cubanmiamiboy

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

66 posts in this topic

Tamara Karsavina, who also danced in the Petipa version, was influential in the creation of Sir Frederick Ashton's version which contains sublime and complex choreography. I can cope with you preferring the production you know well but please do not underestimate the grace, virtuosity and subtle characterisations contained within the Ashton version.

I'm afraid the clips you have included in your posting have left me cold, probably because they are out of context.

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Tamara Karsavina, who also danced in the Petipa version, was influential in the creation of Sir Frederick Ashton's version which contains sublime and complex choreography. I can cope with you preferring the production you know well but please do not underestimate the grace, virtuosity and subtle characterisations contained within the Ashton version.

I'm afraid the clips you have included in your posting have left me cold, probably because they are out of context.

I totally agree JMcN, I did not find the first one at all appealing in fact I would be so "rude" as to say to me the portrayal was over acted and a bit pathetic , and did not begin to compare to Ashtons version. It seems an attempt to concentrate on the chorfeography and does not show the character of Lise at all. I am as already mentioned in my last post, happy to see other versions, but if I honestly feel without being biased that I do not like it,, all things considered, my opinion stays the same.

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the portrayal was over acted and a bit pathetic...

happy.png To each his/her own. No, I don't under estimate Ashton's Fille, but the overall message I'm trying to pass is that there has been continuous, beautiful "Fille" staged and danced all around before, during and after Ashton's. In France since 1789; in Russia since 1800; by Petipa from 1885 on; out to the West from Pavlova in 1912-(London) and staged by Sergueev-(Riga, 1922); back to Paris in 1922-(Balachova)- and in America in 1937-(Mordkin)-and right in NYC-(Nijinska, 1940)-from where it made it to Cuba-(Alonso,1952)- and where it has stayed as another cherished mid-century BT importation until today. All of it from 1885 on rooted in Petipa/Hertel...all of them before Ashton's. There is a whole generation of audiences that probably think all this previous venerable 200 years old past and somehow broken/scattered present is non existent, when in reality it has survived. Yes, I do find Ashton's staging interesting, but being certainly biased against whatever modern attempts against continuity and faith to original Petipa, what I saw and heard didn't convinced me.

If anything...I find a tragedy that Russia wasn't able to keep such gem-(just as the Nutcracker)...one that was theirs by all rights

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Cristian:

For what I remember, Balachova's name seems to be the key for which Nijinska's version was able to take form in the West.

Actually I was looking at old New York Times reviews of La Fille and at Koegler's entry in Concise Oxford Ballet, and it seems that the lineage is not so pure. Some background: Nijinska, according to Lucia Chase, was unfamiliar with the ballet "and had to be taught it step by step from the Mordkin version by Miss Chase and Mr. Romanoff." Mordkin had previously added his own choreography to his company's 1938 production. [Footnotes on La Fille NYT Jan 17. 1960]

And the Ashton version comes chiefly from the 1828 score of Louis Hérold, whereas Petipa / Ivanov uses the 1858 Berlin score of Peter Ludwig Hertel.

Koegler notes that "the ballet was given its present title when Dauberval produced it at the London Pantheon Theater in 1791" (it was La Ballet de la Paille... before) and "not until 1803 was it seen in Paris." Interestingly in the version Pavlowa brought to the United States in 1914, Enrico Cecchetti played "the low comedy role of Lise’s mother and did some very amusing burlesque dancing”. [NYT]

In the Times John Martin was delighted with the Nijinska version in 1940 and says, "Nijinska has staged her version of the work with a fine sparkle, and an attempt to suggest the flavor of another period’s art in terms of her own." But Ashton's in 1960 he ultimately likes more: "Short versions of the old ballet have been seen in the repertories of several other companies, and have been not without value, but for the first time it emerges as a masterpiece."

But now double-checking Koegler, I see that Alonso's version is based on Alexandra Balashova's version done in 1946 for Cuervos. Clement Crisp in a sketch in the Financial Times in 2003:

During the 1960s, I was invited to Ljubljana in Yugoslavia, where the Russian dancer Alexandra Balashova had staged La Fille Mal Gardee as she had performed it at the Bolshoi in 1905. Wonderfully alert and lively even in her 80s and getting ready to dance the role of the mother that evening ...

And this I thought was interesting because the score here is the older 1828 (but not oldest) one - but maybe it was an error. Jack Andersen, NYT, Jan 24, 1989:

“La Fille Mal Gardée” was originally choreographed by Jean Dauberval in 1789. But the pas de deux from it danced by Tatiana Garcia-Stephanovich and Arch Higgins clearly derived from a 19th century version, for its high leaps an delicated steps en pointe would have been unknown in the 18th century. The excerpts were staged by Ghislaine Thesmar and Adam Luders after a production by Alexandra Balachova, a Russian born teacher, and the students performed them with élan. Jeananne Albee was the pianist in Louis J F Hérold’s score.

