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R S Edgecombe

Petipa's Talisman

35 posts in this topic

Really lovely photos!

It might have something to do with photo technique in those days, people had to stand for a long time and it must have been difficult to maintain poses. Also, dance technique in those days wasnt what we see today.

My late teacher (she was born Princess Galitzine) always used to say that in those days a ballerina could do what an ordinary corps member does today. :rolleyes:

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Does anyone have the music for this ballet???

:wub:

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ah

Edited by Mikhail

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Well, I agree with RSE, Pierre Lacotte does exactly the same (may be with the better taste and knowledge). But he did not pretend to reconstruct ballets. I guess it is better to have La Sylphide, L’Ombre, Natalie, Marco Spada, The Pharaoh’s Daughter, etc. by Lacotte than nothing. The problem is whether he has enough imagination to create the ballets which are not similar to each other. By the way, I am extremely interested in his Giselle with the fugue of the wilis. Did anybody watch it live or on video?

Edited by Mikhail

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Mikhail, I too would love to see the wili fugue. I have a shrewd idea that Mary Skeaping used it in one of her productions ("overcomplete" one critic called them!), but I'm not sure. I am also very sorry that Lacotte left out the Bach fugue that Schneitzhoeffer included in the witches' scene in La Sylphide. Fugal writing poses a huge challenge to the choreographer.

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Dear RSE, I don't know about the production mentioned. Marian Smith writes in her book, that the wili fugue was used also by Heinz Spoerli (Basel Stadttheater Ballet), Pierre Lacotte (Ballet de l’Opéra du Rhin), Kirk Peterson (Hartford Ballet).

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i do believe that skeaping's GISELLE made use of the wili fugue, so did the one the Trocks put on some time back, w/ if mem. serves e.gorey's decor; the most recent use of the fugue that i know of is the one peterson did in hartford. NYPLibrary for Perf. Arts ref. as follows:

Giselle : Chor.: Kirk Peterson; mus.: Adolphe Adam; scen.: Gianni Quaranta, borrowed from American Ballet Theatre; cos.: Anna Anni, borrowed from American Ballet Theatre. First(?) perf.: Hartford, Conn,. May(?) 1997; Hartford Ballet.

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Back to The Talisman pas de deux. After a long delay, I eventually got round to consulting Beaumont this morning. Am I to infer that the surviving pas de deux comes from the prologue, where Niriti encounters the god of the wind for the first time? If so, I find the format a little puzzling. Some details fit the context, but others suggest rather a celebratory divertissement-type pas de deux for Niriti and Noureddin. Surely Petipa reserves that intrada, adagio, var 1, var 2, coda formula for moments of static resolution, and tends not to use them in pas d'action. Desire, for example, does nothing but porteur in Act II of Beauty. I wonder, therefore, if the Talisman text that the now Kirov presents is a composite of bits and pieces from different parts of the ballet.

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That sort of thing has happened in quite a few cases, Rodney. The "Diana and Acteon" pas de deux was cobbled together from bits and pieces from Esmeralda, and who-knows-what-else. I've only heard one ballet score where the big pas de deux was in the first scene, and that's Sir Arthur Sullivan's "Victoria and Merrie England". It sets the leitmotiv for "Britannia" who keeps popping in and out of the following scenes. But Sullivan was composing to a different formula, and the choreographer was Carlo Coppi - far from Petipa!

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Thanks, Mel, for confirming that this sort of tessellation is not unknown in Russia. I am rather reminded of a practice in the UK, where, as you know, the Roundheads smashed just about every stained glass window outside York, Canterbury and King's College, Cambridge. People have dug about in the earth outside some old churches, and found fragments of genuine medieval glass (often in quite ravishing colours). They have then assembled these into abstract patterns and put them back into the windows. That, it seems, can also be done with fragments of ballets culled first from the memory of this dancer, and then from the memory of the next.

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