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Balanchine documentary and excerpting policy?


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I was digging through my local university library a few days ago and came across a 90s documentary that seems to have only been released in Europe. It's made by a woman named Sonia Schoonejans for Amaya (or Sept Cinéma). It doesn't present much in the way of information, but I was struck by the sheer wealth of clips that was included the hour-long feature (it's tape 2 out of a 6 part documentary on ballet).

A partial listing:

kinescope of Adams and Le Clercq in Concerto Barocco (this seems to a favorite of several documentaries)

von Aroldingen in the Bransle Gay (in full) for German television

Serenade from the same

Allegra Kent in the Unanswered Question from Ivesiana (edited: apparently she's Suki Schorer. Sorry Ms Schorer!)

a painfully short clip of McBride in Tarantella in the female variation

There were quite a few more, but I was struck more by the wealth of clips that they included. It brought to mind a few questions about copyrights. Please forgive me, I used to work in university programming and (cough) copyright clearance is a fascination of mine.

Does the Balanchine Foundation have control over what filmmakers can include in their documentaries (I presume yes) and how have they exercised their control?

Do you observe any trends in the ballet content that documentaries have chosen to include (not that there are many balanchine documentaries, or films of his choreography, to begin with) and has that changed over time (more stringent, less?)?

emi

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Allegra Kent in the Unanswered Question from Ivesiana

I really don't know anything about policy and rights - except that I hope someday soon more videos will be allowed to come out of the archives where they rot :smilie_mondieu:

But re Allegra in Ivesiana: we wish! I have seen the Schoonejans doc you mention (Dance of the Century) and the Ivesiana clip it contains is the exact same one that appears in the Balanchine documentary (the long doc that is on dvd) where the dancers are identified as Suki Schorer and Deni Lamont.

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Alas my eyes and the blurry video! Well, it's still one more clip of Ivesiana that I've seen...

I do wonder whether they just circulate the same clips over and over out of sheer laziness.

Allegra Kent in the Unanswered Question from Ivesiana

I really don't know anything about policy and rights - except that I hope someday soon more videos will be allowed to come out of the archives where they rot :smilie_mondieu:

But re Allegra in Ivesiana: we wish! I have seen the Schoonejans doc you mention (Dance of the Century) and the Ivesiana clip it contains is the exact same one that appears in the Balanchine documentary (the long doc that is on dvd) where the dancers are identified as Suki Schorer and Deni Lamont.

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here is the NYPL cat. entry on DANCE OF THE CENTURTY, PART 2

Dance of the century ; 2.English version of the series Danse du siècle.

Dance contents: Among the many dance excerpts included in this program are Chopiniana [Les sylphides] / choreography, Michel Fokine -- The nutcracker / choreography, Lev Ivanov -- Danse sportive / choreography, Goleizovsky -- Apollo / choreography, Balanchine ; danced by Jacques d'Amboise and the New York City Ballet -- Dark red roses / motion picture ; choreography, Balanchine ; danced by Anton Dolin, Lydia Lopokova, and Balanchine -- Cotillon / choreography, Balanchine -- Serenade / choreography, Balanchine -- The four temperaments / choreography, Balanchine -- Concerto barocco / choreography, Balanchine -- Ivesiana / choreography, Balanchine -- Tarantella / choreography, Balanchine ; danced by Patricia McBride -- Who cares? / choreography, Balanchine -- Agon / choreography, Balanchine ; danced by Diana Adams, Arthur Mitchell, Karin von Aroldingen, and others -- Fountain of Bakhchisarai / choreography, Rostislav Zakharov ; danced by Maya Plisetskaya and Galina Ulanova -- Taras Bulba / choreography, Lopukhov --

Dance contents, continued: Romeo and Juliet / choreography, Lavrovsky -- Monotones no. 2 / choreography, Ashton -- Watteau duets / choreography, Armitage -- Vertige / choreography and performance, Armitage -- Drastic classicism / choreography, Armitage -- Overboard / choreography, Armitage ; danced by Compagnie Charleroi Danse -- In the middle, somewhat elevated / choreography, Forsythe ; danced by the Frankfurt Ballet -- Chance favors the prepared mind / choreography, Forsythe -- Artifact / choreography, Forsythe ; danced by the Frankfurt Ballet.

Sponsored by Banco di Napoli ; distributed by Amaya Distribution ; series written and directed by Sonia Schoonejans ; producer, Nicole Philibert ; executive director, Pierre-François Decouflé.

Second of a five-part series. Evolution of classical ballet in the west, beginning with the Imperial Russian Ballet. The program focuses on the choreography of George Balanchine, from his first ballets in Russia, where he was influenced by the pioneering efforts of Kasyan Goleizovsky and Feodor Lopukhov, through his work for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, and his subsequent emigration to the United States, where he established the company now named the New York City Ballet. The discussion includes his collaboration with composer Igor Stravinsky and his association with the choreographer Jerome Robbins. His widespread influence, particularly in the creation of plotless or abstract ballets, is illustrated by Frederick Ashton's Monotones. Later developments in Soviet ballet are represented by works by Goleizovsky, Lopukhov, and Leonid Lavrovsky. Karole Armitage and William Forsythe are discussed as choreographers who inherited and further developed Balanchine's neoclassical style.

much of the black+white footage is from the various CBC films made of new york city ballet in the '50s & 60s. except for select items, such as the APOLLO on the VAI/Radio Canada release of Jacques d'Amboise performances, most of these historic films have not been put on the commercial, DVD market.

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By the way, there's the Balanchine Foundation, and then there's the Balanchine Trust; I believe the former is concerned with, for example, filming studio stagings of his choreography under the coaching of originators of those roles, while it's the latter that has the control (or not) under discussion here.

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Was this ever broadcast? If so and if you intend to broadcast the video material (say in a documentary), you will need to either get the permission of the entity that owns the footage. Or, pay them the associated broadcast fees. Generally speaking, the producers, production house, or television station owns the footage. Having said that, THEY (program producers) may have paid the NYCB archive for the footage.

As a producer myself, it gets complicated.

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if you are asking DANCE OF THE CENTURY - parts 1 - 4 - was ever broadcast, the answer is yes, here in the States i think it was on Bravo.

i assume it was also telecast in Europe.

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