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 Post subject: Damian Woetzel - Ballet in America: State of the Art
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3394
Location: Canada
There's a neat video of a presentation Damian Woetzel about ballet at the 2007 Aspen Institute. It lasts about 1 hr 10 minutes, with Woetzel speaking, showing video clips and demonstrating (he was probably the only speaker at the event in warm up pants and ballet slippers).

Woetzel comes across as a very engaging speaker, sprinkling lots of interesting tidbits into his talk. (I never knew that both NYCB and ABT offered him contracts back in 1984 and he picked NYCB because of Jerry Robbins)

It's also fascinating to see him demonstrate - he does a bit of the pirouettes from Le Corsaire and Don Q basically cold. Anyone who knows Woetzel is familiar with his turning ability, but it's doubly impressive on a tiny stage, unwarmed up and at age 39! I have always loved Woetzel's dancing, but what really comes out here is his fluidity and grace.

Some of the more interesting sections are of Woetzel talking about Robbins - demonstrating a bit from Dances in Gathering with a rare peek into the explanation behind one of the characters. Woetzel was one of Robbins's last proteges, so brings much first hand knowledge. Also, a rare chance to see him doing Apollo (this section and others are silenced - I assume probably because they didn't have the rights to have them on film with the music). There are also bits from Western Symphony and Brahms Schoenberg. ... of_the_Art

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:33 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 956
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Thanks Kate. That's a really neat video, and he is a really articulate speaker. The ballet world could use more people like him as ambassadors.

It was interesting to hear him talk about the differences between Balanchine technique and classical technique as well as his observation that dancers are becoming more homogenized these days.

There's also a slight higher def version of the video that can be downloaded on that page.


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