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regarding the Scherzo of WESTERN SYMPHONY, Balanchine himself dropped the movement in 1960 until this death.

for the American Music Festival in 1988 it was reinstated, for Kyra NIchols if mem. serves, but it didn't remain reinstated for long.

there doesn't appear to be any official statement as to why Balanchine dropped the movement, he wasn't one to much explain his decisions.

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That’s unfortunate. I’ve been wanting to see Tiler in Rodeo. I hope she recovers quickly. 

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Now Megan LeCrone is back to back (pause indicated, not an intermission) in Hallelujah Junction and Herman Schmerman—I guess she'll have the first section to recover, but that feels like a difficult program! 

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That's sad about Peck: she was fantastic in"Marie: Dancing Still," the current version of "Little Dancer."

Peter Boal said in a Q&A recently that she visited Boyd Bender, PNB's reknowned PT, while she was in Seattle for the production, and that she also taught a PD class at the school. 

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I saw the Western Symphony "Scherzo" performed once, on 2/19/89, with Katrina Killian and Gen Horiuchi.  (Valentina Kozlova and Jock Soto danced 1st Movement, Kelly Cass and Jean-Pierre Frolich 2nd, and Helene Alexopoulos and Phillip Neal 4th.)  But it would make sense if Killian was a subsequent cast, and I wish I had seen Nichols in it.

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10 hours ago, Helene said:

I saw the Western Symphony "Scherzo" performed once, on 2/19/89, with Katrina Killian and Gen Horiuchi.  (Valentina Kozlova and Jock Soto danced 1st Movement, Kelly Cass and Jean-Pierre Frolich 2nd, and Helene Alexopoulos and Phillip Neal 4th.)  But it would make sense if Killian was a subsequent cast, and I wish I had seen Nichols in it.

I never even realized that one of the movements was removed, but perhaps I've never seen it.  Do you know if that performance in 1989 was a one off, or were they including the Scherzo at that time?  The first time I saw Western Symphony could have been about that time, but it may have been the early 90's.   I started attending NYCB in 1988.

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I remember reading a theory that Balanchine's dropped the Scherzo because it was too technically challenging, as many of roles for Wilde were, but not the context, ie. whether it was in response to a temporary situation, like a series of injuries and who was left standing, or if it was a decision about how it was being performed at the time the decision was made.

@rg posted above that the Scherzo was reinstated for the American Music Festival in 1988, and it looks like this was either extended to the Winter 1989 season (unless I made a transcription error) or was part of the Dancers Emergency Fund Benefit if it happened in 1989, although 2/19 seems like a week early for the end of a Winter season, and the benefit was typically the last Sunday evening of the season.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Helene said:

I remember reading a theory that Balanchine's dropped the Scherzo because it was too technically challenging, as many of roles for Wilde were...

I remember reading something about that too, but I thought what I read was that it was the male role that was the problem. (I'm writing this without taking the time to rewatch the video, which I've only watched once quite awhile ago, so this could very well be completely wrong!)

Edited by nanushka

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4 minutes ago, Helene said:

I remember reading a theory that Balanchine's dropped the Scherzo because it was too technically challenging, as many of roles for Wilde were, but not the context, ie. whether it was in response to a temporary situation, like a series of injuries and who was left standing, or if it was a decision about how it was being performed at the time the decision was made.

@rg posted above that the Scherzo was reinstated for the American Music Festival in 1988, and it looks like this was either extended to the Winter 1989 season (unless I made a transcription error) or was part of the Dancers Emergency Fund Benefit if it happened in 1989, although 2/19 seems like a week early for the end of a Winter season, and the benefit was typically the last Sunday evening of the season.

Thank you Helene.  I just watched the Scherzo in the link above (thank you canbelto!) and I can see what you're talking about.  It is definitely technically demanding.    I wonder if today's dancer's are up to the challenge.  I'd love to see it in performance.

 

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1 minute ago, NinaFan said:

Thank you Helene.  I just watched the Scherzo in the link above (thank you canbelto!) and I can see what you're talking about.  It is definitely technically demanding.    I wonder if today's dancer's are up to the challenge.  I'd love to see it in performance.

 

Speaking of technically demanding: I watched the first movement on this video (thank you, @canbelto!) and found myself thinking - not for the first time - that Balanchine's choreography was too tough for the dancers he created on.  We're fortunate so many of his ballets have survived and truly shine on the dancers of this generation.  Just my opinion, and of course I mean no disrespect to the dancers in this video, or at any time between now and then.  I was one myself, and had the joy of dancing the first movement of Western.  I'm simply saying these steps are hard as the dickens and tough to make look polished and clean.

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Third week casting is up on the website.  Tiler Peck is removed from all assignments in week 2, and she does not appear anywhere in week 3. 

