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 Post subject: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2000 8:01 pm 
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SILJA SCHANDORFF PRINCIPAL DANCER FOR THE ROYAL DANISH BALLET TO DANCE SWAN LAKE AT NEW YORK CITY BALLET <A HREF="http://www.nycballet.com/pr011300.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.nycballet.com/pr011300.htm</A>


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2000 5:33 am 
Silja Schandorff is now back in Copenhagen. Last week I attended the Royal Danish Ballet's Bournonville Week. Schandorff danced the first cast of La Sylphide with Mads Blangstrup. I was impressed by both.


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2000 10:58 pm 
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Kevin, how *was* the Bournonville week? How successfully did you and the others think that the current Royal Danish company has carried the Bournonville tradition?


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2000 1:05 am 
Azlan, I attended the first half of the week, and only saw 2 programmes - "Kermesse in Bruges", and "La Sylphide" preceded by "Konservatoriet". I was impressed by the performances. <A HREF="http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_00/feb00/kn_rev_rdb_0100.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_00/feb00/kn_rev_rdb_0100.htm</A> <P>But I was watching with a pair of "inexperienced" eyes these Bournonville performances, as I haven't watched the Royal Danish Ballet much in the last 2 decades.<P>I have talked to some Danish critics and several senior American critics in Copenhagen, and my understanding is that the Company has declined markedly since the last Bournonville Festival in 1992, and that the Bournonville tradition seems to have been damaged beyond repair.<P>I think the situation is similar to the perilous state of the Balanchine repertory at New York City Ballet, and the Ashton repertory at Royal Ballet. Of course new ballet-goers will always find something to be impressed by, but to seasoned ballet-goers who can remember the glorious past, things are certainly not what they used to be.<p>[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited 02-06-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2000 3:42 pm 
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Kevin, your comments bring up an interesting point. I just saw Stuttgart Ballet perform John Cranko's Onegin and kept wondering, with 75% of the company being Artistic Director Reid Anderson's hirees, how much of the original ballet is retained. Indeed, how possible is it to retain repertory the way it was first meant to be performed, especially given the frequency that the original choreographers changed their own works within their own lifetimes? I have heard stories of great choreographers, when asked to recreate works, relying heavily on their dancers' judgement -- sometimes the recreated work was more the result of the imagination of the dancers in mimicking the style of the choreographer, with the full approval and blessing of the choreographer. So, who's to say that the original, late choreographer would not approve of the changes being made today if he/she was still alive?


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2000 5:11 pm 
Azlan, I get your point. But I was thinking more of the deterioration of a whole style of performing related to a repertory, say Bournonville or Balanchine. Some changes of individual steps are understandable, and it is only a minor matter. But it is a far more serious matter if say the Royal Danish Ballet can no longer perform the Bournonville works, which are the bedrock of their tradition, in the proper manner.


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2000 8:39 pm 
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Kevin, I get your point. But out of curiosity, if the original choreographer has passed on, who then has valid memories of the original works to be able to make a bona fide comparison between then and now, when even dancers in the same company performing for the original choreographer contradict each other in the mannerisms and inflections of the work? Can choreologists and ballet masters/mistresses be relied upon to keep the works intact with all its subtleties? Does video help?


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2000 12:59 am 
Azlan, yours is not an easy question. Videos and choreology certainly help to ensure the accuracy of the steps and stage picture. But a decent rehearsal master should be relied on to add nuances, style and hence a "meaning" to each ballet which he knows is the choreographer's original intention. For instance, Suzanne Farrell in many people's opinion understands Balanchine's intention better than some people at NYCB. But due to Peter Martins' fear of her, she wasn't allowed to rehearse NYCB in the Balanchine ballets, which was unforgiveable. This may partly explain the deterioration of the Balanchine repertory at NYCB.<p>[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited 02-07-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2000 11:48 am 
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Kevin, unfortunately, in a world full of artistic egos and where jobs are constantly on the line, politics tend to color many decisions.<P>However, having said that I tend to believe that ego and creativity go hand in hand and that job insecurity is linked to quality control.


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2000 1:04 pm 
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Regarding Reid Anderson and Stuttgart, his major performing career was as a dancer in Stuttgart with the Cranko repertoire. He is well-positioned as a transmitter of the heritage. Moreover, Marcia Haydee is still on the scene there.


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2000 7:41 pm 
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Francis, thanks for that insight. My point was that with such a big and quick change in the dancing staff, surely something must be lost in the retention of repertoire. Or am I wrong?


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2000 5:55 am 
<A HREF="http://www.newyorkmag.com/page.cfm?page_id=2074" TARGET=_blank>http://www.newyorkmag.com/page.cfm?page_id=2074</A> <P>Just found the link to Tobi Tobias' review in the New York Magazine of the Bournonville Week in Copenhagen.


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2000 3:28 pm 
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Azlan, not having had the opportunity to see the company (Stuttgart) in recent years, I am loath to comment much further. Has there been a wholesale turnover since Reid took over? If so, where did the new dancers come from? Stuttgart is an amazing place -- reputedly one of the very wealthiest cities in Germany (motorworks and high tech combined), production budgets are high and the dancers are well paid. I don't think Reid would want to trade this for the media abuse and penuriousness prevalent at some other companies of greater international visibility.


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2000 9:20 am 
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There was an interview with Reid Anderson in the NY Times earlier this year. Unfortunately, the article is now buried in the NYT Archives - I wonder how many people will be paying the $2.50 to read it.<P>From memory, he has commissioned 15 new works since arriving in 1996, as well as his other goals of preserving the classics and the Cranko legacy. Kevin O'Day has made work for them and clearly found the experience refreshing as he talked about spending more time in Europe as the atmosphere was very helpful for a choreographer in terms of freedom to follow ideas. I've seen a couple of fan reviews elsewhere that suggested that the Company was performing fine and 'Onegin' went down very well. <P>I too was surprised at the 75% turnover rate since Anderson's arrival particularly in the light of German job protection legislation which makes it one of the most difficult countries in the world to fire people. May I ask the source of your info. Azlan? <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 02-19-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: SILJA SCHANDORFF WILL DANCE AT NYCB
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2000 3:03 pm 
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Stuart, Francis, the 75% turnover figure came from a preperformance lecture by a dance critic (Canadian I believe and whose name I've forgotten). According to the program notes, Reid Anderson brought in 21 new dancers in his first season in 1996 and has commissioned at least 14 new works and expanded the repertory significantly by adding Balanchine, Robbins, Ashton, Forsythe etc.


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