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Nutcracker 2012


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#31 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:57 PM

... restored Balanchine's four-part pas de deux to the end of Act II. I mean, Adagio, Male Variation, Female Variation, and Coda.


Did Balanchine at any point choreographed the whole PDD...? I mean, I know about his inclusion of the male characters of the divertissements in the Adagio in his first attempt, but I didn't know he had choreographed a male variation too at one point. When did that happened...? Was Dragee's variation also in the right place at one point also...? I didn't know that either. Please, shred some light on the subject..!

#32 Helene

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:46 PM

According to the online Balanchine Catalogue, by deduction, the original PPD format -- adagio, variation, variation, coda -- was in Balanchine's original in the traditional spot. According to the revision history, in 1958, for the TV broadcast and the remainder of the season, the Sugarplum Fairy's variation was moved to the beginning of the act and four cavaliers (Candy Cane, Tea, Coffee [then a man], and Spanish) partnered the Sugarplum Fairy in the PDD with no variations. In "1959, adagio and coda of GRAND PAS DE DEUX restored with Cavalier, replacing PAS DE CINQ, but without variation for Cavalier; Sugar Plum Fairy variation retained at beginning of Act II," which shows that there was a Cavalier's variation in the original production.

#33 Jack Reed

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:29 PM

...[size=2]there was a Cavalier's variation in the original production.[/size]


but which may not have been seen since 1959; nor this week in Chicago: I learned this evening that while Ballet Chicago is presenting a Cavalier's Variation in the traditional place, the choreography of it is by Daniel Duell.

I've corrected myself above; I regret my error.

#34 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:21 PM

Oh...how interesting..! I wonder if anybody has any recollections here of the original Grand Pas, or if any explanation is known by B on his elimination of the male variation...

#35 Helene

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:37 PM

Unfortunately, the TV show won't help. In theory, Balanchine's original PDD should be very close to what we see today without the Cavalier's solo, because there are no other major revision notes, except for the slide -- the Sugar Plum Fairy puts her point on a slide mechanism and is dragged along in arabesque -- which had been a balance in place. I think it's safe to presume that because he preferred the Sugar Plum Fairy variation at the beginning of the act, it made little sense to have just a Cavalier solo or to find some other less famous music to interpolate for another solo, but the act is long enough as it is. Maria Tallchief described the first "Nutcracker" and how stressful it was to, having danced nothing until then, hear the shouts and ovation for Tanaquil Leclerq's Dewdrop, wondering if the PDD would equal it. (It did.) Perhaps this, plus Balanchine's designation of her partner as a Cavalier, not a Prince, made it an easy decision not to give him a solo outside the brief one in the coda. I find the solo in the beginning to be very gracious.

I wrote "should," be very close, because there was at least one significant change in the Sugar Plum Fairy variation. Kyra Nichols performed the original in one performance I saw, where instead of moving turns, she did quarter turns in place, like hitting compass points.

Kent Stowell also uses a similar format, except the man is the Nutcracker Prince, and he gets his solo, too, at the beginning of the second act. The adagio goes straight intothe coda, and the kids in the Dollhouse scene (set to the Mother Ginger music) introduce the coda.

#36 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:15 AM

So, basically, there is no account of Balanchine having ever staged the whole 4 parts Pas.

#37 Helene

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:46 AM

Yes, there is: in "Repertory in Review," there's a mention, but not a description of specific choreography, except for adding the mechanical slide in place of the balance in the adagio. The revisions wouldn't say that the PDD was removed in 1958 for the TV broadcast and replaced by Pas de Cinq, but the SPF variation was moved to the beginning of the act unless the SPF was in the PDD when it premiered, and they also wouldn't say when the PDD was restored in 1959 that the Cavalier's variation was not put back in, had it not been there in the first place.

What aren't documented completely are the other changes to the adagio, SPF variation, and coda choreography, but the structure has been the same since 1959 -- SPF at the beginning of the act and adagio/coda at the end.


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