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Sleeping Beauty


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#16 Hans

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 12:44 PM

Thank you for that link; it is extremely interesting, although his terminology is vague, probably out of necessity (it sounds as if precious little of the steps was actually notated). It's interesting to see how much of the Royal Ballet's production is accurate, and also to see that I prefer some of the newer steps to the original, mostly in Princess Florina's variation, which was more clearly described than the other dances, though I may have just filled in gaps with what I already know.

#17 su-lian

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 12:57 PM

I know they don't add up properly. What I meant was that if there are six fairies dancing the pas de six (adagio, variation and coda) but that the lilac fairy comes and dances the last variation, then two of the fairies have to share one variation. In the Nureyev version, it is called pas de six but has been changed to a pas de sept because there are actually seven fairies dancing , the last variation is not danced by the lilac fairy, but he kept two fairies dancing the second variation so that makes it seven. But I suppose in the original, if the lilac fairy dances the last variation but not the rest, then there are only six fairies dancing the adagio and the coda and since the lilac takes one of the six variation, there are five variations for the six fairies of the pas de six, so two dance the second variation. I suppose this is what it all means, it is all so complicated!

#18 su-lian

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 01:05 PM

On the notes written by Petipa to Tchaikovsky for the music, it states:
-Little introduction for the pas de six
-Pas de six.Adagio.Petit allegro.
-Variations of the fairies
-Candide
-Coulante and Fleur de farine
-Breadcrumbs
-Canary
-Violent
-Lilac Fairy
-Coda

So that means Petipa himslef makes it a pas de six with seven fairies: six fairies and the lilac fairy.

#19 Hans

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 01:11 PM

Now I understand--that is really, really interesting! So you were not counting the Lilac Fairy as one of the six. I guess the question now is...what happened to that other fairy?

#20 su-lian

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 01:25 PM

No, I wasn't counting the lilac fairy as one of the six fairies from the pas de six, I was probably wrong, but it seemed to me intuitively that it had to be counted like that, and from what I've seen, Petipa wasn't counting her either! I still think it would be interesting to see (or rather read!) what the reconstructed version is like.
Which other fairy? The other one dancing the second variation? In the Nureyev version, the lilac fairy doesn't dance at all in the pas de six and there are seven fairies dancing the adagio and the coda, and they each dance a variation except two of them who have to dance together. From what I understand, the original has seven fairies (six and lilac) dancing the six variations but there is nothing about the adagio and the coda, so I don't know if the lilac fairy danced them too or not. I don't suppose so, other wise Petipa would have just called it a pas de sept.

#21 Hans

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 01:31 PM

Now it's my turn to clarify--in the Sergeyev production, the entrée, adagio, variations, and coda are performed by five fairies and Lilac. Before, when I've referred, and heard reference to, "six fairies," I (and probably others on this board) assumed that "six" included the Lilac Fairy because that was the way I'd always seen it done.

#22 su-lian

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 01:40 PM

Yes, I understand. I should have been clearer in my explanations, I'm sorry. It's just that I'm so used to the Nureyev version which apparently is quite different from the Sergeyev one (seven fairies instead of six but no lilac fairy)! At least now we've all learned lots about fairies in Sleeping Beauty! It's been interesting to try to find all this and understand it! I quite like comparing different versions of the same ballet and sometimes try to find what it was like originally, it can be very interesting! The problem is that I mostly know about the Nureyev versions, being in Paris, but not so much about other versions, and this is why Ballet alert is so interesting, because there are lots of people who can tell me about what I don't know!

#23 Alexandra

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 01:43 PM

I think part of the confusion is over whether or not the original Lilac danced a variation. One theory is that Lilac and Carabosse are cognates -- both mimed roles, and that Lilac is a danseuse noble. (Well, actually, what's usually written is that Petipa's daughter couldn't dance and so she didn't have a variation, but I don't buy that.) I think there have been many different distributions of the fairy roles and fairy music -- sometimes there are five plus Lilac, sometimes six plus Lilac, sometimes six including Lilac. I've always liked the theory that Lilac shoud always be in the middle -- "the apex of every triangle," as Croce wrote" -- with three on each side.

#24 Hans

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 03:00 PM

I heard something similar, Alexandra, only I was told that the reason Lilac's variation is so easy was because Marie Petipa couldn't dance well...interesting that Petipa's daughter should have been a bad dancer!

I actually prefer the choreography that emphasizes that the Lilac Fairy is one of a group--the most important member, perhaps, but not self-sufficient. Remember, all the other fairies give important gifts, too!


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