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Petipa version v Sergeyev version?


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#16 Hans

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 10:05 AM

I didn't even know the Sergeyev version used the panorama. Natalia, since the machinery is so integral to the theater, do you know if it's from 1895? I do recall my first ballet teacher showing the class a video in which a panorama is used...is this perhaps the video with Kolpakova? I'd kill to see it again.

#17 FauxPas

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 12:35 PM

Hans, you don't have to kill to see the Kolpakova "Sleeping Beauty" again - it is available on a Kultur DVD that was just released a week ago.

I happened to have appreciative but very mixed feelings about the Vikharev reconstruction of "Sleeping Beauty". Of course the dancing was lovely and the extra mime did help the story. However the look of the production was very heavy and rather overstuffed and Victorian. The set and costume designers used to work separately and I believe there were even different designers for the sets for different act (one designer specializing in outdoor scenes, etc.). The sets and costumes didn't complement each other very well and were stylistically at odds and the color palette didn't blend. Also all the costumes for the corps were very different in color, decoration (too much decoration) and skirt length. It made you see the corps as disparate clumps of individuals rather than as one unit. I know that great ballet aficionados who saw the original 1890 production (Alexandre Benois, Diaghilev) thought it an amazing gesamkunstwerk - a perfect blending of music, sets, costume design, dancing and acting but the visual evidence from the reconstruction was a bit off-putting. I think more recent productions such as the Diaghilev production (Benois sets that were later used by Sadlers Wells Ballet - am I correct?) are more elegant and appropriate. The production that the Kirov toured in 1986 was rather cheap-looking (I think that is the one that was filmed with Asylmuratova?) but the production on the DVD with Lezhnina is rather more elaborate and better. Is that the Sergeyev production that is touring to California later this year?

The current Kirov administration seems to have very mixed feelings about the Vikharev reconstructions but I think they are crucial and should continue. Especially since the Kirov library isn't making the original musical materials and repetiteurs available even to the Bolshoi let alone Western companies, they are the best equipped to do them. Of course there is a lot of Lopukhov and Gorsky reflected in the notes taken by N. Sergeyev at the Harvard Theater Collection let alone individual solos worked up by the dancers themselves with whatever ballet master. However it gets you much closer to the time and the place and the aesthetic of Petipa.

Look at the "La Bayadere" - it really doesn't feel complete or finished without that final act with the pas de trois between Solor, Gamzatti and Nikiya. Having all the mime and dancing and crucial props such as the veena (lute) that Nikiya holds in her Betrothal Scene harem-pants solo adds to your understanding of why certain gestures are there and what the dramatic connective tissue is. Any shortening or recension can then be made from the original work. Instead of just reworking and fooling around with another "after Petipa" reworking, one can rework directly from the original and shorten it to coincide with contemporary taste and developments in dance and stagecraft.

Whenever I see the Vikharev reconstructions I always say "Well Sergeyev (or Grigorivich or Vaganova or Frederick Ashton or Ninette de Valois or Bourmeister and so on) was very clever to cut all that bric-a-brac and nonsense" but then I find myself missing things from the Vikharev version of the original that suddenly become necessary and essential to the work. One could have the best of both worlds.

#18 Joseph

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 01:02 PM

What is the panorama?

Sorry, maybe a stupid question...

#19 Cygnet

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 03:58 PM

What is the panorama?

Sorry, maybe a stupid question...

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Hi Joseph! There are no 'stupid' questions :blush:! The Panorama is a rolling canvas of the forest set to that beautiful music of the same name. There's a stationary boat, containing the Lilac Fairy, (in the new/old production - cherubs) and the Prince. The boat 'sails' down a 'river' to Aurora's palace. When the Panorama music is over, the canvas stops. So, the conductor and the machine must be in sync :) . In the Bolshoi production the boat sails and flies :wub: !

#20 Hans

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 06:16 PM

Is anyone able to confirm that the Kolpakova dvd does indeed include the panorama?

#21 Paul Parish

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 06:20 PM

Hans, I'm with you, I WISH they'd put the old SB out on DVD -- but if they aren't allowing regisseurs out to even hte Bolshoi, htey may withold it to make sure the rest of us CAN'T study the text.....

I think it was Bakst who designed Diaghilev's "Sleeping Princess," not Benois --AND, man am I not sure of this, but I believe I've read that Nijinskaadded the fish dives to this version. DOug would know that -- maybe Faux pas also -- what were the original steps in htat part of the Act 3 pas de deux? Actually, in Russia, they do supported inside turns into a swoon rather than a fish (I think it's so in hte K Sergeyev version under discussion here, save the fish dive for the end.)

i SURE WOULD LOVE to see the panorama..... but never have.

#22 Mel Johnson

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 07:44 PM

Yes, Nijinska did add the fish dives. Trefilova wouldn't do 'em.

What does go there is a soutenou into a swanny fall-back in sous-sus.

And a funny thing about the Panorama. In the first production, the mechanism for scrolling the thing across the back of the stage kept jamming. It had been designed for the Maryinsky, and that place was being repaired, so it opened at the Grand (Bolshoi) Theater of St. Petersburg. The machine was the wrong size and it didn't work there. They had to cut the music way short.

#23 Natalia

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 05:25 AM

Is anyone able to confirm that the Kolpakova dvd does indeed include the panorama?

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The videotape of the Kolpakova production contains the full Panorama (music & rolling canvas). Hence, I would guess that the DVD has it, if it's an exact copy of the videotape version.

Beware - The later filming of this same production, ca 1989, starring Larissa Lezhnina, does NOT contain the Panorama. This was videotaped in Canada during a tour....hence, no Panorama (just the music to the Panorama; we see some silly slo-motion film). If you buy a Kirov-1980s DVD of the Soviet Beauty, make sure that it's the earlier one starring Kolpakova!

#24 Hans

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 05:42 AM

Thank you Natalia--I just ordered it from Amazon! I see that Kunakova is the Lilac Fairy, and I'm looking forward to that too.

I knew about the Lezhnina performance (I own the DVD) and I agree, that slow-motion film is ridiculous.

#25 Solor

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 02:43 PM

How can anyone not like the Vikharev reconstruction? The Sergeyev version is so drab! The prologue sets look like finger paintings, the vision sceneis nice, and the 3rd act set looks like a faded picture. When I saw the reconstruction is was a dream come true. I have always wnated the Mariinsky to bring SB to its original form. Seeing SB made me wonder why anyone ever changed anything in the first place. That production is an absolute dream, the sets, the costumes, a REAL imperial production worthy not only of the Mariinsky but its awesome dancers. And true to 'Imperial-ness', the reconstruction is luxuriant and stuffed with gorgeousness. After reading Tim Scholl's book on the reconstruction and the reaction to it, it seemed to me that people just didnt want any change, and didnt want to give up what they were used to.

There is only 1 thing I dont like about the New/Old Sleeping Beauty - the attitude derriere poses that Aurora does right before the turns around the stage at the end of her 1st act variation - they could have left that part out.

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

#26 rg

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 03:30 PM

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.

#27 richard53dog

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 03:35 PM

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

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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

#28 art076

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 05:53 PM

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!).

#29 richard53dog

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 06:28 PM

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.


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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

#30 Cygnet

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 12:30 PM


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

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



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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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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