fandango

POB 2012-2013 Season

73 posts in this topic

I saw that chart as well, but my French is nonexistent so I had no idea what it meant. What is a defile?

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A defilé is a formal procession of ballet students and/or dancers, from the youngest grades through the ranks of the company. Here is a YouTube video of one of Paris Opera Ballet's:

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ooooh, what I would give to see Gillot as Le Courtesane in Le Fils Prodigue!

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I have a question for our French posters about the upcoming defile. I saw the defile order at Dansomanie and I noticed that several etoiles were missing from the list. What are the circumstances under which an etoile doesn't participate in the defile? Injury? Leave-of-absence?? Not telling Madame Lefevre she's "the fairest of them all" enough???

Rules are quite clear and are those you have stated. As for the Etoiles, Isabelle Ciaravola and Mathias Heymann are on sick leave, Dorothée Gilbert has a leave of absence.

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A defilé is a formal procession of ballet students and/or dancers, from the youngest grades through the ranks of the company. Here is a YouTube video of one of Paris Opera Ballet's:

I can watch that video endlessly. (Kudos to the person(s) who filmed it.) Favorite moment: Nicolas Le Riche taking his bow and then the entire company flooding the stage.

I have a question for our French posters about the upcoming defile. I saw the defile order at Dansomanie and I noticed that several etoiles were missing from the list. What are the circumstances under which an etoile doesn't participate in the defile? Injury? Leave-of-absence?? Not telling Madame Lefevre she's "the fairest of them all" enough???

Rules are quite clear and are those you have stated. As for the Etoiles, Isabelle Ciaravola and Mathias Heymann are on sick leave, Dorothée Gilbert has a leave of absence.

Ah-ha! So there is a rule requiring etoiles to tell Madame Lefevre that she is "the fairest of them all"! ("Magic mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?") wink1.gif

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Now I feel a dunce for not grasping this concept before it was shown to me. Is it typically done before a performance of an actual ballet?

ETA: Yes, yes, Gillot as Courtesan! I have no doubt she is one of the best.

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Yes, it's done to open the season and for occasionally for other special performances like a farewell (but not all farewells).

The word défilé translates to something like parade. A fashion show is also called a défilé.

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I would love to hear reports on the Balanchine performances happening at this time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the POB is filming "Serenade" (and perhaps the entire program). It would be about time(!) to have a performance of "Serenade" available on DVD.

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Serenade is not being filmed. The ballets being filmed this season are Don Quixote, Troisieme Symphonie de Gustav Mahler and La Sylphide.

As for Soiree Balanchine, it's the same problem I always have with POB dancing Balanchine - they just don't understand Balanchinian movement. It's too academically correct and the energy and spirit aren't there.

Agon I think is the best. The dancers' personalities really come through and there is some edge. Ganio was terrific, and Dupon/Le Riche in the Pd2. I would love to see Pagliero in the Pd2 because to me she is more suited for Agon than Serenade but I wasn't able to get tickets for that.

Serenade needs work. I was completely unmoved by the ending, which is a first. Almost like the dancers weren't really listening to the music. They were listening to the counts but not to what Tschaikovsky was trying to say through the music.

All I can say about Prodigal Son is that the Sirens (Letestu, Gillot) are considerably better than the Sons (Belingard, Thibault).

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They're filming Sylphide? Isn't there a 2004 DVD with Dupont?

Yes, Dupont and Ganio.

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They're filming Sylphide? Isn't there a 2004 DVD with Dupont?

Yes, it was taped live at the Paris Opera in 2004, but just released last year. Their La Sylphide is credited "choreography by Pierre Lacotte after Filippo Taglioni." It's a fascinating contrast with the more familiar Bournonville version. Principals are Aurelie Dupont and Mathieu Ganio.

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Serenade is not being filmed. The ballets being filmed this season are Don Quixote, Troisieme Symphonie de Gustav Mahler and La Sylphide.

As for Soiree Balanchine, it's the same problem I always have with POB dancing Balanchine - they just don't understand Balanchinian movement. It's too academically correct and the energy and spirit aren't there.

Agon I think is the best. The dancers' personalities really come through and there is some edge. Ganio was terrific, and Dupon/Le Riche in the Pd2. I would love to see Pagliero in the Pd2 because to me she is more suited for Agon than Serenade but I wasn't able to get tickets for that.

Serenade needs work. I was completely unmoved by the ending, which is a first. Almost like the dancers weren't really listening to the music. They were listening to the counts but not to what Tschaikovsky was trying to say through the music.

