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Alexandra

Swan Lake productions

What's the Best Swan Lake production today?   51 members have voted

  1. 1. What's the Best Swan Lake production today?

    • 1. ABT's (McKenzie)
      8
    • 2. NYCB's (Martins)
      1
    • 3. Royal Ballet's (Dowell)
      10
    • 4. POB's (Nureyev)
      4
    • 5. Kirov (Sergeyev)
      18
    • 6. Other (please specify)
      10

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52 posts in this topic

Thank you, drb!

What beautiful hands Lopatkina has.

Just posted in balletco's gallery are 24 photos of the Mariinsky's Swan Lake currently appearing in London. Tereshkina/Kolb.

http://www.ballet.co.uk/gallery/jr_kirov_swanlake_0705

Included are nine photos of The Real Act 4. This is what we're missing, fellow ABT fans! And what a corps.... Maybe this post should have been to the Act 4 string?

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The Real Act IV doesn't end Happily Ever After :)

Well, it is what Stalin ordered! But at least, until the blown ending, there is beauty.

Of course you're right, Leigh. Your remark reminded me of a summer of true Swan Lakes, three decades ago. First ABT's, with Makarova/Nagy. Followed into the Met by The Royal's, with Makarova/Dowell. Both were true to the choreography, tragedy, and the feelings expressed with mime. It is unfortunate that now the best we can do is 'improved' by being mimeless, yet adhere's to tradition established by 'The Great Leader.' Where's a Lake worthy of Veronika Part?

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.

My favorite past productions were the ones I grew up with, Ashton’s for the RB (I loved his first act waltz) and Blair’s for ABT. I would love to see a plain vanilla traditional Swan Lake. Does anyone know what the one the Perm ballet is bringing to NJPAC & Princeton is like?

nysusan,

I think we grew up on the same two Swan Lakes. The Ashton one for Royal Ballet and the Blair for ABT were the ones I came to know the ballet by.

Your question on the Perm version is interesting.

This is not an answer because much can change in 13 years, but if you click on the Amazon link and search Swan Lake Perm, you will see the VHS with Nina Ananiashvili from a 1992 Perm performance.

I have this, haven't looked at it in a long time, but remember it being being similar to other Russian/Soviet versions. (these are not pluses for me)

But I do remember some very nice work from the corps, which surprised me, then I did a little research and found that Perm is a major ballet company, maybe 3 rd after Maryinsky and Bolshoi in Russia, or rather the former USSR.

I also remember Nina's very fast fouettes in Act 3.

Richard

I think Bolshoi´s Swan lake from 1989 with Alla Mikhalchenko and Yuri Vasyuchenko is great! But i´m sure Kirov Swan lake is great too. When i did look for the Swan lake on dvd i couldn´t find Kirovs but if they did had Kirovs Swan lake i would buy it.

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There are at least two Swan Lake DVD's with Kirov

http://ginza.se/Product/Product.aspx?ItemId=126328

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005NGA...&v=glance&n=130

I really love the first one from 1968 with Yelena Yevteyeva as Odette/Odile, it's a studio production, but be aware that the sound quality is not the best.

Thanks for letting me know that:)

Speaking of the Swan lake have u seen the Swan lake where Nathalie dances Odette/Odile and Andres Nordström like the prince Siegfried?

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Rosie,

You can use the "Search" button at the top of the page to search for the names of the performers or ballets, to see if anyone has seen or commented on the ballet. We're a discussion board and not set up for a chat format.

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Alexandra, how could you have overlooked this one?

N.B. I just found this link and don't know how long it will remain active.

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Does anyone know what the one the Perm ballet is bringing to NJPAC & Princeton is like?

The current Perm Swan Lake is by Natalia Makarova. It's fairly traditional, except that it's firmly in No Mime Country.

