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 Post subject: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:22 pm 
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New York City Ballet announces Balanchine centennial celebration
By VERENA DOBNIK for Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) The centennial of the late choreographer George Balanchine's birth will be celebrated with a New York City Ballet program uniting the Russian, European and American influences on the man who revolutionized 20th century dance, the company announced Friday.

The company that Balanchine co-founded will take ``Balanchine 100: The Centennial Celebration'' on a world tour, starting in St. Petersburg, Russia his birthplace on July 30.

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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:25 pm 
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I've only seen one Eifman ballet, but on that small sample, I was not impressed. I imagine that an Eifman ballet at NYCB is going to be a controversial decision.

<small>[ 30 June 2003, 02:17 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 4:43 am 
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Hi!
I posted the official NYCB press release in the 2002-03 thread. The other info is that Sofiane Sylve will be joining as a principal and Joaquin DeLuz will be joining as a soloist.

Kate


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 12:11 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Thanks for posting that, Kate. I copied it into the Press Releases forum:

Quote:
NEW YORK CITY BALLET ANNOUNCES GRAND CELEBRATION OF CO-FOUNDER GEORGE BALANCHINE TO MARK HIS CENTENNIAL YEAR

Nearly 200 Performances Will Explore Heritage and Celebrate Vision
of One of the 20th Centuryís Most Influential Choreographers

The Centennial Celebration to Include Performances of 54 Works Choreographed by Balanchine, 42 of Which Were Created
for New York City Ballet

World Premiere Ballets Commissioned for the Celebration from Boris Eifman, Peter Martins, Susan Stroman, and Christopher Wheeldon

Special Guests to Include Valery Gergiev and
the Georgian State Dance Company <a href=http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=001300 target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 12:22 am 
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Here's the link to the NYCB 2003-4 press release:

http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=001300


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:56 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Balanchine Celebration to Last the Whole Season

ANNA KISSELGOFF
NY Times

In a far-reaching tribute to George Balanchine, who founded the New York City Ballet with Lincoln Kirstein, the company will celebrate the centennial of Balanchine's birth in its 2003-4 season with a variety of guests and 81 ballets. These will trace Balanchine's heritage as well as his achievement. <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/30/arts/dance/30BALA.html target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 7:30 pm 
I find this centennial programming very disappointing. It's a half-hearted attempt on the part of Peter Martins who seems to feel compelled to put on a celebration but would rather not given the choice. Why can't they just put on an all-Balanchine season like in 1993, and just omit for this particular season any ballets by Martins and other choreographers?! And if they include Swan Lake, why not have Balanchine's one-act version which is much superior to Martins' boring full-length version?

<small>[ 30 June 2003, 09:32 PM: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 7:48 pm 
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Quote:
Why can't they just put on an all-Balanchine season like in 1993, and just omit for this particular season any ballets by Martins and other choreographers?!
Well, I think that's one of those tough calls by an AD, especially one who has such a strong legacy to uphold and maintain. There is a lot of noise from some quarters, predominantly Balanchine buffs who are not dancers, that the Balanchine legacy is being compromised.

However, if you recall, one of Balanchine's main tenets is that new dance must be choreographed on even the best dancers to keep them challenged, fresh and motivated. Balanchine himself invited Robbins and others to create new works on the company to give the dancers something different to do. In fact, I know that other companies constantly create new works to keep their dancers alive and appreciative of their legacy.

In this sense, I think Martins is keeping within that spirit in addition to maintaining NYCB as a heritage or museum company. I think it would be difficult for the dancers to have a season of only Balanchine works with nothing relatively new to look forward to.

<small>[ 30 June 2003, 11:24 PM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 8:28 pm 
But many Balanchine ballets have been out of the repertory for a long time anyway e.g. "Harlequinade", "Union Jack", and will be new to most of the present crop of dancers in NYCB. I am sure that dancing these masterpieces will be as much of a challenge to them as dancing a new ballet created in 2003/4.

Also the Balanchine repertory is the main foundation of NCYB and is presumably why the dancers want to the company in the first place. If they are so eager to dance new works by other choreographers, why can't they join instead the Hamburg Ballet or the Stuttgart Ballet e.g.? Just like John Neumeier is the foundation of the Hamburg Ballet, and one Hamburg dancer told me that she applied to join the company because she wants to dance his unique style of choreography.

<small>[ 30 June 2003, 10:35 PM: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 9:49 pm 
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Sorry for being unclear. When I referred to new works, I meant having choreographers create works specifically for the dancers and involving them in the creation process, to keep them "alive" and interested, which I understand Balanchine considered to be very important.

