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Solor

The Sergeyev Collection

41 posts in this topic

I must mention here that I have read on this site that the violin repetiteur from "Sleeping Beauty" went missing from the archives of the Theatre Museum in St. Petersburg. Therefore, historical documents have disappeared from the Maryinsky archives in Russia.

Harvard will allow scholars to review and study the notations. The theater museum staff in St. Petersburg I have been told is not helpful in sharing scores or documents to foreigners or even the Bolshoi Theater - i.e. the Bolshoi Theater's request for the "Pharoah's Daughter" orchestral score.

However, the notations are less useful without the original scores and the repetiteurs. I think that copies should be given to the archives of the Maryinsky Theater.

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Faux Pas, You may think as you like, but you have also cited a critical issue in archival ethics - access. Is it ethical to send an archival resource somewhere, in the absence of statute or case law, where it will have less availability than in the repository in which it now resides? I think not.

But to continue an earlier point to leonid, making allegations here is irrelevant. Prove standing to meddle and tell it to the judge. You are also free to attempt to have legislation passed to enable movement of whatever collection you like to wherever you like. (See Native American Graves Property Repatriation Act) Good luck.

"Adverse possession" is a state in which many museums and libraries find themselves all the time. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff, providing that they have legal standing. Not EVERY Russian has the right to claim ANY Russian property be returned to Russia, but must prove standing to make such a claim, and prove in court that it is wrongfully possessed by an institution anywhere.

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I believe that a number of formal repatriation agreements have included detailed commitments as to future public availability. I am thinking of art objects but don't see why it couldn't apply equally to intellectual property. I'm saying that this is possible. Not that it's either desirable or undesirable.

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I am sorry if I offend American sensibilities about museum collected articles with a dubious ownership history.

Perhaps you offended Mel Johnson's sensibilities, but please do not generalize on this board about entire groups of people based on the response of an individual.

I am sorry that you thought my expression meant all Americans it did not and to my re-eading it does not. I am shocked to think it could be thought so. It was particularising not generalising. Was George Bernard Shaw correct? I am grateful for bart's thoughtful contribution.

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EDIT: i'm sorry. i wrote this post without noticing the second page of this thread, which i HAVE now read. ..just so you understand why these comments below seem out of sequence...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

what a fascinatingly informative thread!

i'm so glad i looked in, here - just out of idle curiosity.

thanks, ismene brown (& others) for a good story well told.

solor, re:

...and make copies of stuff ...
i sure hope not! and as a notator (benesh), i would imagine this extremely unlikely, even when things ARE old enough to be 'in the public domain'... i imagine you could go in there and study them, but not make copies... but hey! i may be wrong... i wait with interest, for a better-informed response. Edited by grace

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A lot depends on the holding repository's policy on copies. Some have practically unlimited copying permitted, others have fairly stringent ones. It also depends on any donor conditions placed on the repository in the form of a restrictive covenant as to who may copy what and to what extent. Some places have collections which may only be transcribed. Other places will make collections available in microform or in disc format - some of which may be capable of being copied as a computer file, and others not.

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As a neutral Irishwoman, I would like to point out that where ‘intellectual property’ is concerned, America is a far better repository than Russia. The Russian attitude to ownership is rarely generous: Remember those works of art hidden for decades in the cellars of the Hermitage and the shock of discovering the existence of paintings that had previously just had art book illustrations captioned “destroyed in the second world war”? When not actually being hidden, artistic assets can be used for virtual extortion as a British concert pianist I know of discovered when requesting piano scores in Russian ownership. The straightforward and reasonable fees that had he had paid in the Soviet era have suddenly spiralled to exorbitant sums and this fine interpreter of the Russian piano repertoire has been forced to abandon future recording and performance plans as a consequence.

As the curators at Havard seem to have allowed access without excessive demands for cash, this archive is arguably in the best place.

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I must mention here that I have read on this site that the violin repetiteur from "Sleeping Beauty" went missing from the archives of the Theatre Museum in St. Petersburg.  Therefore, historical documents have disappeared from the Maryinsky archives in Russia.

