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EvilNinjaX

Petipa version v Sergeyev version?

47 posts in this topic

interesting, as usual, mel, your point about the panorama mishap sat the petersburg premiere.

similar things seem to have gone wrong with the panorama on the opening of diaghilev's bakst 'sleeping princess' in london, with yard goods failing to move at their intended stately rate and with crumpled pile-ups instead.

i have yet to see a panorama based on the 1890 original; the particular maryinsky machinery mechanisms remains specific to that house and to the best of my knowledge no attempt has been made to transfer whatever vikharev and his team managed to re-do for their touring of the new/old BEAUTY.

we certainly didn't get any rolling canvas in NYC and i'm told they didn't get any in london either.

i'm not even certain that vikharev's staging actually tried to reproduce the 1890 look for this passage.

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Why on earth is the Mariinksy touring with that god-awful Sergeyev production?!?!?!?  :yucky:

Solor, that is a good question. The MT is bringing the Sergeyev to three US cities this fall. Why? I guess there is some reason, but it sure will keep me from traveling from the East Coast to CA or Detroit.

:yucky: indeed!

Richard

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I'm sure they are touring with the Sergeyev production for the same reason they toured with the Chabukiani/1940s production of Bayadere - tour economics. The Sergeyev production is probably more portable, while the Reconstruction sets are much more elaborate - and not to mention the shear number of people on stage for the Reconstruction. With three cities on the tour, it would not be able to move fast enough and the cost of housing or casting supernumeraries in each city would be enormous. And, sadly, much of the audience might not be as interested in which production comes to town as, say, a New York or London audience who is familiar with ballet history.

Washington did have the Reconstruction Sleeping Beauty at one point, didn't it?

Also, Re: Natalia's post from Aug 3 -

The Kirov's tour repertory for June 2006 in Washington has changed. No more La Bayadere, but instead the Forsythe mixed bill that was seen in London as well as Giselle. The dates have also moved back one week (which means the Kirov will now be immediately followed by The Royal Ballet - a jam packed two weeks!).

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I'm sure they are touring with the Sergeyev production for the same reason they toured with the Chabukiani/1940s production of Bayadere - tour economics.  The Sergeyev production is probably more portable, while the Reconstruction sets are much more elaborate - and not to mention the shear number of people on stage for the Reconstruction.  With three cities on the tour, it would not be able to move fast enough and the cost of housing or casting supernumeraries in each city would be enormous.  And, sadly, much of the audience might not be as interested in which production comes to town as, say, a New York or London audience who is familiar with ballet history.

Art, you might be right about the economics, and it may be motivated by the tour stops. It's sort of snobby to think that that's why the tour isn't stopping on the East Coast.(not snobby on your part....on the tour management)

Interesting that the Bolshoi just brought their massive Pharaoh's Daughter to NYC but not the other tour stops. Again , maybe a decision motivated by economics.

Richard

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Why on earth is the Mariinksy touring with that god-awful Sergeyev production?!?!?!?  :yucky:

Solor, that is a good question. The MT is bringing the Sergeyev to three US cities this fall. Why? I guess there is some reason, but it sure will keep me from traveling from the East Coast to CA or Detroit.

:yucky: indeed!

Richard

This is strictly MO. Richard, Solor I rank in order the two main reasons why they're bringing the Sergeyev:

1. Uliana Lopatkina

2. Economics

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Cygnet -

What does Uliana Lopatkina have to do with it?

a little :yucky: to my post, I remeber reading in an interview that Assylmoratova was very upset and in tears after seeing the New/Old Bayadere premiere. Not sure where I read it though.

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Cygnet -

What does Uliana Lopatkina have to do with it?

a little  :yucky:  to my post, I remeber reading in an interview that Assylmoratova was very upset and in tears after seeing the New/Old Bayadere premiere. Not sure where I read it though.

Hi Solor, I did say IMO :D .

-She is the de facto PB Assoluta of the MT; as such she has influence.

-She's a, if not the major cultural icon in Russia.

