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Snow WhiteWould this make a good ballet?


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#31 Joseph

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 10:50 PM

Music suggestions? ? ? ?

I know there are several composers (ie Delibes, Minkus, etc.) which have nice danceable scores from other ballets. But does anyone know of music they would like seen into a ballet, in particular a Snow White???
Can be more twentieth / twenty first century too! (ie. Philip Glass, etc.)
:thumbsup:

#32 Mel Johnson

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 05:23 AM

It would probably be helpful if the composer were not from the Terribly Serious Concert Composers, but rather from light music. This thing would have to sell tickets, and would be unlikely to succeed if it tried to educate the audience in music at the same time it tried to present good choreography.

#33 diane

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:10 AM

:off topic:

"... unlikely to succeed if it tried to educate the audience in music at the same time it tried to present good choreography."

I lke that.
Happens all the time, doesn't it?

-d-

#34 Mel Johnson

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 06:03 AM

There's a reason why the old ballets with staying power are built on a model like "five minutes plot, twenty minutes divertissement, three minutes summary, curtain" for each act.

One of the surest ways to make a production fail is for it to proclaim itself High Art. The only thing worse is to be perceived by the audience as "good for you". "Good for you" is sort of the prune juice of show bizness. Trying to teach the audience too much about too many things at one go is a good way to be perceived as "good for you".

#35 papeetepatrick

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 08:02 AM

But they still might be able to do it without using Alan Mencken. Mightn't Del Tredici compose it within the salable model of plot, divertissment, etc. without making anyone think think they were getting too much High Art or Carob Drink? Couldn't it still be for the whole family without posturing as Important? I'm not sure Snow White is as likely as Alice to lead anyone to fear subtleties. Oh well, Janet Maslin said Mencken's Beauty and the Beast music was 'suave', and that didn't ruin it for anyone (since that wasn't quite accurate anyway.) Time for Alan to go into his 'classical period', so can leave legacy, as when Clint Eastwood left nightmare things like 'The Gauntlet' and the Dirty Harry movies behind and became 'Unforgiven' auteur. People have been talking about how ABT SB has Burger King in it, so the trend may already be to junk food.

#36 volcanohunter

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 08:38 AM

There is a score by Bogdan Pawlowski, titled Królewna Śnieżka i siedmiu krasnoludków in Polish. At one time the ballet was very popular in Eastern Europe and often alternated with The Nutcracker in the weekend matinee slot. I once saw a 19-year-old Irina Dvorovenko in the lead at the opera house in Kiev.

#37 Mel Johnson

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 09:34 AM

I really think you'd need somebody to act like Petipa in teaching a composer of whatever eminence how to write for ballet. Having a choreographic script between libretto and score would help immensely. Tchaikovsky hated them, but they seemed to work all right for Beauty and Nutcracker.

But between Burger King and the Eggless, No-salt, Low-cholesterol Spinach Quiche enriched with multivitamins, there is a vast gulf. There are hundreds of fit musicians in there. And we've seen what happens to Burger King in ABT's production.

#38 papeetepatrick

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 10:05 AM

I really think you'd need somebody to act like Petipa in teaching a composer of whatever eminence how to write for ballet.


That sounds like it ought to happen in all cases, although probably is fairly rare. I wonder how often it does by now. Also wonder why I have a harder time wanting to see a Snow White ballet than the other fairy tales--could be the Disney aspect sticks more because of the songs. I don't think think of the Disney cartoons of Pinocchoi, Peter Pan and Cinderella in the same way, although if there are ballets about Donald Duck and Bambi--and I've no doubt there will be--I may balk still more.

Andre Previn if he was up to it, or maybe Glass could give a perpetual-motion Snow White that will recall the "Whistle While You Work" with renewed relevance for the lunch-at-one's-desk and 14-hour work-day life-styles.

#39 Mel Johnson

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 12:19 PM

I have to agree with you that the practice of writing a choreographic script is pretty rare. We have to be sympathetic to the composers, as choreographers often expect them to come preloaded with how to write for all types of theater. Most of them don't get much exposure to writing for original ballets, and for a full-evening work, there's even less. A film studio wouldn't think of tasking a composer for a score without some sort of script involved. Ballet producers should do no less.


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