missvjc420

Is a strictly Romantic company possible?

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As a dancer, I identify more with the Romantic ballets, and was dreaming in my head about an all Romantic repertory, touring, costumes, etc. Giselle, La Sylphide. Les Sylphides- what else would be considered Romantic and who currently dancing would be in the company dancing which roles? I haven't gotten that far in my own musings, but would love to hear what everyone has to say.

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It's certainly possible, and the repertory could be drawn from anything before the 1871 Franco-Prussian War, which kind of makes a bookend for the Romantic Era. The other end is the original Taglioni La Sylphide. Now, would such a venture be financially viable? Probably not.

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Well, there's a New York Baroque Dance Company, so why not something Romantic? Since the big Romantic classics are found in the repertoires of many companies, it might be a good idea to start small, reviving shorter ballets that are seen less often.

One problem might be: what to call such a company. The term "romantic" means such very different things to different people. Andre Rieu, anyone? The Montovani Strings? The company's name would have to convey it's true aesthetic and its rep. Does anyone have ideas on what to call such a company?

Given that this might have to be a small troupe, with limited resources for set, music, etc., what ballets might appear on its first few programs?

Here's a link to show how a baroque company approaches these challenges: http://www.nybaroquedance.org/

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The NY Baroque Company does most of its gigs in a guest artist capacity with opera companies, dancing incidental music for operas by Gluck, Lully, Charpentier, etc. They seem rarely to perform on their own. The school and guest lectures look to support, at least to a goodly extent, the performing arm.

The company used to perform reguarly with the Chamber Opera Theater and I remember some wonderful perfomances but that opera company has been defunct, alas, for some years.

It sounds like a very risky proposition.

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Oh, missvjc, please please please start one!!! I'll bet you'd have an audience.

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Not a strictly Romantic company, but check out the new Pacific Canadian Ballet:

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/ar...4a-adfc44ec23bc

Their website is under construction as of today, but according to the article above,

t's six months since they created the Canadian Pacific Ballet here, and announced the professional company's focus will be on preserving and presenting traditional romantic and classical works of the 19th century.

The company is located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and, according to the article, it consists of dancers from Canada, Russia, and the US.

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My problem is the question of whether there is a ballet of the Romantic Age that has come down to us without a filter of the Classical period. After all, we know even Giselle by Petipa's revivals, not through a continuous tradition of performing anywhere. Bournonville comes to us largely courtesy of Hans Beck and others. "Les Sylphides" isn't Romantic, it's Neo-Romantic, or Romantic Revival.

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]I think it would take much research to stage even one ballet, and time to get the nuances of the 19th century technique.

"My problem is the question of whether there is a ballet of the Romantic Age that has come down to us without a filter of the Classical period. After all, we know even Giselle by Petipa's revivals, not through a continuous tradition of performing anywhere. Bournonville comes to us largely courtesy of Hans Beck and others." Major Mel (my quote insert isn't cooperating)

I think we would just have to do some sort of ballet archeology and talk to our elders; try to glean knowledge where we can. There are bound to be holes in what we know, and we no longer use ropes and pulleys or gaslight either. Perhaps we could check with historians of the great European companies. I know such an undertaking will still be a ghost of what once was, be I feel that if there is a greater concentrated effort, these ballets could be done justice to.

If one only had the knowledge and the backers for such an enterprise.

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:(

(my quote insert isn't cooperating

The easiest way to quote is by clicking the blue button "Reply under the post to which you're responding. Then you can delete whatever text is extraneous. Just be sure that there are brackets around the word QUOTE (which may be either lower- or uppercase) at both the start of the quoted text post (up until the last digit of the quote number* , then brackets around /QUOTE (preceded by a slash).

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My problem is the question of whether there is a ballet of the Romantic Age that has come down to us without a filter of the Classical period. After all, we know even Giselle by Petipa's revivals, not through a continuous tradition of performing anywhere. Bournonville comes to us largely courtesy of Hans Beck and others. "Les Sylphides" isn't Romantic, it's Neo-Romantic, or Romantic Revival.

The Bournonville we see today has been changed, but certainly not through a classical filter. Hans Beck didn't make substantial changes. He worked wiith older dancers, including Juliette Price, and he had Mrs. Bournonville's imprimatur. What has changed drastically is the sense of line and the size of the bodies. Line changed from curly, curvy Romantic, where everything tilts to the side (photos make the dancers look as though they've been caught in a breeze) and is NOT stretched when Volkova came to the company in the 1950s, and now the company says it won't take men under 5 foot 10 (I don't know the height requirement for women) where the best dancers in Bournonville's day were much shorter.

