New-York Tribune from New York, New York on February 20, 1921 · Page 68
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New-York Tribune from New York, New York · Page 68

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 20, 1921
Page 68
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Social Lead ers New Jersey Farm to See the Begin ning of What Is Hoped To Be a New Art M By Hannah Mitchell ADE-IN-AMERICA danc? ing *3 the most recent interest of New York so sidered complete until he had studied abroad. To-day this is not so, and if a man or woman would stay true to his or her country in his or her ?l?ty women. A certain feeling that | Pain*ing or sculpture, he or she ?W native talent should be de? veloped in this country ia behind a movement which it ia hoped will re? sult in something approaching a na? tional school. Music, painting, sculpture may be scudied in America, it is granted. But dancing must have some foreign tinge to put it over. At least that aeems to be the situation. The ex? perience of Mme. Desir6e Lubovska in getting before the American pub lic may be taken as more or less ;.ypical of what the American j_*irl who ia a dancer has to confront. Had To Be Russian "If I had depended upon my American name I should have starved," said Mme. Lubovska last week. "The managers admitted that my dancing pleased them, and that they thought it would take with the public. But they insisted that I must be a Russian. It would amuse you to see the number of times I have been described as a Russi.- n. My temperament, my talent, every? thing about me has been explained all over this country by my Russian birth. "It was a necessity, I suppose, but I feel that it is time Americans rec? ognized their own talent and the pos jibilities for training in their own country. In this I do not dispute the fact that travel benefits any artist. If you are working on a certain line, you should know everything you can about that line. And you should take every opportunity for travel which is offered or which you can :nake yourself." The National American Ballet, Inc, will be headed by Mme. Lubov .ska, the American dancer with a Russian name. It has the germ of an idea for training American dancers in America which those in? terested in it hope will develop into such an institution as the Russian Ballet School in Russia. Its pur? pose is stated: A National Ballet "The purpose of the proposed Na? tional American Ballet, Inc, is to give to this country an institution for the foster ing, developJng and training of American students de voted to the art of dancing. Such an institution would be to America what the imperial ballet was to old Russia, and the National Ballet movement is in Great Britain. "The plan is to create in New York City a center where all Amer? ican students of dancing may meet for special training in various de? partments of the ballet. The organi? zation will conduct a training school where girls who givo evidence of talent will be accepted and trained for public appearance. "The departments of dancing in the school will consist of: (A) Greek, (B) Toe Ballet, (C) Classic, (D) Folk, (E) Dramatic, interpreta tive, (F) Grecian Calisthenics and Games, (G) Pantomime, (H) His? tory and Meaning of Music, (I) De aigning of Costumes, Scenery and Lighting Effects." An inaugural demonstration will be given in the Town Hall on Fri? day evening, February 25. This pro? gram will give something of an idea of what the school's potentialities are: Mrs. Alexander's Support Among the well known New York women who are interested in this movement for a school for American dancers Mrs. John W. Alexander is one of the first. In the light of her husband's belief in American artists and their possibilities for being trained in thia country, it is not sur prising to flnd Mrs. Alexander inter? ested in such a movement as the Na? tional American Ballet. The late John W. Alexander, who for years waa pm?ident of the National Acad? emy of Design, had ample opportu nities to compare the progress of ar? tistie development in this country with that in other countries. What he had to say on this subject was almost prophetic of the belief which hia wife and other women interested have in the ballet school. "America has a national art," said Mr. Alexander. "The feeling in the canvases produced by those of this <*untry prove this beyond a doubt, and the influence of foreign schools ehat was once so dominant in the pictures made here is waning. Both men and women have seized upon the ?ital points of American life and are eccpressing their ideas in a virile, fresih manner that would be impos? sible if they had not achieved a feel Ing intensely one of their own en -ironment