All I can say about Prodigal Son is that the Sirens (Letestu, Gillot) are considerably better than the Sons (Belingard, Thibault).

Thank you for this information. Again, no Serenade on DVD. I can't say this surprises me the way things have been going with Balanchine's works. But why another La Sylphide, instead? (A rhetorical question.)

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A practical assumption : perhaps, if you have to call to a larger audience in cinemas, full length ballets are more appealing. As it has already been discussed, it doesn’t look like the broadcasts are systematically to become a DVD.

In any case, there are only 5 full length ballets this season, the others not filmed are Kaguyahime and Signes (this one is already on DVD, the other has a DVD by Nederlands Dans Theater).

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Perhaps also because they are quite a lot to be close to retirement age, they prefer to concentrate on short works instead of full length classical ballets…

I hadn't thought of that.

As to casting, there are a lot of retirements coming up, especially amongst the ladies -- Osta this season, and Ciaravola, Letestu and even Dupont in the next couple of years. It would behoove the company to start casting younger dancers now, rather than later, when they actually have to carry the company -- such as what is happening now with Héloïse Bourdon, who is debuting in La Bayadère next week.

Presumably we'll see a lot of Don Q debuts. 26 performances is a very long run!

Talking about Aurelie Dupont in the new season, she is cast to dance Sasha Walsh's Romeo and Juliet in May, with her beau Jeremie Belingard in May. That should be very interesting, most certainly will have chemistry in it. It would be great if it was filmed for realise on DVD.

I think that Jeremie was mentioned as a possible replacement for Herve Moreau if he was not fit enough to perform. However, it was Herve was able to dance in the run and can be seen in the feature on Balletoman.com with a dowenload and view facility on the internet.

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...As for Soiree Balanchine, it's the same problem I always have with POB dancing Balanchine - they just don't understand Balanchinian movement. It's too academically correct and the energy and spirit aren't there.

Serenade needs work. I was completely unmoved by the ending, which is a first. Almost like the dancers weren't really listening to the music. They were listening to the counts but not to what Tschaikovsky was trying to say through the music.

Sorry to hear that the performance wasn't a particularly good one. I imagine different nights/casts did better than others. I can think of quite a few companies that could do with a little of the "academically correct" though. Balanchine performed without precision can be a fright. I happened to dig up the NYCB's "Bringing Balanchine Back" DVD to catch some glimpses of Serenade and that segment (with Darci Kistler) fairs pretty well, but Symphony in C, Symphony in 3 Movements and Western Symphony look all a muddle due to the Corps lack of precision. Energy and speed are there, but no precision. I laugh every time I hear the comments from the Russian dancers about NYCB: "The legs very good. The arms not so good." "Not so good" is putting it mildly - arms at every angle. And different degrees of curvature/straightness. No one seems to realize how much this blurs the choreography and renders it indistinct. Not so good. ;)

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Ask and you shall receive!

The video was great to see, btw. The only problem is that it's all about Mathilde Froustey, and keeps fading out when the ensemble is left alone on the stage. As if those are the boring parts!

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Sorry to hear that the performance wasn't a particularly good one. I imagine different nights/casts did better than others. I can think of quite a few companies that could do with a little of the "academically correct" though.

I believe if you don't like POB style, the different casts all looks the same in Serenade.

POB dances Balanchine in its own way and you may like it or not. I think personally it's the way it should be when you "import" a choreography in a with a strong stylistic tradition.

I also think Agon fared better because the personality of the dancers gave a very interesting turn sometimes to the pas de deux, especially Aurélie Dupont/Nicolas Le Riche and Eve Grinsztajn/Stéphane Bullion.

Prodigal son was all Agnès Letestu...

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...As for Soiree Balanchine, it's the same problem I always have with POB dancing Balanchine - they just don't understand Balanchinian movement. It's too academically correct and the energy and spirit aren't there.

Serenade needs work. I was completely unmoved by the ending, which is a first. Almost like the dancers weren't really listening to the music. They were listening to the counts but not to what Tschaikovsky was trying to say through the music.

