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lost Emeralds choreography


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Speaking of "fixing" ballets . . . after reading Verdy's comments about Emeralds in the Costas book, where she speaks of "beautiful, intricate work in it, that has disappeared" because Balanchine was angered by Irving's fast tempos and took it out, I've been meaning to ask if anyone could describe this choreography. And I know she helped stage this ballet for Miami City Ballet. She says she still remembers the lost choreography. Does anyone know, did she really not teach it down there?

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kfw - The choreography that I describe Verdy and Ludlow teaching to Carla Lorbes and James Fayette in the current print edition of Dance View is from an earlier version of Emeralds. Their source of the choreography is a 1971 videotape taken in performance. What they taught was the opening pas de deux, which is different, but the differences didn't seem to be driven by speed or tempos. It may not be the part Verdy is referring to in her quotes. There's no question she could get the older version back; I don't think she was relying on the video, but she did need it to check against her memory. The videotape is silent, and she and Ludlow were having a hard time putting it on the music with precision - but to use her words from that session, she would be able to "resurrect" it.

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Violette did restore choreography to the opening pas of Emeralds here at Miami City Ballet, and we still perform it as she set it. She also made some slight alterations to her bracelet variation- just a couple of spacing things, though.

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