-This production is the version of her beloved teacher's (Dudinskaya) husband. Who, buy the way didn't attend the premiere of the new/old version in 1999 out of respect for her husband.

-UL has gone on record that she dislikes the reconstructions as have many of her colleagues.

-If they took a company vote between the two productions, I believe they'd vote for S' version everytime.

- If she's listed on tour and if they bring SB - it's going to be the Sergeyev.

- She only dances Sergeyev's Lilac.

-St. Pete's audience reveres her for respecting his and her teacher's memory by not dancing, and (thereby 'validating') the new/old version(s).

Her non-participation in the retro versions has some impact on issues such as touring rep, (at least as far as SB is concerned), and legitimacy with her audience - as they perceive it. Also, like your statement about Asylmuratova, alot of the MT dancers hate the retro versions because they are different from what they learned, and grew up with. (To them), these productions suggest that everything they learned was false. The huge financial and physical logistics of the new/old production have already been covered :yucky: .

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-She is the de facto PB Assoluta of the MT; as such she has influence. 

-She's a, if not the major cultural icon in Russia.

-This production is the version of her beloved teacher's (Dudinskaya) husband.  Who, buy the way didn't attend the premiere of the new/old version in 1999 out of respect for her husband. 

-UL has gone on record that she dislikes the reconstructions as have many of her colleagues.

-If they took a company vote between the two productions, I believe they'd vote for S' version everytime.

- If she's listed on tour and if they bring SB - it's going to be the Sergeyev.

- She only dances Sergeyev's Lilac. 

-St. Pete's audience reveres her for respecting his and her teacher's memory by not dancing, and (thereby 'validating') the new/old version(s). 

Her non-participation in the retro versions has some impact on issues such as touring rep, (at least as far as SB is concerned), and legitimacy with her audience - as they perceive it.  Also, like your statement about Asylmuratova, alot of the MT dancers hate the retro versions because they are different from what they learned, and grew up with.  (To them), these productions suggest that everything they learned was false.  The huge financial and physical logistics of the new/old production have already been covered :yucky: .

So Cygnet,

It sounds like a lot of emotional issues are at work here. I can sort of understand that, it's the old "mom's cooking is best" kind of thing.

It seems a shame to to have gone through all the effort of the reconstruction and have the dancers (and I would guess a lot of Russian audiences) not want to see it.

Hopefully this resistance will slowly fade away. I still think that the Sergeyev has a lot of mediocre elements to it. But that's me

Richard

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Well isnt that just a little overly dramatic!

So Duinskaya didnt go to the premiere out of respect for her husband? Why was it viewed as a disrespect? That is so....well I best keep my opinions to mself, I might make someone mad.

Cygnet, where did you hear all this? I did not know Dudinskaya got so personal over it, geez its just a ballet!

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Well isnt that just a little overly dramatic!

So Duinskaya didnt go to the premiere out of respect for her husband? Why was it viewed as a disrespect? That is so....well I best keep my opinions to mself, I might make someone mad.

Cygnet, where did you hear all this? I did not know Dudinskaya got so personal over it, geez its just a ballet!

Hi Solor, I read and saved critic Igor Stupnikov's column 'Letters from St. Petersburg' where he gave an eyewitness account from the premier. I can't

remember at the moment the precise address of the link. I'll have to blow the dust off my papers to find it :off topic: ! It can be Googled though. I do recall his sanguine review of opening night and the subsequent casts of the following nights. He noted that she was conspicuously absent during the run. The manner in which he phrased his comments re her absence implied that she was offended. Maybe, maybe not. Personally, I don't think he should have mentioned it at all. Bottom line is he noted (and stated that others in the MT), noted that she wasn't there, however inappropriate that may have been at the time. My take is that Igor must have been in the Sergeyev camp. Scholl also got (I'd say) rather pointed quotes from Dudinskaya herself on the matter, ("SB A Legend In Progress"). Perhaps Igor should have done the same?

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Quote - Cygnet

"Scholl also got (I'd say) rather pointed quotes from Dudinskaya herself on the matter, ("SB A Legend In Progress"). Perhaps Igor should have done the same?"

