Jump to content


Nutcracker history in Ballet Theatre......during pre- Baryshnikov times.


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,166 posts

Posted 03 December 2008 - 11:02 PM

Ok, so maybe my Google searching wasn't that complete or something, but it doesn't seem to be a lot of info on ABT's Nutcracker, other than a brief outline of Mc Kenzie's 1993 and 2000 premieres :
http://www.abt.org/e...r_mckenzie.html
I've seen old pictures of dancers costumed for the Grand PDD back in the old BT days. Then, of course, there is the Misha/Kirkland version, and then Mc. Kenzie seems to follow. But...what's going on as per today? Did they drop the whole thing from the repertoire...? Maybe some memories from those stagings back then atm711...? Any possibility that ABT will be having its own production again...?

#2 atm711

atm711

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,402 posts

Posted 04 December 2008 - 04:52 AM

Back in the early BT days there was not a complete Nutcracker. What was very very popular was the Act II Adagio recreated by Anton Dolin. Alonso, Markova, Hightower--they all performed it. I have a great little book by Anton Dolin-- "Pas de Deux, The Art of Partnering" and it has the complete choreography as set by Dolin.

#3 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 04 December 2008 - 07:34 AM

The problem that ABT, and quite a few other companies, had with trying to do Nutcracker is that their productions tried to make it make sense, which is kind of death to an enchantment ballet (ballet-féerie). Another downside of these productions is that, for reasons of touring, the children's parts are all danced by adults. This is really straining the original production concept. Either Nutcracker is an affirmation of childhood dreams or it's not much else except a sort of infomercial for consumerism. The kids really have to be kids, after the sort of teen fanzine genre.

#4 EAW

EAW

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts

Posted 04 December 2008 - 08:51 AM

Another downside of these productions is that, for reasons of touring, the children's parts are all danced by adults. This is really straining the original production concept.

It strains credibility as well; grown-up ballet dancers, no matter how well-costumed or directed, look forced and phony playing children. Gelsey Kirkland in that old ABT production was no exception.

#5 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:05 AM

Last I heard, ABT was (for some reason) still performing Kevin McKenzie's version. The nicest thing I can think of to say about the production is that the grand pas de deux was left intact.

#6 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,584 posts

Posted 04 December 2008 - 10:25 PM

Another downside of these productions is that, for reasons of touring, the children's parts are all danced by adults. This is really straining the original production concept.

It strains credibility as well; grown-up ballet dancers, no matter how well-costumed or directed, look forced and phony playing children. Gelsey Kirkland in that old ABT production was no exception.

Not to mention that children in the cast bring in paying ticket-buyers in the form of friends of the performers, friends of the family, grandparents, aunts, neighbors, and anyone else who sold the child performer's family a ticket to their school fundraiser, peewee hockey team fundraiser, Boy/Girl Scout trip fundraiser, etc.

"Nutcracker" is payback time.

#7 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,166 posts

Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:59 PM

Another downside of these productions is that, for reasons of touring, the children's parts are all danced by adults. This is really straining the original production concept.

It strains credibility as well; grown-up ballet dancers, no matter how well-costumed or directed, look forced and phony playing children. Gelsey Kirkland in that old ABT production was no exception.

Not to mention that children in the cast bring in paying ticket-buyers in the form of friends of the performers, friends of the family, grandparents, aunts, neighbors, and anyone else who sold the child performer's family a ticket to their school fundraiser, peewee hockey team fundraiser, Boy/Girl Scout trip fundraiser, etc.

"Nutcracker" is payback time.


Interesting...mm

#8 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 05 December 2008 - 04:23 AM

I think that this issue goes beyond the productions of Nutcracker at ABT and elsewhere, as ballet masters take the old material in Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Raymonda, Corsaire and all the others and try to make it make sense, or worse, be Politically Correct for today's audiences. These matters of integrity (in the sense of wholeness of the ballet, not the honesty of the stagers) touch on the whole practice of having classical ballets as repertory. What would happen if somebody tried to "update" Antony Tudor, or Eugene Loring? I mean, apart from the lawsuits? It's about stewardship.

I like Kevin McKenzie, I really do, but his "sensible" attitude toward ballet librettos (the comic banter about the Corsaire plot is a more serious symptom than was thought at the time) has led to some very bad decisions about what to interpret and how (Sleeping Beauty is a good bad example, and choosing just to revive the "Romeo and Juliet" pas de deux and leave the rest unproduced).

