LAST EDITED ON 23-06-01 AT 10:31 AM (GMT)
I've come across a fascinating BBC World Service radio feature on George Balanchine. It's available on Real Audio and went out last August when NYCB were in Edinburgh. But the Kirov's visit to London gives it new topicality. While it would have been nice to have known about it before seeing Jewels, it's still worth hearing. The participants are Joan Acocella and Debra Craine.
Acocella laments the decline of NYCB, both in technique and interpretation. ("Many of these dancers move on the stage as they have no ideas what these ballets are about; they are simply young people trying not to make a mistake").
Craine applauds the Kirov's embrace of Balanchine and the way his works helped the company to encounter the 20th Century. Symphony in C and Diamonds (from Jewels) she describes as pure Petipa fired up by Balanchine, which fires the Kirov dancers in turn. Acocella found it very moving that Balanchine was the primary window through which the Russians were recapturing modernism.
The programme is a really good listen (approx 20'00"). A background article and the audio link are on: