SpanCox

Sweet, cute and happy ballets?

36 posts in this topic

And SpanCox, since you're in Sweden, you stand a better chance of running into a production of the sweet, cute, happy "Whims of Cupid and the Ballet Master", which from 1786, is the oldest ballet still known to today's audiences and companies. The Royal Danish Ballet has had it since then and somebody still must remember it. Funny, the tragedies like Giselle and Swan Lake have proven staying power, but the oldest ballet of all is a comedy!

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And SpanCox, since you're in Sweden, you stand a better chance of running into a production of the sweet, cute, happy "Whims of Cupid and the Ballet Master", which from 1786, is the oldest ballet still known to today's audiences and companies.

Thank you, I will look up that one immediately!

It is very nice, not only to have the suggestions but the background info and facts as well.

Best regards

Thomas Koos

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And how about Coppelia - premiered just days before the declaration of the 1870 war, one with hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded, and its young ballerina dead at 17 from cholera contracted during the siege of Paris.

Not to belabour this point, but what has Saint-Léon's generalized east-central Europe to do with the Franco-Prussian War?

The revival btw does not claim to be a realistic representation of life in a collective. That is hinted throughout the ballet and any relation to reality is abandoned when the giant vegetables roll out.

Which, under the historical circumstances, seems to be in bad taste.

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How could I forget to mention one of the most joyous ballet experiences known to mankind - August Bournonville's Napoli, especially as performed by the Royal Danish Ballet. We saw the most glorious performance in Copenhagen last November.

Also by Bournonville, I particularly enjoyed The Kermesse in Bruges when I saw it during the Bournonville Festival in 2005.

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Mel thank you for your gentle reply - I am aware that Fille premiered in Bordeaux.

Not to belabour this point, but what has Saint-Léon's generalized east-central Europe to do with the Franco-Prussian War?
It is hard to think of the history of Coppelia and not think of the turbulent times when it first came to life or the unlucky fate of its young protagonist. The point being that you can associate grim realities to happy works of the imagination if you only try (and indulge in some Presentism ;) )
Which, under the historical circumstances, seems to be in bad taste.

I hadn't expected people would feel so strongly on this matter. Having family that was stripped of belongings, persecuted and variously dislocated, most to arid lands in Kazakhstan, some to perish in Vladivostok, I had no qualms about enjoying the ballet. I saw the revival as a fitting hommage to the spirit and imagination of the artists who created it and then paid dearly for their political naïveté. I also saw unfolding in front of me, a happy romp taking place in what, despite what that old libretto claims, clearly was balletland and not an actual place in time - so for the space of 90 minutes I left the world's dark history aside and enjoyed.

Evidently not everyone thinks this is the proper response - we live in a free world thankfully :)

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- we live in a free world thankfully :D
Yes indeed! And that's one of the pleasures of discussion here -- agreeing on the right to disagree. :)

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Having family that was stripped of belongings, persecuted and variously dislocated, most to arid lands in Kazakhstan, some to perish in Vladivostok, I had no qualms about enjoying the ballet.

Thank you, Chris.

Luckily for all of us, the human spirit has a remarkable drive to triumph over its circumstances. I see no reason to criticize, for example, the extravagant luxury of the Astaire-Rogers films which were made during the dark days of the Depression. They provided, most likely, a necessary cheerful fantasy to relieve the hardship of daily life.

Nor do I mean to compare the Depression to the Stalinist purges. The suffering of one pales beside the suffering of the other, which were acts of human intention. But I stand by my point.

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I see the Bright Stream issue differently. I think it's a tribute to how far Russian ballet has come, in that there is even a ballet like Bright Stream. In the "old Soviet" days, no one would ever have put a leading danseur in a romantic tutu and pointe shoes. How undignified! How silly! Putting a prima ballerina in a coat and tails. How perverse!

When I watch old Soviet films, I of course am filled with admiration for the incredible beauty and grace of the wonderful dancers, but that's tinged with a bit of regret that they were often dancing in old-fashioned productions that deliberately placed limits on emotions and storylines. Nowadays the Bolshoi's repertoire is probably nearly as diverse adventurous as the NYCB's, and that's a beautiful thing.

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And, re Robbins' "The Concert," you don't have to come all the way to New York to see it, the Paris Opera Ballet does a wonderful -- very authentic -- production of this Most-Delightful-And-Funny-Of-All-Ballets. Keep your eyes open for it!

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And, re Robbins' "The Concert," you don't have to come all the way to New York to see it, the Paris Opera Ballet does a wonderful -- very authentic -- production of this Most-Delightful-And-Funny-Of-All-Ballets. Keep your eyes open for it!

I will keep an eye open for that one as well. Paris would be nice. :)

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