In case you don’t watch PBS (or whatever your region calls it), they have a great series called Live from Lincoln Center. Since PBS is SO AWESOME, they also have everything available online. For free. For basically ever.
One of the more recent episodes was all about the School of American Ballet Student Workshop. When I saw the words “School of American Ballet” in my listings I almost peed from excitement then and there. Needless to say, I’m a Balanchine fan. But having never seen NYCB live (or even all the way through on video), I knew that this would be the closest I would get while sitting on my couch.
With my DVR set to record, I anxiously awaited the morning that the title would appear in my List. Settling down with my coffee, I devoured this program. To my surprise, the first number performed was Tchaikovsky’s Serenade, choreographed by Mr. B. Which, is my absolute favorite*. The moment I hear the opening chords, I get chills and have to stop what I’m doing to find out where it’s coming from. THIS. PIECE. IS. PERFECTION. The music, the costumes, the steps, OH ITS SO GOOD. And yes, I’m yelling it at you.
(*I assume that it would be my favorite if I ever saw it in real life. But either way I’m obsessed with it.)
Next up is sections from Coppelia, Swan Lake, and one of the movements from Western Symphony. All equally excellent (and choreographed by Balanchine), especially the excerpt from Swan Lake, because the part with Odette and the Cygnets is what’s up. But I was so blown away by Serenade in its entirety, that I have since watched the whole program at least five times. At least.
[source for all three dance stills]
These kids, because they are actually kids, are phenomenal athletes and artists. Do they need a little bit more depth in their emotion? Sure. Could they use a few years in the corps to refine? Yeah, why not. But they look and act like professionals, which is amazing to me.
|Rehearsal for Western, which literally looks like The Most fun.|
Just for you, I dug up the link to watch this online. You’ll find it here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Or hell, even half as much would probably be an appropriate amount. Even if you don’t love Balanchine, having a FREE 60 minute plus video of professional caliber performance is worth your time.