Natalia

New 'Le Corsaire' at Bolshoi

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I'm opening a new topic to discuss news and post reviews on the big new 'Le Corsaire' by the Bolshoi Ballet. Following four performances at home, the production will be packed-up and shipped to the London Colisseum for the August '07 tour. The only announced set of principals thus far consist of Svetlana Zakharova and Denis Matvienko.

According to the Bolshoi website (bolshoi.ru), this will be a very traditional production, based on the Harvard notes, restoring the original score and reviving the late-1890s costumes from the Mariinsky. Sounds promising! A bit of information directly from the Bolshoi web:

*****

Will be premiered on June 21, 2007.

Presented with two intervals.

Use is made in the production of music by Leo Delibes, Cesare Pugni, Pyotr von Oldenburg, Riccardo Drigo, Albert Zabel, Julius Gerber.

Music dramaturgy conception – Yuri Burlaka

Score restored by Alexander Troitsky

The original score by Adolphe Adam/Leo Delibes for Le Corsaire has been made available by L'Opera national de Paris from the archives of La Bibliotheque nationale de France

The choreographic notation has been made available by the Harvard University Theatre Collection

Evgeny Ponomaryov's costume sketches (1899) used in the production have been made available by the St. Petersburg State Theatre Library

****

I'll be in London in August & hope to report what I see at that time. In the meantime, I hope that some of our Moscow-based members will be able to report on next week's premiere performances.

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I'm planning to see this in London as well. I see practically no ballet these days, and am very much looking forward to it. Even if the production turns out to be flawed I can't imagine I won't enjoy it! Natalya -- if you learn anything about casting beyond opening night, please pass it along as you judge appropriate. (I would have loved to see Bright Stream in London but my work calendar did not comply.)

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I'm planning to see this in London as well. I see practically no ballet these days, and am very much looking forward to it. Even if the production turns out to be flawed I can't imagine I won't enjoy it! Natalya -- if you learn anything about casting beyond opening night, please pass it along as you judge appropriate. (I would have loved to see Bright Stream in London but my work calendar did not comply.)

Please report back if you do see it - inquiring minds want to know.

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Lunkina and Alexandrova are the other Medoras in rehearsals, according to insiders on the Russian-language fora. Tsiskaridze and Klevetsov the Conrads. Vasiliev & Bolotin among the Alis; Osipova & Krysanova among the Gulnares.

Keep an eye open for final London castings on the site of the impressarios for that tour, the Hochhausers:

http://www.victorhochhauser.co.uk/bolshoi_...07_corsaire.htm

The above link goes to a lovely photo of Zakharova & Matvienko wearing some of those ca-1899 costumes. Just to whet everyone's appetites. :thumbsup:

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Zakharova, Alexandrova and Lunkina all Gulnaras? An ecclectic mix! It should make for three very different interpretations. The Conrads too, come to think of it.

Edited to correct: Sorry, rq, you're quite right. I mean Medora, of course. It's just one of those things that I always get the wrong way round...

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the little hochauser foto shows zakharova as medora and natalia notes alexandrova and lunkina also rehearsing medora.

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Lors de cette conférence de presse, les journalistes conviés ont pu voir seulement quelques extraits du ballet, accompagnés au piano, avec notamment la participation de Svetlana Lunkina et Maria Alexandrova. Les artistes suivants sont annoncés sur le ballet (sans précision des rôles, il doit s'agir de Medora-Conrad): Svetlana Zakharova, Galina Stepanenko, Anna Antonicheva, Nikolaï Tsiskaridze, Sergeï Filin, Yuri Klevtsov, Andreï Uvarov.

According to this source, (Dansomanie), the Itar-Tass press interview/viewing of a rehearsal of Ratmansky's Le Corsaire revealed that Stepanenko and Antonicheva are also rehearsing Medora and Uvarov and Filin Conrad.

Maybe somebody with better French than mine can help here.

You can see some of the photos taken at the press viewing

Here

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On the Itar-Tass website, the reader can just find a name-dropping without any precision.

I just make the supposition (between brackets) that the dancers mentioned could be Medora and Conrad. :wink:

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The Medora-Conrad pairs will also include the veteran Stepanenko and Tsiskaridze, as seen in the following photos taken at yesterday's general rehearsal on stage. Notice the 70 dancers in the Jardin Anime scene! I wonder if the full complement of Moscow Ballet Academy girls and boys will also appear in London?

http://divanna.livejournal.com/173786.html#cutid1

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Wonderful photos--I especially like the costumes...

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Very detailed casting is finally up at the Bolshoi web site:

http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/season/ballet/pre...&act26=info

We can glean a lot of interesting info from this, such as the fact that the role of Ali is gone, as it was not in the Petipa version of the ballet. Instead, the young-whiz male dancers, such as Ivan Vasiliev, will be dancing the 'Pas d'Esclave' pdd...but not as the character Lankedem and not with the character of Gulnara. They will simply be a pair of young bravura-dancing slaves.

Also interesting to note that -- unlike the recent Munich production -- this Jardin Anime will include two female soloists in addition to Medora & Gulnare. Also, this version will include a major Petipa set-piece not seen anywhere in ages (since Petipa perhaps?): the Grand Pas d'Eventailes - "Grand Pas of the Fans" for Medora and six female friends.

Odalisques Pas de Trois remains, to be danced at each performance by Stebletsova, Nikulina & Leonova ,as per the Bolshoi site.

Now I can hardly wait to see all of this. :)

Edited to add translation of 'Pas d'Eventailes'

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Ooh, thankyou very much, Natalia: I've been curious to know the casting for ages (I'm seeing this in London). Your mention of the Pas d'Eventailes, which I had not heard of before, made me look up Le Corsaire on Wikipedia, and it has a most interesting history!

