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Fraildove

Paquita

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I am looking for another version of paquita on video. I have the ABT one at the met, but it is not a complete version. Do any exist. I keep hearing about the Makhalina/ Zaglensky but is that only the PDD or does it it include everything? (6 solos and pas de trois?) Thanks!

Rachel

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What you're looking for is the compilation called "Kirov Classics". Order a copy via the Amazon.com banner at the top of the page.

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Thanks! just placed an order via Amazon. What would I do without this board?! :)

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If you have a DVD player you may be interested to know that a DVD of Pierre Lacotte's full length version of Paquita with the Paris Opera Ballet became available here in Britain this month and can be ordered through Amazon UK. http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B...4811320-6526220

I've seen this production in Paris and must warn that the last act and Grand Pas does not include the solos or the pas de trois (which is danced earlier in the ballet). The leading dancers are Letestu and Martinez, but it is Emmanuel Thibault in the pas de trois that you should be looking out for. Watch him and be amazed.

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The so-called "grand pas" known as "Paquita" is actually cobbled together from variations from every "musique dansant" ballet around. There are variations from Don Quixote, The Little Hump-Backed Horse, Naïla, and other works just tipped in to the score.

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I quote Mr Johnson:

The Little Hump-Backed Horse, Naïla,

Could you please tell me which variation is from Hump-Backed Horse and which from Naila? (I own both the Kirov version with Makhalina and the ABT with Gregory, if you want to make reference to the dances there)

Just curious

Silvy

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The first variation after the pas de trois is the Naïla and it is followed by the Hump-Backed Horse variation.

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I'm curious about that complete Paquita, too. However, this week we watched the ABT and the Kirov dvd's and I have to say the Kirov is a disappointment.

I'm wondering under what kind of circumstances this Kirov performance was taped - there is no applause, but that doesn't have to mean there is no audience, even if it consists of company people etc - but to me it looks like a resoundingly lacklustre show, which in a frothy piece like this is lethal. And the brown on brown set is terrible. It's like you're visiting a woodworm's home.

And those dull costumes!

The ABT is arguably technically not as perfect if you focus on the corps, but at least it's got pizazz in spades.

Of course the Kirov Classics DVD is a must-have anyway for the spellbinding Les Sylphides with Asylmuratova et al - and lovely playing by the orchestra. (Though the ABT's Sylphides with an amazing Baryshnikov Poet is equally required.)

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These Kirov performances were taped in the studio/theatre, with no audience, just as most of the other Kirov videos from that period (Coppelia, Swan Lake, Stone Flower, Corsaire, Don Quixote,...). In some cases applause was added for the atmosphere.

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I see. Funny the lack of audience chemistry doesn't seem to impact the Sylphides performance at all (Asylmuratova even throws in "a glance at the audience" in the pdd that is not orthodox Fokine, while the Paquita really suffers.

And I really was totally willing to like it, with Yulia Makhalina etc.

Or do you have completely different feelings about these two performances?

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Suffer or not, there is no choice anyway. That's all there is from the Kirov - studio, fake live, live, whatever.

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I like the one with Zelensky and Makhalina a great deal--I don't think it's dull at all. Isn't that the one with Lezhnina in the pas de trois? (Forgive me if I'm wrong, I haven't watched it in a while and--true to form--lent it to a dancer who has yet to return it. :blushing: ) Mine came out on VHS some time ago, called The Maryinsky Ballet, and also has some Markitenka on it, etc. I think Zelensky looks splendid. This is the only commercial recording with the pas de trois and variations, I believe.

There's Assylmuratova doing the ballerina variation on Backstage at the Kirov, (unless I am fuddled), and she completely nails it. Others are around, of course (incl. the nice Chenchikova/Vaziev at Covent Garden) but I still think the older one is the best.

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I like the one with Zelensky and Makhalina a great deal--I don't think it's dull at all.  Isn't that the one with Lezhnina in the pas de trois? [...] I think Zelensky looks splendid.  This is the only commercial recording with the pas de trois and variations, I believe.

