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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2002 9:21 am 
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Is it not true, as a general rule, that as we get further and further removed from the time of the actual creation of a ballet, and especially with the demise of the choreographer, that the ballet will change? Both technically and emotionally?<P>Even when the ballets are set by designated authorities, such as Suzanne Farrell, it will still change, in my opinion. Balanchine's ballets might be particularly vulnerable since he set them on very specific people, suited in a very personal way, with exceptions of course.<P>The only dance work that I can think of which seems to be danced as close to as originally set, and especially with the original enthusiasm, is Ailey's "Revelations". Having seen it just a couple of months ago, it is as fresh as it was when I first saw it a couple of decades ago.


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2002 9:33 am 
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Kevin,<P>It is somewhat ironic that Croce would recommend Farrell, as she expressed a virulent dislike of her before changing to adoration.<BR>While Farrell was a greater artist than Ashley, from what I have seen on video she is a much poorer teacher. It is rare that an artist is equally a great teacher or has the temperament/talent for administrative duties, therefore in my opinion Ashley would be preferable. She is involved with the Balanchine Trust and has demonstrated administrative capabilities. Whether they are sufficient to run an organization such as NYCB, is an open question.<BR>Kevin, if my impression is accurate that you are located in St. Petersburg, perhaps you could answer some questions.<BR>1. Does the Kirov’s season extend into the summer months?<BR>2. Are tickets generally available or should they be ordered in advance?<BR>3. What is the transport to Pavlovsk from the city? Is a day trip feasable?<P>TIA.<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2002 9:50 am 
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Marie,<P>The original question was of such complexity that my answer to Kevin was that in all probability a comprehensive answer was not possible. While Martin would very probably have an opinion it is quite another question whether his opinion would answer the question, since the preservation/recreation of a dance is very different from pulling a painting from storage.<BR>I’m somewhat astonished that your reading was that I disparaged Martin. Such was not my intent, nor does the sentence do that in my opinion. <BR>

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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2002 10:04 am 
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D'ici, I guess the idea that you thought Martins wouldn't be able to provide an answer suggested to me that you felt he was somewhat lacking in his understanding of Balanchine's legacy, that's all. But thanks for the clarification.


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2002 11:08 am 
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Basheva,<BR>You have pointed to the complexity of preservation/recreation of Balanchine legacy.<BR>The original performance was made on a particular ballerina and when Balanchine would restage the work on another principal, very often he would recreate, changing particular steps to suit the specific strength/style of the dancer. This process resulted not in a copy but a reinterpretation.<BR>Now in restaging, all that is possible is to hope to teach the preserved choreography from videos and memories to a present dancer. This is a poor substitute but all that is possible and the success varies. <BR> This points to the difference in Balanchine’s choreography from most other choreographers. Balanchine worked from the moment vs. of a preconceived idea. Therefore the restaging is much more problematic.<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2002 5:57 pm 
D'ici, let me answer first your questions on St. Petersburg. <P>1. The Kirov's season at home finishes in mid-August. If you are planning a trip, please check the "Playbill" section of their website. <BR><A HREF="http://www.mariinsky.ru/en" TARGET=_blank>http://www.mariinsky.ru/en</A> <P>2. Tickets are always available for non-Russian visitors. The box office has a number of tickets allocated to foreigners, but at a higher price than the tariff for Russians. Also the hotels' concierge can help too.<P>3. I haven't been to Pavlovsk, but I understand that it can be visited on a day trip.<P>Please feel free to e-mail me if you are planning a trip. I don't live in St. Petersburg. I wish I did! I am based in Hong Kong and London, but I've been in St. Petersburg twice in the past six months.<BR>------------<P>Of course it's always difficult to revive Balanchine's ballets without the master being around. But I get the feeling that for some reason NYCB hasn't made sufficient use of its former ballerinas to do stylistic coaching. Why aren't Suzanne Farrell, Allegra Kent, Merrill Ashley, e.g. on the company's coaching staff?<P><p>[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited May 02, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2002 8:02 am 
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Kevin,<BR>“Why aren't Suzanne Farrell, Allegra Kent, Merrill Ashley, e.g. on the company's coaching staff?”<P>Yes, seems such a waste of unique resources. But you have to be invited and this gives an insight into the corporate structure of the present NYCB.<BR>The best person to answer the question would be a former dancer.<P>Thank you for the Mariinsky information. Would be delightful to spend a few days, but the hotel rates are ouch!<P>An interesting view: <A HREF="http://bostonphoenix.com/archive/dance/99/09/23/MASS_YOUTH_S_BALLANCHINE.html" TARGET=_blank>http://bostonphoenix.com/archive/dance/99/09/23/MASS_YOUTH_S_BALLANCHINE.html</A> <BR><p>[This message has been edited by d'ici_de la (edited May 02, 2002).]

