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Bolshoi's Corsaire...and where's "Ali"...?Is he gone for good...?


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#1 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:40 PM

I was recently watching this clip of Osipova and Vasiliev in the Bolshoi's Corsaire, and was very surprised to notice that the role of the slave-(or Ali during Soviet times)-is gone, at least from this particular clip. Does anybody knows if they suppressed it all together..? I know that this secondary role in the Pas de Trois was very enhanced by Chabukiani, even gaining a name, and eventually took over the whole Pas, suppressing Conrad thanks to Nureyev and his contemporaries, but now that companies like ABT are back to the original trio scheme, I find surprising that he's completely gone, and the variation is danced instead by Conrad-(for what I know, Gerdt was too old to carry it on...right...?).
Can someone shred some light on the subject...?

Thanks in advance!



#2 Penelope

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 11:40 AM

As in this scenario, do you mean?



#3 Amy

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 06:06 AM

I was recently watching this clip of Osipova and Vasiliev in the Bolshoi's Corsaire, and was very surprised to notice that the role of the slave-(or Ali during Soviet times)-is gone, at least from this particular clip. Does anybody knows if they suppressed it all together..? I know that this secondary role in the Pas de Trois was very enhanced by Chabukiani, even gaining a name, and eventually took over the whole Pas, suppressing Conrad thanks to Nureyev and his contemporaries, but now that companies like ABT are back to the original trio scheme, I find surprising that he's completely gone, and the variation is danced instead by Conrad-(for what I know, Gerdt was too old to carry it on...right...?).
Can someone shred some light on the subject...?

Thanks in advance!

Yes my dear, Ali the slave is gone altogether from the Bolshoi production because he wasn't in the original version of Le Corsaire by Joseph Mazilier or in any of Petipa's revivals - he's just another Soviet-era addition and if I'm honest, one I don't particularly like because I find his presence in the full-length ballet very annoying, very distracting and altogether downright unnecessary!

 

Also, the so-called Le Corsaire Pas de deux was not created by Petipa either; it was created by Pavel Gerdt's son-in-law, Samuil Andrianov in 1914 when he staged his own revival of Le Corsaire.

 

The original Grand Pas for Act 1, scene 2 was actually the Grand Pas des eventails, which is set to Adolphe Adam's original music and it's a dance for Medora and 16 coryphees. Andrianov replaced the Grand Pas des eventails with a pas d'action set to pieces of music taken from various other works by Petipa - none of the music in that pas de deux is either by Adam or from the full length Le Corsaire score; it's actually by Riccardo Drigo and Baron Boris Fitinhoff-Schell.

 

Andrianov choreographed the pas for three dancers and it was first danced by Andrianov himself, the great Tamara Karsavina and Mikhail Obukhov, who served as an additional cavalier. The version of the so-called Le Corsaire Pas de deux that we all know today was choreographed by Agrippina Vaganova, who transformed Andrianov's original pas d'action into a classical pas de deux for her star pupil, Natalia Dudinskaya when Dudinskaya graduated from the Vaganova Academy in 1931. And then sometime afterwards, it was Vakhtang Chabukiani who created and choreographed the role of Ali the slave.

 

Interestingly, the role of Conrad was originally a purely mimed role, but by the 1870s, he had ceased to being a mimed role and the great Enrico Cecchetti famously danced up a storm in the role in 1887. Now because Pavel Gerdt was 55 years old when he played Conrad in Petipa's final revival in 1899, he performed the dramatic aspects of the character and they brought in a younger dancer to perform all the dance passages for Conrad.



#4 Andfos

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 02:36 AM

Thanks for this excellent information. You might like to know that the critic Pleshcheev was watching this Karsavina/Andrianov performance on 15/1/1915, and he wrote: "There was much that was excellent about her [Karsavina], particularly in the pas d'action, which the ballerina danced with Mr. Andrianov, creator of this dance, and Mr. Obukhov, but everything bore the nature of flashes of brilliance alternating with shortcomings. The ballet had a new Conrad - Mr. Andrianov - and did not gain from this. Mr. Andrianov has not yet mastered the role."

 

The Obukhov on the programme would have been Anatoli rather than Mikhail, who had died back in September 1914.



#5 Amy

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 12:57 PM

Ah thank you very much, I'm always interested to read reviews of the first performances of certain ballets and revivals. :)




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