Marc Haegeman

New staging of Paquita at Bolshoi

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I've added photos of the new Paquita Grand Pas at the Bolshoi, in a new staging and choreographic version by future director Yuri Burlaka.

Grand Pas from Paquita

Thanks for visiting!

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First to say thank you :P

It looks sumptious. Alexandrova and Volchkov look stunning together, I think.

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I love the technique of posting a gallery of thumbnails of the dancers in closeup. When we click to see the full photo, we create a wonderful illusion of the image growing, opening up, and becoming what it was meant to be. Thank you, Marc.

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Very nice pictures! :P

However, one question: I wonder has any Russian ballet company performed the full ballet of Paquita recently? While the grand pas classique is well-known, I would love to see the full ballet performed at the Mariiinsky Theatre or Bolshoi Theatre some time soon. :o

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i note in this handsome and welcome selection of photos that the girls in the Polonaise and Mazurka are wearing 'character' shoes and not pointeshoes.

if mem. serves Doug has indicated that this number in 'Petipa's choreography' as now considered 'standard' in soviet and post-soviet Russia does not necessarily agree with the dance as notated in the Harvard Sergeyev Notations/collection. can anyone say if the current Bolshoi staging 'agrees' with that long performed by the Kirov/Maryinsky or if it's been 're-visited' for this 'historic' Bolshoi staging? and if so, what the changes consist of?

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i note in this handsome and welcome selection of photos that the girls in the Polonaise and Mazurka are wearing 'character' shoes and not pointeshoes.

if mem. serves Doug has indicated that this number in 'Petipa's choreography' as now considered 'standard' in soviet and post-soviet Russia does not necessarily agree with the dance as notated in the Harvard Sergeyev Notations/collection. can anyone say if the current Bolshoi staging 'agrees' with that long performed by the Kirov/Maryinsky or if it's been 're-visited' for this 'historic' Bolshoi staging? and if so, what the changes consist of?

Many thanks for the reactions.

Robert, the new staging by Burlaka goes back to the Sergeyev notations at Harvard and several other sources preserved in Russia (e.g. the apparently excellent drawings of the Paquita Grand Pas by principal dancer of the Imperial Ballet Pavel Gerdt, preserved at the Bakhrushin Museum in Moscw), but so far never used or even considered for a staging. Therefore the result is very different from the Soviet versions, foremost Oleg Vinogradov's 1978 version for the Kirov (as can be seen on the DVD with Makhalina/Zelensky or in an earlier Russian film with Komleva and Zaklinsky).

In a nutshell, Petipa's choreographic structure appears here denser and richer than we ever saw before, while the dancing itself appears less "spectacular" than in the Soviet version. As with the Jardin animé reconstruction in the Burlaka/Ratmansky Corsaire, for Petipa the emphasis is clearly on the architecture of the Grand Pas, while the virtuosity is reserved for the variations which sometimes appear totally different from the ones we know, although here again it's eventually more about individual character than mere bravura display. I haven't seen all 11 variations (each cast dances 7, incl. one interpolated male variation which Burlaka took from L. Lavrovsky since he didn't want to reduce the cavalier to a mere porteur) but some of the Soviet ones don't seem to appear here (such as the Cherepnin variation.)

The choreographic plan of Burlaka's reconstruction can be found on the Bolshoi website . Hats off also for Burlaka for his efforts to identify all the different composers Petipa used.

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very many thanks, M. for your detailed information and for the link, all of which makes your eye-opening photos even more historic.

having now visited the carefully listed choregraphic sources, etc. i think it's fair to say that what the translator calls THE STREAM is more accurately LA SOURCE.

here's to more such efforts on all fronts!

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very many thanks, M. for your detailed information and for the link, all of which makes your eye-opening photos even more historic.

having now visited the carefully listed choregraphic sources, etc. i think it's fair to say that what the translator calls THE STREAM is more accurately LA SOURCE.

here's to more such efforts on all fronts!

Correct, Robert, it is of course "La Source", but "ruchei" (as in Svetlii Ruchei = The Bright Stream) was translated into "stream". Quite hard these translations.

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i learned when trying to help a friend get a CD of BRIGHT STREAM that one needed to search for LIMPID STREAM in order to find one.

