The George Balanchine Foundation Issues Seven Additional Archival Tapes

Tapes Feature Excerpts from Raymonda, The Four Temperaments, Donizetti Variations, Bugaku, La Sonnambula, Firebird, Apollo and Swan Lake, Coached by Dancers Who Learned the Roles from Balanchine.

NEW YORK CITY -The George Balanchine Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of seven additional tapes in its archival video series. Adding to both the Archive of Lost Choreography and the Interpreters Archive, the new tapes capture the artistry of Todd Bolender, Frederic Franklin, Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent and Maria Tallchief as they coach Balanchine repertory with dancers from several top American dance companies. With the addition of these new coaching sessions, The George Balanchine Foundation Video Archives now comprise 21 completed tapes. The seven new master tapes will be donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which already houses the first 14. (Detailed information is enclosed).

The seven new completed videotapes record coaching and recovery sessions of excerpts from Raymonda, The Four Temperaments, Donizetti Variations, Bugaku, La Sonnambula, Firebird, Apollo and Swan Lake. Dancers participating in the new videos include: Peter Boal, Albert Evans, Janie Taylor (New York City Ballet); Gillian Murphy (American Ballet Theatre); Christopher Barksdale (State Ballet of Missouri), and Maria Terezia Balough, Michael Clark, Todd Edson and Maria Thomas (Forth Worth Dallas Ballet). On-screen interviews and discussions were conducted by noted dance scholars and journalists: Mindy Aloff, Nancy Goldner, Robert Gottlieb, Robert Greskovic and Nancy Reynolds, the Foundation's director of research.

Melissa Hayden, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, author and teacher, who coached the archive sessions of Donizetti Variations, comments, "Donizetti was one of Mr. Balanchine's smaller gems. Its humor, wit and style quickly made it a part of New York City Ballet's repertoire. Dancing Donizetti was always a challenge I looked forward to because of the difficult nuances that had to fit the choreography and the music. It had technical challenges and was always great fun. I can see Mr. B. smiling throughout the whole creative process."

Peter Boal, principal dancer with New York City Ballet, who appears in the Donizetti Variations and La Sonnambula videos responds, "The selfless teaching of these original casts cannot be found in performance videos or staging. Each dancer offers a trove of personal treasures. Familiar roles become new again. Inspiration and insight are shared between minds, bodies and generations.”

Conceived and directed by Nancy Reynolds, the video archive program was inaugurated in 1994 for the purpose of retrieving Balanchine choreography no longer in repertory and preserves the interpretations of performers who worked with him in the studio. The tapes encompass two collections: The Archive of Lost Choreography and The Interpreters Archive. All are shot with broadcast-quality equipment ensuring the greatest durability and longevity.

The new videotapes are not for sale to the general public. Copies are made available for on-site viewing in accredited repositories on a non-restrictive basis. Since the program was first created, a total of 43 research institutions in this country and abroad have added The George Balanchine Foundation Video Archives to their non-circulating collections. Commenting on the success to date of the video archive series, Ms. Reynolds states, "It is most gratifying that libraries around the world have shown such a great interest in acquiring these tapes, which seek to document Balanchine's working methods and the intentions behind his choreography." Institutions wishing to obtain any of the archive tapes currently available, please contact The George Balanchine Foundation, David H. Koch Theater
20 Lincoln Center New York, NY 10023, Tel: 212-262-0700, Fax: 212-262-2892, [email protected].

The George Balanchine Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1983 to create programs that educate the public, and further the work and aesthetic of George Balanchine in order to facilitate high standards of excellence in dance and related arts.

In addition to the Archive of Lost Choreography and the Interpreters Archive, The Balanchine Foundation is also the producer of The Balanchine Essays, a nine-part video series examining Balanchine's approach to classical ballet technique. The Foundation is currently involved in several ongoing projects including: Popular Balanchine, a major research effort dedicated to documenting Balanchine's choreography for the popular stage and screen; an educational video entitled, "Music Dances: Balanchine Choreographs Stravinsky," which concentrates on their celebrated collaboration, created by internationally known musicologist and dance historian Stephanie Jordan; an oral history with Frederic Franklin, based on over 4,000 documents of Sergei Denham's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo held by the Dance Division of the New York Public Library; Mediatext, a multimedia technology that will provide a rich electronic archive of dance-related source materials that will be accessible over the Internet, and an on-going lecture series on Balanchine repertory, conducted by Nancy Goldner and featuring former New York City Ballet principal dancer, Merrill Ashley.