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Bournonville's Valkyrien


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#16 carbro

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 12:07 PM

very Petipan--that systole/diastole ictus

:wink: What an illuminating image! Thanks for that, Rodney!

#17 doug

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 12:58 PM

Thanks, Rodney - really good points. And I will look at the Paquita discussion, as well.

#18 jorgen

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 07:59 AM

The book "The Bournonville Ballets - A Photographic Record 1844-1933" by Knud Arne Jürgensen 1987 is a true goldmine with 477 photos. It is still available from the publisher (Dance Books).

To make it easier to follow the discussion about helmets etc I have scanned some vintage photos from Valkyrien. See them here:
http://www.ballerina...e/valkyrien.htm

#19 Alexandra

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 08:15 AM

Thanks, Jorgen -- yes, Jurgensen's work is the best source we have (in English OR in Danish). This, for photographs, and his documentary biography for a catalogue of Bournonville's works.

#20 R S Edgecombe

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 12:26 PM

That was very kind of you, Jorgen. Thanks so much. I wasn't aware of your post when I added to thread headed "Photographs" a short while ago. I agree that the Ju:rgensen is a veritable treasure trove. And aren't the Bournonville backdrops almost unfailingly delicate and well-composed? The Russian equivalents seem v clumsy by comparison.

#21 Alexandra

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 12:28 PM

The prohibition against more than two pirouettes lasted well into this century -- Bruhn was booed for doing four pirouettes in the second solo in Napoli in the late 1940s. It wasn't that they COULDN'T do them. It is because Bournonville thought they were vulgar. Brenaa was known for "bringing back" the trick of spotting. But Bruhn said he knew how to spot instinctively -- no one taught him. No vulgarity in Bournonville, nothing acrobatic, nothing showy. Maybe he gave them the helmets so they couldn't do more than two pirouettes :) He made them sew a thread in the skirts so they couldn't lift the leg higher than he wanted it lifted.

An anecdote. On one of my first trips to Copenhagen, I was walking up Bredgade (one of the streets spoking out of Kongens Nytorv, where the Royal Theatre is located) and went into a courtyard. There, on the door, was Elfeldt studios -- Elfeldt was the court photographer who captured dancing Danes with his brand new movie camera in the very early 20th century. The studio is right down the street from the palace. I've always wanted to go back and knock on the door and see who's there now :)

#22 R S Edgecombe

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for that correction, Alexandra. It seems, though, that Brenaa was a relatively scrupulous Bournonville archivist. He learned spotting from Egorova for introduction into the non-Bournonville parts of the RDB rep. I don't think he would ever have introduced more pirouettes than the master had dictated into any of his B revivals. His big fight with Fleming Flindt centred indeed on the very issue of fidelity to B's intentions--this after FF wanted to commission Riisager to make a "palimpsest" of the Helsted score for The Toreador--just as Tchaikovsly "overwrote" a Minkus original to forge the music that Balanchine used for his T PdD.

There is a very funny anecdote in the Brenaa biography irrelevant to this thread, but worth repeating. The most authoritative Bournonville scholar in the fifties was one Vabs Borschenius, who used to carry a huge carpet bag of yellowing manuscript notations of the ballets to the theatre. At one revival that she was supervising, King Frederik IX had dropped by, and VB was so irritated when a dancer started executing wrong steps that she accidentally thumped the sovereign on his back (she happened to be standing behind him) and cried "That's FLAMING wrong." I suspect the king, although a constitutional kind of king, found the attention a touch too indelicate--in every conceivable sense of that word!


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