Jump to content


La Sonnambula is approaching......and I need some input...!


  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#46 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 08 January 2011 - 02:55 PM

I can no longer find parts 2-4 on YouTube. Only Part I seems to be up. Huh!

You can pull them up by copying the title (including cyrillic) as it appears above the video "screen" and pasting it into the search box. Do not include the parenthesized numeral.

#47 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 08 January 2011 - 03:18 PM

Thanks, carley. Here's the strange part -- I went to back to clip (1) to do what you suggest -- and, this time, the links to the other 3 clips WERE available. I'm sufficiently techno-ignorant to consider this to be an example of white magic. (Edited to add: I tried it a second time but the other three had once again disappeared. Then I tried your suggestion and it worked. Thanks doubly.)

Re: Harlequin. In 2005, MCB gave this role to Luis Serrano and Mikhail Ilyin, in the performances I saw. Serrano came closest to the lightness and quick shifts that John Renvall gives the choreography in the video. I really like this choreography and would have loved to see Alex Wong performing it.

Re: Hoop Dancers in the video. There is a distinct Spanish feel to parts of the choreography, as hen the 3 men do that low (bent knees), fast run from Don Q, while dragging (and displaying) their hoops along the ground just as do the Don Q toreros with their red muletas. I can see how it might be used for an ersatz gypsy dance.

The music to this hoop dance is very familiar -- though speeded up and given a heavier beat. However, I can't place it. Does anyone (Kathleen? Richard?) recognize the Bellini aria from which it is taken? I think it was sung by a soprano, but can't place the opera. Could it be from La Sonnambula itself?

An after thoght: I was wondering what kind of ballet one would find in the opera La sonnambula. Here's a clip from an Opera di Roma production? QUITE different from Rieti and Balanchine.


#48 richard53dog

richard53dog

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,401 posts

Posted 08 January 2011 - 04:46 PM

Re: Hoop Dancers in the video. There is a distinct Spanish feel to parts of the choreography, as hen the 3 men do that low (bent knees), fast run from Don Q, while dragging (and displaying) their hoops along the ground just as do the Don Q toreros with their red muletas. I can see how it might be used for an ersatz gypsy dance.

The music to this hoop dance is very familiar -- though speeded up and given a heavier beat. However, I can't place it. Does anyone (Kathleen? Richard?) recognize the Bellini aria from which it is taken? I think it was sung by a soprano, but can't place the opera. Could it be from La Sonnambula itself?



That's sort of funny because with all the discussion of La Sonnambula, I decided to watch it earlier today. We must have been on some kind of a tuned in wavelength or something of the sort.

I was a bit startled by the hoop dance because it looks so much like Balanchine's Nutcracker and it was jarring to see it with other music. But to answer your question, the music used in the ballet for the hoop thing is a speeded-up-on-steroids version of the cabaletta to the Mira O Norma duet from Norma. Actually I got a chuckle out of it because I thought it worked pretty well, thinking about the discussion of the arrangements of the various Bellini themes.

Another section that I thought worked nicely is the Polacca from Puritani which is a dance-y piece anyway(although it's used as a kind of vocal rondo in the opera) and is beefed up and used for a sort of Polonaise in the ballet. Hmm, I wonder it was a tiny joke on Balanchine's part, considering the similarity of the terms......

#49 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 08 January 2011 - 05:39 PM

No joke involved; polacca is Italian for polonaise (Fr).

#50 iwatchthecorps

iwatchthecorps

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 82 posts

Posted 09 January 2011 - 09:05 AM

This came through on one of my feeds today:

Dreamweaver: Allegra Kent guides Miami City Ballet through La Sonnambula

#51 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 09 January 2011 - 10:49 AM

Thanks, iwatchthecorps, for this wonderful insider's view into the coaching process. Kent's visit probably dates back to early 2005.

