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39 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

*ETA - if I recall correctly, Ballade was supposed to be part of Tricolore, but Balanchine was ill and Martins, Robbins, and Bonnefous had to step in to do the choreography. Ballade premiered a year later in 1980. I have to do some research to refresh my memory: I missed Tricolore, but I did see Ballade when it was new.

Update on Ballade: Balanchine choreographed it after Tricolore premiered (in 1978, not 1979 as I incorrectly stated above), so while he may have envisioned including something like it in Entente Cordiale before illness forced him to hand the project off to Martins and Robbins, it was never part of that work. In addition, Tricolore was set to a commissioned score by French composer Georges Auric, but Balanchine didn't use Auric's score for Ballade, he used music by Fauré instead. He did use one of Tricolore's sets for Ballade, however. Per Anna Kisselgoff's 1980 review of Ballade, it was "reportedly the first of three sections of a total revision of "Tricolore" the company's not-so-successful salute to France in 1978." That total revision never happened, of course, but we still have Ballade, though the company doesn't show it to us very often. 

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45 minutes ago, Leah said:

Ratmansky just did Romeo and Juliet for the Bolshoi, I doubt he wants to do it again for NYCB. As he already has his hands full doing full lengths for ABT I would imagine that he probably views NYCB as a venue for his more modern, experimental stuff (as we saw in Voices this season). Didn't Justin Peck do a full length a few seasons back? I gather it got negative reviews, but it seems like he does have some interest in the area and as the Artistic Advisor to NYCB he would probably be the one tapped to make any new productions. And maybe doing Carousel and West Side Story have since helped him in the storytelling department.

I personally have no wish to see NYCB as a home of nineteenth-century ballets or full length ballets — and would probably prefer they commissioned new work if they want to add a full-length work to their rep for box-office. I realize that it is a riskier proposition...(Ratmansky’s R&J was choreographed for the National Ballet of Canada, though it was recently staged by the Bolshoi.)

Edited to add: I would love to see more revivals of rarely done Balanchine like Ballade or this season’s Haieff Divertimento. 

Edited by Drew

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36 minutes ago, Drew said:

I personally have no wish to see NYCB as a home of nineteenth-century ballets or full length ballets — and would probably prefer they commissioned new work if they want to add a full-length work to their rep for box-office.

Ideally, I'd prefer this course as well, but ballets like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and Romeo and Juliet do get droves of people into the theater; newly-commissioned story ballets mostly don't. It's a version of the battle that opera companies and symphony orchestras have been fighting for decades, if not an actual century in the case of opera. (Go to the Metropolitan Opera Archives and click on "Repertory Report" in the left-hand sidebar. It's a list of operas in the Met's repertory sorted by total number of performances given. You have to scroll way down that list to get to an opera composed after the 1920's.)

I don't think NYCB will likely become a home of 19th century or full-length ballets—it's just not in the company's DNA—so I'm not going to begrudge them doing one a season to put butts in seats if it means 1) filling the coffers and 2) expanding their audience. But yeah, I'd like to see them chart a different course if they could.

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2 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Ditto Nutcracker. (The number of people who would wish away the first act party scene is another tell. No one would wish away Sleeping Beauty's Prologue.) 

Um... :whistling:

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Whelan danced Ballade a long time ago w. Robert Tewsley.  I hope Whelan revives Ballade.  I also hope they get Tzigane - which I've only seen in excerpt on video.

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3 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I don't know if his reconstructed Swan Lake could really be grafted on to NYCB's root stock, though.

I say it would be a perfect addition. Swan Lake has become a lethargic, unmovable K. Sergueev realm, and sometimes even unrecognizable, ending wise. Act II is usually an endless slow showing of the Adagio, to the point that the music gets lost in translation. If there's something Ratmansky is instilling in his reconstructions is a quicker, brighter, petite allegro baseline, and I'm more than convinced that no one better than NYCB to honor this quicker tempi. It is also a "new old" entity, so much of the mime, steps and general portraying is quite new. Which better company than NYCB to have a "non traditional" approach to our current Soviet swan inheritance...?

