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doug

Differences among Petipa ballets

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This is a thread, begun at Alexandra's prompting, to discuss differences between and within Petipa's ballets (also, Ivanov's and other those by other 19th-century choreographers, if we wish). I'll start with a few examples of my observations. The point, I think, is to try and look back to the original intent of the creators and see what the differences were within and among the ballets. Over time, obviously, things have changed - deliberate changes/practical changes/forgotten steps, etc.

A full-length ballet by Petipa was constructed to entertain on many levels and with a variety of dance styles and character types. His ballets included classical dances, character dances, children's dances, mime scenes and pas d'actions (danced scene which carried the action forward), among other elements, that I'm sure others can provide.

RAYMONDA is a good example. The opening of the first act included a lot of mime to set up the story of Raymonda and Jean d'Brienne, as well as the story of the White Lady, who protected the House of Doris. The many details of this opening scene have long been absent from productions of RAYMONDA. The scene includes dances as well, but not in suite form as they occur later in the ballet. The second scene includes a classical suite: pas de deux, waltz, 3 variations and coda, followed by a children's dance (not classical - they are bugs, like in Midsummer) and a lengthy mime scene between Raymonda and the saracen knight, Abderrakhman. The second act includes another classical suite, this time a pas d'action, in which Abderrakhman tries to woo Raymonda: adagio, 4 variations and coda, followed by a character suite, including a massed dance, a dance for little boys, a dance for a couple, then a Spanish dance for a lead couple and corps. A coda follows in which the character dancers return to dance, but it also functions as another pas d'action - Abderrakhman tries to kidnapy Raymonda. Jean d'Brienne arrives in the nick of time and kills Abderrakhman in a duel. Act III is the wedding, beginning with a procession, followed by a czardas (Petipa also added a mazurka shortly before the premiere), a formal children's dance, and a suite that can be characterized as a hybrid of classical and character dance: entree, adagio, 4 variations (no variation for Jeam d'Brienne - instead he dances a pas de quatre with three other men), coda. The apotheosis, depicted a tournament - yes, a medieval tournament (go figure), complete with papier mache figures!

I love the variety of these long ballets. I believe ballet was a broader form of entertainment in late 19th-century Russia than it is now. Perhaps less serious on a philosophical level?

As far as differences between the ballets, my comments stem from my work with notations of the ballets made in the 1890s and early 1900s. In the River variations of THE DAUGHTER OF PHARAOH, the most common steps were precipite and arabesque voyagee (we call them 'chugs' here in the States). Also single saut de basques. Very little pointe work. On the other hand, the Fairy variations of SLEEPING BEAUTY are almost all on pointe. The difference could be the time span between the creation of the ballets (1862 vs. 1890) or the fact that the River variations were essentially character dances and the Fairy variations are essentially classical. In the BAYADERE Shades scene from 1900, hardly a step is repeated throughout the scene - such amazing invention - the corps choreography is more demanding than we see now. I've found that steps and nuances that further distinguish the three Shade variations have disappeared over time - changed or forgotten. The most striking changes are Nikiya's steps in the coda. NOTHING like what we see today - the notated steps remind me of TCHAIKOVSKY PAS DE DEUX and SYMPHONY IN C, first movement (sissonne onto pointe, double rond du jambe, repeated on alternating legs - hops in fifth on pointe alternating with echappe onto flat feet). The manege of tour jetes was originally much more complicated - saut de basque, petit jete en tournant, grand jete, all repeated three times - beautiful!

One last example - Le jardin anime from CORSAIRE - no precipite, no arabesque voyagee - all balance, ballonne, waltz turns, emboite. The variation include small and large jumps and lots of pointe work.

That's a start. :)

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Thank you for that, Doug. I think the point about variety is one that might spark an interesting discussion. I think all audiences want variety, and Petipa gave it to us all in one ballet. Now, we'll have a wildly varied mixed bill, but without the unification of style and aesthetic that made Petipa's ballets both diverse and harmonious.

The differences in the actual variations I find fascinating, and I'm sure others do, too. I'd be perfectly happy for you to teach us about them :)

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This is an excellent thread to have started. I am currently studying The Sleeping Beauty for my A-Level exams and it has become apparent as to how many variations there are on certain aspects of the ballet.

