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Apollowhich version?


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#1 rkoretzky

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 08:25 AM

Do readers have a preference regarding the "full-length" Apollo, versus the truncated version?

I do. After much thought, I would always prefer to see the entire ballet. I recall a conversation that I had, with a member of this board, whose favorite Balanchine ballet is Apollo--he mentioned that he loves the "sunburst" ending of the shorter version. I agree that it is a magnificent tableau, albeit only as part of the choreography in the longer ballet--instead of a stunning conclusion. BUT.

The prologue, early variation, and conclusion give a context to the piece. It all makes so much more sense when you see the whole story unfolding. The music is so glorious--Suzanne Farrell did mention in her talk at the dance museum last Friday that she wondered why Mr B would want to cut any part of the score.

Did ABT ever have Apollo in their rep? It seems to me that they did--this question is brought about by the "what Balanchine ballet should aBT do next?" I'd love to see them do a full Apollo. And parenthetically, have any of you seen NYCB do the full length? I seem to think that I have--at SPAC, during the 1993 Balanchine celebration. But I am perfectly willing to admit to being incorrect on this. The memory isn't what it used to be....

#2 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 09:29 AM

Interesting question, especially Farrell's comments in your related posting (that she thought Balanchine may have eliminated the first variation because it presents the youthful, clumsy Apollo and male dancing had gotten to a level of virtuosity where Balanchine didn't want a male dancer to look clumsy.)

Is it possible that Balanchine had a split view of the ballet as a work for demi-caractere dancers or classical dancers? Maybe he pulled the birth scene and the variation out to make it less demi-caractere? But then again, he did that when Baryshnikov took the role, and I think he saw Baryshnikov in demi-caractere roles (Rubies, et al.)

I answered your Apollo question about ABT on the other thread - they have the '57 Apollo in rep. NYCB alternated it with the later version in repertory, and I believe you're correct, they did it for the '93 celebration.

#3 Farrell Fan

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 10:23 AM

I suspect I'm the member who said he liked the sunburst ending. If so, I've changed my mind and prefer to see the full Apollo every time -- with the Stravinsky score intact. The ending going upstairs to Mount Olympus is good, too. :innocent:

#4 atm711

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 06:15 PM

Interesting question, especially Farrell's comments in your related posting (that she thought Balanchine may have eliminated the first variation because it presents the youthful, clumsy Apollo and male dancing had gotten to a level of virtuosity where Balanchine didn't want a male dancer to look clumsy.)

How far back did Farrell go with this observation? I have photographs of Andre Eglevsky (with Alonso, Zorina and Kaye) from 1943 performing Apollo---and Eglevsky was not behind the 8-ball when it came to virtuosity. B)

#5 Quiggin

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 08:20 PM

I saw the San Francisco Ballet long version earlier this spring and, while I enjoyed seeing this version once in a while, I prefer the shorter, starburst ending, which always moves me terribly. There is a bit of clumsiness to going up the stairs, and the birth scene is a bit old fashioned for my taste, not so High Modernist. That said, I did, however, like seeing the "wheelbarrelling" at the beginning. And as much as I like Stravinsky, a little less sometimes strengthens the whole.
Incidentally, the SF readings of Apollo, especially with Gonzalo Garcia, while not brilliant, were very, very good (better than the 1990s, post-Ib Andersen NYCB ones, but maybe there are more persuasive opinions on this).

#6 carbro

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Posted 06 June 2004 - 09:41 PM

*--> Yes, Baryshnikov brought Apollo to ABT when he returned as AD, and the company performed it fairly recently. I missed Carreno's performances in it, which remains a major source of personal frustration.

*--> I like the full version, but I love the sunburst as the final tableau. Can we make our own shortened long version, Farrell Fan (along the lines of the Kirov's New Old classics)?

#7 rkoretzky

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 04:13 AM

[quote name='Farrell Fan' date='Jun 6 2004, 06:23 PM']I suspect I'm the member who said he liked the sunburst ending. If so, I've changed my mind and prefer to see the full Apollo every time -- with the Stravinsky score intact. The ending going upstairs to Mount Olympus is good, too.  :innocent:[/quote]
[QUOTE]

Yes indeed, FF--you are the mystery guest!

After reading responses, I am more convinced than ever that the full length Apollo is the one that makes sense, musically, choreographically and textually. As to the question of when Balanchine made the eliminations, I don't know the answer, but it was certainly much later than the 1940s, wasn't it?

Related questions: to whom did Mr B give Apollo? Who has a say in which version is performed? I would guess the Trust?

If I were staging Apollo (uh-huh, we all can dream, right?), I would do the entire ballet. But at the "sunburst moment", I would have a long pause to give the audience the pleasure of taking it in. Something so magnificent shouldn't be rushed. And then I would go on and finish the job.

#8 kfw

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 06:10 PM

. . .  I prefer the shorter, starburst ending, which always moves me terribly. There is a bit of clumsiness to going up the stairs, . . .

I love the sunburst (who could not love it?) but that slow ascension to Parnassus, and those arms reaching slowly and majestically, are what moves me.

#9 tempusfugit

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 06:52 PM

The sunburst is a wonderful image, but it pales next to the "freezing simplicity" (Arlene Croce) of the REAL (okay, first and foremost) ending. The ballet has many gorgeous baroque moments (the sunburst, the troika, the Muses lifting and lowering their legs on the floor) but it's the plain, elemental, rough poetry of the birth scene and the apotheosis which frames and explains the other choreography. Who but Balanchine would end with such a divinely ordinary passage?

#10 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 02:42 AM

As a record...(bad video, but still, worth to see the WHOLE ballet...)

 

A very young Toto Carreno in the role, and the late great Josefina Mendez as Terpsichore...

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=-vZh72OYSjo



#11 Swanilda8

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:09 AM

Here's one of d'Amboise performing the full-length version.  

 

Personally, I prefer the shorter version.  The sunburst is so beautiful, and frankly the opening scene makes me more than a little uncomfortable. 



#12 DanielBenton

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:38 AM

I also prefer the shorter version: it is Balanchine showing how to accomplish all that is necessary with economy of means.  Only Anton Webern or late Beethoven is comparable.  The original "full" version seems long and complicated by comparison.  The eliminated parts are "nice" and "interesting" but are a burden that detracts from the main point of the work.



#13 DanielBenton

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:40 AM

And I should add, comparable also to the late serial works of Stravinsky himself!



#14 sandik

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:07 AM

I disagree -- I find the shortened version much less powerful, particularly the long walk they take to get into the sunburst.  I also miss the set-up from the birth, which gives the opening section more context.



#15 Helene

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 02:24 PM

I agree with sandik, and I love Apollo's first solo, which is chopped from the shortened version.




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