In this discussion, I think we're scratching the surface of the type of typical problems that a heritage company faces, much like the issues confronting the Limon Company, in which there has been a split within as to whether to focus on being a "museum" or to allow innovation.

With NYCB, even among those who were disciples of Balanchine, there have been some disagreements between those on whom the ballets were created and those who danced the later versions with modifications by Balanchine himself. It's quite interesting seeing two former Balanchine dancers debate which is the definitive version of such-and-such a ballet...

So I suppose the most ideal Balanchine season would be one in which all of the original ballets be performed instead of the modified versions? Or do we allow some innovation and have the company perform the later versions? Or do we celebrate Balanchine's genius in running a company by also including all the works he commissioned from outside choreographers, like Robbins? And do we embrace his spirit by encouraging new balletmakers as he had done?

There is much to appreciate in Balanchine. In my untrained opinion, choreography is only one of his many geniuses to be celebrated.

<small>[ 30 June 2003, 11:55 PM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 7:50 am 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
I've only seen one Eifman ballet, but on that small sample, I was not impressed. I imagine that an Eifman ballet at NYCB is going to be a controversial decision.
I, too, have only seen one piece by Eifman, but the one work I have seen was really fantastic (it was "Tchaikovsky: The Mystery of Life and Death" when it was performed out here in Orange County this past May). The piece was very theatrical with an eye for very good choreography that fit perfectly into the story line. Perhaps Eifman is a hit-and-miss?

On the other hand, Southern California audiences have something to look forward to with NYCB's Balanchine celebration, too - the release mentions that the company will tour to both the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at LA's Music Center and to the Orange County Performing Arts Center in fall 2004. :-)

--art

<small>[ 01 July 2003, 09:53 AM: Message edited by: art076 ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 7:38 am 
I just read Robert Gottlieb's review this week in the New York Observer, and in his final paragraph he wrote that NYCB should be the Balanchine museum.

http://www.observer.com/pages/dance.asp

<small>[ 02 July 2003, 10:24 AM: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 9:43 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I can't enter into the vast majority of the arguments about the merits or otherwise of Martins' management of NYCB, due to my lack of exposure to the Company.

However, I find it very difficult to believe that Balanchine, a great artist, would have wanted the Company he created to be a static museum. Such a notion is the antithesis of the theatrical tradition that was his life. Let's not forget the ground-breaking work that he created. As Arnold Haskell writes, Balanchine was hissed off the stage in the Mariinsky for his revolutionary "Enigma" and he staged a series of recitals under the title, "The Young Ballet. Evolution from Petipa-Fokine to Balanchavadze".

Further, without works being created on them, dancers will not achieve their full artistic potential.

Thus the balance of the new NYCB season looks fair to me. We have a MacMillan celebration this year at the RB, but without doing the sums, I suspect that the percentage of MacMillan is lower than for the Balanchine Centenary.

I support the view that the Balanchine rep lies at the heart of NYCB. Further, I can understand the argument that Martins should change the tradition from the Balanchine era, I believe, that they don't use coaches from outside the Company. However, if they only perform Balanchine and Robbins then one of the greatest ballet companies in the world would be diminished as a major artistic centre in my view.

Here's an apposite statement from the UK's Royal Shakespeare Company website:

Quote:
New writing is an essential part of the RSC's repertoire - complementing and contrasting with the production of work by Shakespeare and other classical writers. New plays create a balance which is exciting for both actors and audiences.


<small>[ 02 July 2003, 11:48 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:00 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
BALANCHINE'S CENTENNIAL IS A CELEBRATION
By CLIVE BARNES for The NY Post


July 4, 2003 -- PETER Martins, director of New York City Ballet, outlined his company's plans for a year-long celebration of the centenary of the birth of George Balanchine. He then had tots of vodka passed around to toast the company's founder.

Balanchine, who was born in St. Petersburg on Jan. 22, 1904, came to the United States at the invitation of Lincoln Kirstein, and started the School of American Ballet in 1934 and laid down the first foundations for City Ballet the same year.

He died, more than 200 ballets later, on April 30, 1983, having overseen the growth of his company into the greatest creative force in world dance.

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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet 2003-4
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 10:11 am 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Quote:
A year of Balanchine ballets and influences
Susan Reiter, LA Times

To honor the centennial of George Balanchine's birth, New York City Ballet — the company he founded and whose artistic profile he shaped — has planned a celebration focusing on the influences that shaped the master choreographer's creative profile as well as the visionary scope of his extensive repertory.

At a news conference Friday at the New York State Theater, the troupe's home base, Peter Martins, its ballet master in chief, outlined the fall and winter season programming for "Balanchine 100: The Centennial Celebration."
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