Leigh Witchel

The Lilac Fairy

37 posts in this topic

when i first met Arlene Croce she noted more than once that the Kirov's production of SLEEPING BEAUTY (the K. Sergeyev one toured here in the early 1960s) left a memorable impression due partly to the authority and beauty of Inna Zubkovskaya's Lilac Fairy (feya Sireni).

i never saw her perform myself.

i have a number of photos of Zubkovskaya (nee Izraeleva) but i don't know that i have one of her Lilac.

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Bergsma was also my first Lilac Fairy--Unfortunately, I only have very dim memories of the performance itself but I have extremely vivid memories of how wonderful she seemed to me. I don't think any Lilac Fairy I have seen since Bergsma has made the same kind of impression.

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:) This may surprise everyone, but I actually prefer the Nureyev Paris Opera version, where both fairies are not danced in a tutu, they present an image of a much more superior being, They are dressed in lovely court costumes, equivilant to the King and Queen, In fact the roles are mimed. they are very gracious in the case of the Lilac Fairy, who wears a beautiful lilac coloured dress, in the period style. There is a much longer variation for the Prince in the vision scene, and when the Lilac Fairy comes to him she plays a major role, and clearly takes up the stage. When Princess Aurora arrives into the vision, she is drawn to the Fairy, and does her biding. After the scene, the Prince and Lilac Fairy travel in a boat, and then alight in front of the palace, where the evil Carabosse is spinning cobwebs, with her attendants who were the knitting girls. The Lilac Fairy exciiles the evil one, who collapses to be carried off to her doom. The latter character is played by a woman, not a Man, and is still fairly beautiful, but a mis guided and evil person. wearing a lovely costume with dark blue satin and sparkling jewels. The whole Paris Opera production is excellent, the costumes are exquisit, it is lwell lit and the scenery is very true to life, representing a wonderful palace,ballroom, and a woodland glade.

On the DVD the cast are{Aurelie Dupont (Aurora) Manual Legris, (Prince) Beatrice Martel(Lilac Fairy)

Nathalie Aubin(Carabosse).The fairies are Ruby, Emerald ans Saphire.Lead Fairy Diamond and her Cavalier.

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I agree with Nanarina, having recently seen this DVD, I enjoyed this production as well. The Lilac Fairy, is a central role, and I thought that the mime was especially clear and not lost,as it sometimes can be. I don't remember any male variation being as long as the one in the vision scene here in Nureyev's version! Magnificently danced by Manuel Legris. Rudi certainly loved his rondes des jambes!

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:P Yes... Ruddi and his passion foir R.D.J's. he was a real devil about them, I can remember him adding them to his Solo's, even when they were not part of the original choreography. He seemed to be really hung up on them. I think the extra long Prince's solo he put in the vision scene of Sleeping Beauty, is really effective, you have to be very patient, as it seems to go on and on. The stamina the Male lead needs to portray this must be huge, you can see Manuel Legris using his breathing control to be able to continue to the end. But he makes it so effortless. The portrayal and steps that are used by the Prince in this version, takes the role out of the usual supportive cavalier status, to a man with feeling and expression, looking for his special love to fill his loneliness. The Lilac Fairy comes to his rescue by showing him Aurora, when she asks hum "why are you crying"? he tells her "it is because he has not found love". The DVD is well worth buying to enjoy the performance and production. It really excells over the Royal Ballet version from an aesthetic point of view.

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I think the Paris Opera production has some nice costumes, some of the sets have a grandeur but with vulgar kitsch touches and for me the Paris Opera style has (Yvette Chauvire excepted) always shown too much semaphoring of the physicality of the steps they are executing and in general, the epaulement of the last two generations of dancers is a generally a killer.

Rudol Nureyev has to take some blame. but the significant legacy of Sylvie Guillem in the performance of academic classical ballet in Paris and across the world. has left a most negative impact and influence.

Chac un a son gout.

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I think the Paris Opera production has some nice costumes, some of the sets have a grandeur but with vulgar kitsch touches and for me the Paris Opera style has (Yvette Chauvire excepted) always shown too much semaphoring of the physicality of the steps they are executing and in general, the epaulement of the last two generations of dancers is a generally a killer.

Rudol Nureyev has to take some blame. but the significant legacy of Sylvie Guillem in the performance of academic classical ballet in Paris and across the world. has left a most negative impact and influence.

