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Flames of ParisIs the Versailles PDD still danced?


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#1 Mireille

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 05:40 AM

I recently watched a PDD from a scene in Flames of Paris at the court, different from the Jeanne and is it Gaspar PDD, and find it to be a real jewel by Vainonen; is this PDD still danced nowadays? Does a full version of this ballet exist? I also found interesting that Asafiev chose pieces by French composers as music for this PDD.

#2 rg

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 06:08 AM

I recently watched a PDD from a scene in Flames of Paris at the court, different from the Jeanne and is it Gaspar PDD


i'm not sure what pas de deux is indicated here. do you mean the one in the celebratory last act for Jeanne and Jerome? (originally O. Jordan and V. Chabukiani in 1932)?
this duet was once familiar on the ballet gala and ballet competition circuit, but seems less so nowadays, at least on the gala performance scene, so far as i can tell.
i don't know when the ballet was last given complete. (likely others closer to russian ballet nowadays will know.)
if you're making reference to a different dance, i can't say; the first-named pas is the only one with which i am somewhat familiar.
the most readibly available pas is the one on STARS OF THE RUSSIAN BALLET in the truncated version of the full ballet danced by musa gottlieb and v. chabukiani, which is perhaps the one you watched.

#3 Mashinka

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 08:01 AM

There is an earlier pas de deux in the ballet for an actress and her partner danced in full 18th century finery. I've seen it and I'm racking my brains as to where and when, but will confirm that it is extremely attractive.

#4 rg

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 08:17 AM

i have now been enlightened about this less familiar duet, which is clearly not the more famous pas de deux i erroneously assumed it to be.

the dance named here is given as 'FLAMES OF PARIS (Court Dance)' and is included in a 2 dvd - russian-produced - STARS OF THE RUSSIAN BALLET set, which should not be confused with the earlier, 1953 Corinth-released film, and subsequent kultur videocassette of the same name:
Stars of the Russian ballet / Lenfilm ; released by Corinth Films ; directed by G. Rappaport. U.S.S.R. : Lenfilm, 1953 ; U.S. : Kultur, c1988.(82 min.) : sd., col. Danced by members of the Bolshoi Ballet and the Kirov Ballet. Music performed by the orchestra of the Leningrad Theater ; conductors, V. Doubovksy, P. Felot. Swan lake (condensed version) Choreography: Konstantin Sergeev. Music: Tchaikovsky. Performed by Galina Ulanova (Odette), Natalia Dudinskaya (Odile), Konstantin Sergeev (Prince), V. Bakanov (Magician) -- The fountain of Bakhchisaray: excerpts. Choreography: Rostislav Zakharov. Music: B. Asaf'yev. Performed by Galina Ulanova (Maria), Maya Plisetskaya (Zarema), Igor Belskii (Nurahli), Petr Gusev (Girei), Yuri Zhdanov (Vaclav) -- The flames of Paris: excerpts. Choreography: Vasily I. Vainonen. Music: Asaf'yev. Performed by Vakhtang Chabukiani (Philippe), Musa Gotlieb (Jeanne), Yadviga Sangovich (Teresa)

the duet under discussion here is included on DVD #2 (or vol. 2, as the fourth item in 'chapter 4') of this russian production. it is danced by M. Kondratieva and V. Lagunov, and dated 1977. (i don't know the date of the russian dvd set's release.) i don't have this russian-marketed version in hand, so i can give no further details.

an entry in the Internat'l Encyc of Dance says the 'actors' in the ballet's scenario are called Mireille de Poitiers and Antoine Mistral. They were originally danced by N. Dudinskaya and K.Sergeyev. (Other dancers famous for Mireille are Semyonova and later still Golovkina in Moscow.)

incidentally the IED entry notes the change of name from Jerome to Philippe after the premiere run. as the '53 film info shows, the truncated FLAMES OF PARIS does not include the characters of Mireille and Antoine.

#5 Mireille

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 11:25 AM

Thank you so much, rg and Mashinka. That would be the court pas de deux I was referring to, and I just wished I was that Mireille! The female variation, on a gavotte by Lully, is absolutely beautiful and just about impossible to perform, starting with walking in fondu and moving on to hopping on pointe in attitude, evolving to slow turning the hopping on pointe attitude, with of course a slow port de bras, and finishing with a diagonal of ballonnÚs... a charming challenge. I would have loved to see Dudinskaya and Sergeyev in it, maybe they taught it to their students. I wonder if this part of Flames of Paris just got forgotten. It confirms to me of what an artist Mr. Vainonen was. Interesting.

Mireille-not-de-Poitiers


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