Mel Schierman, email@example.com
JILLANA, CONRAD LUDLOW, and SUKI SCHORER TO TAPE VIDEO SERIES FOR THE GEORGE BALANCHINE FOUNDATION
Roles in Liebeslieder Walzer and La Source will be coached by the dancers on whom Balanchine choreographed them
New York City — For The George Balanchine Foundation Interpreters Archive, Jillana and Conrad Ludlow will coach and teach the principal roles they originated in Liebeslieder Walzer and Suki Schorer will teach and coach her soloist role in La Source. This archival series, which now numbers more than 40 videos, seeks to document the viewpoints of those with whom Balanchine worked in the studio on the creation of his ballets, capturing his original intentions through coaching sessions with dancers of today. Taping will take place August 29, 2011, in the New York City Ballet studios in the Rose Building, Lincoln Center, New York.
Jillana and Ludlow will work with Rachel Rutherford, former soloist, and Tyler Angle, principal dancer with New York City Ballet; Schorer will work with Lauren King, a member of the corps de ballet. Mindy Aloff, a member of the Dance Department at Barnard College, will conduct interview segments with the coaches. The taping will be supervised by Nancy Reynolds, the Foundation's Director of Research.
Liebeslieder Walzer (1960), a lavishly costumed two-part ballet for four couples, with four singers and two pianists also on stage, is danced solely to Brahms waltzes. When first announced, this was considered a daring choice on Balanchine's part. But the ballet inspired such comments as "Balanchine has captured and epitomized the essence of the waltz for all time" (Arthur Todd) and "His variations on the waltz reach into infinity" (P.W. Manchester); Times critic John Martin went so far as to observe that "After an hour and five minutes of sheer waltzing, and by only four couples at that, one's major reaction was to wonder if perhaps Brahms had not still another opus hidden away somewhere" (Nov. 23, 1960). In 2010, as part of the Video Archives series, the Balanchine Foundation taped Violette Verdy analyzing and coaching the role she originated in Liebeslieder, partnered by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux.
La Source (1968), a rare example of a Balanchine ballet in the French style, is set to the highly danceable music of Delibes. Originally an extended pas de deux for Violette Verdy and John Printz, the ballet was lengthened in 1969 when Balanchine inserted sections for a corps and a female soloist from an earlier Delibes ballet. The added sections were described by Verdy as "like French operetta, very light, frolicky, a little bit of a take-off of French dancing." In 2010, Verdy coached her ballerina role in La Source for the Foundation's Video Archive series, partnered by Helgi Tomasson.
JILLANA danced in the corps of Symphony in C with Ballet Society at the age of 13 and went on to have a 20-year career with New York City Ballet. In addition to Liebeslieder Walzer, Balanchine created roles for her in La Valse, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Helena), Don Quixote, the rechoreographed Gailliard from Agon (1960), and the television production Noah and the Flood, among others. She appeared as the Coquette in the revival premiere of La Sonnambula, and created roles in The Pied Piper and Fanfare by Jerome Robbins and Souvenirs and The Still Point by Todd Bolender. Her Balanchine repertory included leading roles in Serenade, Swan Lake, Apollo, Western Symphony, Stars and Stripes, and Episodes, among others. She also danced with American Ballet Theatre and on television.
After retiring, Jillana taught widely and now directs the Jillana School, a summer ballet program in Taos, NM. She also stages ballets for The George Balanchine Trust.
CONRAD LUDLOW had an illustrious twenty-year career as principal dancer with both San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet, where he established memorable partnerships with such well-known ballerinas as Violette Verdy, Melissa Hayden, Maria Tallchief, Allegra Kent, Suzanne Farrell, and Patricia McBride. During his years with New York City Ballet he performed leading roles in 46 ballets. In addition to Liebeslieder Walzer, other signature roles that Balanchine created on Ludlow include those in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, "Emeralds" from Jewels, and Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux.
Ludlow joined the University of Utah Ballet Department (Salt Lake City) in 1985 as resident choreographer and associate professor, after founding and directing Ballet Oklahoma. He frequently acts as artistic director for Utah Ballet and Ballet Ensemble productions
SUKI SCHORER joined the New York City Ballet in 1959 and was made a principal dancer in 1968. Her repertory included leading roles in Apollo, Serenade, Concerto Barocco, Symphony in C, Ivesiana, Stars and Stripes, Tarantella and Jewels, among others. Balanchine made solo roles on her in Don Quixote, Raymonda Variations, Harlequinade, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. On her retirement in 1972, she became a full-time teacher at the School of American Ballet, where she continues to this day. She has toured the US as a talent scout for the school and assisted Balanchine in seminars for ballet teachers that were organized with support from the Ford Foundation. For the SAB workshop she stages a Balanchine ballet yearly, guest teaches and lectures widely on Balanchine technique and aesthetics, and gives teachers' seminars. She received the Dance Magazine Award in 1998 and is the author of Suki Schorer on Balanchine Technique (Knopf, 1999).