Harvard will allow scholars to review and study the notations.  The theater museum staff in St. Petersburg I have been told is not helpful in sharing scores or documents  to foreigners or even the Bolshoi Theater - i.e. the Bolshoi Theater's request for the "Pharoah's Daughter" orchestral score......

A few things -

What is the deal with the Mariinksy and how stingy they are with their archives? I have heard many times, different things here and there from teachers of mine, etc. about how jealously they gaurd their theatrical materials. Marat Daukeyev, a long time teacher of mine and former Mariinksy danseur was talking about this once, that there are so many valuable resources in that theatre - entire scores for the ballets of Petipa, TONS of them, set designs, photographs, etc, in the archives of the Mariinksy, but that all they do is just sit there, and that more often than not anyone wanting to use anything is refused. What is the deal? Grant it, for instance, a musical manuscript may be very old and fragile or something, but they could always photo copy it!

Faux Pas - whats the deal with the "Sleeping Beauty" repetiteur?

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A good part of the problem with the Mariinsky archive is that it's very understaffed and underfunded. Every so often, an image or document surfaces, which IMO is a datum for chaos theory.

I keep harping on this incident, but here goes again. About thirty years ago, a photograph of Marie Petipa appeared and made world press. She was dressed as the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty. Only problem was, she was dressed in a costume which looked more like a housedress than a tutu, and had heeled shoes. The effect was electric and nearly as fast as that. Companies upped the number of Prologue fairies from six to seven, the Mariinsky included. Then, years later, it surfaced that the photo was of Marussia in her Act I and later costume. The Mariinsky archive's record is less Historic Preservation, and more Hysterical Procrastination.

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The story about the repetiteur being missing from the Kirov Museum archives was in Doug Fullington's six part article on the reconstruction of the 1890 "Sleeping Beauty":

http://www.for-ballet-lovers-only.com/Beauty1.html

This states in the sixth paragraph that sometime in the 1980's the repetiteur disappeared from the archives. Evidently Roland John Wiley had examined the document and noted several handwritten directions and emendations that were not available elsewhere. However, it is not known if Vikharev used Wiley's writings in reproducing the Stepanov notations.

Also, I didn't say that I thought that the Sergeyev Collection should be returned to Russia. What I said was that high-quality copies should be made and given to both the Bolshoi and Kirov-Maryinsky theaters - hell, give Perm a copy too. Then Russia would have them and if they get lost or stolen then the originals are still safe in the Harvard Collection.

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A good part of the problem with the Mariinsky archive is that it's very understaffed and underfunded.  Every so often, an image or document surfaces, which IMO is a datum for chaos theory.

I keep harping on this incident, but here goes again.  About thirty years ago, a photograph of Marie Petipa appeared and made world press.  She was dressed as the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty.  Only problem was, she was dressed in a costume which looked more like a housedress than a tutu, and had heeled shoes.  The effect was electric and nearly as fast as that.  Companies upped the number of Prologue fairies from six to seven, the Mariinsky included.  Then, years later, it surfaced that the photo was of Marussia in her Act I and later costume.  The Mariinsky archive's record is less Historic Preservation, and more Hysterical Procrastination.

I cannot at present recall when I first saw a photograph of Marie Petipa in her long dress and heeled shoes, but it was certainly before the popular book " Era of Russian Ballet" by Natalia Roslavleva (see oposite page 92).was published 40 years ago. It was of course widely known before that time that Marie Petipa reputation was that of an outstanding character dancer, demi-caractere dancer and mime, who though danced in soft point(type) shoes in the Prologue of SB, possibly never danced on full point at any time in her long career.

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Although it is a matter of some record that Marie Petipa was not strong in pointework, I feel that it is unwarranted to assert that, because she was a well-known danseuse de caractère at the Mariinsky, she never worked on pointe, or that the Lilac Fairy variation was originally danced en demi-pointe. The notations (both versions) don't seem to bear this statement out, at least as I recall them.

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But we have veered :). We now rejoin our originally scheduled topic already in progress.

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RG was great enough to list all of the ballets in the Sergeyev collection....but what of the dances from Operas? Im fascinated, as Petipa staged many quite famous dances from Operas (all are listed in "Diaries of Marius Petipa".

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