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Balanchine @ 100, PBS previews, reviews

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Most of Danceview Times this week is on Balanchine:


Mindy Aloff's letter has a short preview of the Balanchine documentary to be broadcast on PBS this week, as well as a detailed report on the panel discussion (with Anna Kisselgoff, Peter Martins, Jacques d'Amboise, Arthur Mitchell and Merrill Ashley) called Balanchine @ 100

Dale Brauner has a preview of the Balanchine documentary, including a list of all the clips used

And there are two reviews of the first week's rep, one by Gay Morris (new to DVTimes, but a regular contributor to Danceview for years. She wrote about dance in San Francisco for us and was book reviews editor for a while) and Susan Reiter

First paragraph(s) are on the front page, with links to the articles inside.

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For one, I'm glad Aloff went to the Times talk as I couldn't :wink: It's hard to catch everything during this Balanchine Centennial, so it's nice to have good reporting from the events. Aloff's opening graphs about her difficult time with the ushers made me laugh out loud. You know, if the usher didn't want to hold Aloff's newspaper, she shouldn't have offered. The whole incident perfectly characterized the new tone of so many of the ushers. In the wake of 9/11, ushers and door attendents rule with marshal low. I don't mind having my bag looked through before I enter the theater, but I do mind having the person comment testily about the amount of stuff I have in my bag.

I'm glad Aloff reported on the dynamic between the panelists. It was interesting she felt Kisselgoff was more panelist than moderator. I wish Kisselgoff had followed up on the comment that Robbins tried to take over the company in the 50s. It would have been nice to know more about that.

The comments from D'Amboise and Mitchell were especially interesting. Not that Ashely's and Martins' weren't, but we see them around here more often.

Unfortunately, Martins seemed squash any hopes of revivals or reconstructions of works by Balanchine. Martins' quote from Balanchine, who supposedly said not to bring back any "lost" works, made me think whether we should honor choreographers' requests on the liftspan of a work, or is it more important for society that these works stay alive (this goes for Ashton, Tudor and others too). After seeing the Lost Balanchine seminar at the Guggenheim, I vote for bringing these works back, even in fragments. The bits and pieces that I saw were revealations - not only as a document to Balanchine's work but as theater. The same goes for the Act II pas de deux from Don. Q Suzanne Farrell brought back for her company's recent run. How glorious would it be now to see Maria Kowroski, a natural comedic ballerina, in the first movement of Bourrée Fantasque, Somogyi or Ringer in the second movement and Bouder or Taylor in the third.

Anyway, it didn't seem D'Amboise agreed as he offered up À la Françaix, which was filmed when Eglevsky revived it for his company in the 70s.

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I devoutly wish that the ballets in danger of being lost be rescued. Not only for their intrinsic value, but for the richness of context they would provide for "active" Balanchine rep. My only qualifying tnought relates to Mr. B's own response when someone asked him why the company wasn't performing such-and-such ballet: "We don't have the dancers for it." How many times have I left State Theater muttering, "Why are they doing [fill in the blank], when they don't have a good cast?" :wink: Quite a few.

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I agree with you carbro. But then a dancer comes along and I think, "God, wouldn't Ringer and Millepied be perfect for Haiff Divertt.?" People didn't think much about Variations Pour Une Porte Et Un Soupir, but since it's revival it's provided a good role for Calegari, Alexopoulos and Kowroski.

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