PATRICIA McBRIDE AND CONRAD LUDLOW TO TAPE VIDEO SERIES FOR THE GEORGE BALANCHINE FOUNDATION VIDEO ARCHIVES
New York — Working with NYCB principals Lauren Lovette and Andrew Veyette, Patricia McBride and Conrad Ludlow will coach on camera their roles from Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, choreographed on them by Balanchine in 1966. Recording will commence November 11, 2019, at the New York City Ballet studios in the Rose Building, Lincoln Center, New York. Nancy McDill, solo pianist with the NYCB orchestra, will accompany the coaching session, and, at its conclusion, critic Leigh Witchel will conduct an interview with the coaches. The recording will be supervised by Nancy Reynolds, the foundation's Director of Research, assisted by Paul Boos and Gus Reed.
The Intermezzo is considered the lyrical heart of this lush, four-part ballet, set to Brahms' First Piano Quartet in G minor (1861), orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg (1937). It has been described as a "melting adagio, full of dippings and swoopings, with the woman transported over the stage in graceful positions, appearing willowy, weightless, soulful, and dreamy" (Reynolds, Repertory in Review, 1977). For critic Walter Terry, "McBride was radiance itself in some of the most exquisitely wrought designs that Balanchine has created" (New York Herald Tribune, 26 Apr.,1966). As McBride remembers, "one step flowed into another. It's such a beautiful thing, very difficult with timing. The partner does it all. I'm off balance all the time, mostly bending back. I actually have a special arc for Brahms." According to her stalwart partner Ludlow, she "flew."
The GBF Video Archives document the insights of dancers, often principals from original casts (as in this case) or those 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).
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" (Jewels), Tarantella, Who Cares?, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia), Harlequinade (Colombine), Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (Intermezzo), Union Jack, Coppélia (Swanilda/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 joined the faculties of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Chautauqua Institute before taking up a senior position at Charlotte Ballet (formerly North Carolina Dance Theater) in 1996. For the GBF Video Archives she has been recorded coaching her created roles in “Rubies” (Jewels), Tarantella, and Who Cares?
CONRAD LUDLOW had an important twenty-year career as principal dancer with both San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet, where he was especially known for his skill in partnering. He established memorable partnerships with such well-known ballerinas as Violette Verdy, Melissa Hayden, Maria Tallchief, Allegra Kent, Suzanne Farrell, and Patricia McBride. During his years with NYCB he created 18 roles in the repertory and performed leading roles in 46 ballets. Signature roles that Balanchine created on Ludlow include those in Liebeslieder Walzer, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, "Emeralds" from Jewels, and Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, all of which he has also coached on camera for the Balanchine Foundation's Video Archives. Ludlow joined the University of Utah Ballet Department (Salt Lake City) in 1985 as resident choreographer, after founding and directing Ballet Oklahoma. He retired from the university in 2010, while continuing to conduct classes.
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, the Novice in The Cage, and the Sylph in La Sylphide, and has originated roles in works by Peter Martins, Pontus Lidberg, and Benjamin Millepied. She was a winner of the 2012-2013 Janice Levin award and the 2012 Clive Barnes award. Her first choreographic work for NYCB, For Clara, premiered in 2016. Her subsequent choreographic works include Not Our Fate (2017) and The Shaded Line (2019).
ANDREW VEYETTE, born in Denver, Colorado, began dance training at the age of nine. He subsequently studied at Westside Ballet in Santa Monica, California, with Yvonne Mounsey, former principal dancer with NYCB, and was personally coached by Nader Hamed. After attending the School of American Ballet, in 2000 he became an apprentice and then a member of the corps of NYCB. In 2006 he was promoted to soloist and in 2007 to principal dancer. His extensive repertory includes Coppélia (Frantz), Harlequinade (Harlequin), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oberon), Theme and Variations (from Suite No. 3), and a wide range of roles both dramatic and classical.
LEIGH WITCHEL is the founder and editor of dancelog.nyc. He was also the dance writer for the New York Post, as well as a Guggenheim Fellow in choreography for his work as the Artistic Director of Dance as Ever, a chamber ballet company based in Manhattan.
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. Among her books are Repertory in Review: Forty Years of the New York City Ballet; 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.
GUS REED, a New York City-based filmmaker, specializes in creating video for and with 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 serves as senior editor of the Balanchine Foundation's Video Archives.
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 initiatives are the Video Archives (https://balanchine.org/03/gbfvideoarchives.html), in which dancers who worked closely with Balanchine teach and coach their roles with dancers of today (Interpreters Archive) or recreate excerpts of 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 Alonso, Jacques d’Amboise, Suzanne Farrell, Frederic Franklin, Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent, Alicia Markova, Peter Martins, Patricia McBride, Maria Tallchief, Edward Villella, and Patricia Wilde, working with leading dancers from such companies as New York City Ballet, American Ballet theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest 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 a major initiative, the online publication of the Balanchine Catalogue, a fully searchable databased giving first-performance details of all known dances created by Balanchine, supplemented by lists of companies staging the ballets, a database of roles Balanchine performed, and additional related materials (https://balanchine.org/03/balanchinecatalogue.html). The project was made possible by a leadership grant from The Jerome Robbins Foundation.