cubanmiamiboy

Cubanmiamiboy, Paris, La Fille Mal Gardee. 07/13

66 posts in this topic

and how was the Requiem?

I saw two of them, Jayne...Mozart's and Faure's...both at La Madelene...both free..happy.png . During Mozart's, by the time

was being sung, I almost started crying...I couldn't believe I was in such place listening to such monumental work...

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I think I would cry too. You should write a thank you letter to the chorale's director. I imagine it would be greatly appreciated.

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... It is just that I've always put Fille somewhere in the same lines as Coppelia, and Mama Simone was never more grotesque or comical than, let's say, Dr. Coppelius, and that was not the case with Ashton's version. I will write a little more later on. I found the playbill!

So Mama Simone in the Alonso version does not slide across the stage in clog shoes???!!! Can't wait to read your impressions of the classical leads, Froustey and Raveau, but take your time and wind into it, Christian. It will be worth the wait. :)

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Ok...so I found the playbill and it states, just as Natasha wrote, the following dancers:

Lise: Mathilde Froustey

Colas: Pierre Arthur Raveau

Widow Simone: Stéphane Phavorin

Alain: François Alu

I don't think I got to see the best of what was left behind from the NYC tour. I strongly believe all connoisseurs were rather cramping the theater for the performances of new etoile-(and highly regarded)- Myriam Ould-Braham as Lissette and Josua Hoffalt as Colin. Nevertheless, as I said, I enjoyed the soiree greatly. Not everyday one gets to look up a theater's ceiling and see Chagall all over you, and that, my friend, was enough for me..! happy.png It look as if both Froustey and Raveau are still a work in process in these roles. One of the things I noticed was that Ahton's choreo. is no short of lifts of all sorts, and Raveau had some problems with them. At one particularly sad moment he, instead of just give up quickly and do something else, tried for a second time, unsuccessfully, to achieve the lift, and so the moment was very awkward. There were problems also with his tours en l'air...not always achieving clean, still landings. What I find is that because of the over use of character dancing/scenes, the few classical parts become even more exposed. Even the ribbon sequences, as lovely as they are, many times are focused more in the sophisticated paterns of the ribbons rather than the classical steps. In favor of Miss Froustey, I must say she did great during the terrifying supported promenade in arabesque-(or is it attitude derriere..?)-holding the circling ribbons.

Natasha, no...Mama Simone does not have a clog dance in Alonso's Nijinska's staging, and Alain uses a butterfly net instead of Ashton's umbrella. Also, I noticed Nijinska's Alain is slow, but not as retarded as Ashton's, nor his physical appearance gets to be as altered-(makeup etc...)-as in Ashton's.

As I said...it looks to me as if in Ashton's it is Mama Simone, her ambitions, her personality portray, even her dancing sequences, the main course of the buffett. Actually she was the one getting the most applause during curtain calls. And to make a point of comparison, that was one of the things I always find a little too hard to digest in his Cinderella...the equally highly caricatured steps sisters in travesty, versus Zakharov' ballerinas on pointe, which I enjoy more-(well, with the divine Struchkova on it, it is hard not to anyway...happy.png ).

About the music, given that I go ALL THE WAY for the "musique dansante" concept in ballet-(hello, Kshesinskaya..! tiphat.gif), I definitely think Hertel's score has way more potential here. Let's just take a look at Lissette's variation from it-(I believe this is a Drigo's inerpolation)..

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Perhaps Mathilde Froustey and Raveau look like a work in progress because they are unfamiliar as partners, certainly Frousty has been dancing the role for five years now and I've seen her as Lise with both Mathias Heymann and Emmanuel Thibault. She compares more than well with dancers at the Royal Ballet in the same role.

With Ashton's Cinderella I think it was a case of knowing his audience, it was premiered I believe in 1948 and at that time audiences would have been thoroughly steeped in the traditional English pantomime tradition (probably not the case today) so there would have been no question of creating the ugly sisters as anything other than pantomime dames as the audience wouldn't have accepted anything other than two men in drag. I was taken aback at my first view of the sisters on point - it was a real culture shock! The Russians do go in for the drag concept occasionally though with Nureyev choreographing the wicked stepmother for a man in his Cinderella and Vladimir Vasiliev in the same role in his version of the ballet was a sight to behold, a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my days, let’s just say there is camp and then there is Vasiliev.

