Serge Lifar's Ballets
Posted 17 July 2008 - 11:48 AM
I know that the Paris Opera performs his work from time to time- indeed, "Suite en Blanc" is programmed for next season- and since they are my favorite company, I might have to plan a trip! But why isn't Lifar's work performed by American companies? Were his ballets ever performed in America or has he fallen out of favor recently?
Posted 17 July 2008 - 02:45 PM
I don't think he has ever been "in favor" in the US...Many years ago I saw "Les Mirages" and "Suite En Blanc" and I felt at the time that the only redeeming feature was the performance of Chauvire; but, then, this comes from a Balanchine devotee.
Posted 17 July 2008 - 03:42 PM
Posted 01 September 2008 - 06:26 AM
However none of this should detract from the piece itself, it is a genius of brilliant choreography, and when danced with precision which can only be obtained by in depth rehearsal and great musicality, to give the outstanding Lalo score( music from Namouna) it's true effect, it is a wonder to behold. Both stylish, but also lyrical and romantic in the first Pas de deux. To see part of the ballet it is on 40 years of the Australian Ballet DVD.. I do not know if there is a POB DVD, there was, but I believe it was only a excerp and sold out. It would be well worth going to see when it is on in Paris.
Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:32 PM
Actually, Lifar's work are not performed often in Paris either- "Suite en blanc" and "Les mirages" were performed two seasons ago, but before that there had been many years without any Lifar performance (except from time to time by the POB school), and I'm afraid many of his works are falling into oblivion, as most of the dancers who performed it are getting very old or passed away :-(
The reasons for this lack of programming in Paris are not very clear (cygneblanc, what do you think about it ?) It seems that Brigitte Lefèvre is not a fan of Lifar (more generally, she is mostly interested in modern dance works, and not especially interested in 20th century classical repertory...), and some of Lifar's works probably look quite dated because of the sets and costumes. There might also have been some copyright or coaching issues (but I'm not sure about it)... Also I think that in the US, the audience was so used to Balanchine's aesthetics that Lifar's works probably couldn't have been well received.
Posted 03 September 2008 - 07:10 AM
What's curious is a that lot of variations extracted of Lifar's works are performed during the annual competition.
As for the performing of Lifar's works by american compagnies, I can only agree with Estelle on the aesthetical point.
I think there would be definitively some problems with the copyrights issues. If I remember well, there is only one claimant, not that young, living in Switzerland. I don't know what's her mind on the subject.
Posted 03 September 2008 - 08:10 AM
Posted 04 January 2010 - 02:35 AM
I was wondering if Sol Hurok is partly to blame for rumours about Lifar. Apparently in his first book Hurok said things about Lifar which he later recanted.
"I happen to know certain facts about Lifar's behavior during the Occupation of France, facts I did not know at the time of the publication of my earlier book, Impresario. Certain statements I made in that book concerning Serge Lifar were made on the basis of such information as I had at the time, which I believed was reliable. I have subsequently learned that it was not correct, and I have also subsequently had additional, quite different, and reliably documented information which makes me wish to acknowledge that an error of judgment was expressed on the basis of inconclusive evidence."
Posted 05 January 2010 - 12:25 AM
Estelle posted a succinct summary of a well researched chapter by Sandrine Grandgambe in "La vie musicale sous Vichy" in this earlier discussion.
Is there a good biography on Serge Lifar?
I just took a look at the book (via Google translator) and there seemed to be no ambiguity (as there was with most other artists who collaborated at one point or other), no qualms on Lifar's part in his relations with the pro Nazi Vichy government. He seemed to have hit the water swimming. Lifar's mentor Jacques Rouche' (one of two, the other was Diaghilev) was far more kindhearted to the plight of Jewish musicians than Serge. Grandgambe give this picture of the Opera in wartime:
As pointed out in the earlier thread, his success was such that his salary was raised eightfold.
Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:35 AM
I only witnessed Lifar from a distance and in older age and I did not take to him as he struck me as narcissistic which may, have attributed to the dislike or jealousy he engendered.
Posted 05 January 2010 - 12:01 PM
Now if we could only hear Nijinska's version of Lifar's character and what happened!
0 user(s) are reading this topic
members, guests, anonymous users
Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases: