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Etudes--Harald Lander

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I hope this is the correct place to post my question.

I wonder if anyone would know whom to contact for permission to perform the "Ballarina" variation from Etudes. It would be done in a competition. I would be most appreciative for any assistance that you can provide.

While I have seen videos of other dancers performing this variation in competitions, I do not know how to find out how they arranged for permission.

Thank you for your assistance.

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Donning Moderator's beanie

Chez, this is the audience board, so this question doesn't really belong here. I'm going to leave it open, because it's just possible one of our members has the answer, but it really belongs on BalletTalk for Dancers, where I know you are a member. You can click the link in the top, right-hand corner of this page; it will take you directly there.

Doffing Mod's beanie

Also, have you asked your teacher? I would think s/he would have experience in these matters.

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Last I knew, permission to perform any part of Etudes had to be obtained from Lise Lander, Harald Lander's widow, who owned all the rights. I had to get it for a dancer once for the men's mazurka. However that was in 1982 and I do not know if Lise Lander is (hopefully) still with us. At the time I had spoken to someone at ABT and they got me her address in Paris and she wrote a very nice permission. Any company that has performed it recently would be able to contact her.

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Is it okay if I broaden the discussion?

For what kind of performance must permission be obtained when rights are held by someone? Would a student have to get permission from the Balanchine Trust, say, to do a variation in an end-of-year student recital? I'm just wondering where the line lies.

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i don't know the law. but in theory at least, i would assume that if a piece of choreography still has rights attached to it, as opposed to say something by petipa, then no sort of performance would be allowed, whether student or professional, without permission. you wouldn't be able to use the excuse that admission wasn't being charged, because if you don't have the right to perform something you probably don't have the right to stage or teach it either. however in practice i suspect many studios get away with doing it anyway because they either don't know or just assume that their performances won't come to the attention of the persons/organizations involved. someone knowing the law better than i can correct me i hope, if necessary.

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As far as the Balanchine Trust goes, yes, a student must get permission before performing one of his pieces. The process of my daughter's studio obtaining permission went like this: A former NYCB dancer, who is authorized to set Balanchine choreography, came to our studio to teach some classes. After getting an idea of the abilities of the students, she told the directors of the studio which Balanchine pieces would be suitable. Next. she obtained permission for the students to learn and perform the choreography in a public venue. She then worked with the students for several weeks until it was performance ready. Video recording of the choreography was not allowed to be included on the DVD recording of the rest of the performance.

A few years ago, another studio in town planned a Balanchine performance without obtaining permission from the Trust. It was advertised and word got back to the Trust, which then contacted the studio just days before their performance and informed them that they could not perform any of the Balanchine pieces. :)

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To go even farther afield, does anyone know if it is possible to get permissions to perform the Lacotte La Sylphide, and if so, would it be possible to perform excerpts?

Watching it today, it occured to me that the Grand Pas de Trois (about 12 minutes) would make a great short ballet, as one of two short pieces as a third of a triple bill, and I may be in the very small minority here, but I prefer the first Dance of the Sylphs, Pas de Deux, Divertissement, and second Dance of the Sylphs to Les Sylphides. I think this section also could stand alone, at close to 28 minutes.

One the whole, I don't think this version as a whole has the dramatic viability or emotional impact as the Bournonville version, but the Pas de Trois that opens the Grand Pas de Trois does and is a gem.

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If I'm reading things correctly, the Balanchine Trust's main interest is in preserving the integrity of the ballets; receiving royalty income from performances is kind of secondary. Is that correct?

Is it tougher, then, to get permission from the Trust than from other rights holders? It sounds as though some rights holders say, "Sure, go ahead, glad you like the choreography" and others (e.g. the Trust) say, "only if we are certain you are presenting it correctly".

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well not quite, treefrog; in the case of the male dancer i am speaking of, the background is that the variation had been taught to him while training by someone well known to Ms. Lander, and it was on the strength of her knowledge of that teacher that she granted the permission. i don't want to make it sound like she carelessly grants the permission, because she most definitely didn't. had he not been trained by someone in paris that she knew well, i doubt she would have allowed him to perform it at the competition. i think most people concerned; heirs, choreographers, trusts, foundations, etc., would feel the same.

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Thank you for setting me straight.

So ... for copyrighted pieces, is there ANY level at which they can be taught to ordinary students without permission from the rights holder? Can they be taught, but not performed? I can easily see that the choreography could soon get bastardized this way: Teacher A "leaves a little out" for a student who can't quite master it, and that student teaches it the same way when she becomes a teacher, and so on.

My apologies if this is more appropriate to BT4D, since I seem to be mostly talking about teaching ballet. I felt that since the core of my questions involves preserving the history and integrity of choreography, it was okay to persevere here.

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The Balanchine Trust is said to be very generous (not at all greedy) with respect to the financial demands they place upon companies that want to perform his works but are very strict about maintaining the ballets' integrity. They have a list of approved repetiteurs: Karin von Aroldingen, Merrill Ashley, Robert Barnett, Paul Boos, Elyse Borne, Maria Calegari, John Clifford, Maria Calegari, Bart Cook, Suzanne Farrell, Judith Fugate, Nanette Glushak, Susan Hendl, Darla Hoover, Sandra Jennings, Jillana, Zippora Karz, Sean Lavery, Sara Leland, Adam Luders, Miriam Mahdaviani, Colleen Neary, Patricia Neary, Susan Pillarre, Christine Redpath, Lisa de Ribere, Francia Russell, Suki Schorer, Joysanne Sidimus, Bettijane Sills, Victoria Simon, Diana White, Deborah Wingert and perhaps others (the Robbins Rights Trust also maintains such a list; some repetiteurs appear on both lists.) Copyright currently runs 70 years after the choreographer's death.

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