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Balanchine's "Don Quixote" Act I Divertissements

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Even though I have a hunch the people discussing the recent revival and restored film of this ballet elsewhere won't see this post, this looks like the forum for the question that's come up a few times: Where did the Act I Divertissements go? Having seen them and having seen Farrell's revival and lately the restored film of the preview performance, I find myself yet again in agreement with her judgement, this time that these dances are worth seeing, but as a separate suite. Still, I'm curious, as was perky.

After the Washington premiere of the film, I asked someone who'd seen the production at NYCB (as well as the revival) this question, and he said that it was hard to remember because every time he saw Balanchine's Don Quixote, it was different, but he thought they were where the villagers dance in the square originally and again today in the revival, replacing those dances. Does anybody else remember?

Meanwhile, for those who are interested, here's a guide to getting a glimpse of the divertissements on the Kennedy Center web site: First visit this page:


Then scroll down to the February 23, 2007 performance, and click on the "Watch this Performance" link. If your system shows you the video, you can navigate back and forth in it with my timings:

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=24253 (See Post #10)

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as i recall, DON Q returned to rep during the period i saw it, between 1970 & 78, somewhat altered each season.

the divert. suite in the duke's court didn't change that much tho' the rigadon flamenco did move from there to the village square at one point but then went back.

the grander pas classique espanol made during this period for karin von aroldingen and peter martins and an ensemble (all female i think) came into the mix of the village square sc. but went away eventually and i don't think it went into any other scene (or act).

i rem. e.gorey's remarking once how he regretted not keeping a diary of the changes b/c as noted they came w/ each new run of the ballet and after a while one's memory failed to keep things straight.

(a comparison of programs would doubtless help, my program collection includes only the period i was watching the ballet, but not the ballet's first 5 years on the boards.)

there was a female solo for penelope duddleston as a kind of acrobatic belly dancer in the street sc. for at least one season but it too came and went. (i'm not sure if the musicfor these additions was something composed especially for these added numbers of it it came from other nabokov scores. if i recall correctly the pas classique espanole was all new composed esp. for the new dance.)

[CHOREOGRAPHY BY BALANCHINE, to which i stupidly only now made ref. clarifies much of what my limited, hazy memory produced above.]

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For those who missed dirac's LINKS thread today, here's a link to Joel's Lobenthal's review of the film in the NY Sun It's detailed and very interesting.

Scroll down to the bottom and you'll find the beginning of what may become a disagreement over Balanchine's legacy to the NYCB. The first post offers the following judgment:

Balanchine was as much of a curse to City Ballet as he was a blessing.
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Perhaps the main reason (besides Balanchine's various tinkerings) why even those of us who saw the ballet can't recall or place the Act I diverts more clearly is that they're pretty much irrelevant. Those dances, entertaining as they could be, didn't do much for "Don Quixote." The Act II dances in the duke's court, on the other hand, brilliantly dramatize Balanchine's view of a cruel, heartless world - from the sinister Sarabande to the narcissistic Ritournel.

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