They should grab it before someone else's does.

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I would be happy with just a snippet of video somewhere of Merrill Ashley dancing Ballade.  She talks quite a bit about the creation of the ballet in her book.

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14 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

I say it would be a perfect addition. Swan Lake has become a lethargic, unmovable K. Sergueev realm, and sometimes even unrecognizable, ending wise. Act II is usually an endless slow showing of the Adagio, to the point that the music gets lost in translation. If there's something Ratmansky is instilling in his reconstructions is a quicker, brighter, petite allegro baseline, and I'm more than convinced that no one better than NYCB to honor this quicker tempi. It is also a "new old" entity, so much of the mime, steps and general portraying is quite new. Which better company than NYCB to have a "non traditional" approach to our current Soviet swan inheritance...?

They should grab it before someone else's does.

I second the motion.

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16 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

 

And Cuban Miami Boy is right. No one does clean single fouettés anymore, even though they go with the music.

I think Veronika Part at ABT did clean single fouettes every time I got to see her. My favorite Odette/Odile. 

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32 minutes ago, abatt said:

Whelan danced Ballade a long time ago w. Robert Tewsley.  I hope Whelan revives Ballade.  I also hope they get Tzigane - which I've only seen in excerpt on video.

I would love to see what Sara Mearns could do with Tzigane! I really think they might bring it back as Farrell has now come back multiple times. Plus Whelan in particular seems keen on bringing back lesser known Balanchine. By the way, you can find the full version of the ballet here - it's quite short:

 

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1 hour ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

I say it would be a perfect addition. Swan Lake has become a lethargic, unmovable K. Sergueev realm, and sometimes even unrecognizable, ending wise. Act II is usually an endless slow showing of the Adagio, to the point that the music gets lost in translation. If there's something Ratmansky is instilling in his reconstructions is a quicker, brighter, petite allegro baseline, and I'm more than convinced that no one better than NYCB to honor this quicker tempi. It is also a "new old" entity, so much of the mime, steps and general portraying is quite new. Which better company than NYCB to have a "non traditional" approach to our current Soviet swan inheritance...?

They should grab it before someone else's does.

Given your knowledge of both Swan Lake and NYCB's dancers, I'm going to trust you on this! Presumably the company has enough of a connection to Ratmansky to give replacing Martins' version with his legitimacy.

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10 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Given your knowledge of both Swan Lake and NYCB's dancers, I'm going to trust you on this! Presumably the company has enough of a connection to Ratmansky to give replacing Martins' version with his legitimacy.

That if Lourdes Lopez doesn't move first in Miami! 🙏

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Lopez already acquired the rights to the Ratmansky SL (see thread link above).  It will debut in "2020" which I assume means sometime next season. 

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Well one thing about the Martins' Swan Lake I like is the fourth act. I find the ending with Odette retreating back into her flock of Swans very powerful.

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After much of my harsh criticism of the production, let me be truthful and add the other side of the equation. In all fairness, I truly loved the lakeside acts, particularly the intricate crisscrossing of the maidens and patterns formations. It comes very alive and looks magnificent from upstairs. And because the lakeside acts don't really require too much of scenery-(in most of the productions it is just as what we saw...a mere backdrop)- the acts really gain lots of weight with the strong choreo for the corps and the beautiful white costumes. There's a moment at the end of act IV where a row of black swans crisscross a row of white ones at full speed to form a cross and it looks amazing.

The transition from the drawing room to the lakeside is quite successful too with the moving scenery. Sometimes this compression of four acts into two and two can be problematic during such transitions. One I really felt didn't work was in Ratmansky's Bayadere in Berlin, for instance. 

The false finale made me cringe.

 

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Cubanmiamiboy, I too enjoy the lakeside scene the best.  Is it any surprise that Martins said it is based on Balanchine's 1951 one-act Swan Lake?  If you ever get a chance to see that, I would highly recommend it.  I lucked out in my subscription series, as I have tomorrow's night's Peck/Gordon Swan and am very much looking forward to it.

