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Balanchine left out some of Emeralds (Violet Verdy's solo?) from the Dance in America broadcast but on the other hand he did create an additional ending which retroactively gave the piece a different, graver, tone.

I wouldn't mind any well-curated group of excerpts. I always wondered what a City Ballet at St Marks Church evening would look like, with excerpts from Violin Concerto or a reduced Symphony in Three Movements with a diagonal line of dozen dancers sweeping across the room and giving way to one of the pas de deux. A dance or two from  Liebeslieder alternating with ones from Agon. Soupir variations. Danses Concertantes (coached by Suzanne Farrell) alongside the similar Cunningham/Satie Septet. All with a small group accompaniment.

Edited by Quiggin
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10 hours ago, Quiggin said:

Balanchine left out some of Emeralds (Violet Verdy's solo?) from the Dance in America broadcast but on the other hand he did create an additional ending which retroactively gave the piece a different, graver, tone.

Yes, Verdy's solo was omitted. I always thought it was odd because it's one of the ballet's highlights and, along with the "walking" pas de deux, one of its iconic moments. (Maybe this wasn't the case at the time of the broadcast and it's just me thinking that with 40 years of watching the ballet under my belt?) The broadcast was made not so many years after Verdy retired the role. Perhaps Balanchine thought it was too soon for another ballerina to assume the role for a national audience.

PS - I know Balanchine made a number of changes and additions to Emeralds over the years, but I didn't realize he added that gorgeous ending for the broadcast. Another reason to be glad these broadcasts happened!

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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Those were the years that Merrill Ashley and Karin von Aroldingen were in the Emeralds leads, and Arlene Croce wasn't the only one who objected to this casting as a failed experiment.  

I loved Heather Watts in the Pas de Trois, and based on the way she was dancing at the time and the gorgeous performances I saw her given in the Midsummer Night's Dream Divertissement and in the Hayden role in Liebeslieder Walzer, especially the last slow pas de deux in Part 2 -- I would have loved to have seen her in the Verdy role in that telecast. 

I haven't watched that DVD for so long, I can't remember if they included the Mimi Paul solo, either. Since Balanchine insisted on this casting, I doubt he left out the solo(s) because he didn't feel the dancers would do credit to them.  Ashley wrote in her book about how he would change parts of the ballets when filmed because they didn't look good on film, like substituting pique turns for fouettes in Ballo, and that's been written about elsewhere.  I've never read that he chose his excerpts on the basis of how he thought they would film or that he'd remove parts entirely if he didn't think they worked, but he had so much experience thinking about the dance on film his Hollywood years, plus TV, including the Montreal series, that he likely knew most of what he wanted before filming started and adjusted from there.

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15 minutes ago, Helene said:

I loved Heather Watts in the Pas de Trois, and based on the way she was dancing at the time and the gorgeous performances I saw her given in the Midsummer Night's Dream Divertissement and in the Hayden role in Liebeslieder Walzer, especially the last slow pas de deux in Part 2 -- I would have loved to have seen her in the Verdy role in that telecast. 

Me too! I'm sure this sounds heretical to anyone whose only memories of Watts comes from the last half decade or so of her career. No one has moved me as much in the Divertissement pas de deux as Watts did. I'm an Ashley fangirl, but I've always been grumpy about the fact that it was her performance of the Divertissement that got broadcast, not Watts'.

16 minutes ago, Helene said:

Ashley wrote in her book about how he would change parts of the ballets when filmed because they didn't look good on film, like substituting pique turns for fouettes in Ballo, and that's been written about elsewhere.  I've never read that he chose his excerpts on the basis of how he thought they would film or that he'd remove parts entirely if he didn't think they worked, but he had so much experience thinking about the dance on film his Hollywood years, plus TV, including the Montreal series, that he likely knew most of what he wanted before filming started and adjusted from there.

I wouldn't be surprised if Balanchine omitted the Emeralds solos if he thought they wouldn't translate well to the small screen. (I don't remember if Paul's solo was included or not. I'll check my DVD at some point because now I'm curious ... ) It's important to remember that TV screens were w-a-a-y different back then. They were smaller, the broadcast quality was low-def, and some of us didn't even have color, even at that relatively late date. 