brought forth by the life! in our cities and surrounding jQuntry. "If you remember, some years ago j a acuuen*'* education waa not con-j Ji/J RS. JOHN iri W. ALEX? ANDER, who has given her support to the new school should lay the firm foundation of future work right here. "When studying abroad the influ? ence of the foreign environment is strong. Here the surroundings are vividly American?commercialism in its highest sense, that of strength and power; the great construction that is going on, and the great up building of our country, lead the student to produce work that speaks of the nation clear and true. I would advise any young American who wishes to become a painter to spend a number of years studying at home, taking, if he can, trips about his own country, for there are few who really know their United States and few who can feel its vast strength; and not until his? whole being is filled with a love and thor ough knowledge of this his country should he go abroad." Mr. Alexander's statement rela tive to American art in 1915 was prophetic of the feeling which these American women have regardir" American dancing to-day. The sum? mer home planned for the ballet te particularly in line with this belief in America as a background for its art of any kind. A typical American country home has been chosen for the school in summer time. It is over in New Jersey near one of the main pikes, to make it accessible by automobile, but far enough off the beaten trail to make seclusion and privacy pos? sible. The country piace is in that historic part of New Jersey not far from the ?pots where Revolutionary battles were fought. It is American with tradition as well as present feeling. In a Rural Setting There the students of the dance will live the life of healthy out-of door country girls throu?fc the sum? mer. The farm will furnish them with much of their food and the plan is to hold pageants and dances out of doors. The house itself is par jticularly adapted to the purposes | of the school, having two large halls ! which lend themselves tp the prac? tice dancing. Mme. Lubovska be? lieves in heaith as one of the pre requisites to good dancing. The summers in the country will put her pupils into splendid condition for the fall season. Soeiety girls with a turn for classic dancing have become inter? ested in the proposed national ballet school. M^ny of them already have ->howh themselves apt as amateurs and in most cases their ambitions will not go further. Their interest is bent on an improvement' in danc? ing, and they believe that Americans have enough originality to develop their own school. The patronesses of the American ballet include Mrs. Fritz Achelis, Mra. Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Mrs. Edmund Shippen Barnes, Mrs. Hugh H. Baxter, Mrs. Charles L. Baylis, Mrs. William B. Beekman, Miss Grace Bigelow, Mra. Wilbur A. Bloodgood, Mrs. Ceorge M. Bodman, Mrs. Carl F. Boker, Mrs. Howard S. Borden, Mre. Henry G. Bartel, Back Plan for an American J\JEW JERSEY 1 v farmhousc that is io be the home of the N ationa l American Ballet School pOUR poses by Mme. Lubovska, who will start an American school of danc? ing under the patronage of New York so? ciety leaders Mra. M. Shannon-Bowen,' Mrs. George L. Cheney, Mrs. A. Arthur Stanley Clarke, Mrs. Henry E. Coe, Mrs. Leland Cofer, Miss Anna S. Constable, Miss Eleanor de Graff Cuyler, Mrs. Gano Dunn, Mrs, Har? ry Harkness Fiagler, Mrs. Charles D. Freeman, Mrs. Minnie Maddern Fiske, Mrs. Robert Hartshorne, Mrs. J. Amory Haskell, Miss Annie Burr Jennings, Mrs. Gustavus T. Kirby, Mrs. George T. Knight, Mrs. Barent Lefferts, Mrs. Gerrish H. Milliken, Mrs. Lancaster Morgan, Mrs. Wil? liam McAdoo, Mrs. Henry Forbes McCreer'y, Mrs. David Randali-Mac Iver, Mrs. Edward McVickar, Mrs. Samuel H. Ordway, Mrs. David Mc? Alpin Pyle, Mrs. Charles L. Riker, Mrs. Hilborne L. Roosevelt, Mrs! Julian W. Robbins, Mrs. Douglas Robinson, Mrs. Robert Beaver Smith, Miss Marie L. Russell, Mrs. James Speyer, Mrs. Arthur Terry, Mrs. John T. Terry, Mrs. Charles H. Thierrot, Mrs. Ailen Tucker, Mra. Howard van Sinderen, Mrs. .Alfred Wagstaff and Mrs. Huntington Mer? ehant. Tbe Advisory Board The advisory board of the Na? tional American Ballet is made up of Desiree Lubovska, Mrs. John W. Alexander, Mrs. Langdon Geer, Mana-Zucca, Mrs. D. Callimahos, Mrs. Theodore E. Steinway, Mrs. Troy Kinney, Mrs. Bernhart Wall, Miss Grace R. Henry, Bernhart Wall, Theodore E. Steinway, Troy Kinney, Vietor Herbert, Alexander Leftwich, S. L. Rothafel and the Rev. D. Callimahos. D. Willard Foote is the secretary of the organ? ization and W. Herbert .Adams the! adviser. "Many phases of art are involved ln the plans for tlie work of the