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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Collector of minutiae
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  1. Oh boy, Symphony in C. What a can of worms. I've quoted some previous posts below. Please keep in mind that almost all of my research is archival and piecemeal. Would you believe that I've never even seen the ballet live? POB seems to have faithfully (pedantically?) preserved the choreography. Youtube hosted a 1980s film featuring the company with choreography identical to the recent theater transmission. Going further back in time, Balanchine in Paris presents Ghislaine Thesmar coaching the second movement; this coaching segment features a B&W film of Thesmar and her cavalier (1960s? 70s?) with identical pas de deux choreography from the second movement. Further back, Soviet news features (probably before or near the same time as the first NYCB visit in 1962) showed that sections of the second and fourth movements are identical. The Dutch National Ballet staged Palais in the same year, though it was billed as Symphony in C. Confusingly enough, their Symphony (which was filmed for B&W transmission) featured choreography identical to the POB Palais. Nothing in it suggests Symphony to me at all. The Balanchine Catalogue does report a 1963 CBS program (Lincoln Center Day) that featured the second and fourth movements of Symphony/Palais. However, as I have not seen this (it's at NYPL, go see it!), I can only speculate that the European and American chains of transmission may have been broken at that point, as excerpts from various biographies seems to suggest that Kent was already performing different choreography than her European counterpart. My film chain ends there, but I'll speculate that the POB has done a marvelous job in retaining the original choreography. Otherwise, any distortion that occurred in the choreography occurred between 1948 and when people began to film this ballet in the 1960s. and also also: Betty Cage gave Symphony to Taras, who insisted on companies performing only one version of it. If I recall correctly, the POB actually stopped performing Palais for a number of years (90s?) due to a copyright conflict. In another instance Francia Russell and Kent Stowell had to apply for special permission so that they could stage Russell's version for their retirement from PNB in 2005. I wonder how Mr Taras took Mariinsky's decision to stage what is patently Symphony with jewel-toned costumes in the 1990s. It's unclear what was given to Taras. I did some research for the board a few years back on the disposition of Balanchine's ballets after his death (My 2009 BA! series of three posts here), and the will named only Symphony. You'll have to see my post for more details about ownership, but von Aroldingen and Barbara Horgan shared all rights to all ballets not named in the will (the will named ~85). Here's where the weirdness comes in: is Palais a different ballet? Balanchine did name both versions of Valse Fantaisie and Theme and Variations in his will, but Palais was not, so it is possible that von Aroldingen and Horgan own it instead. However, this 2006 NYT article seems to think that Symphony and Palais are one entity (calling it just "Bizet") and belonged to Taras. In any case, he left Symphony to SAB (which originally had received nothing from Balanchine's will), and the SAB seems to have deposited said ballet(s) with the Balanchine Trust (which requires the staging blurb). Anyway, quoting from my original posts, "Taper notes that '[o]nce [the ballets were deposited in the Trust], the action was irrevocable'".
  2. CBS This Morning did a follow-up interview with McBride, featuring maddeningly short clips of her and Villella in Diana and Acteon (poss from the same Ed Sullivan program as the Corsaire clip) and her and Conrad Ludlow in a B&W Stars and Stripes. (Currently kicking herself for thinking that the broadcast was today instead of yesterday. Agh!)
  3. Bell Telephone Hour always seemed to have outrageous sets, which makes me suspect (facetiously) that the set designer had frustrated ambitions. The Art of Maria Tallchief featured a Don Q grand pas de deux with Erik Bruhn that featured the couple trying to dance around large lacy fans that opened and closed.
  4. Okay, if they're going to include things not from Montréal, why not also the 1966 BBC Apollo with d'Amboise/Farrell/Govrin/Neary? Grr.
  5. The Barocco in Afternoon with Adams and Le Clercq (black leotards, six women corp) is on Volume 2 in the series. I don't recall Afternoon excerpting from the Barocco that I had mentioned, which features Conrad Ludlow, Suzanne Farrell and Marnee Morris with white leotards and a proper eight women corp.
