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NutcrackerOnes that actually do it for you?


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123 replies to this topic

#76 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 11:07 AM

Pointe work...


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

No,no...not about being real or not...(of course Duncan danced for real...)
As i see it, Pointe work=BALLET

#77 leonid17

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 12:12 PM

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!



It's different. Yes. It's not traditional.Yes. Horrible. No You cannot judge any performance from a filmed record. If you had been in the Royal Opera House to see it live, you would have soon got over the shock and marvelled at the powerful performances that were given. Yes, its niot a production for all time, but then nor are most others. It is performances than define ballet history much more than productions.

#78 Mel Johnson

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 12:26 PM

I may not have seen it at Covent Garden, but I did see it at the Metropolitan Opera House, and I have to say that I'm in Hans' camp. I found it quite dreadful, with one of my few cherished memories being of Dame Merle Park, but then, I thought then, and still think now that she could have danced ANYthing and improved it.

#79 canbelto

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 01:21 PM

No,no...not about being real or not...(of course Ducan danced for real...)
As i see it, Pointe work=BALLET


So you don't consider the large amounts of character/mime dancing in La Bayadere, Lavrovsky's R&J, and Balanchine's Nutcracker ballet? Just curious.

#80 Mel Johnson

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 02:12 PM

Anyone care to join me in the Krakoviak from Ivan Sussanin, or the Csardas from Swan Lake?

#81 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 04:11 PM

No,no...not about being real or not...(of course Ducan danced for real...)
As i see it, Pointe work=BALLET


So you don't consider the large amounts of character/mime dancing in La Bayadere, Lavrovsky's R&J, and Balanchine's Nutcracker ballet? Just curious.

Mime is mime. Can be a PART OF ballet and yes, it is generally associated with it, but not necessarily exclusive to it.

Anyone care to join me in the Krakoviak from Ivan Sussanin, or the Csardas from Swan Lake?

National/Folk Dances vs. Ballet...maybe...? :thumbsup:

#82 Mel Johnson

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 04:42 PM

Mime indeed can stand as its own program. Look at Marcel Marceau. But Nutcracker, among all the durable classics, has a way of integrating mime and ballet step vocabulary more than any other, more even than Giselle, where it happens a lot!

And national dances are not separate from a ballet dancer's training. They must be an integral part of it. It is less so for historical dance, but it would be nice to get that integrated, too!

#83 LiLing

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 05:25 PM

What I took Cubanmiamiboy to mean was pointe work means ballet, not ballet means pointe work...right?.
Obviously men in classical ballet don't generally dance on pointe.

I do hope you don't think only ballet is "real" dancing. I realize this is a ballet forum, but there is a world of wonderful dance to be experienced in addition to classical ballet.

#84 Mel Johnson

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:10 PM

Oh, certainly all ballet is dance, but not all dance is ballet. There are crossovers, and hybrids, and all sorts of fusion, but the topic of this thread is Nutcracker.

#85 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:32 PM

Pause-
(:thumbsup: )...( :dry: )

Ok, let's set this right :P

From the etymological point of view:


"The etymology of the word "ballet" is related to the art form's history. The word ballet comes from the French and was borrowed into English around the 17th century. The French word in turn has its origins in Italian balletto, a diminutive of ballo (dance).Ballet ultimately traces back to Latin ballare, meaning to dance."

so literally I must agree that Ballet=Dance, whereas from the way I look at it and refer to the word as per Ballettalk would be more like:

"...Ballet dance works (ballets) are choreographed, and also include mime, acting, and are set to music (usually orchestral but occasionally vocal). It is best known in the form of classical ballet, notable for its techniques, such as pointe work and turn-out of the legs, its graceful, flowing, precise movements, and its ethereal qualities"

and no...I agree that National Dances are many important things-(an esential ballet work component, a basic ballet dancer training asset, and so on)-but I still don't think of a 2009 Czarda done in character shoes, either being danced in a Swan Lake production by trained ballet dancers or in a Hungarian village by its folks, to a ballet itself, or a ballet work, so to speak.

Basically;

If it is choreographed and has pointe work i do think of it as Ballet.