The Perm dvd Swan Lake with Ananiashvili is a different version by Nikolai Boyarchikov, a seventies / eighties choreographer who at some point made a Romeo and Juliet with three or more Juliets on stage just to show us This Could Happen To You Too.

His Swan Lake is not nearly as weird, but it is too bad Ananiashvili wasn't filmed in a better production.

My response to the big question is, by now, NONE. I'd be tempted to vote for the Kirov, because that was the best Swan Lake dancing I have ever seen, three nights in a row. But the Jester drives me crazy. There are too many Swan Lakes (as compared to Raymonda, for instance) and there are too many choreographers with solutions to non-existent problems in Swan Lake.

Maybe it would be a good idea, as Balanchine suggested, to call every single ballet Swan Lake no matter what it really is. That way companies would be absolved of the need to put together lousy Swan Lakes.

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Alexandra, how could you have overlooked this one?
:thumbsup: Apologies. I thought this was a direct link.

To open the file, open "Arts" on the Channels Menu, click "Music and Dance," and "Scene from Swan Lake" is (at least at this writing) the second option on the third panel (11-15).

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Re: "this one"

Thankfully, Sveta Zakharova left the Mariinsky, for they surely would have dumped Sergeyev's for "this one": ideal for the extensions they made her perform (thank you Bolshoi for letting her become a real ballerina). It would just have been a matter of finding a Siegfried with a thick enough skull to withstand her pointes!

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Other than the dreary sets at the end of its run, ABT's David Blaire production was the one I watched the most. For me the synthesis of mime and dance in the White Swan Act, was the epitome of classical ballet. For me the only ballet that came close was the Kingdom of the Shades Act in Bayadere, before we got Makarova's production in 1980.

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Other than the dreary sets at the end of its run, ABT's David Blaire production was the one I watched the most. For me the synthesis of mime and dance in the White Swan Act, was the epitome of classical ballet.

Agree with this. And there was NO jester.

RIchard

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I found Perm's version, shown last week here in Berkeley, very satisfying. Especially Ashton's choreographyfor hte corps inact 4, so moving, so intricate, so appropriate, -- and beautifully danced.

THey get the basics right; it's a tragedy.... the young prince enters reading, and walks into hte waves carrying her lifeless body at the end. That's righteous.

There are aspects of the decor I don't like -- SO many characters with long ugly hair. SOme unattractive costumes at court. But the swans are well dressed, and the lakeside scenery is good enough.

The choreographic choices are very fine, mostly (I don't like breaking up the dance of the would-be brides; the rearranging of hte order of act 2 , with hte pas de deux at the end, I didn't like so much but a case could be made for it).

The dancing was sincere, handsome, generous -- which is more htan can be said for most Swan lakes.

Classical and character dancing were both distinguished. in the national dances the Mazurka was especially beautiful.

ANd the pacing was very smart -- Black Swan was truly exhilarating -- the prince was not a glamorous sort of guy, but his DANCING hurried away hte soul. He could absolutely soar. Moiseyeva, the ballerina, I admired a lot -- she's another dancer who's transfigured by the act of dancing (a natural Odile, not at all a natural Odette, too muscular, too strong, but she made a sincere attempt to make you love Odette.... beautiful phrasing, lots of heart).

THere are lots of penny-wise-and-pound-foolish Swan Lakes out there; this one put their resources very much in the right place.

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I found Perm's version, shown last week here in Berkeley, very satisfying. Especially Ashton's choreographyfor hte corps inact 4, so moving, so intricate, so appropriate, -- and beautifully danced.

Paul, I'm rather intrigued by this Makarova / Ashton version of Swan Lake as originally done for ENB. I can't find anything about it on the ENB web site, and the earliest ENB Swan Lake production I recall (and there have been many....) was by Raisa Struchkova complete with soviet-style happy ending, which would have been around in the early 90s I think, before the Deane versions. When was the version you are referring to here made - would it be the 1980s ? Maybe around the same time as ENB took on Ashton's version of Romeo and Juliet ? just curious......

