren't working out generally.
  3. Christopher Wheeldon has choreographed an online version of Bolero for the Royal Ballet: Personally, I think the credit should read, 'A New Work by Christopher Wheeldon - Inspired by Maurice Bejart'.
  4. From an October 1971 Dance Magazine review of American Ballet Theatre's revival of Antony Tudor's Romeo and Juliet: "Antony Tudor's 'Romeo and Juliet,' first performed in 1943 and revived several times since, is more literary in tone than either the MacMillan or Cranko versions. It is Shakespeare with the passion muted. The ballet is part modern, part classical, in orientation, giving us pockets of common body language as well as passages of lyrical dance. The other versions lean more on spectacle and their style is operatic. Then, there is the difference in scores. The music of Frederick Delius for the Tudor version is delicate where Prokofiev's is enraptured. it is also less urgent and sweeping than its Russian counterpart. Tudor is concerned with the essential elements of the story, so parts of the plot are either condensed or altered. He eliminates Juliet's journey to the friar's cell and has her take the potion in her bedroom after her parents force her to marry Paris. There is little banter between Romeo and his friends. Tudor foregoes a full-blown pas de deux for the balcony scene and instead has the suspicious nurse unknowingly interrupt the tete-a-tete between the lovers. The scene thus reinforces the sense of pervasive interference and makes their triumph over unfavorable odds more cogent. He also draws on the play within a play motif by having two girls sit downstage off to the side and observe most of the action. They are disinterested parties much as the Veronese duke is in the other versions." ABT performed at the New York State Theater from July 22-August 8, 1971. The two pairs of leads for Romeo and Juliet were Carla Fracci/Ivan Nagy and Natalia Makarova/John Prinz.
  5. Sarasota Ballet has announced its 30th anniversary season for 2020-21: https://www.sarasotaballet.org/events/subscribe-30th-anniversary-season Program 1 - October 23-25, 2020 George Balanchine - Donizetti Variations Ricardo Graziano - Amorosa Paul Taylor - Company B Program 2 - November 20-21, 2020 Frederick Ashton's Birthday Offering and Dante Sonata David Bintley's The Spider's Feast Program 3 - December 18-19, 2020 Frederick Ashton - Romeo & Juliet Program 4 - February 26-March 1, 2021 Peter Darrell - Othello Will Tuckett - Changing Light Yet to be announced third ballet Program 5 - March 26-27, 2021 George Balanchine - Serenade Mark Morris - The Letter V Kenneth MacMillan - Elite Syncopations Program 6 - April 9-10, 2021 The Sarasota Ballet Presents Mark Morris Dance Group Program 7 - April 30–May 1, 2021 Agnes de Mille - Fall River Legend Ninette de Valois - Checkmate Bronislava Nijinska - Les Biches
  6. Yes, it is disappointing given that those Humphrey works don't have much of an active life outside of the festival circuit. That being said, I'm more concerned about the fate of smaller companies like Limon. Sadly, I think we're going to see a lot of companies disappear before all this is over.
  7. After four seasons as artistic director of the Limon Company, Colin Connor is departing the company. Former Limon dancer Dante Puleio will be the new director. He is the sixth artistic director in the company's history after Doris Humphrey, Jose Limon, Ruth Currier, Carla Maxwell and Colin Connor.
  8. Anne Bass was also the victim of a very scary home invasion. https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2007/08/michael-shnayerson-anne-bass-attack-200708 The 'Ups and downs with NYCB' article makes for good reading because it highlights why the debacle which led to Peter Martins' resignation happened: The Board was so tightly bound to Martins that they ended up being asleep at the wheel.
  9. A few thoughts regarding ABT's - at times - precarious financial situation . . . ABT was never as fiscally sound as the New York City Ballet in part because of an overreliance on Lucia Chase's personal fortune to get them through hard times. Eventually, the company did get serious about diversifying its fundraising but that was a late development compared to other companies. In addition, various shocks over the past 30 years have compounded ABT's fiscal problems. The profligacy of the Baryshnikov era left the company so deeply in debt by 1992 that everyone thought the company would fold permanently. So certain was the expectation of an implosion that no one was willing to take on leadership of the company except Kevin Mckenzie. As fate would have it, this kicked off a new Golden Age at ABT as McKenzie, starting with a base that included Julio Bocca, Alessandra Ferri, Susan Jaffe, Julie Kent and Amanda McKerrow, added such future bold-faced names as Max Beloserkovsky, Jose Manuel Carreno, Angel Corella, Irina Dvorovenko, Paloma Herrera, Vladimir Malakhov and Ethan Steifel. He also developed in-house stars such as Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg and Gillian Murphy. Even during this Golden Age, though, ABT had to contend with various fiscal crises. There was the dot.com implosion in 2000 which hindered fundraising and then the much larger and more serious Great Recession of 2008. So, for every financial gain the company has made over time, it has also endured some fairly significant financial shocks which have often set them back for years. One more point to make: Before anyone praises the New York City Ballet to the heavens for keeping its dancers on salary, let's not forget that in 2008 they released all those dancers they deemed expendable as a response to the Great Recession. ABT, in contrast, worked out an arrangement with its dancers so that everyone took a pay cut but no one lost their jobs. I dare say that the New York City Ballet's response in 2020 is in part a reflection of how much bad press it received for its actions back in 2008.
