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Ballets by Jean Sibelius?

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I'm just wondering...does anyone happen to know of any ballets that have been created to music of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)? I'd be surprised if there are any, but what's the fun of life if there's no surprise to it? :)

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He wrote the music for the ballet Scaramouche which was first produced in 1922. His concert music was used for a number of other ballets over the years, including several versions of his Swan of Tuonela. Other works include Obsession, Lady of Shalott, Sea Change, Pelleas and Melisande, The Tempest, and Perisynthion. The dates and choreographers are listed in the Oxford Dictionary of Ballet.

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Youri Vamos (ballet director and chef choreographer of the Ballett der Deutschen Oper am Rhein) made a ballet to music by Sibelius, called "Shannon Rose". It was first performed by Bavarian State Ballet but is now in the repertory of his company.

I haven't seen it for a while, but major parts are set to his violin concerto and a symphony - have to check back home... If you are interested in details, please let me know!

(I am not sure if this is listed in the Oxford Dictionary... sorry if dupe!)

[ 04-10-2001: Message edited by: Sonja ]

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OK, well, I guess I'm surprised! Thanks, Victoria Leigh and Sonja, for your info! I don't have the Oxford Dictionary of ballet. :) I'm very interested in the ballets that were made to the Swan of Tuonela and whichever symphony it was. Could someone check the book and get back to me with more details? MUCH appreciated. :)

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From the Oxford: "Swan of Tuonela Sibelius' Legend for Orchestra (1896) has been used several times for ballet purposes, e.g. by A. Saxelin (Helsinki 1948), W. Ulbrich (Leipzig 1958), and Dolin (Guatemala 1965)."

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This is just from memory, but I think David Bintley did a "Swan of Tuonela" ten, fifteen years ago?? Can any of our British posters provide details?

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Interesting, esp. the Guatemala performance! Thanks for the info. I'm writing a paper on Sibelius' Four Legends for Orchestra (of which Swan of Tuonela is the 2nd and by far the most well known)...actually, my paper has nothing but nothing to do with ballet; just got curious! Thanks again.

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"The Swan of Tuonela" was an early work that David Bintley did for the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet (now called the Birmingham Royal Ballet) around the early 1980s. I have never seen it even though I was living in London at that time.

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Peter Martins made "Valse Triste" -- set to the Sibelius piece with the same name -- for Patricia McBride late in her career.

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"Valse triste" is probably the only Balanchine number which is still survive in Russia from the time he was there. Usually it was used for acting classes in Vaganova school :)

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I'm sorry, I didn't see this pretty face can show his tongue, please, no offence to Mr.B ... :confused:

[ 04-11-2001: Message edited by: Andrei ]

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Wow.wow.I'm a Finn myself and I didn't know of all those ballets by Jean Sibelius! I was familiar with "Valse Triste" (never seen it but I think the music is very beautiful!) but I've never heard of those other ones. "Swan of Tuonela" sounds interesting. Swan of Tuonela is an important part of Finnish mythology so it'd be interesting to see as a danced version!

Hopefully The Finnish National Ballet would take some of his works in its repertoire!

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To plug myself, my dancers are doing a pas de deux to Sibelius on this Sunday in NYC. There's information on it in the "Members Announcements" forum.

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Hi, Leigh and others: I just looked at the members announcements for your Sibelius performance, and I am a bit unclear about what the music is that you are (were?!) using. Is it another Valse triste? Regardless, I hope it went well!

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Segreta: I would be extremely surprised if the Finnish national balled *didn't* have any Sibelius in its repertoire...but you're the Finn, so I guess you know best! If they in fact do not have any, could it be that the company doesn't want to "marginalize" itself in the eyes of the larger dance world as "that Finnish company that dances Sibelius" as opposed to a company that is capable of taking on any challenge, any music, any genre...? Or is it possible that music lovers in Finland think Sibelius's music belongs in the concert hall rather than at the ballet, especially since it's my impression that Sibelius never actually collaborated on these ballets in the way that, say, Stravinsky did? Not that I would agree with either one of these possibilities, by any means! They're just issues that I'm sensitive to because of the music research I'm doing right now...

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I used the middle movement of Symphony No. 3 and it went rather nicely, thank you! :)

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