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'Ballet 422' Doc Getting Commercial Cinema Distribution Release ..

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  • 5 weeks later...

Just a brief note.  I sent an email yesterday courtesy of NYCB to Ellen Bar to thank her for the wonderful programme she arranged for the Guggenheim Works & Process programme based in/on and around Justin Peck's Heatscape.  Within but a few hours I got a glorious and full response from Ms. Bar herself.  Ms. Bar was of late a fine NYCB soloist and you may also remember her as being the leading force (i.e., Executive Producer) behind the very fine NY Export: Opus Jazz film.  She is now head of Media Projects for NYCB.  In my note I asked if Ballet 422 would be shown in any format in Europe.  If I might I will quote Ms. Bar's kind response to but that specific inquiry:  (Happily it falls within the BcoF three sentence guideline.)

We are also actively working on foreign distribution for BALLET 422, and hopefully something will work out in the UK!  It is always helpful for distributors and broadcasters to hear directly from their audience, so if you have the time, it never hurts to write BBC Four or similar and let them know that you’d like to see this film.


I think it would be grand if this work - Ballet 422 - a cinéma vérité film about the development of Peck's ballet 'Paz de la Jolla'; a documentary which has already been well received in a variety of festivals - could be seen here.  If you found yourself remotely interested and knew anyone who you might touch base with - i.e., for whom you felt this work might be appropriate in terms of its UK/European display - I know your knowing note of support would be keenly appreciated. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

An interesting annotation of but one scene in Ballet 422 by its director as presented by the NYT here.  In the dancing of this segment you get a clear indication (or at least I do) of the association with Ashton as Macaulay drew in today's NYT review of Peck's new Rodeo for NYCB which premiered on 4th February.  But three sentences from that same:


But it’s this male quintet that brings Mr. Peck’s most haunting poetry. The way in which its five men lyrically — in overlapping melodic lines — share one mood, partner one another, give complex dance voice to one unbroken, slow, expansive feeling strikes me as something unprecedented in choreography. Its nearest parallels lie in the work of Frederick Ashton and Mark Morris; for City Ballet, it’s a breakthrough in style.

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There are now a few very brief clips of Peck's Rodeo on the NYCB website here


It would be grand if perhaps one day the RB could do something like this.  I'm sure the men would appreciate/benefit from the classical discipline in a dance that both stealthily keeps to the balletic idiom and yet makes it somehow seem contemporary (as in the first - and longest - clip).  (I have a feeling something like this would suit Muntagirov very well indeed - or Matthew Ball.  Taylor Stanley looks sublime in the second clip.  I could well imagine Sambe or Hay in something akin to that same.)  I very much admired the sense of space in that small PDD segment (no 3 on the page).  As in all that Peck does musicality is key - so different, say, from the clinical edge of McGregor.  The patting on the floor (in the first clip) made me think of the Acosta passion for percussion.  Blessedly I haven't read any reports in which it is noted that the NYCB company vocalise in Peck's Rodeo.  (Guess they leave that to West Side Story Suite ... especially now that the caller from Square Dance has disappeared.  At least in the Robbins they have the added bonus of assistance from Bernstein/Sondheim .... and the safe knowledge that it sprung from the original root.

Edited by Bruce Wall
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