Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

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


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#16 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 02 May 2010 - 05:32 AM

Thank you, leonid, for your post and your links. I appreciate your answers to my questions.

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.

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

The Richard Glasstgone article on "The Influence of Cecchetti on Ashton's Work" was very helpful making in conceptualize these points. Next step -- after acquiring a concept -- is to learn how to look for and appreciate the concept in performance. Ashton has become almost invisible in U.S. ballet performance today and, I assume, in studios as well. So, of course, has Nijinska.

I have always been fascianted the expressiveness of epaulement, arms and torso. This, however, is sometimes lost or or underplayed in Balanchine-influenced choreography that I grew up on. I see that I will have to will have to start looking more closely at YouTube clips and other sources so I can get a better feel for what you are talking about. This will be a good project for the long, hot summer. As someone who's first and most important ballet experiences were Balanchine, it's fascinating to spend time looking quietly at this alternate (but not TOO alternate; I mean it's not Cambodian court dancing :excl: ) way of expressing the body's potential for beautiful movement.

#17 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 02 May 2010 - 06:21 AM

[ ... ]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.

duffster, that sounds like something worthy of a thread of its own. :o The title "Seaweed" suggests many things, including sinuous entanglments. Do you recall anything like that?

Googling this ballet is not easy: lots of short references, but no full-length account, at least so far in my searches. Nevertheless, here is some of what I found. (I LOVE Google.)

First of all, I didn't realize how important Janine Charrat was in the post-World War II ballet world in France. The plans for the Harkness production were in 1967. The ballet itself -- created by (Louis) Bertrand Catelli, later producer of Hair in the US and worldwide -- had premiered in 1953. Charrat herself was burned seriously when a candle set fire to her costume during a performance of the ballet in 1961. The only summary I can find goes something like this: "a young man feigns madness in order to free his beloved from an insane asylum" (or something like that)) :excl: )

There's a documentary about Charrat:

JANINE CHARRAT L'INSTINCT DE LA DANSE - réalisation Luc Riolon et Rachel Seddoh - 2001 Documentaire de 54 minutes. portrait de la chorégraphe Janine Charrat Née en 1924, Janine Charrat est un enfant prodige de la danse dès 7 ans. Dès son plus jeune âge, elle crée et invente des chorégraphies. On l'appelle le "Mozart" de la danse. A 12 ans elle tourne le film de Benoit-levy "La mort du Cygne" et devient une star. Elle devient le partenaire de Roland Petit pour des duos réglés par Serge Lifar ou Jean Cocteau puis monte sa compagnie "les Ballets de France" et fait le tour du monde. Coproduction ARTE - LES FILMS PÉNÉLOPE - RTBF - TSR. Diffusion ARTE le 14 novembre 2001.

This was screened in NYC in 1998 as part of a film festival devoted to French ballet. Another film shown was "La Mort du Cygne," (1937) in which 12-year-old Charrat co-starred with Yveette Chauvire and Mia Slavenska, then both in their early 20s. Charrat and Chauvire were on hand in NYC for a panel discussion, moderated by -- here's a coincidence -- our own rg.

Does anyone know about the availability of Mort du Cygne on cmomercially available video? It sounds, in Kissselgoff's review, as a ballet drama definitely worth watching and owning.

http://movies.nytime...752C1A96E958260

#18 Jane Simpson

Jane Simpson

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 947 posts

Posted 02 May 2010 - 06:49 AM

If you have a copy of Cyril Beaumont's Ballets of Today, you can read an extraordinarily detailed 6-page description of the action of Les Algues - and also learn that Castelli, fascinated by this true story and wanting to make it the basis for a theatre work, spent 2 months as a voluntary inmate in an asylum before deciding that ballet would be the most suitable medium.

#19 papeetepatrick

papeetepatrick

    Sapphire Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,486 posts

Posted 02 May 2010 - 10:29 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


Glad you mentioned this. I've known the piece most of my life, and then people mention it here from time to time, and even so I don't get around to matching up that it's the same music. Yes, I'd quite like to see that too. It sounds like one of the several important works made for Debussy.

