Jump to content


Swan Lake


  • Please log in to reply
77 replies to this topic

#16 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:00 PM

I think Drew made an excellent comparison of the two full-length Swan Lakes, and I agree with every point she made.  I would suggest, if you MUST see a Swan Lake, to see ABT's first, since it is, generally speaking, more traditional.  Unless you are able to catch Mearns in the lead at NYCB's.  Very special, indeed, but don't think the production is a typical staging of Swan Lake.

 

As for the one-act Balanchine version, I never thought it was supposed to be a literal Swan Lake, but an evocation of Balanchine's sense of the lakeside scenes, deliberately abstract.  Martins seems to have wanted to apply that approach to the full ballet (as well as to his very misguided Romeo + Juliet), and it just can't, by definition, work.

 

the only parts of the '95 standard SWAN LAKE in the ballroom sc. said to be Ivanov's work are the Hungarian and Venetian dances, which in Martins's staging are his own choreography.

???  I thought Ivanov choreographed only the White acts, Petipa the "festive" ones.



#17 Jayne

Jayne

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 870 posts

Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:08 PM

If NYCB and ABT both have unsalvagable SL's, which American SL do you recommend?  

 

Houston (Stanton Welch)

San Francisco (Helgi Tomasson)

Pacific Northwest Ballet (Kent Stowell)

Joffrey Ballet (???)

Boston Ballet (Nissinen)

 

Have I missed any?



#18 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,434 posts

Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:16 PM

my point was about the ballroom sc.

i didn't mean to imply that Ivanov had no hand in the lakeside scenes, the post which my comment answered was one in which the ballroom pas de deux for Odile and Siegfried was mistakenly called Ivanov's work, rather than Petipa's.

most scholarship says that the ballroom sc., more or less Petipa's work, included two dances by Ivanov, the Hungarian and the Venetian.



#19 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 17 August 2013 - 08:09 PM

Thank you, rg!  I had not known that Ivanov had a hand in the ballroom.



#20 tutu

tutu

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 84 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:34 AM

If NYCB and ABT both have unsalvagable SL's, which American SL do you recommend?  

 

Houston (Stanton Welch)

San Francisco (Helgi Tomasson)

Pacific Northwest Ballet (Kent Stowell)

Joffrey Ballet (???)

Boston Ballet (Nissinen)

 

Have I missed any?

 

PNB's got a stupendous Act IV. Really, really beautiful work for the corps and a wonderful pas de deux.



#21 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,533 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 05:36 AM

If NYCB and ABT both have unsalvagable SL's, which American SL do you recommend?  

 

Houston (Stanton Welch)

San Francisco (Helgi Tomasson)

Pacific Northwest Ballet (Kent Stowell)

Joffrey Ballet (???)

Boston Ballet (Nissinen)

 

Have I missed any?

I haven't seen these other American SLs.  The Mariinsky's version is widely considered to be one of the best in the world.  The Mariinsky will be performing SL in Washington DC in 2014 (Late Jan or early Feb). Obviously, casting is always an issue.  If you live anywhere within a reasonable distance of D.C., I would recommend going to the Mariinsky SL.



#22 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,434 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:04 AM

to the best of my knowledge, the Joffrey Ballet doesn't have SWAN LAKE in its current or past history.



#23 mira

mira

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:11 AM

not to overlook PA Ballet's Swan Lake - choreographed by Chris Wheeldon.  The scene is changed to La Belle Epoque in France (at the time of the famous Degas ballerina paintings) and most of it takes place in a ballet studio at that time.  The Odette/Odile choreography is similar but notable is the remarkably lifelike movement quality of the swan corps - especially the port de bras - wings movements are created in the motion of a figure eight.  It's stunning to see the corps transformed into a lamentation of swans.



#24 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,214 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 10:08 AM

 

If NYCB and ABT both have unsalvagable SL's, which American SL do you recommend?  

 

Houston (Stanton Welch)

San Francisco (Helgi Tomasson)

Pacific Northwest Ballet (Kent Stowell)

Joffrey Ballet (???)

Boston Ballet (Nissinen)

 

Have I missed any?

I haven't seen these other American SLs.  The Mariinsky's version is widely considered to be one of the best in the world.  The Mariinsky will be performing SL in Washington DC in 2014 (Late Jan or early Feb). Obviously, casting is always an issue.  If you live anywhere within a reasonable distance of D.C., I would recommend going to the Mariinsky SL.

