"And if, for example, one has ever seen Ivanov's steps to Swan Lake danced by a ballerina who was not physically similar to Pierina Legnani, for whom they were created, one understands that the need for flexibility in choreography is genuine, and that modern day insistence on exact duplication of such individually modelled dances can be historically and artistically misguided. For Petipa a change of cast, and particularly of ballerina, might automatically call for the reshaping of a work, something to which the literature bears witness again and again." page 1 of Roland John Wiley's Tchaikovsky's Ballets
Flexibility in choreography
Posted 22 January 2008 - 10:59 PM
Posted 23 January 2008 - 04:33 AM
Posted 23 January 2008 - 04:42 AM
I second that.
Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:23 AM
Watching Barber of Seville last night at the MetOpera I was imagining what Mozart would have thought of the new production and I think he would have loved it. Why not? It was visually interesting and the music and story were preserved.
One observation I made last night is that most (not all) of the re do's of classics can look very new, but usually maintain somethings very historically accurate or referential.. such as costumes. But seeing the full out classic version is a real treat and journey into history.
People involved in all the aspects of classical performances are creative and not simply copy cats and want to contribute something and thanks for that.
Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:41 AM
Incidentally, conventional wisdom tells us that you need the brand-name classics for box office. But the audience response to this was definitely more tepid than to the Balanchine or Tharp that preceded it. Was that because they knew or felt the difference between the real thing and sophisticated mimickry (however beautifully mounted)? Was it because they were tired after a long program? Or what? I don't know.
Every aspiring company seems to want a Swan Lake or other full-length classic. The Joffrey's recent foray into Giselle territory is an example. They do it for box office, prestige, to "preserve the tradition" and educate the audience, and to stretch their dancers. However, how far should this go??? What is the cut off point (in terms of ability, resources, etc.) beyond which it is better NOT to perform a classic even if you have lots of reasons to do so?.
Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:06 AM
. . . But the audience response to this was definitely more tepid than to the Balanchine or Tharp that preceded it. Was that because they knew or felt the difference between the real thing and sophisticated mimickry (however beautifully mounted)?
Just speculatiing . . .
Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:09 AM
It would equivalent to removing all the classic works of art from the museums and only mounting contemporary art.
Dance unlike painting or sculpture is a performance art and needs to be preserved real time.. It can't live on a wall in the museum.
We need to preserve the classics and we also need to encourage new artists and choreographers and the public needs to understand what is at stake.
Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:25 AM
Apart from adjustments for students who weren't advanced enough to do the actual choreography, Waugh wrote,
It can be remarkable how the choreography can look altered when the eye is caught by a different emphasis or attribute.
Posted 23 January 2008 - 11:22 AM
I suspect MCB is a particular case: NYC retirees are used to the subscription system, with its long term commitments, and also have the bucks to buy a full season in advance. Same-day box-office sales are younger, but not -- alas -- "young".
In the absence of this kind of person-to-persosn transfer -- and the large investment of time and money that this involves -- is it possible to pass on the the tradition in a rich, meaningful manner?
Posted 23 January 2008 - 12:29 PM
Posted 23 January 2008 - 05:53 PM
Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:29 PM
Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:51 PM
I agree that music has a firmer basis of notation, however there is a wide range of discussion on type of instruments to be used, ornamentation, phrasing and pitch. It just seems to me, even with classical ballet, that there is less interest in striving for historical "authenticity". Or is this a misguided view?
Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:56 PM
Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:49 PM
Most followers of the Royal Danes would be incensed at attempts to "update" his ballets choreographically. Some ballet masters are equally adamant about Giselle,
too. There have been dancers fined for wil(i)fully doing six o'clock penchés and knee earrings at the start of the Act II pas de deux.
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