Chac un a son gout.

Yes, but the Paris Opera is not the only company guilty of this, it seems to be a modern requirement, which actually effected the Bolshoi and Kirov, their lifts and general technique amazed the West when it was first seen here. The higher the leg extends the better, as far as some people are concerned, making a modest arabasque or movement look insignifigant to the eye, which nowadays looks restricted. Sylvie Guillem's amazing technique, won her grteat aclaim and brought ballet into the realm of athletiscim, which had only been seen in visiting companies mainly from Russia.

Now we have got used to this style of dance, it is hard to return to the older rechnique as it is not as exciting or spectacular. As long as it is not over the top, and retains the elements of musicality, lyricalism and careful performance, which is appriopriate to the role being danced, it is acceptable.

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I think the Paris Opera production has some nice costumes, some of the sets have a grandeur but with vulgar kitsch touches and for me the Paris Opera style has (Yvette Chauvire excepted) always shown too much semaphoring of the physicality of the steps they are executing and in general, the epaulement of the last two generations of dancers is a generally a killer.

Rudol Nureyev has to take some blame. but the significant legacy of Sylvie Guillem in the performance of academic classical ballet in Paris and across the world. has left a most negative impact and influence.

Chac un a son gout.

Here, here, Leonid, regarding Guillem's negative impact and influence. I genuinely can't stand her dancing.

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I think the Paris Opera production has some nice costumes, some of the sets have a grandeur but with vulgar kitsch touches and for me the Paris Opera style has (Yvette Chauvire excepted) always shown too much semaphoring of the physicality of the steps they are executing and in general, the epaulement of the last two generations of dancers is a generally a killer.

Rudol Nureyev has to take some blame. but the significant legacy of Sylvie Guillem in the performance of academic classical ballet in Paris and across the world. has left a most negative impact and influence.

Chac un a son gout.

Here, here, Leonid, regarding Guillem's negative impact and influence. I genuinely can't stand her dancing.

I agree with what you both say about Guillem's style and technique, she woulld not be my favourite dancer, I also find her attitude (personal rather than the balletic one ) is not very endearing, professionally known as Madamoiselle Non!!! Again it is a case of technique over shadowing other essential qualities. But I do not feel negative over other Paris Opera dancers. Some I like, some I do not. It is the total image they project which gains my appreciation/admiration..No Guillam is not even on my list of favourites.

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Memorable Lilacs? Lyubov Kunakova (definitely!). Yulia Makhalina was also interesting to look at. Her lines are absolutely gorgeous when she dances after Aurora pricks herself... However, I don't think she is as "warm" as Kunakova (at least in that particular performance -- video with Lezhnina).

Also, in the scene where Aurora appears and dances a little with the Prince (for the 1st time) these two ballerinas do it a little differently. For example, when Aurora seems to escape from the Prince, and runs behind the corps de ballet, Kunakova seems to help the Prince capture her, whereas Makhalina almost tries to prevent him from capturing Aurora... I just thought it was an interesting observation.

Yes, Kunakova was lovely, and she stood out to me. She did have a warm stage personality and you were drawn to look at her. I am pretty sure I saw her dance live.

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Although the production was in no way worthy of her, Nichols was

a wonderful Lilac--regal, with grandeur and delicacy and

tremendous attention to detail, including gesture. I imagine

Lallone would be good in this role as well. Lucky viewers who

got to see Adams (!) and Bergsma, by all accounts one of the

most wonderful dancers ever at RB, in this role. Bergsma talks--

in the interview in Striking a Balance-- about the role, the solo,

and how nervous it made her, especially when she was first cast

in the New York run. She seems similar to Adams in more than one

way: self-effacing, modest, characterizing herself as a 'nervous'

dancer, and not quite convinced of her own overwhelming virtue.

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My favorite Lilac Fairy of all time is Deanne Bergsma. I saw her when she apppeared in the role for the first time in NY on opening night. Forget which year. She simply amazed everyone.

What do you think of having Lilac as a non-dancing role? I much prefer her to be one of the fairies.

I believe I saw one productin (was it the new Bolshoi version?) where she appeared as a dancing role and then later on she came in in a full dress, non-dancing.

what do "you all" think ?

Esperanto

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