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I was wondering if any among you had seen the ballet, Ballade, music by Gabriel Fauré? It was choreographed on Merrill Ashley and Ib Andersen in 1980,  towards the end of Balanchine's life. In her book she says she injured her hip shortly after the premiere so it wasn't performed much. NYCB seemed to do a deep dive in restaging Haieff Concerto before the pandemic and I hope they don't let the opportunity pass to restage Ballade. Both Ms Ashley and Ib Andersen are still working, setting Balanchine ballets.  There do seem to be pictures of it from the post-Balanchine era so maybe it isn't in danger of being lost. I am just curious to see it.

Has anyone seen it? Do you think it would add to NYCB's current repertoire? Who might dance it? Does anyone know which dancers are pictured performing it on the NYCB rep page linked here? Is the woman Miranda Weise?

https://www.nycballet.com/discover/ballet-repertory/ballade-balanchine/

Edited by BalanchineFan
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19 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

I was wondering if any among you had seen the ballet, Ballade, music by Gabriel Fauré? It was choreographed on Merrill Ashley and Ib Andersen in 1980,  towards the end of Balanchine's life. In her book she says she injured her hip shortly after the premiere so it wasn't performed much. NYCB seemed to do a deep dive in restaging Haieff Concerto before the pandemic and I hope they don't let the opportunity pass to restage Ballade. Both Ms Ashley and Ib Andersen are still working, setting Balanchine ballets.  There do seem to be pictures of it from the post-Balanchine era so maybe it isn't in danger of being lost. I am just curious to see it.

Has anyone seen it? Do you think it would add to NYCB's current repertoire? Who might dance it? Does anyone know which dancers are pictured performing it on the NYCB rep page linked here? Is the woman Miranda Weise?

https://www.nycballet.com/discover/ballet-repertory/ballade-balanchine/

I don't know what dancers are in that picture, but Merrill Ashley spoke about the ballet when interviewed by Meagan Fairchild. From what she said, it seems unlikely to go back into the rep. 

 

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I saw Ballade with Merrill Ashley and Ib Andersen shortly after its premiere (dating myself here!) and several times since then—but it's been too long, so bring it back please, powers that be! Miraculously enough, give how little it's been performed I've seen four ballerinas dance it: Merrill Ashley, Stephanie Saland, Judith Fugate, and Wendy Whelan. It's the kind of ballet that can have a totally different perfume depending on who is dancing it. I gather the choreography can be challenging to dance, but I think there are any number of dancers on NYCB's current roster who could do it justice.  

The ballerina's costume as shown on the repertory page looks NOTHING like the original, which looked intended to emulate a Degas painting. (There was also a giant swag of a deep red curtain as part of the set, which was thankfully retired somewhere along the way.) 

 

 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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I saw it with Ashley--probably just the one time. I vaguely remember (or thought at the time that) Balanchine seemed to be trying to stretch her in more lyrical directions. It wasn't just another Ballo Della Regina. I've occasionally thought NYCB should revive it and have been puzzled that they don't.  But somebody should.

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On 9/25/2021 at 6:34 PM, vipa said:

I don't know what dancers are in that picture, but Merrill Ashley spoke about the ballet when interviewed by Meagan Fairchild. From what she said, it seems unlikely to go back into the rep. 

I thought Ashley gave reasons why Ballade is hard to cast and program generally, but that shouldn't stop the House of Balanchine, particularly since, as abatt notes, the ballet was revived years ago for none other than the company's current Associate Artistic Director. So there are two leading ballerinas around who have danced it, including the one the ballet was made on and as BalanchineFan says, Andersen is still around and about. 

Quote

I saw it with Ashley--probably just the one time. I vaguely remember (or thought at the time that) Balanchine seemed to be trying to stretch her in more lyrical directions.

Croce wrote a long piece pursuing that theme at the time of the premiere, called, if I remember correctly, "Ashley, Balanchine, and Ballade." From the time frame I'm guessing it would be found in Going to the Dance, don't know if it was included in her final collection. Ashley said in her book that Balanchine read the piece and told her he hadn't been trying to push her in a different direction, but Ashley suspected that he was. I think Croce wrote, "Balanchine is not going to let Merrill Ashley carry on as if she were an uninteresting woman," or words to that effect.

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12 minutes ago, dirac said:

Croce wrote a long piece pursuing that theme at the time of the premiere, called, if I remember correctly, "Ashley, Balanchine, and Ballade." From the time frame I'm guessing it would be found in Going to the Dance, don't know if it was included in her final collection. Ashley said in her book that Balanchine read the piece and told her he hadn't been trying to push her in a different direction, but Ashley suspected that he was. I think Croce wrote, "Balanchine is not going to let Merrill Ashley carry on as if she were an uninteresting woman," or words to that effect.

I must have read that at the time . . . and as I recall he also cast Ashley in the Verdy role in Emeralds which also seemed about 'stretching' her.  I would be very happy to see Ballade revived.

Edited by Drew
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On 9/25/2021 at 8:40 PM, BalanchineFan said:

I was wondering if any among you had seen the ballet, Ballade, music by Gabriel Fauré? It was choreographed on Merrill Ashley and Ib Andersen in 1980,  towards the end of Balanchine's life. In her book she says she injured her hip shortly after the premiere so it wasn't performed much. NYCB seemed to do a deep dive in restaging Haieff Concerto before the pandemic and I hope they don't let the opportunity pass to restage Ballade. Both Ms Ashley and Ib Andersen are still working, setting Balanchine ballets.  There do seem to be pictures of it from the post-Balanchine era so maybe it isn't in danger of being lost. I am just curious to see it.

Has anyone seen it? Do you think it would add to NYCB's current repertoire? Who might dance it? Does anyone know which dancers are pictured performing it on the NYCB rep page linked here? Is the woman Miranda Weise?

https://www.nycballet.com/discover/ballet-repertory/ballade-balanchine/

I think the ballerina looks like Jennifer Ringer.

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