Yes, the Kirov Classics dvd we were talking about is the one with Zelensky, Makhalina and Lezhnina. I'm glad you like it.

I had another peek this afternoon. The dancing is generally excellent, again, my problem is just that massive fourth wall. A virtuoso piece like Paquita needs some of that frivolous showiness a hall with hungry people will get. I really miss that.

The ABT is technically not as perfect, but it does have that audience chemistry. And, sorry, but if the Kirov is a studio recording, for all we know they may have been doing double takes so as to get that level of perfection...

BTW the funny thing is you can have both the Kirov and the ABT and have very little overlap, apart from the beginning, end and the pas de deux, due to the fact the Paquita grand pdd is just a make-your-own sandwich kinda ballet. The Kirov has the pas de trois and Lezhnina's variation. The ABT on the other hand has a wonderful variation with harp - flutes music with great open turning sissonnes by Susan Jaffe, one of the most attractive American dancers in my book.

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There's Assylmuratova doing the ballerina variation on Backstage at the Kirov, (unless I am fuddled), and she completely nails it.

It is actually in "The Leningrad Legend" narrated by Makarova.

:) I admit to be guilty of watching Assylmuratova in this tape almost every day...

She is indeed absolutely pure in this excerpt.

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Regarding the Kirov's video / DVD version of Paquita with Makhalina and Zelensky, I believe it is a treasure indeed. There is an incredible whole bunch of talented Kirov dancers there, besides Makhalina and Zelensky: there is Irina Zhelonkina (1st variaiton), the splendid Lubov Kunakova (2nd variation, a slow one), sharp and technically exact Veronika Ivanova in 3rd variation (the one that is danced to the same music and with similar steps as Cupid in Don Q dream act), the pas de trois in which Yelena Pankova shines (the other 2 dancers are also excellent, but their names now escape me, as I am writing all this off my memory), then incredibly light and delicate Larissa Lezhnina in the "pretty arms" variation (the one with the pas de cheval at the end), outstanding Alexandra Koltun dancing the variation that begins with the jetes in the diagonal (what wonderful jetes throughout), and finally the principal couple. Makhalina dances an inspiring "harp" solo.

I think it is a highly recommendable tape - and I also like the decor and the costumes. Anyway, it is just my own personal opinion.

Silvy

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I agree with you about the talent, Silvy. The dancing is perfect technically. The performing however is not so great IMO. Have ever you noticed not one dancer ever smiles throughout the whole show - not once? They all look like they're in Swan Lake 2nd Act, except the blue's turned brown.

It's Paquita for xsake! The beauty is it's all fluff. It's a wedding, and they're doing party tricks, and Petipa wrote the tricks.

And now I'll shut up about this.

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I like both videos, sort of for the reasons Herman mentioned - the perfection of the Kirov style and the verve of the ABT cast.

Regarding the full-length Paquita video, I found it a mixed bag. The true Petipa (or at least what we know as the Petipa Paquita variations) stick out amongst Lacotte choreography. Lacotte's work seems very "Danish" to my eye and very similar to his work in the Bolshoi's Pharaoh's Daughter, which is similar to his work on the Bournonville "reconstructions" he's done. What I'm saying is, I feel Lacotte has his own "old" style and it's all the same whether he's reimagining Petipa or Bournonville. The performances on the video are good (although I don't think it's the best of Letestu), but the ballets themselves (Paquita and Pharaoh) seem constructed without a heart, so the work either seems like a series of endless divertissments of dancing or running around like a silent picture with no real clear mime.

However, I'm happy that it is available on DVD. TDK and the Paris Opera have managed to put out several releases in the last few years, really the only ones out there except the recent Dance in America appearances by ABT. Although the disc has a few extras such as interviews with the lead dancers, POB director and Lacotte, there is not a full cast list in the booklet. I'm not sure who does the pas de trois and other variations, which is annoying.