  10. From a January 1972 Dance Magazine cover story on Natalia Makarova: Antony Tudor's Romeo and Juliet, Natasha feels, is the most significant ballet she has danced so far [at ABT]. "Working with Tudor and being able to dance this ballet makes me feel that my decision to stay in the West was well worth it. I have learned so much by just watching Tudor in rehearsals and talking to him. I have danced three versions of Romeo and Juliet: the Lavrovsky version with music by Prokofiev, which I danced for eight years; Igor Chernyshov's, to music by Berlioz, which I never performed in public because it was considered too modern for Soviet audiences; and now Tudor's. I've had the opportunity to use totally different styles since Juliet - as choreographed for all three ballets - is portrayed differently. Tudor's version gives me enormous artistic satisfaction. I was quite amazed that the public here did not respond to this ballet with the enthusiasm it warrants. In Russia, I think the people would love it. To me, Tudor has created a masterpiece - a complete work. Each gesture becomes a painting. You see, all the poses are from the Renaissance. most of all Botticelli. When Romeo meets Juliet, they look like the archangel Gabriel and the Madonna in the Annunciation. I think, to understand this ballet, one should be more than familiar with painting. In my opinion, if an artist wants to achieve something - whether on the stage, in painting or in music - he must not stay within the limits of his own art. So I used every day to study different forms of art. To extend my horizons. The Renaissance intrigued me the most. I read a lot about it and was fascinated by the paintings of that period. For this reason I think I understood what Tudor wanted."
  11. They've cancelled. I received an e-mail to that effect this afternoon.
  12. I haven't received any notice from them. I went to their Web site to find out what's going on.
  13. I get that the strikes have had a big impact on the troupe's finances but this programming is kind of ho-hum. The only things that would excite me are the Roland Petit evenings (yea!) and Frederick Ashton's Rhapsody. Surprised that Raymonda isn't coming back given that there was only one performance before the strikes scuttled the rest. And didn't they just do an all-Kylian evening in 2016-17 as a replacement for the originally scheduled Benjamin Millepied/Antony Tudor double bill?
  14. That nothing new for him -- he does that periodically. In fact, if you follow his Instagram account regularly, you start noticing that there's a lot of repetition to it. The same stories and topics appear over and over again.
  15. I found out this weekend that John Karlen died on January 22nd at the age of 86. In the world of Dark Shadows, he will be remembered forever as Barnabas' cringing sidekick, Willie Loomis. Karlen also had great success in the 1980s playing Harvey Lacey (Harve!) on the detective show, Cagney&Lacey. (He also appeared in the legendary -- disastrous? - Broadway "run" of Tennessee Williams' play The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore with Tallulah Bankhead [!] and Tab Hunter [!!]) I can't say I was surprised by the news as I saw a clip of him at the 50th anniversary Dark Shadows convention and he was very frail. He had to be helped on stage by David Selby and Jerry Lacy. What did surprise me was his actual age. I would have put him in his mid-70s but he was born in 1933. So he would have turned 34 the year he joined the cast of Dark Shadows.
  16. The Limon company will be performing rarely seen dances by Doris Humphrey at Jacob's Pillow this summer: "Their anniversary program begins with performances that correlate to the rare film of José Limón dancing solos from Humphrey’s iconic Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías at Jacob’s Pillow in 1946." "The company also performs Doris Humphrey’s Air for G String—a grave, sculptural work set to Bach"
  17. The standoff continues although the dancers continue to rehearse for Giselle and the all-Balanchine program: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/13/arts/dance/paris-opera-ballet-strike.html
  18. I'll play (this will be very ABT-centric) . . . I would like to see a sustained recommitment to the Antony Tudor repertory including (but not limited) to Continuo, Dark Elegies, Dim Lustre, Gala Performance, Jardin aux Lilas, The Judgment of Paris, The Leaves Are Fading, Pillar of Fire, Undertow and -- above all others - the complete Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. From repertory, I would like to see revivals of Frederick Ashton's Les Patineurs and Les Rendezvous, Eugene Loring's Billy the Kid (w/ Aran Bell in the lead). Harald Lander's Etudes, Jose Limon's The Moor's Pavane, Leonide Massine's Gaite Parisienne and (echoing a previous poster) Clark Tippet's Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1. Keep George Balanchine's Theme and Variations (which he created for ABT) and Symphonie Concertante (which was an important ABT revival in the 1980s) but ditch the rest of the Balanchine. ABT is not trained in Balanchine's method and style and the result is that they look foolish in comparison to the company across the Lincoln Center courtyard. Give Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free (especially) and Agnes de Mille's Rodeo rests for a while. Have Kevin McKenzie wean himself from jumping on whatever micro choreographic trend is happening at the moment. ABT just isn't that kind of company. (I freely admit this is a forlorn hope on my part.) According to Suzanne Farrell, Balanchine thought Maurice Bejart's version was the best version. Staging that at the New York City Ballet would certainly cause a lot of New York-based critics' heads to explode! There's always the Pina Bausch version:
  19. And her farewell is cancelled. The strike roils on . . .
  20. The Opera will be cutting it close as far as Abbagnato's retirement is concerned. Four of her scheduled performances have already been cancelled. "La Marseillaise" at The Opera Bastille today:
  21. The Halloween sequence is actually scarier than some of the movies in the Halloween franchise!
  22. It's not looking good at the moment. For the Raymonda run of shows, the company performed once and the next 10 shows were all cancelled.
  23. It's not looking good at the moment. For the Raymonda run of shows, the company performed once and the next 10 shows were all cancelled.
  24. One of the strengths of Meet Me in St. Louis is that M-G-M cast it from strength from its contract roster -- not just Garland, O'Brien and Drake but Mary Astor, Leon Ames, Lucille Bremer and Marjorie Main as well. The Halloween segment is justly celebrated but I always feel like it came out of an entirely different movie. As if M-G-M had scrapped a movie that wasn't working, salvaged the Halloween sequence and inserted it in Meet Me in St. Louis. And Tom Drake was from the Brooklyn part of St. Louis.
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