TYLER ANGLE studied at the School of American Ballet, joined NYCB in 2004, was promoted to soloist in 2007 and to principal dancer in 2009. He has performed featured roles in Agon, "Diamonds" from Jewels, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, Liebeslieder Walzer, and Symphony in C, among other Balanchine ballets; in Robbins's Dances at a Gathering, I'm Old Fashioned, and In G Major; in Peter Martins's Romeo + Juliet, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty; in Christopher Wheeldon's Polyphonia; and in Alexei Ratmonskky's Namouna, A Grand Divertissment, among others. He appears with Janie Taylor in the Balanchine Foundation video of the Divertissment from A Midsummer Night's Dream, as coached by the original interpreters, Violette Verdy and Conrad Ludlow.
LAUREN KING performed with the Eglevsky Ballet during its 2000-2001 season, then entered the School of American Ballet. She joined the corps of NYCB in 2004. She has danced featured roles in Balanchine's Coppélia, Divertimento No. 15, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, and La Source; Robbins's The Four Seasons; Peter Martins's Fearful Symmetries, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty; and Christopher Wheeldon's Mercurial Manoeuvres.
RACHEL RUTHERFORD trained at the Joffrey School and the School of American Ballet. A D.A.N.C.E. scholarship enabled her to study with the Royal Danish Ballet in 1992. In 1995 she joined NYCB and was promoted to soloist in 2002. Her repertory has included featured roles in many Balanchine ballets, notably Apollo, Concerto Barocco, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, Liebeslieder Walzer, and Who Cares?; in Jerome Robbins's Dances at a Gathering, The Goldberg Variations, and In the Night; in Peter Martins's Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Thou Swell; and Alexei Ratmansky's Russian Seasons. She appears in the film Jerome Robbins' NY Export: Opus Jazz, shot in locations around New York City.
MINDY ALOFF is an adjunct associate professor of dance at Barnard College and the editor of the newsletter for the Dance Critics Association. Her most recent publication is her edition of Agnes de Mille's writings, Leaps in the Dark: Art and the World, from the University Press of Florida.
NANCY REYNOLDS, a former dancer with New York City Ballet, has been Director of Research for The George Balanchine Foundation since 1994. She conceived and continues to direct the Video Archives program. Her most recent books are No Fixed Points: Dance in the Twentieth Century (co-authored with Malcolm McCormick) and Remembering Lincoln.
The George Balanchine Foundation (www.balanchine.org) is a not for profit corporation established in 1983. Its mission is to create programs that educate the public and further Balanchine's work and aesthetic, with the goal of advancing high standards of excellence in dance and its allied arts. Among the Foundation's major initiatives are the Video Archives (http://www.balanchine.org/balanchine/03/gbfvideoarchives.html), in which important Balanchine dancers teach and coach roles created on them by Balanchine with dancers of today (Interpreters Archive) or recreate Balanchine ballets that are rarely performed and in danger of disappearing (Archive of Lost Choreography). Legendary dancers who have taken part in this project include Alicia Markova, Maria Tallchief, Frederic Franklin, Alicia Alonso, Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent, Todd Bolender, Merrill Ashley, Suzanne Farrell, Rosella Hightower, Marie-Jeanne, Violette Verdy, Edward Villella, Patricia Wilde, Yvonne Mounsey, and Helgi Tomasson, working with leading dancers from such companies as New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, among others.
In 2007 the Foundation announced the completion of another major initiative, the online publication of the Balanchine Catalogue, a fully searchable database giving first-performance details of all known dances created by Balanchine, supplemented by lists of companies staging the ballets, a bibliography, a videography, reference resources, a database of roles Balanchine performed, and additional related materials (http://www.balanchine.org/balanchine/03/balanchinecataloguenew.html). The project was made possible by a leadership grant from The Jerome Robbins Foundation.
Earlier projects include Popular Balanchine, comprising forty-two boxes of material pertaining to Balanchine's commercial work, housed at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library; and Music Dances: Balanchine Choreographs Stravinsky, a video by Professor Stephanie Jordan of Roehampton University, London.