  6. Balanchine Foundation notes that it has been broadcast twice: once on PBS Dance in America (possibly the Dance Theatre in Harlem version, and I have a vague memory of seeing this one) and once on CBC. NYPL lists the following 1978 cast: Patricia McBride, Jean-Pierre Bonnefous, Bonita Borne, Elyse Borne, Elise Flagg, Delia Peters, John Bass, Richard Dryden, Laurence Matthews, and Richard Tanner. (and for something slightly different) What I find very odd is that VAI has not seen fit to release the complete L'Heure du concert of the 1960s Apollo/Concerto Barocco/Divertimento Brilliante program. It's a complete, self-enclosed hour of programming, and I'm pretty sure that there is a color source. At least, the Balanchine biography excerpted a color segment of young Farrell and not-yet-majestically-maned Martins in Apollo from this broadcast.
  7. Looks like not. Balanchine Foundation's catalogue entry lists no other companies that have staged this work, nor any recordings of it by the company. Jennifer Dunning's NYT article for the Balanchine Celebration (dated 1992) notes that it was lost without any motions at revival. Barbara Millberg's recent biography talks about it in some detail (which makes me wonder if she still remembers the choreography), but as of now there is no video record of it.
  8. This is Soviet newsreel film footage from Balanchine and NYCB's first visit in 1962. The Bizet was dubbed in much later, probably just for this program. The original occasionally had synchronized sound and very Soviet announcers educating us on these fascinating Americanski. I know that newsreel footage exists for performances of Fanfare, Prodigal Son (Edited correction, Russian had it as "child"), Agon, and Symphony in C. Kirstein was interviewed, either for that radio program or something else around that time. A quote from the one newsreel that I did have access to: "And when I asked the leader of the theater if they were happy to meet Muscovites, the general director Mr. Kirstein said “we heard a lot about what great hosts Muscovites are, but what we saw in the Bolshoi Theater and the Kremlin Fortress beat all of our expectations. "
  9. From Matthew Renko's post performance talk after his PNB Rubies debut on friday: "I mean, halfway through the pas de deux, I'm dying, but then I look at my partner...Jahna (he gestures to her and everyone laughs), and I think, 'Yeah, I can rhumba some more!'" More later.
  10. Apparently the entire film is on the Internet Archive! Downloadable for your private viewing pleasure in indifferent resolution. The original story has been modernized a bit for this production: https://archive.org/details/Brigadoon1966
  11. I don't know whether this is more or less orthodox than Villella's Corsaire pdd. This television production of Brigadoon has never been released on video.
  12. Just getting started, schedule is available at the OBT website: http://www.obt.org/season_nutcracker.html OBT coupon for the Nutcracker was in one of the Portland metro advertisement bundles. Discount is 40% and redeemable through Ticketmaster, via phone, or in person at the box office. Officer expires 10 October. Valid for seating areas 1-5 for the following dates. Purchase is limited to four tickets. Thursday, December 18, 7:30 PM Friday, December 19, 2 PM & 7:30 PM Tuesday, December 23, 2 PM & 7:30 PM Friday, December 26, 7: 30 PM Saturday, December 27, 2 PM & 7:30 PM Music will be prerecorded at all of the performances listed above.
  13. I updated my list today. Aside from Liebeslieder, there is still an unreleased color program (Apollo/Concerto Barocco/Glinkiana) plus a bunch of smaller things over the years, including a Chaconne and a Who Cares? with the original cast. Based on stuff people have mentioned over the years with regard to other Balanchine recordings, I'm wondering whether the more recent recordings may be held up as VAI negotiate with the performers still living for its inclusion. Overall, CBC seems to have been better about retaining its tapes than the BBC, but who knows what they still have left. Then again, someone did find a uncut copy of The Passion of Joan Arc in an insane asylum, so we can hope... PS: There is a German recording of Episodes. Movements 3 (w Kent) and 4 (w Estopinal) was up on Youtube for a while, but the camera angles made it as unwatchable as I remembered.
  14. I didn't see this question earlier, but to answer it (general knowledge supplemented with wikipedia), color transmission was introduced in the early 50s (1953). However, most American networks continued to broadcast in black and white, switching over gradually until general consolidation into color transmission in the early 1970s. In Canada, the CBC first shot in color in 1963, but it wasn't until 1966 that they began to transmit in color and full color service didn't begin until 1974. Unfortunately, this is where the bottleneck comes in. If CBC has the original tapes, then a substantial number of what I listed will be in color. Sadly, Liebeslieder will not be one of them, being shot in 1961.
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