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Tudor Centenary Celebration 2008 ??

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Did I say Mayerling? I did.

As I approach my own centenary, senility is such a warm feeling.

Oh well, don't I know the feeling!

Ok, how about a wishlist for a theoretical program honoring Tudor's 100th birthday?

They can be revivable or not, this is just what we would LIKE to see.



Judgement of Paris

Romeo and Juliet (not to be confused with another current thread!)

Of these I only have firsthand knowledge of R&J

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I would love the chance to reconnect to Tudor's works, never having warmed up to them when they were in the active repertory. (Except for Pillar of Fire.)

Miami City Ballet is introducing Lilac Garden into their rep in the spring. It's their first Tudor work.

Oddly, I once lived not far from the Rinzai Zen Center on East 30th and had the chance to meet Tudor, who resided there, on several occasions. But I never even heard that this was the world-famous choreographer. I guess another hierarchy of values were in force there.

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We need at least two programs if we're going to celebrate the Tudor Centenary Celebration 2008:

Dark Elegies

Pillar of Fire

Lilac Garden

For an opening gala, the main pas de deux from The Leaves Are Fading, which Amanda McKerrow could restage based on personal coaching by Tudor.

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I only saw it once, but An Echoing of Trumpets was a very powerful commentary on the horrors of war. (Probably not a good companion piece to The Green Table.) And while the ballet as a whole was a mess, many of the dances in Tiller in the Fields were gorgeous. Maybe someone could resurrect them in a suite form. Of course, it wouldn't be Tudor then, would it? I couldn't imagine the estate granting rights to do that.

I've never seen Undertow, and I'm wondering how Shadowplay would look on this generation of ABT dancers.

Here's the Tudor oeuvre as listed on ABT's website:

Dark Elegies

Dim Lustre

Echoing of Trumpets


Gala Performance

Goya Pastoral

Jardin Aux Lilas

Judgment of Paris

The Leaves Are Fading

Little Improvisations


Offenbach in the Underworld

Pillar of Fire

Romeo and Juliet

Shadow of the Wind


The Tiller in the Fields


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I would hope that ABT wouldn't limit itself to just one program. You'd have to present more familiar works like Lilac Garden, Dark Elegies, Pillar of Fire and The Leaves Are Fading, but also ballets seen less frequently like Judgment of Paris, Undertow and Dim Lustre. Definitely Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps the Royal Ballet could be persuaded to take Shadowplay on tour. Ditto for the Royal Swedish Ballet with Echoing of Trumpets. Does anyone out there think a revival of Tiller in the Fields is worth attempting? I never saw it, which is why I ask.

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I remember reading many years ago that a full evening of Tudor works was a somewhat difficult sell, and somewhat difficult for the non-balletomanes to sit through, because so much of the choreography and drama relied on the strings without benefit of the brass, percussion, etc. (Wish I could remember where I read it, 'cuz it was a darn good analysis.) So, "we" will have to be careful about that in "our" programming. Also, we must have a photography exhibit to go with the celebration. And don't forget the on stage panel discussions - this is something that The Juilliard School could do for everyone. Can you imagine - Gelsey, Sallie Wilson, Amanda, Cynthia G. all on stage for a Tudor panel!

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Not The Tiller in the Fields, especially with the rest of the list. ( :beg: )

What was so awful about it? Do tell.

The pillow. Kirkland came out at the end with a pillow stuffed under her costume -- a pregnancy pillow.

I've seen Offenbach, Dark Elegies, Romeo and Juliet, Undertow, Dim Lustre and Shadowplay. (And Leaves, Jardin, Pillar of course. ABT did them regularly through the '70s and early '80s.) Back then, the ballets were in an awkward stage. The aesthetic was pretty much dead by then -- it was the High Abstract Period -- and, try as they might, the dancers were always judged (rightly, I'm sure) as not being up to the earlier standard. The centennial would be a wonderful opportunity to really restage them, not as hand-me-downs that didn't quite fit the current cast, but as fresh works.

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R&J is the one to revive--maybe they could throw in 'Dim Lustre'--but this is definetely the way to go--with the original sets, please. With all the histrionic interpretations out there I think we all deserve to see this one. I was fortunate to see Markova and Nora Kaye as Juliet with Hugh Laing. What a pleasure it would be to see the subtlety of the bedroom scene---Hugh Laing, with one brief jesture in a longing glance at the bed said more than all the 'throw-them-up-in-the-air' lifts. And think of what a great antidote this would be to the coming NYCB version :beg:

In Balanchine's Complete Stories of the Great Ballets, there is a very good commentary by Martha Siegel of the Boston Globe.

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my programs show that in '76 tudor's R&J was danced both at the Met and the NYState Th.

the Met run had the following casts:

seymour & bujones

prinz & morales

then in the NYST

prinz & morales

i can't recall if makarova danced it during these runs (or later). i seem not to have a program w/ her participation, but i know she danced this rep.

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I remember seeing "Undertow" around 1993 or so with Johan Renvall as the young man who is so ground down and disaffected by urban poverty that he turns into a killer. I think the story still works and it wouldn't seem dated, especially at City Center with its greater intimacy. Ethan, Angel and Herman (perhaps Sascha Radetsky too) would all be good choices for the male protagonist. That is my candidate for revival.

I imagine Julie Kent would make a lovely Juliet in the Tudor version though I have never seen this ballet.

Faux Pas

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As to the matter of how these ballets can be reconstructed, the current Miami City Ballet newsletter has an article (with photo) about repetiteurs for the current season. They have already had Donald Mahler down to set Lilac Garden. He's described as having "trained under Antony Tudor and danced for the National Ballet of Canada."

Does anyone have any pesonal knowledge of Mr. Mahler's work? And what about the way that Tudor ballets are currently passed on and protected in general?

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The pas de deux that led to the pillow/pregnancy in Tiller in the Fields might be worth reviving--perhaps for a gala in Tudor's honor.

Personally, I'm most curious about Echoing of Trumpets with Romeo and Juliet a close second. However, Lilac Garden is my favorite of the Tudor ballets I have seen--including one performance with Kirkland as Caroline. (I found her performance very moving.)

The Leaves Are Fading with Kirkland was, as I remember it, a transcendent experience--but from all reports the ballet has quite survived quite beautifully with other casting. I hope they do revive it for the centenary.

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