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can't speak to or for Youtube but the '73 LA VALSE filmed in Berlin has not been put on the commercial market to the best of my knowledge.

Thanks, rg, I wonder what the holdup is? Such a shame that a complete NYCB La Valse is not available. I recall watching in the '80's on A&E or some other arts channel and was impressed by Leland.

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my hunch here is that since Balanchine so disliked the results of the filming project from Berlin that the Balanchine Trust is keeping to that opinion and that it does not look favorably on releasing these films.

yes, a number were shown in A&E or elsewhere during the years following the filmings but as time went by these films were more and more discredited and were no longer telecast, let alone packaged for the commercial market.

so all one has now, if one was recording off the air, are the recordings gained at the time to videocassette.

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I think there have been various discussions of the NYCB performances for German TV, but here's one main thread that lists the dances that were filmed:


I happen to be one of the people that finds the 'cinematography' to be mostly awful - it commits the greatest possible sin: obscuring the artform it purports to be illuminating. I believe Balanchine was really disappointed in the results, and who can blame him? It's often difficult to get a sense of the choreography, or the individual dancer's performances with all the cuts from camera to camera, though I did like some of the overhead shots, just as a novelty, but unless you watch ballets from the ceiling lighting platform, I don't see how this resembles a theatre ballet experience.

I haven't seen La Valse specifically, but would like to (and Episodes and Duo Concertant). The Concerto Barocco segment is often found online. Many of these performances may have been great, with wonderful casts, but the camerwork and editing just make a mess of things. What an opportunity missed.

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An almost unwatchable video of part of Episodes (Concerto Op.24 and Ricercata) has been on John Clifford's google+ webpage for a while. Allegra Kent is astonishing in Concerto and Renee Estopinal is lovely in Ricercata but be forewarned the video quality is hideous.

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Ah yes, Clifford has been able to get away with postings these videos for some time. The pas de deux from Episodes (Concerto Op.24) is actually quite reasonably filmed - and the cut to overhead camera adds momentary interest, without fouling things up. Ricercata suffers from some of the 'dancing camera' syndrome, though. It would be great to see a cleaned-up version of this ballet footage.

Even viewing a fuzzy, pixelated little video - Does this look like a tremendous company, or what?!

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Pherank, no kidding! I asked a video expert if there was any way to clean up Episodes and Ricercata. He said, possibly but it would be prohibitively expensive to do so.

It would be necessary to get a hold of the German TV company's tape copies (wherever those may be). What we see on Youtube is a low-res version of a version. But if the original broadcast tapes exist, then we can end up with something that is at least as good (or better) in visual quality as the "Balanchine/NYCB in Montreal" series of DVDs.

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