No two productions are the same in terms of choreography whether that be because a dancer or choreographer as changed a step to suit the dancers body type and facilities. I as a student dancer am very interested in the reconstruction of 'Original' ballets- Kirov Sleeping Beauty and Bolshoi Pharohs Daughter. I think it is a brilliant idea to restage these versions so that we can see what are heritage is, although this brings up other questions as to whether this is correct. For example in the Kirovs Sleeping Beauty they went back to their 1952 version when parts of the ballet were unclear, resulting in ballet of 1890 style mixed in with Soviet style choreography( which I do not have a problem with incase I may have offended).I must write a link, there has been a brilliant article written about this reconstruction on Marc Haegemans Web page.(Doug did you by any chance write this as I thought it was brilliant had has given a bit more background knowledge for my exam. Thank you!)

Also one other ballet I find that has so many variations on is Giselle. If you look at the male variation in Act Two it is never the same. Recently I saw nearly every night of the Royal Ballets Sir Peter Wrights production and every different male had a different solo so as to what the choreographer had wanted has been lost.

I am a huge fan of Giselle as I think it is one of the most taxing ballets for the dancers as there are so many feelings and emotions that have to connect with the audience. It is the one ballet that I long to dance. For me I would very much like to see a reconstruction of this ballet but I fear that this may not be possible. Also another final note on Giselle is it true that there may possibly have been a third act to this ballet that got lost on the way, as I have heard people disscuss that there was at one time another act. Fact or Fiction!

[ 06-02-2001: Message edited by: James Wilkie ]

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There was never another act, but at one point Gautier and St.-Georges were considering a different first act. The scene would have been a ballroom, and the Wilis and Myrtha would appear early to enchant the floor to make the dancers dance unstoppably. Gautier nixed the idea because the peasant/noble interplay allowed him more room for his anti-establishment Romanticism to make its point. If they had gone ahead with the first idea, it would have been an eery precursor to Balanchine's version of "La Valse"!

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I was fascinated by what you had to say, Doug - and am still trying to absorb it all. (And very interested in James' comments too, of course!)

Presumably, some of the increased difficulty in the choreography had something to do with improved technique. So, for instance, when a ballet was brought back into the repertory for Kschessinskaya, it would be changed to show off her talents. (And there's an oft-quoted passage of Bronislava Nijinska's in which she describes helping to carry the Lilac Fairy's cloak - danced by Maria Petipa - and seeing her [character] shoes with their little heels. Wiley talks about there being choreography for two different variations - one for Maria Petipa, and a more difficult one for someone else. Is the more difficult choreography anything like what is danced today???)

I don't know if you (or James) can answer these, but I have some questions about Sleeping Beauty.

1. Nijinska talks about the HUGE difference in the way her brother danced the Blue Bird - have you found anything in your researches to back up her statements?

2. Balanchine gives a very detailed account of his memories of Sleeping Beauty as regards stage effects. Some of these things are still done (like the disappearance of the Wicked Fairly's disguise) but I would like to know more about some of his other effects. In particular:

- Fire - he mentions this in conjuction with Carabosse's disappearance at the end of Act 1. (And I know they used fire at other times at the Maryinsky because you hear about it in Faust, as well.) Do you know anything about this? Is there anything about it in the notation??

- Balanchine also mentions being 'a cupid on one of the carriages in the final act'

What carriages? What cupids?

- And at the very end, he mentions a huge and wonderful staircase, with fountains on both sides of the stairs, so that there was a sort of waterfall effect all the way down the stairs. The Russians used fountains at lot (and still do) but I've never heard about this particular effect from anyone else.

I'm sure I could come up with a lot of other questions (!) but I'll try to restrain myself.

Many thanks for introducing this very interesting subject.

- Wendy

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Wendy, "red fire" was a very common and popular effect used in many late nineteenth-century operas and ballet. Gilbert and Sullivan even used it in The Sorcerer. I'm not sure of the chemistry involved, except that it was liquid and was set off manually. The Royal (and innumerable rock shows) used fire in one of its Act III Swan Lakes, but this is easier to control using modern technology.

If Bronia were recalling character shoes on the Lilac fairy, she doubtless has reference to the last act entrance, where the Lilac Fairy appears en suite.

Why don't you take a look at the "Great Ballets" section of the main Ballet Alert! site? Beauty is one of the ballets that's up, and contains a synopsis of invited guests to the wedding feast.

