Nanarina

Your Favourite Ballet??

53 posts in this topic

:) For some time now I have found it difficult to name just one ballet as my favourite when asked the question. My immediate response would be to say The Stone Flower, choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich, and danced by both the Bolshoi and Kirov Companies. But it is little known of in the west. I first saw it at the ROH in the 1960's when the Kirov visited and I worked helping their wardrobe staff. It is a fantastic ballet, with wonderful character dancing.brilliant structured esembles and soloist's. It has had a marked effect on me over the years. The music is some of the best written by Prokofiev for Ballet. There is a DVD released by NVC Arts - Warner Music Video in 1991

but I do not know if it is still available. Every time I watch I recall the excitement and wonder I felt all those years ago. It was modern for the era, and we had seen nothing like it before.

However, being true to my interest. and saying I do not have one particular favourite ballet, but I like different parts of many ballets. All of whom I am quite happy to watch from beginning to end. There are so many varied and entertaining productions in existance these days I find it very hard to choose just one. Then the question arrises concerning different versions of the same ballet, some I like others i do not. I am not that keen on Nureyev's re-workings of the classics, but I love Peter Wright, Pierre Lacotte, John Neimeirer John Cranko, Jerome Robbins, Serge Lifar, Keneth Mc Millan, Sir Fred Ashton and others to many to name.(Excuse my spelling!!)

It would be good to hear your comments.

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"Liebeslieder Walzer" has been my favorite ballet from the first time I saw it.

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My unquestionable favourite is The Sleeping Beauty.

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My unquestionable favourite is The Sleeping Beauty.

I can't think why I thought it was, Hans. :) It's mine too, of course.

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La Sylphide (unfortunately, only on video; I'd love to see it live).

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I get the most satisfaction watching Balanchine.. His choreographic invention is so vast that it can't be reduced to a single work. My favorite tends to be the last major Balanhcine work I've been able to look at closely. Currently its Symphony in C. Liebeslieder Waltzer is a very close second.

But next season?

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Les Sylphides---the first ballet I saw. I am still in awe of the beauty of the groupings. I have seen many performances over the years---good, bad and indifferent...but the beautiful workings of the choreography still shines through--and it would, I think, even performed in leotards.

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Balanchine's Serenade, though I, too, am exceedingly fond of Liebeslieder Walzer. I saw a lot of ballets in New York last spring, but the clincher that made me get on the plane in the first place was Liebeslieder.

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Hands down, Swan Lake (Sergeyev's and Sir Peter Wright's productions).

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La Bayadere I have seen many companies perform this ballet. The entrance into the Kingdom of the Shades I think is truly beautiful -It still inspires me, either seeing it live or on tape.

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What makes this difficult to answer -- or maybe easier, if you switch perspectives -- is the wrong-headedness of some of the recent productions of old masterpieces. When Hans said, and others seconded, The Sleeping Beauty, I thought of the McKenzie-Kirkland-Chernov staging at ABT and cringed. But SB's set pieces of choreography are exquisite, and at least in the abstract SB remains for me the idealization of late 19th Century ballet. In the abstract, it shares favorite 19th C. ballet with La Sylphide. Take away the dancing and you're left with the music, and SB wins by miles.

But my numero uno favorite ballet (and I've seen plenty of bad perfs of this over the years, too) is Concerto Barocco.

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My favorite tends to be the last major Balanhcine work I've been able to look at closely.

My book's in storage, so I'm lifting this quote by Arlene Croce from a Boston Phoenix review of "Ballo della Regina":

" A few nights ago, when Concerto Barocco was put on in place of Ballo della Regina, I felt a qualm. What if we should never see dear little Ballo again. Who cares if it isn’t great? The greatest Balanchine ballet is the one you happen to be watching. "

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Is All of the Above a ballet? Just when I was trying to decide between Serenade, Symphony in C, Emeralds and La Sylphide, carbro has to bring up Concerto Barocco. :flowers: I'm tempted to say The Four Temperaments, my favorite of Balanchine's black and white ballets, but I think I'll have to go with Serenade.

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Concerto Barocco.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

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This is an interesting thread. So many choices..! Let's see...a couple of Petipa's-(three actually, if one counts Giselle's final version, which seems to come from him)-one Fokine, one Grigorovich, one Ashton, one Bournonville and many, MANY Balanchine's...

I wonder if more names will come up...

:flowers:

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No contest: The Mariinsky's 1890 Sleeping Beauty when performed completely, minus touring cuts. Not just the greatest ballet; it's the single greatest work of art, period.

Not to be confused with the mediocre Kirov-1952 Soviet version.

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No contest: The Mariinsky's 1890 Sleeping Beauty ......... Not just the greatest ballet; it's the single greatest work of art, period.

However, its Bluebird pas de deux, presented with its 20th century Soviet 'improvements' and its unmusical ending, set my teeth on edge.

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No contest: The Mariinsky's 1890 Sleeping Beauty ......... Not just the greatest ballet; it's the single greatest work of art, period.

However, its Bluebird pas de deux, presented with its 20th century Soviet 'improvements' and its unmusical ending, set my teeth on edge.

I'm with you there. At least the 1890 has fewer 'improvements' than the 1952 Konstantin Sergeyev version. The extraordinary 'Parade of Characters' that opens Act III, or the 'Vive Henry IV' Apotheosis with the final tableau, more than makes up for the handful of Soviet emendations in the Mariinsky's 1890 gem.

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No contest: The Mariinsky's 1890 Sleeping Beauty when performed completely, minus touring cuts. Not just the greatest ballet; it's the single greatest work of art, period.

Love the attitude :wub::flowers: But now that we've gone over the top, I must respectfully submit that, in addition to the Sleeping Beauty, there are also the 9 Beethoven Symphonies, Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, The Ring Cycle, The Iliad, Graham's Herodiade, and the Bible and the Baghavad-Gita for good measure. Then there's Shakespeare and Racine, we'll have to fit them in somewhere...

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Ashton's "Monotones II". But at the moment I'd kill to see Wheeldon's "Within the Golden Hour" again

Giannina

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Ah...Giannina just diversified this list a little by adding Wheldon... :thumbsup: (I wonder is Miss Tharp will ever make an entrance... :off topic: )

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