Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by maxboswell

  1. To: BART Thank you very, very much for your response. I thought I'd saved my program for the performance, but couldn't find it. And I tried the Times "search" option, but it offers stories only as far back as 1981. I'm grateful to you. MAX
  2. Lynn Seymour danced Giselle at the Metropolitan (with Royal Ballet). I haven't been able to find dates or casts online. I hope someone can help. There's a reference to an appearance with Ivan Nagy as Albrecht, but no date. Help appreciated. Max
  3. Another rave review of Nancy Goldner's appears in the double edition of the New Yorker, August 11-18. The reviewer writes: Anyone who cares about Balanchine should buy it immediately. Here's the link: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/reviews/brie...n_brieflynoted2
  4. Check out the review of Nancy Goldner's Balanchine Variations in the Summer 2008 issue of Attitude Magazine. "Nancy Goldner is a perfect example of the shared reality of quantum modes. Observation ... affects outcome. She will shape ... diverse audiences and potential dancers into savvy dance folks. This is a fun book. Goldner's ... vivid language and blunt opinions ... pearls of wisdom and pleasure."
  5. Here's a Heads Up to Marcia B. Siegel's review of Nancy Goldner's new Balanchine book -- it's in the Boston Phoenix, May 6, 2008.
  6. Heads Up: Nancy Goldner's Balanchine Variations is now published, by University Press of Florida. Contains Goldner's take on 20 ballets, including Agon, Apollo, many other classics of the repertory. Photos by Costas.
  7. re "retirement programs" at NYCB, just this: Nowadays everyone gets a "retirement program." But throughout most of the Balanchine years this ceremonialism (part homage, part marketing) was unheard of. Tallchief, Wilde, Eglevsky just weren't there anymore, faded away, along with all the others, principals not so well known, long term soloists. Was there a farewell for Verdy? I think not. Mimi Paul? Certainly not. Jillana? Janet Reed? D'Amboise? Villella? Moncion? For Hayden, of course, Mr. B. made a farewell ballet -- but she had to hang on and on and on before he came to the idea of kissing her off, with Cortege Hongrois. She'd earned it, of course, and it had a grand kiss-off finale. Now almost every principal gets the flowers, the confetti, and the press release. Anyone have thoughts about this latter-day, slightly commercial practice?
  8. Leigh, Thanks. I hadn't noticed the 'ballet landmarks in NYC" thread. Thanks. I guess my little piece belonged there. Believe me, I have more, when I have time. Max.
  9. You're right. And ballet -- along with ballet dancers -- also seemed to have "a place in a neighborhood" and be more connected with the rest of American society than it is today. I mean the theaters, the touring system, the schools.More and more -- when I compare what I know of the dancers of that period with what I observe today -- I think the quality I appreciated most in American ballet dancers of that generation was a streetwise, theater-district, let's-put-on-a show quality. This existed alongside, and in no way contradicted a their sense that they were devoting themselves to bringing a very great classical art to the U.S. It allowed them, at their best, to give an improvisional, spontaneous look to material that they had worked on very hard, and to use their technique fully but in ways which did not call attention to itself as much as audiences seem to expect today. Perhaps this all came from the very different kind of training system than we have today, where the best students seem to find shelter in ballet academies that are sometimes cut off from the rougher, more populist aspects of American life. Am I just engaging in nostalgia for an imperfectly-remembered (or selectively-remembered) past? I don't know. Look: Mr. B knew all about "let's put on a show." He did it on Broadway, in Hollywood, and for Diaghilev (who didn't call it a show, of course). On the matter Lincoln Center and how it's so alienated from anything local, any neighborhood: SAB, in those earlier days, was also in a neighborhood, over on the East Side, in rented space in an ordinary bldg. So both the school and the ballet company were on NYÇ streets, rather than isolated in bank-like buildings.
