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Sallie Wilson Rehearses Lilac Garden (Abstract)

by Mindy Aloff
January 12, 2008
New York, NY

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Editor's note: When it comes to writing, brevity can be as difficult to do well as length. Here, in ExploreDance.com's first formal abstract, Mindy Aloff proves she is a master of both the long and the short of dance writing.
In a ruminative 3,600-word article on www.exploredance.com, Mindy Aloff, a longtime observer of the New York dance scene, describes a rehearsal of Antony Tudor's Lilac Garden that Sallie Wilson conducted with New York Theatre Ballet on Monday, 10 January 2008. The session was part of the preparations for the company's upcoming New York City performances in February.

Ms. Wilson, NYTB's coach and ballet mistress for the past 20 years and, before that, a heralded Tudor ballerina at American Ballet Theater, is presented as a meticulous stager and coach of Tudor's works; Ms Aloff also notes that NYTB's current Lilac Garden cast is the strongest she's seen with this company in her years of watching NYTB's Tudor productions.

At several points in the rehearsal, Ms Wilson is seen to go into considerable detail about the narrative implications of the movement. She leads the cast deeply into Tudor's various levels of metaphor and dramatic motivation. She is also uncompromising when it comes to the mastery of technical matters. She achieves this mastery in part by asking the dancers to repeat the choreography many times.

Ms Wilson's exacting version of Lilac Garden is, Ms Aloff contends, ruthless on behalf of Tudor's ballet and unparalleled in its richness of detail and intensity of feeling.

For the full story, please go to http://www.exploredance.com/article.htm?id=2093.
Sallie Wilson rehearsing 'Lilac Garden' with Kyle Coffman Elena Zahlman

Sallie Wilson rehearsing "Lilac Garden" with Kyle Coffman Elena Zahlman

Photo © & courtesy of Briana Blasko

Sallie and Elena Zahlmann in rehearsal

Sallie and Elena Zahlmann in rehearsal

Photo © & courtesy of Briana Blasko

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