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J. Billings

La Esmeralda

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I have been searching the web for ANY kind of information on the nineteenth century ballet, "La Esmeralda", but have come up with a virtual dead end, except for one brief entry on the ABT pages. Can anyone, here, tell me a little about this ballet and where I might be able to get it on video tape? Kultur makes no mention of it in their inventory. Thanks

Skater

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I'm not aware of a videotape (not saying that one doesn't exist, just that I don't know of one). The pas de deux from Esmeralda is performed quite recently and there are videos, one with Asylmuratova on, I believe, the Kirov in London, is quite wonderful.

The ballet is the story of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and the libretto is quite similar to the script for the Hollywood film! (There must have been a play in between there; I can't believe Hollywood cribbed a ballet.) The only substantial reference I can think off offhand wouldn't be on the web, but in a book, Cyril W. Beaumont's "Complete Book of the Ballets." Many libraries would have this one.

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There is an "Esmeralda" excerpt on "The Kirov In London" video, which is a pas de six, and the choreography is attributed to Agrippina Vaganova. The dancers are Eldar Aliyev and Yelena Yevteyeva [sp?]. The video is available from Kultur.

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Thanks, alexandra and BalletNut! At least you've given me some "starting points". I will pursue both the book and the video information. I can't help but wonder why so little information is available on the web. Is it because "La Esmeralda" is a ballet currently "out of popularity"?

skater

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Hmm, I don't really know, but I actually think it might be a "lost" ballet, with only varied little snippets surviving here and there. Who knows, maybe Pierre Lacotte will re-construct it, like he did with Paquita and Pharaoh's Daughter, two other "lost" ballets. It would be interesting if he did.

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