#20 duffster

duffster

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 129 posts

Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:27 AM

Bart, I also tried to find out more info about Les Algues, I wonder if it was ever filmed. In the ballet, there were no sinuous entanglements, the choreography was,as I recall, very simple. Janine Charrat was lovely to work with- extremely patient, very commited to the piece, at times she saw some of the senior members snickering at the choreography, she never showed any sign of temperment. She never covered up her scars from the horrible burning accident that she endured. At rehearsal she wore a typical v-necked leotard, where you could see the burns from her neck all the way down to her chest. As for the ballet, we only learned the first act. The first scene took place in the asylum where you had several characters, who each had a short solo-a thief, a magician, a nympho, young children,and several others who were clearly crazy. I swear I'm not making this up. The lead Lone (Isaksen) had long passages of wandering around the stage and staring at the audience, while Larry(Rhodes)was fighting other creatures in the asylum to get to her. At the end of the first act there was a turning competion between the magician and Rhodes. The turns were a la seconde, (like the fouette competion in Graduation Ball) The way this ballet was rehearsed (especially by Rhodes and Isasken) was with such commitment that was truly impressive. I think in the wrong hands this ballet could have been a quite a comedy.

#21 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:27 AM

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

Thanks for getting me to listen to this again, which definitely makes me want to see it through Nijinsky's eyes. I need to visualize music, and am having a hard time with this. So I found an image to help me get started:

http://images.google...t...;tbnw=105

And this: http://3.bp.blogspot...ina in Jeux.jpg

And this: http://3.bp.blogspot...ina in Jeux.jpg

Millicent Hodson's "reconstruction," based on rather limited evidence, images, etc., was performed by the Royal and later by the Joffrey. Here is Anna Kissselgoff's NY Times review of the Joffrey's performance in 2002. It gives a sense of the libretto of the work.
http://www.nytimes.c...riple-kiss.html

A program note emphasizes the idea that the choreography is ''after Nijinsky,'' not directly his.



#22 leonid17

leonid17

    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,441 posts

Posted 03 May 2010 - 01:59 AM

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

Thanks for getting me to listen to this again, which definitely makes me want to see it through Nijinsky's eyes. I need to visualize music, and am having a hard time with this. So I found an image to help me get started:

http://images.google...t...;tbnw=105

And this: http://3.bp.blogspot...ina in Jeux.jpg

And this: http://3.bp.blogspot...ina in Jeux.jpg

Millicent Hodson's "reconstruction," based on rather limited evidence, images, etc., was performed by the Royal and later by the Joffrey. Here is Anna Kissselgoff's NY Times review of the Joffrey's performance in 2002. It gives a sense of the libretto of the work.
http://www.nytimes.c...riple-kiss.html

A program note emphasizes the idea that the choreography is ''after Nijinsky,'' not directly his.


Here are some views on the recreation of Jeux.

http://www.guardian....atures.review87
http://www.guardian....ce.artsfeatures
http://www.nytimes.c...nsky-dance.html
http://www.newyorker...507crda_dancing

My own opinion is that the re-construction was a worthy attempt to reveal something more about Jeux than that which I had known since the 1960's, having read both historic descriptions and seen the photographs of the dancers in costume.

The Hodson/Archer production appealed to me as I am mostly interested in the 1909 to 1913 period of the Diaghilev ballet and I found it an insight into a work about which we know little, compared to “The Rite.........”. Their realisation of Jeux, informed in a way that the written page and photographs do not.

It was a production by two of the leading archaeologists of ballet, which has opened a door somewhat wider than before, broadening our understanding of this historic work. In this recreative process they have added to the analysis of Nijinsky as a choreographer. Yes, I think there was enough there to say this and for me it added to the vision I had held of the original performances, vividly recreating the historical account describing Nijinsky flying on stage in pursuit of tennis ball. Hodson and Archer in this reconstruction, gave flesh to the historical record.

