In Balanchine's Classroom
Co-presented with Houston Ballet
with Connie Hochman
Available virtually across Texas for 72 hours beginning Nov 20 at 7:30pm. Followed by a Q&A with director Connie Hochman and members of Houston Ballet. Co-presented with Houston Ballet.
Also available for free Nov 14 at 7:30pm at Discovery Green, for more information visit here.
In Balanchine's Classroom takes us back to the glory years of Balanchine’s New York City Ballet through the remembrances of his former dancers and their quest to fulfill the vision of a genius. Opening the door to his studio, Balanchine’s private laboratory, they reveal new facets of the groundbreaking choreographer: taskmaster, mad scientist, and spiritual teacher. Today, as his former dancers teach a new generation, questions arise: what was the secret of his teaching? Can it be replicated?
Filled with never before seen archival footage of Balanchine at work, along with interviews with many of his adored and adoring dancers and those carrying on his legacy today, this is Balanchine as you have never seen him. This film will thrill anyone interested in the intensity of the master-disciple relationship and all who love dance, music, and the creative process.
|Country, Year||United States, 2021|
|Cast||Jacques d'Amboise, Merrill Ashley, Gloria Govrin, Suki Schorer, Edward Villella, Heather Watts|
|Runtime||88 MINS, SECS|
Connie Hochman was a professional ballet dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet where she performed many Balanchine masterworks. In 2007, Connie began a series of interviews with former Balanchine dancers – ninety in all – to explore the phenomenon of Balanchine’s classroom. Why did he teach and not just choreograph? What did he teach? How did he teach? How did his daily class relate to his ballets? Their remembrances of his unorthodox methods and transformative teaching form the basis of In Balanchine’s Classroom.
In addition to the oral histories, Connie launched an extensive and painstaking search for visuals that would bring the story to life. Over years, she discovered a trove of never before-seen archival footage of Balanchine in America. With approval from The George Balanchine Trust, Connie traveled around the country and to Europe to film Balanchine’s former dancers staging his ballets, teaching class, and passing on their knowledge to today’s generation.
As a first-time filmmaker, Connie consulted with Louis Psihoyos (The Cove, Chasing Extinction), and Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine (Ballets Russes, The Galapagos Affair), each of whom offered guidance and helped her form the creative team behind In Balanchine’s Classroom.