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I voted for the Mariinsky's Sergeyev version (over POB, ABT, NYCB, and Bolshoi) because of its satisfying 4th act IN SPITE of the happy ending.

PS Haven't seen Perm's or RB's current version.

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I voted for the POB Nureyev, having just viewed it, because it's classy, traditional, with very satisfying ending, and the solos Nureyev interpolated for Siegfried do not detract from the Petipa/Ivanov structure one bit.

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Hey Lynette,

Wish I could say for sure about the date of ENB's --

I think there is a connection with Royal Danish Ballet's Ashton Romeo and Juliet - Peter Schaufuss is the connection (Schaufuss's mother, I THINK, was Ashtons -- original?-- Juliet at the Royal Danish Ballet, where he made his R&J).

MAkarova made her SL when Peter Schaufuss was director of the English National Ballet (he starred in it but was i thought strangely wrong for hte role -- handsome, glamorous, technically brilliant, yes, BUT temperamentally he was cocky, he strutted, which didn't make the Prince plausibly sensitive or melancholy). Leanne Benjamin was fabulous in hte first act pas de quatre. Makarova herself, looking pretty, made a tiny appearance as a serving-girl with a flask of wine. So it must have been not long after her retirement, maybe ... MAYBE? around hte time she did "On your Toes"?

I expanded what I postred here about Perm into a full-scale rview for this week's Dance View Times:

http://www.danceviewtimes.com/2006/Spring/03/perm2.html

wonder what you'll think.

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NYPL cat. entry for makarova's swanlake:

Swan lake

Chor: Natalia Makarova after Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa, with additional choreography by Frederick Ashton; mus: Peter Tchaikovsky; scen & projections: Günther Schneider-Siemssen; cos: Dietmar Solt; lighting: David Mohr. First perf: Bradford, Eng., Alhambra Theatre, Apr 12, 1988; London Festival Ballet

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I had a VHS of Makarova and Nagy. I watched it so much that it broke. To this day I cannot find that production on DVD, I think it was ~ '75 at the MET? I have searched to no avail, yet I have it burned into my memory as being the single best SL program. Her Odette in this production was solid and confident. However, her 36 fouettes looked a big haggard at the end.

Does anyone know this production?

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Paul, I'm rather intrigued by this Makarova / Ashton version of Swan Lake as originally done for ENB. I can't find anything about it on the ENB web site, and the earliest ENB Swan Lake production I recall (and there have been many....) was by Raisa Struchkova complete with soviet-style happy ending, which would have been around in the early 90s I think, before the Deane versions. When was the version you are referring to here made - would it be the 1980s ? Maybe around the same time as ENB took on Ashton's version of Romeo and Juliet ? just curious......

Jack Carter staged Swan Lake in the mid 1960's for London Festival Ballet(which became ENB) using the music in the order composed for the 1877 Bolshoi production. Makarova's version was originally staged for ABT. There is a studio performance on video of the ENB in Makarova's production with Peter Schaufuss and Evelyn Hart.

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makarova's SWAN LAKE is listed as follows in the NYPL dance collection:

Swan lake : Chor: Natalia Makarova after Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa, with additional choreography by Frederick Ashton; mus: Peter Tchaikovsky; scen & projections: Günther Schneider-Siemssen; cos: Dietmar Solt; lighting: David Mohr. First perf: Bradford, Eng., Alhambra Theatre, Apr 12, 1988; London Festival Ballet.

it was filmed as follows, the same year it seems:

Natalia Makarova's Swan lake [c1988. 116 min. : sd. color

Co-produced by Danmarks Radio and RM Arts in association with Channel Four and Primedia. Producer/director: Thomas Grimm. Host: Natalia Makarova. Distributed as a videocassette by Public Media Home Vision, a Films Incorporated Company.