Living in London, I can just get on the train and be in Paris in a couple of hours, it still exerts its spell on me and it will always be my favourite city, it doesn't matter how many times you visit, there is always something new to discover. Glad you liked the Chagall ceiling, I remember sharing a box once with two Danish girls who were celebrating one of their birthdays by going to a performance just to see that ceiling. The original is behind it though and I've always been curious about that one too. So glad to hear the three of you had such a wonderful time and I bet your first trip to Paris won't be your last.

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Garza is great in that clip. This makes me sad. Orlando Ballet used to do all these classic story ballets. Now they only seem to do pop culture ballets....mainly mass appeal stuff. I wonder if mass appeal stuff like "Vampire's Ball" and "Hollywood en Pointe" really sells better than "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty."

I prefer the classics interspersed with some modern stuff, but not just modern mass appeal stuff. But maybe it is how they survive in this economy. I don't know.

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So glad to hear the three of you had such a wonderful time and I bet your first trip to Paris won't be your last.

Oh, YOU BET, Miss Mashinka! flowers.gif

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Cristian,

Maybe if you view the two different La Fille Mal Gardee as totally different ballets you will like both. I view the Gorsky one that you showed me as basically stemming directly from Petipa's influence and so even though it was created later it is basically a 19th century ballet.

In contrast I view Ashton's as a 20th century ballet. The two works are two totally different works and can be enjoyed immensely in their own ways.

It is like the different movie versions of Wuthering Heights. More recent versions of Wuthering Heights have captured the more violent aspects of the novel much better than the famous Laurence Olivier/Merle Oberon movie. The first time I saw the Olivier/Oberon movie version I hated it, b/c it glamorizes the love between Heathcliff and Catherine. I felt it was all wrong. Too 1940ish Hollywood. But over time I have come to really enjoy the movie, and I like the new contemporary versions I have seen too even if they also get aspects of this wonderful novel wrong. The new versions are not afraid to show the more violent and unsavory aspects of the story.

Anyway, my point is that you can enjoy several different versions of the same story when you understand when and how they were created and how times changed. We re-make movies all the time, and sometimes they are good re-makes, sometimes they are not. Often they are simply different.

But the key to Ashton's is that it is a contemporary ballet, not trying to copy the previous versions.

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But the key to Ashton's is that it is a contemporary ballet, not trying to copy the previous versions.

Just as with Duato's Beauty, Nureyev' Cinderella, Morris' Hard Nut, Bourne's SL or Ek's Giselle..? No...I'm not comparing Ashton's respectful recreation with all those, but damn if i can digest any of that...

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I think what Birdsall is trying to say is that Ashton's version was of his time and had elements that were well-known theatrical , specifically comedic, traditions to his audience The core of the ballet was classical and well within the classical tradition -- he was an artistic child of Pavlova as well, and British ballet was influenced by Vera Volkova when she taught in London -- , unlike Ek, who did a contemporary dance version of a classic

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I think what Birdsall is trying to say is that Ashton's version was of his time and had elements that were well-known theatrical , specifically comedic, traditions to his audience The core of the ballet was classical and well within the classical tradition -- he was an artistic child of Pavlova as well, and British ballet was influenced by Vera Volkova when she taught in London -- , unlike Ek, who did a contemporary dance version of a classic

Definitely Helene, which is why I know those others are completely different animals. Just mentioning them to note my strong impossibility to expand my ballet vision of some sorts...

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I think what Birdsall is trying to say is that Ashton's version was of his time and had elements that were well-known theatrical , specifically comedic, traditions to his audience The core of the ballet was classical and well within the classical tradition -- he was an artistic child of Pavlova as well, and British ballet was influenced by Vera Volkova when she taught in London -- , unlike Ek, who did a contemporary dance version of a classic

Thanks, Helene! Yes, I didn't mean to say Ashton's recreation is comparable to Ek's Giselle. Although I have to say that I bought Ek's Giselle b/c it sounded so zany and weird (Giselle is crazy and in an asylum in Act 2 and Albrecht ends up totally nude). I thought it would be a good party dvd for a good laugh. And I actually found it sort of fascinating and enjoyed it as a modern ballet that is not really Giselle.