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14 hours ago, canbelto said:

Well one thing about the Martins' Swan Lake I like is the fourth act. I find the ending with Odette retreating back into her flock of Swans very powerful.

Agreed. It's almost a sadder ending, both characters having to live with Siegfried's mistake.

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Isn't the fourth act ending also based on the Balanchine version? 

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2 hours ago, bobbi said:

Cubanmiamiboy, I too enjoy the lakeside scene the best.  Is it any surprise that Martins said it is based on Balanchine's 1951 one-act Swan Lake?  If you ever get a chance to see that, I would highly recommend it.  I lucked out in my subscription series, as I have tomorrow's night's Peck/Gordon Swan and am very much looking forward to it.

I have seen Balanchine's in Miami, but it has been quite a few years since they put it last. And I wonder if they'll keep it after they get Ratmansky's recon. Anyhow...I do not remember a lot, but I don't think I saw the black swans/white swans crisscrossing. From this bits here I can tell he did use Balanchine's patterns though, including Zorina's final round of pique turns for Odette's solo...😆

 

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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3 hours ago, abatt said:

Isn't the fourth act ending also based on the Balanchine version? 

Yes, I have always thought Martins’ ending is essentially Balanchine’s ending, minus the dummy swans (which would certainly look very out-of-place against Per Kirkeby’s backdrop.).  I love the dummy swans!  And everything about the Balanchine version.  It has been shown occasionally during the last 20 years, and while I’m sure the box-office algorithm doesn’t like it as much as the Martins version, I believe it is a better calling card for the company (based on the tiny sample of people I’ve taken to each).

BTW—yes to Ballade, yes to Tzigane and yes to Harlequinade!

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33 minutes ago, ivanov said:

I love the dummy swans!  And everything about the Balanchine version.  

I do too love the dummy swans! They look deliciously mid century. Balanchine's "version" can really get away with the changing of the finale, given that it does not follows the original libretto at all-( no "lake of tears" explanation, no marriage anticipation...no ballroom ball...no Odile...no swearing of eternal love charade...no Odette imprisonment etc etc). But it is not an abstract piece either. It is just a prince falling in love with a queen. A love affair that doesn't get to bloom because she turns into a swan at sunrise. It would had really been problematic for Balanchine to try to follow the complicated double suicide finale sans backstory and technical resources.

 

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23 hours ago, abatt said:

Whelan danced Ballade a long time ago w. Robert Tewsley.  I hope Whelan revives Ballade.  I also hope they get Tzigane - which I've only seen in excerpt on video.

I agree wholeheartedly!

I also hope NYCB doesn't become a repository of 19th century full-lengths, it's just that they seem to have the marketing down and they sell well. If they did Liebeslieder  every Valentine's Day I'd be ecstatic. Maybe they just need a different marketing approach.

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One of the Kennedy Center-based incarnations of Farrell's company performed Tzigane. As I recall, it was not very long...the pdd and a bit more...maybe 8 -9 minutes? Lovely, nonetheless.

I'd love to see Pavane (a brief solo created for McBride, later danced by Nichols) and Hungarian Gypsy Airs (created for Von Aroldingen, for the 1981 Tchaikovsky Festival, although it's since been discovered that it may have been composed by Liszt, orchestrated by P.I.T.).

Edited by Roberta
correction

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4 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

I also hope NYCB doesn't become a repository of 19th century full-lengths, it's just that they seem to have the marketing down and they sell well. 

Well, as many have noted, it was Balanchine himself who introduced all the XIX Century full lenghts he either danced on-( Midsummer's night dream, Nutcracker)- or that he cherished from his past at the Mariinsky-( Coppelia, Swan Lake). And he wanted to do Sleeping Beauty, AND he obviously worked a lot with Raymonda in different ways-( Pas de dix, Raymonda Variations, Cortege Hongrois). A full SL has existed for quite a while already at NYCB, so they might as well update its production.

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