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Guest Rosmarinus

POB videos

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Excuse me, does anyone know about making DVD of La Syphide this season? I've heard the TV team will take not a pair of Dupont and Legris but Letestu and Martinez. There's no news I could find on the official site of POB....

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I've heard that it will be indeed filmed with Legris and Dupont (on July 10th, 12th and 13th- the POB web site lists Martinez for the 13th, but it must be a mistake as Martinez is not supposed to dance with Dupont and Hurel), but it was not official news, so I don't know how reliable it is.

But in general the direction seems to like to film Dupont and Legris, as they already were filmed in "Don Quixote" and "The Sleeping Beauty" (and they were supposed to be filmed too in "Paquita", but Dupont got injured and couldn't dance it, and they filmed Letestu and Martinez instead). They're wonderful dancers, but I wish they would film some other dancers too and not always the same ones (and what a pity there were so few films with the dancers of the previous generation of principals, for example I'd have loved to see a video of Loudières in "Giselle" or "La Sylphide"...)

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>>(and what a pity there were so few films with the dancers of the previous generation of principals, for example I'd have loved to see a video of Loudières in "Giselle" or "La Sylphide"...)

And how about Elisabeth Platel - isn't it scandalous we have no filmed performance of a full lengh ballet in which she took a lead? It's never too late, if only they decided to release something out of their archives - Raymonda, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake.... they would surely make my day!!

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>I've heard that it will be indeed filmed with Legris and Dupont but it was not official news, so I don't know how reliable it is.

Estelle

It is very kind of you to let me know that above!! As a couple for la Sylphide, I prefer Dupont and Legris. Otherwise I wonder if there' s no indication for such programme, I mean Film making, on the offical site.

>They're wonderful dancers, but I wish they would film some other dancers too and not always the same ones

I agree with Estelle and Naoko S as well. I really want to have films, Swan Lake with Letestu and Martinez ( I wonder why POB doesn't make this film with Noureev version...a popular Ballet classic! ) and as for Giselle with Maurin. But are there any chances for us to see the films with retired dancers, like Platel and Guerin... I really hope so!!

Edited by Rosmarinus

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From a purely commercial viewpoint (and that’s - like it or not - the only one that really counts for the distributing houses), producing ballet videos/DVDs is a very risky business. It remains a fact that the market for those items is extremely limited and it’s not because ballet X is popular in the theatre that it will sell when released on home video.

The Paris Opera Ballet is for that matter doing great. We had several of their current productions in the last years on DVD – something which cannot be said of all major ballet companies – and of course there will always be somebody who prefers this or that cast to the one featured on the DVD, but there is really no such thing as a wishing list in this racket.

(Platel can be seen as Gamzatti alongside Guérin and Hilaire in the POB's Bayadère.)

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Oh yes, it's a pity there are so few videos of Platel- only Gamzatti in "La Bayadère" and the bride in "Les Noces" (but that's not a big role). But the POB didn't released many videos in quite a long period, unfortunately (and also some ballets were films and shown on TV, like for example "Le Tricorne" and "Le train bleu", but never available on tape and on DVD). They seem to film more ballets now, but still not enough...

[Edited to add that I posted that message before seeing Marc's message.]

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if memory serves, i think platel is featured in some of dominque delouche's films, in particular i believe she is the dancer being coached by chauvire in aurora and perhaps in other roles too. but i don't think delouche's films are available commercially.

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rq, there's indeed a video/dvd nearer to what you described which has been sold in Japan for many years. It's titled "Une Etoile pour l'Exemple", directed by D. Delouche, Mme Chauvire coaching the then rising stars of POB: Guillem, Loudière, Pietragalla, etc. But in the detailed description Platel's name is not listed - perhaps what you had seen was a slightly different version from this? (I myself have not seen the video so cannot confirm the descriptions are correct or not.) For those who are interested, here's a link to a Japanese retailer's website (although it's only in Japanese I'm afraid):

http://www.fairynet.co.jp/www/on-shop/html/av/dv980706.html

Fortunately they have left for us many a documentary films in which we are able to see Platel dancing for rehearsals/real things alike, making comments. In particular in their wonderful "Dancer's Dream" series she is featured in more episodes than anybody else as a "Nureyev's muse" (that's how Mme Lefèvre described her, I seem to recall). But this is not the same thing for seeing her in an entire full-lengh ballet, I must say (although I'm immensely grateful to her appearance as the second role in "La Bayadère" - it's better than nothing at all!). Sadly no one can disregard commercial aspects of this ballet video business, but what about moral obligations? Too strong a word, perhaps, but particularly in her case I cannot but feel that people responsible for the decisions should think really hard on what's genuinely worth filiming and being left for future audience. In a decade or so people would know her only by name; some might have more luck than others to catch a glimpse of her in those documentary films - but it's never enough, and I'd call this a tragedy........