I understand Cristian's reluctance to want to see some modern dance. I prefer to see classical ballet, but I can enjoy modern things too. I think Ashton's La Fille has a charm all its own totally different from the wonderful Gorsky one that Cristian introduced me to. I like both for different reasons, but to each his own!

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Ashtons La Fille mal Gardee is in essence an "English" ballet and as such features characters and a storyline that reflects this. The Clog dances, the pantomine dame, the bumbling village simpleton, and rich fat farmer. The maypole is an age old national dance used on village greens and with school children. The ribbon dances with the maypole actually also feature in the Russian ballet The Stone Flower, in the village scene. So it may be common to other countries as well.

Watching the clip of the two Lise variations I far prefer the Ashton one, as it seems to fit the character of Lise better in that version.

The other one is just a big show off of steps, with very little expression or portrayal of the person. The audiences in the UK love this ballet, not just the funny bits, but the whole thing. It was always completly sold out at The Opera House and on tour .And was rewarded by many curtain calls every time. It is still loved in it's original form today. as one of Sir Frederick Ashton's masterpieces.

I really love this ballet myself, having been there at the time it was created, by Sir Fred, I think the orchestration is really lovely and fits the storyline perfectly. From the amusing chickens dance to the final Pas de deux it is brilliant. Something you can take a child to see,or for an adult audience who can relax, and enjoy a bit of light hearted fun, albeit technically challenging.. I am so glad Paris Opera Ballet are dancing it, but whether they can achieve the overall character of it I do not know, as I have not as yet seen them dance it. So it is something to go into my plans for another trip to Paris.

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Watching the clip of the two Lise variations I far prefer the Ashton one, as it seems to fit the character of Lise better in that version.

The other one is just a big show off of steps, with very little expression or portrayal of the person.

Petipa, Gorsky and Nijinska being guilty as charged for it..! FIREdevil.gif

I enjoy lightness for sure, and cute pantomime and maypoles-(many SL productions has them), but at one point of the soiree give me amazing, hard, solid ballet technique to go along with it-(just as with Giselle), so that dancers, both male and female, can be challenged in both, artistically and technically , ways for many more years to come. (Hi Mr. Petipa! tiphat.gif )

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I too love and enjoy Petipa ballets in particular,, Niemerier(spelling),Sir. K. MM, Cranko, Vinogradov Lander, Lifar, Balanchine, Petit and others and feel there is technical quality in LFMG, albeit perhaps more simple? I just did not find the other Lise Solo, appealed to me, perhaps I am too used to the Royal Ballet production. I find the music is different as well.

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give me amazing, hard, solid ballet technique to go along with it-

Most dancers who perform the role of Ashton's Lise will tell you that it is very, very, hard and requires a really strong classical technique.

Let me add though that I doubt that Ashton would sanction the overplaying of the comic and travesty roles which one sees in his ballets today.

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I too love and enjoy Petipa ballets in particular,, Niemerier(spelling),Sir. K. MM, Cranko, Vinogradov Lander, Lifar, Balanchine, Petit and others and feel there is technical quality in LFMG, albeit perhaps more simple? I just did not find the other Lise Solo, appealed to me, perhaps I am too used to the Royal Ballet production. I find the music is different as well.

The key to this is that we tend to not like a different version of what we have grown up with and know well.

This is why nobody is happy when a movie comes out based on his/her favorite novel. The story we have in our heads is vivid, and nobody can put it on screen the way we think it should be created. 95% of people watching a movie version of a novel are going to be very disappointed. The new version is always going to seem like sacrilege.

It all depends on what we knew first.

I have watched both Ashton's and Gorsky's versions recently and love them both for different reasons, but that is because I am not invested emotionally in one above the other (did not grow up seeing one that touched my soul). But someone who has grown up watching one or the other is going to think the one he did not grow up with is "wrong" (for lack of a better word). It makes sense.

People like what they know and aren't usually thrilled by new versions. I'm not saying that is good or bad. It is just human nature.

