Jump to content


How viable is the ROMANTIC/CLASSICAL distinction today?-- and how do weuse or misuse it?


  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#16 AlbanyGirl

AlbanyGirl

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 223 posts

Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

Cristian, that is very touching, why Giselle matters so much to you. Thank you for this post. It is obvious from this post and some of your others that Giselle is a deeply personal ballet for you - I noted it almost immediately when I joined. Yes, I know I will love Giselle live - I already do, from the performances on YouTube I've seen: the great Katia Maximova and equally great Alessandra Ferri. She is one of the most poignant heroines in ballet - you weep for her, this absolutely innocent maiden. Perhaps so because she is not the Swan Queen or the Sleeping Beauty; simply a pure-hearted peasant girl (who transcends her mortal self in the end.....).

Meanwhile, tomorrow I travel to NYC to see another great ballet star in the firmament - The Sleeping Beauty! Posted Image I'll post about that on Sunday or Monday, perhaps.

~ Karen

#17 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,045 posts

Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:50 PM


On another thread, sandik responded as follows to a post by cubanmiamiboy --

Do people think of Giselle differently than they do the Petipa classics (never mind that most of the material we know of Giselle was restaged and revamped by Petipa...)


Yes. Maybe I can't see past those long Romantic tutus and those low Romantic buns, but Act II strikes my eye in a different way than a Petitpa white act does. But the Romantic ballet that feels really different to me is Bournonville's "La Sylphide." Only the Sylph and her sisters dance on pointe, and the pointe work thus has a real theatrical purpose: you know James is communing with something otherworldly for real. Flesh-and-blood Effie and her companions dance up a storm -- but in character shoes, and it matters. By the time we get to Petipa, pointe work has lost that flavor of specialness.


Or perhaps its flavor of novelty and exoticism. By Petipa's time pointework is taken for granted as part of ballet vocabulary. It still has a real theatrical purpose, but of a different kind.

Nice topic, bart, thanks for starting it.

#18 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,162 posts

Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:17 PM

who are the great "Romantic" dancers -- in style and type, even if not in repertoire -- from the days of Taglioni to today?

Well...here are some great contemporary moments, bart..






and...taking the liberty to include the Mega Homage to the Romantic period.


#19 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,575 posts

Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:48 PM

To answer whether general audiences make the distinction between Romantic and Classical ballet, I think in North America, the main distinctions would be between the long tutu and the short pancake tutu with crowns on the head, and between the music used for "Giselle" and "La Sylphide" versus the symphonic Tchaikovsky scores, because "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty," and "Nutcracker" are done so much more often here than Petipa ballets with lighter scores like "La Bayadere." If "Raymonda" were performed in North America, I think it would be classified musically with Tchaikovsky, although only the Intruder dies. "Romeo and Juliet" gets performed a lot, and I would suspect, despite its dissonance, would be bundled with "Swan Lake"'s score in people's minds.

I think audiences that see "Serenade" don't see Petipa as much as "Giselle"or "La Sylphide" and I think Fokine's "Les Sylphides" would be grouped in with these and not seen a Classical. (I don't know if people would recognize "Giselle" as a work by Petipa.) They would, at least with Pakeldinaz's designs for "Ballet Imperial," group that and "Theme and Variations" with classical ballets like "Sleeping Beauty."

Most non-tragic opera isn't taken very seriously here, with the exception of the bittersweet Mozart/da Ponte operas, and I think "Don Quixote" is looked at similarly, and I suspect more people have seen the Pas de Deux than the full ballet.

#20 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,162 posts

Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:36 AM

To answer whether general audiences make the distinction between Romantic and Classical ballet, I think in North America, the main distinctions would be between the long tutu and the short pancake tutu with crowns on the head,


Well, Tom...here you go, the respond as I would had liked to give it at first hand...(actually, I wrote a similar one at first and deleted right away, for which I suspected that the most orthodoxes ballet lovers would had jumped in disagreement right away). But hey, it is now THE Helene talking now, so we better listen...good for you Ms. Kaplan ! Posted Image

#21 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,162 posts

Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:57 PM

Just from last November. The Romantic style is still alive..!



#22 Quiggin

Quiggin

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 795 posts

Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:22 PM

The difference between long and short tutu ballets then shows most decidedly in Tchaikovsky Suite Number 3 at the transition between acts 3 and 4, where it seems as if that the haze suddenly falls away from your eyes and the brilliance and clarity of the classical is reestablished.

Again many of the 19th century ballets seem to have both classical and romantic parts peacefully coexisting within them.

Robert Schumann's Carnaval and Davidsbundlerdanze, both of which have been set to ballets, alternate between cool and hot, impetuous and poetic – perhaps setting up another ballet dialectic.

#23 Michael

Michael

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:52 AM

How old is Alonso, do you think in those videos of Pas de Quatre and Robert le Diable?

