Mel Schierman, email@example.com
PATRICIA McBRIDE TO TAPE VIDEO SERIES FOR THE GBF VIDEO ARCHIVES
Long-time principal dancer with New York City Ballet to coach excerpts from “Rubies” from Jewels
New York City — Working with NYCB principals Lauren Lovette and Anthony Huxley, Patricia McBride will coach on camera the leading roles from “Rubies” choreographed by Balanchine on her and her partner, Edward Villella. Taping will commence April 17, 2017 at the New York City Ballet Studios in the Rose Building, Lincoln Center, New York. Elaine Chelton, solo pianist with the NYCB orchestra, will accompany the coaching session, and, at its conclusion, writer Claudia Roth Pierpont will interview McBride. The recording will be supervised by Nancy Reynolds, the foundation’s Director of Research, assisted by Paul Boos, Virginia Brooks, and Gus Reed.
The GBF Video Archives document the insights of dancers, often principals from original casts, who worked closely with Balanchine. The Archives’ mission is to preserve this knowledge and pass it on to today’s dancers, scholars, and audiences. The Archives are available world-wide through public and university libraries. In addition, the interview components can be accessed on the Balanchine Foundation’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/blnchn).
Highlighted by its electric pas de deux, “Rubies” forms the quirky, brash, high-spirited and thoroughly ingenious central section of Balanchine’s three-act ballet Jewels. The German critic Horst Koegler found it “a witty fireworks, rich in spirit, choreographically a follower of Agon, full of feints and other surprising effects, sharp as a rapier and unpredictable as an irascible person” (Suddeutsche Zeitung). For Walter Terry, “[The roles’ originators], McBride and Villella, top the show in choreography [that] finds a classical pas de deux merrily dissolving into a cakewalk strut, a dog-trot, a touch of the frug, and all manner of unexpected and delicious antics, . . . in what might be described as ‘teased classicism’” (World Journal Tribune, Ap. 14 and 17, 1967). Of McBride’s performance a Dance Magazine critic wrote that in “her pas de deux and in her flashing solo passages [she] executed the hip thrusts and kicks with that charming restraint which makes her dancing like cool fire” (June 1967). Suffice it to say that in common with many of his other creations, “Rubies” is unique within the Balanchine canon.
PATRICIA McBRIDE, in a long and illustrious career with NYCB, had an extraordinarily large number of major works created on her by George Balanchine, including “Rubies,” Tarantella, Who Cares?, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia), Harlequinade, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (Intermezzo), Union Jack, Coppélia, and Divertimento from ‘Le Baiser de la Fée,’ among several others. McBride was also favored by Jerome Robbins, who created principal roles for her in Dances at a Gathering, The Goldberg Variations, In the Night, The Four Seasons, and Opus 19/The Dreamer, among others. With her frequent partner Edward Villella she performed on concert stages all over the world. Among her other partners were some of the most noted male dancers of her generation, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Helgi Tomasson, and Peter Martins. McBride danced for five American presidents. She is the recipient of a Dance Magazine Award and the Kennedy Center Honors. After her retirement from performing in 1989, McBride, with her husband Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, joined the faculties of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Chautauqua Institute, before taking up positions at Charlotte Ballet (formerly North Carolina Dance Theater) in 1996.
LAUREN LOVETTE began ballet training at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, North Carolina. After study at the School of American Ballet, she joined NYCB corps de ballet in 2010. She was promoted to soloist in 2013 and principal dancer in 2015. Among many leading roles, she has danced Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, the Novice in The Cage, and the Sylph in La Sylphide, and has originated roles in works by Peters Martins, Pontus Lidberg, and Benjamin Millepied. Her first choreographic work for NYCB, For Clara, premiered in 2016, and she is creating a work for the Vail 2017 women choreographers celebration. She was a winner of the 2012-2013 Janice Levin award and the 2012 Clive Barnes award.
ANTHONY HUXLEY studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and the Contra Costa Ballet School before enrolling in SAB full time in 2003. He joined NYCB in 2007 and was promoted to soloist in 2011 and principal dancer in 2015. He has danced leading roles in Duo Concertant, "Emeralds" and "Rubies" from Jewels, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oberon), Symphony in C (third movement), and George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ (Cavalier, Candy Cane), among many others, as well as in Jerome Robbins' Goldberg Variations, and Bournonville's La Sylphide (James).
CLAUDIA ROTH PIERPONT is a staff writer for The New Yorker, where she has written about the arts for more than twenty years. She is the author of three books: Passionate Minds (2000), a collection of essays about women writers ranging from Hannah Arendt to Mae West; Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books (2013), an exploration of the life and work of Philip Roth; and American Rhapsody (2016), a collection of essays on American subjects including George Gershwin, Nina Simone, and the Chrysler Building. She is currently working on a history of New York culture that will include a chapter on New York City Ballet.
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. In 2013 she received a “Bessie” award for “outstanding service to the field of dance.”
PAUL BOOS is a former dancer with NYCB and répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust. His work for the Trust has been presented at several theaters, including the Mariinsky, Bolshoi, Paris Opera, La Scala, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Boston Ballet. He also guest teaches abroad and locally.
VIRGINIA BROOKS, Professor Emerita of Film at Brooklyn College/CUNY and director of several dance documentaries, has been editor of the Balanchine Foundation's Video Archives since its inception in 1994.
GUS REED, a New York City-based filmmaker, specializes in capturing and editing dance. His recent projects include videos for NYCB's "Project Ballet" initiative, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, Emery LeCrone Dance and the Liz Gerring Dance Company. He has served as associate editor of the Balanchine Foundation's Video Archives since the fall of 2014.
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 dancers who worked closely with Balanchine teach and coach their roles to the 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.