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Susanne

Bournonville

18 posts in this topic

I have been reading about different ballet styles and syllabuses. From what I have understood Bournonville is quite different from other styles seen on the ballet stage in the world. No matter how much you read and watch pictures of the style you will only get a small idea of how it might look like on stage.

Therefore I was wondering if anyone know of any website that might provide small sample video-clips or illustrating animations on the Bournonville style?

I have visited the bournonville.com site which was very informative, but still only with pictures and words.

Thanks in advance!

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Susane, there may be one, but I don't know of it. You might write to Bournonville.com and suggest it -- it's something they might want to do, in preparation for the upcoming Bournonville Festival.

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The Royal Danish Ballet is in the process now of documenting all of the Bournonville Schools on video tape to share with the world. Plans are to have it done by the festival in 2005.

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Are there any commercially available tapes of performances that are considered the gold standard of Bournonville technique and style?

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It's a bit of the Flower Festival pas de deux. It's too small on my screen to see the dancers, but I don't think they're Danes.

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As a warning to others with 56k modems, my attempt to view this clip severed my internet connection. :wub:

As an inquiry to those who've seen it, is the image clear enough, the selection long enough to keep trying? I trust your judgment. Thanks.

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I have broadband and had no problems -- but thanks for the warning. The clip is only about 10 seconds long and the viewing area tiny.

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Bournonville selections appear on some videos of excerpts. Rose Gad, who demonstrates in the above-mentioned video of classroom combinations, performs a pas de deux from "La Sylphide" with Alexander Kulpin on "Nina Ananiashvili and International Stars, Vol. 2." She also performs the pas de deux as a youngster in the video entitled "Erik Bruhn Prize." I don't remember the name of her partner in that one. I wasn't really impressed by either of the men, but Rose Gad was lovely in both videos.

Does anyone know how Fernando Bujones' performances of Bournonville rated? I know I thought they were very impressive, but is he considered to be a great example of Bournonville style? He performs some Bournonville on the video "Fernando Bujones: Winning at Varna," if you happen to have that one.

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I LOVE the 50 Enchainements -- Rose Gad is jst an exquisite thing, and johann kobborg is elegant, manly, modest, clean, honest --

But those are etudes ,like Chopin's -- they aren't like hte dances in hte ballets,which you must see.

I've got an old commercial tape of Napoli -- is it still in print, I don't know. And I BELIEVE there's a commercialtape of the production of La Sylphide which has been shown on Bravo or A&E, which is one of hte very best films of a ballet I've ver seeen. I really recommend it.

Napoli has a weird section, where Gennaro rescues his girl from Neptune's grotto to the music of "O Sanctissima" -- well, it's weird to me, since we sang htat hymn a lot in MAy when I was a kid and i loved it, but it's strange to find it turning up in a ballet. I gues it's no weirder than seeing someone hold up a crucifix in a vampire ovie, but Virgin-Mary magic is just not something I've run into in the theater much...... It's so Pio Nono....

Still, the performances in Napoli are wonderful, it's a loveable ballet, and the way Bournonville builds a fiesta has got to be seen to be believed. It's a little like WHo Cares, the last act -- first there's lots of wonderful shaggy dancing, and then there's even more wonderful, dancving on top of that....

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Thank you, Alexandra. Regretfully I'll let it ride.

The Napoli with Villumsen as Gennaro and Hindberg as Teresina is out of print. Now and then it pops up on e-bay. I regret that I did not put in a bid when it was available at a reasonable price. It's since shot up.

Then there was the LaSylphide with Jeppesen as Sylph and Villumsen as James. I don't know if that was ever available in the US-friendly format (NTSC?).

A most thoughtful and generous friend gave me the Enchainments. That is fascinating. And the dancers (particularly, I think, Gad) are amazing. I am so grateful. :wub: :wub:

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Does anyone know how Fernando Bujones' performances of Bournonville rated?  I know I thought they were very impressive, but is he considered to be a great example of Bournonville style?  He performs some Bournonville on the video "Fernando Bujones:  Winning at Varna," if you happen to have that one.

At Varna, Bujones had been under almost continuous supervision by Stanley Williams. His work there was serviceably Bournonvillian, but later, he fell into the trap that a lot of dancers do, and began incorporating "his own ideas", thus becoming less and less properly an interpreter of the first Mr. B.

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Thanks. Was there ever any video of Bruhn performing Bournonville? That would be worth spending money on. I remember the amazing stop-action photographs of him that were in a slim book about...??? maybe Bournonville, maybe just Bruhn, I don't know. He looked perfect at every stage of a step.

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Bruhn performs the Pas de Deux from Act II of La Sylphide on the DVD/video from the Bell Telephone Hour program. It's Nureyev and Bruhn, Their complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances, 1961-1967.

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re Bujones -- he was fine for a non-Dane :wub: I think the "La Sylphide" on DVD was of Lis Jeppesen with Nikolaj Hubbe (his debut) rather than Villumsen, although there were at least two Jeppesen/Villumsen Sylphides filmed for Danish TV (it's often the state occasion ballet).

Paul, a note about Napoli. I think the religious aspect was part of "local color" as well as plot, and the use of the hymn shows the 19th century way of weaving a popular song, or bit of an opera, or other music eitherthe audience would know that would help tell the story because it would cue the viewer to what was going on. Villumsen was very powerful in that moment in live performance -- he could make you believe that the power of faith, with the help of a blessed medal, would overcome adversity.

I've read that Bruhn was not considered a good Bournonville stylist by the Danes at the start of his career, but I've never read why and never understood it (except, possibly, that he did more pirouettes than was then allowed; Bournonville wanted you to stop at 2). The filmed segments I've seen of him look perfect -- he was a turner but he was also a jumper and, as djb noted, his technique could stand up to stop action photography. There are two monographs -- "Bournonville and Ballet Technique" (a slim book, published by Adam Black) and "Beyond Technique" (a Dance Perspectives number) -- on which he collaborated, with Lillian Moore. Much of the material is from Bournonville's "Etudes Choreographique."

There's a Napoli, also from Danish TV that I've seen but don't have, that has Ib Andersen doing the first solo in the pas de six, and Arne Villumsen, both at the top of their game, doing the third (Flemming Ryberg, a bit past his prime, is the second). And a Folk Tale pas de sept from the mid-70s -- again with Villumsen and Ryberg, and Eva Kloborg (who was a wonderful Bournonville stylist) and Anna Laerkesen that was televised. The textbook Bournonville man from that time wasn't a principal -- Arne Beck. Sometimes the stylists aren't the stars.

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Thanks for the information, Ms. Leigh. And thanks, Alexandra, "Bournonville and Ballet Technique" is most likely the name of the book I was talking about.

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Ooops I had completely forgotten about this thread. As a matter of fact I did send them an e-mail. :rolleyes:

They replied that

We are working on

getting video-clips on the site and the first will follow in september on

Napoli. But at the same time we want to show the newest stagings and the

clips will be produced along with our repertoire, so the clips will apear on

the website in that order. After Napoli clips from La Sylphide, A Folktale

and Abdallah will be produced in this season.

This was in mid August, when I received the reply.

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