Historical reconstructions: sense and nonsense
Posted 11 March 2003 - 12:22 PM
As someone who thought the old/new Kirov Sleeping Beauty production was a true revelation, I would like to see more. Yes there were some peculiarieties--too many head whackers doing Aurora, but there were some truly wonderful illuminations. I loved the prologue where the court seemed dressed like people in lots of different colors, not like set decorations. Having Desire in heeled shoes in the Vision scene made so much sense. He is visiting a magical realm, which he can see (and we can see through his eyes) but which he is not part of. It is not his world, so he can't dance in it. It helped make the difference between the mortals and the magic so much stronger.
And having Carabosse be invited to the wedding was such a gentle touch. No absolute triumph of good versus evil, but harmony and civility prevailing over a pedantic sense of justice. And the final scene, when the ceiling rises, it went so perfectly with the music--which is not surprising, I guess, because it was written for it!
I don't think every production can or should slavishly follow it, but it does seem when there are reasonably early notes of choreography, producers should try to get as much pf the choreogrpahers intentions as is possible and feasible.
The Bayadere was somewhat more problematic, I think. Just putting the corps in vague approximations of 19th century puffy wigs and letting them dance with modern extensions seemed to make both styles look out of place. But if I had to choose between a Kirov reprodution of Petipa and some of the modern versions (like ABT's Swan Lake, or the Bjornson Sleeping Beauty), I would vote for even the most rigid authenticity. At least someone later could make that come alive, while the modern versions are DOA.
Posted 11 March 2003 - 01:35 PM
Performing a historical reconstruction at the Maryinsky is not skipping the last century, as the modern versions are kept in the repertoire, so I still don't see the objection.
[Editing to say: Does Solor dance with the Shades in the reconstruction?]
Posted 11 March 2003 - 01:54 PM
Posted 11 March 2003 - 02:33 PM
I don't know for sure if they' ll keep the Soviet Bayadère. Doesn't make much sense to do so. Besides dancers aren't computers you can switch from one version (old) to the other (new-old): they'd dance it in the same manner anyhow.
Posted 11 March 2003 - 03:47 PM
Posted 12 March 2003 - 04:39 AM
Posted 12 March 2003 - 10:14 AM
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