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Sight unseenBallets you would most like to see but haven't


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#1 perichoresis

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 02:42 AM

It has been an age since I've contributed, but the thought occurs to me, which ballet/ballets, would you most dearly love to see but as yet have not.
There are more than a few on my list but Ashton's "Enigma Variations" is a work I have long desired to see. For a start I adore this composition of Elgar, the portrait of friends within.The great noble "Nimrod" variation has become a signature for state and solemn occasions.England had not had a great composer since Purcell , and when the Enigma Variations ( Elgar's first masterpiece) was heard, England realised that here was a composer of international stature.

The Edwardian evocations of courtesy and wonderful eccentricity, portraits in music of Elgar's circle of friends, inspired Ashton to realise this marvellous music in a work so quintessentially "English" I understand that a bicycle has a "role" in this ballet( The composer called his bicycle "Mr Phoebus" ) I think the ballet ends with a telegram given to Elgar , conveying the conductor Hans Richter's agreement to conduct Elgar's first symphony in Ab. At its rehearsal, Richter said to the orchestra "Gentlemen, let us rehearse the greatest symphony of our time, and not only in England" But that is another story...

It would be most interesting to see what readers have in mind.

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 06:03 AM

You're right - it's a masterpiece, which Ashton caught in his choreography. They found Elgar's daughter and had her see the ballet, and she said, "They were all JUST LIKE THAT! However did you find out?" Ashton answered gently, "It's all in the music, you see...."

My own favorite wannasee is Nijinska's "Le Train Bleu".

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 07:31 AM

Some of Petipa lost ones. Specifically "Cinderella" and the highly controversial "The Magic Mirror"-(Snow White and the seven dwarfs). I always think of them as the long lost sisters of "Sleeping Beauty".

Edited to add:

Also: The Mariinsky revival of "Ondine", Lacotte's "La Sylphide", Ashton's "Sylvia", "Esmeralda"...

#4 bart

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 10:45 AM

Lots and lots, perichoresis.

I want to second Mel's vote for Train Bleu, which I've seen only on the Paris Opera Ballet video Picasso and Dance. I would add two other Nijinska works, if never seen but have read about Les Biches and Jeux. Plus the chance to compare her Renard with Balanchine's.

Tudor's Pillar of Fire. I'd like to see this with the eyes and preconceptions of someone who came upon it when it was new.

Jones Beach (Balanchine and Robbins). Train Bleu made me think of that. Plus all those visits to Jones Beach when I was a kid.

Balanchine's Tyl Ulenspiegel. And Caracole. (hyperdog's photo of Diana Adams made me think of that.)

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:01 PM

"Biches" is still around, it's recoverable. "Jeux", however, is her brother's choreography. I believe that Millicent Hodson was trying to recover it some years ago, but there were only three dancers, and one was Nijinsky himself, so that may be lost. Did Bronia do her own version of "Jeux" ever? I recall looking at the arcs drawn in Nijinsky's diary, and noticed their similarities to the floor patterns in "Sacre". I wonder if this were a crypto-notation for some of Vatsa's choreographic ideas?

#6 papeetepatrick

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:11 PM

This is easy, at least the 'most want to see'. 'Wuthering Heights' live with POB. I'm praying they'll bring it to New York in 2012, and I'm already saving for their engagement here.

My second 'most-want-to-see' is 'A Month in the Country' with RB (only, for several reasons, including that they keep hold of it), if they can get it back up to Seymour/Dowell standard (apparently they haven't, acc. to Alexandra and others.)

#7 kfw

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:40 PM

"Caracole" too for me, because it's Balanchine to Mozart. And "Serenade" in its original version.

#8 perichoresis

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 02:05 AM

You're right - it's a masterpiece, which Ashton caught in his choreography. They found Elgar's daughter and had her see the ballet, and she said, "They were all JUST LIKE THAT! However did you find out?" Ashton answered gently, "It's all in the music, you see...."

My own favorite wannasee is Nijinska's "Le Train Bleu".



#9 perichoresis

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 02:11 AM

You're right - it's a masterpiece, which Ashton caught in his choreography. They found Elgar's daughter and had her see the ballet, and she said, "They were all JUST LIKE THAT! However did you find out?" Ashton answered gently, "It's all in the music, you see...."

My own favorite wannasee is Nijinska's "Le Train Bleu".

extraordinary!!! Elgar once said "I have sung the trees' music, or have they sung mine? His nickname for his daughter was "fish-face" Poor girl!



#10 leonid

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 08:19 AM

"Biches" is still around, it's recoverable. "Jeux", however, is her brother's choreography. I believe that Millicent Hodson was trying to recover it some years ago, but there were only three dancers, and one was Nijinsky himself, so that may be lost. Did Bronia do her own version of "Jeux" ever? I recall looking at the arcs drawn in Nijinsky's diary, and noticed their similarities to the floor patterns in "Sacre". I wonder if this were a crypto-notation for some of Vatsa's choreographic ideas?


Jeux was reconstructed by Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer for Verona and staged in 1996.