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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2002 8:08 am 
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Jack Anderson in the NY Times:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It was exciting to be in the New York State Theater on Tuesday night, for the New York City Ballet opened its spring season with a marvelously danced program of three masterpieces by George Balanchine. <P>Each work revealed a different facet of his genius. And the dancers were sensitive to all the choreographic nuances.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/02/arts/dance/02BALL.html" TARGET=_blank><B>..MORE</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2002 10:10 am 
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I believe that I recall reading a quote by Balanchine, that he didn't expect his ballets to survive. And again, if I recall correctly, he wasn't much concerned about it.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2002 3:11 pm 
D'ici, thanks for showing me Marcia Siegel's article. I met Miss Siegel in Hong Kong two years ago when she chaired a dance critics' conference.<P>Basheva, I guess Balanchine must have foreseen the custodian capabilities of his successor, when he made the comment that he didn't expect his ballets to survive. Even if he wasn't concerned about the survival of his ballets, we should realise the value of his masterpieces which are among the greatest works of art of the 20th century.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited May 02, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2002 3:36 pm 
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Oh Kevin, it was not my intent to diminish in any way his contributions and creations.<P> Merely reporting what he is supposed to have said. I think it is an interesting insight.


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2002 8:49 am 
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Jennifer Dunning in the NY Times:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The New York City Ballet may have been suffering from second-night blahs on Wednesday at the New York State Theater. Or perhaps it was just poor programming. Whatever the problem, the evening was dispiriting.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/04/arts/dance/04BALL.html" TARGET=_blank><B>Click for More</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 8:30 am 
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Anna Kisselgoff writes in the NY Times:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>When Peter Martins, City Ballet's artistic director, drew up these guidelines in 1992 for the Diamond Project, the idea was to encourage new choreography of the classical persuasion and to create a showcase for its presentation. Modern dance was invading American ballet troupes and, like George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, City Ballet's founders, Mr. Martins remained loyal to the classical vocabulary. In the 1994 Diamond Project souvenir program, Kirstein exhibited his typical siege mentality. City Ballet, he wrote, was "a fortress of the traditional classic dance."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/05/arts/dance/05KISS.html" TARGET=_blank><B>Click for More</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 5:34 pm 
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Hi!<BR>Merrill Ashley is involved..several weeks ago I watched her coach students at SAB for this years workshop.<P>Kate


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet Spring 2002 Season/Diamond Project
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2002 9:47 pm 
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As a former dancer with NYCB under both Martins and Robbins (many people forget Robbins was co/artistic director from 1983-1989). I may be able to shed some light on the subject of the corporate or directorship structure at NYCB. First of all Martins and Robbins ways of directing ballets and beliefs in how they should be staged, were always at odds until Robbins death. For instance, Robbins during his final season working with City Ballet was restaging his Les Noces on the company as well as overseeing the rehearsals for Glass Pieces and another of his works for the spring season. At the same time Martins was premiering a new work and there was a time conflict because Jerry always demanded a full tech/dress rehearsal before any of his ballets would be performed. This was costly and time consuming but necessary to insure the integrity of every performance of his work (on new casts etc...). Well as you can see this left little time for Martins to rehearse and create his work and they locked horns as usual. Jerry won out, but it was the last time there would be any opposition to Martins directing style, because Jerry passed away soon after. The first opposition was in 1989 when Jerry stepped down from directorship and Peter Martins restructured the Board of Directors from its Pre-1983 structure. (The board in 1983 only agreed to place Martins as CO-DIRECTOR if Robbins would agree to be Director as well). A very informative piece on the restucturing of the board was done within a few years ago in Vanity Fair magazine by one of those ousted board members, you can look up the archive if you want to know more. It basically says that even then certain members of the board were not happy with the direction the Balanchine Ballets were going under Martins care. But, if I may say something about the corporate structure of City Ballet and to best sum up the way in which Martins directs the company, is that he has done everything in his power to maintain each and every policy of NYCB as it was when Balanchine died, right down to the idiosincratic policy of never writing a dancers rank on their contract. Therefore his greatest sin as director is not that he has so changed the company, but rather under his directorship it has become a stale unmovable giant and through lack of innovation has not fullfilled the reaches of its potential as a ballet company. Unless the archaic policies of City Ballet are updated to reflect the 21st century the company will remain in its current state of decline.


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