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Russian dance in act 3


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#1 silvy

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 02:40 AM

In my recording of Act III of Swan Lake there is a Russian dance which figures as an "appendix" to the score. In the booklet of my recording (Previn) says that this dance was composed for the ballerina Karpakova.

I happen to love the music, and would like to know if someone knows why this dance is omitted in most productions of the ballet I have seen (Kirov, Royal Ballet, etc). Also if the dance was danced in Russia after Karpakova, and which character in the ballet was supposed to dance it.

Thanks a lot
Silvy

#2 rg

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 04:44 AM

of the top of my head, i recall that in the 1969 grigorovich staging of SWAN LAKE the 'supplementary' danse russe is danced as one of the ballroom divertissements -i think tatiana golikova was the first to perform this for this production, adding russian dancing to the hungarian, polish, venetian, and neopolitan numbers.
abt's much maligned version on this site uses the music for the baron von rothbart dance with the fiancees.
a well known solo by either goliezovsky or gorsky, depending upon who's written the program credit, has long been a solo diverstissement in soviet russian ballet concert programs. maximova has been filmed in the dance a few times, notably and beautifully, if memory serves, in KATIA ET VOLODIA, a french documentary - by delouche?
nycb's martins' version of SWAN LAKE uses it rather like grigorovich does, as a ballroom divertissement, in this case a duet.
i can't recall if it was used by burmeister. or by nureyev or baryshnikov in their respective stagings.

#3 silvy

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 05:35 AM

Thanks, rg.

I have that dance on video danced by the Kirov ballerina Olga Chenchikova,but the video only says that the music is by Tchaikowsky, and it does not say who the choreographer is. I wonder if someone knows.......

#4 Hans

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 05:51 PM

I'm not sure who the choreographer is, but I believe that according to the original score, the national dances are intended to be Hungarian, Russian, Neapolitan, and Spanish (not necessarily in that order). The mazurka is listed as a dance for the members of the court.

#5 rg

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 06:52 PM

sorry for the early morning muddle posted earlier by me, but, to be sure, i forgot the spanish number, with its specified tambourines and castanets, which starts the string of national dances according the 1895 score.
this is followed, accordingly, by the so-called "venetian dancer" (often called the neopolitan dance); then the hungarian dance, the czardas; and finally, in the original/'95 order, the polish dance, the mazurka.
the russian dance was not part of the '95 national dances' scheme, and is listed consistently as a 'reference' or 'supplemental number,' thought originally, from the 1877 period, to have been composed and intended as a dance for odile.

#6 silvy

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 03:31 AM

Thank you, rg and Hans.

I wonder why this dance is consistently omitted from productions... in my view, it is a beautiful piece of music (though, maybe, not "international", but something which the Russian audiences would understand very well)

#7 dachnitsa

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 09:02 AM

In my experience the Russian dance is definitely a favourite of the Bolshoi audience and I (as a foreigner living in Russia) like it too!

In all of the SL-Grigorovich-Bolshoi productions I know (latest production 2001 and the ones I have on DVD from 1983 and 1989) there are all the 5 dances of the brides-to-be (in order of appearance: Hungarian, Russian, Spanish, Neapolitan, Polish). Since Grigorovich's SL is divided into 2 acts with 4 scenes; they are in the 3rd scene (at the beginning of act 2).

I am so used to it now, that I am not sure whether I would still like a production without the complete range of national dances ... (and yes, I do admit that I like the jester as well!)

#8 FauxPas

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 10:49 AM

As many Ballet Talkers know, the Russian dance was used as a slinky solo for "Mr. Sexy" Rothbart in the current ABT production choregraphed by Kevin McKenzie. Marcelo Gomes really burns in that section in the DVD currently out on the market with Murphy and Corella.

I just watched on CUNY the Bolshoi "Swan Lake" from the early 1980's with Yuri Vasyuchev and Alla Mikhalchenko with choreography by Grigorivich. I detested the first and second acts but found myself liking the third act. Each foreign princess has her own little floor show specialty act with her as the star - no more character dancing by couples. The choreography is good and so are the soloists. These national dances are rather fun in this version. Then the Russian dance is done by Odile with a small corps of black swans (with partnering by Von Rothbart and Siegfried a trois) as her own satanic floor show specialty act. The choreography again is pretty good and Odile gets a very grand star entrance that makes her seem more important than just running and dancing a pas de deux. It also directly parallels the second act with Odette. Then we go into the standard Black Swan PDD with the alternate "scary" minor key solo for Odette that Nina Ananiashvili sometimes interpolated into her third act or gala Black Swan PDD. I really liked this interpolation and use of the "Russian Dance". I think this performance is released on DVD on the TDK label.

