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FREE performance of RARE Balanchine 23rd February 2007 moved

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Washington ballet's best-kept secret? There'll be a free performance by (some of?) the Suzanne Farrell Ballet and maybe some guest artists who have been participating in Ms. Farrell's Balanchine Preservation Initiative these past three weeks or so; as I've indicated, just who will dance is not clear, at least, not to me.

It's in the Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage series, and that is the only place it's been listed on their web site as far as I know (but what do I know? - read on, it doesn't take long to tell), so that it will run from 6:00 to 7:00 PM on Friday 23rd February at the Kennedy Center, but not on the Millenium Stage, but rather in the 513-seat Terrace Theatre, on the Roof Terrace level. (I've never been in either venue, but the virtual tour of the Terrace Theatre looks to confirm what I've been told, that the seats there are nicely raked up for good sight lines.)

Anyway, those attending will have time to get downstairs to the Bolshoi performance at 7:30, if they want.

And, as Millenium Stage events always are, it's FREE.

What's the repertory? Concierto di Mozart, Clarinade (in its four-movement entirety? don't know, sorry), "additional divertimenti" from Don Quixote, Variations for Orchestra, and "Divertimento Brilliante", the fourth movement pas de deux conclusion to Glinkiana, of which all we've seen for a long time is the second movement, Valse Fantaisie.

I'll post more here if, as, and when I find it out.

Oh, I'm told Farrell's dancers are also participating in a Shakespeare in Washington event in the Shakespeare Theatre at 7:30 PM on Monday, the 26th. They will share the program with the Washington National Opera and the Washington Ballet, concentrating on Romeo and Juliet; I expect a performance of the Bejart ballet, to the "Love Scene" from the Berlioz music. This has been sold out for some time, I'm told, but Washingtonians may know this game better.

Adding a link to some previous discussion here:


Edited by Jack Reed
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Thanks, Jack. I telephoned the Kenn Cen about this. While the venue has indeed changed to the Terrace Theater -- more comfy for all concerned! -- the no-tickets-needed policy remains. In other words, those interested should get there as soon as possible. I asked the Information man "How early?" He told me, "They'll start seating at 5:30 pm - 5pm is not too soon to get here. Maybe earlier." Until he hears otherwise, he advised me that a cue will be forming outside the Terrace Theater entrance on the Roof Terrace level of the building's northern end.

I'm planning to leave work at 4pm to line-up. I'll take a good book and wear something comfy, so that I can sit on floor as I wait.

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Thanks so much for this info Natalia & Jack! I'm coming in from NY for the weekend and will definitely try to make it to this...I'm sure you've saved me a lot of running around once I get there.

If any Ballet Talkers want to say hello let me know and we'll figure out the details. For Opera House performances we travelers usually meet by the Kennedy bust but I'm sure that won't be convenient for the Terrace Theater.

By the way, I've never been to the Terrace Theater, is the Northern end the side where the cafeteria is?


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While there was no mention of a live webcast yesterday, today's updated Kenn Cen website indeed annouces a live broadcast/webcast! Check this out:


There's no guarantee that it will be 'archived' for future viewing but for sure there will be a live webcast. Hoorah!

p.s. However, as one can read, the website makes no mention of the switch in venues to the Terrace Theater, which was confirmed to me yesterday by a Kennedy Center Information Office spokesperson. Hence, I will continue to assume that this will still happen in the Terrace Theater, even though the above update states " in the Millenium Stage in the Kennedy Center's Grand Foyer..." Well, we'll know for sure when we get there. :)

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(from Washington, DC) from the printed program, which matched the faces I knew; there were no subs announced:


([second movement of] Violin Concerto in A, K. 219)

Ashley Hubbard and Matthew Prescott


(excerpt: Derivations for Clarinet and Jazz Band, by Morton Gould)

Elisabeth Holowchuk and Benjamin Lester


(Divertimento Brillante on themes from Bellini's La Sonnambula)

Bonnie Pickard and Neil Marshall


(Variations in Memory of Aldous Huxley, by Igor Stravinsky, 1965)

Shannon Parsley


Balanchine's DON QUIXOTE

(commissioned music by Nicholas Nabokov)

[33:00] Trio Gina Artese, Kristen Gallagher and Sara Ivan

[35:07] Duet Elisabeth Holowchuk and Lisa Reneau

[36:58] Solo Shannon Parsley

[38:49] Pas de deux Natalia Magnicaballi and Kirk Henning

The program ran about forty minutes. I don't know what documentation accompanies the Millennium Stage webcasts, so this may supplement that. Look for the appearance of the webcast of this performance in the online archive early next week.

