The Men of the Ballet Russe
By Kathy Scott - June 9, 2007, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles
A remarkable reunion occurred at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 9, 2007. Five of six former Ballet Russe male dancers gathered to be honored, and hundreds of their colleagues, friends, students and balletomanes joined them. Dressed elegantly in black tie, George Zoritch, Marc Platt, Victor Moreno, Paul Maure, and Andrei Tremaine enthusiastically posed for photographs and chatted with well-wishers, some who traveled across the country to attend.
Ballets Russes - A film by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller
Film Review by Leland Windreich - October 2005
The motion picture has always been an ally to the art of ballet and often serves as its most effective propagandist. Witness the success of “The Red Shoes” which introduced millions of film-goers to the romantic milieu of a Russian ballet company. Or “The Turning Point”, a movie idealizing the physicality of ballet, which sent thousands of young people into ballet studios all over the world.
'The Ballets of Maurice Ravel: Creation and Interpretation' by Deborah Mawer
Book review by Leland Windreich - February 2007
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) composed six works specifically for the dance theatre, and while the original choreography for these creations did not survive, the music for all has become enshrined in the repertoires of the world’s orchestras. Over the years since their premieres, the scores have continued to inspire new choreographers who recognize the challenge that they present.
Media City Ballet - 'Ballet Russe Remembered'
By Kathy Lee Scott - April 27, 2008, Alex Theatre, Glendale, California
Natasha Middleton, artistic director of Media City Ballet, should ask for part of her deposit back from the Alex Theatre. The lighting person made numerous mistakes during the evening of "Ballet Russe Remembered," held April 27, 2008, at the Glendale facility, confusing audience members and darkening dancers in early blackouts.
Cincinnati and the Ballet Russe: 'Reverance,' 'No Other,' 'Night Shadow,' 'Devil's Holiday,' 'Gaîté Parisienne,' 'Seventh Symphony'
By Leland Windreich - October 18, 2002, Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati, Ohio
The Cincinnati Ballet celebrated its 40th anniversary in October with a tribute to the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, the company that brought a first glimpse of ballet to nearly 100 cities and towns in North America in 1938 and continued to enchant its new audiences until its demise in 1962. World War II deprived the Ballet Russe of its headquarters in Monte Carlo, and as the itinerant troupe criss-crossed the nation, it vastly influenced the development of ballet education and of regional companies in many of the cities it visited. As its personnel retired, to be replaced by new dancers trained in America, many settled in cities such as Houston, Tulsa, Los Angeles and Seattle where they offered new American ballet trainees continuity with their Russian origins.
'Frederic Franklin: a Biography of the Ballet Star' by Leslie Norton and Frederic Franklin
Book review by Leland Windreich - November 2007
Leslie Norton, an associate professor in the Theatre and Dance Department at Hamilton College, had written the first draft of this biography without having had any personal contact with her subject. When she finally approached him, the affable dancer agreed to collaborate with her, providing some precious memories, anecdotes and significant facts.
Irina: Ballet, Life and Loves' by Irina Baronova
Book review by Leland Windreich - March 2006
Irina Baronova, the youngest of the celebrated three baby ballerinas who captivated audiences worldwide in the 1930s with the tours of the Ballets Russes, waited until her arrival in a place which offered her the kind of peace she needed to contemplate her past. Her book was published in her 86th year.
Edinburgh International Festival 2005: Scottish Ballet - 'Apollo,' 'Episodes,' 'Rubies'
By Kate Snedeker - August 26, 2005, Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland
On Friday, the Scottish Ballet returned to the Edinburgh Festival after an absence of nearly two decades with a solid, if not spectacular, Balanchine programme. The trio of ballets, all staged by former New York City Ballet dancer Patricia Neary, represent nearly forty years of Balanchine's choreographic career, from the very early "Apollo" (1928) to "Episodes" (1959) and the later "Rubies", a part of the full length ballet "Jewels" (1967). Tackling such an ambitious programme on the International Festival stage was a daring step for the Scottish Ballet, but one that has mostly paid.
New York City Ballet - 'Apollo', 'NY Export: Opus Jazz', 'An American in Paris': Suffering by Comparison
By Jerry Hochman -
May 7, 2005, NY State Theatre, New York
There was good news and not so good news at New York City Ballet's matinee. The good news is that masterworks are still being performed and brilliantly so. The not so good news is that the ballet that closed the program, “An American in Paris,” is not in the same league as the other two.
Birmingham Royal Ballet - 'Apollo', 'Pulcinella', 'The Firebird'
By David Mead - May 6, 2006, Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham, England
Igorfest is the City of Birmingham’s celebration of Stravinsky, during which all his music will be played at a series of concert and ballet performances. BRB’s contribution to the second year of events was a mixed programme featuring three of his earlier works from his time with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes: “Apollo” (1928), “Pulcinella” (1919) and “The Firebird” (1910).
New York City Ballet - 'Square Dance', 'Prodigal Son', 'The Four Seasons'
By Cecly Placenti - January 18, 2008, New York State Theatre, Lincoln Center, NYC
George Balanchine will forever be known as a choreographer with a love for storyless ballets. He wanted audiences to watch the dancing, listen to the music and make of that interplay whatever they chose. That is not to say that he did not slip bits of narrative into his ballets, and he certainly knew how to tell a story when he wanted to.
'The Paris Opera Ballet' by Ivor Guest and 'Prokofiev's Ballets for Diaghilev' by Stephen D. Press
Book reviews by Leland Windreich - June 2006
Two recent publications offer insights into the significance of Paris as the cradle of ballet. Ivor Guest, who has written thirty distinguished scholarly studies of various aspects of ballet in England and France, has created a capsule history of the oldest and most revered dance establishment in the world. Guest, who turns 86 this year, knows the material covered in this volume so well that he could have written it with one hand tied behind his back. His history is strictly for the popular trade: there are no references or bibliographic notes. Readers wanting to know his sources or to investigate any of the issues he discusses will have to go to his scholarly output.
Alicia Markova: An Appreciation - 1910-2004
By Leland Windreich - December 2, 2004
Her participation in the brilliant epoch of Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes enabled Markova to begin a remarkable career in which she was instrumental in establishing ballet as a popular institution in Great Britain and the United States.
George Balanchine: Ballet Master, A Centennial Exhibition
By Jeff Kuo - April 16, 2004, San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum, Veterans Building, San Francisco
Though choreographed decades earlier, Balanchine often seems timeless. Who doesn't feel at least a little thrill at the big finale of "Symphony in C" or the barest urge to salute after the patriotic kitsch of "Stars and Stripes"? Yet sometimes I wonder if Balanchine's timelessness makes it too easy, especially for those of us who missed the Balanchine era, to forget that his ballets were in fact resolutely tied to period and circumstance. The current exhibition on Balanchine at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum can help us remember.