Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Hello from Pasdequatre


Recommended Posts

Welcome, pasdequatre. They say that ballet is best passed on by dancers to other dancers. I think the same holds for the way that the love of ballet is passed down among those who sit in the seats. Dancers teach through demonstration. We help each others to expand our appreciation and understanding of the art by sharing our experiences -- other times, other places -- with one another. That's what attracted me to Ballet Alert in the first place.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Can you tell us here about some of the highlights of what you've seen so far? I mean, a little bit of the " who, what, where, and when" of what you value most?

Link to comment

To Bart:

I have learned the most from watching Balanchine's ballets over a period of many years at New York City Ballet. At first I thought ABT was the ideal, with beautifully produced story ballets and emotionally wrenching performances.

I was at first dismayed by NYC Ballet's stripped down aesthetic, the lack of scenery, the bare bones costumes. This isn't ballet! I thought. But I continued to attend NYC Ballet (maybe it was less expensive than ABT?) and as with any genius, George Balanchine convinced me of his way. I came to love not just The Four Temperaments, but the music of Hindemith. I came to Apollo and learned the sounds of Stravinsky, unknown to me before. So Balanchine opened for me not just a world of movement, but a world of music. And with the music of Tchaikovsky, Balanchine did not invariably do the expected - the frou frou I had seen before - instead he introduced me to the beautiful severity of Serenade, and its mysteries.

Balanchine is the sum and substance of my love of ballet. He is the Petipa of our age. I revere his genius. I admire Robbins' talent. I delight in Wheeldon's better ballets. But I always come back to Balanchine, his mastery of a wide range of styles, his revelations of movement and combinations, his inability to repeat himself. Many have done "homage" to Balanchine, or tried to imitate him. Balanchine did not imitate anyone else, not even himself.

I still thrill to the first notes of Apollo, I sink back in relief as I hear the introductory measures of Serenade, I know all is well in a world where I can escape - to Balanchine.

Link to comment

You will find quite a few Balanchine lovers here, pasdequatre. In fact, your progression in ballet appreciation pretty much parallels mine, though ABT was still plain Ballet Theater when I was introduced to it as a child. If you get a chance to browse through some of our older threads, you will encounter a few of the ballets, choreographers, dancers, and maybe even specific performances that mean the most to you. Glad your on board here.

Link to comment

Welcome, pasdequatre and happy holidays. I, too revere Balanchine, and sometimes, I think he's perhaps the greatest choreographer. He moves me to tears. But my experience in discovering him is the opposite - almost all of my ballet enjoyment is the result of NYCB summering at Saratoga and seeing them perform most of my adult life - for awhile it was the only ballet-going I did and seeing them perform for over 30 years makes it the single most important and profound ballet experience I have been fortunate to have. Then I became aware of other ballet companies and their aesthetics and so on. And they are so great! But my ballet journey will always lead back to Balanchine.

And I understand what you mean about the ballets giving you the music. Some of the music Mr. B choreographed was unknown to me until I saw the ballets. My first listening of Bizet's Symphony was when I first saw Symphony in C performed! As for the ballets themselves, I adore Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Four Temperaments, Midsummer Night's Dream, Scotch Symphony and so many others, but I think the Balanchine ballet that is closest to my heart is Symphony in C. Such a masterpiece and a great homage to the grand Russian Imperial balletic tradition. This winter I will see Allegro Brillante again after many years - so wonderful!

I look forward to your posts and discussions about Mr. B.


Link to comment

Thank you Bart and Albany Girl for your understanding comments. On Balanchine's birthday in January, NYC Ballet has started a tradition of interesting lecture programs on his legacy, and I hope they will do that this year. If so, I'll be there and report on the day's doings. The dancers are interviewed, there are onstage demonstrations. It's really so uplifting an experience!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...