Jump to content


"Swan lake" live HD broadcast from Mikhailovsky


  • Please log in to reply
32 replies to this topic

#16 AlbanyGirl

AlbanyGirl

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 233 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:18 AM

Sorry, Goleizovsky's choreography. And one more observation - I thought the ending a bit dull. I favor the ending where Odette is fated to be a swan forever - this is the version I learned early on seeing George Balanchine's shortened version and this is the version I feel works best with the tragic nature of Tschaikovsky's fabulous music. Does anyone know a Swan Lake tradition where Von Rothbart's wing is torn off, besides this restoration?

#17 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,511 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:23 AM

A bit of trivia here that interests me: they stayed with the Soviet ending in which the Prince vanguishes Rothbart in this life, eliminating the suicide and the afterlife together. This, more than two decades after the fall of Communism. I saw the same Soviet ending a few years ago with the Slovak National Ballet (which had been part of the Warsaw Pact, of course, until the fall of Communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989).

It's interesting that they elect not to return to the traditional ending when they could politically make such a change very easily. (If Ratmansky can revive Bolt and Bright Stream, then the ending of Swan Lake could surely be changed.) Perhaps they think the Soviet ending reflects a more secular contemporary era (although traditional religion has enjoyed a resurgence in at least some of the countries formerly under the communists)? Perhaps they continue to favor the view that good can conquer evil in this life and not wait on an afterlife they're not so sure about?

Have Mariinsky and Bolshoi stayed with the Soviet ending? I'd be interested in thoughts on this issue, especially from BTers familiar with the current environment in Russia.

#18 aqualia2008

aqualia2008

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

From the Mikhailovsky site:


Swan Lake is a ballet that has become has become a symbol of Russian art itself. The version of the famous ballet cannot be seen anywhere else in Moscow or St. Petersburg: the Mikhailovsky Theatre’s Swan Lake is the legendary ’Old Moscow’ production by Alexander Gorsky and Asaf Messerer. For many years it was considered in Moscow to be the standard production, and now it has been lovingly restored by Mikhail Messerer, Ballet Master in Chief of the Theatre.

Swan Lake is a special title in the ballet repertory. We were discussing which version to choose for our theatre and turned our attention to the production by Alexander Gorsky and Asaf Messerer. According to ballet historians, the historical London Tour of the Bolshoi Theatre in 1956 could be compared to Diaghilev's Russian Seasons in the mission of establishing the priority of Russian ballet around the world. It was during the 1956 tour that the version of Swan Lake received rave critical reviews. The appearance of Mikhail Messerer at the Mikhailovsky Theatre made it possible to revive the wonderful production here’, General Director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre Vladimir Kekhman comments.

‘Our major concern was to avoid repeating the brilliant production by Konstantin Sergeyev, which occupies such an important place in the repertory of our great elder sibling — the Mariinsky Ballet. A hundred years ago, a remarkable choreographer from St. Petersburg (who was then just starting his career as a ballet master) named Alexander Gorsky was transferring the production of Swan Lake by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. And while basing it on the gracious choreography of the original, transformed the ballet and staged it in his own way. The epoch of Alexander Gorsky saw the next phase in the evolution of dance following the balletic classicism of Petipa and Ivanov. Gorsky was influenced by contemporary art; he was attracted by the innovative methods of the stage direction of Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko and the new style of acting it involved. By the way, Nemirovich-Danchenko participated in a production of Swan Lake by Gorsky.

‘My approach to the production was quite careful, as I adore the version of 1956, but I admit that my contribution, perhaps, modernizes Swan Lake, brings the ballet up-to-date. My alterations in the ballet are minor. They are mostly based on my conversations with Asaf Messerer in 1990. At the time we were talking about possible changes to the production provided he had a chance to stage the ballet Swan Lake once again. In 1956, the sets for the production were designed by the fabulous artist Simon Virsaladze. The same design is being used now: both for the sets and for the costumes. To my mind, the production corresponds to modern society: everybody wants a happy end today, and our Swan Lake will provide it’, Mikhail Messerer says.



