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Extra PDD in Het NationaleSleeping beauty


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#31 CHazell2

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:54 PM

I quite like the Dowell production as it was the first production that I ever saw on TV in 1995. I quite agree with you about our conversation.

The Dowell production is rock solid choreographically and I like the Fairy of Joy solo.

#32 Mel Johnson

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:59 PM

I think that we're ALL affected by the first Beauty that we see. My first Aurora was Merle Park. Everybody had to compete with my image of her, and few could quite come up to her. Fonteyn and Sibley, Beriosova and Nerina, on good days. I think that old production is permanently etched on the inside of my skull.

#33 CHazell2

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:00 PM

Which production did you see? Do you think that it was a mistake to recreate the old Messel production?

#34 Mel Johnson

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:05 PM

I've seen all of the RB Beauty productions since 1963.

And as an intention, the Messel "remake" was not a bad idea. It seems to want in execution, though. It lacks the vividness of the original, although I will admit that some of my memories may be gilded with the stuff of recalled youth!

#35 CHazell2

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:07 PM

Exactly. I think that most of the critics wanted the Messel production exactly as it was. I think that times have changed and some critics are not prepared to move with the times.

I think that the Royal Ballet would have done better to splash on an entirely new production rather than try to turn the clock back but as you say, it was a very good intention.

#36 Mel Johnson

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:15 PM

As long as it hews close to the line that the ballet is not only a fairy tale, but a hymn to autocracy (see Louis XIV, the Tsars). Sumptuous it must be.

Here's a little something you may find entertaining. It's a multi-part article I wrote a long time ago for our "mother" site, Ballet Alert! Some of the sections have aged out, but most of it's there. Enjoy.

http://www.balletale...ty/sleeping.htm

#37 CHazell2

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:18 PM

Why must it be a hymn to autocracy? I know the original production was created in 1890 as a tribute to the Sun King, but can we just enjoy the ballet for what it is, a fairy-tale. certainly the children that go to see would just enjoy it as a fairy-tale. I know that I did.

#38 Mel Johnson

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:23 PM

Not only was it a tribute to Louis, but also to any Tsar who happened to be by at the time! Check out the article. I went to some pains to make sure I had included the relevant details of the original production, but never got to go further than that. Perhaps if I retire.

#39 CHazell2

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:24 PM

I know what you mean. I have done my research into the original 1890 production as well.

#40 Mel Johnson

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:30 PM

There's the knife-edge that productions have to walk. It has to be lavish, it has to be magic, it has to be a fairy tale, in fact, it has to be so many things, I can understand why Ismene Brown feels that it's almost like a religious experience. I don't necessarily agree 100%, but I certainly can understand it! And now on to another kind of experience. I have to go make my supper. We can pick this up another time, and perhaps let others in on the discussion, while we're at it! :)

#41 CHazell2

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:32 PM

I would like that very much, Mr Johnson. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I shall look forward to that.


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