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I'll try and respond to all the points based on things I've found/noticed:

Re SLEEPING BEAUTY - There are notations for two Lilac Fairy variations - one is headed "M. Petipa." It involves pointe work, but is pretty basic. The other variant is the one we know from the Royal Ballet's BEAUTY. PNB in Seattle just got Ronald Hynd's version and the Lilac variation matches the notation very closely, even more closely than what the Royal does now. The Lilac variation the Kirov includes in their new BEAUTY is neither of these - !.

I've gone over Nijinska's comments about Nijinsky's Bluebird. Nothing seems to diverge much in description from the steps included in the notated version, which is pretty close to what we see today. She seems to state that he didn't change the steps but danced them in a freer way, more or less.

In the final act, some of the fairies are guests at the wedding. I think it is Canari that comes in a cage with cupids in Shirley Temple wigs sitting on the edges. Maybe this is what Balanchine was refering to. There also are other cupids in that act.

By the time Balanchine was dancing BEAUTY at the Maryinsky, the sets and costumes were no longer the original ones, but those designed by Konstantin Korovin. They may have included the fountains and the rest that he mentions.

James - I did write the article on Marc's site - thanks. I really like the Kirov's BEAUTY. There are some things I would have done differently, but the big picture is that they are the first company (that I know of) to try and do a full-scale reconstruction of a Petipa ballet, using original set and costume designs, along with period notations of the steps (though they also used a number of video sources of a number of more recent productions). It was an eye-opener for many folks. My opinion is that the public is more open to projects like these than they were in the not-so-distant past. The general feeling of "newer is better" seems finally to be wearing off, so that new and old can be embraced and appreciated for their different attributes. This notion certainly has worn off in other areas of the arts, particularly music.

Re DAUGHTER OF PHARAOH. Lacotte's production for the Bolshoi can't really be called a reconstruction. Nearly all of the choreography is his own (although I had hoped he would use the Stepanov notations). I provided a few variations for the production based on notations dating from around 1905 but they don't amount to much in the final production. The River variations, in their notated form, are great examples of ballet character dances.

Another point I've been thinking about is the notion that a particular step/pose is the signature step of a given ballet. For example, attitude as the signature pose of SLEEPING BEAUTY and arabesque as the signature pose of GISELLE. I don't agree with this in regard to BEAUTY. The notated "attitude" in the Rose Adagio is really a 90-degree arabesque with the knee bent slightly (about 45 degrees) - more like a relaxed arabesque than the tighter attitude we often see today. I also don't buy most of the modern philosophical/psychological arguments about the meanings of the various ballets and the inference that Petipa and his collaborators were trying to infuse ballets with psychological ideas, most of which were not introduced until long after the ballets were created. Just my opinion. :)

[ 06-02-2001: Message edited by: doug ]

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i think that one april there was an article on ballet.co.uk that spoke of a 'lost' third act of giselle, but on investigation it turned out to be an april fool's! (though not immediately obvious).

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Doug, I couldn't agree with you more about the infusion of philology and psychology into the steps chosen for a given ballet. It's been a long-held opinion with me that the choreographers of those nineteenth-century ballets were just trying to be "iconic" - to find a mental picture that would spell that ballet to the viewer.

Now, maybe you can help me - in the second shade's variation in Bayadere, is the "signature" the cabriole, and in the diagonals across the stage, does the caesura/pause in the music happen on an extended end to a cabriole ouverte? Then, the music picks up on a piqué arabesque and so forth.... Often wondered if that were Petipa or the effect of Chabukiani/Vaganova and/or others. It's a cherished memory, though, for me, as it was the first way I ever saw the variation performed, by a dancer named Inessa Korneyeva, with the Kirov in 1964.

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Thank you Doug for opening up this thread it has certainly been a very interesting one. I am looking forward to seeing the Kirov do The Sleeping Beauty when they come to London again unfortunatly it is after my exam but it will be interesting to see it again. I would really like to see Altynai Asylmuratova do it again as in my opinion she brought something very special to the role. I am to see Svetlana Zakharova this time as I missed her last time. Who did you like in the role of Aurora?

One thing I must ask is that when Rudolf Nureyev was staging La Bayadere for The Paris Opera Ballet it was said in a documentry that he wanted to stage a fourth act. Is this true? It would have been interesting to see what it would have looked like.

Doug have you seen Perm State Ballets The Sleeping Beauty because this was supposed to have helped the Kirovs production?

:):):):):) ;)

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Thanks so much for your detailed answers, Doug - especially for your thoughts on the Lilac Fairy - which were really helpful. And I'll certainly try to learn more about that 'liquid fire' Mel.

- Wendy

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One of my guesses as to the composition of the awful stuff involves phosphorus and that useless nineteenth-century byproduct of making kerosene (paraffin oil), gasoline. :eek:

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James, Nureyev declared in interviews that he indeed wanted to reconstruct the 4th act of "La Bayadère". He wanted a real big finale with the destruction of the Rajah's palace. Allegedly there was a disagreement with the set designer Ezio Frigerio, who thought it was too expensive and too difficult to realize. So, no destruction, no 4th act.

I guess you can get some idea what Nureyev had in mind by watching the versions of Makarova (which version Nureyev didn't particularly like, mainly because of all her editing) and Patrice Bart for Munich (who actually reduced it to two acts or four scenes). Personally I don't find any of the two very convincing. The reconstructed scenes lack the weight and impact of the previous ones, not to mention the choreography (Especially when you want to say something after the unsurpassed Shades act, you need to be another Petipa, I guess).

Don't forget to tell us what you think of Svetlana Zakharova in "Beauty", James ;)

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Mel, I've got the notation out here. The second variation (with cabrioles) in the Shades scene was danced by Varvara Rykhlyakova in December 1900 when the notation was made. The first fermata (hold) in the music coincides with a pique arabesque on the right foot coming from 5th position plie. The ballerina continues with tombe, pirouette, etc. Second fermata is also a pique arabesque on the right foot, just like the first. The third fermata (towards the end of the variation) is not marked as a fermata in the notation. The step at that point in the music is the last of a series of releve attitude en avant on alternating feet (left foot for the final one). Final pose is sus-sous from fifth position plie, left foot front.

BTW, this notation was not made by Nikolai Sergeyev. He didn't started notating much until 1903, when he took over the ballet master position at the Maryinsky. I'm not sure who made this notation.

Hope this info helps.

[ 06-03-2001: Message edited by: doug ]

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Thank you, Doug - you have cleared up a question that has been gnawing at my mind for years! I had the advantage of having a couple of spare hours while doing research at Harvard, and used it to profit by briefly perusing "Beauty" and "Swan", just to try and dope out the notation, which I found relatively intuitive, but didn't get around to Bayadere. I'm aware of a couple different hands in there and wonder if maybe Sergei Legat had a hand in there for his brief tenure - I know what Nicolai's hand looks like and that wasn't it.

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Doug, I certainly agree with you about the dangers of imposing grand philosophical schemes on 19th century entertainment, but do you think I am out of line in feeling that the Kirov's new old Sleeping Beauty was making a comment on the importance of mercy versus justice? I thought the extended King's mime scene made his decision to spare the knitting ladies so much more key to the ballet. Carabosse, after all, was only asking for justice, since she was insulted, but the King, who was within his rights to have the knitting ladies hanged, was able to rise above justice to forgive them. And inviting Carabosse to the wedding seemed to reinforce that idea, unlike the more apocoliptic good vs. evil versions based on the Royal Ballet's version.

I hadn't realized that the Maryinsky version was redesigned. I seem to remember some of the original reviews (read in translation only!) were somewhat critical of the costumes. Was it redone when Vzevolovsky left?

And about differences of style within Petipa ballets which have been lost, I think it is too bad that ABT dropped Medora's character solo on the boat. It was done in the Boston production and was just charming, and was a refreching break from all the classical pointwork.

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Yes, indeed, forgiveness and redemption and grace (the King, after all, is God's anointed and His representative!)is all part of what Beauty is about. And in the original production, the appearance of Carabosse was meant to point this up! She had her invitation, and she was not danced by Enrico Cecchetti, because he was going to be the Bluebird in that scene, but a senior and very glamourous lady of the company. She showed that not only is forgiveness good for the forgiver, but for the forgiven as well!

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This is a wonderful thread.. so much to think about. I have to say I've been haunted by the Kirov's reconstruction of Sleepting Beauty ever since I saw it at the Met two years ago. It was facinating to see a ballet with eyes of a different generation. To see a work as it was before TV, films, videos etc...

Doug, I really enjoyed your article on SB when I read it in Ballet Review.

