George Balanchine once said “Dance is music made visible.” The two art forms go hand in hand, similar to the friendship that has developed between the schools of Dance and Music at Chautauqua.
Coordinating ballet with symphony is a puzzle that involves balancing visual and musical aspects of performance.
It’s no surprise that Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s biggest inspiration is George Balanchine. But there’s another choreographer who has also deeply influenced him: Jiří Kylián.
George Balanchine is like ballet royalty. Mention his name to any dance buff, and they’re likely to spout off about the New York City Ballet, the musicality and complexity of his choreography, or perhaps — if they’re a Chautauquan — his influence on Chautauqua’s own School of Dance. Yet those very same people probably wouldn’t be able to detail the Balanchine that came before all the fame and success.
In 1946, acclaimed ballet choreographer George Balanchine found himself with a bit of spare pocket change. After weighing the potential of his possible expenditures, he approached composer Paul Hindemith and asked him to write a chamber score for the piano and strings. One month and $500 later, the celebrated ballet called “The Four Temperaments” was born, a perfect union of Hindemith’s scoring and Balanchine’s choreography.
The iconic image of a tutu-fitted classical ballerina may be legendary, but it’s not permanent.
Chautauqua Dance’s student gala is like a buffet. It serves up a little taste of everything: a sweet smackerel of classical ballet, a fresh morsel of new choreography and a savory glimpse of student performers ranging all across the skill spectrum of dance.
Patricia McBride’s mother enrolled her in dance classes when she was 7 years old because she thought she could use a little more grace. She had no way of knowing that her daughter would someday become a world-renowned ballerina.
Before Week Seven’s focus on “Diplomacy” comes to an end, Chautauqua Dance associate artistic director Mark Diamond will relate diplomacy to Chautauquans in a way no speaker would have attempted.
NCDT dancers will perform Diamond’s “The Decision Maker” to open their final show of the season, which begins at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the Amphitheater. Dancers will be accompanied by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, with guest conductor Grant Cooper.
In 1964, George Balanchine choreographed Tarantella featuring Patricia McBride, now North Carolina Dance Theatre associate artistic director, as the leading lady.
Almost 50 years later, Patricia McBride will restage Tarantella with NCDT dancers Emily Ramirez and Jordan Leeper performing the abstract pas de deux with tambourines in hand. The piece features music by Louis Gottschalk and arranged by Hershy Kay.