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

If you were throwing the party....

Recommended Posts

First of all, I would take the money presumably being spent on Eifman and Stroman and Gergiev (who isn't a ballet conductor, and who doesn't like ballet) and import the Kirov corps to dance Diamonds. Then if I could raise the money, I would import the Kirov to dance their new/old Sleeping Beauty. And I would reconstruct the Ivanov portions of Swan Lake. And I would beg the dancers who originated roles to come back and coach. And I would have Les Sylphides in the proper costumes.

Link to comment
Originally posted by cargill

First of all, I would . . . import the Kirov corps to dance Diamonds.  Then if I could raise the money, I would import the Kirov to dance their new/old Sleeping Beauty.  And I would reconstruct the Ivanov portions of Swan Lake. . . . And I would have Les Sylphides in the proper costumes.

That sounds more like a tribute to Petipa, Ivanov, and the Kirov than Balanchine, Mary.

I certainly agree about bringing back the dancers who originated the roles to come back and coach, however. And, as others have said, an effort should be made to restore lost or seldom performed Balanchine ballets to the repertoire — and keep them there. And instead of the no-brainer "national music weeks," we could have programs organized in ways that make us look at Balanchine's work afresh. How about bringing back some old versions of existing ballets, just temporarily, to see how they look today? This would be a way of stimulating discussion of the heritage, and how we want to preserve it.

Instead of guest stars, how about guest companies (not including the Georgians — Balanchine was a Petersburger who never set foot in Georgia until 1962). This would be a chance to showcase those fine regional companies who dance Balanchine so well. They wouldn't have to come for a full program, just for individual ballets. This would open New Yorkers' eyes to companies they don't ordinarily get to see and provide NY exposure for these companies (and support the work being done by NYCB alums).

And of course, exhibits, panel discussions, talks by former dancers, showings of rare film footage, all that kind of fun stuff . . .

Link to comment

What I meant was if they are going to say they are showing the ballets that influenced Balanchine, then they should be as accurate as possible! Of course I agree with all of your suggestions, and I don't think they are asking too much--I was going way over the top.

Link to comment
Originally posted by Ari [A]n effort should be made to restore lost or seldom performed Balanchine ballets to the repertoire — and keep them there.  . . .  How about bringing back some old versions of existing ballets. . . ?  This would be a way of stimulating discussion of the heritage, and how we want to preserve it.
One wishes that that had been the central point. Wasn't it fascinating to see, in '93, the two different "Valse Fantaisies"?, "Western's" "lost" Scherzo? :)
Instead of guest stars, how about guest companies[?] . . .  And of course, exhibits, panel discussions, talks by former dancers, showings of rare film footage, all that kind of fun stuff . . .
An ingathering of the whole diaspora would be fabulous! :)

I am hoping that a seminar series along the lines of '93's (which was held at the Performing Arts Library) is offered.

Link to comment

Sorry, I was not aware that Gergiev has been quoted as stating that he does not like ballet. Is this so? (Genuine question; would love to read the interview.) Whether or not he likes ballet, Gergiev has lots of experience conducting ballets, both live and in Grammy-winning recordings (R&J, Firebird, Nutcracker...and what an amazing 'Nutcracker' he conducts, by the way!).

Back to the question/topic -

Like Mary, I would invite dancers from all of the leading ballet troupes -- not just the Kirov cortps in 'Diamonds,' but dancers from POB (for Symphony in C...'Palais de Crystal' version), Royal of GB (for 'Ballet Imperial')...and, to celebrate Balanchine's Hollywood period, how about Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta-Jones to dance 'Slaughter on 10th Ave.' a-la Vera Zorina & Edward Albert?

Link to comment

Multi-media could be used to show Balanchine's influences. Parts of the restored Sleeping Beauty could be shown on screen. Then ballets of Mr. B's that were inspired by the Mariinsky tradition could be programed, like Theme and Variations and Divertimento No. 15 (which, should not be thrown on a "Austrian music" program, it's Mariinsky - just look at the costumes and the choreography, even though it is to Mozart). His own Swan Lake could open a program that has Tchiakovsky pas de deux and Ballet Imperial, or you can take the theme of Swan Lake, or at least what Balanchine saw as its theme as a jumping point to ballets about unatainable loves - Orpheus, Le Baiser de la Fée (the divertimento and the reconstructed pas de deux), Mediations, excerpts from his Don Q. Serenade or the opening Elegie of Suite No. 3, Ivesiana. Deconstrutionist ballets from 1920s Russia can be shown on a screen before a program of La Chatte, 4ts, Monumentum/Movements, Agon or Violin Concerto.