ballet," said Mrs. Alexander, "dec? oration, muaic and drama, The stage i is one of the best vehicles for reach? ing a great number of people. I heartily believe in this movement, which will, I believe, offer some? thing in the way of education through the stage." Mrs. Theodore Steinway w&a mott emphatic as to the good she believes j will come of a definite movement to create something di3tinctly Ameri-; can in dancing. "It is high time that something j was done on the Atlantic coast to further dancing aa an art in Amer-' ica," said Mrs. Steinway. "We all know of the suecessful schools and their productions in the West. It -seems to me that the plans of the National American Ballet should carry the work even further." In order to establish the ballet school and to serve notice of what it is to be, the inaugural demon? stration will be given at the Town Hall next Friday. Besides Mme. Lubovska a number of other dancers will take part in this program. Among these is Marie Le Brun, an Ameriean-born dancer of French descent. Further plans of the school are to send on tour each year a ballet performance. The dancers chosen for these excursions wil] be American young women of ambition and talent who are fast be? coming recognized artists of talent and ability equally worthy of rec? ognition with artists brought from other countries. Mme. Lubovska herself is at pres? ent one of the most interesting figures connected with the new proj? ect. She is tail and willowy, after the manner of many dancers. She lias her art well in command and has studied even the minutest detail connected with it. "Personally I hope that the school will be an outlet for American girls of talent in dancing. It seems to me that it should make it possible for the American dancer to get a hearing as an American dancer. As a teacher I am interested only in young men and women who are serious-minded in their work. These young people should have the oppor? tunity for study and should be able to look forward to an outlet for their talent when they have finished the preliminary work. "Dancing has as many ramifica tions as any of the other arta. in fact, it involves more. Technique is Ballet Schoo Women Prominent in New Society Act as Patronesses of National American Ballet the necessary basis for any art. Fol? lowing that, the dancer must have some sort of a philosophy to make her individual. "In primitive times the dance was A/fRS. LANGDON GEER, * -* one of the advisory board of the National Amer ican Ballet used to interpret emotional relation? ship with the phenomena of nature. Dancing was the center of tribal life, and the basis of modern dancing was built on music and religious cere? mony. Dancing was a universal lan? guage. "The dancer should feel the dig nity of the art he or she interprets. The public must be made to feel it. The modern dancer seeks to express to the audience not only surface emo tions but their deeper significance as well. "The aim is to show beautiful movements of the body both for the beauty of the physical and. fa finest expression of mental J and spiritual conception. af merely for beauty>8 sake i* ^ work of art must be fired %%. dynamica of life and spirit^ V in order to stir the heart ard J? the intellect. * "Superficial dancers are lifc. ? dren leaming to recite poetrr\2 out knowing its meaning. ^tw must be paid to the psychoW color, the potency of natnra] ha* expression and emotion in aoJjT "Nearly every one to-day eaa & tinguish the integral parts of,! sical composition?melody, ftJ^ harmony, theme, and so forth. | know that painting has color.'u shadow, technique, meaning, etc "Pure dancing, then, ia ^ ^ be the essence of emotional exw* sion; the visualized ideal o' phases of emotional beinga, hj^ cal, psychological and religious; (j perfect demonstration of the li*. obedience with respect to iap^ principle, idea; a reproductioa I ideals in rhythmical motion; & visible language of the son!. Too Much .Mystery "Too much mystery ha8 fe ; woven into the fabric of the oodsr | dance, and those who are not i dents will get only part of ? daa : since minds are devoted to tbgoi ing color and music and seeking np , tcries that do not exist" This dancer has shown aer v?rs j tility on the American stage and hi ihad besides distinctsuccessesabrot Lest her work seem too entirely ca_, posed of lofty ideals, she reveaij. times a distinctly human feelinjia certain pieces of work she his c'? "I deal with life as I find it fe some of my dances," &he contiri**. "When I have a serious messsp tell it. When I have one that I thia is humorous I not only try to mji the public understand it, I actui have difficulty at times ts keepfn laughing myself." Ker repertory contains