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NYCB Vol. 7 No. 8 - La Source

When Balanchine choreographed La Source in 1968 it seemed to confuse everyone including the critics. Although they didn't dislike it, they agreed it wasn't his most compelling work. (At the time it was only a pas de deux and did not include the corps sections) Clive Barnes wrote: "It is certainly a strange work, perhaps strangest of all, the work ends, very gently, with a waltz for the two rather than with the usually accepted flash-bang coda." and P.W. Manchester wrote, "It is rather like waiting with a pleasant sense of expectation for a party and then hearing that there isn't going to be one."

When I watch this ballet for the first time tonight, I'll try to keep Barnes' perspective in mind: "Most [pas de deuxs] represent love in the blaze of the sun, this is rather love in the afternoon, a delicately autumnal love full of soft and fading falls. Part of this is the music, as sweet and yielding as fondants, s outrageously ornate as art nouveau and, above all, mindlessly sensual."

Violette Verdy and John Prinz. Photos by Fred Fehl, 1968.

Harry Randsom Center

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