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December 05, 2012

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I agree completely, Haglund. The book was touted as having a gorgeous, real silk cover and having been printed by the best photographic printer in England. What a waste of silk and paper! The cover is ugly and the book is cumbersome. I can see the value of a few photos taken while the dancers were in motion, but almost the entire collection? Notice that the bloody, bandaged toes are crystal-clear. They want to make sure you know how ravaging (not ravishing) pointe work is.

Angelica, I agree with you. It is a shame, because Leutwyler's portraits are so remarkable. I made the mistake of expecting the same quality in his book. No wonder Amazon bailed on carrying it. They were trying to do us a favor.

What a shame. I'm sorry it turned out disappointing for you, Haglund. I knew you were looking forward to it.

Hi Kit. At least I didn't pay full price. But I've heard from others who did pay full price and are not especially happy about it. Live and learn.

Agreed completely.

I went to the presentation of the book a short while back at the Koch theater. A fairly
large crowd (with Martins hovering in the back). He only showed maybe 10 photos (which was odd in itself) and W Whelan kept talking about how great they were but I did not care for them all. Motion blur. Yes, I get it for 1 shot. However, the entire point is to show me, among other things, what I can't see with my naked eye. I want the motion frozen. Instead this guy tells me that's "boring.".

Not impressed at all. 30 days backstage access to NYCB and you show me motion blur.

Hi Moods. Thanks for the report on the event at the Koch. The images from the book that are being flashed around on the internet and in Times Square look better than the images in the book. They're not as dark and smeared.

I wonder if Wendy or any of the others talking up this book actually forked out $65-$100 of their own money to buy it. Perhaps they would like to buy ours.

Haglund - I'm sorry to hear that the Leutwyler book is a disappointment.

This gives me the opportunity to recommend going to the Martha Swope exhibit at the NYPL Performing Arts library. Outstanding. Most poignant (to me) are the programs from ABT and NYCB from the 1970s, with pictures of soloists and corps members, now alas forgotten. Do you remember Gail Israel, Roni Mahler, and Ian Horvath?

Swope was a wonderful photographer. There is a quote from her at the entrance, where she says (I'm paraphrasing) that she's a craftsman, the dancers in front of her are the artists. A generous statement but I don't agree: she was an artist.

Hi Diana. I saw the Martha Swope exhibit a few weeks ago and loved it. My favorite picture was of the West Side Story production team standing and sitting against the wall of the studio watching.

It looked like Leutwyler was trying to achieve the style of the old pictures that were too dark and grainy because that was the best they could do then. There are a few nice photos in the book, but for the most part, they're not so great.

From the U.K. Daily Mail Online:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2246204/Behind-scenes-New-York-City-Ballet-Photographer-spent-years-capturing-grace-poise-dancers.html#comments

The readers' reactions to the photos are uniformly negative.

Update 12/13 - Wow, the Online Daily Mail actually deleted the five published negative comments about the photos accompanying the article and closed the comment section. Wow.

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