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Ballets: Serenade

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As I understand, this ballet is in four musically distinct sections: [Opening, forgot the real name], Russian, Finale, and Elegie (in the music, Finale comes last, but in the ballet, it's third). So anyway, using this system of division, are there guy roles in all four of the sections, or just a few? What sections would those be?

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There are two principal men (Waltz and Elegy) and four corps de ballet men who appear at the end of the ballet. I seem to remember the corps men being called "the blueberries" perhaps because of the color of their costumes. Did anyone else who danced in this ballet remember them being called this, or was it just SFB in the 70s and 80s? I danced the "Jump Girl", one of three solo women in the ballet....beautiful ballet and my favorite Balanchine work.

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Leslie Peck has staged it at Harid and she too calls the corps boys, "the blueberries". I do not believe it on a commercial DVD.

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It was broadcast in its entirety once, but the video was not commercially released. The sections are called: Sonatina, Waltz, Tema Russe, and Elegy. There are four men as stated above. In the original version, there was only one. Balanchine tinkered as men became more available over the years.

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If I am not qualified to post on this thread, please delete. I just wanted to add that significant portions of "Serenade" can be found on the new "Bringing Balanchine Back" DVD, although it is not in its entirety.

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vrsfanatic, I once met Leslie Peck when I was guesting at PNB one Christmas. She was a lovely dancer, and I thought very highly of her. How wonderful that Harid danced Serenade staged by Leslie Peck...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Does anyone know what the "casting names" are for this ballet? Or how many of each are cast? I've done some research on ballet talk & google & what I came up with was:


3 Lead Girls: Waltz Girl, Dark Angel, Jump Girl (Is this the one that dances with Russians?)

4 men?

Aspirin girls? Anyone know how many?

Russians? Four?


How many are in the corps? Are any of the above ever included in the corps number?

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We (SFB in the 70s and early 80s) called the lead women the Waltz girl, the Elegy girl, and the Jump girl. There are two solo men, the waltz and the elegy; four corps de ballet men (the Blueberries). The Russian girls (four women) dance with (in my time) the Jump girl during one section of the ballet, the Russian dance. Sometimes the women's roles/entrances might be interchangable. When Patricia McBride guested with us once, Ms. McBride danced one of my usual entrances (I was the Jump girl). It could be that the ADs were trying to have Ms. McBride on stage as much as possible for this particular performance. The Russians are danced by four corps de ballet women. I am not certain of exactly how many corps de ballet women there are in total, but I believe there are sixteen. I have no idea what Aspirin girls are!

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The nicknames for the various women in "Serenade" have been imparted over time by audience and dancers alike. They change. There are actually seventeen women, which inspired the unique arrangement of the dancers at curtain-rise. Balanchine had to choreograph depending on how many dancers could actually make it to rehearsal while the ballet was being made. I never heard of "Aspirin Girls" either, although I bet that there's a story there.

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Aspirin girls are the five girls who walk en pointe linked together with their hand going to their head like they have a headache. It is during the first movement of the ballet.

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