  10. Culinary Footnote to NYCB history: Does anyone else remember Francine's? It was a lunch counter spot, right across the street from the stage entrance to City Center. Everything about it illustrates how the city has changed, and how the relationship between its public and the NYCB has also changed. Francine's was a hangout, not just for civilians, but for dancers too. Right there on W. 56th Street, in a storefront a few steps below street level. Hayden, LeClercq, Hobi, Robbie Barnett -- many others -- you'd be having yr own burger at the counter and in they'd come, after rehearsal or sometime before, grabbing something to eat. One time I met Tallchief there: she was chewing gum and humming "Belle Belle My Liberty Belle." No kidding. It's not by Sousa, by the way; it was a pop tune at the time. Francine's was an ordinary place, we all mingled there before performances. As though it were our cafe. And it was fun to see the dancers, who enthralled us on stage, turn up like everyone else, ordering their 2 eggs over with toast and coffee, or tuna sandwiches. Sure can't find any place like this near the State Theatre these days, cheap, friendly, low-key. In the first years there was one place, Joe's, a small (and dreary) diner, and for awhile it was sort of a hangout. But it was small, the food was pretty bad (so was the coffee), and it closed. Afterwards and to this day, there is nothing like these places -- only tourist spots, high priced eateries, Starbucks. re Francine's: I never saw Mr. B there, but sometimes you cld find him with Morton Baum or Betty Cage at the Sixth Avenue Deli, around the corner: another favorite, albeit pricier spot. [sid Caesar and Imogene Coca and Max Lieberman, of yr Show of Shows, which had offices at the City Center, were regulars at the Sixth Avenue.] In those days, City Ballet had a place in a neighborhood.
  11. Bourree brings to mind the wonderful, versatile Beatrice Tomkins, a member of Ballet Caravan, Ballet Society (she was in the premiere of the 4 T's), and later a soloist at NYCB, where she was the 'chief monster' in the Firebird premiere and danced in many of Mr. B's ballets. I remember her in Orpheus, Symphony in C, among others. She was truly a dancer-actress, and a comedienne. She had a very funny role opposite LeClercq in Ruthana Boris' Cakewalk, and sometimes did Bourree with Robbins as her partner [the 2 of them always got lots of laughs in the opening sequence]. She danced in many of Robbins' ballets; and they often appeared together: in Tyl [she strode about the stage grandly in the Esteban Francis regal costume], Age of Anxiety, Jones Beach. In her later yrs at NYCB she was thought of as a character dancer. After leaving the Balanchine enterprise, she taught at the Joffrey School.
  12. I was there too. And I remember Jacques as one of the goons in Prodigal. He danced many corps parts. But then he became the darling of Lincoln and of Ashton: thus Tintagel. He was gorgeous in it. The costume -- in the first scene, of course, under a cape -- was all white. Even alongside Adams, the costume, the choreography, was designed to make him the standout. Robbie Barnett was a terrific character dancer. Mr. B liked him alot. cf. the premiere of Nutcracker: the grt solo for Barnett. Max -- more later, as I say,I was there, too.
  13. How can I change my email address? Thanks.
  14. Balanchine Variations, by Nancy Goldner, is on the Spring 08 list of the University Press of Florida. Goldner's book is based on her lecture series, in which Merrill Ashley participated, sponsored by the Balanchine Foundation. Balanchine Variations provides critical commentary and historical background on twenty of Mr. B's ballets.
  15. The School of American Ballet's website has announced the death of Mme. Antonina Tumkovsky ("Tumey"), longtime associate of George Balanchine, and a revered teacher at the school for 50 years. She taught many generations of students (and future NYCB members, from the corps to principal dancers). Nancy Goldner is an alumna of the school, and a student in "Tumey's" classes; her tribute article, originally published in Dance Magazine, is available on the SAB website: http://sab.org/tumey.htm.
  16. See December 2006 Commentary magazine for letter (Jules Cohn) about Louis Moreau Gottschalk in the NYCB repertory. Teachout, in a piece about the neglect of Gottschalk's music in America, mentioned Mr. B's Tarantella, failed to mention Ruthanna Boris's use of Gottschalk (suggested by Lincoln Kirstein) in Cakewalk.
  • Create New...