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NYCB in Paris on PBS


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15 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

As it happens, the station on which I watched scheduled dance documentaries after each NYCB program. There was Soar after part one, and Young Stars of Ballet, from several years ago, after part two.

 

In Southern Cal, the first broadcast night of NYCB was followed by:


A Ballerina's Tale
Explore the rise of Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African-American female principal dancer …

 

The second broadcast of NYCB was followed by:

 

From The Streets to the Stage: The Journey of Fredrick Davis
Description: Follow ballet dancer Frederick Davis' personal journey, which began with a broken family and homelessness. His exposure to dance at 11 changed his life - he found inspiration and support from Ballet Tennessee, his church family and a caring community.

 

Why the NYCB in Paris cinematography was mostly good: dancers are shown full-body throughout, and I'd estimate that at least 75% of the stage is displayed in the majority of the footage. However, there is still a certain amount of zoom and crop going on. And nothing makes me grind my teeth like cameras zooming in on the soloists and cutting out the dancing of the Corps towards the sides of the stage, when it is a Balanchine ballet. The choreography for the Corps is as important as that of the soloists in a Balanchine work, so why pretend it's not happening, and doesn't figure into the whole? Argh.

 

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To me it seemed incredibly ridiculous looking to have her and Kowroski side by side in the fourth movement


 

Speaking of which -- I found the height discrepancy between Teresa Reichlen and the other three ballerinas to be a mite distracting in the fourth movement finale of the TV transmission. Also Tyler Angle disappeared behind her for seemingly long periods during the great second movement pas. I know Balanchine’s cavaliers are supposed to be self-effacing, but there are limits. It could be me, of course.

 

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I really enjoyed seeing Sonatine though – I had never seen it before – for the economy of means and great inventiveness.


 

 

I also really enjoyed Sonatine. Those delicious details that Balanchine and only Balanchine seems to be able to produce without effort. I wasn’t crazy about Megan Fairchild’s Sugar Plum from the Nutcracker broadcast, but I thought she was very nice here, although perhaps without the special perfume that Verdy probably brought to it. Joaquin De Luz’s haircut evoked for me 1) a Michael Somes wig and 2) the Fonz.

 

I have loved Tiler Peck each time I have seen her on the teevee and this broadcast was no exception. I hate long flights but maybe it is time for me to get on a plane……………

 

I didn’t have any problem with PBS dividing the performance into one-hour segments. I didn’t like the scheduling – 10:00 pm and 9:30 pm on Friday nights, respectively. But this was bounty compared to the usual invisibility of classical and modern dance on PBS and I intend to renew my subscription and tell them why.

 

In my area they showed "Black Ballerina" after the second broadcast and I enjoyed it.

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On 2/27/2017 at 10:16 AM, Natalia said:

Glad that Somatine was shown in the US telecast. Still wondering why PBS split the evening into two showings.

 

Not sure, but my intuition would be about running time -- where they might think that local stations would be able to slot it in.

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On 2/27/2017 at 1:21 PM, pherank said:

 

 

 

Why the NYCB in Paris cinematography was mostly good: dancers are shown full-body throughout, and I'd estimate that at least 75% of the stage is displayed in the majority of the footage. However, there is still a certain amount of zoom and crop going on. And nothing makes me grind my teeth like cameras zooming in on the soloists and cutting out the dancing of the Corps towards the sides of the stage, when it is a Balanchine ballet. The choreography for the Corps is as important as that of the soloists in a Balanchine work, so why pretend it's not happening, and doesn't figure into the whole? Argh.

 

 

I miss Girish Bhargava

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1 hour ago, sandik said:

 

I miss Girish Bhargava

 

'"Usually the more you edit, the better a film gets," Mr. Bhargava said, "because as you become more familiar with the dance, you notice details that could be further enhanced or distracting details that should be cut."

But he added that there are exceptions, specifically "when a sequence is perfectly shot." He put on a video of "Appalachian Spring," the Graham piece about young settlers on the Western frontier. With Aaron Copland's evocative score setting the mood, the camera followed the main characters to center stage, established their identities and then moved to a wide-angle shot that captured the choreography's overall symmetry. When Graham saw the opening sequence, he recalled, she asked, "O.K., where are the edits?" and much to her surprise Mr. Bhargava replied that there were none. "It's just as important to know when your skills aren't needed," he said.'

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/20/arts/dance-turning-bits-of-video-into-works-of-art.html

 

I think there will always be a fundamental conflict between what it takes to make cinematic art, and what it takes to choreograph and stage a dance. It's perhaps easier to deal with a traditional full-length story ballet - that type of stage production lends itself somewhat to a cinematic approach. But in a neoclassical, or contemporary ballet, the dance is expected to be a self-contained work, all-of-a-piece, that unfolds in linear time. If the editor obscures or hides portions of the dance, chooses to emphasize certain movements or people over others, and plays with the viewer's impression of time while watching the ballet, then something new is created. But it isn't anything intended by the choreographer, unless she's taking part in the editing process. But again, we end up with a new work - related to the original stage performance, but possessing new attributes and qualities.

 

If the cinematographer could make me feel that I'm sitting in a third row center seat (without coughs, whispers, and cologne odors please), then I would be very pleased.  ;)

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Having just seen the performance of Walpurgisnacht (on a recording I made of the PBS airing) I'm a newly converted fan of Sara Mearns. I saw her live last week in Thou Swell, and I must say that when performing alongside Rebecca Krohn and Teresa Reichlin, Mearns looked, to my eyes, very wide. The sash around her waist in the blue costume only emphasized that. However, in Walpurgisnacht I thought she was sensational in every way and I'm so glad to have this on DVD so that I can watch it many times. I think Macaulay's comments were well deserved.

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I was very impressed too, Angelica. I had never seen Mearns before. Would be interested to read a compare-and-contrast by anyone who saw Farrell in it.

 

The ballet is perhaps not ideal for televising but it was great fun to watch. I could imagine Balanchine in the studio with all these girls racing around with their hair flying and thinking "This is what I live for." :) 

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34 minutes ago, dirac said:

I was very impressed too, Angelica. I had never seen Mearns before. Would be interested to read a compare-and-contrast by anyone who saw Farrell in it.

 

The ballet is perhaps not ideal for televising but it was great fun to watch. I could imagine Balanchine in the studio with all these girls racing around with their hair flying and thinking "This is what I live for." :) 

 

That's a great image, dirac, and probably exactly right!

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On February 27, 2017 at 3:14 PM, Dale said:

I think to fit in a nice neat hour slot. That way the channels have more chances to squeeze in another episode of Antique Roadshow.

 

Just saw this. LOL!

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OT: I will speak up for Antiques Roadshow, especially the British version with the half-hour format. They had 2 episodes at the Royal Ballet School, featuring objets made by Pavlova and Fonteyn's makeup box.

 

 

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I just saw these performances this weekend, and the highlight for me, by far, was Tiler Peck in First Movement of "Symphony in C."  That was glorious, for the ages dancing :flowers:

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