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SB, SL Soviet scores, Petipa SB 'Waltz' Notation


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#1 papeetepatrick

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 04:49 PM

These are all revelations. The SB scores, all in Russian with a few French translations (as 'Fleur de Farine') are from 1952. the same-format SL scores are from 1958. These are beautiful old things and worth looking at even if you don't read music. The SB scores are much more straightforward and with fewer cuts, at least to the RB (1994) video I used them with. They are in 4 volumes, hardcover, and I am surprised Perf. Arts Library lends them out--there is only one complete copy of each full ballet. SL (in 2 volumes here) is much more difficult to follow (I used Makarova SL with Schaufuss and Hart), as the Black Swan pas de deux is in the first volume, long before the First Act pdd. I haven't gone through it but once, and not into the 3rd act. Very enjoyable.

There's a beginning dance notation I looked at so I could see what it was like. Complicated but probably not that difficult for dancers, and maybe very devoted non-dancers. Also took a look at the single Petipa dance notation score I could find--of 'The Waltz' from SB. I coudn't follow it after the first 4 bars, but it would one of the ones you could work on to see what these diagrams mean, because there are verbal descriptions of the 'garlands' being waved all the way through, and there are these geometric pictures of the dancers at given points. Fascinating stuff to look at and maybe pursue further later.

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 05:09 PM

Is it in Stepanov notation? That sort uses a five-line staff like Benesh or Stenochoreography (St.-Leon). I wonder whose version is notated. The original was for a huge crowd of people, and had things like step-units being carried on by dancers and such like.

#3 papeetepatrick

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 05:20 PM

Is it in Stepanov notation? That sort uses a five-line staff like Benesh or Stenochoreography (St.-Leon). I wonder whose version is notated. The original was for a huge crowd of people, and had things like step-units being carried on by dancers and such like.


I'm so annoyed I turned it back in, not knowing I was going to post anything. But it's: annotated by Richard Ellis and Christine Du Boulay. It's a very small little text, and I didn't think that the pictures of the dancers in formations were on any kind of staff that I recognized from music, it would just show the formation for 4 bars of music, alongside it a written description of 'kneeling' and then 'rising' and bringing the garlands overhead, etc., but I have no idea what I am talking about. The 'Beginner Dance Notation' was in 2 parts, Benesh and Labanotation, but since I've got to put this off till later, I only looked at a few symbols for pirouettes, etc. I see you mentioned Benesh, which I took about 5 minutes on for now, but Stepanov I hadn't heard of. Anyway, I saw no staff in the actual SB Waltz notation. I hope you or someone else can enlighten me based on this sketchy little description.

#4 Mel Johnson

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 07:37 PM

Ah, that sounds like a kind of personal notation system based on stick figures, the most sophisticated sort of which I know is Sutton Movement Notation. But it uses a staff, too. Stepanov is not exactly intuitive, but it's not impossible to work out for yourself. I started to dope it out for myself by reading the Bluebird pas de deux. That gave me a good indicator of how things were shown in Stepanov. If you know Benesh, then it's even easier. Stepanov has to be supplemented with longhand cues to make it completely understandable. And even then, sometimes, :D )


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