 

 

When I want to show a neohyte what the real ballet of Swan Lake is, from beginning to end, I show them the Murphy/Corella video for ABT.   With the exception of the silly choreo for the overture, and the costume for the Swamp Thing, it is the most beautiful staging I've ever seen, honoring the very original libretto, including the double suicide/heaven redemtption finale.  It is also the only version I'm aware of that reinstates the original Siegffied/Ocette encounter mime.  ABT is also one of the few companies that makes the entrance of Odette the old fashion way, with a very effective grand jete, just as it should be.  I got very dissapointed to see the fgure of Odette already in view in the Bolshoi staging doing all this little walking center stage.  It completely broke the momentum of the entrance.

 

ABT's is THE version to see.



#25 Kathleen O'Connell

Kathleen O'Connell

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 735 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 11:00 AM

BUT (and to me this is a big but) - you've only seen three ballets and one of them is Swan Lake - I'd recommend you pick something else from NYCB's excellent fall programs.  This isn't likely to be the Swan Lake you've always wanted to see, and there are lots better ballets to chose from.

 

 

 

 

What Swanilda8 said. It's an awful production: dreadful to look at and worse than dreadful at storytelling. NYCB has many, many better things to see. If you'd like to stay focussed on story ballets, I recommend Balanchine's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." NYCB won't be presenting it until June, but it's worth the wait.

 

If you want to know what to during NYCB's upcoming fall season, just ask -- I know you will get good recommendations from the Ballet Alert community!



#26 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,409 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 01:00 PM

 

ABT's is THE version to see.

 

I like some things about ABT's version, especially the interpolated dancing for Purple Rothbart in Act III, which gives some great male dancers a chance to show off. I also like the prologue showing how Odette is trapped by Rothbart. (Too many versions leave that unsaid.)

 

But the seriously truncated last act is a big problem. Some really haunting segments for the corps are left out and the short race to the suicides is unfortunate. Also, the goings-on in front of the main curtain between the last two acts are seriously muddled. I think it's a good idea in principle to leave out that intermission, but the groupings are a mish-mash.



#27 Jayne

Jayne

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 870 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 01:36 PM

Looking at theof NYCB, there are other interesting things to see besides Swan Lake.  For a newbie "leaning in" to Ballet, these might be the most fun to see.  Not sure if you're ready for the modern / astringent stuff, so I'm sticking with the accessible programs:

 

October 5:  3 short stories:  La Sonnambula, Prodigal Son, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

January 22, 23  25, 28, 30, February 2, May 23, 24, 25: Jewels

January 24, February 1, 6, 9: Dances at a Gathering, Union Jack

February 14, 15, 16,17, 22, 23: Coppelia
May 6, 7, 10, 11, 12:  Raymonda, Tin Soldier, Le Tombeau, Symphony in C
May 14, 15, 17, 20: Davidsbündlertänze”, Union Jack
June 3,4,5,6,7,8: Midsummer Night's Dream (the 2nd act is a bunch of divertissements without any storyline, but the ppd is worth it)


#28 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,409 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 02:07 PM

Somebody asked about dates of the ABT's Swan Lake. McKenzie's version premiered in 2000. Baryshnikov did a new version in 1988 that McKenzie revived in 1993.

 

http://www.abt.org/e...e_mckenzie.html



#29 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,434 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 02:21 PM

McKenzie's 'revived' version of SWAN LAKE in '93 had nothing whatsoever to do with Baryshnikov's '88 version.

the '88 LAKE had designs by Samaritani and choreography by Baryshnikov which incorporated in the traditional places Ivanov's Petipa's 'standard' scenes.

When Baryshnikov left ABT he withdrew all his productions.

His SWAN LAKE was seen no more. the designs (scenery and costumes) were not used again, unless there's a chapter of ABT history that I'm unaware of. At one point i believe the swan maiden dresses were used for a ballet at the School of American Ballet by Robert LaFosse. 

here's an excerpt from Kisselgoff's '93 review of McKenzie's prod:

 

<<

The current revival, staged by the company's artistic director, Kevin McKenzie, is the production that Blair, then with the Royal Ballet, staged for Ballet Theater in 1967. Since Mikhail Baryshnikov withdrew his ill-fated 1989 "Swan Lake," the company has only produced excerpts or Act II of "Swan Lake,"

The Blair production, with Oliver Smith's suitably opera-house decor (the castle of von Rothbart, the magician, splits in half and sinks into the lake at the end) no longer looks as spectacular as it once did.

>>

when Makarova staged the second act, i.e. the first lakeside sc. she put the swan maidens in 'classical length' tutus, not the longer ones Wittop designed for Blair's production.



#30 California

California

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,409 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 02:38 PM

McKenzie's 'revived' version of SWAN LAKE in '93 had nothing whatsoever to do with Baryshnikov's '88 version.

 

 

That ABT page on the history of their Swan Lakes is nicely ambiguous -- "Swan Lake was revived, with staging by Kevin McKenzie..." and no hint of which of the several versions in ABT's history he was reviving. I suppose that was the politically judicious way to put things!




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):