Contact: Mel Schierman
ROBERT BARNETT TO TAPE VIDEO SERIES FOR
THE GEORGE BALANCHINE FOUNDATION
Barnett, NYCB soloist (1949-1958) will coach principal roles in ballets
Symphony in C and Serenade
New York City — Robert Barnett will work with NYCB dancers Sarah Villwock and Spartak Hoxha on principal roles from the 3rd movement Symphony in C; and with Megan LeCrone, Lauren Lovette, Indiana Woodward, Jared Angle and Aaron Sanz in excerpts from Serenade. The recording will take place on Monday, April 29th, 2019 at the New York City Ballet studios in the Rose Building, Lincoln Center, New York. Nancy McDill, solo pianist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, will accompany the coaching session. At its conclusion Alastair Macaulay, dance and theater critic, will interview Barnett. The filming will be supervised by Paul Boos, Video Archives Project Associate, aided by the Video Archives founder Nancy Reynolds, former film professor Virginia Brooks, and filmmaker Gus Reed.
The resulting video will become part of the GBF Video Archives, now numbering over sixty programs. The aim of this series is to document insights of the originators or important later interpreters of key roles in the Balanchine repertory and to preserve and pass this knowledge on, particularly including references to Balanchine’s ideas at the time of creation, to the dancers, scholars, and audiences of today. The GBF Video Archives are available world-wide through public and university libraries. In addition, the interview components are available on the Balanchine Foundation’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/blnchn).
Critic Anatole Chujoy wrote of Symphony in C’s New York debut “If there ever was any doubt that Balanchine was the greatest choreographer of our time, this doubt was dispelled when the curtain came down on his Symphony in C”. Barnett was the first to share the 3rd movement jumping role with the NYCB originator Herbert Bliss. Barnett will also rehearse excerpts from Serenade that have evolved over the years under Balanchine’s direction, returning the specific steps and nuances as they were danced in the 1950’s. NYCB alumnae Barbara Walczak, Barbara Milberg Fisher and Janice Cohen Adelson will attend the session offering insight gained from their long association with Balanchine and Serenade during NYCB’s formative years.
ROBERT BARNETT, born in 1925, is a former NYCB soloist who began studying ballet seriously with Bronislava Nijinska in 1946 in Los Angeles after being released from the Navy having served in the South Pacific and Japan. Subsequently Barnett joined the Original Ballet Russe, and in 1949 after the company’s tour ended in Europe, he remained to study in Paris with renowned teachers Lubov Egorova and Olga Preobrajenska. He later returned to the US, dancing on Broadway and TV and was hired for the NYCB corps de ballet. Barnett’s first Balanchine principal role was in Bourrée Fantasque, opposite Tanaquil Le Clercq. In 1950 Frederick Ashton created the ‘Dandy’ in Illuminations for Barnett and, in 1952, the role of Merlin in Picnic at Tintagel. Barnett moved with his wife, NYCB company member Virginia Rich, to Atlanta GA in 1958 where he was hired as a principal dancer and Associate Director of The Atlanta Civic Ballet. He was named Director in 1961, retiring from that position in 1994. For the Video Archives Barnett has coached roles choreographed on him by Balanchine in Stars and Stripes and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® as well as Bourrée Fantasque.
JARED ANGLE received the Rudolf Nureyev Scholarship to continue his training at the School of American Ballet. Mr. Angle became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in 1998 and that same year a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to soloist in 2001, and in 2005 to principal dancer. He can be seen in the Video Archives being coached by Jacques d’Amboise in Episodes, by John Clifford in Valse-Fantaisie, and by Edward Villella in Bugaku.
SPARTAK HOXHA was born in Tirana, Albania, and began his dance training at the age of nine at Ballet Tech in New York City before studying at the School of American Ballet. In 2010, Mr. Hoxha became an apprentice with NYCB and the following August he joined the corps de ballet.
MEGAN LECRONE born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina began her ballet training with Melissa Hayden and Duncan Noble at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winton-Salem. Ms. LeCrone entered the School of American Ballet in 2001, and the same year became an apprentice with New York City Ballet. She joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in 2002 and was promoted to soloist in February 2013.
LAUREN LOVETTE apprenticed with NYCB in 2009, joined the corps de ballet in 2010, was promoted to soloist in 2013 and to principal dancer in 2015. She has choreographed two works for New York City Ballet: For Clara (2016) and Not Our Fate (2017). Ms. Lovette has been filmed for the Video Archives being coached by Patricia McBride in Rubies.
AARON SANZ, a NYCB soloist began his early dance training in Madrid, Spain, before moving in 2010 to New York to study at the School of American Ballet. The next year Mr. Sanz became an apprentice with NYCB, and in 2012 joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to soloist in October 2018. This is Mr. Sanz’ first collaboration with the Interpreters Archive.
SARAH VILLWOCK, a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet since 2009 has distinguished herself in various prominent roles including Emeralds, Raymonda Variations, and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.
INDIANA WOODWARD was born in Paris, France, began her dance training in Venice, California and continued her studies at the School of American Ballet. In 2012 she joined NYCB and was promoted to soloist in 2017. Ms. Woodward can be seen in the Video Archives coached by Patricia Wilde in these roles: Marzipan from George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Caracole, Western Symphony and Swan Lake pas de trois.
ALASTAIR MACAULAY was the chief dance critic of The New York Times between 2007 and 2018. He had been previously the chief theater critic of The Financial Times in London (1994-2007) and the chief dance critic for The Times Literary Supplement (1996-2006), founding editor (1983-88) of the British quarterly Dance Theatre Journal, and a guest dance critic for The New Yorker (1988 and 1992).
NANCY REYNOLDS, a former dancer with New York City Ballet, has been the Director of Research for The George Balanchine Foundation since 1994. She conceived and continues to direct the Video Archives program. Also an author, in 2013, she received a “Bessie” award for “outstanding service to the field of dance.”
PAUL BOOS, since 2015 the Video Archive Project Associate, is a former dancer with NYCB and répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust. He teaches abroad and locally.
VIRGINIA BROOKS, Professor Emerita of Film at Brooklyn College/CUNY and director of several dance documentaries has been an editor of the Balanchine Foundation's Video Archives since its inception in 1994.
GUS REED, a New York City-based filmmaker, specializes in creating video for and with dance. He has served as an 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.