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Balanchine Celebration Season announced


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I guess b/c I find myself experiencing it, I just hope the future generations have "enough" Balanchine to see. It's been 10 years since the 93 Celebration and we've probably not seen a good 20 ballets since then.

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Balanchine himself often said, "I'll be dead; they'll be doing my steps but not my ballets," or words to that effect. :)

Aha! So that prophecy is the part of the Balanchine legacy that Martins is seeking to celebrate! :eek: Now I get it!

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I think it's important not to be resigned to anything, in this case, the fate of the Balanchine repertoire at NYCB. We are, I guess, still in the first 'generation' after Balanchine (and other great 20th c. choreographers such as Graham, Ashton, etc), meaning that there are still dancers around who were in the studio with him and who danced for him. Many of his ballets are in danger of disappearing or have disappeared altogether. Certainly some of his greatest works, the Serenades, the Baroccos, etc., will survive into successive generations, but in what FORM will they survive? I wish Martins had made a magnanimous gesture and invited those ex-Balanchine dancers to participate in the Celebration. You'd think someone would at least want to make a Marketing event out of it.

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I think it is interesting to note that in 1993 with the Balanchine Celebration, Lincoln Kirstein was still alive. While he wasn't big on reviving ballets Balanchine dropped from the rep. (calling it "ambulance chasing."), I wonder if his presence (or somebody of power who predated the current regime) would have made the next season different.

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I'm trying to find a silver lining in what appears to be a dense, dark cloud. Perhaps the legacy of Balanchine is that NYCB can go on, despite the absence of its founder, or in the face of any other adversity. Now, that's a good thing, but it's mighty slim as a centennial obeisance to the master. To schedule a pretty ordinary season and call it a centennial tribute is damning with faint praise.:)

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Dale, I think you've hit the nail on the head. Peter Martins has absolute power at NYCB now, there is no one he has to answer to, there is no other competing power base, no other competing point of view, no one else to compromise with. In my opinion that is not a good thing for the institution or for the audience, no matter who is in charge.

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Now there's a point that's worthy of its own thread! Leigh has posted a Gottlieb article/NYCB ballerinas thread on this forum. I'll post a "should NYCB be a Balanchine museum" thread -- a good question for discussion.

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Today, as a subscriber, I received in the mail a *sneak preview* of Balanchine 100-- in other words, I got the schedule for the next two seasons (they even let you know which perfs match your subscription #). Actual renewals will occur at the usual time.

Highlights/Summary:

Midsummer's- 6 perfs across the first two weeks. The rest of those week's perfs are mixed bills.

Swan Lake: 4 perfs

New Stroman: 7

Jewels: 6

Coppelia: 4

Final 2 weeks are all Sleeping Beauty

The non-full length ballets for the winter are:

Apollo, Scotch Symphony, T. Piano Concerto No. 2, Slaughter..., Concerto Barocco, Serenade, Prodigal Son, Flower Festival, Harlequinade, Chopiniana, Donizetti Variations.

Spring is as the press releases and Cargill described. But, the final perf of the season (June 27) lists an All Balanchine of Cortege Hongrois, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Suite No. 3. Georgian State Dance Company is listed for the Friday night and Saturday night of the last week, but not the final night.

Looks like a lot of Balanchine to me in the spring. 54 Mr. B ballets for the two seasons out of 81 tells only a partial story for the celebration. Several of those are full-length or almost full-length (Harlequinade), but it's also a question of how many times each ballet gets done. Looks full of Mr. B to me. In the spring, with the exception of the 2 week American Music Festival, almost all of the non- "All Balanchine" programs have at least 2 Mr. B ballets on them. When you finally look at the actual programs, there's tons of Balanchine in sight.

-amanda

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Seeing that rundown is exciting, minus the two full weeks of Sleeping Beauty. Good to know that Swan Lake and Coppelia are limited to 4 shows a piece, and that there is still going to be some Balanchine in the spring season, rather than just 'Heritage'.

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oh, btw, perhaps I just read it incorrectly, but I had thought from the earlier postings that there 23 all-Balanchine programs in all. It's actually 23 all Mr. B programs in the winter. There are an ADDITIONAL 24 All-Balanchine programs in the spring!

carbro, glad to provide some comfort!

-amanda

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As is well known you can prove anything you want with statistics.

Of the all-Balanchine evenings in the winter season, 6 are of Midsummer Night's Dream and 6 of Jewels. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) In contrast, assuming I counted correctly, there will be 7 performances of the Susan Stroman ballet, and 13 of Peter Martins's Sleeping Beauty, as well as 4 of his Swan Lake.

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Amanda, that is very interesting about the final night. The press release that was given out said the 27th would be a full evening of the Tblisi dancers, but the program you have sounds better! (Though I love folk dancing.)

I actually am very pleased that there will be 2 weeks of Beauty. I remember the first year it was danced, the classical Balanchine that followed was

wonderful--I had never seen Raymonda danced better. At least with enough performances, there will be more of a chance to develop.

For me, the issue isn't just how many Balanchine performances there are, but how they are done, who is coaching them, and how much rehearsal, etc. It doesn't really matter much how many titles are performed, if they all are danced in the same way.

To me, other than the artificial musical divisions, the summer looks like what a regular NYCB season should be, not necessarily a special examination of Balanchine as a choreographer. However, that doesn't mean I am not looking forward to seeing the ballets!

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The June 27th performance that Amanda was referring to is probably the matinee. My guess is that the Georgians will perform that evening (NYCB no longer gives Sunday night performances).

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There is no extra performance (i.e., a one-time only Sunday night perf) listed. It seems like they listed all the perfs for the two seasons, both subscription and non-sub. But, maybe they are adding an extra one that is not listed. They haven't announced the guest artists (other than the conductor) yet, either.

cargill, I'm only trying to play slight devil's advocate! Just making sure we look at all aspects of the celebration. All you say rings very true. I'm still happy there are many more All-Balanchine evenings than I had previously thought. I never go home happier from the theater than on those nights (ok, perhaps, if Glass Pieces also ended a program).

On a different note, I noticed something I had also noticed with the 50th anniversary, as well. Very few of Mr. B's "European" music ballets are among the ones I LOVE, esp. when compared to the early works being done in Winter and the American and Russian ones later in Spring. Is it b/c I like the music less? ... hmm.... it's got me wondering what it is about those ballets...

-amanda

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