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Ivan the Terrible

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#16 FauxPas


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Posted 21 July 2011 - 12:17 PM

indeed, one Bolshoi Ballet ref. book i have gives Yuri Vladimirov as the first-cast of Grigorovich's IVAN THE TERRIBLE for the premiere on 20 February 1975.

Yuri Vladimirov was also chosen to film the role in 1976:


This earlier filming is available on DVD on the Kultur label.


BTW: the 1990 film preserves Grigorovich's second revised version of the ballet. I think that the earlier film is abridged and a studio filming. The 1990 film is done onstage and is complete.

#17 Quiggin


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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:04 PM

Thanks, Bart, for the clip of Ivan part II which I haven't seen since I was in college in Chicago. I remember there being a bit of a shock when the film went over color for a reel or two. Probaby shot on some Agfacolor the Russians had appropriated from Germany – a rather lovely filmstock.

And Eisenstein's appreciation of a certain kind of male beauty is certainly upfront, no close-reading necessary.

One of the sweetest scenes is when Ivan is first seated on the throne as a child and his feet won't reach the floor and dangle side to side.

#18 bart


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 11:50 AM

And Eisenstein's appreciation of a certain kind of male beauty is certainly upfront, no close-reading necessary.

The face of the male singer in the clip -- the one that appears from behind the woman's mask -- is extraordinary. So many of Eisenstein's faces remind me of German expressionist films -- very stylized, intended to show character, not to reflect subtle changes in emotion. When a character IS in conflict, you see it in big dramatic movements of eyes, mouth.

But this young man's face is angelic and masculine at the same time. Feelings seems to pass over it; you have to look closely. It's seductive and slightly scary at the same time.

The Paris Opera Ballet version of the ballet -- on dvd with Nicolas Le Riche -- doesn't try to reproduce Eisenstein's expressionism or color palate. Paris in recent years seems to favor a generic look in its full-length ballets: sleek; subtly colored; gorgeously lighted (oftenin tints of blue). The effect is of a plusher, more glamourous Russia, and an Ivan who is more founded (less angular) and more human.

I could find only one clip from the POB version. Unfortunately, it's from a different part of the story , and thus doesn't allow for a direct comparison with innopac's clip. But you can get an idea of how Ivan and his world "look" from the perspective of the Palais Garnier.


#19 innopac


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Posted 22 July 2011 - 06:47 PM

Here are two more of Le Riche:

Link 1
Ivan the Terrible (Paris Opera Ballet, 2003)

Link 2
Ivan le Terrible ballet Opera de Paris Nicolas Le Riche Meeting Ivan & Anastasia

#20 bart


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Posted 23 July 2011 - 05:55 AM

Thank you, innopac, for finding these. Your Link 1 shows the same section as your earlier link to Vasiliev. That means we CAN compare. I'm a great admirer of Le Riche, but the differences are so great. Compare at the hands, for one thing. Or the strain (or lack thereof) in neck and face. Or the explosion (or not) into big jumps across the stage.

Le Riche is doing choreography ... beautifully. Vasiliev seems to be living the feelings of a tortured man and expressing them through every part of his body. What he does with his face (the whole head, actually) reminds me of Orthodox Icons of holy martyrs, minus their serenity.

What explains these differences? Is there a performance style -- possibly unique to the Bolshoi in the 70s or thereabouts -- that has been lost? Or which is inaccessible to someone with Paris training?

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