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On 9/13/2020 at 7:49 PM, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I hate to be that "well, actually ... " person, but I believe the women only dance barefoot in Elégie. But yeah, it's an awful lot of minutes of unbound hair and swirling tulle cocktail dresses to sit through  until we get to T&V. If they had to televise a movement other than T&V, Elégie is definitely the one.

 

Do they wear soft ballet slippers in the other two early movements?  I really don't remember the women wearing pointe shoes before T&V.

On another topic, have people checked out the new NYCBallet.com website? Some of the videos seem redone to include clips of earlier versions of the ballets and to incorporate interviews with NYCB's stellar musicians. I enjoyed the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 2 clip with Lauren King and Susan Walters. I saw Lauren King dance it twice last season (Spring 2019 I believe) and she was like a ray of sunshine, and so, so secure technically.

https://www.nycballet.com/discover/ballet-repertory/tschaikovsky-piano-concerto-no-2/

 

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20 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Me too! I'm sure this sounds heretical to anyone whose only memories of Watts comes from the last half decade or so of her career. No one has moved me as much in the Divertissement pas de deux as Watts did. I'm an Ashley fangirl, but I've always been grumpy about the fact that it was her performance of the Divertissement that got broadcast, not Watts'.

I wouldn't be surprised if Balanchine omitted the Emeralds solos if he thought they wouldn't translate well to the small screen. (I don't remember if Paul's solo was included or not. I'll check my DVD at some point because now I'm curious ... ) It's important to remember that TV screens were w-a-a-y different back then. They were smaller, the broadcast quality was low-def, and some of us didn't even have color, even at that relatively late date. 

Ooh, a fun new game; re-watching all of my old Balanchine videos! I have that DVD, too. I remember not really liking Emeralds when it was broadcast on Dance in America way back when. Maybe I'll enjoy it more now that I've seen it live.

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6 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

Do they wear soft ballet slippers in the other two early movements?  I really don't remember the women wearing pointe shoes before T&V.

If I recall correctly, the principal women wear pointe shoes for both the Waltz and Scherzo and the corps wears pointe shoes in the Scherzo as well. I am honestly drawing a blank as to what the Waltz corps has on its feet, but I think it's slippers at least.

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The "Emeralds" excerpts on the video consist of the opening group, the pas de trois, the walking pas de deux, and the finale augmented with Balanchine's new ending. No solos. That's from memory, but I'm pretty sure it's right.

 

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9 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

I would gladly pay to watch a complete stream of Liebeslieder. That is all.

Totally. And the recent performances with Sara Mearns, please. 

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5 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I would gladly pay to watch a complete stream of Liebeslieder. That is all.

Take my money! I'd like a recording featuring Whelan and Hübbe performing the second half pas to "Nein, Geliebter."  I cried every single time I saw them dance it.

Here's a clip of Laurent Lovette and Jared Angle performing that duet in 2019:

 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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8 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

Thank you for the link.

I would gladly pay to watch a complete stream of Liebeslieder. That is all.

I too would happily pay to watch a complete Liebeslieder and, in my experience, it's a ballet that is best appreciated close up.  

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8 hours ago, vipa said:

I too would happily pay to watch a complete Liebeslieder and, in my experience, it's a ballet that is best appreciated close up.  

 

8 hours ago, vipa said:
  17 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

Thank you for the link.

I would gladly pay to watch a complete stream of Liebeslieder. That is all.

Oh, me too! I had no idea Wendy Whelan was regularly cast in that Nein, Geliebter. That must have been quite something. I think I've seen Unity Phelan dance it. But I saw Liebeslieder once before she was in the company so I must have also seen someone else. If the cast was Tiler Peck, Rebecca Krohn, Sterling Hyltin and Megan Fairchild does anyone know which of them would have danced that duet? 

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4 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

If the cast was Tiler Peck, Rebecca Krohn, Sterling Hyltin and Megan Fairchild does anyone know which of them would have danced that duet? 

Most likely Sterling Hyltin. My mental model for tracking who's dancing what in Liebeslieder is to name the roles after who originated them since there seems to be no other convention such as "The Waltz Girl" or "Rubies Tall Girl" or what have you. So, here are the originators:

Diana Adams – Bill Carter
Melissa Hayden – Jonathan Watts
Jillana – Conrad Ludlow
Violette Verdy – Nicholas Magallenes

I've seen all of the dancers BalanchineFan referred to dance Liebeslieder, but never that exact cast. From my experience, here's who generally dances what:

Tiler Peck = Violette Verdy

Rebecca Krohn = Diana Adams

Sterling Hyltin = Melissa Hayden (the Nein, Geliebter role)

Megan Fairchild = Jillana

Unity Phelan has indeed danced Hayden's role, as has Lauren Lovette. 

