A Tribute To Diaghilev

In 2009, ballet companies around the world are celebrating the the 100th anniversary of the first performance by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes

Diaghilev Tribute

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Diaghilev Tribute

In 2009, ballet companies around the world are celebrating the the 100th anniversary of the first performance by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The Indiana University Ballet Theater presents their Diaghilev Tribute on Friday and Saturday, October 9-10, 2009. There’s choreography by Balanchine, Department chair Michael Vernon and Bronislava Nijinska.

Veteran dancer, choreographer and stage director Howard Sayetteis staging Les Noces with music of Stravinsky.

“I was very fortunate during my career to work with the Ballet Russes and so to learn this repertoire with the company that did the original performances. I should tell you right at the beginning that Les Noces is a very difficult piece. “

“For one thing the physical requirements are a bit daunting. It takes four pianos, a battery of percussion a substantial chorus and some very accomplished solo singers.  Often companies run into problems simply with the difficulty of moving the instruments  into place without an extensive delay.”

“Then there’s the music itself. Stravinsky’s setting is a very demanding one and it takes very skilled musicians. I’ve been very impressed with our conductor Carmen Helena Téllez and very pleased that she took time to come to some of the dance rehearsals to get an even better feel for the meshing of music and dance.”

“And if these two difficulties weren’t daunting enough, there’s the choreography. Bronislava Nijnska made her dance in dance moves not in musical measures or bars. The dancers are frequently working with moves that don’t really have direct support from a beat or pulse. Fortunately, the Indiana University dancers are also all music students. Without that background, we wouldn’t have the success that we’re having.”

Valse Fantasie by Mikhail Glinka/ Balanchine

Jeux by Claude Debussy/ Michael Vernon

Les Noces by Igor Stravinsky/Bronislava Nijinska

October 9 and 10, 2009

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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