I can understand why (given the social and political connotations of the time) the mime and certain sumptious portions of Petipas ballets were removed but why were the solos, especially if they were more difficult, changed?

And why did Konstantine Sergeyev change Sleeping Beauty? He was considered a very controlling director, did he just want to put "his" stamp on the rep.?

And Doug, why did Lacotte not use the noted choreography where it could be found and fill in the rest through memories and his own in-the-style of Petipas choreography? There is more to bringing a ballet back to life than costumes and scenery. Did Lacotte do the same thing with Paquita at POB?

James, I think you'll find Zakharova's Aurora interesting. She opened the Kirov's run of the ballet at the Met in 1999 and some of the things she did caused a gasp of astonishment to roll around the theatre -- astonished by the things she could do physically and astonished that she would do it in this ballet. Although I appreciated many aspects of her and Vishneva's perofmances, it was generally considered that Altynai Asylmuratova was all-around the better Aurora. Unfortunately, we did not see Ayupova, who did not perform in New York during the run.

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Dale Thank you for giving me that insite to Zakharovas Aurora. I am looking forward to it. I am not sure as to whether I will like it because of her high extensions and I am not sure as to whether they are suited to the role of Aurora she has an incredible body that can do so much but I have my reservations, we shall what and see. I shall report back later! :)

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Cargill, you may well be right about the Kirov's new BEAUTY and its emphasis on mercy in the Act I opening. Or . . . they might simply have wanted to open the cuts in the music, therefore necessitating an extension of the action? Just a thought.

I'd have to check on the Maryinsky redesign of BEAUTY. It may have been redesigned by Korovin when Gorsky revived it at the Maryinsky on Feb 16, 1914. That sounds right to me. This was apparently when the new Lilac Fairy variation was added by Lopukhov.

Mel, I hadn't thought that Sergei Legat did notation work, but I can't rule out the possibility. I've found that most notations made after 1903 are in the hand of Nikolai Sergeyev, with the exception of variations and excerpts that were notated by students.

Dale, I'm not sure why Konstantin Sergeyev changed the classic ballets, but I assume he wanted to put his stamp on productions and perhaps also felt the need to "update" them - ? Most of his BEAUTY changes came in the Prologue, with the choreography for the large corps of Lilac attendants. The fairy variations were retained but became awfully watered down, as well.

Being a purist, I like to see dances in their original form, so far as possible. Obviously bodies and aesthetics change, but it is possible to retain the steps. AGON looks so different now from the filmed version of 1960 but the actual steps have changed very little.

Re: DAUGHTER OF PHARAOH, Lacotte felt it was not possible to revive the ballet from notation and also felt the ballet was too long. Not being a reader of Stepanov notation, a decision to stage the ballet from notation would have greatly altered his plans and contribution to the revival.

The new POB PAQUITA appears to be similar to PHARAOH in this regard, although I have not seen it so I can't make a good judgment here, and I've also not worked much with the PAQUITA notations.

James, I haven't seen Perm but I have heard now and again that their productions of 19th-century Russian ballets have changed less than the Kirov productions.

Moving on to SWAN LAKE, I like the fact that young student girls performed as swans in the first lakeside scene. They remind me of the young girls in MOZARTIANA - not cute, but simply smaller people.

Children were used on a regular basis in 19th-century ballets and I'd love to see a return to that practice. I suppose having a school connected to the professional dance institution is often the deciding factor.

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Doug and Dale, the choreography of the revived "Paquita" is indeed a reconstruction 'in the style of' by Lacotte. Except for two variations from Mazilier in the first act and the Petipa additions (the Grand Pas and the pas de trois) the choreography is Lacotte's.

I assume that this quest for the "original" in ballet is mostly a recent one and not shared by everybody.

[ 06-07-2001: Message edited by: Marc Haegeman ]

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You're right, Marc, that not everyone shares the desire to see original steps in ballets. Good thing, too, or we wouldn't have a lot of the wonderful productions that are around today. However, the notion of retaining the original steps isn't particularly new. Karsavina was writing about 'lost steps' in "Dancing Times" in the 60s and Arlene Croce figured out early on that dances ascribed to Petipa weren't necessarily by him.

I also think that improved communication (this sort of message board, for example) and greater access to resources have begun to allow these issues to be researched and discussed.

