leonid17

New production of "Esmeralda" for the Bolshoi

32 posts in this topic

Unfortunately I have not been able to read Marc Haegeman's review. I have seen the wonderful clips Helene posted and although I have no idea how this ballet works in the theater, I feel certain that if Sol Hurok were alive this would already be booked for New York and a U.S. tour ...

Classic ballet, Lavish scenery and Costumes, melodramatic story, star dancers (even alternating star ballerinas!), and all based on a novel by the author who inspired Les Miz: what can't be promoted here?

Share this post


Link to post

During the "End of Season Gala 2009" at the Bolshoi a Esmeralda pas de deux was danced. It was a delight. I had never seen it before and it looked to me 100% Petipa. I waited for this pas deux to pop up in the new Bolshoi Petipa "Reconstruction" of the Ballet. But it never did. Does anyone know where this delightful Esmeralda, danced at the End of Season Gala 2009, comes from?

Share this post


Link to post

Apologies for bumping this thread, I wasn't sure whether I should post in here, or in the Ballet on Film forum, but my questions seemed better suited here...

I saw the cinema showing of the Bolshoi's Esmeralda, and with some reservations, really enjoyed it. This may be a question nobody can specifically answer, but... What I've not been able to find out (from the credits on the Bolshoi's website, the movie's credits and on screen introduction, and searching on this forum), is just how "authentic" is it to Petipa's late 1890s final revival (I believe it's from this revival that the notations come from)?

Specifically, if one was to call the Russian reconstructions from Vikharev as "most authentic" (even though I know authenticity is arguable) and the Lacoste ones as "least authentic", how close in terms of design, costumes, and of course choreography to the late 1890s Petipa is this production? Is it similar to Le Corsaire (which I look forward to seeing broadcast in cinemas in March)?

I know it's a complicated question, but any discussion or details would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post

This was discussed (a little) in the interview with Yuri Burlaka and Vasily Medvedev during the intermission of the broadcast. Mr Medvedev said that in the grand pas with Fleur de Lys, he used the floor patterns of Petipa, but changed the steps. And he added a male corps to show the world what they could do (I don't recall what he exactly said, but this is the essention of what he said).

This was the example he used, I wonder what he has changed in other scenes..

I think Burlaka also said that all of Perrot's mime was shown in the production.

Share this post


Link to post

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.

This is a very interesting thought, and one that has popped in my head too while reading about the reconstructions. I particularly enjoy the vintage feeling in many things in life-(from ballet restorations to fashion revivals to mid century thrift stores furniture buying, etc...)-but I wonder about the ahead of the times audiences that are basically made of our very ahead of the times societies...Is everyone on the same boat about enjoying this curious-(although beautiful)-specimens...?

Share this post


Link to post

Innopac's ink and Cristian's comment on it raise a very interesting point. And thank you Eric for reviving this thread. It might be a good idea to reserve this thread as much as possible for issues relating to the Bolshoi Esmeralda, and to talk about reconstructions in general on our on-going thread on that topic.

[MOD beanie on]

I'm going to leave Cristian's last post here but also copy it to the on-going thread on reconstructions..

The post will be Post #37, at the link below, for those who want to respond to reconstructions in general.:

http://balletalert.i...113#entry293113

[MOD beanie off]

Share this post


Link to post

This was discussed (a little) in the interview with Yuri Burlaka and Vasily Medvedev during the intermission of the broadcast. Mr Medvedev said that in the grand pas with Fleur de Lys, he used the floor patterns of Petipa, but changed the steps. And he added a male corps to show the world what they could do (I don't recall what he exactly said, but this is the essention of what he said).

This was the example he used, I wonder what he has changed in other scenes..

I think Burlaka also said that all of Perrot's mime was shown in the production.

Bart, I really appreciate you taking the time to direct us (in particular, me) to keep these posts in the right threads. This forum has become an indispensible resource for so much ballet information, and the organization certainly helps.

Lidewij, thanks! I admit, I missed nearly all the intermission stuff (and even, unfortunately, the very start of the next act, as I had to run out to the lobby to check in with a sick family member). I do appreciate that these Bolshoi broadcasts seem to be making an effort to give some historical perspective and details about the actual production--something a lot of TV and DVD releases of ballets fail to do (although I sympathize with the woman who has to translate everything--as a French speaker, I spend more attention listening to her French bits, where she seems more comfortable).

WIth regards to this production of Esmeralda, I'd be curious to know how authentic to late 19th century Petipa the sets and costumes are. The costume and scenery designers (who I believe worked on Corsaire as well) also worked on the Vikharev Mariinsky reconstructions, but I get the impression that there was more leeway with this (and Corsaire) to not be quite as strictly faithful. I know the costumes are based on Vsevolozhsky's sketches, but some elements (like Phoebus' modern tights all the way to the waist in Act III which would have shocked 19th Century audiences), seem more modern. These details are probably too complex to fully get into--and I found it a beautiful production, but I guess the ballet geek in me would like to know all the details.

Share this post


Link to post