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Liam Scarlett Suspended

Ashton Fan

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On 3/24/2020 at 2:32 PM, Helene said:


I've been thinking a lot about the dearth of female choreographers, and the argument around whether there are a lack of women choreographers or whether they just haven't been given their chance.  I would argue that the great majority of choreographers are women:  they do it all the time in high schools, for high school musicals, 

Well Helene--thanks for the recognition!  I was one of those people---I taught in a high school and involved in many productions.  My favorite was 'Fiddler on the Roof'.  I did have some help though.  We were sent a 2" thick book of the Robbins choreography andI adapted it to the athletic students, and they were great.

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On 3/24/2020 at 11:22 AM, Quiggin said:

Yes, it has to be one or two people. In publishing there have been individual brilliant editors, Max Perkins, Howard Moss, Gordon Lish who have really helped writers narrow their focus. In the art world it seems its one's immediate peers who share the same esthetic and mission are the ones who are often the most helpful. The film business, despite the auteur theory (which does have its virtues), is often a collaboration between a writer and a director. For instance Fellini worked with the Italian writer Ennio Flaiano for his first ten films through Giulietta of the Spirits and they all have similar themes and obssessions (Flaiano also wrote La Dolce Vita's twin, La Notte.)

I don't know how it works in the dance world. With Cunningham I sometimes would think it should end right HERE but it would go on too long and dilute the effect. Diaghilev seemed to know his choreographers and composers well enought to sense what was strong and what needed to go. Robbins? Ashton? Taylor? Who were their editors?

I'm guessing that at the level of Robbins, Ashton, and Taylor they were probably consulting with their peers and colleagues. I imagine Constant Lambert had a lot of input at the Royal.  De Valois seems to have let Ashton alone, but she addressed what she considered to be deficiencies in other ways. She brought in Leonide Massine to do some things and work with the men because Ashton concentrated more on the female dancers and she thought the boys needed more attention. 

When Robbins was with NYCB  Balanchine probably came in for some look-sees, and on Broadway Robbins worked with George Abbott, who would have had a lot to say about what he thought did and didn't work.

(Peter Martins wrote some interesting things about apprenticing under Balanchine in "Far From Denmark." In one story he was having trouble with the ending of the ballet and kept noodling with it to little effect. Balanchine came in to watch. He made some changes not to the ending but to the section immediately preceding it, which set up the ending better and so made it more satisfactory.)

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