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SAB Workshop

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Here's the program information for the School of American Ballet Workshop:

Saturday, June 2 at 2:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 2 at 8:00 p.m.

Monday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. (benefit performance)

2007 Workshop Performances Program


Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Choreography by Sean Lavery

Staged by Sean Lavery with Katrina Killian


Music by George Frideric Handel

Choreography by Peter Martins

Staged by Russell Kaiser


Music by Paul Hindemith

Choreography by George Balanchine

Staged by Suki Schorer


Music by Charles Gounod

Choreography by George Balanchine

Staged by Susan Pilarre

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There is an old PBS documentary about the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet that has an excerpt from a ballet "Twilanka" set to Mozart's variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It featuresa tiny Vanessa Zahorian (with Zach Hench? I believe). Sean Lavery is originally from CPYB.... I wonder if the piece for SAB is related to the piece in the documentary. The choreographer is not noted in the documentary. Either way, the piece in the documentary is lovely!

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I too remember learning twinkliana at CPYB. It was a great little piece that shows off several dancers.

My DD will be dancing in Twinkliana at the SAB Workshop. There are 2 casts. The performance features 6 girls from the children's Division and 1 boy from intermediate men's class. Each girl does a short solo variation, the boy does a solo variation, then there is a Pas de Deux (my DD is dancing the Pas in addition to her solo),and an ensemble/finale. It is the same peice that CPYB performs. Mr Lavery and Katrina Killian are working with the children. It is a lovely peice.

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Brice, thank you for explaining more about Twinkliana.

I found a clip from the New York Times (Jack Anderson) that has a bit about a production of that piece at Barnard 16 1/2 years ago.

"Sean Lavery, a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet who has become the assistant to the company's director, contributed a charming piece called ''Twinkliana.'' That title pays homage to George Balanchine, the New York City Ballet's founding choreographer, who created works called ''Ivesiana,'' ''Mozartiana'' and ''Glinkaiana.''

The title is appropriate for another reason. Mr. Lavery set his ballet to Mozart's ''Variations on 'Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman,' '' a tune best known in the English-speaking world as ''Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.'' May Sofge played the score on the piano, and Mr. Lavery's dancers did indeed twinkle.

The ballet opened with lively solos for Cecilia Stancell, Ede Thurrell, Jennifer Abramson, Annette Ezekiel, Margot Kong, Jennifer Miller and Dominic Antonucci, a guest dancer from the School of American Ballet. Next came a lyrical pas de deux for Ms. Stancell and Mr. Antonucci, and the finale brought the entire cast together."

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My sister participated in Barnard College's dance program around '88-'92. So, I actually saw the ballet when it was first performed. It was, not surprisingly, much better (IMHO) than anything else I saw. I remember it also because I had just started to attend NYCB performances and was excited to see Lavery participating in the program.


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The annual workshop is now a month away and getting ever closer. However, besides knowing what ballets they're doing, I know next to nothing of what's going on. Does anybody know anything else or have seen any of the rehearsals. Are there any memorable students who are going to be in it? I was hoping to see Erica Pereira perform in it again after seeing her do Square Dance last year, but considering she got her apprenticeship half way through the year, I guess I'll have to look towards somebody else.

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SAB has not, in the past, announced which dancers are dancing which roles prior to the event.

If the school breaks this custom and makes a public announcement, we will post it (although it will surely appear first on SAB.org). Until then, it is considered unofficial news, and using this board to announce it would violate BalletTalk policy.


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Having seen bits and peices of rehearsals of several of the peices for Workshop I can say that the level of talent at the school at this moment is astounding, and there are many dancers worth watching.

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I vaguely recall that they wear grey, and word back then was that Peter wanted to do a "Serenade" for men. There were a lot of very strong young corps boys at that time, including Peter Boal, Jeff Edwards and Michael Byars (and maybe Afshin Mofid, but I'm not sure). I also recall that as very classical as it was, there were some strangely awkward steps in there, but overall it was impressive dancing.

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According to the New York Times, an extract from "Romeo + Juliet" will be added to the SAB program:

Spotlight Returns to Teenage Ballerina

Callie Bachman, a 16-year-old School of American Ballet student, was Peter Martins’s original choice for the role of Juliet in his new production of “Romeo and Juliet†for the New York City Ballet. But Ms. Bachman was injured halfway through the making of the ballet, and her fairy-tale leap into the spotlight was abruptly curtailed. Curious balletomanes will, however, soon have a chance to see Ms. Bachman in an extract from “Romeo and Juliet.†Mr. Martins, who is chairman of the faculty at the school, as well as ballet master in chief of City Ballet, has decided to add the ballet’s first-act pas de deux, danced by Ms. Bachman and a fellow student, Russell Janzen, to the program at the school’s annual workshop performances on June 2 and 4. Other works to be performed are Balanchine’s “Four Temperaments†and “Gounod Symphony,†Mr. Martins’s “Gentilhommes†and Sean Lavery’s “Twinkliana.†ROSLYN SULCAS

That's nice - one reads of kids getting injured and missing their big chance but Bachman will have her turn in the role she helped create.

