FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 28,1998
Frederic Franklin To Tape Video Series For The George Balanchine Foundation
Dancers from New
York City Ballet To Be Featured in Female Solos from
Raymonda, Act III, for the Archive
of Lost Choreography
NEW YORK CITY--Frederic
Franklin, leading dancer and rehearsal master of the Ballet Russe de Monte
Carlo, will teach and coach five classical female variations from the ballet Raymonda
for the cameras of The George Balanchine Foundation's Archive of Lost Choreography.
Taping will commence on September 13,1998, at the New York City Ballet studios
at the Rose Building, Lincoln Center. Nancy Reynolds, director of research for
the Foundation, who founded the video archive in 1994, will direct the project.
Mindy Aloff, dance critic of The New Republic will interview Mr.
Choreographed by Marius Petipa for the
Maryinsky Theater, St. Petersburg, in 1898, the full-length Raymonda was restaged after the original in a somewhat
abbreviated form by George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova in 1946 for the
Ballet Russe. Mr. Franklin was known for the "considerable dash" he
bought to his role as the hero Jean de Brienne. In April, 1997, he taught the
main male solo to New York City Ballet principal dancer Nikolaj Hubbe for The
George Balanchine Foundation's video archives.
"Frederic Franklin's knowledge of ballet
history is phenomenal, and it is a joy to help him rescue choreography that
might otherwise be lost," commented Ms. Reynolds. "The Balanchine Raymonda
variations are sparkling examples of inimitable Petipa-style classicism, with
all the attributes that implies-chief among them, order, clarity, and
For the upcoming taping, Mr. Franklin will work
with five emerging members of the New York City Ballet corps on the variations
for four female soloists and the ballerina from the Pas Classique Hongrois.
Consisting of several solos and a Grand Pas de Deux, this Divertissement formed
the climax of Act III. New York Times critic John Martin found the
female variations "brilliantly made to the tuneful and highly colorful
music," a highlight of the evening.
Dancers Alexandra Ansanelli, Kristina
Fernandez, Riolama Lorenzo, Jennie Somogyi, and Pascale van Kipnis will learn
roles originated by Marie- Jeanne, Ruthanna Boris, Maria Tallchief, Yvonne
Chouteau, and Mme. Danilova, the leading ballerina.
Ms. Somogyi learned another version of the
ballerina solo, choreographed by Balanchine for Pas de Dix, from its originator, Maria Tallchief, who coached
it on videotape in 1995 for The Balanchine Foundation. She will compare the
Tallchief version with the Danilova solo. Balanchine was clearly attracted to
the melodious Glazounov music, as he subsequently choreographed several short
ballets to various excerpts from the Raymonda score, including Pas de Dix, Raymonda
Variations, and Cortège
Of the upcoming interview, Ms. Aloff noted,
"Frederic Franklin is one of the few living libraries of Balanchine
dancing of a certain era. He is able to transmit his knowledge with fidelity,
great humor, and understanding to generations that have never worked with
Balanchine. The Balanchine Foundation's archival projects are unique, urgent,
and punctiliously organized; the Foundation is one of the most magnanimous in
the performing arts today."
THE GEORGE BALANCHINE FOUNDATION was established in 1983 as an educational foundation
to further the work and aesthetic of George Balanchine. With the help of the
Nancy Remick Reynolds Endowment, announced in October, 1994, the Foundation
embarked on an ambitious program to create and disseminate Archives on
videotape that would circulate to research facilities worldwide.
The aim of the Archives is two-fold: To gain
new insight into Balanchine's choreography--and perhaps shed light on his
creative process-through a close analysis of a specific work by those on whom
the work was created or with whom he worked closely to prepare the role (The
Interpreters Archive); and to retrieve Balanchine choreography no longer in
current repertory (The Archive of Lost Choreography).
In February 1995, videotaping took place in
London where English prima ballerina Dame Alicia Markova, then 84, recreated
her solo from Balanchine's Song of the Nightingale on a young graduate
of the Royal Ballet School. Maria Tallchief's contributions have included
taped coaching sessions on: Firebird, Pas de Dix, Scotch
Symphony, The Four Temperaments and The Nutcracker.
