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NYCB Vol. 3 No. 21 - Pulcinella

(1/2) For the 1972 Stravinsky Festival, Balanchine and Robbins co-choreographed a production of Pulcinella which was admittedly under-rehearsed and was presented as a work in progress. It was lovingly called “a great, sloppy concoction” and a “wildly disorganized work” by dance critics who felt it had lots of potential for future seasons after it was finished. However, one element was a screaming success that first night: Balanchine and Robbins themselves danced in the ballet as “beggars”!

“These distinguished gentlemen having a grand old time as rapscallion cronies justified the fanfare accorded Pulcinella.” --Nancy Goldner

I can’t even imagine the way the audience must have reacted when they realized who was dancing under those masks!

Balanchine and Robbins, 1972.

All photos by Martha Swope


(2/2) “As usual, some of Balanchine’s finest moments have been lost—those occurring in rehearsal when he was demonstrating the part for Villella. Violette Verdy said, ‘One day I was watching with Lincoln Kirstein. We turned to each other, practically with tears in our eyes because it was so touching.’ “ — Nancy Reynolds

When I came across these pictures, I felt what Violette felt. You can’t help but smile watching Balanchine rehearse this ballet with his dancers.

Click here to browse 170 more Pulcinella images by Martha Swope!

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