Re romantic vs. classical. The source of the confusion is the use of the words in multiple senses. The original distinction, historically, was in French literature of the 18th and 19th centuries. Classical was Racine on the stage or the Gardels in dance. Anacreontic ballets like Pshyce or Telemaque. In the 1830s Century, revolting from these, come Hugo on the stage and ballets like Robert Le Diable, La Sylphide and Giselle.

But people most often today employ "classical" in their daily speech to mean something adhering to an accepted cultural canon of any kind. They use the words more loosely. As in, for example, "Classical Music." If we mix up the two senses of the word to demonstrate: "Classical" music today includes "Romantic" composers like Tchaikovsky. "Classical" ballet includes "Romantic" ballets like "La Sylphide." Lots of confusion here.

#24 Kathleen O'Connell

Kathleen O'Connell

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 679 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:39 AM

Just from last November. The Romantic style is still alive..!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Z2CQptylE


Oh, if the Trocks are making a fuss over it, the style is most definitely still alive ... Posted Image

#25 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,162 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:07 AM

How old is Alonso, do you think in those videos of Pas de Quatre and Robert le Diable?


40 in Pas de Quatre-(she was born in 1920, and that video is from 1960). I think Roberto el Diablo is from 1979 or 1980.

What I find tragic is how scarce productions of GPDQ or even Chopiniana are nowadays. I could even make a wild guess as if unless I go back to Havana, I will never see the former again.
A little while ago I ran into Magaly Suarez, ex AD of CCBM, and she told me she was trying to gather 4 Cubans to stage it here.

How great if that could be done with the Feijoo sisters plus maybe Reyes, Almeida or Gutierrez.

#26 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,045 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:44 AM

Re romantic vs. classical. The source of the confusion is the use of the words in multiple senses. The original distinction, historically, was in French literature of the 18th and 19th centuries. Classical was Racine on the stage or the Gardels in dance. Anacreontic ballets like Pshyce or Telemaque. In the 1830s Century, revolting from these, come Hugo on the stage and ballets like Robert Le Diable, La Sylphide and Giselle.

But people most often today employ "classical" in their daily speech to mean something adhering to an accepted cultural canon of any kind. They use the words more loosely. As in, for example, "Classical Music." If we mix up the two senses of the word to demonstrate: "Classical" music today includes "Romantic" composers like Tchaikovsky. "Classical" ballet includes "Romantic" ballets like "La Sylphide." Lots of confusion here.


Thanks for posting, Michael. My understanding is that classical period in dance is the late eighteenth century/ early nineteenth century (the Gardels, and Noverre before them), the era of the ballet d'action. And then in music you have the classical era of Mozart, ending with Beethoven, who is a transitional figure between the Classical and Romantic eras.

The terms have different historical and popular meanings, as you and others note. (I'm not sure how much genuine confusion this causes; most people who are reasonably knowledgeable about the canon of Western composers understand that Tchaikovsky isn't a classical composer in the historical sense.)

#27 Michael

Michael

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:01 AM

Oh I think that you'd have a hard time convincing your average subscriber to the NY Philharmonic that Tchaikovsky isn't a classical composer. I think the vernacular meaning of "classical" music probably trumps all else today and that the more specialized, nuanced, historically informed one is rarer.

But I don't mean to take this off topic. The applied idea is that the Classical - Romantic nomenclature is probably not that useful today in Ballet except for a more specialized discussion like this one, or if there's a reason to use it - for instance, a ballet master or mistress trying to make a stylistic point in directing a performance.

#28 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,045 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

You could well be right, on all points.....

#29 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,162 posts

Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

I will never forget one of my first History of Music lessons back in the conservatory as a teen, where my late great professor Miss Alfonso, in her very first class, told us that with her we were only to use the "Musica Culta" or "Musica Docta" terms, as opposed to "Musica Clasica", which we were supposed to use only to denote the 1750-1820 period between the Baroque and Romantic ones.

I googled a proper English translation to the Musica Culta term, but it always directs me to Classical Music...

#30 AlbanyGirl

AlbanyGirl

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 223 posts

Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:08 PM

Oh I think that you'd have a hard time convincing your average subscriber to the NY Philharmonic that Tchaikovsky isn't a classical composer. I think the vernacular meaning of "classical" music probably trumps all else today and that the more specialized, nuanced, historically informed one is rarer.


I disagree, Michael. If you were talking about the average person who doesn't listen to classical music or know that much about it, that would most likely be true. But I have to believe that most people who care enough about classical music to subscribe to a series of concerts would have knowledge of the development of 'classical' music and would know that Tchaikovsky is a romantic composer and an example of the 'high romantic', for lack of a better description. On the ballet side of this discussion, what may be less clear to casual ballet-goers is the difference between romantic ballet and classical ballet, which doesn't correspond to the development of what is termed 'classical music'. I agree with your earlier post, and Dirac's, that the terms are confusing.


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):