COLLEEN NEARY and ADAM LUDERS to coach original roles in KAMMERMUSIK NO. 2 for the GEORGE BALANCHINE FOUNDATION VIDEO ARCHIVES
New York City: On April 3, 2023, in the New York City Ballet studios at the Rose Building, Lincoln Center, New York, the George Balanchine Foundation Video Archives will record former NYCB soloist Colleen Neary and principal Adam Luders coaching NYCB principal dancers Emily Gerrity, Mira Nadon, Peter Walker and corps member Gilbert Bolden lll in Kammermusik No. 2.
After Kammermusik No. 2 had its first performances in 1978, Arlene Croce in The New Yorker mused, “Is there a greater theatrical adventure than a new Balanchine ballet seen for the first time? Yes: a new Balanchine ballet seen for the second time. At first, swept along at intergalactic speeds, we feel nothing but the novelty and peculiarity of it all – the sensation of being bombarded by clean particles of image and sound. And we are likely to think, as the strokes and details build up to a total impression, Why, how strange – he’s never done anything like this before.”
Clocked in at just under twenty minutes, the ferocious Hindemith score is equally treacherous for the musicians as for the twelve dancers who inhabit this four-movement chamber work. Prior to his undergoing open-heart surgery, Balanchine assembled Kammermusik No. 2 at breakneck speed. In contrast to his credo “ballet is woman,” he chose to work with two women and ten men: two male-female couples and eight men in the corps. The curtain opens in silence on two women warriors facing the audience and, behind them, eight men in a straight line holding hands. The counterpoint movement starts with the two soloists and then is echoed by the corps de ballet. In the following movements the two women are joined by their partners in duets and solos interwoven with combinations of two, four and eight men.
Croce continues, “The ballet boils with precisely directed energies; it’s the mirror of an impersonal yet human process, and in that respect it does resemble The Four Temperaments. I find the process poetically inscrutable and I believe it isn’t going to become less so, yet the way it’s worked out and timed down to the last microsecond is something for other choreographers to study and for all of us to admire.”
Paul Boos, Director of the Video Archives, will oversee the filming with Founding Director Nancy Reynolds. NYCB solo pianist Stephen Gosling accompanies the session. The recording will conclude with Neary and Luders being interviewed by dance writer Robert Greskovic.
The GBF Video Archives document the insights of dancers, often principals from original casts 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 You Tube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/blnchn).
COLLEEN NEARY, former co-director of the Los Angeles Ballet, danced for George Balanchine at New York City Ballet in a wide-ranging repertoire including roles created by George Balanchine in Kammermusik No. 2, L'Enfant et les Sortilèges and many others. She was on the faculty at the School of American Ballet, and is a répétiteur for the Balanchine Trust. She has danced or taught at many major companies including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Zurich Ballet, Bejart Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet. Neary is the author of an essay on Balanchine's Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet in the book Balanchine: Celebrating A Life In Dance (Tide-mark Press, 2003).
ADAM LUDERS began his ballet training at the Royal Danish Ballet School and graduated to become a member of the Royal Danish Ballet in 1968. He was a principal dancer with London Festival Ballet (1973–5) and New York City Ballet (1975–94) creating roles in Balanchine's Davidsbündertänze, Kammermusik No. 2, and Walpurgisnacht, as well as Robbins's In Memory of... among others. Since retiring he has taught widely, including at the School of American Ballet, and staged Balanchine repertory for the George Balanchine Trust. Trained in the Bournonville tradition, Luders was the classic ‘danseur noble’. He is part of the last generation of dancers who worked closely with Balanchine at the New York City Ballet and has danced most of the Balanchine and Robbins repertoire. Luders is famous for his skill in pas de deux, and he has partnered most of Balanchine’s ballerinas as well other international stars. For the Interpreters Archive he has coached the first movement of Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Davidsbündlertänze and Ballade.
EMILIE GERRITY received her early training at the New Paltz School of Ballet taught by former NYCB dancers Lisa Chalmers and Peter Naumann. Ms. Gerrity attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet, before enrolling there as a full-time student. While at SAB, she performed George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco as part of Protégés II at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in June 2008. She was a recipient of the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise in 2009. Ms. Gerrity was named as an apprentice in 2009 and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in September 2010. In February 2017, Ms. Gerrity was promoted to soloist and then to principal in February 2023. She has been recorded being coached for the GBF Video Archives in the first movement of Brahms- Schoenberg Quartet by Kyra Nichols and Adam Luders.
