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George Balanchine - Choreography by Balanchine
Hinweise und Aktionen
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Balanchine - New York City Ballet:
- Chaconne (Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck)
- Prodigal Son - A Ballet in Three Scenes (Music by Serge Prokofieff)
Directed by Merrill Brockway
- Ballo della Regina (Music by Giuseppe Verdi)
- The Steadfast Tin Soldier (Music by George Bizet)
- Elégie (Music by Peter Ilytch Tschaikovsky)
- Tschaikovsky Pas De Deux (Music by Peter Ilytch Tschaikovsky)
Directed by Emilie Ardolino
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As to the short ballets herein contained, what can one say. They are Balanchine. They are Patricia McBride. They are Baryshnikov. They are, in other words, top of the line choreography performed by top of the line dancers. Though thirty years old, the video and sound are first rate as you sit in a front row seat to enjoy a well-diversified program.
One need not be "into" ballet to like these pieces; one need only be susceptible to the charm of grace, the interweaving of expressive bodies into pleasurable patterns, and to music melded to dance to produce enlarged experiences of both.
Parts 3 and 4 of 4 (1977)
I saw some of this series on TV back in 1978. I was awe-striken. I was a twenty-year fan of Stravinsky's music already and impressed by the composer's high opinion of this dance master (Mr. B). Seeing it for myself (being unable to go to NYC and actually attend) was totally thrilling and indelibly memorable.
After getting the first DVD and playing it to death, I hungered for more and bought this one. I'm sure glad I did.
Chaconne, with music by Gluck, is ravishingly beautiful stuff. The costuming is all white, so the series producer talked Mr. B into a scenario and decor, with clouds, mountains and (?) other stuff. I saw ballet to this music in the opera Orpheus and Eurydice many decades ago. I recall the male dancers wore greco-roman soldier costumes. This version was a specialty made by Mr. B when he and his American Ballet Company were employed by the Metropolitan Opera. Apparently the opera management didn't see any need for more than a perfunctory dance number in the opera. Mr. B thought he had full license to extend the role of dancing in opera. That partnership did not survive.
Prodigal Son, with music by Prokofiev, is the real reason I ordered this DVD. This work is a landmark, both unusual for Balanchine and for Diaghilev too. This was the last work created for the old impressario (and his Ballet Russe) while he lived. I suppose it counter-balances the plotless dances on the first DVD. The biblical parable is reduced in complexity, with the son's degradation reduced to bad associates plus a seductress. The end of the ballet I had seen already on TV: the son crawls to his father, literally climbs into his father's arms and gets wrapped in his father's robe. The son is played by Michail Baryshnikov.
I have noted my favorites. The other dances on this DVD are swell. I especially like the two Tschaikowsky works.