Jump to content


NutcrackerOnes that actually do it for you?


  • Please log in to reply
123 replies to this topic

#61 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 30 December 2008 - 05:46 PM

bart -

...I have noticed over the decades now since Balanchine died, that the headlong tempi to Snow and Flowers have abated somewhat, at least in the initial periods of the dances. Flowers used to rush along until the last ten notes - onetwothreefour FIIIIIIIIIVE~ sixseveneightnineten! No more. Pity! I used to like that fermata.


My first viewing of Balanchine's must have been in 1958, because I distinctly recall being ten. My latest viewing was in 1998, and I haven't been able to get back since, although I've keenly wanted to. It's really slower than it used to be.

#62 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,214 posts

Posted 30 December 2008 - 10:14 PM

Thanks, Cristian, for the description of Clara and Fritz entering the Christmas tree as a kind of gateway to the Land of Snow. Do you know where Alonso got this idea -- from Russian visitors to Cuba? from her Ballet Theater days?

The only references she took were those during her American career. She danced the ballet in both companies, BT and de Basil's-(even in her autobiography Suzzanne Farrell talks about the very first time she took part in a ballet performance when she was a kid, a BR's production of Nutcracker in which she played Clara, with Alonso and Youskevitch in the Act II PDD). Also she famously once declared that she had always refused to integrate to the soviet choreographic versions/style and even schooling, due to her well known devotion and reverence to her American standards. atm711 has mentioned that the BT version back then included a very short party scene and Snow Scene from Act I, but didn't mention about how the changing happened...
atm...? :clapping:

#63 nijinsky1979

nijinsky1979

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 31 posts

Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:15 AM

Here are a couple of clips from Act I of the Cuban version that I often refer to, which "does it" for me. The first clips shows Clara and the Nutcracker dancing just before the Snow Scene. The second one is the beginning of Act II, including the Nutcracker's "mime".



Hey, thanks for posting these here. Interesting stuff. So much dancing! I'm used to seeing mostly mime during these parts — and the Christmas tree growing in the first clip, of course. If this is your standard, I bet most other productions bore you quite a bit.

#64 nijinsky1979

nijinsky1979

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 31 posts

Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:19 AM

Back to the topic - Balanchine's version of The Nutcracker is the only major version I have seen live, and it is enchanting in every possible sense of the word.

I saw my first Nutcracker at Bolshoi Theater in Moscow and it still appears to me "enchanting in every possible sense of the word". :)
It was Grigorovich's version where Mary and Nutcracker are danced by adults.
GB Nutcracker was the first ballet I saw when I came to New York - I was very surprised (if not shocked) to see no dancing in Act I. I was wondering if this is going to be like that for the rest of the ballet and was thinking about leaving. :clapping:
Over time I grew into loving GB Nutcracker, but I still find Act I quite boring and feel that majical music is being "waisted"


No dancing?! What about the snowflakes?! OK, I get it about the bed scene, with the snow scenery coming down slowly. (Many times this music is used for a pas between a certain Snow Queen and Snow King.) I agree that that music was somewhat wasted in the Balanchine version.

#65 nijinsky1979

nijinsky1979

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 31 posts

Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:48 AM

the attached scan of a Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo program from a Fri. Nov. 4 evening performance, which oddly began at 8:20, comes without the year spelt out, but which may be 1949 or '50, details the way THE NUTCRACKER at the BRdMC was credited, etc.


Cool! Thanks for posting this. November 4 was on a Friday in 1949.

#66 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,434 posts

Posted 31 December 2008 - 05:12 AM

very many thanks for the dating - i sensed someone here would be able to find the day for a date some 60-ish years ago.
i tried but came up empty.
i'll now write the year on the program itself, so i don't soon forget what you found..

#67 Goldfish17

Goldfish17

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts

Posted 01 January 2009 - 12:09 PM

No dancing?! What about the snowflakes?!


You are right - no dancing apart from snowflakes at the end. :)

#68 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,434 posts

Posted 01 January 2009 - 12:58 PM

i guess by 'dancing' one refers here to 'ballet' dancing, but act one of GB's NUTCRACKER honors most of the 'dancing' Tchaikovsky and Petipa envisioned for the scenario of THE NUTCRACKER.
there are the dances of the 'dolls' - in GB's case Columbine, Harlequin and the Soldier, and the social dances of the children with the fathers and the traditional, social-gathering concluding dance known then and in the context of THE NUTCARCKER as the "Grandfather's dance" composed to conclude the first scene.

#69 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 01 January 2009 - 01:17 PM

Balanchine even OVERFLOWS the social dancing by a little bit, causing repeats in the fast section of the Grossvatertanz.

#70 Goldfish17

Goldfish17

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts

Posted 01 January 2009 - 09:33 PM

i guess by 'dancing' one refers here to 'ballet' dancing, but act one of GB's NUTCRACKER honors most of the 'dancing' Tchaikovsky and Petipa envisioned for the scenario of THE NUTCRACKER.
there are the dances of the 'dolls' - in GB's case Columbine, Harlequin and the Soldier, and the social dances of the children with the fathers and the traditional, social-gathering concluding dance known then and in the context of THE NUTCARCKER as the "Grandfather's dance" composed to conclude the first scene.


I was just describing my first impression of seeing George Balanchine's Nutcracker in a contrast with Grigorovich's production in Bolshoj Theather - which is the one I grew up with.

#71 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,214 posts

Posted 01 January 2009 - 09:44 PM

Pointe work...

#72 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 02 January 2009 - 08:30 AM

I just watched a DVD of Nureyev's horrible Nutcracker for the Royal Ballet from 1968. It is very similar to his production for the Paris Opéra Ballet, which makes me wonder who decided it was a good idea for him to choreograph after 1968!

#73 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 02 January 2009 - 09:28 AM

Mostly, he did, I think.

#74 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 02 January 2009 - 09:51 AM

That would explain it. I notice he doesn't seem to have choreographed anything else for the Royal Ballet.

#75 canbelto

canbelto

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,842 posts

Posted 02 January 2009 - 10:57 AM

Pointe work...


Just a question. Why does it have to be "pointe work" to be considered "real dancing"?


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):