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Before I get too excited, are we likely to see new material on this video? Will we see the same performances by Ashley in "Ballo" and Farrell in "Diamonds," etc., that are already available? I can't stand the thought of waiting months for this release, only to find that it's mostly stuff I already have.

Does anybody know?

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Before I get too excited, are we likely to see new material on this video? Will we see the same performances by Ashley in "Ballo" and Farrell in "Diamonds," etc., that are already available? I can't stand the thought of waiting months for this release, only to find that it's mostly stuff I already have.

Does anybody know?

This program originally aired on PBS. Most of the performance footage is archival, as you say. The video's main attraction is the interviews. I remember there being some behind-the-scenes footage that was new: Tallchief rehearsing students in The Four Temperaments, Hayden rehearsing students in Serenade, Ashley giving class at SAB, and Kent rehearsing Kistler in La Sonnambula, as well as Kistler in class.

I also remember how fabulous the music from Sonnambula sounded in piano reduction: really spooky. The music in its original operatic setting never had that effect on me.

A trailer, probably the program's original intro, has been posted on You Tube by Digital Classics, the DVD's European distributor.

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I have it on VHS (1989). The ballerinas are:

-- Maria Tallchief

-- Mary Ellen Moylen

-- Melissa Hayden

-- Allegra Kent

-- Merrill Ashley

-- Darci Kistler

Volcanohunter is correct in stating that most of the film is based on the interviews, with still photos and brief dance clips. Among the clips:

-- Opening of Serenade

-- Ashley, part of the Dawn variation from Coppellia.

-- Tallchief as Kitri

-- Four Temperaments with Moylen and then Tallchief as Sanguinic and Le Clerq as Choleric

-- Tallchief -- berceuse from Firebiird

-- Kent: Part of Unanswered Question from Ivesiana. Stunning ps de deux from Symphony in C

-- Farrell and Martins from Apollo

-- Kistler (at 15) from a SAB workshop Swan Lake

I jotted down a few quotations on an index card:

Tallchief: "Mary Ellen Moylen was the first great Balanchine dancer." "I tell my students, you treat this art as a religion.

Ashley recalling Balanchine's classes and the extreme precision and speed required.

Hayden quoting Balanchine to the effect: "When you are young, you dance steps. You have to be older to dance." "Mr. Balanchine made me realize that a body could sing -- a body DID sing." That she decided to retire when she realized that she was "no longer part of the creative process."

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Thanks, volcanohunter, but I'll ask folks to please enter Amazon through the orange and black link at the top of the page (or the BalletTalk Amazon Mini-Store, once it's "in stock") to ensure that BalletTalk gets its commission. When you're on Amazon's homepage, the URL should include "balletalertonline".

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