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Naoko, I agree with what you wrote about videos being useful for the next generation- and I'd also add that they also are very useful for the people who live in places with few opportunities to see some live ballet (when I started being interested in ballet as a teen-ager, I lived in Grenoble, where very little ballet was performed, and became interested in ballet thanks to a TV program about Nijinsky and some books. I remember how envious I was of the people who were lucky enough to see real performances, especially in Paris!)

From that point of view, it's extremely sad that the French TV isn't as interested in culture (that's an euphemism) as it used to be in the 1970s and 1980s: quite a lot of ballets were filmed and shown on TV, they were not available as tapes but at least some people could see it (and record it)... Françoise knows more than me about it, and it always makes me a bit envious (and angry about the present TV programmers) when I read about some wonderful videos which were shown on TV in the early 1980s! Well, in that time the French TV channels were public, and less concerned with audience figures and advertisement...

Well, I realize that discussion has gone a bit away from the POB Sylphide. So perhaps we should create a new discussion about POB videos and stay on topic in this one.

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I saw that video "Une Etoile pour l'Exemple" yesterday. Unfortunately, Pallatel is not included. But there I re-encountered the beautiful performances by Guerin, Loudiere, Khalfouni and of course Mme Chauvire. Even though she just shows some samples, her arms are so real like a swan... After that I strongly agree to what Naoko S said. Films are not only treasures for Ballet viewers but useful materials for next generation.

As a topick of POB videos, I could understand what Haegeman said. Ballet video doesn't pay for business. It's a niche market. But isn't it possible for the company to make Video/DVD as a project when anniversary, like Noureev, Balanchine or special event like the retirement of Bessy? If there are many films with ex-etoiles, it's pity not to put on view to the general public.

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Concerning Claude Bessy, they made a special documentary about her career called "Claude Bessy ou la Force d'un destin". We saw her when she was rehearsing Béjart's Concours where she was Miss Maud, the ballet teacher who discovered the young Ada. But it's sure that they should record the gala with all the "pupils" as well the Nureyev's one. I think the French video market is not hungry about these kind of documents.

We must recognize that they make several recording since some years, as Hurlevent, Clavigo, le Parc for the contemporary works. Signes by Carlson should be issue very soon I suppose as it was recorded with Marie-Agnès Gillot and Kader Belarbi, Ivan le Terrible was also recorded with Eleonora Abbagnato, Nicolas Le Riche and Karl Paquette, they must recorded Sylphide with Aurélie Dupont, Manuel Legris, Mélanie Hurel as Effie and Isabelle Ciaravola and Mathieu Ganio as scottish pdd. Next year they must record Neumeier's Sylvia with the cast which must be film next year (Eleonora Abbagnato, Manuel Legris, Nicolas Le Riche, Delphine Moussin and Wilfried Romoli),, they must also record Jeune homme et la mort with Nicolas Le Riche and I presume Marie-Agnès Gillot and Carmen with Clairemarie Osta, against we don't know who must dance Don José with her !

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I'm with you on this, videos of ballet performances have their value for various reasons and we can never have enough of them, but it remains a fact that they are really hard and expensive to produce nowadays. Galas and one-time events are filmed and commercially released only in exceptional cases. As we can see from the performance videos that are available - they prefer to shoot them on several occasions and edit them afterwards (or in the case of the "Bolshoi at the Bolshoi" videos film the performances without a public and then add the sound of applause for the atmosphere). Yet, I can only repeat, the POB is doing real great with filming in the last years.

Estelle, true about the French TV channels where there is very little happening re ballet - just as little as on the other major European channels - and maybe the situation was better ten or more years ago (although we are considering the harvest of several years together there), yet now we have the pay channels which sometimes specialize in "culture" and bring ballet at regular times.

Finally, it's true that the TV archives are loaded with ballet material they once broadcasted, but then shelved. And I fear that's where they will remain for the remainder of their existence. I know several cases of people trying to obtain copies from certain programs broadcasted not even such a long time ago (they are public domain, at least in certain countries), but the TV archives couldn't already locate them anymore - or they couldn't be bothered.

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my sometimes vague memory was trying to retrieve the following delouche film that included platel, as you can see, & as i now see, i was mistaken, the coach is hightower not chauvire in the session with platel for aurora.

so i was off the mark but not out out the ballpark, as the saying might go.