For me, it ultimately comes down to correct attribution. The mid-late 20th century saw an incredible amount of misattribution of choreography to Petipa that was really the work of others (or in such altered form as to be unrecognizable as Petipa's). Other arts genres - music, visual arts - would not tolerate these misattributions, particularly when used for marketing purposes. I don't feel there's anything inherently wrong with changes to old choreography (although I don't understand why a completely new ballet isn't made in the first place), but those changes should be correctly attributed. Using Petipa's name to sell a production that includes very little of his choreography is wrong, in my opinion. I think the US suffered the most here, taking as gospel truth many 'after-Petipa' productions that bore little choreographic resemble to his real work.

This issue is slowly being addressed, as far as I can tell. Attributions are being sorted out. Those working to recover old steps are contributing, as are those choreographing new versions of old ballets and taking responsibility for them. Good things, all around.

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Doug - I'm very happy to read your final paragraph, regarding the positives in either sort of revival (notation-based or new choreography after the originals, a-la-Lacotte). The mere fact that, in 2001, a full-length PAQUITA & DOCH FARAONA exist is cause for celebration. Sure, we'd love to see original steps. However, since when have any of us seen 'original steps' for NUTCRACKER? Does that make the post-Ivanov NUTCRACKERS...Balanchines, Grigorovich, etc.... bad? Of course not.

I'd be tickled-pink to see *any* revival of the complete music, designs, and stage-action of BARBE-BLEU or KALKABRINO, any time in the future, regardless of steps (notation or not).

What gifts the Bolshoi/POB and Lacotte have given us, with the recent full-length revivals of PAQUITA and DOCH! Unfortunatey, it appears that the Bolshoi has killed DOCH. Perhaps ABT can buy the sets/costumes/musical score from the Bolshoi and you can teach the right steps, Doug? I'm serious. Does anyone have Kevin Mckenzie's e-mail address? Someone should plant the seed.DOCH FARAONA is a beautiful ballet which would nicely meet ABT's full-length-classics mandate. Enough renting of 1960s European productions (ONEGINS, MERRY WIDOWS, etc.). ABT should be reviving the long-lost great classical ballets.

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Lacotte's version of Pharoah's Daughter (or Paquita for that matter) may be wonderful and perhaps Kevin Mckenzie should aquire it -- I have no opinion on this -- but I don't see how it can be called a "revival" or a "classic" when the CHOREOGRAPHY is almost entirely new, albeit "in the manner of" Petipa etc. If ballet is in any respect a serious art form on its own account, the "steps" very much do matter. There was a recent thread discussing an article by Joan Accocella addressing "revivals" of Nijinsky's ballets and discussing this issue...To use Accoccella's example, what would it meant to "revive" Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on the basis of some written descriptions of the premier, some records of the composer's tempi and keys, and maybe some indications of the orchestration but gee...um...er...having almost none of the NOTES. Nineteenth-century choreography may not be as "autonomous" as music (a complex question), but choreography is the substance of balletic art if the art counts for anything substantive at all.

Again, this is not an opinion on the artistic merits of Lacotte's productions -- I haven't seen them, though I remember Jeannie's glowing report on Paquita! -- but how can they be thought of as revivals? I admit, though, that I personally find it pretty questionable for a performing art to try to renew itself by doing pastiche versions of its older repertory. If the occasional production works (as Lacotte's do, in the eyes of many), of course that's great.

On the other hand, if actual notation exists for some lost "classics" and if an artist with enough creativity and musicality to bring notation to life were to appear on the scene to stage those works (big ifs), the possibility for genuinely enriching ballet's heritage would be greater than some pseudo-revival. I don't mean a pious attempt to make everything exactly as it was (impossible anyway and, in my opinion, not even desirable) -- but stagings that would at least try to give one more of a genuine sense of ballet's choreographic heritage.

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Dear Kevin McK:

Should've spent the money on Pharoah's Daughter rather than the Pied Piper.......

give Cleopatra a run on the Egypt theme....

lots of special effects, (but please spare us any inflatable lotus blossoms!),

kiddie corps,

a whole line of coordinating stuff to make the marketing people go pitter-pat,

you wouldn't have to do any of your own choreography ,

goddesses and divas are a lot more appealing these days than rats.

Think of the possibilities! You could bring it to Washington instead of Nutcracker....we'd love it!

[ 06-07-2001: Message edited by: Juliet ]

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