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Miami City Ballet Performances in Paris

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This is great! Thank you, imspear. I'd love to hear your reactions to these videos.

So far, I have only had the time to watch Ballet Imperial. Despite the tinny sound and fuzzy photography on this amateur video, the performance is thrilling.

A couple of thoughts:

-- Confirms my belief that "big" Balanchine takes on a new life when seen from above and at a slight angle. For example -- those fast, constantly-changing, surprising formations in the allegro portion of the first movement. I've never been able to register them so clearly. The white costumes and tights, transformed into silhouettes against the grey-blue floor enhance the effect.

-- Shot like this, Ballet Imperial is a textbook example of Balanchine's admonition to "see the music/ hear the dance." It should be required viewing for aspiring choreographers.

-- Film technique: I really like Balanchine in a single long shot, without zooming, cutting, and shifting angles. (We've been talking about camera work on the MCB Dance in America thread.) Can't wait to see Square Dance as captured by this same audience member (and hopefully at the same height and angle).

-- I was struck by how MUCH the corps dances -- and how difficult the corps choreography is. Especially given the super-fast tempos chosen by the conductor for the 3rd movement. I don't recall ever seeing/hearing such a high-energy, high-speed Ballet Imperial, even when I last saw MCB dance it live 3 years ago.

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Thanks for posting these links, lmspear - hopefully not too ephemeral. What a treat! I had forgotten how complex the choreography for Square Dance is - I remember Tina LeBlanc being brilliant in it here at San Francisco Ballet, but not that the corps doing steps as difficult as the soloist. Renan Cerdeiro's solo is fantastically well sustained and you see all of Balanchine's ideas developed with such grace and depth. Does the male do a pas de chat here - or is it in Ballet Imperial where the woman does a Sylvia-like fierce series of grand jetes ringing the whole stage? I watched this late last night and the Pep Boys commercials broke up some of the continuity. Anyway I thought of Ballet Imperial as having something of a relation to Allegro Brilliante, but the uncut version.

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