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Raymonda-1898 - premiere reports


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#91 magpie74

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:25 AM

So 12 hours to go till the TV/Web showing?? I have the afternoon off but will probably miss the first 40 minutes or so...


As I think I'll miss the beginning of the performance too (I've started taking evening classes of Russian!) I checked Rai 5 website and saw that they usually leave the programmes they have broadcasted to be seen for a week or so after showing it. So for those who cannot see it in streaming you can try with the 'on demand' button which redirects to previous shows. Mind you, I'm not 100% sure they will make THIS specific show available for later viewing, this is just what they usually do.

By the way, I saw it live two days ago, and I'm still amazed!
I'm not an expert so I can't make a technical comment. I can only say that it was so sumptuous, lavish...marvellous! I really appreciated it, and if it is really reminescent of what the real thing used to be,I must say I felt the grandeur of the whole production.

After seeing this performance I must say I don't agree with those who criticized this production (there was a very bad review in the Corriere della Sera) and as Italian ballet lover I'm really gladand proud La Scala put on such an interesting, unique, and 'relevant' production. Also the pantoimime parts which I usually don't like...well this time I fully appreciated them. I can't explain why, but to me they seemed perfectly appropriate, they fitted in perfectly, so they seemed believable and I truly appreciated them in the framework of a story that was being beautifully told.

The only thing is...for a series of coincidences a few days before I had seen the Mariinsky in La Bayadere which was performing in Turin.
I know the two are not comparable in any way, still after seeing Lopatkina a few days before I must say Novikova seemed to me very, very cold...aloof and not as magnetic as Lopatkina was for me. Of course this is just a personal and very subjective opinion.

I'm sorry if this sort of 'review' is very amateur...but that's what I am, just a ballet lover!

#92 puppytreats

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:28 AM

Anyone would be grateful to have Natalia as an office manager. Her skills are unmatched.

#93 Natalia

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:38 AM

Thanks for the review, magpie! Not 'amateurish' at all. :)

Puppytreats, don't get too excited. Alas, some of us have just discovered that the livestream might be "geoblocked" -- that is, countries outside Europe (or even outside Italy?) -- would not be able to access it. If this is the case with you & others, I've already offered my sincere apologies this another thread:

http://balletalert.i...nline-telecast/

:flowers:

#94 Birdsall

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 04:53 AM

- The settings are in the realistic, richly-accentuated academic style.....which leads me to my one little disappointment of the night: the Apotheosis.

We all remember the amazing tableau-vivant Apotheosis of Sleeping Beauty-1890, right? The Tsar must have run out of money just before Petipa created the Raymonda Apotheosis. After the Gnd Pas Classique Hongrois, a red velvet back curtain comes down behind the ensemble dancing the Galop. Then comes the Apotheosis music....little red velvet curtain up....to display 12 pot-bellied guys in lilac holding brass instruments, standing in front of a huge flat painting depicting a jousting tourament. The pot-bellied band plays the final chords from the stage as Raymonda and Jean strike a pose in front of them and the ensemble lifts arms. OK...I will live with it but...was this really Petipa's grand finale or just a quick fixer-upper???

DESPITE the Apothesis, I must shout "BRAVI!" to La Scala, to Novikova and, especially, to Sergei Vikarev and Pavel Gerzhenson for their incredible work in bringing this artistic gem - this glorious ballet of 1898 - back to life as it deserves to be seen!



I'm glad you mentioned this about the apotheosis! I was disappointed also. I think this reconstruction (sets and narrative) is the best so far to make the story make sense, but I like the apotheosis at the Mariinsky where Raymonda and Jean de Brienne ride off on fake horses, although I suspect many find that corny or hammy. Somehow it matches the music for me as a beautiful and grand moment to end the opera. I even like the Paris Opera Ballet's way of just having Raymonda and Jean de Brienne pose in front of a banquet table while the corps do a weaving in and out of each other, if I remember correctly. Somehow having that red curtain fall built up my expectations for something really special, and then it lifted for a painting of a tournament. Seemed strange and sort of an anti-climax, but overall, I do prefer this particular production so far the best.

#95 Natalia

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:12 AM

As reported on our Feb 5, 2012, "Links" thread (a UK news article), La Scala soloist Maria Francesca Garritano was fired over the weekend for comments that she made about dancers with anorexia. Italian newspapers are painting a more complete story, including Garritano's criticisms of the the expenses and staging of this Petipa-Vikharev Raymonda (despite her being cast as Henriette in the premiere/telecast crew and in the title role with another crew).


One of many articles in Italian, just shown as a source: http://www3.lastampa...lo/lstp/441233/



#96 chiapuris

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:22 AM

La Scala soloist Maria Francesca Garritano was fired over the weekend for comments that she made about dancers with anorexia.


