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TimesTalks - Balanchine @ 100


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I just ran across a listing for this on Amazon. Apparently it's a downloadable one hour and 14 minute-long recording of a January 10, 2004 panel discussion with Peter Martins, Merrill Ashley, Jacques D'Amboise, and Arthur Mitchell that was moderated by Anna Kisselgoff. I'm guessing that this took place in the Rose Building in Lincoln Center. No doubt one or more very knowledgeable posters here attended. Did you learn much?

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Yes it is, perky. I hesitated to give too much information, because I didn't want to play sales rep for Amazon, as they're apparently the only sellers. But as a ballet history enthusiast, I'll say I found it searching for Merrill Ashley's bio. :yahoo:

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This talk was given at the Graduate Center of City University (The old Altman's Dept Store building) I need to find my notes on this event but at this late hour the most notable part of this conversation that I can remember occurred when Jacques d'Amboise got a little chatty about Lincoln Kirsten's private life and some of the politics in the company in the late 40s and early 50s. It was the first time I became aware that all was not love and kisses between Balanchine and Kirsten. He also suggested that Robbins wanted to take over the company at that time. Peter Martins did explain that some ballets are not performed today because Balanchine did not want them performed again. He said he did not always agree with Balanchine on which ballets were worth performing again. Arthur Mitchell and Merrill Ashley spent some time talking about the uniqueness of Balanchine's choreography. Not anything that would suprise any of the people who read this board regularly.

It was not the most memorable conversation.

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I hade not heard this Robbins story before and have not heard it since. I think the issues between Balanchine and Kirsten stemmed from Kirsten wanting to be another Diaghilev. Balanchine thought Diaghilev had been too controlling and wanted to keep Kirsten at a distance. Gottlieb goes into this a little bit in his book on Balanchine.

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