A program of Balanchine's parties on the edge of a cliff, like Cotillion, Night Shadow, Bourree Fantastique, La Valse.

I would like to see some ballets shown in several different versions. That's where some other companies can come in - POB doing Le Palais de Cristal, the Royal to do Ballet Imperial, SAB to do Serenade, even ABT to do T&V (and I'd have ABT wear the original costumes), PNB can do a throwback Agon (pre-1962), Miami City Ballet could do a Seligman 4Ts, get the Graham and Taylor companies w/NYCB to do an Episodes I and II. If part I is completely lost, we'll just have a soloist from Paul Taylor's troup for his solo in Episodes II. Go to the uncut version of Apollo. Have the Kirov do the version with the sandals and the Pavel Tchelitchew backdrops used for the Buenos Aires production.

Link to comment

I too would take the money from the guest conductor, guest company from Georgia, and the new ballets.

I would prefer an all Balanchine season featuring his hallmarks - just him. Unlike others, I do not want to see any guest companies or artists (like POB, Kirov, Royal). I appreciated the many guest artists of the 93' Celebration (wonderful to see Darcey Bussell in Agon, Viviana Durante in Who Cares?), but I would prefer to stick only to NYCB dancers.

Take the money from the above and devote it to bringing back dancers to teach/stage ballets that were created for them/they are known for.

My dream list of ballets: Agon, Allegro Brillante, Midsummer Night, Apollo, Ballo Della Regina, Bouree Fantasque, Bugaku, Chaconne, Concerto Barocco, Coppelia, Cortege Hongrois, Baiser de le Fee, Divertimento No. 15, Don Q, Firebird, Harlequinade, Jewels, Kammermusik No. 2, La Sonnambula, La Valse, Liebeslieder Walzer, Meditation, Mozartiana, Orpheus, Pavane, Prodigal Son, Raymonda, Davidsbundlertanze, Scotch Symphony, Serenade, Slaughter on 10th Ave, Square Dance, Stars and Stripes, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Swan Lake (one act), Sylvia Pas de Deux, Symphony in C, Symphony in 3 Movements, Tarantella, Four Temperaments, Theme and Variations, Nutcracker, Steadfast Tin Soldier, Tch. Pas de Deux, Tch. Piano Concerto No. 2, Tch. Suite No. 3, Tzigane, Union Jack, Valse Fantaisie, Vienna Waltzes, Walpurgisnacht, Western Symphony, and Who Cares.

That's about 50 ballets. It would be nice to see major reproductions of Pavane, Don Q, Meditation, Bugaku, Tzigane.

Can you imagine Carla Korbes as Dulcinea in Don Q? She would be divine. Taylor and Ansanelli also might be interesting. Kyra Nichols could do Pavane again, or maybe Wendy Whelan or Maria K, Bugaku would be striking with Kowroski in it, or Taylor. Oh the possibilities.

I do like that they are bringing Union Jack, Jewels, and some others we haven't seen in a while back.

I also like the chronological approach and would use that.

Link to comment

I'd like to see the 93 Celebration all over again, with the marathon session at the end with the guest dancers.

I thought it was such a great overview. And to have the dancers who originated the roles come back to coach.

Glinka pas trois, Irish Fantasy, Bourre Fantasitque (sp?)

I would love to see the intermission or pre-performance talks use multi-media so we could see LeClercq again.

Link to comment

Ballerina 1023 -- Because your idea of what they should have done is very much like what I would have liked. Because the other day you were angry at the posters who were outraged by the announced plans and it turns out you're really very sensible. ;) And because you want to bring back Balanchine's Don Quixote.

Link to comment

I've read somewhere in the previous posts that Balanchine's Don Q wasn't a success. Can anyone who've seen the actual production tell us a little more about what it was really like? What was the music like? I've been reading quite a few members indicate that they would like this revived. I'd love to see a NYCB version of Don Q, different from the usual Russian version that we see. And yes, Korbes would be absolutely magnificent in this role, even in the Russian version, although I'm not sure if she'll have the "attack" for it. Ansanelli would be nice too.

Link to comment

I didn't see it, Terry, but the question has come up before, so you might want to run a search. I've heard the same thing you have -- that it wasn't a success. There's at least one person on this board who agrees with this, vehemently. But someone I know who saw it thought it was fascinating, and thought that the reason it wasn't popular was because of the music, which was "difficult" at the time.

There have been periodic rumors that it would be revived, by this company or that, but nothing has been scheduled, as far as I know.

Link to comment

I saw it twice(?) with Farrell and once during her exile, and her presence made all the difference.