Indeed Scholl did.....and if she did'nt attend the premiere because of being offended, then her comments that were quoted in the book make her sound like kind of a hipocrate.

She said and I quote -

"Of course, Vaganova recieved the roles in thier original form from the hands of Petipa himself. As she always did, Vaganova taught us the original version staged by Petipa, without any simplifications, adaptations, deviations, or changes....However at present, none of the ballerinas dance the original versions as they were taught by Vaganova. All the performaers adapt, change, simplify, or slow down the tempo of the variations."

THEN SHE SAYS -

"This is not right. What is even more dangerous is that teahcers permit these changes."

This quote came from a special issue of the Russian dance journal 'Balet' (formerly Sovetsky Balet)

Then she is quoted in Scholl's book saying things like how Sergeyev's revivals preserve the old works. She also says that one cannot tell what is Petipa and what is Segeyev. She also says that Sereyev made the male roles more prominent in the old Ballerina cenetered ballets (though this is incedental to the fact that ballerina technique was more evolved than danseur technique, right?)

Then she is quoted saying -

"In my own teaching I adhere to the same principles to which I adhered while performing on stage. My students dance exactly what was choreographed, the way I danced, the way that I was taught by Agrippina Vaganova, who learned the originals from Marius Petipa himself. This helps in the preservation of a continuous link between the generations....

THEN SHE SAYS

"Our academy does not have the right to change the choreography of the great masters. Above all, it must preserve to irreplaceable heritage of Marius Petipa."

Perhaps she meant that students should know the orignals, but that does not mean they must perform them. But then again, from the sound of this quote, she was talking about performing the orginal Petipa.

Cygnet - I tried to look up this article by Igor Stupnikov but with no luck. Could you post it for us if you have it?

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Cygnet - I tried to look up this article by Igor Stupnikov but with no luck. Could you post it for us if you have it?

If you find the article, we'd appreciate it very much if you would post a link; a short excerpt is optional.

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Quote - Cygnet

Then she is quoted in Scholl's book saying things like how Sergeyev's revivals preserve the old works. She also says that one cannot tell what is Petipa and what is Segeyev. She also says that Sereyev made the male roles more prominent in the old Ballerina cenetered ballets (though this is incedental to the fact that ballerina technique was more evolved than danseur technique, right?)

Then she is quoted saying -

"In my own teaching I adhere to the same principles to which I adhered while performing on stage. My students dance exactly what was choreographed, the way I danced, the way that I was taught by Agrippina Vaganova, who learned the originals from Marius Petipa himself. This helps in the preservation of a continuous link between the generations....

THEN SHE SAYS

"Our academy does not have the right to change the choreography of the great masters. Above all, it must preserve to irreplaceable heritage of Marius Petipa."

Perhaps she meant that students should know the orignals, but that does not mean they must perform them. But then again, from the sound of this quote, she was talking about performing the orginal Petipa.

This sounds like a lot of double talk to me . If nothing else, how can in one breath someone say " you can't tell what is Sergeyev and what is Petipa" and then in the next "Sergeyev made the male roles more prominent"

My thinking is that if the MT theater doesn't want to give up the Sergeyev version that they have known and loved for a long time (what like 50 years or so?) that's their right. But don't issue self contradictory statements.

Again this is what you are used to is what you like the best, but I think of the British versions (of course there have been tinkerings there) as being closer to what I think of Petipa. Just my opinion.