MIRA NADON began her ballet training in Montclair, California and in 2014 and 2015 attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet (SAB) before entering SAB full-time. In 2017, Ms. Nadon became an apprentice with NYCB and as an apprentice originated a corps role in Gianna Reisen’s Judah. She joined NYCB’s corps de ballet in 2018, was promoted to the rank of soloist in January 2022, and to principal in February 2023. Ms. Nadon has been featured in Balanchine’s Monumentum/Movements, Scotch Symphony and Stravinsky Violin Concerto. Ms. Nadon can be seen being coached by Allegra Kent and Bart Cook for the GBF Video Archives in the pas de deux from Agon.
GILBERT BOLDEN lll is a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet. Born in San Diego, California, he began dancing at the age of nine in Las Vegas, and he continued his studies at The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, PA. In 2014, Mr. Bolden enrolled at the School of American Ballet. He became an apprentice with the NYCB in August 2017 and joined the company as a member of the corps de ballet in August 2018. As an apprentice with the company, he performed a featured role in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (Mother Ginger) and originated a featured role in Gianna Reisen’s Composer’s Holiday.
PETER WALKER began his early training in tap dance before studying ballet with Melinda Roy, a former NYCB principal. He was accepted at SAB for its 2006 and 2007 summer courses prior to enrolling as a full-time student in the winter of 2007. In 2011 he became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the company as a member of its corps de ballet in Fall 2012. In October 2018, Walker was promoted to soloist, and in February 2022 to principal dancer. He has choreographed for NYCB; his first ballet, ten in seven, premiered at NYCB’s Fall 2016 Gala. His second work, dance odyssey, premiered in Winter 2018.
ROBERT GRESKOVIC is a freelance writer in New York City. He writes about dance for The Wall Street Journal and is the author of Ballet 101, A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving the Ballet (Hyperion). He has taught dance history and aesthetics at City College of New York, Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College and Princeton University. He has been writing about dance since 1972. He was an Associate at Ballet Review, contributed several entries for the International Encyclopedia of Dance, and his writing is included in Reading Dance (Pantheon) and in Dance in America, A Reader’s Anthology (Library of America). He served as consulting editor for Baryshnikov: in Black and White (Bloomsbury). His published writings have long focused on the works of George Balanchine and the dancers in his New York City Ballet. He was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1983 with a focus on studying dance photographs and was a two-time Dance Division Research Fellow for the New York Public Library’s Jerome Robbins Dance Division. His dance reviews and feature stories have appeared in the Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and other publications.
NANCY REYNOLDS is the founding director of the George Balanchine Video Archives. She is a former dancer with New York City Ballet and has been Director of Research for The George Balanchine Foundation since 1994, when she conceived 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, Director of the Video Archives since 2021, is a former dancer with NYCB and répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust. His work for the Trust has been presented at a number of theaters, including the Maryinsky, Bolshoi, Paris Opera, La Scala, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Boston Ballet. He also guest teaches abroad and locally.
The George Balanchine Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1983 with the goal of creating programs that educate the public and further Balanchine’s work and aesthetic. Among the GBF’s major initiatives are the Video Archives, in which dancers who worked closely with Balanchine teach and coach their roles with the
dancers of today (Interpreters Archive) or recreate sections of ballets that are rarely performed or 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, Patricia McBride, Maria Tallchief, Violette Verdy, Patricia Wilde, Edward Villella, and others, working with dancers from such companies as New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and San Francisco, Boston, Pacific Northwest and Suzanne Farrell ballets.
In 2007 the Foundation announced 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 and supplemented by lists of companies staging his ballets, a bibliography, a videography, reference resources, a database of roles Balanchine performed, and related information. The project was made possible by a leadership grant from The Jerome Robbins Foundation. An expanded and updated version, enhanced by visuals, was introduced in June 2022 (www.balanchine.org).
The George Balanchine Foundation expresses its profound gratitude to the following donors: The Brown Foundation, Agnes Gund, Barbara D. Horgan, The New York State Council on the Arts, the Pettit Foundation, Nancy R. Reynolds, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Denise Littlefield Sobel, and Louisa Stude Sarofim; and to Leslie Tonner Curtis, Nancy S. Furlotti, Jeffrey A. Horwitz, The National Endowment for the Arts, Meryl Rosofsky and Stuart H. Coleman, The Evelyn Sharp Foundation, Resa and Heiner Sussner, and I. Peter Wolff.