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Marius PetipaCentenary of his death July 14(July 1 O.S.) 1910


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#1 leonid

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:20 AM

July 14(July 01 O.S.)2010, was the centenary anniversary of the death of the worlds most famous ballet choreographer (Victor) Marius Alphonse Petipa and yet not one of us posted the event on balletalk, the premier interactive ballet website.

Mmmmmmm.

More than a dozen ballets attributed to his enormous oeuvre exist in some shape or form and are still happily admired by worldwide academic ballet enthusiasts to this day. Of course a number of his ballets remain the backbone of dozens of classical ballet companies.

In June this year Marc Haegeman did remind us of the impending event in a danceviewtimes article, Nadine Meisner also marked the event with a tribute article in the July issue of Dancing Times and a passing mention of the event was by made by some companies performing Petipa ballets around the centenary date.

I thought therefore that the least I could do was to remind us all, if rather belatedly at ballettalk, of this important event and say thank you Mons Petipa for bringing such choreographic beauty into our lives.

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 10:06 AM

Thanks for the post, Leonid. Of course, anyone would have been welcome to post birthday greetings to M. Petipa on the birthday, including you. :)

Happy birthday, Marius!

It's a time when several companies and artists are taking a look at what Petipa's enchainments were really like, and several reconstructions have been very interesting, if controversial. What is Petipa's role in today's ballet? Can we be complacent, and secure that his works will continue to be the rock of the ballet repertory? Two decades ago, every ambitious ballet company staged a Swan Lake, whether they could do it justice or not. Then they moved on to Sleeping Beauty. Is this a good thing? Is the current retrenchment, many companies realizing that a corps, and all those tutus, are too expensive and moving to other repertory, a passing trend or a new direction? If the latter, where will Petipa's ballets be twenty years from now?

Hans, I hope you're reading this!

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 08:02 PM

Yes...shame on us-(me included). For once, if I was asked to pick one choreographer whose ballets I was to watch for the rest of my life, and no one else, it would DEFINITELY be him...even if I had to sacrifice my beloved Giselle. No doubt...with my eyes closed.
Merci...Monsieur Petipa!! :bow: :bow: :bow:

#4 Helene

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 08:27 PM

The PBS Balanchine bio opens with a narration by Frank Langella with a depressing quote from Petipa from 1904, which I interpreted as valedictory, and then notes that Balanchine was born that year. I had always interpreted that to mean that Petipa died the year Balanchine was born :wub:

Maybe companies are waiting to take big notice in the upcoming season, especially during "Nutcracker" season.

#5 rg

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 05:00 AM

indeed, the opening of the Balachine bio prog. for PBS is most misleading.
i've heard a would-be Balanchine expert state, in a public forum, that Petipa died the day Balanchine was born!
furthermore that quote about "all my work is reduced to ashes" is also "off" - Petipa's diary entry about this fact refers to the work he was doing on ONE, new ballet - THE ROSEBUD AND THE BUTTERFLY - which was that day cancelled, so that Petipa was noting that all the work he'd done for this premiere was for naught as it wouldn't then see the light of day. the PBS script, by Holly Brubach, leads one to believe that Petipa was bemoaning his view that his entire body of work was at that time neglected and abandoned.
the attached scan of a legat caricature of M.I.P. has been posted on this site before but it shouldn't hurt to re-post it for this thread.

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#6 Mel Johnson

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 05:38 AM

i've heard a would-be Balanchine expert state, in a public forum, that Petipa died the day Balanchine was born!


Perhaps, if one holds to the idea of the transmigration of souls, a case could be made metaphorically, but Petipa was neither yet clinically dead, nor was Balanchine formed from the brow of Terpsichore fully blown, and already choreographing "Prodigal Son".

#7 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 06:00 PM

indeed, the opening of the Balachine bio prog. for PBS is most misleading.
i've heard a would-be Balanchine expert state, in a public forum, that Petipa died the day Balanchine was born!
furthermore that quote about "all my work is reduced to ashes" is also "off" - Petipa's diary entry about this fact refers to the work he was doing on ONE, new ballet - THE ROSEBUD AND THE BUTTERFLY - which was that day cancelled, so that Petipa was noting that all the work he'd done for this premiere was for naught as it wouldn't then see the light of day. the PBS script, by Holly Brubach, leads one to believe that Petipa was bemoaning his view that his entire body of work was at that time neglected and abandoned.
the attached scan of a legat caricature of M.I.P. has been posted on this site before but it shouldn't hurt to re-post it for this thread.


As usual, disenchanted by rg. Sigh. That quote at the beginning of the TV-Bio gave me so much hope! I remember quoting it to a friend who doubted that we'd ever see another genius in ballet like Mr. B., and saying," we just have another 15 years to go."

When was Ratmansky born??

But to return to the important topic that Leonid has brought up, yes, the entire world of dance owes a great deal to "Mr. P." He was a great artist and continues to inspire. May that continue!

#8 rg

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 06:52 PM

a younger portrait of M.I.P. from Vera Krasovskaya's RUSSIAN BALLLET THEATER vol. 2 (in Russian).

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