Ramasar is not cast at all  in Weeks 1, 2 or 3.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, abatt said:

Third week casting is up on the website.  Tiler Peck is removed from all assignments in week 2, and she does not appear anywhere in week 3. 

Ramasar is not cast at all  in Weeks 1, 2 or 3.

I would not be surprised if Ramasar, coming back on the very eve of the season, ends up not being cast much at all this spring. (And if that's the case, I wouldn't be inclined to view it as a meaningful snub on the part of the administration.)

While I was really looking forward to seeing Peck in Sonatine, Lovette seems like a nice substitution.

Janzen replaces la Cour in Stravinsky Violin Concerto; having seen the latter in it (and a few other things) recently, I'm not at all disappointed with that replacement.

Edited by nanushka

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Posted (edited)

I assume that this or next week would be Ramasar’s first week of work back. He hasn’t posted anything from inside the company yet. It looks like rehearsals start 2 or 3 weeks before the performances and casting gets determined even before that so I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t show up until week 5 or 6.

I also listened to what I believe is the music for Peck’s Bright on Dancigers’ website. It was very reminiscent of the blandness of Principia’s score. I’m not particularly excited for this premiere. 

Edited by Leah

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42 minutes ago, nanushka said:

While I was really looking forward to seeing Peck in Sonatine, Lovette seems like a nice substitution.

This seems like it could be a wonderful fit for Lovette — I hope to get a chance to see her in it!

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1 hour ago, Leah said:

I also listened to what I believe is the music for Peck’s Bright on Dancigers’ website. It was very reminiscent of the blandness of Principia’s score. I’m not particularly excited for this premiere.

I've found most Peck that I've seen agreeable but bland, so I was pretty blown away by last night's Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes. My favorite Peck works have been Rodeo and Pulcinella Variations; on the other hand, I've found most of his collaborations with Sufjan Stevens forgettable. His only ballet to electronic music that I like is The Times Are Racing. I'd love it if he stuck to orchestral music...!

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The original male dancer in the Western Symphony Scherzo was Andre Eglevsky:

http://www.balanchine.org/balanchine/display_result.jsp?num=303

In all of the film I've seen of him, he had an old-fashioned male technique compared to the other men in the Company at the time -- ankle height passes in pirouettes, for example -- even in 1954, but maybe that contrast is what Balanchine wanted.

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Tanowitz;s ballet is set to Bartok String Quartet #5. I'll be really interested to see how she turns this into dance as on the surface I don't hear much danceable music here:

 

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23 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Tanowitz;s ballet is set to Bartok String Quartet #5. I'll be really interested to see how she turns this into dance as on the surface I don't hear much danceable music here:

 

I’m not really a Bartok fan, but the music seems a lot more interesting than the Dancigers. 

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4 hours ago, Leah said:

I’m not really a Bartok fan, but the music seems a lot more interesting than the Dancigers. 

And much more "danceable" than Episodes or Movements for Piano and Orchestra. Fascinating to hear the music in advance. Thanks for posting canbelto!

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I have faith in Tanowitz considering some of the other work she's done. Just will be interesting as the piece is rather long and dense. 

As for Peck we'll see. It can't be worse than Principia.

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Since I have frequently been a Megan LeCrone detractor,  I feel the need to say that she was excellent in Herman Schmerman last night.  This kind of modern work suits her perfectly.  Since a lot of Forsythe's choreography involves slicing limbs and extensions, her long limbs were much more  suitable to this choreography than Tiler Peck's.  Aaron Sanz did a good job, but he seems to lack charisma or presence.  Maybe he will improve with additional performances.

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Gonzalo García may have injured himself tonight in Pictures, he was replaced by Andrew Veyette in Rodeo. Veyette was noticeably tired at the end and didn’t really keep up with Huxley and Ulbricht. It was his third ballet of the night though and I thought he was good in the first two.

This is probably the first time I’ve loved every single ballet in an all modern program. Rodeo in particular was fantastic, it might be my new favorite Peck thus far.

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Garcia looked in excellent shape on Wed evening in Concerto DSCH.  I hope he is not injured again. 

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15 hours ago, Leah said:

Gonzalo García may have injured himself tonight in Pictures, he was replaced by Andrew Veyette in Rodeo. Veyette was noticeably tired at the end and didn’t really keep up with Huxley and Ulbricht. It was his third ballet of the night though and I thought he was good in the first two.

This is probably the first time I’ve loved every single ballet in an all modern program. Rodeo in particular was fantastic, it might be my new favorite Peck thus far.

Rodeo remains one of my favorite Peck pieces as well. He was awarded a Bessie for it (Downtown Dance and Performance award). I think the section for the five men is unlike anything I've seen in ballet, men partnering men, collegiality, the wistful dreaminess of it all. I also particularly love Peck's Everywhere We Go and Year of the Rabbit. Have you seen both of those?

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