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You can find its description, history and a photo in NYCB's Repertory Index.

I saw the 1985 revival of this lovely, very charming work with the Martins choreography replacing the "lost" pas de deux. I have wondered how lost the original could truly be, when Violette Verdy (who was then NYCB's Teaching Associate) and Maria Tallchief, who both danced it, were available. What a shame.

Let us know what you think after you've seen it.

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I have a program from May 11 1985. The cast was Patricia McBride and Sean Lavery

and 30 corps members. The program notes only talk about Gounod and his Symphony.

and "This revival, dedicated to the memory of Edwin Denby, is made possible by a

generous grant from The Jerome Robbins Foundation....."

I remember a review stating that a pattern in the corps choreography drew snickers from

the audience as it resembled a giant asterisk * At least I know that reviewer was not

Edwin Denby. I remember it being light, frothy and very charming. I was disappointed

it was not revived for the Balanchine Centennial. So it's good to know it's still around.....

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Brice, thank you for explaining more about Twinkliana.

I found a clip from the New York Times (Jack Anderson) that has a bit about a production of that piece at Barnard 16 1/2 years ago.

"Sean Lavery, a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet who has become the assistant to the company's director, contributed a charming piece called ''Twinkliana.'' That title pays homage to George Balanchine, the New York City Ballet's founding choreographer, who created works called ''Ivesiana,'' ''Mozartiana'' and ''Glinkaiana.''

I was on the Barnard dance faculty at that time and remember Sean being nervous about selecting music and choreographing and then coming up with delightful stuff. I don't know if what's being done by SAB is exactly the same or a rework, but what he did at Banard was truly charming.

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Saturday matinee, June 2, 2007

Twinkliana, a dance for six young women and one young man, was the curtain-raiser. All the youngsters aquitted themselves well. There were seven variations, a PdD, and a finale for all seven. Next came Les Gentilhommes, I suppose meant to give nine young men a chance to shine. The problem is, there is no meat here, no choreography in which one could excel. A peculiar choice. The first part concluded with Mr. Martins's teen-muse, 16 year old Callie Bachman's chance to dance in the role she helped inspire, Juliet, from the Balcony Scene. Her partner was Wien-winner Russell Janzen, who may have some noble roles in his future. R + J's Balcony Scene is not really excerptable, one needs continuity with earlier scenes, since the PdD's choreography lacks true romantic sweep to indicate Love when not in context. (Unlike ABT's which can better alone, rather than sitting through the whole ballet.) Of course, we had the context of her return from injury, and of SAB's warmly human choice to give her this chance, and that was enough! And this mega-ticket hit will surely have many future performances..., so we can keep an alert eye on future casting.

The middle of the program was a dynamic performance of 4 Temperaments, one as easy to enjoy as the Big Company's. The three Themes were especially professional: Amanda Clark/Victor Rocha, Shelby Elsbree/Joseph Hernandez, Puanani Brown/Joshua Thew. Matthew Renko, who was Gents lead, had more substance to work with as Melancholic; while, next, Kristen Segin and Cameron Dieck--both Wien winners--warmed our hearts with cheer. Then Samuel Greenberg, another refugee from Gents got the meaty challenge of Phlegmatic. By now, I was so involved in this splendid performance that I'd forgotten who was to dance Choleric. I wasn't aware of this younger sister, but when Raina Gilliland took command of that stage, there was no doubting the star authority of a true stage-filler. What glorious line, the confidence, the ease; how Balanchine!

The final Wien-winner, Sara Adams was partnered by Zachary Catazaro Clark in Gounod Symphony. While some of the early choreography for the couple did not scream Balanchine, there came a point where 10 couples, the women in (peachy) pink and men with yellow sleaves and print vests, enter rear stage left and form an anti-diagonal. Soon 10 more women, in (peachy) orange, enter from rear stage right, their diagonal creating an X. Balanchine having fun: men switch to corresponding other partners, new patterns grow, symmetries and asymmetries... When the master has such fun, I'd bet the dancers do, and I know I do too. The pace picks up and the leads dance exciting variations, you know why they're winners, and you want this ballet back in NYCB's rep!

The Wien-winner for distinguished service was Nokolaj Hubbe.

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