Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Fall Digital Season


Recommended Posts

58 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

I too prefer whole ballets to excerpts. That being said, Balanchine himself elected to present excerpts from his ballets for the Dance in America series featuring his choreography. There was no Jewels in its entirety, only excerpts from Emeralds and Diamonds. (And not even the entirety of those two ballets, either, just excerpts.) Only excerpts from Chaconne. Only the Andante from Divertimento No. 15. Only Elégie from Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3

I have no idea why Balanchine chose to have only excerpts of those ballets televised, but he did. 

Anyone want to guess why Balanchine would have made that choice? One advantage is with excerpts you get to see samplings of more ballets. It shows the breadth of his work, his mastery of different styles. I appreciate, for instance, that we only got the Elegie from Tschaikovsky Suite #3. Once you've seen one of those early movements you really don't need to see the others. It's three movements of barefoot girls waving their long hair around before we get to Theme & Variations. That particular edit was a gift! Fill the time with another ballet.

Mostly, though, the excerpts function as an extended teaser for a full night of live performance. Come back and see the whole thing. Sometime next year...

Link to post
14 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

I appreciate, for instance, that we only got the Elegie from Tschaikovsky Suite #3. Once you've seen one of those early movements you really don't need to see the others. It's three movements of barefoot girls waving their long hair around before we get to Theme & Variations.

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.

 

Link to post
32 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

Mostly, though, the excerpts function as an extended teaser for a full night of live performance. Come back and see the whole thing. Sometime next year...

As one who’s not a fan of the excerpts, I’d just explain that feeling by saying they’re frustrating. Six months in, and who knows how many months out from the end, I’m not really looking for teasers. I know others may feel differently.

Link to post

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
Link to post
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
Link to post

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.

Link to post
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. 

Link to post
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/

 

Link to post
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.

Link to post
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.

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...