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Pierre Lacotte's reconstruction of the 1895 version??


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#1 EricMontreal22

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 04:09 AM

I know Lacotte's "reconstructions" are quite controversial--more so than the recent Mariinsky Bayaderer and Sleeping Beauty reconstructions but only recently--when i was wondering why no on ehad done a reconstruction of the 1895 Swan Lake, did I find that in 1998 Lacotte did for Le Ballet national de Nancy. Now I don't even have much of an idea where that is... Has anyone seen this? how successful was it? Does anyone know of any photographs of it or maybe even video? I'm a huge fan of the classic ballets and the chance to see the original costumes and sets, etc, is always very exciting for me.

At first I wondered why other companies didn't take on this production but maybe, with most companies already doing well with their own Swan Lakes, they don't feel the need. I do wish the Marrinsky would try though i knwo that's ulikely under their current director--I kinda hate how the classic company that premiered the 1895 version now does a production with a HAPPY ending. that just seems so wrong to me :(

In an Aug 2001 Ballet.co interview he said this:

"
Q: Many productions have changed 19th Century works substantially - have you ever wanted to recreate the original Swan Lake, Nutcracker or something else that is normally very well known?

L: I have revived "Le Lac des Cygnes" at the Ballet National de Nancy and am going to do "Nutcracker" in Athens. "

I dunno if his Nutcracker ever happened....

#2 Sacto1654

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 12:40 AM

We are fortunate that there is a complete notation of the 1895 version of Swan Lake Nicolas Sergeyev wrote down that is sitting at the library of Harvard University. As such, we can stage a truly authentic version of this ballet as it looked like in 1895 at the Mariinsky Theatre. Sergeyev's notation were the ones used to stage the "reconstructed" versions of Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadere some years ago at the Mariinsky Theatre.

Several posters here have noted that the closest thing to the "authentic" 1895 version of this ballet performed regularly is the one done by the Royal Ballet in the UK, but there are some changes to the certain scenes so it's not truly 100% authentic.

#3 chrisk217

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 05:29 AM

L: I have revived "Le Lac des Cygnes" at the Ballet National de Nancy and am going to do "Nutcracker" in Athens. "

I dunno if his Nutcracker ever happened....

yes it did happen around 2000-2001. I think it was presented last in the 2005-2006 season. It's hard to say whether it's still in the repertory. The company changed ADs twice in recent years (right now Irek Mukhamedov has the post). The production hasn't been seen for a few years but since the company is rather poor they probably wont do away with a successful and popular production without good reason. In any case I hope they'll keep the gorgeous costumes (by Lacotte, as where the sets)

Lacotte kept close to the original libretto except for some points in the last act. The mime parts were rather glossed over and not worked very closely or at least not very well taught. The first act used children in the children roles.

As with most Lacotte productions the individual dances were pleasant but the parts didn't fit together to make a theatrically coherent whole. Still, it was better paced than other Lacotte ballets - but perhaps the credit for that ought to go to the libretto and the small size of the company - which did not allow him to pad the thing with dances (as he later did to exasperating effect with Ondine)

To my non-historian, non-expert eye it looked like a pleasant production inspired by the original rather than a reconstrution. When questioned in interviews about his reconstructive method I remember he was rather vague and talked about his teacher Egorova from whom he got the right feel for the dancing style of the era (I'm paraphrasing wildly, it's been many years now)

Reconstruction claims aside, the production was a success with the audience and was repeated by popular demand the following years (up to 2006).


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