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To explain my point in a little wider form. I remember bart's words stating that for him ballet is essentially what Balanchine did with it. I remember this very well because I realize that for each of us the art form conveys different messages and shapes, and different meanings too. In my case I always remember being in total agreement with a statement I read a while ago-(I think it was either by Danilova or Nureyev or even perhaps in "Apollo's Angels")- in which there's a description of the art form comparing it to the shape of a wedding cake. The way Petipa made his ballets, perfectly incorporating layers of character dancing, pantomimes, beautiful props and costumes, all in ascending order and all gravitating toward the pinnacle...the wedding couple figurines, fully displayed in all its glory...the Grand PDD. Hence, I always expect this shape in the ballets...everything making way, gravitating and announcing the greatest moment...the Grand PDD. That's why I got so confused when I saw versions of ballets in which such venerable structure was being dismembered-(Balanchine's Nutcracker for example), where poor Prince Coqueluche not only carries the previous loose of his name and title, but even is deprived of his variation, or even when I see versions of Swan Lake in which the Love duet is presented in different order to the one I'm used to from the Cuban/Mary Skeaping staging-(Adagio, an added variation for Siegfried to the Tempo di Valse music, Odette's Variation and the coda with Odette's series of passe/entrechats). In the case of Ashton's Fille, that was one of the main reasons it left me longing for Nijinska's: the fact that I'm used to the formal, Petipa/Drigo classical PDD that makes it go along and side by side to every single classical ballet we know. Can we imagine being presented with Giselle sans Petipa/Minkus adittions...one of them the famous Act II PDD...? I don't think so. Well...the same happened to me with this other Fille. After a lifelong viewing of a product that comes in straight line from Petipa and Petipa-style, I'm faced with a completely new, more modern product that doesn't fit in my "wedding cake" notion.

And that's the reason I could never come to terms with "Dances at a Gathering" ...

Ashtons La Fille mal Gardee is in essence an "English" ballet ...

And that could also be the problem...the fact that I essentially see "Fille Mal Gardee"-(Petipa/NijinskaHertel) as a French product with a Russian gloss...

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Whereas most British people see Fille as the quintessential English ballet, even though it is a French story!

In general, Ashton's choreography may look simple but is fiendishly difficult to do well. Fille, IMHO, contains some of the most sublime choreography ever created. Ashton also has the ability to make you really care about the characters he has created. When you see Fille done well, you come out of the theatre on a cloud of euphoria!

As my geographic knowledge of the US is atrocious, I don't know the feasibility of you going to see Sarasota Ballet. Looking at their latest season, Iain Webb is keeping the Ashton flame alive in the US. Given his and his wife's background I am sure the productions are impeccable.

I saw POB do Fille a couple of years ago and enjoyed them very much although, in places I thought they struggled with the fiendishly fast footwork for Colas and, indeed, some of the lifts we Brits take for granted (particularly in the Fanny Essler pdd). I am sure they have sorted that now.

Christian, please don't ever review Two Pigeons!!!

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I too love and enjoy Petipa ballets in particular,, Niemerier(spelling),Sir. K. MM, Cranko, Vinogradov Lander, Lifar, Balanchine, Petit and others and feel there is technical quality in LFMG, albeit perhaps more simple? I just did not find the other Lise Solo, appealed to me, perhaps I am too used to the Royal Ballet production. I find the music is different as well.

The key to this is that we tend to not like a different version of what we have grown up with and know well.

This is why nobody is happy when a movie comes out based on his/her favorite novel. The story we have in our heads is vivid, and nobody can put it on screen the way we think it should be created. 95% of people watching a movie version of a novel are going to be very disappointed. The new version is always going to seem like sacrilege.

It all depends on what we knew first.

I have watched both Ashton's and Gorsky's versions recently and love them both for different reasons, but that is because I am not invested emotionally in one above the other (did not grow up seeing one that touched my soul). But someone who has grown up watching one or the other is going to think the one he did not grow up with is "wrong" (for lack of a better word). It makes sense.

People like what they know and aren't usually thrilled by new versions. I'm not saying that is good or bad. It is just human nature.