(18th March 2007, from Chicago) In view of the lack of documentation in the webcast and after a little experience with RealPlayer, I've added a little about the music as well as the running-time indications at the beginning of each dance. With a little practice, I find you can use these numbers to access the individual dances by nudging the slider button, which moves horizontally under the display window in RealPlayer, with the mouse cursor, watching the indicator until the reading is close to what I've given above; in my experience, your computer system may then need a few moments to adjust, and then the video begins to play at the point you've selected.

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Such an overflow crowd showed up at the Terrace Theater that the KC management had to set-up a giant screen in the Foyer (where Millenium events usually play).

What a wonderful, revealing program! It's always a pleasure to see new Balanchine choreography. The pdd 'Brillante' from Glinkaiana was particularly gorgeous, IMO. It will be even nicer to see it performed in-costume in June, as part of the Farrell troupe's Opera House programs. It was also fascinating to see the Act I Don Q divertissements, which were missing in 2005 when Farrell presented the complete original 1965/66 version (as these 'new' dances were added by MrB in the 1970s).

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What a wonderful treat is is to view Balanchine choreography you've never seen before! :beg:

And thank you to Kennedy Center for the free webcast! :flowers:

The Clarinade pas de deux was sexy and very well danced. I would love to see this again in person.

The fleet footwork of the Glinka pas de deux was wonderful. A revival of the whole ballet is much wished for. I've only read about Variations For Orchestra so it was interesting to see it. Actually it didn't leave much of an impression on me. Is this one of those ballets of Balanchine that don't survive very well if no longer danced by the original muse? I would have loved to have seen Farrell dance this. I did enjoy the backbend exit at the end.

Question about the variations from Don Q performed. At what point in the first act did they appear? In what context?

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(from Washington, DC) My favorite was the Mozart Adagio, where the choreographer seemed to me to show such consideration for his composer-collaborator's marvelous contribution, and within, a little - drama? - situation? - so delicate it was scarcely there. ("Put a boy and girl onstage, already it's a story.") And that soft, poignant punctuation at the end, where she runs off, he follows - and then stops, arm extended after her.

And the Brillante was delicious, and deliciously danced.

Yes, I have seen the Variations look a little more effective in recent performances by Ms. Pickard; I thought Shannon Parsley's effect was a little hampered on this occasion by a black costume instead of scarlet (originally, raspberry), and yet newer, different choreography for the three "interludes" (variations in eleven voices), which recently, in Ms. Farrell's revival, though not in her performances of the original I saw, have involved wonderfully playful business with the dancer's "shadow" (a "shadow" which develops surprising independence, but whose appearance requires technical facilities which may not have been available this time), which seems to me to enlarge the little ballet and extend its original spirit. The new material this time seemed less certain and direct.

But for me Natalia Magnicaballi's magnificent dancing greatly benefitted the Don Q pas de deux. Where these "additional divertissements" went originally is one thing, where they will go is another; I understand that they're not likely to go back into Don Q but continue in their own world, as a separate little suite.

As for the future, I've mentioned above the Monday evening performance of, I think, the Bejart Romeo and Juliet, and I gather that the June and November repertory will be announced a few days later, on 6th March on the Kennedy Center website.

It is a treat to see "new" Balanchine. For me, Balanchine danced as these dancers dance is always new.

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I've lately added some information to my post (#10) to make it more useful to viewers of the webcast. Finding that is not obvious from the Kennedy Center home page, so here's a link to a page where you can search for it:


And while we're blessing the Kennedy Center's webmaster, let's also remember the George Balanchine Trust, probably in the person of Barbara Horgan, for allowing the webcast. That's not automatic, as I understand her/their mission.

Also, I recommend Leigh Witchell's review of the performance on Dance View Times:


I agree with Leigh's remark about the synthesizer rendition of the music for the Don Q Divertissements, but I think the situation may be that no orchestra has played this part of Nabokov's music for such a long, long time that no recording of it was available, unlike the rest of the program.

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