Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

The Lipizzaner Stallions


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,258 posts

Posted 21 November 2003 - 05:00 PM

I just saw a commercial that's ballet friendly!

SHOW: war scenes

VOICEOVER: They were once trained to fight, and acquitted themselves bravely in battle.....

SHOW: The Lipizzaners today.

Music changes to ballet music.

VOICEOVER: And now, they .... dance ballet.
[Pause] Kinda gives you hope for the future, doesn't it?


And so I wondered if they had a site, and of course they do:

The Lipizzaner Stallions

#2 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,466 posts

Posted 21 November 2003 - 05:15 PM

When I was a little girl I was infatuated with the Lipizzaners, as I was with pretty much all horses (Secretariat and Seattle Slew were my first pinups). There was a children's book about them, by Marguerite Henry, I think. They were beautiful to watch, although I was always worried about whether or not the horses were getting any fun out of it. Whenever I see animals doing tricks or pictures of same, even Balanchine's Mourka, I'm always reminded of the Monty Python skit in which Graham Chapman tells television show host Eric Idle (this is from memory) that his cat can fly across the room into an empty bucket. Idle marvels: how is this possible? "I fling her," Chapman explains cheerfully, whips the cat around his head by the tail like a lasso, and throws her across the soundstage.

#3 Giannina

Giannina

    Gold Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 844 posts

Posted 21 November 2003 - 05:59 PM

I still love them. Maaaany years ago we were in Vienna and went to the place where the Lipizzaners reside and perform. All that was there were some very old and tired looking horses. I asked our guide where the rest of them were and he told us they were performing in the USA!!!

Giannina

#4 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 21 November 2003 - 06:19 PM

ARen't horses romantic?

WHen I was a boy I read a lot of the Chincoteague books -- probably all of them -- which, if you don't know them, are novels about the wild horses that really do live on an island in the Potomac, or maybe it's in Chesapeake Bay...... The books are rather like Green Mansions with horses instead of people, the horses just basically run around like the wind all the time...... Asd I recall it -- there must be events or something, but basically it's just kind of like Serenade.....

Which brings me to say, I never see Serenade without thinking of Misty of CHincoteague.

The Lipizzaners, on the other hand, when I saw them perform in a HUGE sports arena in San Jose a few years ago (and I was trying to arrive without having too big an expectation) were pretty disappointing. There was lots of paraphernalia, long waits, and not much movement; and even when they did hteir cabrioles -- it DID look difficult, but it looked so small -- and not very poetic. It seemed a LOT of effort expended to small visual effect. Of course, the cabriole was a military maneuver, designed to produce deadly impact on the opposing knight's horse, and when you think that they were supposed to do this while wearing armor AND bearing an armored knight, the strength and control required is enormously impressive -- but it didn't make an enormous impression on me, that night.

If I remember right, the horses we saw have their home base somewhere in Florida. I'd go back to see them again, though.

I saw a dog playing frisbee the other day that was a gorgeous, fabulous athlete, just the most beautiful sight.

#5 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,321 posts

Posted 21 November 2003 - 07:54 PM

During a trip to Vienna as a college student, I couldn't get tickets for the show itself, but for a couple of dollars, I was able to attend the dressage drills in the mornings. It was amazing to see what intricate and accurate steps and patterns they could do.

#6 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 21 November 2003 - 08:32 PM

Helene, can you describe the conditions under which you saw them? Were you at the Spanish Riding School?

My real question is, how close were you to them, how big was their "field" -- etc. We were in a stadium, huge place, where you might watch pro baseball or football, and the scale of it had a lot to do with my disappointment.... How much could you see of the action?



#7 Treefrog

Treefrog

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 639 posts

Posted 21 November 2003 - 09:26 PM

Paul, it's been almost 30 years since I was there, but my recollection is that the Spanish Riding School is about the size of a hockey rink. That is, the riding arena itself is rink-sized. There are no seats at ground level; the seating is all in galleries that ring the arena, like box seats at the opera (or ballet -- there we've brought this back on topic!). It is a MUCH more intimate venue than you described.

On that occasion, I was not even lucky enough to see a rehearsal. But I did tour the stables, and was thrilled when a groom/rider handed me a lump of sugar, opened a stall door, and gestured me inside to give it to the horse.

#8 dido

dido

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 116 posts

Posted 22 November 2003 - 04:55 AM

The book by Margeurite Henry about the Lippizaners is called White Stallion of Lipizza, illustrated (beautifully as always) by Wesley Dennis. Like most of her books, it's about a historical "character" and gives a lot of the background and philosophy of the Spanish Riding School. One of the things that impressed me most about it, is the kid going to see the farm where the foals are born and seeing the babies try to cabriole and piaffe, just from watching their mothers. I think it's safe to say that the horses like it, or at least don't mind.

Most of this training is called haut ecole, and if you're really in the know it's not so much the airs above the ground, but the "corps" work, so to speak. Getting even one horse to collect itself, or step out in an extended trot is hard enough, but to get many of them working in the same way at the same time is really impressive.
That said, there really isn't much "art" in it, though there used to be a big fashion for equine ballets, even as recently as the 19th century.

(Can you tell I like horses? :rolleyes: )

#9 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,321 posts

Posted 22 November 2003 - 11:40 PM

Helene, can you describe the conditions under which you saw them? Were you at the Spanish Riding School?

I'm sorry -- I just saw your question. Treefrog describes the Spanish Riding School perfectly. It is a very intimate arena. The galleries aren't that high over the "rink," and the riders take many of the laps relatively close to the walls, so that they are pretty close to the spectators. But even when they rode down the middle they were still pretty close, and you could see the horses feet very clearly. I don't remember much more than natural light. It wasn't really packed for daily practice -- I assume because there wasn't any jumping, just dressage -- so I was able to sit in the front row each time. If I remember correctly, there weren't many rows behind me.

#10 Estelle

Estelle

    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,706 posts

Posted 24 November 2003 - 05:41 AM

That said, there really isn't much "art" in it, though there used to be a big fashion for equine ballets, even as recently as the 19th century.

I've never seen them, but here the "Théâtre équestre Zingaro" has become quite famous, and for example they were invited several times at the Avignon arts festival. The company was created in 1984 by Bartabas (I don't know his real name), and for example their show "Triptyk" included some scores by Stravinsky ("Symphony of Psalms" and "The Rite of Spring").
Their new site doesn't work yet, but the old one is there:
http://www.theatre-zingaro.com/


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):