Press about the production

Tatyana Kuznetsova, "Kommersant":
... Women corps de ballet has become the central figure of the new production, and the "swan" scenes appeared to be the main breakthrough. Agile, nervous and asymmetrical pattern of Gorsky- Messerer's compositions represented an astonishing contrast with conventional lines of harsh women in ballet tutus, lined up on ground with "goose" above their head (the pose with almost straightened elbow and turned off hand, just like a swan beak, which was created by Agrippina Vaganova). During Adagio of Odette her friends are not standing as if they were made of stone, just like the ministers of our government do on a keynote speech of prime minister. Instead of this they enter into details of the fateful love affair with typically women's curiosity: they move their legs in pas de bourr—e, sigh arabesques, shamefacedly turn aside, hiding their head beneath delicately rounded hand. Such activity of the corps added a charming vividness and warmth to the "lake" scenes. And we can only guess on the amount of efforts it took from Mikhail Messerer to show this kind of women immediateness.

Actually, the entire ballet — harmonious, logical, and dynamic — looks surprisingly cheerful and young for its age. Nothing needless, superfluous or pretentious: skilful stage direction leads action at ease to the optimistic final. And meltingly archaic writhes of the Evil Genius on the forestage only add a grain of irony to the unsophisticated triumph of good over evil. Gorsky's outstanding dances don't lose fabulous magnificence even with its imperfect performance, that's why student's constraint seems to be fully surmountable barrier. Indeed, the main thing is already done: the remarkable ballet is reincarnated, while it is the business of the adopting parents to bring it up and to improve it.

Olga Fedorchenko, "Kommersant-SPB":
... Mikhailovsky's Swan Lake of two Messerers — Alexander Gorsky — Lev Ivanov — is a solid, honestly made traditional ballet in the best sense of the term. The setting by Simon Virsaladze (reconstruction of decorations and dresses by Vyacheslav Okunev) brings us back to the golden age of the native ballet. In the first scene the "realistic" waltz is danced on heels, what highlights extra evanescence of the fantastic episodes on the lake. In the Act One Alexander Gorsky gave Siegfried objectively complex variation oriented on endless technical possibilities of young Asaf Messerer.

... "Swan" scenes chronologically and for a variety of marks are so much closer to the original work of 1895, than "patented" archetype of Mariinsky theatre. The arms and hands of the dancers are rounded according to the canon of 19th century, which provides choreography with special charm and softness. The style of Gorsky is seen in modifications in geography of composition: swans don't line up straight (so the famous "corridor", traditionally formed by two columns of swans, is missing). They form fanciful groups, contradicting the law of symmetry instead. So, if in the right part of the scene five dancers closed the circle then in the left one threesome kneeled down and behind them six dancers lined up in picturesque pose. Art-deco style is also maintained in group compositions: they are full of inexplicable attraction. The head is moved a little bit different, the body is inclined differently, the hands "sing" in a different way. These smooth "vegetative" movements revive an ancient comprehension of gracefulness and "velvety feeling", the term which was used frequently by the balletomanes of the past. Three Big Swans are dancing instead of the traditional foursome and there are four signets as yet, though Mr. Messerer apparently promises to bring this number up to six (as it was in the last Gorsky version).
Acrobatic elements were wisely taken away from the famous "white" Adagio. A shoulder lift became a substitute for caring over the dancer with her legs widely spread, which is not so aesthetically beautiful.

Anna Gordeeva, "Vremya Novostei":
... Petersburg's Mikhailovsky theatre opened the season with the premiere of Swan Lake by Alexander Gorsky — Asaf Messerer and this performance is one of the most vivid shows that fell to your ballet reviewer's lot in the last decade.

... It's been a long time since you can't watch this performance in Moscow, as it was replaced in 1968 by the gloomy version of Yuri Grigorovich; Petersburg is much luckier now.

... The leading part fell to Ekaterina Borchenko. Her white swan amazingly believes in destiny and in this prince who suddenly occurred on the lake. Some kind of adolescent confidence that nothing bad can ever happen and everything is going to be alright. That's why in every movement we see a little condescension towards unduly trembling prince. Irreproachable lines of the dancer and her steady technique force the effect: nothing bad can happen to the girl, who stands so firmly on her feet. And we see the prince (Marat Shemiunov), who dances with placid dignity in the first scene, as he literally starts getting silly when meeting this swan. No, truly, it's performed wonderful. Oh, she is really coming to my hands? Astonishment on the face and eyelashes are fluttering. And the makeover of the prince takes place exactly on the lake, without any former soulful excruciations and strivings to somewhere, as happen in other versions of this ballet. He is alright and no sooner than he falls in love he loses his rest.