Richard

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Hi Richard, Solor & Helene! I apologize for my late reply; I was on vacation. I found the link! Stupnikov's article is "Russian Terpsichore's Soulful Flight - St. Petersburg's Ballet Life 1999." That was a rough surf; this is an obscure link.

http://www.theatre.spb.ru:8100/seasons/1_1...lish/russian%20 terpsichore.htm

Stupnikov summarizes the 1998/99 MT season. IMO he gave the premier lukewarm praise. Dudinskaya's 'absence' is on p.6, second paragraph. Richard, now that I've read it again, I find that Igor was engaging in doublespeak too. I'm firm that it was inappropriate to mention at all. He asks 'what do (we) do with both of these productions?' like we don't need two. Then he says in the next sentence (oh, BTW) that" . . she (Sergeyev's widow) wasn't there sic." Inference: She wasn't there (for whatever reason). That's it; game over - we know which one to support. Now that's an ambush. So, it seems he was firmly in the Sergeyev camp, but on the 'fence' in print. The 15 page

article also contains other things, such as IMO, the astonishingly immature and

unquotable statements of some of the young stars at that time.

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Cygnet,

Many thanks for spending the time to search for the article!

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Lewis Segal's review of the Opening Night performance of Sergeyev's Sleeping Beauty in Los Angeles struck me as a scathing indictment of the Sergeyev production:

Midway through Marius Petipa's 1890 ballet classic, "The Sleeping Beauty," there's a pantomime passage in which the Prince sadly confesses to the Lilac Fairy that there's no one he loves — and she shows him a vision of what he's been waiting for all his life: the enchanted, enchanting Princess Aurora.

You won't find that passage in Konstantin Sergeyev's 1952 revision of "The Sleeping Beauty," which Russia's Kirov Ballet performed Wednesday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on the opening night of a five-performance engagement. Instead, you'll see the Prince and the Lilac Fairy dancing together so long that it's reasonable to assume he's in love with her — after which Aurora makes an anticlimactic entrance.

This small but disastrous reversal of Petipa's intentions is one of the many, many wrong decisions that the '52 version makes in trying to replace mime with dance and change "The Sleeping Beauty" into something like a classical abstraction.

Yes, Sergeyev refers to the story often enough, but the choreographic variety and emotional context of the original have been so compromised that the result seems much longer than the authentic, unabridged 1890 edition that the Kirov reconstructed six years ago.

http://www.calendarlive.com/stage/cl-et-ki...stage-top-right

A general discussion of the pros and cons of reconstructions took place on this thread. Aside from the political aspects of the selection of the Sergeyev version for this tour, which were discussed in the current thread and by Natalia in the Battling Beauties thread, can anyone who has seen both productions speak to Segal's assertion that the emotional intention of the ballet is missing from the Sergeyev version?

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Aside from the political aspects of the selection of the Sergeyev version for this tour, which were discussed in the current thread and by Natalia in the Battling Beauties thread, can anyone who has seen both productions speak to Segal's assertion that the emotional intention of the ballet is missing from the Sergeyev version?

I have no idea what he means by this. It never struck me before. I didn't see this particular performance, so I don't know, but maybe that's just what he saw. The question could well be: What are the current Kirov dancers making of Sergeyev's production?

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Hi Helene!

I recall that Segal went :lightbulb::yahoo: when they brought the 1890 to the Met in July 1999. He covered opening night (Zakharova's performance). His review hailed the Kirov for having the courage to research its past. It was the intricate mime, minute details in the choreography and the stage foot traffic that floored him, particularly in the Rose Adagio. After seeing the Royal, ABT, and Kirov tapes

of the Sergeyev (Kolpakova & Lezhnina), the details blew me away too.

As far as emotional intention, Segal liked details such as: Emphasis on the love between the King & Queen rather than Aurora and Desire, and the huge crowd scene that (almost) obscures Aurora's accident. He thought that the crowd made sense, because Carabosse did her dirty work, with hardly anyone noticing until it was too late. Another example is after the King had mercy on the knitters. He and the Queen stare into each other's eyes holding hands for the entire opening of the waltz. They don't mount their thrones until the waltz is well underway. Mainly, he saw details like this as a story about the King & Queen trying to keep their dynasty alive and Aurora as the means to do it. So, Aurora is "gamma," Desire "delta," and the King and Queen are "alpha and beta," in the 1890. In the Sergeyev Aurora is "alpha," and really second to none. Lilac is "beta" and the King & Queen are incidental. In the Sergeyev and other productions, Lilac can sometimes overpower Aurora. It depends on the calibre of the two ballerinas. Also in the Sergeyev everyone's technique is on display because everyone's dancing and not gesturing.

