Pas de Deux
Posted 14 September 2005 - 05:47 PM
1. Why Medora and Conrad's Slave dance in the first place. Conrad and Medora don't even have a Pas de Deux.
2. Why Conrad's Slave is so high-and-mighty and shows off throughout his variation. A bit too grand for a SLAVE don't you think? He should be humble and dancing without any self-worthiness.
Also, in the first act Gulnare dances with Lankendem and she is scared throughout while Lankendem is evilly happy at the prospect of getting money. Gulnare only smiles during her variation when Lankendem isn't around and this is because she's still free and she wants to have some fun. The rest of the time she is worried at being sold. This Pas de Deux makes sense as Lankendem is trying to show off Gulnare to the Pasha.
Could someone explain to me how the other Pas de Deux actually makes sense?
Posted 14 September 2005 - 06:01 PM
Posted 17 September 2005 - 05:49 PM
Posted 18 September 2005 - 05:55 AM
Posted 18 September 2005 - 03:47 PM
Posted 18 September 2005 - 04:27 PM
Posted 19 September 2005 - 08:54 AM
My HUNCH is that Aleksandr Ivanovich Chegrygin, the dancer named below in the NYPL dance collection listing for LE CORSAIRE, had some hand in presenting the pas as it became known to westerners, most prominently when Nureyev staged his version for the Royal Ballet in 1962 (see NYPL cat. entry below).
The Chekrygin connection is emphasized in a book I have about Nikolai Zubkovsky, who danced the RAB (Russian for “slave”) in 1939, with the following credits: Slave – pas de deux Medora and Slave in a “version” by A. Chekrygin, for a production of CORSAIR – A. Adam, C. Pugni, in a version of M. Petipa, staging by A. Vaganova.
As is clear here, the number was a pas de deux at this time, which I suppose Vaganova could have paired back from a pas de deux a trios, or perhaps this duet-for-three postdatest his time. The naming of ‘interpolated dance’ in the listing below alas gives no precise date for the addition.
I have a copy of a program from 13 November1899 [old style] for a performance at the Maryinsky led by Legnani, for whom the performance was a benefit – said to be the date of the pas de deux’s first appearance in a dance by Petipa. (A handwritten note on the margins of the ballet’s 2nd scene notes “no pas de duex” and wonders if said number was part of the “scene dansante” listed after the “Grand pas des evantails”.(Nowhere, I might add, does my very primitive “reading” of Russian find the name “Ali” in the libretto’s explication.)
Doug, who has kindly shared with me recently any number of the documents I have on this ballet, can certainly confirm or deny my sense that the Harvard/Stepanov/Sergeyev notations do NOT include the pas de duex in question here – I’m not sure of the notation’s date but I assume it is post-1899.
One thing I think is certain here is that to the Russians the “partner” in the now-famous dance is said to be a slave – the meaning of the Russian word “RAB” [rhab]. My scanning of the Russian text in 1899 program also fails to find the word “rab” as well as Ali.
[I have just noted i cannot post photos here, if i can still do so on 'Ballet History" i'll do so there.]
In addition to the catalogue entries given below, I’m posting a few historic photos:
*One shows Zubkovsky as the “Slave” perhaps is 1939
* another shows Chabukiani in his “slave-chains” in a costume that no doubt was familiar to Nureyev - this photocard lists "Slave" as Chabukiani's role-name and is dated 1939
*and finally a really curious photo of whoknows what production in an undated picture of an unidentified dancer in an equally unidentified role. All I know for certain is that it shows some moment from KORSAR – the Russian name for the ballet. (I suspect this is Conrad, and not the “Slave” - his heeled shoes might indicate that IF there was “classical” duet in whatever place/production depicted, this dancer would NOT have been the one doing the classical dancing.)
I offer the photos for whatever information they provide for further conjecture.
Corsair: Original title: Korsar. Chor: Marius Petipa after Perrot; mus: Adolphe Adam, Cesare Pugni and Léo Delibes (Pas d'action "Le jardin animé"); lib: Jules Saint-Georges and Joseph Mazilier after Lord Byron. First perf: St. Petersburg, Bolshoi Theater, Dec 13, 1868 (O.S.)//Revived: St. Petersburg, Bolshoi Theater, 1880; scen: Andrei Roller and Heinrich Wagner executed by Matvei Shishkov and Mikhail Bocharov.//Revived: St. Petersburg, Bolshoi Theater, Jan 13, 1899 (O.S.); scen: Orest Allegri, Vardkes Suren'iants, Sergei Vorob'ev and Piotr Lambin; cos: Evgenii Ponomarev. Interpolated dance choreographed by Aleksandr Chekrygin to music by Riccardo Drigo and others.
Surits. Vsë o balete. p 374.//(Russian) Borisoglebskii. Materialy po istorii russkogo baleta. v 2, p 277.
Corsair: Original title: Le corsaire. Pas de deux. Chor: Rudolf Nureyev after Petipa; mus: Cesare Pugni, Riccardo Drigo, Léon Minkus and others, orchestrated by John Lanchbery. First London perf: Covent Garden, Nov 3, 1962, Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn.
Dancing times. Dec 1962, p 138.//*MGZB Royal Ballet. Souvenir program. 1963.
Posted 19 September 2005 - 04:07 PM
Posted 19 September 2005 - 05:33 PM
Posted 19 September 2005 - 11:34 PM
Posted 20 September 2005 - 05:36 AM
these names are often a crap-shoot, as when clara becomes a Nutcracker heroine, when she was in fact 'originally' only the name of Hoffmann's heroine's doll.
also, none of my perusals of the narrative synopses in CORSAIR/Korsar house programs has any mention(s) whatsoever of an "Ali". the programs i've seen date from the first 1856 CORSAIRE in paris - where to confirm there is no character named ALI in the mazilier cast - through to various versions in Russia in late 19th and early 20th c. moscow and st. petersburg and, again, no mention of Ali in either scene-breakdowns or in cast lists.
chekrygin (b. 1884) began ballet mastering in 1919. i think it's safe to say he had something to do w/ the duet (a trois?) in question here as we've come to know it. perhaps he helped name the character.
what we need is for someone to scan all the data in russian archives into e-documents and to have that scanner translate them into sound english, then we could solve, SOME of our dilemmas, otherwise, i guess, barring a hands-on english-speaking scholar taking up our causes, we're back to our shot-in-the-dark guesswork.
Posted 20 September 2005 - 06:47 AM
I also read that the version we have of the Pas de Deux was set by Vaganova for Dudinskaya and Chabukiani in the early 1930's.
I am just reconstructing what I read in other sources which I cannot quote right now.
Posted 20 September 2005 - 07:02 AM
Posted 20 September 2005 - 10:21 AM
As far as Le Corsaire goes, whenever the "Slave" pas de trois is performed as a pas de deux, I think it looks ridiculous. Poor Ali has to run back and forth across the stage to be on the correct side of Medora, who has to stand there (instead of walking across the stage to Conrad) as Ali buzzes around her. If it was originally a pas de deux, I imagine the structure must have been very different from what we see today, as it doesn't really work IMO without three people.
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