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 Post subject: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2002 3:46 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The 20th-Century Titan Whose Work Is M.I.A.<P>Joseph Carman, NY Times<P>...<P>Sally Bliss, the trustee of the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, points out that his works are consistently performed by more than 35 dance companies in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. But seeing a Tudor ballet in New York seems about as rare these days as finding a rent-controlled apartment. Audiences in Manhattan are far less likely to see Tudor ballets than those in Tokyo, where two Japanese ballet companies keep them in their repertory.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/12/arts/dance/12CARM.html target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2002 7:05 pm 
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This is a very sad situation, and furthermore, in my opinion, makes no sense. They have the budget to stage the major, full-length classics, but not to do a Tudor ballet? Huh? "Pillar of Fire", "Lilac Garden", "Dark Elegies", these are indeed classics which indeed should be maintained and given their due. Tudor was the master of the psychological ballet and sought to connect human gesture and emotional states with classical ballet. Not easily done, but awe-inspiring when done well. Great dancers, and maturing dancers, need great repertory against which to measure their talent and artistic growth. Just as great actors need great roles to cut their teeth on.


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 11:49 am 
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I think the article mentioned that the present crop of dancers would need extra rehearsals and coaching to do a Tudor work well, more than they need to do a classic full length well. And ABT never has money for sufficient rehearsals of any ballet.


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 12:17 pm 
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It seems to me that because of the psychological depth of Tudor's ballets - they are therefore quite delicate and need to be coached/rehearsed with great care.<P>I think that rehearsing for a ballet like "Swan Lake" - while certainly needing care and thought, is much more open to the individual dancer's interpretation of how the Odette (or Albrecht) is portrayed. With a Tudor ballet portrayal is so much more nuanced, it needs a great deal more time and thought.<P>What do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 12:35 pm 
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Compare Balanchine vs. Tudor here. Admittedly two great 20th century choreographers. Why is it that Balanchine's ballets are performed more and more, while the other has happend to Tudor's work?<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 2:00 pm 
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Balanchine was much more prolific than Tudor. Balanchine had an entire school, institution and infrastructure to support him, both during his lifetime, and now to reconstruct his works, the Balanchine Trust. Tudor did not, at least not on an ongoing basis. I believe he earned his primary livelihood from teaching. Tudor's work demands dancers who can act, and as such, require extensive coaching in terms of character. Tudor was an extreme perfectionsist, and could spend an entire rehearsal on one gesture. From what I understand, those who reconstruct his ballets are equally demanding. If you're interested in Tudor, I recommend the book by Donna Perlmutter...oh dear, not I can't remember the title. Maybe it's "Shadowplay". I'll have to get back to you on that. Balanchine set the precedent of lending his works out to small, but deserving companies during his lifetime, and charging little or no fee. Thus his works started to disseminate out of New York quite early on; this process continues today. From what I understand, Tudor was more possessive of his works, and hemmed and hawed about reconstructions. I am not a Balanchine expert; merely reporting what I've read in "Balanchine" by Bernard Taper and other books. <p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited May 14, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 2:02 pm 
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OOPs...LMC Tech. Sorry, yes I remember reading that, about reconstructions. Yes, you're right. But, thinking out loud, I'm wondering if a 20 minute ballet by Tudor ('Leaves are Fading" maybe) would require more rehearsal time than "Swan Lake"? That seems a bit far-fetched. I am referrring to the article here.


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 2:56 pm 
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That's an interesting question. As far as actual time all together maybe not, but in terms of careful coaching of individuals maybe yes.<P>I also think that Balanchine ballets, though they have a definite style that must be caoched, are still much more open to individual interpretation than Tudor ballets are. And that is key to the problem. ABT does not have the resources to pump into a psychological ballet their people think may not pay off as much as a sure-thing full-length monstrosity.<P>Personally, I would rather see a Tudor ballet than another mediocre rendition of Giselle.


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 5:07 pm 
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Swan Lake is a sure money maker. Therefore, one can afford to put more rehearsal time into it. Also, it's so commonly done, that many of the dancers probably already know a lot of the parts. That cuts down on rehearsal time.<P>Both these factors make it a safer financial bet.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 5:23 pm 
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I hope I don't anger anyone by this opinion, but it is my true feeling. One reason it's harder to do Tudor today is because of the way companies work. I danced in the seventies and eighties. Though company class was not a part of our daily scheduled hours, it was known that if you were not there, doing it exactly as the teacher gave it, you would not be cast in ballets.<P>That system, of being in company class every day, developed good habits and consistency. <P>Tudor ballets are very specific. Dancers must have the ability to do it the same every time, musically and choreographically.<P>I rehearse 'Lilac Garden' now and find that the dancers have trouble with the music and with not letting things slip in. Even amongst the most devoted dancers, there are bad habits. <P>It's a different world from the one in which Mr. Tudor worked


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 6:12 pm 
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Glebb - I agree with you, but I can't help but ask....don't dancers attend company class these days and do it exactly as the teacher sets it?<P>Am I in trouble now? Image


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2002 7:59 am 
And why isn't anyone performing his Romeo and Juliet, which was performed for years by the Royal Danish Ballet? I've repeatedly heard this is supposed to be one of the best versions. It's a shame we don't see his work here.<P>------------------<BR>cheers,<BR>ralph<p>[This message has been edited by ralphsf (edited May 15, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2002 10:05 am 
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I agree Ralph, yes! And what about "Shadowplay"? I have seen some gorgeous photos of Sir Anthony Dowell doing this work!


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2002 1:05 pm 
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I know that Ashton's R&J was performed by Royal Danish Ballet. Was Tudor's also?<P>Basheva,<BR>I think that trends have changed. Or maybe it just depends on the current artistic director of a company as to how company class is treated.<P>On the whole I find that dancers treat company class quite well where I work, but it's not the same as it used to be. These days, some dancers do what they need to do, to warm up. Some do class exactly as it is given. Some do as close as they can do and take good care of their bodies. <P>I don't mind so much. People need to take good care of themselves, but I do think that those good old days of all doing the class almost like the marines had a lot to do with the company dancing together and having the ability to be quite consistent.


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 Post subject: Re: Why American Ballet Theater cannot stage Antony Tudor ba
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2002 1:18 pm 
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Glebb, I totally agree with you. Some companies do not make company class a priority. How can they expect to have unified dancers, techinically and spiritually.<P>It is a tragedy that Tudor can't be more easily be staged by the company that should be keeping the works alive. I guess it's just another tragic loss brought on by the grossly negligent management at ABT.


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