But if you are a true lover of the genre, you can still appreciate a different version of the original, it does not mean you altermatically will prefer what you have enjoyed for years. Sometimes it can vary your preference stays with the old favourite. But at other times the new or different version can equally meet or surpas your original feelings. With me take the case of the POB 2 performances of Berlioz Romeo and Juliette by Sasha Waltz, danced by Aurelie Dupont and Herve Moreau also Melanie Hurel and Nicholas Paul in 2007. I was totally swept away by this, Modern dance - me !!!!!! ?????. It was quite beautiful in it's own way, with choral support and the most simple effective choreography. and there was a beautiful Pas deux, I really love it in fact it was so emotional it reduced me to tears. Over the years I have seen numerous R & J's, some I liked others I did not. But this new work I could happily accept.

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I too love and enjoy Petipa ballets in particular,, Niemerier(spelling),Sir. K. MM, Cranko, Vinogradov Lander, Lifar, Balanchine, Petit and others and feel there is technical quality in LFMG, albeit perhaps more simple? I just did not find the other Lise Solo, appealed to me, perhaps I am too used to the Royal Ballet production. I find the music is different as well.

The key to this is that we tend to not like a different version of what we have grown up with and know well.

This is why nobody is happy when a movie comes out based on his/her favorite novel. The story we have in our heads is vivid, and nobody can put it on screen the way we think it should be created. 95% of people watching a movie version of a novel are going to be very disappointed. The new version is always going to seem like sacrilege.

It all depends on what we knew first.

I have watched both Ashton's and Gorsky's versions recently and love them both for different reasons, but that is because I am not invested emotionally in one above the other (did not grow up seeing one that touched my soul). But someone who has grown up watching one or the other is going to think the one he did not grow up with is "wrong" (for lack of a better word). It makes sense.

People like what they know and aren't usually thrilled by new versions. I'm not saying that is good or bad. It is just human nature.

But if you are a true lover of the genre, you can still appreciate a different version of the original, it does not mean you altermatically will prefer what you have enjoyed for years. Sometimes it can vary your preference stays with the old favourite. But at other times the new or different version can equally meet or surpas your original feelings. With me take the case of the POB 2 performances of Berlioz Romeo and Juliette by Sasha Waltz, danced by Aurelie Dupont and Herve Moreau also Melanie Hurel and Nicholas Paul in 2007. I was totally swept away by this, Modern dance - me !!!!!! ?????. It was quite beautiful in it's own way, with choral support and the most simple effective choreography. and there was a beautiful Pas deux, I really love it in fact it was so emotional it reduced me to tears. Over the years I have seen numerous R & J's, some I liked others I did not. But this new work I could happily accept.

I think it is always possible to love something new. I agree with you.

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When you see Fille done well, you come out of the theatre on a cloud of euphoria!

But that has been exactly my point ever since I wrote my OP, JMcN...I KNOW "Fillle..", I grew up watching "Fille..", I was lucky enough to have seen the very last performances of Maria Elena Llorente, one of the youngest old school/pre Castro ballerinas dancing the role coached by Alonso herself when the choreography was still fresh in her memory as she had danced it with John Kriza in Nijinska's version in NYC coached by the first American Lissette, Lucia Chase, and the help of Mme.Alexandra Fedorova, who knew the ballet from her Imperial times, and I LOVED it every single time I saw it..! happy.png I totally agree with you...it is a SUPERB ballet..!

Christian, please don't ever review Two Pigeons!!!

Ha...just give me a chance to...! tiphat.gif

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And that is wonderful! I enjoy so much the clips you show me and would love seeing the versions you talk about. But I guess my point is that just because one work of art is exquisite doesn't mean another work of art based on the same story can't be good in a totally different way.

But you are right to have your own opinion and taste and preference for a particular version. That is totally normal, and I applaud it, b/c you expose us to ballets we might not learn about otherwise.

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I guess my point is that just because one work of art is exquisite doesn't mean another work of art based on the same story can't be good in a totally different way.

But wait, Bart...let's make a pause here and be fair. I NEVER said that Ashton's staging "can't be good". I said that it didn't find it in the same technical level as Nijinska's and somehow too character-oriented for my taste , but still enjoyable.. About the "good" or "bad" notions, the world has been debating about them for thousands of years now with no definitive agreement so far, and I know I would never dream of knowing anything about the definitive answers.

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