Le spectre de la danse 1961-85.

90 min. : sd. color with b&w. sequences.

Notes: Series of short films on dance by Dominique Delouche of Les Films du Prieuré from 1961 to 1985, given the overall title Le spectre de la danse. Distributed in the U.S. by Nicole Jouve of INTERAMA.

CONTENTS. - : Le spectre de la danse (1961) b&w., 21 min.: with dancers Nina Vyroubova, Attilio Labis, Serge Golovine and Youly Algaroff; choreography by Serge Lifar. L'adage (1964), b&w., 14 min.: with Vyroubova and Labis; text by Heinrich Heine. Aurore (1982), color, 16 min.: Rosella Hightower coaches Elisabeth Platel for the role of Aurora in The sleeping beauty. - Pas à pas (1982), color, 10 min: John Neumeier and Patrick Dupond rehearse Neumeier's Petrouchka. Leçon de ténèbres, 1985, color, 5 min.: Maiia Plisetskaia improvises to a Couperin composition sung by countertenor Alfred Deller. Le cygne (1983), color, 11 min.: Yvette Chauviré coaches Dominique Khalfouni in Saint-Saëns' Le cygne. Autour de La sylphide (1984), color, 10 min.: Ghislaine Thesmar, Yannick Stéphant, Michael Denard rehearse parts of Pierre Lacotte's La sylphide.

hope this makes more sense.

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Without make commercial video, they can broadcast gala on TV as they do for the Royal Ballet cloture or opening Gala of Royal Opera House of Covent Garden or some other galas. It's not because they broadcast it, they will not fill the show room :shrug: !

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rq, thanks v much for taking time to post this! Looks like a very interesting documentary they filmed here - what a shame it's no longer accessible to us (as far as I'm aware, it's not commercially available - is it?) ........

Mark, when you stress that "the POB is doing real great with filming in the last years", is it based on a relative comparison with other major ballet companies? If so, yes, I'd admit they were indeed doing a good job compared to, for example, companies M or B of Russia. (Considering a prestigeous place they've held in the ballet world, their neglect in this filming business is simply outrageous; it's as if they've not had a slightest interest in contributing to promote the form of art by sharing their great assets with a wider audience.) Didn't NYCB used to have the video series called "Balanchine Library"? (I'm not sure if they are still available.) It does sound like a very appealing idea to me - having POB Library, Mariinsky Library, etc. (But then I may just be day-dreaming....)

Françoise, thanks for the detailed info. on upcoming filming projects. Personally I'd trade DVDs of all of these works with a single DVD featuring Platel in the lead role (and in the classics of course)!

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Without make commercial video, they can broadcast gala on TV as they do for the Royal Ballet cloture or opening Gala of Royal Opera House of Covent Garden or some other galas. It's not because they broadcast it, they will not fill the show room  :shrug:  !

It's not enough. To broadcast it once on some foreign channel in the middle of the night, and then shelve it, never to use it again - that's not very useful.

Yes absolutely, Naoko, I meant Mariinsky and Bolshoi especially - where no ballet video was commercially released in the last ten years outside their own theatres (even the filming of the Bolshoi's "Pharaoh's Daughter" is a French initiative). I'm afraid that we still have a much too idealistic view of this matter. It's really not about "having interest in contributing to promote the form of art by sharing their great assets with a wider audience" - it's foremost about money.

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It's not enough. To broadcast it once on some foreign channel in the middle of the night, and then shelve it, never to use it again - that's not very useful.

It's sure that it will be just for a night but you know perfectly that ballet amators loves to see this kind of problem and own material to record it :rolleyes: . It will be better to diffuse the great galas that some other people who never go to Ballet can see and can go after than never diffuse it.

In Russia they broadcast too many Bolshoi or Kirov Ballets on Kultura channel and it's good to can see Limpid stream, Notre-Dame de Paris, Bayadere, Eifman's ballet or other productions like that even if they don't make video after. For me it's also interesting to have the both thing !

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!

I'm afraid that we still have a much too idealistic view of this matter. It's really not about "having interest in contributing to promote the form of art by sharing their great assets with a wider audience" - it's foremost about money.

Why not - I'd rather discuss about "ideals" than to be a wise man and keep my mouth shut without any attempt.... I mean, if us ballet fans did not bother to make our own wish-list on must-have "dream" ballet videos, who would?