Moreover, this performance has delightful character dances rehearsed by Alla Boguslavskaya. — a bright and witty suite, composed by Gorsky (including splendid Spanish dance, multiply quoted by other choreographers.) Tiny Jester (Denis Tolmachev) executing grand pirouette perfectly well. Unlucky prince's fiancées gazing after his every step. The Evil Genius (Vladimir Tsal), flying high in his jumps. All this must be seen at least just to throw off the myth about the museum, boredom and mummy. In St Petersburg? Yes, indeed, in Petersburg — not so far. However, let's hope this ballet will get to Moscow one day.

Kirill Veselago "Fontanka.Ru":
... All in all, the significance of this premiere for cultural life in Russia can hardly be overrated: at the time of numerous meaningless and ruthless "rethinkings", Mikhailovsky theatre reconstructed this piece. The one which had its place in the history of Russian ballet and which was undeservingly forgotten by those people to whom it brought worldwide fame, that is Bolshoi Theatre. Now people who live in Moscow can also see the performance in which some time ago gorgeously appeared Plisetskaya and Fadeechev. Although in the set with tickets for the performance they will have to buy tickets Moscow — St Petersburg.

#19 aqualia2008

aqualia2008

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:24 AM

Posted Image

#20 chiapuris

chiapuris

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 316 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:28 AM

23-12 ---I liked Messerer's SL, which I saw in London some years ago. I missed the (Tschaikovsky) aural pantomime.

E.Borchenko, last night, has become a purer classicist , simpler in expression, direct in boldness.

V Lebedev was a caring partner and with thrilling variations in the third act.

I particularly liked the 3rd act scenery, with its colorfree tone and elegance.

The corps de ballet were synchronous and splendidly musical altogether. The tutus are gorgeous.

The jester, in the final count, remained a nuisance. And the swans remained swans.

Tragedy according to Tschaikovsky's score, remained a soviet dictum after its
time. Way after.

Is ballet a conservative art?

#21 aqualia2008

aqualia2008

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:12 PM

Three years ago Mikhailovsky presented this show in London. Four performances were danced by Ekaterina Borchenko, the rest three by Polina Semionova, Tamara Rojo and Irina Perren. 



#22 ksk04

ksk04

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 482 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:15 PM

Sorry, Goleizovsky's choreography. And one more observation - I thought the ending a bit dull. I favor the ending where Odette is fated to be a swan forever - this is the version I learned early on seeing George Balanchine's shortened version and this is the version I feel works best with the tragic nature of Tschaikovsky's fabulous music. Does anyone know a Swan Lake tradition where Von Rothbart's wing is torn off, besides this restoration?


The Mariinsky's version.

#23 Rosa

Rosa

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 422 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:40 PM

Have Mariinsky and Bolshoi stayed with the Soviet ending? I'd be interested in thoughts on this issue, especially from BTers familiar with the current environment in Russia.


The Mariinsky, yes, still has the happy Soviet ending. The Bolshoi had a happy ending until...about a decade ago? Now their ending involves Siegfried being left alone, his ideal dreams gone (Odette is not real).

#24 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,243 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:44 PM


Sorry, Goleizovsky's choreography. And one more observation - I thought the ending a bit dull. I favor the ending where Odette is fated to be a swan forever - this is the version I learned early on seeing George Balanchine's shortened version and this is the version I feel works best with the tragic nature of Tschaikovsky's fabulous music. Does anyone know a Swan Lake tradition where Von Rothbart's wing is torn off, besides this restoration?


The Mariinsky's version.


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.

#25 CM

CM

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 136 posts

Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:52 AM

British Pathe has some footage of the production from Beryl Grey's performance in Swan Lake at the Bolshoi in 1958

http://www.britishpa...uery/beryl grey

http://www.britishpa...uery/beryl grey

#26 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,511 posts

Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:01 AM

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.

#27 AlbanyGirl

AlbanyGirl

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 233 posts

Posted 08 March 2013 - 04:05 PM

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

#28 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,511 posts

Posted 08 March 2013 - 05:23 PM

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.co... 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).

#29 AlbanyGirl

AlbanyGirl

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 233 posts

Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:10 PM

Thank you for the reference, California.

#30 aqualia2008

aqualia2008

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:20 PM

For those who missed the Swan lake broadcast from Mikhailovsky:

 

http://paraclassics....victor-lebedev/




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):