27 episodes

For centuries, ballet has captivated audiences the world over. From its humble beginnings in the courtyards of Italy and France, to the great stages of the eastern and western worlds, ballet has secured its position among great paintings, literature, music and sculpture. Join Emmy Award winning producer Christian Cudnik for a look at this centuries old art form. Learn about it's traditions, etiquette, teaching and significant artists.

Ballet Initiative Podcast Christian Cudnik

    • Performing Arts

For centuries, ballet has captivated audiences the world over. From its humble beginnings in the courtyards of Italy and France, to the great stages of the eastern and western worlds, ballet has secured its position among great paintings, literature, music and sculpture. Join Emmy Award winning producer Christian Cudnik for a look at this centuries old art form. Learn about it's traditions, etiquette, teaching and significant artists.

    Alicia Graf Mack

    Alicia Graf Mack

    Alicia Graf Mack is the face of Alvin Ailey American Dance. Alicia joins me in the studio to talk about the back injury that is currently threatening to end her career. We also have a candid conversation about race in ballet, and the lack of women in executive roles in dance.






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    Damian Woetzel

    Damian Woetzel

    Damian Woetzel is the Artistic Director for the Vail International Dance Festival. Each year, this innovative festival presents a diverse offering of dance in a truly unique setting. On this episode, we discuss some of the finer points of the festival. Specifically, serial collaborations, new works, debuts, community work and arts education.   






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    Victoria Simon

    Victoria Simon

    Victoria Simon was a soloist with the New York City Ballet. Toward the end of her career, George Balanchine selected her to stage his ballets around the world. On this episode, my curiosity takes us behind the scenes of the process and responsibility of staging Mr. Balanchine's work.






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    Carol Sumner

    Carol Sumner

    Carol Sumner was a soloist with the New York City Ballet from 1958 to 1978. Under the direction of George Balanchine, she danced principal roles in Concerto Barocco, Divertimento No. 15, Agon, Western Symphony and The Nutcracker.
    I've found the relationships between Mr. B and his dancers to be fascinating, and often complex. In this case, it's very sweet. Ms. Sumner was moved to tears when she recalled his final days and ultimate passing. I appreciate her candid nature. 
    If you'd like to see images of Ms. Sumner from this period, go here while you listen.
    http://artsmeme.com/2012/01/25/what-makes-a-balanchine-ballerina-meet-carol-sumner/






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    Gloria Govrin

    Gloria Govrin

    Ms. Govrin was a soloist with New York City Ballet for 15 years under George Balanchine. Today, she's a renowned teacher and the Artistic Director of Eastern Connecticut Ballet. In our conversation, she shares her life as a dancer and gives fascinating first hand insight into the legend of Mr. B. 






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    Nancy Buirski

    Nancy Buirski

    Nancy Buirski is the Director of "Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq". I should admit, I fell in love with 'Tanny' through photographs over decade ago. So, to see her move on screen truly deepened my intrigue/ crush.
    This is a universal story of struggle and change. I feel that her story will appeal to more than our dance community. It's beautiful. Really well done, Ms. Buirski. Thank you.   






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Customer Reviews

_cara_c ,

Bravo, Ballet Initiative!

A podcast about the art of ballet is long overdue. This one was worth the wait. Ballet Initiative founders Jennifer Welch Cudnik and Christian Cudnik have done it right. An exceptional host, Christian Cudnik’s voice is so pleasant that I could probably listen to him talk about anything for an hour. However, the focus of these podcasts is the well-selected guests. Cudnik’s questions are thoughtfully chosen, interesting, and clearly express his passion for the art of ballet.

In his two-part interview with Jacques d’Amboise, d'Amboise sidetracks to offer some words of wisdom about the value of “hanging around with great people” by seeking their company in books, through reading. Ballet Initiative podcasts are another way to “hang around with great people” and to feel as though you’re sitting in on a conversation with world class artists like Jock Soto, Robert Fairchild, Tiler Peck, and d’ Amboise himself. These interviews are a gift. Like a favorite book, you’ll want to revisit them even after the first listening experience.

I’m looking forward to future episodes, especially on all things NYCB, Balanchine and SAB. I only wish that there were more of these podcasts, posted more often and in greater length!

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