classk dances and a number of poprjii sketches which might almost | called "human interest dances.'1 After the inaugural perfomaa the members of the school will wa at the city headquarters of the I tional American Ballet. Next sq mer they will take their first toraj the country. Out of R< A NUMBER of British naval officers, petty officers and men have recently landed at Portsmouth, England, after being released from impnson ment by the Russian Bolshevists. I They had been in the hands of the { Soviet republic from the end of April till the beginning of Novem-' ber. The London Times publishes the following account of their ex? periences, written by a member of the party: We arrived at Baku from Batum on the afternoon of April 27, and j were met there by Major Rowan, j political officer, and Mr. Hevelcke, J British Consul. We were on our :way to Enzeli to join the Russian fleet. At Baku it was explained to us that Bolshevist troops from Azerbaijan were nearing the town, but that there was no immediate danger. We considered the question of continuing our journey by sea, but a boat could not be obtained. The Governor of Baku told us that he was going to defend the town to the last extremity. We left a detachment at the sta? tion to look after the truck which held our stores, while our officers went to try to get a permit from the Governor to continue our jour? ney. We wanted to get away in the morning. A permit was obtained that night, but on the return of our cfficer3 to the station they were sur rounded by Azerbaijan troops and hustled to a small waiting room. An officer had already been placed in charge of our train, and he told us that the station was full of troops* and machine guns and that he did not know what might happen at any moment. We were taken away to the ex? traordinary comrnission and there we were searched, all knives, razors, i scissors and so forth being taken from us. We were put into one big room, where there were about 300 j other people of all sorts and descrip tions. This was an extremely filthy place and we got no sleep ali the night. In the morning they gave us a small piece of black bread to eat. The next afternoon they told us they were going to take us to nice roonis in another place. We were marched for about two miles under a very hot sun, carrying all our gear, and were finally incarcerated in the Bailoff prison, There we were put into three cell". These eellswere about 12 feet square, and twelve of u* were put in each, The prison was sd Russij | in a filthy condition. We protest* , but they said there was nothing el j they could do. We were Jocked; and a present was given to us in t shape of a packet of rice, which **i dropped into our cells through a fe in the door. For about a fortnight we m allowed out for only half an ha in the morning and another half i hour in the evening for exercia There was a t.mall courtyard ja outside the door with one water & in it, which had to serve for $ persons. The sanitary accommoil tion was equally restricted and ta i smell from this was horrible, 8 ! more so as the ventilation was s arranged that the offensive o* came right into our cell. Theyg*' us for rations a pound of black bre* per man per day and a little rk? Often the bread ration would & arrive, as when there were theft on the way the whole was held c? while inquiry was made. After about a month wc were* lowed to go into the courtyard vef? nearly the whole of the day, & were only locked up in the cells*1 night, but the nights were very ?r rible to us owing to the grest m the lack of ventilation, and t1 plague of vermin. Tlie piace f?'r;' swarmed with insects*. Forta*^ it was summer time and the vwr did not act as typhus carriers, as understand they do in winter. The Bolshevists did not tre8'- ? with any personal cruelty, but U? made us live under the most trp and revolting conditions. Tne t sack warders, who had charge o.' j and who hated the Russian-), ** : inclined to be rather friend'y. ? i the Bolshevist commissaw were * offensive in their behavior and j [ dered f requeni searches of our <r to be carried out. During J* searches the soldiers turned e^ thing upside down and took <* j thing they could lay hands on. ? terward we would Bee the c**??* ' sars in the prison yard, div* I among themselves the thfeP had looted from us. About November 1 we got the* news of our coming release. On ? vember 4 the commissar came in* told us to pack up, as we were m ing in a few hours.' time. ? '?" later he came back and said ??f! not go away until next day thought the same old game was j ing to be played aa before, but managed to get away next da/ w' 4 a'clock in the afternoun.

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