aqualia2008

"Swan lake" live HD broadcast from Mikhailovsky

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The Cuban version. No suicide, fight between Rothbart and Sigfried, winning the good guy. Maidens are back to human form, including Odette-(with change of tutus and everything). I had a friend in Cuba who used to say "Now it comes the tutu that doesn't get to be used". It was only shown for the very last seconds of the ballet.

But this is generally the new ending commanded by the Soviet government long ago so it was consistent with Soviet ideology -- no religion, no afterlife, good triumphs over evil in this life. Balanchine used the pre-Soviet original, in which Siegfried and Odette find happiness in an afterlife, the version he was familiar with from pre-Soviet Russia. (And Balanchine was also reportedly very religious throughout his own life, so he would be comfortable with the notion of a happy afterlife.) The Cubans were supported by the Soviets for decades until the fall of the Soviet Union, so it's understandable they would use the Soviet-prescribed ending.

The newly revised ending for the Bolshoi is still consistent with Soviet ideology, as there is no reliance on happiness in an afterlife.

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Balanchine used the pre-Soviet original, in which Siegfried and Odette find happiness in an afterlife, the version he was familiar with from pre-Soviet Russia. (And Balanchine was also reportedly very religious throughout his own life, so he would be comfortable with the notion of a happy afterlife.)

Hi California,

I'm curious about this because I only know of Balanchine's shortened, Act II version in which Siegfried and Odette must necessarily part at the end: she transforms back to a swan permanently and is lost to Siegfried forever. Balanchine was very spiritual and loved the rituals of his Russian Orthodox Church. ~ Karen

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I'm curious about this because I only know of Balanchine's shortened, Act II version in which Siegfried and Odette must necessarily part at the end: she transforms back to a swan permanently and is lost to Siegfried forever. Balanchine was very spiritual and loved the rituals of his Russian Orthodox Church. ~ Karen

I'm not a dance historian, but a lot of work has been done on the many changes in Swan Lake, including the many different endings. I'd recommend Selma Jeanne Cohen's book, Next Week, Swan Lake (Wesleyan University Press, 1982). See, e.g., p. 8, which lists a wide variety of endings used by different companies.

http://www.amazon.com/Next-Week-Swan-Lake-Reflections/dp/081956110X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362791916&sr=8-1&keywords=next+week+swan+lake

(If you buy it, remember to go through the Amazon box on this page, so Ballet Alert gets some revenue.)

Historians have also done a lot of work on how the Soviet government impacted the arts. Right after the revolution, some Soviets thought ballet should be shut down as "elitist," but they quickly recognized they had a powerful propaganda tool to show Soviet "superiority," so it was nurtured, albeit under rather heavy-handed dictates about what was allowable, consistent with overall Soviet ideology (including atheism).

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Thank you for the reference, California.

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Thank you so much for those links, aqualia2008!

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