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Sleeping Beauty premieres


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#16 Natalia

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Posted 11 April 2003 - 10:27 AM

Greetings from Moscow. WARNING! I'm in my Angry Pontification Mode. :)

Thanks for all of these reports on the RB's new 'Beauty.' While I admire many aspects of the 'old Kirov/Soviet' version, and generally welcome its revival somewhere (anywhere), I would never have imagined that that 'somewhere' would be England, the country that, for years, sheltered and preserved the 1890-Petipa original, when no other ballet company on earth did so.

So now St. Petersburg is the unequivocable Mecca in which one can view a reasonably accurate Petipa 'Sleeping Beauty'?

I don't gloat; rather, I am shocked that the Royal would so easily 'give up' its status as a top presenter of this masterpiece. Keeling over and conceding defeat without so much of a whimper. Were I an English balletomane, I would be very sad...and ANGRY right now.

Let Bulgaria or Latvia be the country to revive the Soviet 'Beauty' - for goodness sakes, not England!!!!

Maybe, in the year 2046, the hundreth anniversary of the glorious Oliver Messel production will be revived and all will be as it should be in the Kingdom of the English Florestan.

p.s. - At least I have not read reports yet of any Lanchberry emendations to the Tchaikovsky score (a-la his sugary changes to the Minkus 'Bayadere' score, in partnership with Makarova). My point is - Folks, it could have been worse!

p.s.s. - One small positive: The Soviet 'Garland Waltz', with children, is virtually the same as the 1890-Petipa version. At least with this Garland Waltz, the RB has acquired a piece of the 1890-Petipa that it did not have even with the 1946 production.

#17 Mikhail

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Posted 24 April 2003 - 08:20 AM

May be it will be of interest to know that a review on “The Sleeping Beauty” at Covent Garden was published today in one of the most respected Russian newspaper “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” (The Independent Newspaper). The author is Marc Haegeman and I would like to thank him for the cooperation with the Russian press. Usually they cannot afford to send their correspondents to the Western theaters what results in a lack of information for Russian readers. I present here a reference for Russian speaking members of the BalletAlert: http://www.ng.ru/cul...4/6_avrora.html

#18 Brendan McCarthy

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 11:38 AM

It would be interesting to have from Mikhail a sense of what Marc said in his review. Running the text through a Russian/English translation website, I deduce that he was not altogether convinced by Makarova's production: is that the case?

#19 Mikhail

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 04:40 AM

As I understood the main idea (aphoristically expressed in the title and the last paragraph), Marc states that Makarova’s version is essentially the old-fashioned Soviet Kirov-ballet production by Konstantin Sergeev. He finds some irony in the fact that the Mariinsky is back now to the Petipa’s original “SB” while the Royal Ballet did just the opposite. The old version performed by the Royal Ballet, Marc said, was close to the Petipa’s original as it has been staged in London by Nikolai Sergeev (whose notations Vikharev used recently to reconstruct the ballet in St.Petersburg). So the Soviet-born “Beauty” became an orphan in Russia and now, as Marc said, “is adopted to the respectable British family”. Marc did not like also some scenes in the Makarova’s production. Almost nothing was said in “Nezavisimaya gazeta” about the performers. But I find it confusing, Brendan, to use the backward translation in the presence of the author. I guess it would be nice if Marc himself explains his point of view. As everybody knows, articles are usually cut by editors, and may be Marc will find it possible to put the unabridged text in the Internet (here or at his own site) if there are no plans to publish it off-line.

#20 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 28 April 2003 - 04:51 AM

Sorry (and thank you for the link and reply) Mikhail, I didn't see the post earlier. Just in a few words. What I didn’t like about Makarova’s production (setting aside the question whether this was the right "Sleeping Beauty" for the Royal Ballet or not) was that it’s so short on drama, theatricality, and magic. The key dramatic scenes of the ballet are all without exception weakly staged: the entrance and the curse of Carabosse at the end of the prologue, the opening and final scene of Act I, as well as the awakening of Aurora at the end of Act II, are perfunctory and superficial to the point that any claim at credibility is denied. Too many bars of music are cut and too many dramatic details overlooked.
However, taken as a lesson of classical style, Makarova’s "Beauty" does have something to offer, and in this respect the Royal Ballet dancers, especially the ballerinas, take the greatest honour.


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