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Everything posted by papeetepatrick

  1. Helene-thanks for that marvelous link for those like me who are really trying to remedy our deficiencies in ballet history. I am in process of googling for tapes of some that I haven't seen, thus far am turning up mostly the Prokofievs that I am familiar with. Would love to see the Berlioz and some of the other Tchaikovskys, but I imagine most of them are not commercially available. I also want to see some ballets of composers who wrote exclusively or mostly for ballet, that I otherwise haven't usually heard of. Schneitzshoeffer is unfamiliar (never have seen 'La Sylphide,' but will at least finally see an excerpt on a NYPL VHS shortly), as was Drigo. I knew Adolphe Adam and Delibes, of course, but I think I will discover something about a very specific sort of 'ballet-only music' by listening to some of these composers who are not well-known for other music. In 'Le Corsaire' I can already hear something of what my problems were when I was somewhat involved (long after Kryzanowska) with playing ballet classes--those teachers who liked my playing tended to let me improvise too much, then when my old friend Bobby Blankshine decided to use me at Steps in 1983, I got fired because I didn't know the more traditional style well (I could have quickly repaired this problem in a single day, but I am fairly sure things may have already gotten to a difficult stage; however, he did live another 4 years. Needless to say, this was a disturbing experience which I have only now begun to re-assess. I never saw him again, but was horrified to hear of his death in 1987.) There was a very popular pianist there at the time, Hispanic but I cannot remember the name, who knew exactly what to do and she was always in great demand. I just saw that ABT will have several Apollos in June. I've never seen it anywhere but NYCB actually, so don't know how different it might or might not be; and as my ballet-going budget is a bit more restricted this year, I'm wondering if I should try to see Veronika Part, whom I haven't ever, or just go ahead and see 'The Firebird' and 'Fancy Free' since I'm sure not to be disappointed, especially after seeing Bouder in the former in 2004. I saw 'Fancy Free' at Saratoga in 1980 and have never seen it again.
  2. Jack--I never have found any conflict with anything Balanchine ever did with scores. I think changing them for the ballet is perfectly normal. There would be some cases where it would probably make little since, as with 'Robert Schumann's Davidsbundlertanze.' In that case, if he had changed the score, he would have probably not given it that title, which makes it as much Schumann's as Balanchine's, perhaps. Any complaint I might have had at NYCB with the music has been if the orchestra sounded bored (this I have definitely heard more than once, inluding once this winter). However, along taste lines, I can understand those old remarks of Balanchine I read in the NYTimes sometime in the 70's about Beethoven being less interesting and more boring than Lehar, while not in any way sharing them. Some musicians might think they could cross this Rubicon, but I think rather few. This would be one place where usually only a dancer would be able to actually feel this as something truly believed.
  3. Farrell Fan--thank you for that interesting information. This makes me remember when Dance Magazine wrote up the 'Cinderella' opening in Chicago about 1982, and I hadn't been able to see it. However, what I had adored was Farrell in 'Romeo and Juliet.' That's Mejia's, isn't it? I hadn't ever seen the Tchaikovsky 'Romeo and Juliet' danced to, although it must have been done a good bit. I think it was this Farrell performance that most completely swept me away first. The whole program (Beacon Theatre, 1980) was wonderful--Patrick Dupond, Cynthia Gregory, many others--but Farrell's performance was so overwhelmingly musical in this for me that I couldn't keep my head from moving around with her movements, they were that powerful. It may have been embarassing, so I tried very consciously thereafter to control all this getting carried away. Recently I have been watching the video of 'Tzigane' a good bit, and am disappointed that I never saw her do this live. In this performance, I think that I see the way Farrell always vibrated with the smaller rhythmic values, so that when she comes to rest the musical line is never disrupted. When I worked with Nadia Boulanger, she introduced me to this way of always hearing the next-smallest rhythmic value--at least--and this made the line flow both accurately and be able to bend with rubatos as well; since then, I've worked to hear ever more micro-rhythms, so it could be that Farrell just does this naturally without ever having to think about it as such. Anyway, when I watch 'Tzigane' it is very much like actually seeing a musical instrument. I suppose I always look for this in other dancers, which is not quite fair, even though I love many other dancers. Surprisingly, in a different way, I find Nureyev to be extremely musical as well, although perhaps not always equally so: someone mentioned on the Royal Ballet post how beautiful was 'Les Sylphides' on the 'Evening with RB' tape, and his performance in this is one of the most elegant and understated I've seen. All of it has an extraordinary sensitivity not only to Fonteyn but also to Chopin. Regarding Hubbe in 'Apollo', I thought since posting above about the remark that he started as a god rather than becoming a god. This is surely an important point. I wonder whether, in his case, that might not be almost more difficult than anything, through no fault of his own except having that much glamour.