And I want to repost this wonderful clip that Cristian once put up of Alejandro Virelles doing a La Fille variation:

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Quiggin,

Thanks for your most interesting and informative post.

So there are several different versions of La Fille Mal Gardee - all in their own way rooted in the original from 1789. As it goes with any of the other classics including, as mentioned in a previous post, another French ballet Coppelia.

We can celebrate the differences and enoy them all!

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Thanks for the detailed report, Christian.

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Thanks for the detailed report, Christian.

My pleasure, Natasha! tiphat.gif

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Thank you for all the information regarding La Fille mal Gardee, but what sems to be missed is the fact the ballet disappeasred into the archives for many years, in Europe, even if it was performed in Russia, I cannot remember seeing it until the Sir Fred's. version appeared., all I can remember is a musical CD of the Bolshoi Orchestra which featured a small section from it. So we were not privallidged to see all the other versions that appeared elsewhere. Is it still peformed by other companies in the different versions nowadays, that is appart from School productions? Obviously the Paris Opera Technical team choose Sir Fred's production despite having Pierre Lacotte who could have easlly researched and re-created the Petipa version, considering his La Syphide, Paquita etc.

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There is a version of Fille by Heinz Spoerli which was performed at the Opera some years ago. I've also seen it in Finland. The Balashova version is taken from the production she danced when a ballerina in Moscow. That was by Gorsky (who gave Balashova the nickname "Little Pony") and based on the Petipa/Ivanov version premiered in Petersburg and danced by Karsavina. Obviously one doesn't know how much Gorsky changed. The Balashova version has been notated and is in the Benesh collection. I have seen one of Lisa's variations reproduced from that notation.

The Swedish choreographer Ivo Cramer produced a charming version, a reconstruction based on the Dauberval original and performed to popular songs of Dauberval's period - I have an idea that it was the original score, but I can't be sure of that.

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Thank you Alymer, for the latest info, was spoerli version produced at the Paris Opera? and do you know when please. Benesh is a fairly recent developement, and I can remember it from the 1950 - 60's as I started to study it.. I am pretty sure they would have also done Sir Fred's version possibly with Faith Worth. Are there older ballets in their achives then please?

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Balachova danced the Gorsky/Hertel version as back as 1922 in Paris, partenered by Smolzoff, in a special gala held to bennefit the victims of famine in Russia. In 1985 Claude Bessy also staged the Gorsky/Hertel version after D. Romanoff for the ecole de danse. The leads were danced by Laetitia Pujol and Jeremie Belingard.

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Balachova danced the Gorsky/Hertel version as back as 1922 in Paris, partenered by Smolzoff, in a special gala held to bennefit the victims of famine in Russia. In 1985 Claude Bessy also staged the Gorsky/Hertel version after D. Romanoff for the ecole de danse. The leads were danced by Laetitia Pujol and Jeremie Belingard.

Thats great... so my friend Jeremie Belingard danced Colas for the school perfortmance, I must ask him about it. As he has danced the Sir Fred version as well, it would be interesting to hear his comments.

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As far as I know, the Spoerli version was staged at the Paris Opera in 1981, with (as the first cast) Noëlla Pontois (Lise), Cyril Atanassoff (Colas), Patrick Dupond (Alain), and Georges Piletta (Widow Simone)n but that version was never danced again at the Paris Opera during the following seasons. In 1987, they danced Joseph Lazzini's version (by the way, J. Lazzini passed away recently), with new casts (especially Manuel Legris and Françoise Legrée).

Alymer, the Cramer version after Dauberval will be performed next season by the Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse. It had been staged at first for the Ballet de Nantes (a company which doesn't exist any longer :-( ) in 1989, then in 1993 for the Ballet du Rhin (a company which became mostly a modern dance/ crossover company...) That production was a joint work with Jean-Paul Gravier (former director of the Ballet de Nantes, then the Ballet du Rhin). I once saw an excerpt of it during an open rehearsal of the Ballet du Rhin in Grenoble around 1993 or 1994, and have always regretted since then not having the opportunity to see the full ballet !

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Thats great... so my friend Jeremie Belingard danced Colas for the school perfortmance, I must ask him about it. As he has danced the Sir Fred version as well, it would be interesting to hear his comments.

When and where Bélingard danced Ashton version up to you? Can't remember seeing him in it in Paris.

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Thats great... so my friend Jeremie Belingard danced Colas for the school perfortmance, I must ask him about it. As he has danced the Sir Fred version as well, it would be interesting to hear his comments.

When and where Bélingard danced Ashton version up to you? Can't remember seeing him in it in Paris.

1985, in a school version by Claud Bessy, but not the Ashton one. But I thought he had danced the Ashton one, during a run over the last sessions. But maybe he was cast but got injured and it did not happen. I will ask.

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