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Again, in transferring my (made from TV) videotapes onto DVD, I'm finding some that are too degraded to make the switch. I'm looking for a complete version of "Serenade" to use in a college-level classroom setting. I know there are excerpts on the "Balanchine" documentary, but I like to show students more. What about the "Bringing Back Balanchine" release from last year? How complete is "Serenade" on that? Does anyone know? Or is there another company that has been recorded doing "Serenade"?

With thanks.

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. . . What about the "Bringing Back Balanchine" release from last year? How complete is "Serenade" on that? Does anyone know? Or is there another company that has been recorded doing "Serenade"?. . .

Bringing Back Balanchine has brief excerpts of the works NYCB showed on its St. Petersburg visit, but no complete ballets: Serenade, Sympony in 3 Movements, Symphony in C, Glass Pieces, Hallelujah Junction, Western Symphony.

The Serenade segment runs seven minutes. It includes the opening, the closing, and snippets from the middle, all intercut with a lot of backstage shots of dancers and others watching the stage. I've never found a complete Serenade on VHS or DVD.

The Symphony in 3 Movements clip is 4 minutes, again, the opening, the closing, and some snippets in the middle. I've never found a complete version on TV or VHS/DVD. A quick check of www.kultur.com and Amazon.com doesn't turn anything up.

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the only 'official' release of the complete SERENADE that i know of is the one cast telecast by PBS as BALANCHINE IN AMERICA.

as this broken record tends to go, however, the telecast has not, so far, been marketed commercially.

here are the credits, in any case, which, for all know, is the one you've found to be untransferable to disc.

this from the NYPL cat.

Balanchine in America [videorecording] / co-produced by WNET/Thirteen and Danmarks Radio ; produced and directed by Judy Kinberg and Thomas Grimm ; choreography by George Balanchine.

New York, N.Y. : WNET/Thirteen, 1990.(58 min.) : sd., col.

Performed by members of the New York City Ballet.

Music performed by New York City Ballet Orchestra conducted by Hugo Fiorato.

Introduced by Peter Martins, ballet master in chief of the New York City Ballet.

Lighting, Jorgen Johannessen and Tim Hunter ; executive producer, Jac Venza ; ballets edited by Soren Kirk.

Serenade (ca. 34 min.) / music, Peter Tchaikovsky ; costumes, Barbara Karinska ; danced by Darci Kistler, Kyra Nichols, Maria Calegari, Adam Lüders, Leonid Kozlov, with Marisa Cerveris, Lisa Jackson, Miriam Mahdaviani, Kathleen Tracey, and ensemble.

Western symphony (ca. 24 min.) / music, Hershy Kay ; scenery, John Boyt ; costumes, Karinska ; cast: Allegro, danced by Melinda Roy, Jock Soto, and ensemble ; Adagio, danced by Stephanie Saland, Robert La Fosse, and ensemble ; Rondo, danced by Helene Alexopoulos, Peter Boal, and ensemble.

Telecast on WNET/Thirteen's Great Performances: Dance in America series in 1990.

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Thanks, RG. That is the version I have, taped from TV w/ an old VCR in the distant past. It is now quite degraded after many years on the shelf and many years of use.

I wish these materials could become available somehow for educational purposes.

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. . . I wish these materials could become available somehow for educational purposes.

The George Balanchine Foundation has several projects to make works available for educational and research purposes. Of special note:

MediaText: a project to make original materials available via digital technology: http://www.balanchine.org/balanchine/03/mediatext.html

archive videos: http://www.balanchine.org/balanchine/03/gb...ves_videos.html

libraries holding these videos: http://www.balanchine.org/balanchine/03/gb..._libraries.html

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The GBF's work is all to the good, especially aimed at authenticity as it is, but notice that they're all excerpts and that one must go to the local repository to see even that much. Regarding Serenade, there was another, earlier broadcast of it as part of a PBS program entitled "Three by Balanchine", which also didn't see commercial circulation, but maybe knowing of its existence will help a little somehow.

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the earlier SERENADE was the one from the 1973 Berlin series and was said by those who know the work well to have been edited or at least telecast off the music - it's that footage that's excerpted in the 2-part PBS, '84 biog. prog. but for this later use the music was said to have been re-scynronized with the film footage.

but, yes, Jack, you are correct, i forgot that this one also was sent out 'complete' - tho' with all those odd cuts and close-ups that so turned Balanchine off the project overall.

for some reason there were four central ballerinas:

Serenade. Music: Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky. Danced by Karin von Aroldingen, Susan Hendl, Sara Leland, Kay Mazzo, Jean-Pierre Bonnefous, Peter Martins, and artists of the New York City Ballet

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I'm updating this thread with the following information:


As of 2016, the only commercially available complete version of Serenade is on Balanchine: New York City Ballet in Montreal, Vol.1 (DVD).

Waltz Ballerina: Diana Adams
Russian Ballerina: Patricia Wilde
Dark Angel: Yvonne Mounsey
Elegy Cavalier: Jacques d’Amboise
Waltz Cavalier: Herbert Bliss


Filmed on a small TV stage (probably a cement floor), it is still quite magical and intense. Recommended.


Former NYCB dancer and choreographer John Clifford has posted the 1990's version, from the Balanchine in America TV series (with Darci Kistler, Kyra Nichols, Maria Calegari, Adam Luders, and Leonid Koslov)



The version shot for German TV was also available today on YouTube, but now seems to be gone (it probably was not one of Clifford's videos). That is the version with Karin von Aroldingen, Susan Hendl, Sara Leland, Kay Mazzo, Jean-Pierre Bonnefous, and Peter Martins. And despite the terrible editing and visual effects, is well worth watching - the company was dancing on a very high level during those sessions. If it reappears among John Clifford's videos I will post the link.


EDIT: Mr. Clifford put me on to these links for the German braodcast performance: Serenade Part 1 and Part 2



Edited by pherank
Added links
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That's great to know. Thanks!


It's odd because on the amazon page for this DVD, vol. 1, it says under "Editorial Reviews":

Quick Shipping !!! New And Sealed !!! This Disc WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. A multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player is request to view it in USA/Canada. Please Review Description.

Edited by Snail
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1 hour ago, Snail said:

When you look on Amazon, there are warnings that this DVD (Balanchine in Montreal) series may not play on DVD players in the US. Can anyone confirm/disconfirm this? I'd love to order them if I can play them...


I've had no problems with the VIA DVDs - as long as they definitely say "Region 1" authorized. I just looked at my DVDs and they all say "Region 0" (all regions), which I believe just means they contain no special encoding or security software to interfere with playback on DVD players made for a particular region. It's always possible that an old DVD machine will not play some more recent releases (the electronics industry never stops changing things).

Edited by pherank
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