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Subject: "Today I went to the library...." Archived thread - Read only
 
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smw380

22-01-01, 09:54 PM (GMT)
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"Today I went to the library...."
 
   and watched videos. Well, only one. It was Out of Line, a tribute to Kenneth MacMillan. I liked it a lot. There were wonderful dance segments, and really interesting interviews. At the end there was some lovely footage of a very young Darcey Bussell.

When I have more time, I'm going back to watch Mayerling (you can't take tapes out of this library, unfortunately).

Does anyone know if The Invitation has been taped? I've seen tapes with scenes from it, but not the whole thing.

sarah


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Today I went to the library.... robert 22-01-01 1
     RE: Today I went to the library.... smw380 22-01-01 2
         RE: Today I went to the library.... Stuart Sweeney 22-01-01 3
             RE: Today I went to the library.... smw380 23-01-01 4
                 RE: Today I went to the library.... Ann Williams 25-01-01 11
  RE: Today I went to the library.... Anneliese 23-01-01 5
     RE: Today I went to the library.... smw380 23-01-01 6
         RE: Today I went to the library.... Fuzzyface 24-01-01 7
  RE: Today I went to the library.... Gordon 24-01-01 8
     RE: Today I went to the library.... smw380 25-01-01 9
         RE: Today I went to the library.... Fuzzyface 25-01-01 10

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robert

22-01-01, 10:06 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #0
 
   Which library? I, and I am sure lots of balletco visiters would love to know which libraries have good ballet videos .


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smw380

22-01-01, 10:12 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #1
 
   Oops, I guess I should have mentioned. This is the New York Public Library's Performing Arts branch. It's actually a bit of a mess now because their home at Lincoln Center is being renovated and the collection is scattered across the city now. The research collection (which is where I was) is in an old library building way way over on the West Side. It's not very comfortable or atmospheric, but they have a lot of video viewing stations, and I intend to go back as much as I can.

I would guess there are great arts libraries in the UK, where the arts are so much more respected than here.

sarah.


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Stuart Sweeney

22-01-01, 11:26 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #2
 
   >The research collection
>(which is where I was)
>is in an old library
>building way way over on
>the West Side. It's not
>very comfortable or atmospheric, but
>they have a lot of
>video viewing stations, and I
>intend to go back as
>much as I can.
>
>I would guess there are great
>arts libraries in the UK,
>where the arts are so
>much more respected than here.

Sarah, you can take pride that the NYC Library is the place for dance research worldwide. Research students in the Uk are told that they ought to plan on the basis that at some stage of their work they will have to spend 10 days in the NYCL.

Delighted that you enjoy MacMillan. As you probably know he recieved a very tough time from many US critics and balletomanes during his life, which continues to some extent today.


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smw380

23-01-01, 00:16 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #3
 
   Well, I'm proud of our library! I will be nice when they get back to their real home, though.

It was clear from this show that MacMillan had a rough time of it. But you can see why....It's hard to watch some of those pieces, they're so far removed from what most people expect to see when they go to the ballet. But I admire that kind of nerve and that willingness to push the limits.

sarah


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Ann Williams

25-01-01, 11:31 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #4
 
   >But I admire
>that kind of nerve and
>that willingness to push the
>limits.

Sarah - this is exactly why I admire MacMillan - he was trying to push ballet into the future; sometimes he succeeded and sometimes he failed. I would argue that even his failures have to be respected. He was extremely ambitious, and in 'Mayerling' think he failed, but even this failure is far more interesting than many established 'successes' (can't think of a suitable example at the moment, but there are plenty).

Not long after his death I attended a Friends event at the ROH at which his widow, Deborah MacMillan, was the principal guest. She spoke movingly about her gratitude for the support she had received following his death. She concluded her speech by saying simply 'He was a genius - I think so anyway', and then she shrugged as if to say 'but I would say that, wouldn't I?'.

I think we were all very moved and I suspect there were quite a few moist eyes.


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Anneliese

23-01-01, 04:26 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #0
 
   I'm sure the Invitation hasn't been filmed. It's not exactly jolly viewing! He "wrote" it for Lynn Seymour - her autobiog tells you more about it. In "Dance Ballerina Dance" she coaches Bull and Cooper in the older woman/young man seduction pdd.

I got "Mayerling" for Christmas!


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smw380

23-01-01, 06:34 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #5
 
   Well, there was a fairly lengthy excerpt from The Invitation on this tape, with Seymour and an unidentified partner. I was wondering if the whole thing had been recorded.

sarah


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Fuzzyface

24-01-01, 09:04 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #6
 
   I think the film came from the Royal Ballet Video Archive, which isn't available to the public unfortunately. Our own Theatre Museum in London has a collection of ballet videos, and a large library and archive on dance (including a superb collection of material on Diaghilev) which is comparable to the NYPL Dance Collection.


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Gordon

24-01-01, 11:38 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #0
 
   I usually just lurk here but want to contribute a little historical point which may be of interest.

This documentary was first broadcast on 14th April 1990 by BBC2 just before they screened the full production of Prince of the Pagodas. I videotaped the documentary and the performance. I very quickly became something of a Darcey fan, although I still perfer Altani Assymoratava and the imcomparable Sylvie.

After the untimely and sad demise of Sir Kenneth the documentary was repeated on t.v. but minus Sir Kenneth's most telling criticisms of the Royal Opera House. I believe it is this watered-down version which was published on video.


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smw380

25-01-01, 01:08 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #8
 
   You may be right, he had some bitter things to say about the ROH, but nothing really scathing.

How did he die? They said he was backstage at the time? That's awfully fitting, though also sad.

sarah.


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Fuzzyface

25-01-01, 01:52 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Today I went to the library...."
In response to message #9
 
   Hi Sarah,

he died of a heart attack backstage during the second act of "Mayerling". I was in the theatre that night, and it was a great shock when at the end of the ballet Jeremy Issacs came and made an announcement that he had died. The audience stood in shocked silence as a mark of respect, and then quietly left. I also remember seeing the ambulance in Floral Street on my way home. Can't believe that was nearly 10 years ago now.


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