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

Bart Cook

Recommended Posts

A recent discussion of Miami City Ballet's performance of The Four Temperaments prompts this discussion.

Cook was a fascinating dancer, almost sui generis, and interesting in that Balanchine reshaped repertory for him. He added a solo to Square Dance. I once spoke briefly to Cook about Agon; the entree in the first pas de trois was changed at least four times in its existence, but the final version was choreographed on him. And Cook put his stamp on Melancholic as well.

Cook coached Peter Boal in Melancholic - in a conversation Boal described that he said to Boal flat out that many of the motivations Cook used could not apply to him and he would have to find his own. The impetus that Cook used for crumpling out of arabesque was that no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't create an arabesque line and that caused him to crumple in despair.

Do people have any memories of Cook as a dancer; were there other roles he put his own stamp or spin on you're like to discuss?

Link to comment

Liebeslieder. He was wonderful in Liebeslieder, though he tends to be associated with "leotard" ballets. As I recall--this is off the top of my head--he dances with Patty McBride. THere was this spot where they were downstage center, and she turned to dance upstage, and he gave her a little push, so gentle, right where she would have had wings, if she were winged. (Just on the shoulder blades.) And he also was imporant to the Robbins rep....

Link to comment

He was extremely supple and fluid; in his great solos (as Melancholic and in Square Dance) he could appear boneless and yet, when called for, thoroughly stretched out and even taut. He had an extraordinary arched back -- it would have seemed so in a woman dancer. He was also, without in any way 'acting,' very communicative, emotional even, in his dancing. He seemed like a real person on stage (sounds hokey, but I don't know how else to put it). I thought he paired wonderfully with Allegra Kent in Agon and, in my eyes, their pas de deux had a much warmer, more humane quality than any others I've seen (Farrell/Martins, Whelan/Soto mostly). I didn't see him a lot, but I really loved his dancing and as wonderful as Peter Boal is in Square Dance, still miss Cook in that role.

Link to comment

I never saw him live, but ..... he sure comes through on videotape. His timing was really exciting. The moment the standing foot pointed was like a knife in hte heart.The bending-over backward-backing-out exit in Melancholic was astounding, but it wasn't hte only part of hte dance that registered as a shock -- the falls! What did he do? somehow he was falling over backwards and at the last second, like a cat, he turned to face it and hit the ground face-forward. landing on his fingertips, it seems like -- it was danced with such intensity, Eifman-level drama, not in his face or eyes, not histrionics, but in hte body, and not so much in the plastique, as in the action.....

Leigh -- I wish you'd say more about what his notes were to Peter Boal; from the quote about despairing of ever achieving a real arabesque line.... can you sing some more of that? Fascinating.....

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...