Sorry to hear that the performance wasn't a particularly good one. I imagine different nights/casts did better than others. I can think of quite a few companies that could do with a little of the "academically correct" though. Balanchine performed without precision can be a fright. I happened to dig up the NYCB's "Bringing Balanchine Back" DVD to catch some glimpses of Serenade and that segment (with Darci Kistler) fairs pretty well, but Symphony in C, Symphony in 3 Movements and Western Symphony look all a muddle due to the Corps lack of precision. Energy and speed are there, but no precision. I laugh every time I hear the comments from the Russian dancers about NYCB: "The legs very good. The arms not so good." "Not so good" is putting it mildly - arms at every angle. And different degrees of curvature/straightness. No one seems to realize how much this blurs the choreography and renders it indistinct. Not so good. ;)

Pherank - While most people would agree with you that the NYCB "lacks precision" and that their arms are "not so good", I would point out that his ballets are danced the way Mr. Balanchine liked them danced. He was very particular about port de bras in class, hands, and - particularly - fingers, but he was not interested in everyone looking the same - having their arms at the same levels and getting into strict lines. He called it "synchronized dancing" - like the Rockettes, whom he admired for what they did so well. But he was not interested in having his ballets approached that way. He wanted each dancer to dance as big as they could and if the lines weren't perfect, so be it. Same with the arms. Most ballet goers don't agree with him. But they also don't agree with many of the changes he made to his own ballets - like eliminating the birth scene from Apollo. To him the birth was old-fashioned and almost vulgar. He much preferred the condensed, more abstract version he did in the 70's. I myself very much like the Paris Opera approach to Diamonds. With all the beautiful feet and legs shown so well in perfect lines. To me it's more clear than how it's presented over there in NY. But I would never argue with Balanchine's right to present those works however he saw fit.

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Pherank - While most people would agree with you that the NYCB "lacks precision" and that their arms are "not so good", I would point out that his ballets are danced the way Mr. Balanchine liked them danced. He was very particular about port de bras in class, hands, and - particularly - fingers, but he was not interested in everyone looking the same - having their arms at the same levels and getting into strict lines. He called it "synchronized dancing" - like the Rockettes, whom he admired for what they did so well. But he was not interested in having his ballets approached that way. He wanted each dancer to dance as big as they could and if the lines weren't perfect, so be it. Same with the arms. Most ballet goers don't agree with him. But they also don't agree with many of the changes he made to his own ballets - like eliminating the birth scene from Apollo. To him the birth was old-fashioned and almost vulgar. He much preferred the condensed, more abstract version he did in the 70's. I myself very much like the Paris Opera approach to Diamonds. With all the beautiful feet and legs shown so well in perfect lines. To me it's more clear than how it's presented over there in NY. But I would never argue with Balanchine's right to present those works however he saw fit.

Hi Rock, I'm actually in agreement with you on most of your points. But I do think that the NYCB Corps, of say, the 1960s and 70s, had a more precise line than we see today. The impression I get looking at the more recent performances is that everyone is kind of 'doing there own thing' within the framework set down by Balanchine, but there's very little sense of the Corps operating as a truly unified whole, which we still get from the Mariinsky and POB Corps. A bit ironic given that Balanchine placed so much importance on ensemble dancing, rather than 'star turns'. Without Balanchine (Danilova, Felia Doubrovska, etc) overseeing the school, things are going to take a different tack of course.

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I believe if you don't like POB style, the different casts all looks the same in Serenade.

POB dances Balanchine in its own way and you may like it or not. I think personally it's the way it should be when you "import" a choreography in a with a strong stylistic tradition.

I also think Agon fared better because the personality of the dancers gave a very interesting turn sometimes to the pas de deux, especially Aurélie Dupont/Nicolas Le Riche and Eve Grinsztajn/Stéphane Bullion.

Prodigal son was all Agnès Letestu...

Sounds great to me. ;)

The POB are always respectful of the source material, and dance techniques, and even if they can't really transform themselves into graduates of the School of American Ballet, they do try very hard to get things right. I think they deserve credit for that. I still wish I could have seen it.

And as a contrast - I've posted this link elsewhere, but it happens to contain a lovely 'demonstration' of the closing scene of Serenade (and since we don't get to see it in the Froustey video):

http://www.kennedy-c...id=M4781&type=A

(Skip to 29:30 in the video timeline. Note that there are long blackouts between scenes - that is not a technical problem.)

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Not at all. In the 60's and 70's the State Theatre's stage only had little marks at the front of the stage at Center and Quarter on both sides. They now have 8th marks as well as tiny dots that go all the way upstage. They are far more concerned with lines and spacing than formerly, and while it looks nice and organized there is of course less of the thrust and energy they used to have. You can't have both. Dancers can't move full out if they have to stay precisely in line. It makes them much more careful and more concentrated on following who's in front of them than on what they're actually doing themselves. Balanchine preferred the thrust and energy.

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Danilova and Doubrovska worked with Balanchine very early in his career. SAB is now run by dancers who worked with Balanchine in the 60's and 70's and who are more familiar with how his ideas and teaching evolved.

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