I'm totally ignorant on the background of the commercial side, but one interesting point is that whenever I browse through current ballet video catalogues, I cannot help but feel that even when they venture to release non-profit making ballet videos they are not always careful in selection. Often choice of works/choreographies for certain companies/dancers seems wrong, or not convincing enough to stimulate (even a ballet fan's) appetite - I guess there must be a room for some improvements in this department. Another myth is that while there's no doubt that a ballet video wouldn't make a block-buster, does releasing a new video or two cost a ballet company dear - could it cause a financial disaster? I wonder if there really is no hope at all for ballet companies to make a profit out of this video business........

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According to the official site of POB, as in James, Manuel Legris is replaced by Mathieu Ganio. Therefore we might see the film with a new couple, Aurelie and Mathieu.

I was very surprised this big dicision; a very young new Etoile will stand in the positon after his recent nomination. And there I have another worry, no one would be replaced except this young Etoile? I know that some Etoiles have long been absent, but still there're few I think.

http://www.opera-de-paris.fr/0304/fiche_597_distri.html

Edited by Rosmarinus

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Thanks for posting the link, Rosmarinus, I had heard about it but had forgotten to post it. That's a pity for Legris fan, as I'm not sure he might dance James again, given his age (turning 40 this year).

I was a bit surprised to see that the video will be filmed with Mathieu Ganio, who is very young and has never danced that role before (and perhaps a bit tall for Aurélie Dupont?) But as far as I know, among the present principals, Hilaire and Belarbi don't dance that role any longer,Le Riche won't dance it this time (perhaps because of a tour in Spain? I don't know), Bart is absent for injury unfortunately, so the only other choice would be Martinez but he's supposed to dance with Letestu. And probably they don't want to film premiers danseurs, even though Benjamin Pech is quite experienced in that role. Well, we'll see! I hope that it won't be too stressful for Mathieu Ganio: dancing the role six times, with two different partners (Ciaravola and Dupont) and being filmed during three of the performances, that's not the easiest way to start his career as an étoile!

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I don't understand why people are shocking because a young dancer is recorded in a movie. It's sure that in Paris it's unusual to have young "principals" but in all the other countries, principals are young and they're the star of the ballets. For example Polina Semionova who is 19 year is Cinderella in Malakhov version.

I think that Pierre Lacotte agrees for this choice. He dislike Letestu's Paquita, and Martinez never dance with Aurélie Dupont very strangely. Mathieu is not too tall for Aurélie as he was a bit small for Agnès :rolleyes: !

Jean-Guillaume Bart will dance Diamonds in the Spanish tour with Marie-Agnès Gillot. As you said, Estelle, Kader Belarbi and Laurent Hilaire don't dance this part from a long time. I don't believe that Kader danced James, and theorically Laurent Hilaire has left his Etoile career for a Ballet master one ! Nicolas Le Riche don't dance the part this year and was already recorded this year in Ivan le Terrible. I don't think that James is his best part too. Mathieu Ganio was by fact the only one etoile able to dance this part.

I don't think that Pierre Lacotte wants to cancel the movie because of him. He wants absolutely have Aurélie Dupont in one of his production since Paquita. Aurelie should be filmed in Paquita but she injuried herself and the recording was postponed, it's for that Agnès Letestu and José Martinez were filmed in Paquita, but it was not the choice of Lacotte.

We must not forget that Lacotte made record his own Coppelia with POb School of Ballet and with Charline Giezendanner and a young pupil called.......... Mathieu Ganio :wink: !

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Mathieu Ganio was by fact the only one etoile able to dance this part.

I thought the whole point of those that feel unconfortable about this casting is that Ganio hasn't in fact danced this role at all. He is an unknown quantity as James and I imagine his being chosen to star on this recording is as baffling as his promotion to etoile in the first place.

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I think it's completely Mathieu's technical possibilities. And I suppose that Direction will cancel the movie or Pierre Lacotte himself cancel the movie if they suppose that Mathieu will not be good as James.

It sure that he never dance this part, but I have completely confidence in him :wink:

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Mathieu Ganio was by fact the only one etoile able to dance this part.

I thought the whole point of those that feel unconfortable about this casting is that Ganio hasn't in fact danced this role at all.

That above is what I wanted to say. I am not stocked but a bit surprised.

I saw Mathieu dance several times. Indeed he is full of talent. But isn't it quite big decision to film a young dancer without any experience of this role? That's my point of view.

How about "Casse Noisette"? It was filmed with E. Maurin and L.Hilaire in their youth. but they already had danced their roles, hadn't they?

( If it's not correct, please let me know. )

Even though my little surprise, of course, I' agree to what Francoise said. I expect the film La Shyphide with Mathieu and Aurelie. :wink:

Edited by Rosmarinus

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