when Sascha Radetsky’s new novel, which he is penning while a Fellow at the NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts and which reportedly is set in the ballet world, gets a publication date.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Fiction can be oh-so revealing because it is, well, “ f i c t i o n ” with a lot of space between the letters. We wonder what the title will be. How about It’s Time to Dance to the Music, Jack.
Here is how all the Fall 2015 recipients will be spending their fellowships, per an NYU press release:
Radetsky will work on a novel set in the ballet world.
John Selya will choreograph a new play, Après Moi, "which tells the story of a gifted young dancer and her struggle to ascend in a renowned classical ballet company." The play, written by Catherine Cantrell, has been kicking around for a couple of years and has had a creative team with familiar faces: Selya, Tom Gold, Martin Harvey, Amanda Hankes, Cassandra Trenary, Stephen Hanna, Ben Houghton, Matt Porretta, Florence Phillips. It’s a “story” about what happened when Balanchine died and a star dancer took over the direction of the company. Lots of people have strong opinions about what has happened in the years since Balanchine died, most notably the person who is handing out the fellowship money, but whether it will make a compelling play for an audience other than “insiders” and "wanna-seem-to-be insiders" who want to argue about it remains to be seen.
Juliet Bellow’s "project 'Rodin’s Dancers: Moving Toward the Limits of Sculpture,' will center on the role that dance and dancers played in the development of a modernist sculptural aesthetic.”
Joseph Horowitz "will focus on the study of performance tradition in Russian Opera and Ballet with the goal of developing a vocabulary for comparing performance practice in opera and ballet, facilitating cross-disciplinary inquiry into traditional Russian practice.”
Tarik O’Regan "will work on the orchestral score for Mata Hari, a full-length ballet based on the life of dancer, so-called courtesan and alleged World War I Spy, Margaretha Zell MacLeod.”
Jed Perl "will study how dance inspired the work of American sculptor Alexander Calder.”
Basil Twist “will explore the choreography of inanimate materials and 'what makes something a ballet even if it is devoid of human dancers.’ "
Marina Warner "will explore the deep affinity fairy tales enjoy with ballet and, in collaboration with pianist Joanna MacGregor and choreographer Kim Brandstrup, will be creating a new work on the theme of water, taken from eastern and western medieval sources.”
Something good is bound to come out of this NYU program sooner or later. There are a lot of interesting ideas gelling among dance creative types.