His sister Bronislava's other ballets are:-

Le Renard (mus. Stravinsky, 1922), Les Noces (mus. Stravinsky, 1923), Les Biches (mus. Poulenc, 1924), Les Fâcheux (mus. Auric, 1924), and Le Train bleu (mus. Milhaud, 1924), Le Baiser de la fée (mus. Stravinsky, 1928), Bolero (mus. Ravel, 1928), and La Valse (mus. Ravel, 1929), Variations (mus. Beethoven, 1932) and Hamlet (mus. Liszt, 1934)(with herself in the title role), dance sequences in Max Reinhardt's Hollywood film of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Les Cent Baisers (mus. d'Erlanger), Chopin Concerto, Palester's Le Chant de la terre, and Kondracki's La Légende de Cracovie, she also staged La Fille mal gardée (mus. Hertel, Ballet Theatre, 1940), The Snow Maiden (mus. Glazunov), Brahms Variations, and Pictures at an Exhibition (mus. Mussorgsky, Ballet) for the Grand ballet du Marquis de Cuevas she staged the extravagantly designed The Sleeping Beauty in 1960. PS There may be more works.

We have to thank Sir Frederick Ashton for her works being remembered at all and I was overwhelmed not once but twice at seeing her in the flesh when she took curtain calls for both Les Biches and Les Noces.

I would also like to see Lopukhov's "Dance Symphony' to confirm or otherwise his influence on other choreographers.

#11 bart

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 09:16 AM

We have to thank Sir Frederick Ashton for her works being remembered at all.

I'd love to hear more about this, leonid. I've noticed that Ashton and Nijinska have been mentioned more often than other choreographers on this thread. What did Ashton particularly value in Nijinska's work? Is there an affinity between the two choreographers' styles or views of ballet?

#12 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 10:31 AM

"Biches" is still around, it's recoverable. "Jeux", however, is her brother's choreography.

I heard the score of "Jeux" last night during this week All-Debussy Festival by the New World Symphony. Wow...that's some music to dance to... :excl: Those tempi kept changing the whole time, and the agógica was just crazy!
:o

#13 leonid

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 11:00 AM

We have to thank Sir Frederick Ashton for her works being remembered at all.

I'd love to hear more about this, leonid. I've noticed that Ashton and Nijinska have been mentioned more often than other choreographers on this thread. What did Ashton particularly value in Nijinska's work? Is there an affinity between the two choreographers' styles or views of ballet?



I am going to cop out of answering you today, but will do so later.

In the meantime I thought you would find this article of interest as it relates in part to one source of both Ashton and Nijinska's aesthetics, Enrico Cecchetti. Although Ashton, was initially introduced to Cecchetti second-hand, via Leonide Massine. He did of course spend two years with Nijinska in the late 1920's.

http://www.ballet.co...i_on_ashton.htm

#14 duffster

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Posted 01 May 2010 - 05:16 PM

I'd love to see Le Carnaval, Le Dieu Bleu, Les Papillons, The Three Cornered Hat, La Chatte and also Les Algues by Janine Charrat. We learned it at the Harkness, but never performed it. It was very bizarre, we were all inmates in a lunatic asylum. It was one of the first ballets that I had to learn, after just getting into the company and being a trainee in the school. At the time, I seriously questioned my choice of career.

#15 leonid

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 03:12 AM

We have to thank Sir Frederick Ashton for her works being remembered at all.

I'd love to hear more about this, leonid. I've noticed that Ashton and Nijinska have been mentioned more often than other choreographers on this thread. What did Ashton particularly value in Nijinska's work? Is there an affinity between the two choreographers' styles or views of ballet?


Ashton had already choreographed The Tragedy of Fashion (1926) through the encouragement of Marie Rambert when he was danced with Ida Rubinstein’s company in London in 1927. The following year joined her company in Paris where Bronislava Nijinska was choreographer and his fellow dancers included Anatole Vilzak, Ludmilla Schollar, Nina Verchina, David Lichine, William Chappell.

The wide range of subject matter in the repertoire of Rubinstein’s company (where Massine was also a choreographer ) also perhaps influenced the wide range of choreographic style he would later adopt.

Something of a legend, Nijinska mentored Ashton which contributed to his forming of a wide range of choreographic styles and he readily acknowledged Nijinska’s influence as he did the plasticity and the dramatic power of Anna Pavlova.

Regrettably I have only two ballets of Nijinska to absolutely confirm her choreographic influence and as I have only seen something like thirty Ashton ballet’s less than half of his oeuvre my assessment therefore can only be called incomplete. However their is some similarity in the various subject matters they both used.

Ashton was influenced by the Nijinska’s use of picturesque rounded arms and non-academic epaulement together with a freedom of a flexibility of the torso. In this Les Biches was an example, whose neo-classicism undoubtedly led to Ashton's essays in this genre and is also reflected in "Les Rendevous", "Symphonic Variations", "Monotones", "Marguerite and Armand", etc,etc,etc.

Both choreographers staged versions of Romeo and Juliet, Pomona, Le Baiser de la Fee and La Valse.

What was obvious that both on and off-stage was that Ashton had a kind of adoring reverence in respect of Bronislava Nijinska.

Further info at:-

http://www.ballet.co...two_letters.htm

http://www.brb.org.u...t...son&urn=292


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