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Nutcracker's "Gigue"

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#1 EricHG31


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Posted 23 December 2011 - 12:59 PM

I did a search and didn't see this come up in other threads--my apologies if it has.

In the John Lanchberry Tchaikovsky ballet recordings (which hold a special place for me because I got them on vinyl when I was 6 years old and still have their DuMaurier sponsored red sleeves), there is an added number for Nutcracker in the Act II Divertissement--a Gigue (danse Anglais). I've NEVER seen reference to this number--in Wiley's books on the ballets, in performance, or in Petipa's notes to Tchaikovsky. Does anyone know the source? And if not, were British jigs popular national dances in Russian courts back then?

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 02:43 PM

In the sketching stage of Petipa's choreographic script, he apparently had wanted an act I divertissement of national dances different from the demi-caractere pieces used in Act II. The male variation in the grand pas de deux is a rather wheezy tarantella taken from this failed sequence. I believe that the Gigue was another piece. Incidentally, the dances were to end with a cancan. It would be interesting to hear what Tchaikovsky did with THAT idea!

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