If it is choreographed, doesn't include at least one pair of pointe shoes on it and it is done by female dancers, I see it as Dance. (This does NOT applies, of course, to the male components of the Ballet art form, which doesn't include pointe shoes by nature, unless they do drag a la Trocks, which I highly dislike)
Hence, Dolin's "Variations for Four" is another shade of this topic...
But back to the Nutcracker...

#86 Hans

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 08:46 PM

Leonid, I was commenting on Nureyev's choreography, not the performances. I found the dancing to be excellent but the choreography quite poor.

I have to say, I do not think ballet necessarily equals pointe work. Pointe is an addition to ballet technique, not a necessary component, unless a work is specifically choreographed to be danced on pointe. Thus, pointe technique must be taught, but it is not necessary for a work to be choreographed for pointe to be considered ballet.

#87 canbelto

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 10:18 AM

Basically;

If it is choreographed and has pointe work i do think of it as Ballet.

If it is choreographed, doesn't include at least one pair of pointe shoes on it and it is done by female dancers, I see it as Dance. (This does NOT applies, of course, to the male components of the Ballet art form, which doesn't include pointe shoes by nature, unless they do drag a la Trocks, which I highly dislike)
Hence, Dolin's "Variations for Four" is another shade of this topic...
But back to the Nutcracker...


So ... is your point that Balanchine's Nutcracker is not ballet because of the large amounts of mime dancing in it? Even though the first act contains children's ballet dancing, which is not on pointe?

How about Fokine's Scheherazade? Is that not a ballet?

I think the worst Nutcracker is Grigorivich's. Lots of people onstage all the time, doing nothing in particular, ugly sets, ugly costumes. Contains the usual beefy bravura dancing for the Prince which basically prevents the Prince from being danced by anyone other than the heroic dancers. Doesn't have a drop of childish imagination.

#88 Goldfish17

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 12:43 AM

I think the worst Nutcracker is Grigorivich's. Lots of people onstage all the time, doing nothing in particular, ugly sets, ugly costumes. Contains the usual beefy bravura dancing for the Prince which basically prevents the Prince from being danced by anyone other than the heroic dancers. Doesn't have a drop of childish imagination.


I probably saw a different Nutcracker by different Grigorovich :wink:

#89 leonid17

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 09:36 AM

I think the worst Nutcracker is Grigorivich's. Lots of people onstage all the time, doing nothing in particular, ugly sets, ugly costumes. Contains the usual beefy bravura dancing for the Prince which basically prevents the Prince from being danced by anyone other than the heroic dancers. Doesn't have a drop of childish imagination.


I probably saw a different Nutcracker by different Grigorovich :wub:



Hear, hear!

The combination of Maximova, Vasiliev and Levashev all extraordinary on stage, so much so, I have never wanted to watch a film of their performance.
To only talk about beefy bravura dancing is to forget the magical moment when after the battle and the prone prince is lying there and the music begins to swell and Vasiliev slowly reveals his face which was for me was a truly great and unforgettable moment in any performance no matter what you think about the production.
As I mentioned elsewhere, "The Nutcracker" is a ballet for adults not for children and it is a pity to see it being given in something like a pantomime which it most definitely is not. It was first given at the Maryinsky Theatre late in the evening when all good children should have been in bed while adults observed the softened version of the original Hoffman that the audience might have been familiar with, unlike modern audiences today.
19th century ballets were representations of the human condition seen through allegory and symbolism, yes even the comedy ballets.

#90 canbelto

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 10:21 AM

As I mentioned elsewhere, "The Nutcracker" is a ballet for adults not for children and it is a pity to see it being given in something like a pantomime which it most definitely is not. It was first given at the Maryinsky Theatre late in the evening when all good children should have been in bed while adults observed the softened version of the original Hoffman that the audience might have been familiar with, unlike modern audiences today.


Well we'll just agree to disagree. I think the ballet should be enjoyable to adults, but it should bring back childhood memories, or at least a feeling of warmth and nostalgia. Tchaikovsky, one of the most emotional of composers, made the Nutcracker score by turns playful and gentle. Grigorivich's sledgehammer style of choreography just doesn't work, in my opinion. And memories of great individual performances are not the same as evaluating choreography.


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