There are segments that are absolutely transcendent -- as fine as anything Balanchine ever created. Magical. And they are held together by some of the most oppressive passages he's ever done. Are said oppressive passages gratuitously so? No. They reflect the Don's agony, I think. Okay, I'm not completely clear, but that's what it seems like after the passage of so many years.

Casting: At present there is exactly one candidate in the company for Dulcinea, and that would be Whelan. Years ago, Kistler would have been the obvious choice.

A successful mounting of this ballet would require far more care than anything NYCB seems willing to invest in most of what it's done lately.

The music is . . . Let's say I don't remember leaving the theater humming it.

Link to comment

I think the divertisments and the moonlight section are as great as anything Balanchine ever choreographed. To be honest, I don't see Whelan. It would need somebody like Korbes, but with a killer technique. Forget who would dance Farrell's part, I'm not sure there are too many dancers around who can do justice to some of the other parts as well. Marnie Morris' part is pretty hard too.

On the other hand, I can cast Bourree Fantastique easily (can everybody tell I want to see this ballet again!). At NYCB, Kowroski in the first movement (she's got a feel for comedy and her size makes her perfect), Nichols, Ringer or Somogyi (even Whelan) in the second movement, and Bouder in the third.

The ballet was revived by ABT, so I'd cast it over there like this - Meunier in the first movement (she was terrific in it when NYCB staged it), Part in the second, Murphy in the third. Wiles can be second cast in the first movement, Ananiashvili in the second and Liceica in the third.

Link to comment
Originally posted by Dale

I think the divertisments and the moonlight section are as great as anything Balanchine ever choreographed.

Yes, indeed.

To be honest, I don't see Whelan.  It would need somebody like Korbes, but with a killer technique.
I suggested Whelan because she has the technique plus that uncanny gift for finding a way to make unlikely roles work well on her -- and in tune with their original intent.
Link to comment

Thanks for the thread, Ari.

As Dulcinea, Farrell appeared to the Don in various guises. In the prologue she was a servant who bathed his feet and dried them with her hair. That scene is still vivid in my mind and, I suppose, in others'. She also appeared as Mary Magdalen, the Virgin Mary, a shepherdess, and the Lady of the Silver Moon. I can't now remember in which guise she did the most dancing -- the shepherdess, perhaps. I saw the ballet four or five times and always saw her in the part, and Richard Rapp as the Don. I never saw Mr. B do it, alas.

Just to make it clear -- the ballet was a far cry from the familiar Petipa ballet to Minkus's music. In its three acts, it attempted to convey the heart of the entire Cervantes novel, rather than the Kitri's Wedding story in which the Don and Sancho are basically walk-on characters. The prevailing mood was dark, as the Don was continually mocked and humiliated. I suppose the music, by Nicholas Nabokov, was undistinguished, although Balanchine professed to admire it.

Suzanne Farrell owns the rights to the ballet. It seems unlikely, but I'd love for her company to attempt it some day.

Link to comment

Very interesting about Don Q... I had never heard anything of it being unpopular. It seems surprising considering it was Farrell and Balanchine was on stage as the Don.

Despite this, and the consequence that many people will go in expecting the bravura ABT-like version, I would still love to see it.

I'm not sure if I'd prefer Whelan in it... although she would probably get dibs on the role. She just isn't my kind of dancer. If only Abi Stafford would losen up a little. She certainly would have the technique, and sometimes she reminds me just a teeny bit of Farrell (appearance). Same thing with Korbes... "if only" she would stay healthy and gain some strength.

And yes, I was slightly angered at what I perceived to be negativity regarding the celebration. However, and thank you Farrell Fan, I was becoming emotional, too- just like the other posters. I just had a slightly different reaction than most ;)

Link to comment

Good question...

Well, obviously Suzanne Farrell in many, many things. Most notably, Don Q, Diamonds from Jewels, Meditation... well, I'll just stop there. I'd let her teach anything she would want! :)

Merrill Ashley teaching Ballo Della Regina to ABT students (i.e. Megan Fairchild) was a good move... just coach some others, and do Ballade as well.

Patty McBride- Coppelia, Harlequinade, Who Cares (Man I Love section), Tarantella.

Karin von Aroldingen- Agon, Prodigal Son

Kay Mazzo- Duo Concertant, Stravinsky Violin Concerto

Violette Verdy- Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Emeralds from Jewels

Jacques D'Amboise & Edward Villela- same situation as Farrell, let them do whatever they want coaching the men.

Of course, this is a dream world, as many of the aforementioned have very busy careers with other ballet venues. It would certainly be a challenge to bring some of them back.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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