Project NEWS & UPDATES
LEGENDS & LEGACIES Antony B. Tudor Trust Awards Licensing & Permissions to BRIAH Danse
Granted to BRIAH Danse: Antony Tudor’s “Romeo and Juliet,” rarely performed even in excerpt, is cloaked in more perfume and mystery with every passing decade. But it was a truly magical ballet. And so we are in the debt of the New York Theater Ballet for a revival of Romeo’s leave-taking pas de deux from the Tudor work, staged by Ari Hynninen and presented on Friday night at Gould Hall. (American Ballet Theater has also scheduled the pas de deux for its fall season at City Center.)
Created in 1943 for Ballet Theater, this one-act version is set to Delius’s “Walk to the Paradise Garden” rather than the more familiar Prokofiev score. The piece is as typical of Tudor’s distinctive style as it is different from familiar full-blown versions by John Cranko and Kenneth MacMillan.
Here Tudor is as much contemplating young love and youth as he is telling a story. But the story is there, told in quiet, highly contained drama communicated through unstressed small gestures in performances of heart-rending simplicity and delicate precision b
There are no big, ardent lifts and no roaring about the stage, capes fluttering. Instead everything is said through such moments as Juliet touching her eyes with the hem of her dress and Romeo resting his head tenderly in her lap. Shakespeare’s lovers were children, and Tudor remembers that.
Romeo & Juliet will be staged on Sharon Wehner and Domenico Luciano.
The Trust will also set the beautiful Pas de Deus #4 from Leaves Are Fading on Emily Speed and Nicolas Pelletier. To round out the spectrum of Antony Tudor’s choreographic investigations - Fernanda Oliveira will dance an excerpt from Cereus.
BRIAH Danse looks forward to continued collaboration with the Tutor Trust, Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner through the Legacy & Legends Projects in eluding ballets such as ‘Little Improvisations’ - the full development of Romeo & Juliet from archives; Sunflowers, Continuo and others. Follow us!
Antony Tudor/Antony Tudor Trust
Tudor is generally accepted as of the great originals of modern dance forms. Along with George Balanchine, he is seen as a principal transformer of ballet into a modern art, but of a genius that uses, rather than proceeds from, ballet forms. His work is usually considered as modern “psychological” expression, but — like their creator - of austerity, elegance and nobility, remarkably primarily using only classical forms. Mikhail Baryshnikov said, "We do Tudor's ballets because we must. Tudor's work is our conscience." A disciplined Zen Buddhist, Tudor died on Easter Sunday in his residence at the First Zen Institute of America, aged 79.
Thirty of Tudor's dances have been documented in Labanotation by the Dance Notation Bureau. The scores' introductory material contains history of the dances, cast lists, stylistic notes, background on Tudor, and information needed to stage the works (costumes, sets, lighting, music).
The Antony Tudor Ballet Trust was established to continue staging Mr. Tudor’s works. His Last Will and Testament appointed Sally Brayley Bliss as the sole Trustee of his ballets upon his Will submission to The Surrogate’s Court of the State of New York in 1987.
The Trust includes the following répétiterus: Diana Byer, John Gardner, Airi Hymninen, James Jordan, Donald Mahler, Amanda McKerrow, Christopher Newton, Kirk Peterson, David Richardson, Willy Shives, Lance Westwood, Celia Franca (in memoriam) and Sallie Wilson (in memoriam). Tara McBride is the Administrator for the trust.
Amanda McKerrow - Répétiteur
Amanda McKerrow is one of America's most acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the lnternational Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. Since then she has been a recipient of numerous other awards, including the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship. Ms. McKerrow was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and began her ballet training at ! the age of seven at the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland. She later studied with Mary Day at the Washington School of Ballet, where she danced with the company for two years and toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Ms. McKerrow joined the American Ballet Theatre under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1982, was appointed a soloist in 1983, and became a principal dancer in 1987. Her repertoire includes: the leading roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, La Bayadere, Coppelia, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, and The Nutcracker. She has been acclaimed for performances of shorter works by George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Sir Frederick Ashton, Jerome Robbins, and Juri Kilian. Ms. McKerrow has created roles in ballets by choreographers such as Twyla Tharpe, Clark Tippet, lames Kudelka, Agnes DeMille, Choo San Goh, and Mark Morris. She has also appeared as a guest artist throughout the world.
In 2000, together with her husband John Gardner, Ms. McKerrow began working for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, staging and coaching his superlative Leaves Are Fading around the country. She has also staged numerous other ballets for professional companies and schools across the United States. During her last ten years performing as a principal ballerina with the American Ballet Theatre, she spent as much time as she could working with students and young dancers. Upon her retirement from ABT in 2005, she has devoted the majority of her time to teaching and coaching this great art form that she loves so much.
John Gardner - Répétiteur
John Gardner was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and began his ballet training at age 12 with Gwen Ashton in Lafayette, and subsequently trained at the National Academy of Arts in Champagne, Illinois, under the direction of Michael Maule. He received a scholarship to the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) at the age of 16 and joined ABT's second company three months thereafter, in 1977. In 1978 he joined ABT's main company and was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1984. Mr. Gardner's diverse repertoire included many soloist and principal roles, representing an extensive range of styles and giving him the opportunity to work with some of the great ballet choreographers of the 20th century, including Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes DeMille, and George Balanchine.
In 1991, Mr. Gardner joined Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project, affording him the opportunity to work closely with choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, and Martha Graham. Mr. Gardner created numerous roles during his time with the White Oak Dance Project and toured extensively in Europe, the United States, Asia, and South America. He returned to ABT in 1995, where he danced a wide variety of roles with the company until 2002. In 2000, Mr. Gardner, together with his wife Amanda McKerrow, began working for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, staging and coaching his superlative ballet, Leaves are Fading, around the country.
During the course of his career, Mr. Gardner has achieved an excellent reputation as a master teacher and coach for ballet on both the professional and student levels, and has staged numerous ballets for professional companies and schools across the United States.
BRIAH Danse looks forward to more collaborations and presentations from trusts and foundations including: Balanchine Trust, Joffrey/Arpino foundation, Bruce Woods Foundation, Paul Taylor Trust.