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Dancers and characters in Balanchine's ApolloIdentifying dancers and characters

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#31 pherank


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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:34 PM

Not to get too far OT, but I'm curious about what they did. I think I can recall three versions of the sequence of movements.

This commentator explains things pretty well: "The Mariinsky has cut the extraordinarily beautiful finale Balanchine incorporated around 1976 to the very moving music for death of Mélisande in Fauré's Pélleas et Melisande. It changes the "take-away" character of the piece from what is shown here as just another allegro finale, to one of rapt melancholy, as dancers, almost one-by-one take leave of the stage, finally leaving only three of the boys walking diagonally across the stage to the front, and finally coming to rest in a genuflection with an arm outstretched beseeching? in awe? the courtain slowly falling. Very apt conclusion, very moving if somewhat mysterious, somewhat analogous in feeling to the soloist carried aloft at the end of Serenade. To see this ending, arguably Balanchine's final thought on Emeralds ("arguably" because Balanchine was a known tinkerer with his pieces,.e.g. Apollo) you need to see the Paris Opera Ballet performance."

Since the commentator mentions Balanchine tinkering on Apollo, I figure that puts us back on topic. ;)

Thanks for all the information about Balanchine stagers, Helene.

#32 Helene



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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:45 PM

It sounds like the Mariinsky used the original ending.

When PNB did "Emeralds for the first time, the majority of the audience thought it ended there, with good reason. Balanchine also added a solo for the second female soloist.

#33 Jack Reed

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:46 PM

Interesting. Any word as to the Mariinsky's order of variations? I thought, originally, Paul's was first, then Verdy's; it was following Verdy's retirement Balanchine reversed their order, putting her "Spinner" variation first, right after the ensemble, and adding the death-of-Melisande movement at the very end. (A gesture of farewell to Verdy? Sad to see her go, I felt it lugubrious at the time.)

I agree with Helene that the ballet seemed to come quite naturally to its end where it did originally.

#34 pherank


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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:56 PM

I've only watched the Mariinsky version on DVD, which left me confused at the time about what was going on. The lovely, enigmatic ending was missing (that's how I saw it), but I also recall some other change to the order and it may have been the order of solos. I've wondered ever since if the Russian audience didn't find Emeralds a bit lacking and incoherent (and they wouldn't have realized that it could look rather different).

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