#9 leonid

leonid

    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,382 posts

Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:38 PM

Back in the early BT days there was not a complete Nutcracker. What was very very popular was the Act II Adagio recreated by Anton Dolin. Alonso, Markova, Hightower--they all performed it. I have a great little book by Anton Dolin-- "Pas de Deux, The Art of Partnering" and it has the complete choreography as set by Dolin.


In "A Ballerina Prepares", Ludmilla Scollar (who danced at the Maryinsky 1906-1921) offers "The dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" as she taught the repertoire, given in a notated form by Laurencia Klaja.
Madame Schollar taught at the School of American Ballet from 1936, Ballet Theatre School (1951-3), Washington School of Ballet (1963-5), and at the San Francisco Ballet School from 1965.

#10 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:50 PM

That's the one that starts with the pas marchés battus, and is the version that Markova danced. The choreography there may be Lopukhov's.

#11 leonid

leonid

    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,382 posts

Posted 15 December 2008 - 05:09 PM

That's the one that starts with the pas marchés battus, and is the version that Markova danced. The choreography there may be Lopukhov's.


Schollar left Russia in 1921 two years before the Shirayev/Lopukhov production of "Nutcracker" was staged and Lopukhov's own staging took place in 1929. I am assuming she was only familiar with the Ivanov choreography but could have amended it herself of course.

#12 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 15 December 2008 - 05:31 PM

I studied with Schollar.

The variation she taught in pointe class was the familiar one identified with Markova. Years later, I was shown by Sir Anton Dolin loose sheets of score paper with what looked like the Stepanov Notation on it, and from what I could dope out from it, it was the same variation. It had written in Cyrillic at the top under the title, "Lopukhovi".

#13 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,402 posts

Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:17 PM

i recently acquired a triple bill house program from a GATOB in 1920.
it begins with THE TRIALS OF DAMIS (Or, The Pranks of Love,
and continues with PAQUITA GRAND PAS
and ends with the last act of NUTCRACKER, cast as follows:

NUTCRACKER
Ballet ferrie (3rd Act)
Ivanov/Tchaikovsky
Fea Drazhe – E. P. Gerdt
Prince Koklush – B.V. Shavrov
Chocolat – Ye. E. Biber, I. N. Kusov
Café – V. K. Ivanov I. A. A. Khristanson
Thé – L. I. Bolshakova II & L. s. Petrov III, N. A. Baranovich I, L. R. Soboleva, O. N. Vlasova, L. A. Varanovich I; Polyankii – K. K. Ivanov, I.A. Summert & Ushakov
Buffons – A. I. Bocharov I & students of the theater school
Mirlitons – T. A. Troyanoskaya, Aleksnye, A. A. Dekomb, Stremloyanova, Kaukal, Tiutina, M.C. Dobrolubova, Leonieva II, & Kirkhgeyeim
Grand Ballabile – G. I. Balshakova I, Zh. A. Shimanskaya, M. F. Romanova, F. L. Dubrovskaya,
Pas de Duex – E. P. Gerdt & B. V. Shavrov

incidentally Shollar was in both TRIALS and PAQUITA

#14 leonid

leonid

    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,382 posts

Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:17 PM

I studied with Schollar.

The variation she taught in pointe class was the familiar one identified with Markova. Years later, I was shown by Sir Anton Dolin loose sheets of score paper with what looked like the Stepanov Notation on it, and from what I could dope out from it, it was the same variation. It had written in Cyrillic at the top under the title, "Lopukhovi".


Thanks for that very interesting information.
I should have of course remembered that Lopukhov was setting variations for leading dancers at the Maryinsky before the revolution and before he was staging productions.
I wonder if this appears as a variant to the Ivanov choreography in the Sergeyev notations and who was the first person to dance it?

#15 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,719 posts

Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:27 PM

It had written in Cyrillic at the top under the title, "Lopukhovi".

:wink: I'm curious about the orthography. I wonder which case it's supposed to be.

Nom. Lopukhov
Acc. Lopukhova
Gen. Lopukhova
Dat. Lopukhovu
Instr. Lopukhovym
Prep. Lopukhove


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):