leonid17

New production of "Esmeralda" for the Bolshoi

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In an interview in the June edition of Dancing Times, Yuri Burlaka the recently appointed Artistic Director of the Bolshoi, tells Nadine Meisner that his next project for later this year is “Esmeralda” based on Petipa’s 1899 production.

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In an interview in the June edition of Dancing Times, Yuri Burlaka the recently appointed Artistic Director of the Bolshoi, tells Nadine Meisner that his next project for later this year is “Esmeralda” based on Petipa’s 1899 production.

Leonid, I had already reported this last March, when I saw an interview on Russian TV during my visit to Moscow for Coppelia. See:

http://ballettalk.invisionzone.com/index.php?showtopic=29177

Nonetheless, it's good to commence a special thread for this. This is particularly welcome now that the Mikhailovsky in St.Petersburg has dropped its great production.

Incidentally, the Petipa 1899 Esmeralda is being staged in Tokyo this month by the NBA troupe, which had revived it in 2004:

http://www.nbaballet.org/performance/index.html

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Of course you did, when I checked your post I remembered the content. I did want to draw attention to this interesting interview and I add a quote, " I am not going to repeat it exactly. I am going to do it with the eye of the 21st century as we did with Le Corsaire."

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....and I add a quote, " I am not going to repeat it exactly. I am going to do it with the eye of the 21st century as we did with Le Corsaire."

Thank you, Leonid. This is very reassuring: "...as we did with Corsaire." This tells me that there will most likely be beautiful realistic sets and costumes, rather than simple projections a-la Flames of Paris 2008.

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It is a shame that the Kirov has shown no interest in doing this as they have more of the original materials in their archives. I know that the Bolshoi would have had a version of "Esmeralda" in its repertory at least until the 1920's so they would have a musical score, etc. So I suppose it is the Drigo score? I guess the Adam/Perrot version has not survived in any form. I wonder if Doug Fullington will be on hand to translate the Stepanov notation from the Harvard/Sergeyev collection? That would be best. It is wonderful news.

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A little :D , but now that you mention his name, I miss Mr. Fullington's posts on this forums...

But back to "La Esmeralda"...

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It is a shame that the Kirov has shown no interest in doing this as they have more of the original materials in their archives. I know that the Bolshoi would have had a version of "Esmeralda" in its repertory at least until the 1920's so they would have a musical score, etc. So I suppose it is the Drigo score? I guess the Adam/Perrot version has not survived in any form. I wonder if Doug Fullington will be on hand to translate the Stepanov notation from the Harvard/Sergeyev collection? That would be best. It is wonderful news.

Esmeralda was first staged at the Bolshoi by Jean Perrot in 1850 using the revised Pugni score and was revived by Mendez in 1890 after Petipa. It was last re-staged at the Bolshoi in 1926 by Tikhomirov with Yekaterina Geltser as Esmeralda and the score revised by Rheinhold Gliere which was to used by the Kirov in their 1935 production staged by Vaganova which was revived in that theatre in 1948.

Esmeralda was an extremely popular ballet in the soviet period being staged across that union in something like twenty plus different productions.

The Mikhailovsky Ballet production is the latest Russian production I have found and dates from 1981 being called a revival of Petipa's restaging of 1899. There is to be found a filmed recording of excerpts of this Esmeralda production which was staged in part by Tatiana Vecheslova who had appreared in the Vaganova production and although the dancing is variable, one can see the remnants of a Romantic ballet.

As you say, the Sergeyev notation of the Petipa production exists which was staged with the Drigo revised score and as Vikharev has been mentioned in respect of this production perhaps it is being referred to.

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Actually, Vecheslova starred in the Petipa version both before and after the short-lived Vaganova version.

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Actually, Vecheslova starred in the Petipa version both before and after the short-lived Vaganova version.

I know that Vecheslova appeared in both the Vaganova productions of Esmeralda in 1935 (revived by Vaganova especially for her)and 1948, but I had thought it was out of the Kirov repertoire for some years earlier. By the time Vecheslova graduated as I understand that there were no Petipa productions left in the Kirov repertoire. Everything was "after Petipa", as the theatre's ideological dramaturg insisted on changes to all of the Petipa repertory which affected choreography as well as the story line. What date do you have that Vecheslova danced Esmeralda other than those dates I have mentioned, as I would like to amend my records?

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Vecheslova starred as Esmeralda in 1933/34 season - one year before Vaganova's odd and short-lived version. The Petipa Esmeralda was never really out of the repertoire until the Vaganova edition came about. Many great Petrograd-Leningrad ballerinas danced the Petipa Esmeralda in the 1910s, 20s and 30s, including Spessivtseva, Smirnova, Lukom, etc.

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The date for the premiere of the production of Esmeralda at the Bolshoi is to be the 25th December.

Edited to correct error.

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The date for the premiere of the Vikharev production of Esmeralda at the Bolshoi is to be the 25th December.

The opening night was yesterday, I hope that someone attended and will post here!

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The date for the premiere of the Vikharev production of Esmeralda at the Bolshoi is to be the 25th December.

The opening night was yesterday, I hope that someone attended and will post here!

by no means the same thing as a report from a ballet talker, but in the meantime....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In-kOSPw93w

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I have not so far found any reviews in Russian Press for this new production but I thought this page from the Bolshoi website would be of interest.

http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/season/ballet/pre...&act26=info

Casts are given at top right of page under "Characters"

There are also photographs of the production at: http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/season/press-offi...otos/esmeralda/

The same page announces Ivan Vasiliev's debut as the Nutcracker Prince on January 7, 2010.