Marie-Jeanne has participated in coaching sessions
devoted to Apollo, Ballet Imperial and the Russian Dance from Serenade.
In 1996, Patricia Wilde coached and analyzed her virtuoso roles in Square
Dance and Raymonda Variations.
Under the direction of Frederic Franklin,
Robert Lindgren and Sonja Tyven, the Foundation has begun the recovery of an
early version of Balanchine's Mozartiana. Mr. Franklin, assisted by Maria
Tallchief and Vida Brown, has also restaged for camera two pas de deux from
Balanchine's original Le Baiser de la Fee. In fall 1997, Todd Bolender
discussed and demonstrated the seminal "Phlegmatic" variation from
The Four Temperaments, and last winter, Alicia Alonso coached and analyzed
Theme and Variations.
The Balanchine Foundation is producer of The
Balanchine Essays, a nine-part video series examining Balanchine's approach to
classical ballet technique. "Arabesque," "Passe and
Attitude," and "Port de Bras and Epaulement" are now in
commercial release (Nonesuch Dance Collection, "The Balanchine Library,"
distributed in the U.S. by WarnerVision Entertainment). In collaboration with
the Dance Collection of the New York Public Library, the Foundation has added
piano soundtracks to selected silent films. A recent effort, initiated this
year, is the sponsorship of an educational lecture program, under the direction
of critic Nancy Goldner, for companies performing Balanchine repertory.
In 1997, The George Balanchine Foundation Video
Archive was inaugurated with a donation of edited master tapes to the New York
Public Library for the Performing Arts. Copies of the collection are
distributed to libraries by Dance Heritage Coalition.
born in Liverpool, danced in England with the Markova-Dolin company and in
London music halls before joining the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1938.
There he formed an important partnership with the beloved Alexandra Danilova
and originated roles in ballets by Massine, Ashton, de Mille, and Balanchine,
in addition to dancing leading parts in the entire repertoire. He was also
rehearsal master for the Ballet Russe. From 1963 -1974, he was director of the
National Ballet of Washington, D.C. In recent years, he has been highly active
as teacher, coach and stager for companies around the world and has worked
extensively with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Cincinnati Ballet. His
staging of Coppélia for American Ballet Theatre had its New York
premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House in May 1997. In addition to an
earlier taping of the chief male variation from Raymonda with New York
City Ballet principal Nikolaj Hiibbe, Mr. Franklin directed the retrieval of
the original Mozartiana and staged two pas de deux from Le Baiser de
la Fée for The George Balanchine Foundation video archives.
ALEXANDRA ANSANELLI appeared
as one of the children in the film version of George Balanchine's The
Nutcracker, which was released in the fall of 1993. Since joining the New
York City Ballet corps in 1996, she has danced featured roles in Balanchine's A
Midsummer Night's Dream (" Butterfly"), The Nutcracker
(" Dewdrop"), Raymonda Variations, Scotch Symphony, Symphony
in C (3rd Movement), Symphony in Three Movements, Tschaikovsky
Pas De Deux, and Who Cares?; Peter Martins' Fearful Symmetries,
River of Light and The Sleeping Beauty; Jerome Robbins' Afternoon
of A Faun, The Cage, Interplay and 2 &3 Part
Inventions; Richard Tanner's Schoenberg Variations and Variations
on a Nursery Song and Bournonville's Ballabile. She originated a
role in Robbins' Les Notes for the NYCB premiere in 1998, as well as a
role in Nichol Hlinka's Cheating;, Living Stealing for the 1998 NYCB
while still a student, danced a principal role in Jerome Robbins' world
premiere of 2 & 3 Part Inventions at the School of American Ballet's
1994 Spring Workshop. Since joining the New York City Ballet corps in 1995,
she has danced principal roles in George Balanchine's Cortége
Hongrois and in Robbins' Interplay and appeared as a soloist in
Balanchine's La Sonnambula. She originated roles in Robbins' West Side
Story Suite and Brandenburg, and in Richard Tanner's Schoenberg/Wuorinen
Variations. Ms. Fernandez reprised her role in Robbins'2 &3 Part
Inventions when it entered the NYCB repertory in 1995.
