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Early News: RAYMONDA-Vikharev reconstructs 1898 PetipaOctober 2011


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#31 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 08:21 AM

For chiapuris and others who may be also coming to Milano, here's a sneak-peak at the five ballerinas who'll essay the role of Raymonda in this historic production:

1. Olesya Novikova (guest artist, Mariinsky Ballet)

shown in clips of her only performance of Raymonda at the Mariinsky:



Linda Olesya, Natasha..!! :wub:

#32 Natalia

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 06:04 AM

Friends, the latest press release that I've received from La Scala includes this delightful note:

The reconstruction of the ballet, which aims above all to reinstate its composition and spirit, is generating significant interest among ballet scholars at home and abroad, and to mark the importance of the operation, RAI television crews will be present to film the performance.

So could a DVD and/or telecast be in the offing?

#33 Birdsall

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:09 AM


This is wonderful Natalia, thanks for bringing it to our attention. I wish I could go to Milan this year but unfortunately its not in the cards. Can't wait to hear your impressions!


Thanks. If my flight gets in on time (early morn), I should even be able to make it to the preview-lecture on the evening of October 6. Fingers crossed! Luckily, my hotel is just a couple of blocks from La Scala. Posted Image

Still no word on who'll be the alternate Raymondas, although we can detect La Scala prima Marta Romagna and 'unidentified Jean de Brienne' rehearsing behind first-cast Novikova/Vogel in a couple of the photos. Romagna is La Scala's strongest Petipa classicist from among the permanent principals (not counting guests like Zakharova). I'd love to know who'll dance the other meaty solos, such as the friends quartet (Henriette-Clemence-Bernard-Beranger).

Among the segments of Raymonda that I'm particularly looking forward to seeing for the first time, compared to 20th-Century versions in current rep around the globe:

1. Bernard & Beranger dancing to their 'male duo variation' music in the A2 Pas de Six . Most modern productions give this music to Jean de Brienne in either Act I/Scene i (where he should not appear at all!) or Act III.

2. Act III Children's Dance (a.k.a. 'La Rhapsodie') actually danced by children, as intended - again, this music is usually cut and/or repackaged as a solo for Jean de Brienne...or, in the POB/Nureyev version, I believe that this music goes to Bernard&Beranger (a funny duo in Act I). This music also appears as a duet for 2 demi-solo ladies in Balanchine's Raymonda Pas de Dix from the 1950s.

3. The full, uncut 'Cortege Hongrois' procession that is supposed to open the Act III Wedding - supposedly one of Petipa's grand 'parades' with 'cast of 100s' walking across the stage with props or on sedans...very similar to the 'parade' that opens the last act of the 1890 Sleeping Beauty or the 'parade' that opens Act II of Bayadere-1900 version. The Raymonda procession is supposed to pay homage to the Hungarian people and culture. [No - Nureyev dancing a new solo to this music, at the end of Act II of his POB version, does not count. Posted Image ]

Then I wonder: Will Jean de Brienne have ANY solo? He should not, if this is to be 100% faithful to Petipa's 1898 original. It will be interesting to see if Vikharev has been pressured into crafting something for Vogel and the other danseurs essaying Jean.

It's a huge shame that this is not occuring in Russia...but Russia doesn't seem to want the grand Petipa reconstructions nowadays. On the other hand, it is proper that this be occuring in Milan, Italy, given that the first Raymonda was Pierina Legnani and the first Countess Sybil was Giuseppina Cecchetti.

Cubanmiamiboy - Take heart. The Raymonda reconstruction has been announced for the next season (October 2012), once again starring Olesya Novikova. By then, we may even have Svetlana Zakharova fully back from maternity leave and dancing once again at La Scala as the Permanent Guest. Also, maybe - maybe there might be a live simulcast and/or DVD at that time, especially if it will involve 'superstars' like Zakharova with Bolle (who won't be dancing Jean this year)? :beg: Who knows. It's a real shame that none of Vikharev's full productions have made it onto DVD yet.


Natalia,
Maybe I need to re-watch the reconstruction (watched it other night on YouTube in between handing out candy to kids). I don't remember a male duo and I think Jean de Brienne did get a solo in the last act. But were the other two items the way you described? I remember children, but I am not sure it was in the place you mention. Was this a faithful reconstruction (choreography-wise), in your opinion? Even if not, I still loved it. I don't mean to nitpick. I just wanted to know. There is probably a push and pull between complete reconstruction and giving people what they want (like a solo for Jean de Brienne, as you mentioned). I followed along with the Wikipedia listing of dances, and it all made sense for the most part. Returning to an old discussion: The danse orientale is listed on Wikipedia as "cut by Petipa from the original production" and this reconstruction did not perform it which makes sense, since it was cut. The Mariinsky does not perform it either and even cuts the music whereas the reconstruction left the music. The Bolshoi performs it as a sort of pdd between Raymonda and Abderakhman. I wonder if it has ever been performed at all in that case as a variation for Raymonda. It is referred to as "Danse orientale-Danse characteristique de Raymonde (cut by Petipa from the original production)" by Wikipedia. I am just curious what this dance looks like, but it may never have been performed by anyone at all and always changed up (used for mime time in reconstruction and original and then dropped altogether at Mariinsky, and turned into short pdd at Bolshoi. I am just wondering if at any time in the history of this ballet someone danced it as a variation. Maybe we'll never know.
Also, could you clear up the confusion about the Pas classique hongrois? Wikipedia's listing of the numbers is:

Entree
Grand adage (Pas de dix)
Variation 1
Variation 2
Variation pour quatre danseurs
Variation de Raymonde
Grand Coda

It appears that Variation 2 is always deleted and then put in after the 4 male dancers and becomes a variation for Jean de Brienne. Was it originally for one of Raymonda's friends? Do you know?