ADDED

REUTERS photographs of dancers relaxing during rehearsals of Esmeralda: http://www.daylife.com/search?q=Esmeralda

scroll down to see photos then click on See More Photo Results at top right.

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I think this would be a huge success on tour. . .hope some impresario thinks the same.

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I think this would be a huge success on tour. . .hope some impresario thinks the same.

I think it would be a success in London but unfortunately it is not one of the productions they are bringing next July/Aug.

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A short clip with English subtitles.

I am grateful for your post innopac as the clip and the interviews reveal a more of the the production and Burlaka's approach to the reconstruction. I was particularly attracted to the realisation of the costumes in the character dancing which closely follow the original Vsevolozhsky designs and given the way they move seem not to be made from modern fabrics.

I am however puzzled by the accompanying text, " They presented a revival of an unorthodox version of the 19th-century classic "Esmeralda" created 59 years ago by Vladimir Burmeister, who was the theatre's ballet master for some three decades after his appointment in 1941."

I think this is the result of a gap in the text and an error in translation as the Bolshoi web site states, "Archive research and coordination - Sergei Konyaev.

Scenography based on sketches by Orest Allegri, Ivan Andreyev, Pavel Isakov, Antonio Fornari, Vasily Shirayev

Ivan Vsevolozhsky's costume sketches used in the production

Sketches of sets and costumes made available by the St.Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music and the St.Petersburg State Theatre Library

Use is made of music by Riccardo Drigo, Anton Simon, Pyotr Shenk and of the Reinhold Gliere orchestration

Separate fragments of the choreography are reconstructed on the basis of materials in the possession of The Harvard Theatre Collection

Music dramaturgy conception - Yuri Burlaka. The original Cesar Pugni score has been restored by Alexander Troitsky on the basis of archive materials in the possession of La Biblioteca del Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella -Napoli and the Bolshoi Theatre Music Library

Choreography of Pas de Diane - Agrippina Vaganova after Marius Petipa motifs.

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Sorry, but it seems to me there is some misunderstanding with the new Bolshoi “Esmeralda”. First of all Vikharev has nothing to do with it – the production is prepared by Yuri Burlaka in cooperation with Vasili Medvedev. I guess that Burlaka is responsive for the revival of the old choreography, while Medvedev created new dances instead the lost ones (or to fit the synopsis which looks as a combination of different versions). Since the premier was on the 25- th of December when most of Russian newspapers go on long holidays only a couple of critical reviews were published. The one in The Moscow Times is about entirely different “Esmeralda”, by Burmeister, which was also brought back to life this season , but in the Stanislavsky Theatre, where it was “born” more than 50 years ago. It’s a really good ballet with strong dramaturgy and mostly original choreography.

The Bolshoi “Esmeralda” seems to me to be sort of excessive in dances ,stylistically not fit for an "old" ballet. Many details of the first performances (in Russian) together with photographs and TV-reports may be found here .

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Sorry, but it seems to me there is some misunderstanding with the new Bolshoi “Esmeralda”. First of all Vikharev has nothing to do with it – the production is prepared by Yuri Burlaka in cooperation with Vasili Medvedev. I guess that Burlaka is responsive for the revival of the old choreography, while Medvedev created new dances instead the lost ones (or to fit the synopsis which looks as a combination of different versions). Since the premier was on the 25- th of December when most of Russian newspapers go on long holidays only a couple of critical reviews were published. The one in The Moscow Times is about entirely different “Esmeralda”, by Burmeister, which was also brought back to life this season , but in the Stanislavsky Theatre, where it was “born” more than 50 years ago. It’s a really good ballet with strong dramaturgy and mostly original choreography.

The Bolshoi “Esmeralda” seems to me to be sort of excessive in dances ,stylistically not fit for an "old" ballet. Many details of the first performances (in Russian) together with photographs and TV-reports may be found here .

Ina you are quite right about the review which I did not have the time to read and I posted I assuming because of the date it was a review of the Bolshoi production.

Vikharev's name had been mentioned earlier and as he had worked on the Harvard Theatre Museum Collection in the revival of Imperial Ballets. Regarding the Bolshoi production, it was of course Sergei Konyaev who was responsible for the archive research and coordination and historic materials were used from the Harvard Theatre Museum Collection. The post preceding your post gives full information on those involved in the recreation of the Bolshoi production.

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Bolshoi's 'Esmeralda' Production Fails to Inspire

Moscow Times review of 11 Jan.

The new “Esmeralda” will undoubtedly give much pleasure to those content with mere spectacle or who wish to see the Bolshoi become a sort of dance museum. But I can imagine that Petipa himself would not be among those welcoming the addition of yet another reconstruction of his works to the theater’s repertoire. Instead of repeated attempts to conjure up, in wholesale fashion, a form of ballet intended for dancers with physical characteristics and audiences with an aesthetic perception quite different from those of today, my guess is that Petipa, a great innovator in his own time, would have much preferred to see his legacy used to inspire new works that move dance forward into territory that still remains unexplored.

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Thanks to the "For Ballet Lovers Only" Facebook page, I found the links to the following two-part mini-doc on "Esmeralda":

The last 15 seconds or so of Part 1 shows Maria Allash, whom I haven't seen since the internet TV broadcast of "Raymonda" a few years ago.

The dance excerpts are much more extensive than those restricted by US union contracts, including large parts of variations by Ivan Vasiliev and Maria Alexandrova. There's a lot of beautiful dancing by Alexandrova, so these are a little piece of heaven for me. Thanks to hookham for posting them.

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For the UK readers or those having a subscription to The Dancing Times, I have a review of the new Bolshoi "La Esmeralda" in the February issue.

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