Ballet encores vs opera encores?An aria encore within an opera
Posted 29 January 2012 - 06:05 PM
Have we ever seen this in a ballet performance? A dancer perhaps repeating a variation or a pas de deux because the audience demanded it? I could see Nureyev maybe doing it. Has it ever happened at one of the large companies?
Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:20 PM
I saw a YouTube video of Osipova encoring her 32 fouettes so it apparently happens in ballet too, but I suspect it is rare also. During an actual opera or ballet it is really an ensemble effort and not The Juan Diego Florez Show, for example. So it could be interpreted as a slap in the face to the other performers to hog the limelight, and that is why I suspect this sort of thing rarely happens today no matter how much the audience would love it! LOL Please, someone correct me if I am wrong about this concerning ballet!
Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:27 AM
Posted 30 January 2012 - 04:29 AM
Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:24 AM
Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:19 AM
That may be true now, although in 40 years of per-going I've never seen one, and the rare ones involving opera stars are widely publicized, which wouldn't happen if they weren't an exception -- maybe because of union time -- but it doesn't seem to be the case in 1960's Moscow:
From Edward Villella's "Prodigal Son" (pp.118-9):
The place was pandemonium. Instead of dying down, the applause and the shouting grew louder and louder...Cries for "Encore" increased in number and volume. The entire theater was going crazy. An encore had never been danced before in the history of the New York City Ballet, there was no precedent for it, and I didn't know what to do. I kept going back and forth into the wing, and then back onstage, bowing and bowing. The stomping and applause refused to die down. In all, I had gone out for something like twenty-two curtain calls.
Next, Hugo Fiorato, the conductor, made a gesture to the musicians in the pit, and they all turned back their sheet music. He signaled for me to start dancing. The audience was still in a frenzy. I figured that if I didn't dance, I'd be bowing all night. There didn't seem to be anything else to do, so I repeated the variation. After the performance I was somewhat stunned, and incredibly elated, but deep down I was worried about Balanchine's reaction. I was afraid he wasn't goin to like it, but he didn't say a word. After a while, however, I knew something was wrong. Days went by, and it became clear. Balanchine was ignoring me. It was obviously because of the encore, but wasn't sure of what to do about it. I did nothing; I tried to cope with the conditions we were faced with in Russia: we were performing during the height of the Cuban missile crisis.
Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:30 AM
From Edward Villella's "Prodigal Son" (pp.118-9):
I wonder if there is any record of Fiorato's recollection of that episode or of Balanchine's treatment of Fiorato later. Were there any interviews of him or perhaps a book about his career? It sounds as if Fiorato initiated the encore. And it's so unfortunate that Balanchine (apparently) did not give Villella some guidance during all those curtain calls. . . to wait it out or start the next section anyway or...
Posted 30 January 2012 - 06:38 PM
Stepanenko was asked to repeat her fouettés in a performance of Don Q at the Bolshoi. So, instead of the male pirouettes à la seconde, we had Mme Stepanenko do another set. I think this may have been at a gala for her, so there may have been extenuating circumstances.
There was a youtube video of it, but it seems to have been pulled.
Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:45 PM
Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:17 PM
Nina A did the same thing at Avery Fisher Hall earlier this year.
Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:13 AM
Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:11 PM
Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:29 AM
(a critic is quoted, page 65 of 'Dancing in Petersburg') "In the third tableau of the same act Mlle. Kschessinska II danced, in incomparable fashion, the delicate variation sur les pointes to the sounds of the harp. At the public's request she had to give an encore of this number."
And on the same page: "After this I took part in the third act of Bluebeard, in which my father and I danced Konsky's mazurka. This dance was so succesful that we had to repeat it."
On page 66, a critic is quoted again: "The talented ballerina moved the whole audience to transports of excitement. There were ceaseless cries of 'Bis' and applause."
And on page 68, again quoting a critic: "Mlle. Kschessinska II scored her customary remarkable success in The Sleeping Beauty. She danced her variations with lightness and her own particular brilliance and polish: in spite of the audience's demands, for instance in the last act, she did not dance an encore."
It seems to have been customary at the end of the 1800's to demand and (sometimes) get encores from dancers.
Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:50 AM
Anyway, I know more about opera, but I suspect that ballet has followed along the same lines. It was probably common and normal to do encores in the 19th century and before that. The late 19th and early 20th century became very prim and proper about show boating and wanted to have a religious view of the composer's works (not to be touched or not for anyone to take attention away). It became the norm to view encores as disrespectful toward the composer's music, drama, and even to the fellow performers. But things are swinging back toward the actual performers, and I suspect we might see more and more encores. Personally, I hope so. When someone is extraordinary, the audience should demand it!
Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:58 AM
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