Bournonville films in London
Posted 25 June 2005 - 09:36 AM
Posted 25 June 2005 - 12:58 PM
Posted 25 June 2005 - 01:05 PM
Posted 25 June 2005 - 01:10 PM
Most of the Bournonville ballets -- even the Far From Denmark and Kermesse -- were televised in the 1980s, and there is some footage back to the first group that visited Jacob's Pillow in 1950. I'm always suffering Bournonville withdrawal, and so I'm jealous.
Posted 26 June 2005 - 01:01 PM
Borge Ralov (Gennaro), Mona Vangsaae (Teresina)
Ruth Andersen, Kirsten Ralov, Inge Sand, Margrethe Schanne, Vivi Thorberg, Fredbjorn Bjornssen, Henning Kronstam, Kjeld Noack, Stanley Williams
The extract starts with the third male solo (Kronstam) followed by the pas de six and Tarantella.
Has anyone seen this? It sounds unmissable although the quality is apparently not perfect.
Posted 26 June 2005 - 01:43 PM
Posted 04 August 2005 - 11:41 AM
The only thing I wished is that we could have seen it again straight away.
It starts right in, with no introduction, into Henning Kronstam's solo - he was about 22 I think, and I would hardly have recognised him. The presenter, Richard Dimbleby TALKS all the way through - I think he was setting the scene and explaining what was happening but I managed to ignore most of it. Then there were the women's solos - I recognised Mona Vangsaae and Inge Sand. then the end of the pas de six, the Tarantella (Margrethe Schanne and Kronstam doing the bit with the scarf!), and right on to the end of the ballet. then one curtain call, and the Danish national anthem, showing King Frederick and Queen Ingrid in the Royal Box with Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. (QE2, with tiara, only just comes up to the King's shoulder.)
Overall, just like with films of the British RB from that time, the technique isn't nearly as tidy and refined as you see today, but there is so much life and spirit in it! It was also much faster than they do it today, I think, and so exciting.
But the STAR, the STAR, was Borge Ralov. Can it be right that he was 49 at the time? We didn't see enough of him to see how much technique was left, but the style, the charm - what a scene-stealer!
It's being shown again on the afternoon of Aug 20th - if you care about Bournonville, be there! (And the preceding performance of the whole ballet by Scottish Ballet is very nice, too.)
Posted 04 August 2005 - 03:11 PM
Posted 04 August 2005 - 03:40 PM
Alexandra after your course last summer, Rachel is a Bournonville fan.
Posted 08 August 2005 - 06:57 AM
Posted 08 August 2005 - 08:42 AM
Liebs, I'm glad Rachel remembers Bournonville fondly. The world cannot have too many Bournonville fans
Jane, yes, Kronstam would have been 22, and extremely thin. They must have either cut off, or neglected to film, the beginning, since that would mean at least two men's and two women's solos, and some trios, would have been omitted, if they followed the same order. Odd.
Posted 09 August 2005 - 03:39 AM
Alexandra, on Aug 8 2005, 05:42 PM, said:
When I first saw it, in London in 1974, must have been a transitional period - Jame s did the second solo in Act 1 but the first one wasn't Gurn but another dancer - Arne Willumsen in that case. I'd love to see it sometime in the version where James doesn't dance till the second act - it must be an extraordinary effect when he finally leaps into action. Kehlet actually did James in that season, before he'd danced it in Denmark according to the RDB site. (But it was Ryberg the night I was there.)
Alexandra, on Aug 8 2005, 05:42 PM, said:
It was a live broadcast, I think, so presumably they just started wherever the performance had got to at 10 o'clock or whatever.
Posted 09 August 2005 - 06:46 AM
I would, too. It was changed, by Flindt, in 1965. I've seen a non-dancing Gurn as late as 1993 -- when Alexander Kolpin was injured (and he was a marvelous Gurn). Kronstam danced both versions, and told me in interviews that during the solos James was walking around the room, greeting each guest and thanking them for their gifts. It doesn't make sense that James would dance, because, by Bournonville rules, the hero cannot dance while the balance of his mind is disturbed, and Kronstam said that "it never felt right" (although he loved doing the solo). And the dramatic point, as you note, of James finally finding flight, when his soul and his body are free, in the forest is lost. But I don't think any force could pry those solos away from the dancers, at this point
Posted 24 August 2005 - 01:15 PM
Jane Simpson, on Aug 9 2005, 12:39 PM, said:
Well, it would be nice if all my balletic wishes were answered so speedily: tonight's films in this series included a performance of La Sylphide by Ballet Rambert televised in 1961, and the two first act solos were danced by two 'village boys' (and at least one of them was in tonight's audeince, I think!). The impact of James's first solo in Act 2 wasn't quite what it might have been in the theatre, but it was very interesting to see it all the same. Of course the other effect is that Gurn doesn't get a solo at all.
The rest of this programme consisted of 2 extracts from Peter Schafuss's production for London Festival Ballet filmed in 1980 - what a contrast! James even has a new solo, just before the Sylph appears at the window - Schaufuss believed this was restoring the original version as danced by Bournonville himself (though the choreography was new, by Schaufuss.) Niels Bjorn Larsen was the witch in this one - fabulous. Star of the Rambert version was Lucette Aldous as the Sylph - James was Flemming Flindt.
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