#9 MinkusPugni

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 04:55 PM

Our school recently performed a character dance to the music of the Danse Russe which we got the choreography for from a very old Bolshoi archive tape that one of our teachers brought over from Russia. I am not sure if this was just simply a character dance choreographed to the music of the Danse Russe or whether it was, infact from Swan Lake.

The dance was for sixteen corps girls with scarves and one soloist girl with a scarf.

Also, I thought that the mazurka was supposed to be a Polish dance, but I'm not sure.

#10 Mel Johnson

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 08:16 PM

The dance was originally (1877) a variation for Pelagia Karpokova. It didn't make the cut for the 1895 Petipa/Ivanov staging. And the mazurka is indeed a Polish dance, but the Russians danced it, too. There is some entertaining footage of Nicholas II and court dancing it on board the Royal Yacht Standart.

#11 Roach

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 07:47 AM

In my experience the Russian dance is definitely a favourite of the Bolshoi audience and I (as a foreigner living in Russia) like it too!

In all of the SL-Grigorovich-Bolshoi productions I know (latest production 2001 and the ones I have on DVD from 1983 and 1989) there are all the 5 dances of the brides-to-be (in order of appearance: Hungarian, Russian, Spanish, Neapolitan, Polish). Since Grigorovich's SL is divided into 2 acts with 4 scenes; they are in the 3rd scene (at the beginning of act 2).

I am so used to it now, that I am not sure whether I would still like a production without the complete range of national dances ... (and yes, I do admit that I like the jester as well!)


Is this the dance where the music starts with a rather lengthy violin solo? If so, then I too miss it when it's not in a production. I like how subtle the dancing is at the beginning (1989 Bolshoi version) and then dramatically picks up in tempo.

By the way Dachnitsa, since you have this version of Swan Lake, could I bother you to check out my question in the Ballet Videos forum, please? My question Thank you.

#12 4mrdncr

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 09:11 PM

I too have seen it performed mostly in Russian productions and omitted in most of the West (eg. Europe and USA.) I remember the Bolshoi with each princess dancing with her entourage--including the Russina princess to the "Russian" music.

I also thought the piece was originally composed as a piano score by Tchaikovsky based on some folk tune(s), and once saw it performed as such in a film set in 19th c. Russia. (Think it was actually a European film made mid 1980's, Timothy Hutten had a cameo role.)

I think it is omitted because of the violin part--you had better be good to play it--and as another BT thread has revealed, ballet orchestras are not always able to secure the talent(s) of a symphony/philharmonic orchestra. But it has always been one my most favorite pieces of music from Swan Lake, and except for a few waltzes, the only one I bothered to attempt on the piano (I only play by ear, so it's a slow process.)

Thanks for bringing the topic up, I've wondered too over these many years.

#13 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:45 AM

In my recording of Act III of Swan Lake there is a Russian dance which figures as an "appendix" to the score. In the booklet of my recording (Previn) says that this dance was composed for the ballerina Karpakova.

I happen to love the music, and would like to know if someone knows why this dance is omitted in most productions of the ballet I have seen (Kirov, Royal Ballet, etc). Also if the dance was danced in Russia after Karpakova, and which character in the ballet was supposed to dance it.

Thanks a lot
Silvy

Hi Silvy!
I do too find the "Russian Dance" music fascinating and quite intense! :D Yes, in the march 1877 Reisinger/Tchaikovsky production premiere , this dance was intended as a solo for Mme. Karpakova. Now, this is quite wird because of the fact that at that time, the Odile/Siegfried PDD wasn't still there, (it was added next month, april 1877 by Mme. Sobeshchanskaya -aka-"Tchaikovsky PDD" in a Petipa/Minkus/Tchaikovsky colaboration). So it was a III Act with a "Pas de Six" of the prospective fiancees, nacional dances, "Russian Dance" PERFORMED BY ODILE AFTER THE "CZARDAS" AND BEFORE THE "DANCE ESPAGNOLE"... AND NO ODILE/SIEGFRIED PDD. I really can't imagine how all this worked and why this ultra-folkloric dance was intended for Odile. :dunno:
A lot of music was omitted by Petipa :flowers: in his restaging of 1895, included the "Russian" and the Petipa/Minkus/Tchaikovsky III Act Odile/Siegfried PDD. Most of the companies use the Petipa shortened version, whereas others use some of the deleted music (Like ABT's "Russian Dance" fashioned for a Von Rothbart solo and so on) . Nowadays it's up to the choreographer to be faithful to the 1895 Petipa's vision or not. Some can't resist the temptation to use some of this beautiful deleted music :blush:
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