Although I've seen the men move from one role to another when the ballet is recast, I don't recall seeing any of the women move from one role to another, which is not to say that it doesn't happen of course.

I think we've all had the experience of finding a particular dancer's stamp on a role practically indelible. For me that's Whelan in Hayden's Liebeslieder role. (Teresa Reichlen as the Rubies Tall Girl and Heather Watts in the Midsummer Divertissement are two more.) 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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18 minutes ago, mille-feuille said:

Is there a recording of this? :)

To the best of my knowledge, no, aside from the archival performance videos available for viewing in the NY Public Library's Performing Arts research collection.

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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9 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I've seen all of the dancers BalanchineFan referred to dance Liebeslieder, but never that exact cast. From my experience, here's who generally dances what:

Tiler Peck = Violette Verdy

Rebecca Krohn = Diana Adams

Sterling Hyltin = Melissa Hayden (the Nein, Geliebter role)

Megan Fairchild = Jillana

Unity Phelan has indeed danced Hayden's role, as has Lauren Lovette. 

Thanks for the casting and the films!

I haven't found the program, so I'm probably not listing the exact cast. I know Sterling Hyltin, Rebecca Krohn and Tiler Peck were in Liebeslieder the first time I saw it, I just can't recall the fourth woman off hand. It was not Wendy Whelan. Still, if Megan Fairchild dances the Jillana role it could well have been her.

I haven't seen Liebeslieder enough to feel that one dancer has made an indelible mark on any of the roles. I have that sense in other ballets, though. Sanguinic will always be Merrill Ashley for me (though I was wowed to see the razor sharp recording of Patricia Wilde in that role). Tiler Peck is Tchai Pas.

In other news, (perhaps this isn't the correct place to post?) did anyone see the City Center Sara Mearns/Pam Tanowitz event? Alistair McCauley interviews them  both and Sara talks about her forays into the world of modern dance and how it complements her ballet dancing. I think it's up for another week, don't delay.

 

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On 9/23/2020 at 12:21 PM, Leah said:

In case anyone hasn’t seen this yet, John Clifford uploaded a complete recording to YouTube. I believe the cast conversions are Aroldingen = Adams, McBride = Hayden, and Mazzo = Jillana (Verdy does her own role).

Thanks for this, Leah, and thanks to Kathleen O'Connell for that beautiful footage of Lovette and Jared Angle. I personally have vivid memories of Sterling Hyltin in this section the last time around. The recording above, unfortunately, is dreadfully cut-up, that is, cut shots that mar the whole thing. Do any of you, with longer experience and vaster knowledge than I have, know what is the best recording that was done... and is there any (legal) way to access it? 

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Unfortunately, no.  There was a recording made in Montreal, with all of the original cast except McBride in Hayden's role -- Mein, Geliebter -- and excerpts from it were shown in the PBS two-part Balanchine bio doc.  We were all hoping that when they started to release DVD's of those Montreal years, they would finally get to Liebeslieder, but, alas they stopped doing releases.

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10 minutes ago, Helene said:

Unfortunately, no.  There was a recording made in Montreal, with all of the original cast except McBride in Hayden's role -- Mein, Geliebter -- and excerpts from it were shown in the PBS two-part Balanchine bio doc.  We were all hoping that when they started to release DVD's of those Montreal years, they would finally get to Liebeslieder, but, alas they stopped doing releases.

I have the first and third thirds of that, which were (or are) on YouTube at one point. (I’m missing the middle portion.)

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So then it seems likely that the best recordings of Liebeslieder (in terms of the video being recorded straight-on, without abrupt random zooms on someone's face, poorly timed switches of vantage point, and unfortunate limited framing) are probably the ones NYCB has been doing in recent years. That is, the same series that we saw in the Digital Spring Season, apparently shot from somewhere in the back of the orchestra or first ring. No idea if they are filming every performance, or just some for use in publicity. Since they are showing an excerpt from Liebeslieder in the Digital Fall season, it seems reasonable to assume they recorded the entire performance. There has to be some way to distribute and even benefit monetarily from these performances, when so many of us are dying to see them. 

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