(PS: This being Wikipedia, I don't know whether this article has been plagiarised - if it has been recognisably 'borrowed', then please remove the link! Of course, inaccuracy is another matter... :))

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Thanks, scherzo. This is fascinating stuff. I did not realize that the 'Pas d'Eventails' and Pas de Six, together, formed a classical suite of dances that were later replaced (ca 1915) by what is now known as the 'Corsaire pas de deux' (or pas de deux-a-trois). That makes me wonder: Will the well-known 'Corsaire pdd/pdt' be at all performed by the Bolshoi? Perhaps not.

This Bolshoi edition may turn out to be far more loyal to 'Imperial Petipa' times than the much-touted Munich version earlier this year, although we can be eternally grateful to the Munich stagers for having at least presented a complete Jardin Anime scene and Medora 'Petit Corsaire' variation, from what I've read on this board and elsewhere.

In this fabulous year of Petipa-era reconstructions (the two Corsaires -- Munich & Moscow -- and 'Flora's Awakening' in St. Petersburg) it is a crying shame that ABT couldn't muster-up a 'Sleeping Beauty' that was equally loyal to Petipa and in the spirit of Imperial Russia.

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Re the Jardin anime casting (I'm looking at opening night): looks to me like they have two soloists (Zakharova and Shipulina)and six demis listed, with an accidental space between Stashkevich and Alizade. This jives with the notation - Medora, Gulnare and 6 demi women.

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We can glean a lot of interesting info from this, such as the fact that the role of Ali is gone, as it was not in the Petipa version of the ballet. Instead, the young-whiz male dancers, such as Ivan Vasiliev, will be dancing the 'Pas d'Esclave' pdd...but not as the character Lankedem and not with the character of Gulnara. They will simply be a pair of young bravura-dancing slaves.

The version of Corsaire that the Bolshoi used to dance in the early '90's had Lankedem as a strictly non-dancing role, the 'pas d'esclave', danced by Filin the night I went, wasn't performed by named characters. There was no Ali, simply a character called 'Rab' - slave. This role was dance by Alexander Vetrov and his was a single appearance to perform the pas de trois with Conrad and Medora. I have always assumed this version was far closer to the original than Vinogradov’s for the Kirov.

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Thanks for for your respective clarifications and enlightments, Doug & Mashinka! Doug, the accidental space seen between the names of demi-soloists 2 and 3 occurs in each casting list; the names aren't the same at every performance. Hopefully it's just a recurring accident because you surely know what's in the notes. Jardin Anime shouldn't be 'stuffed' with extra variations that aren't meant to be there.

Pas des Eventailles keeps fascinating me. According to contemporary descriptions of that pas in Cyril Beaumont's Complete Book of Ballets, "...the corps de ballet dispose their fans on her [Rosati as Medora] back to resemble the wings of a butterfly..." Another account in Beaumont describes the fans held by each corps girl as resembling peacock feathers; these are held in different positions "...creating a variety of beautiful combinations..."

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But with these old Petipa warhorses (God bless 'em), it's hard to know what is supposed to be there and what isn't. I think I recall the pas d'eventailles being transferred to the Grotto Scene in Don Quixote for a while there.

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Mel, the good news about the Bolshoi production of Corsaire is that we can now be certain that there will be a Pas d'Eventailles in this version, as it is specifically mentioned in the casting list.

Sorry for overdoing the excitement a bit, but the opportunity to see any heretofore-unseen creation by Petipa is 'The Ultimate' for us Russophile-balletomaniacs. It's hard to contain the joy! :)

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Don't get me wrong. I'm happy as a clam this is going back in. I guess it just must be one of those things preserved in the school, as was Reveil de Flore and Pavilion d'Armide.

(By the way, has anybody talked to a clam lately? Are they particularly happy beings?)

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Don't get me wrong. I'm happy as a clam this is going back in. I guess it just must be one of those things preserved in the school, as was Reveil de Flore and Pavilion d'Armide.

(By the way, has anybody talked to a clam lately? Are they particularly happy beings?)

About "a happy clam", I've been recently "educated" by a friend who gave me the full sentense :'as happy as a clam at high water/tide' - i.e. totally happy as being safe and undisturbed.... So, it's nice to be a happy clam on a high tide... - totally a high tide for Bolshoi's restoration (being a fan of "old-fashioned Petipa style ballets and Russian school ;-))

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Ah, yes, but does that make them truly happy? I mean, what is there to being a clam? You suck in water, you spit out water. You suck in water, you spit out water. Does a clam ever think, "There has to be more to life than this!"? :flowers:

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Does a clam ever think, "There has to be more to life than this!"?

Oh yes, but they are also very good at repressing their crippling emotional problems, thus giving the impression of happiness to the world. I have this on good authority. :flowers:

Does anyone else think that the Bolshoi stage looks rather cramped (or just small) in the above photos? I fear for the London Coliseum's stage: I don't know how large it is compared to the Bolshoi's.

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I was under the impression that the Bolshoi is still shut for refurbishments and current performances are taking place at a replacement venue.

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...............current performances are taking place at a replacement venue.

You're correct Mashinka. The replacement venue is the Bolshoi's 'New Stage', an intimate theater on the left side of the Bolshoi.

I can't provide numbers, but both the stage and the auditorium are much smaller than the Bolshoi's.

I believe the London's Colliseum has one of the city's largest stages.

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Oh right, that would make a lot of sense. I'd actually forgotten that the Bolshoi Theatre was closed! :flowers:

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