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The George Balanchine Foundation
Video Archives

The George Balanchine Foundation Video Archives consists of two collections: the Archive of Lost Choreography and the Interpreters Archive. With the video archive program, the Foundation offers an invaluable reference tool that preserves forever Balanchine's views about his own choreography.

The Archive of Lost Choreography is dedicated to the retrieval of Balanchine choreography no longer performed and in danger of permanently disappearing. The Interpreters Archive features the creators of important Balanchine roles as they teach and coach the roles with dancers of today. This provides a unique record of the choreography as it first took shape. Master tapes are housed in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and copies are made available to non-circulating research repositories around the world.

Sylvia video shoot w/ Maria Tallchief and Judith Fugate.
Credit: Costas
Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Nancy Reynolds, dance historian, writer, and the Foundation's director of research, conceived and continues to direct the program, assisted by independent filmmaker and film professor Virginia Brooks, Gus Reed, a New York City based film maker and Paul Boos, a répétiteur with the George Balanchine Trust and former dancer under Balanchine with the New York City Ballet.

While films, videotapes, audiotapes, and photographs of the Balanchine œuvre exist, the individual's personal experience of being coached by Balanchine and performing his ballets is, above all others, the most immediate means of understanding the spirit, musicality, and technical challenge of his work. The Foundation's mission is to capture Balanchine's original choreographic intent through the dancers who created new ballets with him in the studio, transmitting his initial ideas in the most direct possible way. The Video Archives may be seen as uncovering a "manuscript" or "original text" of various Balanchine roles.

Arthur Mitchell and Tai Jimenez Arthur Mitchell, artistic director of Dance Theatre of Harlem, coaching company principal Tai Jimenez in the pas de deux from George Balanchine's Agon.
Credit: Brian Rushton
Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

The video project has been funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Paul H. Epstein Foundation, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, the Massachusetts Youth Ballet, and private donors.

At present, 49 edited tapes are housed, in all or in part, in 76 libraries world wide; additional tapes are awaiting funding for editing. The series is open-ended, and further video coaching sessions will be scheduled as funding becomes available.

Video crew in Scotch Symphony.
Credit: Costas

Project Links:
Listing of the Archive Videos »
Listing of Archival Libraries »
Index to the Archive Videos »

If you would like more information on The George Balanchine Foundation Video Archives or would like to make a contribution to this project please contact The George Balanchine Foundation.


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