Raymonda at la Scala
Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:14 AM
Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:19 AM
Maybe the weather and/or economy are worse this year, making for a grumpy audience?
Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:24 PM
Posted 25 October 2012 - 07:30 PM
Although I love La Scala's sets and the fact that they reconstructed the story, etc., I actually prefer the Mariinsky version's choreography. In the La Scala video you see Novikova with the famous Mariinsky arms and the corps around her have much stiffer arms. At the Mariinsky everyone has the same style.
For me I think Raymonda (the character) should be a really girly girl. Sort of like the beautiful, unreachable cheerleader nobody can date except the Big Man on Campus (Jean de Brienne). This is probably why Lopatkina is so famous in this role. She has the look (with make up and costume) of that type of girl, an almost snobby yet innocent look....a girl born into privilege who finds it absolutely normal to just be who she is. I think Novikova's youthful looks also give her the air of what I think a Raymonda should be like. Very feminine. Raymonda is sort of a young pretty girl oblivious somewhat to politics and the dangers of the world. But by the end of the ballet she has experienced a taste of danger (and maybe sexuality) and I feel the final variation shows how she has grown into being a woman and is on her way to becoming a woman of the world.
I think Raymonda is actually very relevant to today's times. We are living in a time when the East and West are still in conflict. There are extremists alive and well today on both sides of the religious spectrum. So Raymonda for me represents a moment when East meets West and there is a possibility of some sort of understanding, but in the end the West is more comfortable sticking with its own culture and lifestyle. I think Raymonda (the ballet) reflects this on-going issue. Both sides are intrigued by the other side to a point. But at some point the interest stops and we go back to our sides.
I have to say that I used to like the Bolshoi's version of Raymonda, b/c it was somewhat more athletic (especially for the men) and interesting b/c of the differences in story-telling, but after watching it again this past summer live in the movies and analyzing and comparing it with the Mariinsky version, I actually think Grigorovich's version makes some really terrible decisions. Raymonda's beautiful picking-up-the-flowers entrance is gone (and that is a heart-breaking choice) and she falls asleep leaning against a column which has to be the stupidest thing I have ever seen. I had forgotten about that. A princess would not lean against a pillar and fall asleep! I also think the Bolshoi's sets are a big disappointment and the costumes look like they belong on a Michael Jackson video during his Thriller period. It looks so dated and 1980s to me! Bessmertnova is good, but she deserved better sets and costumes! Each time I watch that video I think Michael Jackson is going to walk in during the character dances and do the moon walk!
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