One of many articles in Italian, just shown as a source: http://www3.lastampa...lo/lstp/441233/


i read about it in Tom Kington's Guardian article "Italian ballerina sacked in anorexia row" (4 Feb 2012)

#97 esperanto

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:59 AM

This is a wonderful reconstruction...or restoration of Raymonda. After having seen this production and reading the synopsis of Raymonda all the other productions suddenly make sense. This clears up exactly what's going on. Now go back to the Bolshoi one. Now you'll understand who and what the White Lady is. she's not the vigin Mary as one might think in the Bolshoi. Bessmertnova kneels and prays to her so what is one to think? The POB makes it a bit clearer, but the La Scala beats them all.

#98 esperanto

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:59 AM

This is a wonderful reconstruction...or restoration of Raymonda. After having seen this production and reading the synopsis of Raymonda all the other productions suddenly make sense. This clears up exactly what's going on. Now go back to the Bolshoi one. Now you'll understand who and what the White Lady is. she's not the vigin Mary as one might think in the Bolshoi. Bessmertnova kneels and prays to her so what is one to think? The POB makes it a bit clearer, but the La Scala beats them all.

#99 GeorgeB fan

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:06 PM

Re the SLAPS

In 1890, Petipa's "Raymonda" was a princess, not "the people's princess" -- she did NOT do a double pirouette in the Hungarian variation. Pontois is amping it up.

It's pretty clear that Petipa wanted his heroines to "display their coquetterie." it's a phrase he uses over and over. The style of Pontois is much coarser than that -- she is not gracious at all; she's commanding, impressive, sexy, challenging, borderline dominatrix -- very Nureyev. it puts me in mind of Rudi's thigh-high crocodile boots. It's wonderful in its way -- the technique is of course mighty fine. But.............


I think the Marinsky's Uliana Lopatkina perfectly demonstrate that "coquetterie" quailty that Petipa may have wanted for that variation. Her hands barely touches each other when she claps them together. She's very soft, very serene. Very much the ideal Princess. Very much the way Novikova performed it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGozuBOdunw

The first time I saw Sylvie Guillem danced Nureyev's version I didn't care for it. I thought the choreography was too harsh, not very stylish and that Guillem was selling it too hard. Then I saw the Bolshoi's Maria Alexandrova perform the choreography and suddenly it was marvelous. She was still commanding, still impressive but suddenly you didn't see the dominatrix...you didn't see the hard sell. Instead we witness an aristocratic queen of imperial nobility, self-assurred and self-confident in her station in life. She didn't have to sell anything. She's just IS. I guess this is a perfect example of dancer's own personal interpretation of a variation. Some leaves one dry while others open up doors you never thought possible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnz-M9kgVw0

Like Lopatkina, I also noticed that when Alexandrova claps her hands it's done very silently - except at the very beginning and towards the final end - and when they do they time their claps very carefully. They don't do it merely for the sake of doing it. If you look at Guillem or Pontois they seem to be clapping all the time and with greater strength. They don't seem to time their clapping with the music as the Russian ladies do. But I've always thought - and I could be wrong - that the Russian ballerinas seem to have a better understanding of this great variation then almost any other ballerina in the world.

#100 Birdsall

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:01 PM

I don't disagree with anything you say. LOVE Lopatkina as Raymonda.

But I think I have read on this forum or maybe it was in the Dancer's Dream documentary of the Nureyev Raymonda......apparently, in Russia it is a big no-no to do loud claps on the stage. Nureyev did not agree with that approach and wanted to hear the claps. He wanted it strong and forceful. I tend to think both approaches can work. I think that final variation of Raymonda's is Raymonda acting a role, doing a Hungarian dance. So she is having fun, and she also finally has her man and is happy in life, so she's showing off. But overall, I agree with what you're saying after reading your comments.

#101 esperanto

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:55 AM

Lopatkina is very graceful and glides so beautifully. Alexandrova is very imperious during her variation, even when taking her bow. although she does smile for a moment. I love Alexandrova, have done so ever seen seeing her as the slave in Pharoah's Daughter. Where is her Raymonda available?
I ust admit I miss the loud slap. Perhaps I got used to it after having seen Balanchine's Grand Pas de Dix from Raymonda.

#102 Mashinka

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:25 AM

A great pity there is no film record of Fonteyn as Raymonda, no dancer I've ever seen has got within spitting distance of her in the role. Serene and regal, her radiant presence lit up the stage and yes, she did perform the dramatic handclap. The role was gifted to her late in her career and its therefore all the more remarkable that she became the definitive interpreter.

#103 leonid17

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:27 AM

Dame Margot was tender, regal, glamourous and glittering.

Oh, I almost forgot to say she was unforgettable.

The tragedy of Dame Margot like many other significant dancers, was that the film camera did not quite love her like it did lesser mortals.


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