As Jeux is a work reflecting Nijinsky's take on elements of social life of his era, I did wonder if many of today’s audiences were aware of the historical context and the real people thought to be depicted in this work. To know something of this background to Jeux, may for some of the audience added more to their understanding of this work. However, this was not a problem for people I spoke to after the performance and I felt through this Royal Ballet production, we had experienced much more than seeing through a glass darkly.

I am sorry however that I did not witness either the Verona or Rome productions.

#23 Rosa

Rosa

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 422 posts

Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:51 AM

*Balanchine's Scotch Symphony, The Four Temperaments
*Bournonville's A Folk Tale
*Mariinsky Ballet's Shurale
*Ratmansky's On the Dnieper

#24 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,643 posts

Posted 05 May 2010 - 01:54 PM

For those with a curiosity about Nijinska, you might want to look at Marcia Siegel's new anthology of her ballet criticism, "Mirrors & Scrims." She wrote several times about the Hodson reconstructions and the place that kind of research holds in the larger repertory. Her descriptive powers are excellent -- it isn't as good as being there, but it is a big help.

And as far as what I'd like to see, this weekends performances of New York Theater Ballet for Capriol Suite and Three Virgins and a Devil (which I've only ever seen on tape). Alas, I have no travel budget...

#25 leonid17

leonid17

    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,441 posts

Posted 06 May 2010 - 03:11 AM

For those with a curiosity about Nijinska, you might want to look at Marcia Siegel's new anthology of her ballet criticism, "Mirrors & Scrims." She wrote several times about the Hodson reconstructions and the place that kind of research holds in the larger repertory. Her descriptive powers are excellent -- it isn't as good as being there, but it is a big help.

And as far as what I'd like to see, this weekends performances of New York Theater Ballet for Capriol Suite and Three Virgins and a Devil (which I've only ever seen on tape). Alas, I have no travel budget...


I have been tempted to buy the Marcia Siegel book and your recommendation has pushed me closer to acquiring it.

#26 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 06 May 2010 - 08:46 AM

The mention of the Hodson rconstructions reminds me to thank you, leonid, for those links earlier on in this thread. I appreciate also your own comments. Given the difficulties of reconstruction, and the many pitfalls if one is not careful, your summation is actually something the Royal should be proud of:

the Royal Ballet performance ... was much more than seeing through a glass darkly.



#27 DanceActress

DanceActress

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts

Posted 13 May 2010 - 06:45 AM

The Little Humpbacked Horse
Tudor: Jardin aux Lilas
Ashton: Ondine, A Month in the Country, The Two Pigeons
MacMillan: Song of the Earth
Lifar: Mirages, Suite en Blanc
Balanchine: The Four Temperaments, Stravinsky Violin Concerto
Robbins: Dances at a Gathering
Cullberg: Miss Julie

#28 leonid17

leonid17

    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,441 posts

Posted 13 May 2010 - 08:50 AM

The Little Humpbacked Horse
Tudor: Jardin aux Lilas
Ashton: Ondine, A Month in the Country, The Two Pigeons
MacMillan: Song of the Earth
Lifar: Mirages, Suite en Blanc
Balanchine: The Four Temperaments, Stravinsky Violin Concerto
Robbins: Dances at a Gathering
Cullberg: Miss Julie


The two ballets I have not seen live from your list of excellent works are The Little Hump-Backed Horse (which is available on DVD) and Mirage.

Marc Haegemann wrote an excellent review of Mirage and Suite en Blanc in Dance View Times October 20-21 2006 http://danceviewtime...n/06/lifar.html

#29 DanceActress

DanceActress

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts

Posted 13 May 2010 - 02:17 PM

Thank you for the linked review, leonid- it only makes me want to see these pieces more

#30 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,474 posts

Posted 29 May 2010 - 08:18 PM

Hodson and Archer in this reconstruction, gave flesh to the historical record.


Definitely such work is certainly of interest, as long as everyone is aware of the implications of "reconstruction."


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):