When I daydream about Antony Tudor, I instantly picture his signature works: Leaves Are Fading, Dark Elegies and Jardin Aux Lilas. But with successful creation comes clear instruction; something I often forget when “cooing” over great choreography.
In 1951, Tudor became the Director of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and one of the first faculty members in the dance department at The Juilliard School. After 12 years at the Met Opera, he remained on faculty at Juilliard and traveled around the world to teach.
Now, two years after his centennial celebration, The Antony Tudor Ballet Trust has released a book and DVD set commemorating his life. The book feels like a scrapbook of memories, collaged with photos and hand written entries of those that were closest to him. On video, students from New York Theatre Ballet and American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School demonstrate ballet combinations and dancers of ABT II and The Juilliard School perform excerpts of his work. What resonates most is Tudor’s importance as a teacher. The theme, from the barre to the stage, centers around his life as an educator. It’s about the finesse of Tudor—how he taught and how that molded his work.
“Once there was a ballerina who lifted her legs behind her ears—literally behind her ears. He stood himself in front of her and said: ‘This is not poetry, darling.’” says Pina Bausch in the book.
The book and DVD set is available on The Trust’s website. All proceeds will be donated toward an endowed Tudor scholarship at The Juilliard School. http://www.antonytudor.org/store.html