My guess is that Segal, (who has seen this before when they last brought it here in 1989), now feels that nothing compares to the 1890. IMO If you want pure classical dancing for the sake of dancing, its the Sergeyev. If you want "Lord of the Rings" pomp & circumstance, 99% of the music, and all the blanks filled in, then the 1890 is your show. Both productions are beautiful. The difference is the emphasis.

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As someone who has only seen the Soviet era version (among Russian productions), and who is not often moved by extensive mime or complex stage action outside the dancing, it's been quite fascinating to follow this discussion and those on previous threads. On the whole, I Cygnet's comment seems quite commonsensical:

IMO If you want pure classical dancing for the sake of dancing, its the Sergeyev.  If you want "Lord of the Rings" pomp & circumstance, 99% of the music, and all the blanks filled in, then the 1890 is your show.  Both productions are beautiful.  The difference is the emphasis.

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I'm sure the reason that Sleeping Beauty is coming to Berkeley in Sergeyev's version is that the 1895 version could not fit onto our Zellerbach Hall stage, which is not really very big.

The Cuban Ballet's Giselle could barely fit, the Bolshoi's Swan Lake was cramped --

none of our stages are really very big out here. Zellerbach;'s stage is smaller than the Opera House's, but when the Paris Opera Ballet brought their Bayadee to the San Francisco Opera House, they had to leave off the temple staircase in the opening scene (so Nikiya had to made her entrance just stepping out onto the flat stage), and for the Shades scene they had to leave off one of the flats, which looked quite seriously "wrong" -- but it's just not a deep enough stage.

I'm sure that only the Met Stage, and I guess the kennedy Center's, and probably the big theater in Costa Mesa, could hold the reconstructed 1895 original -- badly as I want to see it, I don't think it's realistic to expect it to be stageable in the Bay area.

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Another reason why a lot of MT dancers may prefer the Sergeyev version - apart from loyalty to what they perceive as their heritage (i.e. the version they watched as they fell in love with ballet and which they were taught - is that there is a lot more steps per minute in the Sergeyev.

In my view the little pdd Lilac and Desire are having before he gets to check out Aurora is 100% inappropiate, dramatically; every time I see it I think, too, Lilac's coming on to him. However, I suspect a lot of dancers just think, "hey, people come to watch us dance rather than pace about and mime".

I have not seen the Vikharev reconstruction yet (and if Natalia is acurate in saying it's rolled out only once or twice a year chances I'll get to see it are pretty slimbo), but the pictures do give one the sense there is an awful lot of heavy costumes - not just for the extras and corps members (as in Wright's RB version) but also for the protagonists, such as Lilac and Desire, who seems to be wearing a giant wig and a major hat. Dancers don't like that, obviously. (Scholl mentions a Desire who says he's going to lose the hat as soon as he's out of the wings - excellent indispenable book btw.)

Of course it's weird when Dudinskaya says her husband was faithful to the Petipa choreography and added more material for the male dancers. However I'm prepared to believe she's really sincere in that this was good and honest, rather than double talk. The expansion of male dancing, call it Nijinsky's revolution, is one of the biggest things in 20th century Russian ballet, and had Petipa lived he'd made more stuff for this new generation of men - I guess that's what the thinking is.

I believe it's the Grigorovitch (rather than the Sergeyev) version in which Desire enters the hunter parting with a whole string of huge jumps and tours, and only when he's received the first applause he remembers his heart is really empty? In both the Sergeyev and the Grigorovitch you really have to juggle mentally between what you know the story is, and the dancing that goes on. Sometimes this can be quite satisfying when the added steps are good, but in the case of Lilac's non-stop bourreeing you don't get a lot of interesting steps in return for the killed mime.

I do, however, love Lilac's variation in the Prologue pas de six - and I don't even know whose it is. Lopukhov, Sergeyev? Does anybody know?

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