Mel Schierman, firstname.lastname@example.org
JILLANA TO TAPE VIDEO SERIES FOR THE GEORGE BALANCHINE FOUNDATION
Former NYCB Principal Dancer to coach the role in Liebeslieder Walzer Balanchine created on her
New York City—Jillana, who danced with New York City Ballet for over twenty years, will teach and coach the role Balanchine created on her in Liebeslieder Walzer for The George Balanchine Foundation Video Archives. This session replaces her previously scheduled appearance coaching the role, which she was forced to cancel due to Hurricane Irene. The Interpreters Archive of the Foundation's video series seeks to document the ideas and insights of those on whom Balanchine created principal roles, in an attempt to capture his original intentions through coaching sessions with dancers of today. Taping will take place October 11, 2011, at the New York City Ballet studios in the Rose Building, Lincoln Center, New York.
Jillana will work with Janie Taylor and Tyler Angle, both principals with New York City Ballet. Angle previously took part in a taping session with Conrad Ludlow, Jillana's original partner in the ballet. Mindy Aloff, a member of the Dance Department at Barnard College, will conduct interview segments with Jillana. The taping will be supervised by Nancy Reynolds, the Foundation's Director of Research.
The lush and heart rending Liebeslieder Walzer, premiered in 1960, is considered by many who danced it their favorite ballet. Set to two cycles of Brahms waltzes for vocal quartet and four-hand piano, Part 1 takes place in an elegant nineteenth-century ballroom, while Part 2 is danced in an otherworldly realm under the stars. It is a ballet of many moods and great beauty. Mindy Aloff commented, "Liebeslieder Walzer, Balanchine's hour-long exploration of partnering, perpetually astonishes in its variety, finesse, and intimacy. This masterpiece, when danced with exactitude and sweep, absorbs the attention and haunts the imagination of dancers as well as audiences. Watching Jillana coach the role Balanchine created for her will no doubt reveal underlying elements of its exquisite construction that are deliberately masked on stage." Of Balanchine's working methods Jillana observed, "In Liebeslieder Walzer he would just do it, show it to us, and it would fit our bodies perfectly. The things he gave Conrad Ludlow and me to do—well, it was just us" (quoted in I Remember Balanchine, ed. Francis Mason).
New York Times critic Anna Kisselgoff wrote, "For both Balanchine's admirers and critics it was stunning confirmation that the great so-called anti-romantic of 20th-century ballet could reveal the depths of human emotions as well as, if not better than, anyone else. For beneath its patina of plotless ballroom dances, it is a study of love and of discreet passions bubbling to the surface. It is this balance between public appearance and personal intimacy that is the formula for the ballet's success" (Jan. 14, 1974).
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.
TYLER ANGLE studied at the School of American Ballet, joined NYCB in 2004, and 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.
JANIE TAYLOR studied at the Giacobbe Academy of Dance in New Orleans and the School of American Ballet. She joined NYCB in 1998 and was promoted to soloist in February 2001 and principal in January 2005. She has performed leading roles in many Balanchine ballets, including The Nutcracker (Dewdrop, Sugar Plum Fairy), Liebeslieder Walzer, Robert Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze, Ivesiana (The Unanswered Question), Divertimento No. 15, LaValse, and Tarantella; in Jerome Robbins's Afternoon of a Faun, The Cage, Dybbuk, Opus 19/The Dreamer, and Goldberg Variations; and Peter Martins's Ash, Ecstatic Orange (Purple), Hallelujah Junction, Jeu de Cartes, and Thou Swell, among others. She originated roles in Martins's Burlesque, Guide to Strange Places, Harmonielehre, Morgan, and Them Twos, and has also performed in works by Alexei Ratmansky, Susan Stroman, and Christopher Wheeldon.
Taylor appeared in the film Center Stage and in the nationally televised Live from Lincoln Center
broadcast "New York City Ballet: Ten Years of New Choreography" (2002). She has participated in four Balanchine Foundation Interpreters Archive videos, Bugaku, La Sonnambula, and Ivesiana (The Unanswered Question), all coached by Allegra Kent, with the last also coached by Todd Bolender, and the Divertissement from A Midsummer Night's Dream, coached by Violette Verdy and Conrad Ludlow.
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 NoFixed 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.