For The Record

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"What will we do today?" "We'll try to take over the world, using Roses, Champagne, and Ballet" (;-)

This For The Record Page Seeks to Record The Historical Facts In A Convenient Place
It is being written by Webmaster Chic. I am not a dancer, but I am a devoted balletomane, and I love the Boston Ballet. I really miss Saturday Nights at the Ballet in Boston. As Bernard Cardinal Law said "After Boston, there is only Heaven." - I hope I quoted him correctly with my poor memory.

In the vernacular, it seeks to act as a reminder, to set the record straight, and to give credit where credit is due. (;-)

Cecily wrote in her blog: "Some sources readily available to anyone browsing or searching the Internet seem to suggest that Virginia does not deserve credit for the International recognition the Company now gets, and that the kudos should go to those who came later, and NOT to Virginia. I say, there is enough praise to go around for everyone in the Lineage; I say, denying anything to Virginia is pure poppycock, and, small minded, wishful thinking by those who may be unattractively insecure."

Cecily continued: "Make no mistake, E. Virginia Williams did put the International Stamp on the Boston Ballet, with great flair and with great success, from the very beginning. How did she do that, with modest financial resources and antiquated technical support? Remember, there were no cell phones, no Internet resources, no voice mail, and in fact, no personal computers at all!!!. She hired Internationally acclaimed Guest Artists to dance with her Company - with me and all my peers at the time - and Top Talent wherever she so skillfully spotted it. Among the international stars she brought, and with whom I danced, under Virginia's tutelage, are Margot Fonteyn, Natalia Makarova, Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragen, Ivan Nagy, Violette Verdy, Carla Fracci. And American international stars included Edward Villella, Jacques D'Amboise, Patricia McBride, Maria Tallchief, and Suzanne Farrell."

Here is the first paragraph of the article Boston Ballet History on the company's website.

Boston Ballet, founded in 1963 by E. Virginia Williams, was the first professional repertory ballet company in New England. Boston Ballet’s national and international reputation developed under the leadership of Artistic Directors Violette Verdy (1980-1984), Bruce Marks (1985-1997), and Anna-Marie Holmes (1997-2000).

Hmmm... Just one line to the founding, teaching, creating, and gloriously succeeding!

Doesn't that paragraph say that Boston Ballet's national and international reputation did not begin under E. V. Williams aegis? That's nuts! Cecily dearly loves, admires, and respects Violette Verdy, Bruce Marks, and Anna-Marie Holmes!!! Throughout much of that period, Cecily and I had season's tickets for Saturday night at the Ballet.

I remember early in Bruce Marks tenure, that Bruce, who did a fantastic job, was being skewered, and the Boston Ballet dancers were being denigrated, on a weekly basis, by the Boston Globe's Dance reviewer, Christine Temin. The performances were wonderful, and at the same time, attendance was low and falling. Cecily wrote an article for the Globe entitled "Hooray Boston Ballet, Boo Boston Globe." She did a complete analysis of each of Miss Temin's scathing points, and wrote a marvelous review of the sensational dancing that week by this outstanding company. Some readers wrote in and suggested the Globe boot Miss Temmen and hire Cecily. (;-) Right after her article appeared, attendance grew, continuously and monotonically. You should also read her many references to this out outstanding group of Artistic Directors on this blog and on Cecily's professional blog. As a participant and witness, Cecily insists it is ridiculous to deny that it all began under E. Virginia Williams!

Let's be fair, dear gentle reader. The Boston Ballet Company is fabulous and may it continue to grow and thrive. But, in the History of the Company, only one sentence about the founder, one of the most amazing women of the 20th Century? Does that make any sense at all?

Where is the lovely piece written by that lovely ballet dancer, Emily Gresh on the 40th anniversary of the company? Has it been completely purged from the BB website?

In fairness, I should add that Christine Temin has written what sounds like a fabulous book about the BB that has received accolades and I am dying to read it, and to see the photography of a Nobel Prizewinner! Brava and Bravo!!

Behind the Scenes at Boston Ballet

Contributors: Christine Temin (author), Wally Gilbert (photographs)
Format: Hardback, 254 x 178 x 20mm , 240 pp, 32 colour & 35 b/w photos
Publication date: 15 Apr 2009
Publisher: University Press of Florida
ISBN-10: 0813033535 EAN: 9780813033532

For centuries, ballet companies have been transporting audiences beyond their workaday worlds, one performance at a time. A layperson who sees a ballerina perform in Swan Lake may be thrilled or impressed - may imagine the hours of rehearsal that lie behind each performance or understand something about the demands made on a dancer - but many who appreciate ballet remain unacquainted with all the steps, parts, people, and money that must come together for a world-class company to complete a season of performances. Beyond the flash of lights onstage is a world of physical trainers and fundraisers, artistic directors and executive boards, all laboring to ensure that the show goes on. In this unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the life of a company, former "Boston Globe" dance critic Christine Temin and photographer Wally Gilbert present a compelling portrait of the Boston Ballet. Their evocative prose and penetrating photography turn the spotlight on all the elements - from toe shoes and costumes to rehearsals and revenue - that come together (or fall apart) in a season. "Boston Ballet", in turn, makes a perfect study: after a rash of mysterious firings and defections in the early 2000s, the company seems to have moved past the controversy with a new artistic director and a new schedule of international performances. Its story highlights the tremendous amount of work and energy that goes in before the curtain can rise. This book presents a photographic portrait of an entire ballet season.

"An amazing book. Temin is a crackerjack journalist, and this book touches on every hot-button issue that is relevant to ballet companies today." - Mindy Aloff "

Temin and Gilbert have given us a long-overdue libretto for a ballet about a ballet company. Players on both sides of the proscenium will find Behind the Scenes at Boston Ballet a real page-turner!" - Toba Singer, author of First Position"

Author Biography:
Christine Temin was a staff writer and dance critic for the Boston Globe for more than twenty-five years.
Wally Gilbert is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Gotta run.. A big rainbow against the Catalina Mountains.. Bye.