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Thanks Marc! :-) I have been anxiously clicking your website for updates on Paquita.

How was the performance? Please do tell!

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Beautiful pictures, Marc! Thank you!

There are clips from the November 17th performance of "Paquita" featuring Zakharova/Uvarov at YouTube. They can be found by searching the keywords "Svetlana Zakharova Paquita."

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In addition to the eight vids of Zakharova above, more of Paquita are just now being added, including Shipulina, who has been receiving great critical acclaim for this performance. Entering lexxrussia Paquita into YouTube will get you all the Zakharova plus those currently being added. [if you just enter lexxrussia you will get all those plus another 230 recent Bolshoi vids, but in chaotic order.]

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i note in this handsome and welcome selection of photos that the girls in the Polonaise and Mazurka are wearing 'character' shoes and not pointeshoes.

On the 'Essential Ballet' video with Vaganova Academy students, the girls do not wear pointe shoes or character shoes but rather satin slippers (they do not appear to be ballet shoes). Do they normally wear pointe shoes?

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i note in this handsome and welcome selection of photos that the girls in the Polonaise and Mazurka are wearing 'character' shoes and not pointeshoes.

On the 'Essential Ballet' video with Vaganova Academy students, the girls do not wear pointe shoes or character shoes but rather satin slippers (they do not appear to be ballet shoes). Do they normally wear pointe shoes?

Normally they wear satin slippers.

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Beautiful photographs, Marc, wonderful costumes and set and lighting, but most of all, the poses you've caught suggest VERY beautiful dancing. Stunning! look at their turn-out: look at the rotation of the working leg in the very first picture of Alexandrova -- the Bolshoi used to be a rather turned-in company, Bessmertnova was glorious despite her lack of turnout -- but Alexandrova is showing us the sole of her shoe in ecarte back!! BEAUTIFUL! Similarly Leonova is in a beautifully crossed effacee -- the relation of her shoulders and hips to that line are really exciting.

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I've added photos of the new Paquita Grand Pas at the Bolshoi, in a new staging and choreographic version by future director Yuri Burlaka.

Grand Pas from Paquita

Thanks for visiting!

Nice pics Marc. Thanks for pointing us in the direction to the Bolshoi site. The music ascribed to the variations therein does differ from what has been traditional.

The 7 short clips as referred to above begin at.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=sIC-gzFS6t0

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I'm certainly glad to note the uniform jackets and shakos that I see in the men's costuming. Traditionally, there has been no way to identify that Paquita is set during the Peninsular War (1807-14). The shakos are a little late, but it might be impossible to dance in period-correct examples.

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The costumes are especially effective against the cream-colored floor. I really like the floor, which shows off legs and feet beautiful in Marc's photographs.

From above, as in the video which leonid has linked, every bit is stunning and very CLEAR. The simple sett (I love those black curtains at the side and the way the nest on the floor) is a great help. You can actually see the everything the dancers do, not always the case in video.

For me, this visibility -- plus the great beauty and clarity of the dancing itself -- renews what somtimes comes across as a predictable old warhorse and restores it to the status of a work of art.

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I'm certainly glad to note the uniform jackets and shakos that I see in the men's costuming. Traditionally, there has been no way to identify that Paquita is set during the Peninsular War (1807-14). The shakos are a little late, but it might be impossible to dance in period-correct examples.

The creators of the new Grand Pas - Burlaka, but also designers Zaytseva (costumes) and Pikalova (sets) have been aiming to recreate a definite period atmosphere, which I think they succeeded admirably. It's also the first staging of this work I have seen which pays so much attention to the 19th-century Spanish, Polish and ballroom dancing that Petipa included, but mostly disappeared in the Soviet era for a more uniform style.

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For me, this visibility -- plus the great beauty and clarity of the dancing itself -- renews what somtimes comes across as a predictable old warhorse and restores it to the status of a work of art.

Absolutely, Bart. A staging like this is the perfect antidote against those who still believe classical ballet is per definition dull, old and dusty.

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The photos are absolutely gorgeous (as always :) ), Marc. I want to see it!

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The photos are absolutely gorgeous (as always :) ), Marc. I want to see it!

Thank you, Alexandra. One can only hope they bring it on tour, although after the three opening performances, only four more are scheduled for the rest of the 2008/2009 season.

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