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La vivandiere


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18 replies to this topic

#1 silvy

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 12:52 PM

Just would like to know if anyone know the plot of this ballet. I only have seen the version danced in a Kirov tape (Yelena Pankova, et all)

Silvy

#2 vrsfanatic

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 06:23 PM

silvy this is right out of Koegler..."...set in a small village in Hungary: Kathi, the camp-follower, loves Hans, the son of a tavern-keeper, but they have to overcome the jealousy of the Burgomaster and the Baron, who are both pursuing Kathi, before they can get married...." It was originally a 1 Act ballet but what the Kirov performs today is an excerpt of the original. I hope this helps.

#3 Mel Johnson

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 06:31 PM

It's essentially a comic ballet, set during the Napoleonic Wars. A vivandiere is a lady who runs the army canteen. She is VERY respectable, and nobody lays a hand on her, except with honorable intentions. My copy of Beaumont's Complete Stories of the Great Ballets is buried under loads of George Washington material, so I can't retrieve it easily.

#4 silvy

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 07:45 AM

Thanks so much, both vrs and Mel - indeed useful information

By the way, isn't a fragment of "La Vivandiere" danced in the film "The Company"? I thought it was a variation from this ballet I saw in a BBC newsreel about upcoming movies (please correct me if I am wrong)

From the video version I got I love it - love the style, and all. And regret it is not performed more often.

Silvy

#5 rg

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 09:14 AM

indeed, the scene in THE COMPANY where the dancer sustains an injury documents the joffrey's version of the pas de six from LA VIVANDIERE.
it might be useful to know here that this dance has come down to us because of St.Leon's notation system, stenochoreographie. St. Leon used this dance as the subject of his sample of his notation.
dance historian and dance notation expert ann hutchinson guest has published a monograph on the dance. this is the citation from the n.y.pub.library for the perf. arts:
Guest, Ann Hutchinson.
Title :La vivandière pas de six / choreography by Arthur Saint-Léon ; transcribed from Saint-Léon's notation score by Ann Hutchinson Guest ; music by Cesare Pugni and Jean-Baptiste Nadaud.
Lausanne : Gordon and Breach, c1994.
xiv, 163 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
Series :Language of dance series ; no. 6
Notes :"The music score" (p. [143]-163) for piano.
Subjects :Vivandière: Pas de six (Choreographic work : Saint-Léon)

according to ivor guest's informative accompanying text, the dance, now the pas de six about which you inquire, began life as a pas de quatre, in LE LAC DE FEES, a ballet by Antonio Guerra; it was originally danced by Ceritto and Guerra framed by 2 supporting female dancers. (as seems to have been the case of LA VIVANDIERE, LAC DES FEES disappeared - after 1842 - but the pas de quatre survived.)
apparently Ceritto had St. Leon rework it and restage it as a pas de six for her and for himself in LA VIVANDIERE, which as you likely know is known in russia as MARKITANKA - which i THINK means canteen-keeper/maid which is what i THINK it means in french.

#6 sylphide

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 03:56 PM

Are you talking about that scene in the movie The Company where a principal dancer is demonstrating a jump and tears her achille tendon? Because in the exerpt from la vivandiere that I have seen, it does not look like the same ballet at all! if not what scene is it? I remember disliking that movie for the lack of classical work in it.
Curious because I find this ballet most delightful to watch.

#7 perky

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 04:37 PM

And Yelena Pankova is a absolute joy to watch dancing the excerpt in that Kirov video!

Also a book I have mentions that although Saint-Leon is credited with the choreography, it was actually Cerrito herself who did it. Is this true?

#8 rg

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 07:46 PM

i saw THE COMPANY only once, at a screening, and as i recall there's a scene on stage late in the film, where the ballerina leading a perf. of LA VIVANDIERE PAS DE SIX - distinguished by its white tutu costuming and its dancing for the leading ballerina on clear diagonals- injures herself. (i do not here refer to 'the blue snake' work that finishes the film and finds the injured dancer in the wings, but perhaps i misremember the sequences.)

#9 Mel Johnson

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 08:32 PM

If this ballet were a WWII screwball comedy, it might have been called "The Gal from the PX" or something like that. Vivandieres were a particular feature of the French army, and were women who traveled about with their chosen regiments, wearing a version of that regiment's uniform. They were sutlers to the army, that is, they sold things at a reduced rate to the soldiers that they couldn't get through army supply channels. She acted as the Post Exchange, the personal private secretary to the enlisted men, many of whom were illiterate, a front-line nurse during battle, and general daughter/sister/mother/favorite auntie of the regiment. There were even some in the American Civil War, only about a dozen on either side, max. In the American War, they were referred to as "Mrs.", whether they were married or not, to emphasize their morally untouchable estate!

There are at least three versions of the "Vivandiere" pas de six out there, owing to differences in the interpretation of the notation.

(PS. In battle or on the march, these ladies carried a five-GALLON (20 liters) canteen on their left hip. The canteen was divided. The back four gallons were for the enlisted men - coffee {free} The front gallon was for the officers - brandy {1 sou}.)

#10 Herman Stevens

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 06:23 AM

And Yelena Pankova is a absolute joy to watch dancing the excerpt in that Kirov video!


There's also a DVD with the Vivandière pas de six with Alla Sizova. It's one of those fake-live "night of classical ballet" shows with ecstatic applause coming from nowehere. A Kirov speciality.

With or without gallon jugs strapped to the dancer's body, I think the Vivandière should definitely be co-sponsored by hip-replacement manufactors. At least the version I know features tons of very hard one-foot landings and very few cushy pliés.

#11 bart

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 08:44 PM

Several threads in the last year have dealt with in La Vivandiere.

Those who want to see a truly spirited and delightful version of the Pas de Six might seek out the Ballets Trockedero de Monte Carlo, which is currently touring this in a version staged by Elena Kunikova.

The main couple consists of a VERY tall ballerina and a VERY tiny partner -- and one of the ladies of the corps may be required on occasion to raise and hold the leg in arabesque of another lady who can't quite reach 90. But there's a great deal of pure dance very well handled. Not to mention the lilting Pugni music. (It's amazing how that guy, working so prolifically in such a narrow band of the musical spectrum, was able to turn out so much attractive, danceable music.)

Paul Parish's review of a performance last year (Danceview Times) is contained in this LINK to the review section of the Trocks' website Just click the third (last) Berkley CA review for 2005.

http://www.trockader...eviewFrame.html

#12 MinkusPugni

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 12:59 AM

The fact that the choreography on "The Company" is quite different to the Kirov production and all productions of the Kirov's seem to have all the Russian affectations put over the top of it makes me wonder how original is the apparent "Saint-Leon" work? Or has it simply evolved into a new work over the years?

#13 Mel Johnson

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:03 AM

Both productions were derived from St.-Léon's book Stenochoreographie. The differences between the two are traceable to the difference in interpretation of the less-than-completely-intuitive notation by different notation experts. Someone else's reading might easily look quite different.

#14 rg

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:52 AM

in short the differences could also be reduced to what Lacotte staged and what Guest staged.
Guest is a notation scholar; Lacotte is more a free-form/free-hand re-stager, it would seem.

Vivandière: pas de six: Chor: reconstructed by Pierre Lacotte after Arthur Saint-Léon; mus: Cesare Pugni. Perf: 1979; Kirov Ballet Company.

Vivandière: Pas de six: Chor: Arthur Saint-Léon after a pas de quatre by Antonio Guerra researched by Ivor Guest, reconstructed from notation by Ann Hutchinson Guest and staged by Maria Grandy; mus: Jean-Baptiste Nada after themes by Daniel-François Auber. First perf. by The Joffrey Ballet: New York, City Center 55th Street Theater, Oct 20, 1977.

#15 leonid17

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 10:31 AM

in short the differences could also be reduced to what Lacotte staged and what Guest staged.
Guest is a notation scholar; Lacotte is more a free-form/free-hand re-stager, it would seem.

Vivandière: pas de six: Chor: reconstructed by Pierre Lacotte after Arthur Saint-Léon; mus: Cesare Pugni. Perf: 1979; Kirov Ballet Company.

Vivandière: Pas de six: Chor: Arthur Saint-Léon after a pas de quatre by Antonio Guerra researched by Ivor Guest, reconstructed from notation by Ann Hutchinson Guest and staged by Maria Grandy; mus: Jean-Baptiste Nada after themes by Daniel-François Auber. First perf. by The Joffrey Ballet: New York, City Center 55th Street Theater, Oct 20, 1977.


The Kirov version of the pas de six may not be what is called authentic, but Alla Sizova aged 43 in the 1982 performance I copied from BBC TV, is probably the performance for all time. I remember playing it forwards and backwards to look at the execution of the batterie as it seemed unbelievable. The choreography may not have been authentic, but who since could dance this role so wonderfully, execute authentically and with such a brilliance.


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