My favorite bit:

Coaching by illustration, I stopped the first rehearsal to demonstrate one of the critical sections. When the Sleepwalker first enters, she moves on pointe in an ever quickening pace, finishing the phrase in a diagonal run forward, looking as if she might step over the boundaries of the stage itself. The audience gasps. Over 40 years ago in Moscow, Mr. B had taken the candle from me to demonstrate this section by running towards the brink of the vast stage of the Kremlin’s New Congress Theater. While flying forward, he called out “Step over the footlights,” and did so himself. For one second, I thought Mr. B was going to die, but he didn’t—instead he gave the candle back to me. Balanchine possessed the brakes of a Rolls Royce.

While tracing the same trajectory for Jennifer and my other new Sleepwalkers, I stopped just short of crashing into the studio’s mirror. I wanted to startle the dancers. Balanchine loved to create the look of choreographic danger, synchronized with the end of a musical phrase for an intense emotional impact. His heroines often ignite our anxiety—think of the girl in “The Unanswered Question” from Ivesiana who falls from a great height; she is a sister of the Sleepwalker.



#52 Alymer

Alymer

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 338 posts

Posted 09 January 2011 - 11:58 AM

When the Cuevas company danced Night Shadow the Hoop Dance was at some point a solo variation danced by Rene Bon, a virtuoso french dancer who also appeared with Massine's company, and with Janine Charrat. I don't know whether the variation was made specifically for Bon, who was by all accounts a remarkable technician.

#53 Quiggin

Quiggin

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 834 posts

Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:33 PM

The City Ballet production I saw with Nicolaj Hubbe a few years ago looked a little cleaner and overall better balanced than the Baryshnikov - Ferri version on tape. "Night Shadow" / "Sonnambula" seems very much of Balanchine's 1940's Ballet Russes period, and there's a bit of something of the "Cotillon" - "Le Valse" line to it, as Edwin Denby suggests with his "the vapid walzes" and Edgar Allen Poe references. "Sonnambula" opens almost like an Anthony Tudor ballet, or a slight parody of one.

The Suzanne Farrell Ballet version I saw in Berkeley fairly recently was very stripped down and showed off the structures of the ballet very effectively - especially when the poet passes, backwards, his rounded empty arms over the length of the sleepwalker's body. The part seemed to have an affinity to the blind poet in "Serenade."

The Harlequins that Degas painted at the old Paris Opera were also played by women - so there might be a tradition of that. In the new book "Picasso Harlequin" there is a discussion of the trickster quality of the Harlequin and its origins in Mercury or Hermes, "constantly changing, constantly on the move: Harlequin is diversity personified". Picasso was always changing (as was Balanchine - and Stravinsky) and Harlequin appears in Picasso's paintings, according to Yve-Alain Bois, "whenever Picasso felt inclined to play with several distinct styles at once."

[corrected]

#54 Jack Reed

Jack Reed

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,511 posts

Posted 09 January 2011 - 09:57 PM

From that October 2005 issue of Dance Magazine, there's a companion essay to Kent's, from Jennifer Kronenberg's point of view:

http://www.dancemaga...Coaching-Season

Here are some highlights:

... I wrote down most of what she said. But I learned more, not by listening to her, but by watching her actually become the Sleepwalker while she was trying to explain herself. When she showed the runs en pointe, she nearly ran herself right into the wall to emphasize the kind of momentum that Balanchine had wanted her to have...


Here are some things she discussed:

-The beginning walks coming out of the tower should be very upright and have a sense of urgency. They should not turn into bourrées, but into runs en pointe, and the audience should think you might run right off the end of the stage.
...

-You are asleep, but very aware, and you should portray a sense of yearning to the audience.

...

-The audience must believe that you know what is happening, even though you are asleep. This could be your dream.

-If the pas de deux was the dream, the Poet’s death is your nightmare.

...

-Walk a very big circle, knowing what you are about to find, searching for the Poet.

-When your foot touches his body, let your terror register to the audience.

...




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):