Choreography: Natalia Makarova after Frederick Ashton, Lev Ivanov, and Marius Petipa. Music: Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky. Scenery/costumes/back projections: Günther Schneider-Siemssen. Scenery adapted for television by Ves Harper. Original stage lighting: David Mohr. Television lighting: Jorgen Johannessen and Tim Hunter.

Performed by London Festival Ballet. Cast: Evelyn Hart (guest artist) (Odette/Odile); Peter Schaufuss (Siegfried); Martin James (Benno); Elizabeth Anderton (the queen); Johnny Eliasen (Rothbart); Leanne Benjamin, Christine Camillo, Patrick Armand, and Alessandro Molin ([Act I] pas de quatre); James Supervia (master of ceremonies); Karen Gee and Martin James (Neapolitan dance); Theresa Jarvis, Louise Hynd, Irina Roncaglia, Laura Contardi, Josephine Jewkes, and Marion Van Den Burgh (fiancées); Gee, Jarvis, Susan Hogard, and Jewkes (cygnets); and others. Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Graham Bond.

re: ABT makarova staged LA BAYADERE and Paquita Grand Pas Classique for the co., but no SWAN LAKEs.

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I had a VHS of Makarova and Nagy. I watched it so much that it broke. To this day I cannot find that production on DVD, I think it was ~ '75 at the MET? . . .

Does anyone know this production?

That was actually '76, I believe. I remember watching a rerun in lower Manhattan amidst the big July 4, 1976 US Bicentennial celebrations. The production is David Blair's staging, which is missed by many long-time ABT watchers, self included.

I hope it becomes available as a dvd.

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for some odd reason(s) the ABT linc.cent. telecasts that were realeasd commercially by 'bel canto'? w/ makarova - SWAN LAKE w/ nagy and GISELLE w/ baryshnikov - were withdrawn early and never picked up by other videocassette or dvd distributors.

both come up at irregular intervals on ebay, tho' who knows if these used cassettes are in good condition.

fyi: the info from nypl dance coll. on the SWAN LAKE:

Swan lake / WNET/13 ; director, Kirk Browning ; producer, John Goberman ; choreography, Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa, staged and directed by David Blair ; choreography for peasant dance and goblet dance (Act I), Neapolitan dance and Spanish dance (Act III), and storm scene (Act IV) by David Blair ; music, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky.U.S. : WNET, 1976.(180 min.) : sd., col.

Telecast by WNET/13, New York on its series Live from Lincoln Center, on June 30, 1976 from the New York State Theater.

Scenery, Oliver Smith ; costumes, Freddy Wittop ; lighting, Jean Rosenthal.

Host: Dick Cavett.

Danced by members of American Ballet Theatre: Natalia Makarova (Odette/Odile), Ivan Nagy (Prince Siegfried), Lucia Chase (Princess-Mother), Enrique Martinez (Wolfgang), Terry Orr (Benno), Marcos Paredes (Von Rothbart), and William Carter (Spanish dance), with Warren Conover, Kristine Elliott, Nanette Glushak, Jolinda Menendez, Hilda Morales, Kirk Peterson, Frank Smith, Marianna Tcherkassky, Clark Tippett, Charles Ward, Rebecca Wright, and artists of the company.

Conductor: Akira Endo.

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for some odd reason(s) the ABT linc.cent. telecasts that were realeasd commercially by 'bel canto'? w/ makarova - SWAN LAKE w/ nagy and GISELLE w/ baryshnikov - were withdrawn early and never picked up by other videocassette or dvd distributors.

both come up at irregular intervals on ebay, tho' who knows if these used cassettes are in good condition.

Yes, it is odd but just as you note, my copy of the Swan Lake (as well as the Giselle) shows Bel Canto--Lincoln Center Video. Then in tiny print Paramount Home Video.

I think your comment about the condition of the tapes is apt, I got a new copy of the Swan Lake about two years ago and the color shows sign of deterioration. It would really be nice to get a nice, remastered release of this and the Giselle.

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