Also, I noticed in all performances I have seen on video this Pas de Dix seems to have 8 couples plus Raymonda and Jean de Brienne. How is this a Pas de Dix? There are 18 people taking part in it. Maybe I am misunderstanding the term. I thought it meant 10 people altogether dancing.

I know Wikipedia is not always reliable, but I do not have another listing of the dances and have used it as a rough guide when watching performances online or on dvd. And so my questions have arisen. Thanks for any info you have to clarify my questions.
Bart

#34 Natalia

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:33 AM

Hey, Bart, you'll want to go to the post-reports thread, not this one, which was for early speculation. I answer all questions on the thread for reports on the premiere. That said (smile), the B&B duo music was indeed moved to A3 by Vikharev to make a solo for Jean de Brienne to dance. However, the good news is that Jean de Brienne's steps in that solo are those danced by B&B in the last-known version of Raymonda that maintained that duo -- Lavrovsky's ca-1946 version for the Bolshoi, which was filmed! In an interview in the souvenir program, Vikharev's associate, Pavel Gershenzon, explained all of this, i.e., they could have staged a near-Petipa B&B duo in A2 but chose to move the music and choreography (for a solo dancer) to A3.

The Harvard docs do not have the notation for the B&B duo but Lavrovsky staged it based on his & others' recollection of what was danced in the early-20th C....so the Bolshoi-Lavrovsky is the basis for what we know about that A2 male duo.

Bottom Line: When watching Jean's A3 solo in the La Scala RAYMONDA, think that you are really watching an approximation of Petipa's "B&B duo" from A2...but danced by only one guy.

#35 Birdsall

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 04:21 AM

Hey, Bart, you'll want to go to the post-reports thread, not this one, which was for early speculation. I answer all questions on the thread for reports on the premiere. That said (smile), the B&B duo music was indeed moved to A3 by Vikharev to make a solo for Jean de Brienne to dance. However, the good news is that Jean de Brienne's steps in that solo are those danced by B&B in the last-known version of Raymonda that maintained that duo -- Lavrovsky's ca-1946 version for the Bolshoi, which was filmed! In an interview in the souvenir program, Vikharev's associate, Pavel Gershenzon, explained all of this, i.e., they could have staged a near-Petipa B&B duo in A2 but chose to move the music and choreography (for a solo dancer) to A3.

The Harvard docs do not have the notation for the B&B duo but Lavrovsky staged it based on his & others' recollection of what was danced in the early-20th C....so the Bolshoi-Lavrovsky is the basis for what we know about that A2 male duo.

Bottom Line: When watching Jean's A3 solo in the La Scala RAYMONDA, think that you are really watching an approximation of Petipa's "B&B duo" from A2...but danced by only one guy.



That's funny!!!! But interesting too! Wow! Ballet insertions/reconstructions/changes are more complicated than changes in opera! It is fascinating to read all this!

#36 Natalia

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 04:33 AM

Bart, it would be very interesting to see a copy of the Bolshoi 1940s film to see the "B&B" truly danced by B&B, comparing it to the film of Vogel performing the solo version in the recent La Scala recon. I'm wondering, for example, if B&B 'mirror' their moves (each man dancing the same steps in opposite directions) or if they do completely parallel dancing...or a mixture.

#37 Natalia

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 04:59 AM

Mariafrancesca Garritano, the ballerina who was 3rd-cast Raymonda at La Scala (and who I saw at the premiere in the role of Henriette), is speaking-up about anorexia in her company. Also note, in the article, that Garritano has written a book, The Truth, Please, About Ballet (assuming available only in Italian).

http://www.guardian....-anorexic-claim

It would be interesting to find out if this 'trend' has become more prevalent since ex-Kirov AD Vaziyev took over as AD of La Scala in 2008, given the 'Kirov aesthetic' for rail-thinness?

#38 puppytreats

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 11:04 AM

In regard to your question about trends -- and I will get killed for this -- I always thought of La Scala ballerinas as fat...at least, in the pre-Kirov AD days. Not all of the La Scala dancers, but many in the corps. Look at all of the La Scala videos and compare them to other companies. That is why I was very surprised to read this article in today's links. Granted, my idea of fat and thin are not necessarily untainted by prior brushes with the very diseases of which the author complains.

#39 Natalia

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 04:12 AM

[size=5]Not really, puppytreats. La Scala had followed 'the globe' in the trend towards a more slender & elongated physique since the 1980s, roughly coinciding with the advent of Sylvie Guillem. Even the Kirov had 'rounder' ladies before 1980. It seems that La Scala has taken it "up a notch" in the past 2-3 years, since Vaziyev took over the Artistic Directorship of the troupe & his wife, Chenchikova, the lead coaching spot. A lot of the 'fans' with whom I spoke in Milan last month are genuinely concerned. Garritano is simply voicing it publicly.[/size]


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