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Balanchine Foundation: Ashley to Coach Tchai Piano Conc #2

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The Balanchine Foundation has announced that Merrill Ashley will coach Tiler Peck and Jonathan Stafford in "Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2" on 11-12 October at the New York City Ballet studios for the Foundation's video series.

Ms. Ashley will work with Tiler Peck and Jonathan Stafford, both principals with the New York City Ballet. Anna Kisselgoff, Chief Dance Critic for the New York Times from 1977 until 2005, will conduct the interview segment with Ms. Ashley. Solo pianist Susan Walters of the New York City Ballet Orchestra will play for the coaching session. The taping will be supervised by Nichol Hlinka, former NYCB principal dancer who recently was named Associate Director of the Foundation's Video Archives Program. She will be assisted by Nancy Reynolds, Director of Research and Virginia Brooks, Editor.

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w/ regard to the older generation of this work, when it was BALLET IMPERIAL, there was a coaching session with Marie-Jeanne, assisted by John Taras, which I gather didn't yield enough footage for a full caoching tape, but perhaps some of that will find its way into the PIANO CONCERTON NO. 2 recording. (Ashley was the dancer being coached in that earlier BALLET IMPERIAL session, so that could make for another reason to connect the older session with this newer one.)

also, i wonder if any request was made to Patricia McBride, who, if mem. serves, first danced the retitled/revised? ballet in '73, with Peter Martins, again if mem. serves as the leading male dancer.

i was lucky enough to be at the BALLET IMPERIAL session and tho' i suppose not that much, nuts-and-bolts-wise, was stated, it was rivetting to see and hear Marie-Jeanne in the studio. Taras, who was also informative, did a bit of the pantomime that was excised by Balanchine when he revived the ballet for New York City Ballet.

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