BART COOK TO TAPE VIDEO SERIES FOR THE GEORGE BALANCHINE FOUNDATION VIDEO ARCHIVES
New York City: November 4, 2019 — Bart Cook, working with dancers Alexander Peters from Miami City Ballet and Sara Adams and Kristen Segin of New York City Ballet, will coach two roles with which he was closely associated throughout his career: “Melancholic” from The Four Temperaments, in which he was coached by Balanchine and the Sarabande solo Balanchine created on him in 1976 and inserted into the 1957 Square Dance. Elaine Chelton, solo pianist with New York City Ballet, will accompany the coaching, and Jack Anderson will interview Cook at the conclusion of the session, which takes place in New York City Ballet studios at Lincoln Center.
The recording will be supervised by Paul Boos, Video Archives Project Associate, aided by Nancy Reynolds, Video Archives founder.
The purpose of GBF's Video Archive Series is to document insights of the originators or important later interpreters of key roles in the Balanchine repertory, thus passing on this knowledge, particularly including references to Balanchine's ideas at the time of creation, to the dancers, scholars and audiences of today.
The Cook video will become part of this series, which now numbers over fifty and is available world-wide through educational institutions and libraries. The interview segments can be viewed on GBF's YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/blnchn.)
In 1976, a reworked revival of Square Dance was staged by Balanchine, in which he eliminated the traditional "caller" and on-stage musicians, made minor revisions to the 2nd movement and most importantly added a male solo for Cook before the finale.
NY Times' Anna Kisselgoff referred to the restaging as a "renewal" … Luckily, Mr. Balanchine has also added rather than just subtracted in Square Dance. There is a new solo for Mr. Cook, that has a definite romantic edge. It has the same yearning quality of the male solo in Baiser de la Fee.
In response to Cook's acclaimed performance in The Four Temperaments Kisselgoff wrote "Again, the standout was the "Melancholic" variation as danced by Bart Cook. From his debut in the solo four years ago, this exciting and individual dancer has enriched each performance with a fierceness of movement and thoroughness of gesture that make the choreography stand out brightly against an imagined sky. Mr. Cook dances here fearlessly and with a new hint of self‐flagellation."
BART COOK NYCB principal dancer, choreographer and ballet master began his dance studies with Willam Christensen in Utah and at 17 transferred as a scholarship student to The School of American Ballet in NYC. Two years later Cook joined NYCB and in 1979 was promoted to principal dancer, shortly thereafter NYCB appointed Cook Assistant Ballet Master to Jerome Robbins. Cook excelled in Balanchine's "black and white" leotard ballets in addition, his interpretations of Balanchine’s romantic protagonists were as natural a fit as were those of his character and demi-character roles. In 1993 Cook retired from dancing and has served as Chairman of the faculty of The Richmond Ballet, and as an associate professor at S.U.N.Y. He has staged Balanchine and Robbins ballets for over thirty years for a wide range of companies including The Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, La Scala Opera, and San Francisco Ballet. This is Cook's first filming for the Balanchine Foundation’s Video Archives.
ALEXANDER PETERS was accepted to The School of American Ballet and attended first as a recipient of the Andrei Kramarevsky Scholarship. Subsequently he received the 2008 Princess Grace Award and the 2010 Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise. Peters first danced professionally with the Kansas City Ballet. This was followed by Pennsylvania Ballet in 2011, where he was promoted to Principal Dancer. He joined Miami City Ballet in 2017 as a Principal Soloist and was promoted to Principal in 2019.
SARA ADAMS began her dance training at the Mid-Cape Ballet Academy in Massachusetts. She later studied at the Boston Ballet School and was enrolled as a full-time student at The School of American Ballet from 2003 to 2008. She joined NYCB first as an apprentice in June 2008 and became a member of its corps de ballet in September 2009. In February 2017, Ms. Adams was promoted to soloist.
KRISTEN SEGIN, a member of NYCB's corps de ballet, began dance training in her home state of New Jersey, and went on to study at The Rock School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She enrolled full time at SAB in the fall of 2005, became an apprentice with NYCB in August 2008, and a member of the corps de ballet in August 2009. Segin has been coached by Suki Schorer in Raymonda Variations and A Midsummer Night's Dream (lead Butterfly) for the Balanchine Foundation's Video Archives.
JACK ANDERSON is a poet and dance writer, whose most recent book of poetry is Getting Lost in a City Like This (Hanging Loose Press) and whose next book, his eleventh, The Dinosaur Problem, published by Hanging Loose. He writes on dance for the Dancing Times of London and the New York Times, and among his seven books on dance are The Nutcracker Ballet, Ballet and Modern Dance: A Concise History, Art Without Boundaries: The World of Modern Dance, and The One and Only: The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, which won the José de la Torre Bueno Award for Dance Writing.
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.
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.