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Thank you, Carbro, for your helpful post. What Alexandra describes is something I'd love to see.

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now the company says it won't take men under 5 foot 10 (I don't know the height requirement for women) where the best dancers in Bournonville's day were much shorter.

"Balanchine" backflow through Peter Martins and others?

N.B. - I decided to sanitize Balanchine with quotes, as what Alexandra describes are what people do who want to produce a Balanchine silhouette. And Balanchine didn't always do "Balanchine" himself.

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The reference to height raises questions. I assume that companies that do a variety of styles are concerned abount the (male) dancer's ability to fit in while performing as many styles as possible.

If you were to create a company devoted exclusively to Romantic ballet, what body types would be most desirable? What kinds of movement and "look" would you be seeking?

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You could do Coppélia, too, although that, too, was re-done by Petipa. Also the pas de six from La Vivandière (however original it may or may not be), Pas de Quatre, and Le Papillon.

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"Vivandiere" would probably stand the best chance of getting it right, subject, of course, to the interpretation of the notation. As you have mentioned, Coppélia has been Petipized, but the others are actually Romantic Revival, as different from Romantic as Greek is from Greek Revival.

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As a dancer, I identify more with the Romantic ballets, and was dreaming in my head about an all Romantic repertory, touring, costumes, etc. Giselle, La Sylphide. Les Sylphides- what else would be considered Romantic and who currently dancing would be in the company dancing which roles?

I do too love the romantic era and its ballets. Our company here in Miami (MCB) has Giselle in its repertoire, but it's basically Balanchine-based, so sometimes i really miss my hometown company (Ballet Nacional de Cuba) with its, for some critics, OVER ROMANTICIZED (and for some others old fashioned) vision of its signature piece, Giselle. I grew up listening to Mme. Alonso's strict respect for every single detail related with the romantic period in her choreography of this ballet, from the ears covered/middle parted XIX Century inspired hairdo to the Willis little groups formation "a la Choppiniana", (irreverent to the Mr. Diagonal's -aka Petipa- choreography for some).

Yes, i agree too (Hi Mel!) on the fact that it would be financially difficult, plus extremelly limited, due to the not so extensive offer of the few surviving pieces : (unless somebody would start "reviving a la Lacotte" some titles from which we just know probably the libretto, but choreographycally lost.) So far?, I WOULD SAY , "Giselle", "La Sylphide", "Grand Pas de Quatre","Ondine", "La Peri" "Farfalla", the Bournonville ones and YES , Neo-romanticism too : "Chopiniana". From my humble point of view, i would also include "L'espectre de la rose".

My ideal ballerina?...I have 2 to divide the roles: Lorna Feijoo (Boston Ballet) and Alina Cojocaru (Royal Ballet). :blushing: I would let them pick the roles.

:tiphat:

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Farfalla might just be fun. I'd say that The Carnival of Venice (aka Satanella) might just be reachable, too. It was a musical comedy before it was a ballet, and lots of little bits of it survive in transcriptions of great teachers' class combinations. The show, like La Fille mal Gardée goes back into the 18th century, with comedy dialogue routines, song-and-dance, lots of "stage magic" and "oleos" for things like trained otters and such.

(When we say Farfalla, we're both referring to Le Papillon, right? There's a comic opera by that name, too.)

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Farfalla might just be fun. I'd say that The Carnival of Venice (aka Satanella) might just be reachable, too. It was a musical comedy before it was a ballet, and lots of little bits of it survive in transcriptions of great teachers' class combinations. The show, like La Fille mal Gardée goes back into the 18th century, with comedy dialogue routines, song-and-dance, lots of "stage magic" and "oleos" for things like trained otters and such.

(When we say Farfalla, we're both referring to Le Papillon, right? There's a comic opera by that name, too.)

I love this thread and though it is fun to imagine I wonder how much descriptive material of Romantic choreography exists. I remember reading Ivor Guests descriptions of variations and combinations of steps some 40 odd years ago and thought dancers could'nt execute this today. Ivor Guest throws in tantalising tit bits, I wonder if there is a four course meal in existence?

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