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Villella's staging of Diane & Actaeon PDD


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Back when I read VIllella's autobiography, I was intrigued when finding that he had danced a version of Vaganova's PDD-(which I believed said to had been staged by Balanchine)-, and intended to open a thread asking about it. I forgot the whole thing until leibling-( :thanks: )-answer my question on the matters after my recently encounter with the choreography in MCB Program II, apparently a last minute addition.

Weird thing is, the Trust website doesn't list it, and this is a COMPLETELY different choreography from that of Vaganova. My guess is that Villella himself staged it-(Maybe McBride also came over to help...?, I don't know)-but I 'm curious to know if this PDD rings a bell on you guys, and if it is currently performed in City Ballet or anywhere else.

Thanks in advance! :tiphat:

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Balanchine never staged a "Diana and Actaeon". I believe that the version that Villella did was his own, dating from the time when he headed a splinter performing group made up of City Ballet dancers. (what, about 1968-9?) It was freely lifted from the version seen on Bolshoi Highlights programs.

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Balanchine never staged a "Diana and Actaeon".

I just located Villella's book. In p.155 he states:

"Balanchine himself choreographed a pas de deux, Diana and Actaeon, for Patty-(McBride)-and me to perform on the "Ed Sullivan Show", which I recently restaged for my own company in Miami".

Ok...so I guess I'm witnessing one rare-to-find Balanchine ballet...? :)

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If Balanchine were involved at all, it was more in the nature of editor. Villella did the choreography, and had a rehearsal or two with Balanchine, who did a "Uh-huh, that's good, fix that, less here, more there" kind of supervision. It wasn't echt Balanchine by a long shot. I remember attending a performance by Villella and his company, and the work was on there, but credit was entirely to Villella.

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If Balanchine were involved at all, it was more in the nature of editor. Villella did the choreography, and had a rehearsal or two with Balanchine, who did a "Uh-huh, that's good, fix that, less here, more there" kind of supervision.

Interesting. Villella was then extremely humble when writing his memoirs, for which in them he credited the whole choreography to Balanchine.

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If Balanchine were involved at all, it was more in the nature of editor. Villella did the choreography, and had a rehearsal or two with Balanchine, who did a "Uh-huh, that's good, fix that, less here, more there" kind of supervision. It wasn't echt Balanchine by a long shot. I remember attending a performance by Villella and his company, and the work was on there, but credit was entirely to Villella.

The Balanchine catalogue online at balanchine.org says this about Diana and Actaeon:

363. DIANA AND ACTAEON PAS DE DEUX

Made for Television

Music: By Cesare Pugni [? ]

Choreography: By George Balanchine after Petipa (Le Roi Candaule)

Cast: Patricia McBride, Edward Villella.

First Telecast: June 2, 1968, Ed Sullivan Show, CBS.

Note: Petipa's dance, inserted into Le Roi Candaule sometime after its premiere in 1868, was a pas de trois, which Balanchine may have performed (see ROLES PERFORMED BY BALANCHINE, Love of Diana, 1922). In 1935, Agrippina Vaganova reworked Diana and Actaeon as a pas de deux, and in this form it has been frequently danced by Soviet and Russian dancers ever since. Balanchine may well have been familiar with both versions.

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The Balanchine catalogue online at balanchine.org says this about Diana and Actaeon:

Choreography: By George Balanchine after Petipa (Le Roi Candaule)

:thanks: I'm all clear now. The title of the thread stays. :tiphat:

I wonder if City Ballet has it in its repertoire...? Or Farrell's company...? Is anyone familiar with B's take on Vaganova...?

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Edited: In second thoughts, and after good advice, I just edited the thread's title. The Trust's site confirms Mel's post, and on the other side, the Balanchine Catalogue site seems to agree with Villella's memoirs. Too much of a contradiction...but who knows. :dunno:

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