The George Balanchine Foundation has expanded its archival video series, which documents detailed explanations of selected passages of Balanchine’s choreography, by seven new titles.
The videos feature excerpts from Davidsbündlertänze, Le Baiser de la Fée, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Ballo della Regina, Prodigal Son, “Emeralds” from Jewels, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, coached by dancers who originated or were major interpreters of these roles.
In a studio setting, the original dancers teach, coach, and discuss their parts with dancers of today. The overall goal of the Video Archives Program is to create an original “manuscript” of Balanchine’s ballets by preserving not only the steps, but the nuances of the choreography as Balanchine taught it to his original casts.
Coaches in the 2011 series include Merrill Ashley, Conrad Ludlow, Yvonne Mounsey, Mimi Paul, Helgi Tomasson, Violette Verdy, and Karin von Aroldingen. Participating are dancers from Los Angeles Ballet, New York City Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.
The release of the seven new videos brings the series total to 35 videos. Edited masters are preserved in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and for a nominal fee, copies of these are made available to non-circulating research repositories. Currently some 70 libraries worldwide house the collection.
Nancy Reynolds, dance historian, writer, and the foundation’s director of research, conceived and continues to direct the program, assisted by independent filmmaker and film professor Virginia Brooks and Nichol Hlinka, a former New York City Ballet principal dancer.
For a complete list of videos shot to date and the facilities housing them, visit: www.balanchine.org/03/gbfvideoarchieves_videos.html.