It just dawned on me...it's time to celebrate the 12th year of the current Golden Era of ballet! Just think of how many Petipa-era ballets have been reconstructed or 'recovered' in various ways in only the last 12 years. Until about 1999 -- the year of the Mariinsky/Vikharev's Sleeping Beauty and the Bolshoi/Lacotte's Pharaoh's Daughter -- the closest that any of us could get to seeing something similar to what the Romanov court saw while Petipa was alive were Soviet or Royal Ballet reworkings, i.e., ca-1946 ballets.
In, say, 1997 or 1998, did ANY of you ever dream that you would one day be seeing all of the following Petipa Era ballets, let alone having DVDs of some or all of these ballets in your video libraries?
This is a great post--and so true. I can remember as a kid obsessed first with the Tchaikovsky ballets, and then the Petipa ones in general, I never thought we'd see anything close to these reconstructions. It just seemed to not interest any of the companies that had the resources to attempt it. I used to continuously have the Wiley Tchaikovsky's Ballets book out from the library, just trying to imagine from the notation descriptions what the ballets were like. I have to say while there's a lot to celebrate, I am still really disappointed that the Mariinsky reconstructions (particularly Sleeping Beauty--with the exception of Act III and some clips) were never professionally filmed, and I hope the ballet returns to the repertoire and is filmed at some point.
I think in a way, it was time for these extravagant original productions to come back--audiences seem to want to see these kinds of ballets more now than they have for a while--although I naively would have never thought about all of the political issues and concerns these reconstructions would bring up, particularly with people prefering more modern interpretations, though I think I understand the sentiment now (even if from my outside perspective, I can't agree).
It's great to see your list--a number of these ballets (like an attempt at a reconstructed Don Quixtoe), I didn't even know about, although I know the Mariinsky and Bolshoi Don Quixote's seem to be pretty faithful to the early 1900's Gorky revision, and as mentioned, Giselle also seems to exist in a fairly close to the Petipa version.
I am really surprised that we've gotten a non Russian company's recreation of Raymonda, before we've had any similar version of Swan Lake anywhere. But I suppose nearly every company already has a production fo Swan lake in their repertoire--it feels like it must be just a matter of time, though... I'd also love to, obviously see a recreation of Nutcracker but that's obviously more problematic. The original production wasn't a success, and it seems like a lot of the Act I elements in particular aren't very well notated--and some elements like the "Beehive" apotheosis would probably be seen to confuse the family audience that Nutcracker attracts in most countries. Still, I admit I'd be ost curious to see it (back when I was first obsessing about thse ballets, Nutcracker was the one that was the hardest to find information on the original production of). We do have a number of important numbers, more or less--thanks to the 80s Royal Ballet the Snow scene, more or less, and in various other productions the Pas de Deux and trepak. It's a topic for another thread, but for whatever issues people have with Nucracker, I do think that all modern reinterpretations have proven that following the original, perhaps simplistic story ultimately works the best.
As for other ballets--while I would be curious to hear about oddities like the Petipa/Cecchetti Cinderella (does the music even exist, let alone the choreography?), the two that immediately spring to mind, are Glazunov's two one act ballets from 1900--Ruses d'Amour (aka Lady Soubrette) and The Seasons. I have no clue if either was notated--Ruses d'Amour in particular seems obscure, I had to find a random Soviet recording to finally hear it (it's gorgeous, as one would expect from Glazunov music). The Seasons has lived on much longer, but more as a piece of music it seems. I used to always think if these did exist in some way, they'd make a nice night long of three short ballets for the Mariinsky along with The Awakening of Flora.