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How do I find out what A ballet is "supposed to be" so I can


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#1 iczerman

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 10:19 AM

...see what changed were made in the choreography.


I see different productions of Swan Lake for instance and I say to myself..."oh...there's supposed to be a developee there"...but how do I know what was originally intended?

#2 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 11:48 AM

While you wait for some better answers from the real connoisseurs of original choreography and even the Stepanov notations of this board, all I can suggest is to take a look at the reconstructed Russian versions of Sleeping Beauty, Bayadere and Corsaire-(clips on Youtube come and go)-for an idea on how do the works could have looked like back in the days. For the Nutcracker Act II try the clips of the Cuban National Ballet or Sir Peter Wright's for the Royal. As per original librettos, you can find many in Wikipedia, or in Wiley's books.

#3 richard53dog

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 01:31 PM

For the Nutcracker Act II try the clips of the Cuban National Ballet or Sir Peter Wright's for the Royal.



Beware of the CNB's material. I doubt that mice hopping around on point is authentic. Also their production includes the Snow Queen , more disreputable
material. And the important mime scene from act 2 is missing, replaced by the dancer playing the Nutcracker hopping around and swishing his sword
all over the place.

Plus the physical production is very, very shabby.

#4 volcanohunter

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 01:42 PM

Where Peter Wright's Nutcracker is concerned, he has said that "there's very little of the original Nutcracker remaining" in his production, only 10 mintues or so of the original choreography.

http://www.ballet.co...ng/7094.html#49

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 01:44 PM

Cristian has mentioned the Stepanov notation of the original productions of the great Russian Imperial ballets, but not everybody can learn easily how to read the stuff, and the originals are in the Harvard Libraries. However, for Swan Lake, Cyril W. Beaumont wrote out the Nicolai Sergeyev stagings from the Sadler's Wells productions, using Cecchetti nomenclature. This choreographic "script" can be found in Beaumont's The Ballet Called Swan Lake. He did a similar treatment of Giselle, too. Sergeyev had these notations in his possession when he made stagings for companies after he left Russia.

#6 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 01:59 PM

Cristian has mentioned the Stepanov notation of the original productions of the great Russian Imperial ballets, but not everybody can learn easily how to read the stuff, and the originals are in the Harvard Libraries. However, for Swan Lake, Cyril W. Beaumont wrote out the Nicolai Sergeyev stagings from the Sadler's Wells productions, using Cecchetti nomenclature. This choreographic "script" can be found in Beaumont's The Ballet Called Swan Lake. He did a similar treatment of Giselle, too. Sergeyev had these notations in his possession when he made stagings for companies after he left Russia.


Mel:
What I meant to say was for the OP to wait for other posters who know much more about this matter, including the notations-(like Mr. Fullington). We all know that just a handful of people have had access to them...and even less of them know how to decipher them. :clapping:

#7 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 02:03 PM

For the Nutcracker Act II try the clips of the Cuban National Ballet or Sir Peter Wright's for the Royal.



Beware of the CNB's material. I doubt that mice hopping around on point is authentic. Also their production includes the Snow Queen , more disreputable
material. And the important mime scene from act 2 is missing, replaced by the dancer playing the Nutcracker hopping around and swishing his sword
all over the place.

Plus the physical production is very, very shabby.


Richard:
For the two productions I mentioned-(CNB and RB)-my intention was to redirect the OP to the Sugar Plum Fairy PDD choreography-(for me the most important part of the ballet)-which are almost identical, even coming from totally diferent sources. :clapping:

#8 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 02:09 PM

Where Peter Wright's Nutcracker is concerned, he has said that "there's very little of the original Nutcracker remaining" in his production, only 10 mintues or so of the original choreography.

http://www.ballet.co...ng/7094.html#49


Volcanohunter:
Here's a very valuable detail from the aboved mentioned article...

[size=3]Q-"There’s very little of the original Nutcracker remaining (in the RB production). What is there?
A-The grand pas de deux.
Q-And Sugar Plum Fairy solo?
A- Yes, with a few modifications that Margot showed me, which Karsavina had showed her."[/size]


...and from Alonso's source...

[size=3]"During the mid 40's I was preparing to dance for the first time this classical Pas de deux. Back then I basically interpreted the choreography after learning it from Alicia Markova. Markova's version was reliable in terms of fidelity, as her interpretation was the first one of Ivanov's choreography outside Russia, made in England by Nikolai Serguéiev early in the 30's..."[/size]

http://www.balletcub...0511bd5161d.htm :clapping:

#9 Mel Johnson

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 02:11 PM

That's part of "learn easily". I was only lucky enough to have been doing research at Harvard when the notebooks were given there. A
librarian dropped that they had just been catalogued, and I asked to see some of them and found that the Stepanov notation can be doped out, if you work from the known to the unknown. I compared my knowledge of the "Bluebird" pas de deux with what was on the staves and found that I could learn to recognize certain steps right away. I then compared the Nutcracker pas de deux, and found some interesting variations on what I had learned from old Ballet Russe dancers. In some cases, what I read on the page didn't match what I knew at all. Maybe it was "first-cast, second-cast" differences. The Stepanov is not highly intuitive, but if you are familiar with some of its predecessor notation systems, you can figure out what's what. It also helps that Sergeyev and others made handwritten cues in many places. You just have to know what "pas de basque" looks like in Cyrillic! :clapping:

#10 richard53dog

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 02:20 PM

Cristian has mentioned the Stepanov notation of the original productions of the great Russian Imperial ballets, but not everybody can learn easily how to read the stuff, and the originals are in the Harvard Libraries. However, for Swan Lake, Cyril W. Beaumont wrote out the Nicolai Sergeyev stagings from the Sadler's Wells productions, using Cecchetti nomenclature. This choreographic "script" can be found in Beaumont's The Ballet Called Swan Lake. He did a similar treatment of Giselle, too. Sergeyev had these notations in his possession when he made stagings for companies after he left Russia.



I think the MT's stagings of Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadere are beautiful and they are mainly based on the notations that Sergeyev brought out of Russia. Sadly, the MT seems to have abandoned them to revert back to the watered down Soviet era stagings. And other than the last act of Sleeping Beauty, they are not available commercially. But parts of them can be seen on youtube.

Although they are a couple of hands removed, Britain's Royal Ballet has stagings of Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake that are at least legitimate descendants of the versions that Nicolai Sergeyev staged for them in the early part of the 20th century. And both are available commercially on DVD to boot. There are issues with the physical productions, particularly the Swan Lake, neither uses the original designs as models for the sets. The MT Sleeping Beauty is all of a piece, while the RB's versions strong points are are focused on the choreography. I would say the RB Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake DVDs are the most practical option for getting an idea of what the original choreography looked like.


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