  4. I saw three Hubbe Apollos in 2004, and, like one of the people said about Boal 'I didn't notice who the Terpsichore was.' Peter Martins, though, was always stunning decades back and still on the videos. I just read about the 1984 gala where Nureyev danced it with Suzanne Farrell. Kisselgoff talked about his 'added choreography' but it must have been a fantastic moment. I wonder if it was the only time they danced together.
  5. With the new production of particular interest here right now, this goes back to earlier parts of the thread, regarding 'Evening with Royal Ballet,' which, because of using 'La Valse, I have been watching all parts of several times a day for a few weeks. Not being a dancer, I won't say too much about the part I fail to understand, but that I didn't notice mentioned here--i.e., I wouldn't be able to know whether Ms. Fonteyn was lesser in terms of personality, etc., than another production, but cannot watch David Blair. I would be interested to know if this is considered exemplary or at least adequate for Prince Florimund. I'd seen Nureyev and Sibley in 1973, but don't otherwise know numerous performances of 'Sleeping Beauty,' a deficiency I'll be remedying shortly, even if not with live performances this season probably. At any rate, I always want to watch Park and Ushery and then Shaw and Sibley over and over (also the adorable White Cat and Puss n' Boots), but stop every time at the pas de deux, until today when I wanted to ask a guest what he thought of this too. He called Blair's dancing 'workmanlike,' but then he's not a dancer either. I just always thought when Blair was not moving, he was just standing there and not listening too much to the music and, rather, waiting till there was something else he had to do next. I thought that interpolation of the 'Nutcracker' piece odd, too, but didn't know if this sort of thing was practised often.
  6. In case anyone missed Ms. Mcdonald's piece on 'La Valse' PNB: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/arts...2366_pnb18.html
  7. violin concerto--I was just following your excellent advice and about to email someone in 'reference' at NYCB when the most wonderful reply to my e-letter to Moira MacDonald arrived. I had written her just before I found Ballet Talk yesterday, because of PNB's March 12 performance of 'La Valse' that she reviewed in the Seattle Times. I had liked her writing a great deal, but went ahead and put the question here, because I wasn't sure when she'd have time to respond. She said that indeed it is the 8 waltzes of 'Valses Nobles' followed by 'La Valse.' I was fairly sure it was pretty straightforward, not easily imaginable that Balanchine would have cut pieces out of either of these, but definitely not 'La Valse' itself. And there could have been no question that 'La Valse' would have had to conclude it, because that is where Farrell's fantastically wild gestures produced such a sensation of tragedy. She also directed me to PNB's website, and so I will now write Ms. Chilgren a real card, which I ought to do after all these years. She was always a lovely lady and plays beautifully. But I'm glad I went on and came here too, though, because the learning potential is enormous. If there have ever been any slight changes to 'Valses Nobles,' Diane will know what they were, and I am now not in any kind of rush, as this gives me plenty to go on. I'm very grateful, because I feel very enriched already from all the responses here and from Ms. Macdonald.