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Ref Kirov's Paquita video: I believe that the whole conception of the work is different from what is seen in the ABT video. Kirov's rendering is truly aristocratic, not Spanish- like (there is barely NO hint at Spanish character in the dancing - maybe in SOME variations the dancers use the hand-on-waist position). Even the setting is that of a palace: chandeliers, the crown Mahkalina is wearing, the jewelled costumes. As such, I understand there is a more restrained smile in the dancers: after all, aristocrats are not highly spirited peasants.

That is my honest opinion, anyway.

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I've given this some thought, after perusing the discussion of Paquita vs Kitri styles too.

I think there is plenty of space between aristocratic, as in tiara on the head, and the peasant girl shaking her tambourine, and that's where the Paquita Grand Pas belongs.

OK, so there's the back story, i.e. Paquita can have her love because it turns out she's a noble lassie after all. But the music should be our guide too, and most of the music used in Paquita is pretty jolly, and has a distinct Spanish flavor. There's nothing like the stately polonaises and sarabandes of Sleeping Beauty.

Beaumont quotes a contemporary report which praises Grisi's grace and her 'piquancy' - I think the latter may be an indication of what I miss in the Kirov version.

Another thing with the two videos is, even though one can never have too much of a good thing, my feeling is the interpolated pas de trois kind of throws the Petipa structure out of whack in the Kirov. The grand pas starts with the corps girls, after the pdd there's another corps intermezzo (with the castagnets and the delightful oblique jumps, which are straight up and down in the Kirov version) and then there are six variations till the next round of the corps. To me this is a characteristic Petipa rhythm (correct me if I'm wrong) that is rather broken up by the interpolation of the long pas de trois, after which the six variations come. Ideally you would have had a corps intermezzo between the pas de trois and the six variations.

I think that's the way they do it with Dutch National Ballet, which revived Paquita two years ago, under direction of its long-time dance mistress Maria Aradi who danced the title role with the Bolshoi.

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The whole thing is pretty odd, because the whole thing is about 90% interpolation of variations from just about everywhere.

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mel's description of PAQUITA's GRAND PAS CLASSIQUE as "pretty odd" is most polite.

to refer to the variety of PAQUITA GRAND PAS stagings we get here, there and everywhere as petipa's work is something of a stretch.

it was, acc'd to a perceptive suggestion of alastair macaulay's in THE DANCING TIMES (a letter to the editor, if mem serves), likely Mathilda Kshessinska who gave 'birth' to the string of variations now seen in stagings calling themselves PAQUITA. apparently it was M.K. who, when she was scheduled to lead a performance of the petipa/minkus divertissement, asked her contemporaries of the imperial ballet to dance in the performance and to 'bring' for the purpose their favorite variation. in some cases not even nec. a petipa variation, as in the semi-'tradition' to dance a variation from the PAS DE TROIS of fokine's PAVILLON D'ARMIDE.

the season n.y.c. had the opporunity to see two different stagings during the same period, A.Danilova's for dance theatre of harlem and N. Makarova's for her own Makarova Ballet, arlene croce had an observation in her discussion that was most memorable. she found danilova's staging 'choreographically bald' whereas in makarova's 'they split hairs.' o'course her commentary was filled out beyond such contrasting phrases but the descriptions noted a clear difference between presenting this 'petipa' showcase.

discussions might be most valuable of the work under discussion by identifying them as, say, Danilova's Petipa or Makarova's Petipa, etc. etc.

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The dancers from pas de trois from the Kirov Paquite are Elena Pankova, Irina Sitnikova and Gregory Checherin.

Oh and in Chopiniana, Polikarpova is magnificent as well :dunno:

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The dancers from pas de trois from the Kirov Paquite are Elena Pankova, Irina Sitnikova and Gregory Checherin.

Oh and in Chopiniana, Polikarpova is magnificent as well :D

Thanks. Actually, I meant the dancers in the pas de trois from the full-length Paquita with the POB are not listed.

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Dale, the pas de trois on the POB-DVD is danced by Mélanie Hurel (1st variation), Nolwenn Daniel and Emmanuel Thibault.

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