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Rimsky-Korsakov ConservatoryOn tour with Nutcracker


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#1 dave23

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 03:24 AM

First things first: Does anyone know what they are called?
The Rimsky-Korsakov Ballet? Because, to me at least, the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory is the building across from the Mariinsky.

Anyways, they are on tour with the Nutcracker and performed in Brussels this past weekend.
Did anyone go and see it and feel like posting a review? (I'm counting on you Marc!)

Being my first Casse-Noisette as they call it over here, I had some questions.

Like, uhm, why no Clara in the cast?
Was the fairies a substitute for the snow flakes?
Isn't the Nutcracker supposed to become a prince, or at least human?
Am I the only one who thought the Sugar-Plum Fairy looked slightly peeved when she didn't get any flowers? :P

But mostly: How good/bad was it?

And on a side note, I seem to have misplaced the thread about cast-lists in the program for the Russian Companies and can add that this cast-list did indeed show who danced at which performance. (Well, except for Clara as stated above... She seemed to be missing.)

#2 dave23

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 10:55 AM

Well, as usual, I've posted before I thought things through.
Being back home with the program I answered some of my questions but a few new ones arouse.

Apparently they have the short name of:
"The state opera and ballet theater Rimsky-Korsakov of Saint Petersburg"

Which raises a new question for me:
No mention of Conservatory?
Is that a separate part or is it connected somehow? I seem to have read that several Russian dancers have "graduated from the conservatory", so is there a school too?

Also, there is indeed no Clara in the cast, but there is one "Marie Stahlbaum", is that her?

Which again makes me wonder. On their website (which doesn't seem to be working anymore) I read about the Artistic Director Nikita Dolgushin and as I recall it it mentioned that he wants to "bring back" the russian ballets including the atmosphere if you understand me.

Without the english text I'm not 100% sure, but for those of you that speak french I can quote this from the programme:

Aujourd'hui, DOLGUSHIN est choregraph, auteur de ballets originaux, de pieces de concert, renovateur des chefs-d'ouvre de l'heritage du ballet classique, en particulier du l'art choregraph russe.

Sa compagnie de ballet est la seule a Saint-Petersbourg qui recree, point par point, non seulement les performances mais egalement l'atmosphere de l'une des periodes des plus florissant de l'art russe. Dolgushin est un flamboyant ambassadeur de l'art russe

So, if he really is dedicated to making the ballets "true" to the originals (as I interpreted what I read, I could be wrong of course) what does that make of his version of the Nutcracker?

The two main things I saw (where the program contradicts itself) is
1) Clara apparently being called Marie.
2) The Nutcracker keeping his toy-costume throughout the performance.

There were also other discrepancies (as far as I can tell, the best reference I have is, well, wikipedia, the online dictionary that anyone can edit) among them, as stated above, No snowflakes, but 5 pink fairies.

Is this version "his own" or has he adapted someone elses, and if so, whos? And which one is truer to the original?

If anyone has an idea it'd be nice to know, always interesting to know more about what you've seen.

#3 rg

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 11:23 AM

i believe this has been noted & discussed before on BT, but Marie is the name of the little heroine of Hoffmann's NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSEKING and is the name Balanchine gives to his heroine.
the 1892 ballet libretto chose Clara for reasons somewhat unclear. (in Hoffmann clara is the name of one of marie's dolls.)
i suspect Dolgushin is going back a bit, Balanchine-like to Hoffmann.

#4 dave23

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 11:59 AM

A late thanks for the info rg. I've been hiking in the Ardennes and not keeping up with BT.

A search for Hoffman showed me what you were talking about, Nutcracker had too may hits though...

It seems Marc or other Belgians didn't go, too bad, I would've liked to hear what they thought. For me, hearing that these guys are third in St Pete makes me really want to see Mariinsky, but I think I'll wait until spring/summer, St Pete gets very, very cold in the winter (or so I'm told).

If you happen to read this rg and don't mind answering, do you know the story behind the snowflakes? Are they too from the ballet-version?

Anyways, Merry Christmas all!


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