  8. Helene--that's all extraordinary and illuminating. Incredible to stumble upon what Diane has been doing all these years and that she worked to score 'La Valse' as if a silent film, but intricate and exact, of course. It sounds like it would have been a thrilling job, even if maddeningly difficult. I have then been doing precisely that but in a less advanced way, since the Ashton video does have the music (even if only of 'La Valse,' of course), and it becomes a matter of learning how the dance works as you put the puzzle together. So that I do the opposite, in that I turn the volume off to try to memorize what the metres of the dance are and how they oppose or harmonize with the music. I've played dance classes, but never extensively and over many years like Diane has, who has made a great career of it. We once played solo pieces in a concert of music by our friend Joseph Fennimore at Carnegie Recital Hall, and also worked on some of his 4-hand pieces together a few years later. You probably know that David Daniel was also a fine pianist. I knew him when he was at University of Alabama and I was in high school working with the same teacher privately. When I came to Juilliard, he was also living in New York by then, and had by 1969 started going to NYCB every night and studying ballet notation. That first year in New York I played my first dance classes, for Romana Kryzanowska, who taught some classes at the YWCA, and a few times Paul Mejia (her son, of course) taught the class. I saw David occasionally in passing, and have read him, but never knew if he continued to play as well. Musicians always love Balanchine first, it seems, but with this project I have begun to appreciate some of the more theatrical ballet a bit more, because in separating off the dance's own music from the literal music, I've been able to finally see a little more into what the dancer is most concerned with in terms of meter and pulse. Never thought I'd be able to appreciate 'Le Corsaire' too much, but somehow I've been able to see what that's about too. Thanks so much. The summary of Chilgren/Verdy was superb and very useful for my work, quite in addition to the small-world things.
  9. Thank you, Dale. Once again, apologies for reposting carbro's post! I have now read Helene's 'how the site works'. I think I read that one of the current NYCB ballerinas, Bouder I believe, often falls in debuts; I like to make a point of missing a few notes when I play too. May have read in Peter Martins's mid-80's book about how Farrell had no fear of going off pointe, or however you describe it properly. I think about this every single time I play, and think it's the secret of being able to play the piano without pedantry just as much as it must be to dance without it.
  10. Carbro and Farrell Fan--many thanks. I will then contact them as you suggested, carbro. I wasn't able to go to many performances until 2004 again, and have not seen 'La Valse' on the schedule in these 3 years. I'm not sure when they last did it. I had a friend, Diane Chilgren, who did 'Liebeslieder Walzer' with Boelzener in the early 70's, but I've lost contact with her since 1983, when she was working with a Swiss company. Farrell Fan--thank you, I do need to reread the book, it's been about 15 years now. But that all comes back much more vividly now. I didn't see that 'Mozartiana', but had seen one in 1982 with Ib Andersen. I got the impression she looked taller in that than in anything else, but that's no expert opinion. I had definitely been sure that that powerful performance of 'La Valse' had been while the shock was still very fresh, though, and had to have coloured the even greater abandon, if possible, than usual. There seemed to be a great deal of anguish expressed toward the end.
  11. Hi Helene--I just joined, so I hope I am not posting this query inappropriately. I am a New York pianist and saw Farrell do 'La Valse' in 1986 just after the Joseph Duell tragedy. Recently, I remembered that her performance in this had moved me more than any of the others I'd ever seen--'Mozartiana,' 'Slaughter on 10th Avenue' (just 2 weeks before 'La Valse' and I believeDuell did the Hoofer, I haven't been able to make sure by googling), 'Nijinsky, Clown de Dieu' at Palais des Sports in late 1971 or early 1972. Since I don't have the technical knowledge, I would just say that in the climax I remember all these overrefined movements that seemed to be perfectly suited for what this ballet was about, but which are associated more with the younger Farrell, from what I've read in Croce and others. Anyway, I am for the first time learning a piano piece--both 'La Valse' and 'Valses Nobles'--with the dance in mind at all times. As far as I know, there is no easily available video of DVD to see the Balanchine 'La Valse', so I have been working with the Ashton version, which I have fallen in love with, even though I never thought I'd say that, since the project was inspired by that particular Farrell performance. After about 20 times, I could watch the Ashton and know exactly where the music was, but I was able to see how most of my pleasure in ballet was unconscious, since till now I didn't want to see anything but live performance. So that some of the dance sensation can be brought into the musical performance just as the music has always informed the dancers. This process is a little related to Deleuze's 'becomings-animal', becoming-woman, etc., and I find it very exciting. I plan to do the same thing with 'Marguerite and Armand,' which I've only seen once. But I know the Liszt Sonata better, so it may be even more enjoyable a process. I used to imagine McBride dancing to this long before I even knew about 'Marguerite and Armand.' So I am in this case asking if it was all of 'Valses Nobles' and then all of 'La Valse,' or if there was some deletion of some of the former, or any other changes. I didn't know the pieces well enough in 1986. Thank you.
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