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That's a fascinating clip. I wonder if the Bizet playing in the background was on the original tape or if that was added later. And I love seeing Kirstein sitting at that little table with the interviewer, arms folded, watching everything like a proud father. Did Kirstein understand Russian or was he just beaming with pride at the thought of bringing Balanchine home for the first time?

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I found that clip absolutely fascinating. Great to see Balanchine speaking his native tongue (and no, I haven't ever seen him speaking Russian either). I was struck, from the very beginning of the clip, by how natural Balanchine looks there; just being a person instead of "George Balanchine". Does anyone know a date for this?

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It is great to see this clip, because he looks so happy and excited, and also a lot younger than the most commonly played clips of him in the late 1960's/70's. And about Mr. B speaking Russian I have never heard it but Suzanne Farrell said in her autobiography that one of the reasons she sometimes felt left out and thinking "this won't work" was his habit of taking her to his Russian group of friends and all of them sat around speaking Russian and she was just sort of there ...

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I wonder if the Bizet playing in the background was on the original tape or if that was added later. And I love seeing Kirstein sitting at that little table with the interviewer, arms folded, watching everything like a proud father. Did Kirstein understand Russian or was he just beaming with pride at the thought of bringing Balanchine home for the first time?

This is Soviet newsreel film footage from Balanchine and NYCB's first visit in 1962. The Bizet was dubbed in much later, probably just for this program. The original occasionally had synchronized sound and very Soviet announcers educating us on these fascinating Americanski. I know that newsreel footage exists for performances of Fanfare, Prodigal Son (Edited correction, Russian had it as "child"), Agon, and Symphony in C.

Kirstein was interviewed, either for that radio program or something else around that time. A quote from the one newsreel that I did have access to: "And when I asked the leader of the theater if they were happy to meet Muscovites, the general director Mr. Kirstein said “we heard a lot about what great hosts Muscovites are, but what we saw in the Bolshoi Theater and the Kremlin Fortress beat all of our expectations. "
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For some reason I don't think I've ever heard Balanchine speaking Russian before!

Thank you a million times for posting this! This is the topic of my dissertation, and I've never seen this footage before.

This is Soviet newsreel film footage from Balanchine and NYCB's first visit in 1962.

emilienne, do you know where that footage is being kept?

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