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Lukayev

Do we *really* need Rothbart in the Pdd?

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(I had to bring this up)..

As I stated above.. do we really need von Rothbart (or in some cases, his evil female twin) in the Black Swan pas de deux?

--Luka

[ 06-27-2001: Message edited by: Luka ]

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well i think it makes sense when she goes to him at some point as if to collaborate. and since this is supposed to be a court and at least until the last moment, she and rothbart being received royally, then it would seem that as her father? whatever?, he is presenting her. i don't know to what extent that means he has to be involved partnering wise, however.

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NO!!!!! He was not "added to that part because the original Siegfried was getting old and didn't want to do the lifts." Von Rothbart was there from the beginning and played a dramatic role in the act; the "partnering" was incidental. The pas de trois -- a device often used by Petipa; think of "Le Corsaire" -- was structurally important, the mate of the pas de trois in the second act, with Benno (see Benno thread).

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It still makes sense to have him in there when the ballet is presented as a part of a four-act complete version. When the pdd is offered as an independent divertissement, he becomes superfluous. And Von R. doesn't do any lifts with Odile. Siegfried does any that are in there.

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I've not looked closely at the Black Swan notations, but Roland John Wiley writes (in TCHAIKOVSKY'S BALLETS) that Petipa planned what we now call the Black Swan Pas de Deux as a pas de quatre demi d'action, including Odile, Siegfried, an extra cavalier (I always forget) and von Rothbart, who acted but didn't dance. This info corresponds with the original cast list from 1895. Gorsky published a notation of a variation for the extra cavalier (he WAS the extra cavalier in 1895 and the choreography of the variation is credited to him - it's a really great variation, too, BTW), set to the waltz in B-flat major. The "d'action" part comes during the adagio when Odile converses in mime with von Rothbart and the vision of Odette appears. And, yes, the 32 fouettes are notated! :(

This is drawing on two threads, but I wonder why both adagios incorporate extra cavaliers. Again, I do not think it was because Gerdt was a big wimp. He could partner and did partner into the 20th century. I generally do not look for any philosophical/psychological reasoning in Petipa's works but, taking that route for just a moment, Siegfried is potentially made to look weak or young. (And Gerdt was neither!)

Any ideas?

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Could it be simply a part of court etiquette? There was no privacy there. People didn't go out into the forest alone, with or without crossbows. Something similar still exists in Raymonda, when the four cavaliers partner her (and I believe Jean de Brienne was one of those four cavaliers initially).

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I have no idea if this makes sense, but the Rose Adagio has the four suitors for Aurora partnering her as a part of 'court etiquette'.. or not? Was everyone just polite and danced with whomever was present? :(

--Luka

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With the Rose Adagio, the four princes are suitors of Princess Aurora and their courting dance with her is part of the larger pas d'action of Act I, i.e., part of the plot.

In RAYMONDA Act III, Jean de Brienne has no solo variation (and this was Sergei Legat, not Pavel Gerdt). In the original, he danced a pas de quatre with Bernard and Beranger, the two troubador friends of Raymonda, plus another cavalier (again, Alexander Gorsky - type casting?! :().

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And related to emploi, but different from it, at least within Swan Lake itself, intentional parallel construction.

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I think von Rothbart is necessary in Act III. Tchaikovsky and -- if I'm not mistaken -- Petipa wrote music and choregraphy for the character. VR has a solo in Act III scored for brass and strings, and isn't the music with the theme played by oboes supposed to be a pas de trois for Siegfried, Odile and VR?

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I can't speak for the current version of ABT's production, but in the Petipa/Ivanov 1895 version, Von Rothbart does not dance as such at all. He has some moments where he acts as a support for Odile, and after the Black Swan Pdd, there is a scena for the three of them where the "waltz of the princesses" is briefly reprised, and then moves into some fairly forceful mime, where Von R. extorts a promise to marry Odile from Siegfried.

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Okay that is how I'm remembering the story going more. Correct if I am mistaken but VR IS a character role right. So he wouldn't necesarily have or need a "variation".

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Melissa, I think the two variations you mention are part of the Pas de Six that was in the original score (1877) and possibly intended by Tchaikovsky and Reisinger (the first choreographer) as a pas for the six princesses - hence, the addition for Odile of what we now know as Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux shortly after the first performance. I'd have to check Wiley re: 1877 to see if the affiche for the first performance lists participants in the Pas de Six. Certainly the brass variation sounds a lot like music from the lakeside scene when Rothbart appears and the oboe variation seems to suit Odile's character. But Mel is right that the Pas de Dix was omitted from the 1895 production. Bulgakov was Rothbart in 1895 and his was a non-dancing role.

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I have this so-called complete Swan Lake collection I ripped onto two CD's, and there is a variation listed under the Pas de Six as Variation V - Moderato; Allegro semplice that fits the description of an oboe-played theme. I don't know if that's it, but it might be.. :confused:

--Luka

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Choreographers and ballet masters (and less-than-masters) over the years have been beguiled by all that wonderful Pas de Six music and have dipped into it to greater or lesser effect seemingly at will. It would make a perfectly marvelous stand-alone piece, and I have seen it used in that way. Doug, when you refer to the "B-flat major waltz" are you referring to the original woman's variation in what we called the Black Swan pas de deux today? I've always liked that music and thought it a pity that Petipa and Ivanov couldn't have found some use for it.

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Mel, That's probably the waltz I mean, with the low trumpet solo at the beginning of the melody. I never paid attention to whether it was intended as the woman's solo. It is indeed in the Drigo edition of the score for 1895, in a shortened version of Tchaikovsky's original, and, since Gorsky was in the pas d'action (i.e., Black Swan pas de deux), as an extra cavalier and also choregraphed the male solo to the waltz music, maybe it was indeed performed then?

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I think I mean a different one, then, if you're thinking of one that starts with a low trumpet solo. The variation I'm thinking of starts in the cellos and horns, and is answered by the woodwinds. The trumpet gets involved toward the end, with a nice countermelody, but that's the wrong end!

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Sorry for the tedium. Mel, I think we are thinking of the same waltz, but I must have the scoring wrong. The woodwinds do answer -in thirds - and there is a countermelody at the recap.

Anyway, it's a lovely waltz and the man's variation by Gorsky is really something.

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Perhaps we are, Doug; the one I'm thinking of has a nice bridge to the coda, and would make a great breather for both Siegfried and Odile before the fireworks!

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Just for information, the Rose Adagio in the first act of "Sleeping Beauty" was transfered by Petipa from his early ballet "Golden Fish", so, probably it's not about courtesy, but choreographic patterns which perfectly fit 4/4 meter of the music - he needs four cavaliers, it's all :( .

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Andrei, was Petipa really so dry? Even if the patterns come from somewhere else, there's a different coloration if they're suitors.

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