March 3, 1970
The N. C. Essay
The biggest new concerning the
New York City Ballet's season Is
that there Is a seson. By the time
John Clifford's new ballet made Its
first appearance on Dec. 4, the
company looked as though It had
recovered from Its loss of rehearsal
time. If you will recall the dark
days of November, management de
cided to discontinue rehearsals
because of an impending strike.
Trhough good will and probably in
reaction to the example of a neigh
bor, the Metropolitan Opera, the
orchestra agreed to play v;ithout a
contract, while the ballet scurried
into rehearsal and performance sim
ultaneously. A little crazy and
hectic, but what good fortune.
Clifford's new ballet is called
Reveries3 to four movements of
Tchaikovsky's Suite No. t. I think
of it as two ballets of two movements
each, distinct from each other not
only in tempo and mood but in chore
ographic worth. It is only when
allegro of the last two sections begin
that the ballet becomes successful.
The first section, for the
large part is the most daringly con
ceived in its evocation of nocturnal
melancholy. I admire Clifford's
decision to use only bourees and
ports de bras and then switch sudden
ly to spinning turns and diagonal
runs. But the movements do not
filter into the atmosphere, filling
the stage with mystery or' poetry. It
remains a shell of an environment,
and with such suggestive designs, one
becomes painfully aware of intent un-
Music Playing In Head
(Cont. from page 3)
Sail on silver girl.
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
See. how they shine.
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled water,
I will ease your mind.
Like a bridge over troubled water,
I will ease your mind. *
I suppose I could tell you how
I argue with myself that the lyrics
really aren't that good, but it s a
losing battle. I can't even convince
myself. This is a holy song, one
that is meant to be heard with some
one who means something to you.
Play it and just look around. I really
wish we could all hear this together
sometime; it is one of rock's most
supremely magical moments.
Come together, right now, over me.
The same is true, though less so,
of the romantic second movement,
essentially a pas de deux for Johanna
Kirkland and Conrad Ludlow. Those
high, soaring lifts, which are so
lovely at first, need juxtaposed
movements to make them special,
romantic. The pas de deux suffers
from a self-complacency with its
prettiness and, although it contains
appealing movements, it does not
build to a climax.
The last two movements, which
introduce a delightful Gelsey
Kirkland, are compact, clean, and
crisp. I especially admire the
way Clifford built his finale so
quickly and unassumingly, but with
impact. The entire cast was on the
stage doing "finale" movements before
you knew it, with the preparation
unfolding before your eyes but
somehow before you fully realized
what was happening. Clifford sur
prised us without pulling the wool
over our eyes.
In terms of Clifford's
choreographic career to date, the
allegro sections showed a new
control. There were plenty of
steps to the beat, originality, and
variation without that frantic
thrust so evident in Stravinsky
Symphony and Freludes Fuguey and
Riffs. Clifford finds allegro most
congenial. I now should begin
to invest the adagio character.
While Clifford's choreography
was most assured in the Marche Mili-
taire of Reveriesj Gelsey Kirkland's
piquancy in turn helped Cliff
ord to shine. The interesting point
about this dancer is that her
(aon't aol. S)
ECLISPE CAUSES BLINDNESS
(Cont, from page I)
welders^ glasses are no guarantee.
Five seconds is all it takes.
The process is painless.
The retina isn't sensitive to
pain, so this form of sunburn doesn't
The victim will notice a
blank spot in his field of vision.
That's where the sun used to be.
The victim isn't worried. He thinks
it will go away.
Most of the time, it doesn't.
The blank is in the area that we
use for reading.
All right, so the smoked glass
you used as a child isn't safe...so
you were just lucky...so you don't
want your children taking a chance.
So how do they look at this eclipse
that everybody's so excited about?
The only one safe way...is by
using the pinhole in a cardboard
method, the Society for Prevention of
Start looking for cardboard boxes
now. The demand is going to be fierce.
.con't from pare 2)
In "Figaro" the scene is
from Act. I. Susanna and
Figaro, who are soon to be
married, are trying to outwit
his employer. County Almaviva,
and the designs that he has
on Susanna. Almaviva recently
married Marcellina, Susanna's
mistress; but that does not
bother him, though it does
In the scene she and Su
sanna have anamusing, typically
feminine exchange. Other
players in the scene are the
mischievous, amorous young
Cherubino and Don Basilio, a
The singers in this engag
ing, light-hearted work were
Ellen McLain, Susanna' Elizabeth
Herrick, Marcellina; Lynda Smith,
Cherubino; John Cheek, Figaro;
Neal SchX'/antes, Count Almaviva;
and David Perry, Don Basilio.
Figaro again is a central
character in the Act Two and
Three sequences from the "Bar
Here he is acting as inter
mediary between R,osina and his
friend Count Almaviva.
The singers were Lunda
Austin as Rosina in the Act II
duet and Aria, Marise Ettesen
as Rosina in the Act III quin
tette, Johnny Williams as Fig
aro in the duet and aria, Neal
Schwantes as. Figaro in the
quintette, Donald Cranfill as
Bartolo, John Cheek as Don Ba
silio and Virgil Lonergan as
The Chabrier work recounts
the story of a count who has
been tutored in everything
except how to conduct his wed
Don Litaker was the count,
Kay Lowe, the bride, and Johnny
Williams the tutor.
( from ool. 2)
NEW YORK CITY BALLET
bubbly qualities and youthful spring
have a mature cast. She is not a
souberette; indeed, she brought a
new dignity, and fatalism to "Dances
At A Gathering.," So, I thought, did
Karin von Aroldinzen in the first
part of "Liebeslieder Walzer",,
though she has still to find the
combination of simplicity and
largesge needed for the final move
ment of Episodes. .Other momeAts
of new*^eautyV promised or 'full'^’ ’
blown, this season: Kay Mazzo's
Adagio in "Sjnnphony in C," Susan
Hendl in the corps of "Episodes","
Verdy's and Villella's solos in
"Dances at a Gethering", and Mc
Brides softer lines in“everything.
*1969 - Paul Simon