was born in Cuba and entered the School of American Ballet in 1993, appearing
in a series of lecture-demonstrations for the NYCB Education Department. While
still a student, she also originated a role in Jerome Robbins' 2 &3 Part
Inventions for the School's Spring Workshop. Since joining the NYCB corps
in 1995, Ms. Lorenzo has danced principal roles in George Balanchine's A
Midsummer Night's Dream ("Titanic"), The Nutcracker
("Arabian"), and Union Jack, and in Robbins' The Concert
and Fancy Free. In addition, she originated roles in Robbins' West
Side Story Suite and Brandenberg, and in Peter Martins' Concerti
Armonici and Reliquary.
JENNIE SOMOGYI was
cast as "Marie" in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker at the
age of 10. Since joining the NYCB corps in 1994, she has danced principal roles
in George Balanchine's Ballo Della Regina, Divertimento No. 15, Jewels
(" Emeralds"), The Nutcracker ("Dewdrop,"
"Marzipan," and "Hot Chocolate"), Scotch Symphony, Stars
and Stripes, Symphony in C (4th Movement)and Who Cares?, in Jerome Robbins'
Interplay, in Peter Martins' Tschaikovsky Pas de Quartet and The
Waltz Project and in Richard Tanner's Episodes & Sarcasms. She
originated roles in Robbins' Brandenberg, in Martins' Concerti
Armonici, in Miriam Moldavian's Urban Dances, in Anna Markesan's In
The Blue and in Christopher Wheeldon's Slavonic Dances. Ms. Somogyi
was selected by Maria Tallchief to appear in three tapes produced by The George
Balanchine Foundation, which were devoted to her interpretations of three of
her great Balanchine roles: Symphony in C (1st Movement), Pas de Dix,
and the Sugar Plum Fairy variation from The Nutcracker.
PASCALE VAN KIPNIS
joined the NYCB corps in 1992, and has danced principal roles in George
Balanchine's Apollo, Divertimento No. 15 and Who Cares?;
in Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering, Glass Pieces and The
Goldberg Variations; and in Peter Martins' The Waltz Project. Ms.
van Kipnis danced featured roles in Balanchine's Coppélia, Cortège
Hongrois, The Four Temperaments, The Nutcracker, Symphony in C,
Symphony in Three Movements, Serenade and Walpurpisnacht;
in Robbins' Fancy Free, Interplay, Moves and 2 &3
Part Inventions and in Martins' The Sleeping Beauty. In addition,
she originated a role in Robbins' West Side Story Suite and Martins' Jazz
(Six Syncopated Movements).
MINDY ALOFF has
been dance critic for The New Republic since 1993. She has
written extensively on dance for The Nation (dance critic 1983-1993), Dunce Magazine (senior critic 1980-1991), The New Yorker,
Encyclopedia Britannica, The Atlantic Monthly,
and other publications. She trained in ballet with Pete Conlow, Barbara Fallis
and Richard Thomas, Graham Smith, and Kathleen Crofton.
danced with the New York City Ballet during the years that George Balanchine
was choreographing some of his most important and popular works, including Agon,
Episodes, Liebeslieder Walzer, and Stars and Stripes.
Later, with a degree from Columbia University, she began a new career as an
editor and author. Her first book, Repertory in Review: Forty
Years of the New York City Ballet (1977),
received the De la Torre Bueno prize. Dance Classics was cited by the New York Public Library as
recommended reading for teenagers in 1992. Ms. Reynolds collaborated on
several projects with Lincoln Kirstein, co-founder with Balanchine of the New
York City Ballet. She is presently Director of Research for The George
Balanchine Foundation and an editor of the multivolume lnternational
Encyclopedia of Dance published by Oxford
University Press this year. She is also writing a history of theatrical dance
in the 20th century for Yale University Press.