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H. BrendaReconstruction of Ballets


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#1 paul

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 05:27 AM

I have seen a ballet lately by Vincenco Galeatti "Les caprices de Cupidon et le Maitre de Ballet". It says. Reconstruction H.Benda.
Does anyone know whether H. Benda has reconstructed any other ballets? :thanks:

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 05:56 AM

Paul, do you think that could be "H. Brenaa"? If so, that would be Hans Brenaa, who was a master of all ballets Danish, but he died in 1988. He was a great stager and a genius at incorporating the Danish style of doing things in companies not otherwise trained in Bournonville and the related ballets of the Royal Danish repertoire.

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 06:17 AM

That reconstruction was by Hans Brenaa who, as Mel said, was the chief stager of Bournonville ballets. In the 1960s, he was the one responsible for the Bournonville repertory. He left in the mid-1970s after a tiff with the artistic director. He was brought back to the company in 1978 and staged most of the ballets presented at the first Bournonville Festival. He not only "kept up" the ballets, as the Danes say, but he actually brought two of them back from the dead: "Kermesse in Bruges," which, after a few very bad productions was thought to be too old-fashioned and would have been consigned to the dust heap but for him, and "The Kings Volunteers on Amager," which had been out of repertory for nearly 30 years and which he revived from memory. He had been a star dancer wth the company -- he created the turning role in "Etudes". And he was much loved.

The ballet you saw, usually translated as "The Whims of Cupid and the Ballet Master," was first given in 1787 and is the oldest ballet in repertory anywhere. It's been changed quite a lot -- some dances are on pointe now, and the blackface characters have changed country quite a bit (from African cannibals to Caribbeans; I don't know what they are in your version). It's still in the RDB repertory, technically; there are people who can bring it back. It was last staged by Flemming Ryberg for the Theatre's 250th anniversary a few seasons ago.

#4 paul

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 08:40 AM

Thank you so much for this information.
I do have another question (which strictly speaking should perhaps not be discussed here. ) I got hold of another reconstruction of a ballet. Apparently from the Novosibirks Ballet. It is called "Zephyr et Flore". A Ballet apparently from 1812. To my mind a very authenic reconstruction. Is there someone who specialises in this sort of work in Novosibirks? :thanks:

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 10:19 AM

Ah, Novorsibirks. One of the smaller Copenhagen suburbs :thanks: Not I, I'm afraid. Paul, you might want to try asking that one on Ballet History. RG might know. All I can tell you is that Zephr et Flore was The Big Hit of choreographer Charles Didelot, the Frenchman who did two very productive stints in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, right before pointe work came in. He was partial to flying dancers (lots of wire work, for both men and women). I would suspect that this is a rechoreographed version rather than a restoration from memory. :)

#6 paul

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 11:13 AM

Ah, Novorsibirks.  One of the smaller Copenhagen suburbs :thanks:  Not I, I'm afraid. Paul, you might want to try asking that one on Ballet History.  RG might know.  All I can tell you is that Zephr et Flore was The Big Hit of choreographer Charles Didelot, the Frenchman who did two very productive stints in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, right before pointe work came in. He was partial to flying dancers (lots of wire work, for both men and women).  I would suspect that this is a rechoreographed version rather than a restoration from memory. :)

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It is apparently done after notations. I asked russian friends about it. But they were so aghast that I could se anything in this appaling ballet and refused to take my interest and love for the work serious at all. But I shall persist.


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