Fokine check list.
Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:03 AM
Which Fokine ballets have you seen LIVE in your lifetime...?
Which company performed them...?
In my case, the list is quite short.
Chopiniana-Cuban National Ballet
Petroushka-Cuban National Ballet
La Mort du Cygne-Cuban National Ballet/Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami
L'espectre de la Rose-Cuban National Ballet/Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami
Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor-Cuban National Ballet
Firebird I've never seen in Fokine's original encarnation, so that's why it's not included, and from Schehrezade only fragments.
How does your Fokine list looks like..?
Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:20 PM
I think part of the difficulty is in the work itself -- Dying Swan, Spectre and Sylphides are relatively inexpensive to stage, but works like Petrushka and Firebird need a substantial cast and scenic resources that aren't always easy to muster. In many ways, they require the kind of staging that you usually associate with a program-length work, but they are meant to be just one part of a larger presentation. We don't really program like that in many companies today.
But aside from the monetary considerations, the stylistic requirements are a big challenge. Most of the ensemble works need a large cast that is comfortable with (or at least familiar with) character and national dances, and has lively acting skills. These aren't a significant part of most training today, and aren't found in most of the current repertory. There are roles in the Fokine rep that call for virtuosic classical technique, but for every Firebird or Rose (or the ensemble in Sylphides) you've got a Petrushka or one of the leads in Schehrezade, roles that ask for a wide variety of physical skills.
(I've often thought that the Slave in Schehrezade might be well cast with a break-dancer, based on the original description of the choreography)
My live Fokine list is even shorter than yours:
Spectre de la Rose
Interestingly, I recently saw Donald Byrd's version of Petrushka for Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle, which he staged in and around the company's studio. The opening scenes at the fair were at an actual carnival, with food vendors, games of chance and some pretty raunchy side-show entertainment. We went inside to watch the central part of the work -- we saw the scenes in Petrushka and the Moor's cells over closed circuit television, like a security camera, and then went back outside for the ending, where Petrushka and the Moor struggled on the roof of the building, and Petrushka fell/was pushed over the edge. It was quite harsh, but very affective.
Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:43 PM
CARNAVAL, which was revived by Vikharev at the Mariinsky 3 or 4 years ago. This was one of THE most beloved ballets of the Diaghilev troupe. It was one of 'the standards.' A ca-1988 DVD of an earlier staging (by Dudinskaya/Sergeyev, I think?), starring Vikharev as Harlequin.
PAVILLON D'ARMIDE, revived by Nikita Dolgushin for the Ballet of the St Petersburg Conservatory, which he headed during the 1990s. It was revived with the luxurious costumes but with simple backdrops. I'd love to someday see it in all of its glory.
EGYPTIAN NIGHTS, danced by the Mariinsky in the 1980s. There's a film/DVD 'studio version' of it starring Assylmuratov and Ruzimatov.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:49 AM
Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:04 AM
Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:24 PM
My pleasure, BB. I really mourn the abscense of Chopiniana from my city's ballet company. Being a permanent staple of Alonso's troupe, my ballet world vision is definitely highly influenced by it, and with no doubt I put it right after-(if not side by side if I think it twice)- Giselle. I can watch it at any time, probably even as a school performance and still find it fascinating.
It is a beautiful ballet. I saw that a school in Tampa was doing it, but I could not go see it. I have only seen Chopiniana/Les Sylphides on video and YouTube. There are so many wonderful things yet they are never done. It is strange. Everyone says that the ballet repertoire is not as big as opera so it is harder to do more things, but I don't think that is true when you see many things hardly ever done! If you google Petipa there are so many ballets listed that he choreographed that no company ever does. Granted many of these are lost to history (no documentation), but I bet some have a little bit of documentation that could be used to piece together some of them. Maybe I am wrong. I guess we should just be thankful YouTube exists to get so many things in that way.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:27 PM
Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:28 PM
Thanks for posting this! Looks exciting! I will watch later tonight. I am going to a showing of First Position in a little while. I watched part of it and enjoyed what I just saw! Asylmyratova is great, so it will be a treat to watch this when I get home!
Posted 02 June 2012 - 01:36 PM
Chopiniana/Les Sylphides - both Royal Companies, Festival Ballet, Kirov, Bolshoi.........
Firebird - Royal, Kirov
Dying Swan - any number of misguided ladies
Schehrezade - Festival, Kirov
Petroushka - both Royal Companies, Festival Ballet, Joffrey, POB, Kirov (but it didn't look much like any of the other "Fokine" versions)
plus any number of attempts at Spectre.
I also saw Danilova's staging of the pdt from Pavillion d'Armide with Baryshnikov and on film, the dances from Ruslan and Ludmilla - though I do wonder if these are actually entirely by Fokine.
Polovtsian Dances - Festival, Kirov
Carnaval - Northern, Scottish, POB
Le Coq d'Or- Festival
Posted 02 June 2012 - 08:57 PM
AND...a little curiosity.
AND the infamous Vera Karalli in the iconic Cygne role..
Posted 03 June 2012 - 02:05 AM
Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:47 AM
BTW....the way the female character dancers slide on the floor in straight and circular patterns,and even their stiff/cone-like costumes, is VERY similar as the way Alonso staged her Matryoshka dolls-(the Nutcracker sisters)-for the Act II initial parade
Posted 03 June 2012 - 05:12 PM
The Joffrey's production of Petrushka -- with Gary Chryst -- was the one that thrilled me the most.
And then, of course, there were plenty of Sylphides and Dying Swans from the Trocks later on.
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