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ABT To Unveil New Sleeping Beauty For 75th Anniversary

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Whew! what a relief. For a moment, i thought , Kevin will do the new production.wink1.gif

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It'll be even better to use restored Leon Bakst's set and costumes rather than Richard Hudson's design based on Bakst's. But all in all an extremely good news.

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The work will have its premiere on March 3, 2015 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, Calif.,

Music to my ears! Excellent news.

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Official release:

WORLD PREMIERE OF ALL-NEW PRODUCTION OF

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY CHOREOGRAPHED BY ALEXEI RATMANSKY,

SET FOR MARCH 3, 2015 AT SEGERSTROM CENTER FOR THE ARTS,

COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA

LEAD MATCHING GIFT OF $2.5 MILLION FROM

DAVID H. KOCH TO UNDERWRITE PRODUCTION

American Ballet Theatre will premiere an all-new production of The Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, March 3, 2015 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. It was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. Set to the score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky,

The Sleeping Beauty will be given eight performances, March 3-8, 2015, in California, and will receive its New York Premiere during ABT’s 2015 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House.

American Ballet Theatre’s all-new production of The Sleeping Beauty will feature scenery and costumes by Tony Award®-winning designer Richard Hudson. Hudson’s designs will be based on the historic work of Léon Bakst, who created a seminal version of The Sleeping Beauty for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1921. The production represents Hudson’s third collaboration with Ratmansky for American Ballet Theatre, having previously designed scenery and costumes for

The Nutcracker (2010) and costumes for Dumbarton (2011).

“I have long wanted to choreograph a version of The Sleeping Beauty,” said

Ratmansky. “Tchaikovsky’s complex score and Petipa’s choreography represent the highest achievement of Russian classical art. It symbolizes the harmony and magic of classical dance for me.”

“Having Alexei put his touch to this classic, incorporating elements of a historical reproduction, will make us look anew at The Sleeping Beauty, “ said McKenzie. “The prospect of this venture is very exciting to me.”

Underwriting American Ballet Theatre’s new production of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty will be a lead matching gift from David H. Koch of $2.5 million. The gift is a matching grant with funds raised for The Sleeping Beauty matched 1:1 by Koch.

“I am very proud to support Alexei Ratmansky’s next work for American Ballet Theatre,” said ABT Trustee David H. Koch. “I look forward to seeing the artistry and creativity he will surely bring to The Sleeping Beauty.”

David H. Koch is the Lead Underwriter of American Ballet Theatre’s

The Sleeping Beauty. The Sleeping Beauty is generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

American Ballet Theatre’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty is the Company’s fourth production of the ballet. The production marks Ratmansky’s eleventh work for ABT.

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I hope Ratmansky & Hudson will be faithful to the Ballets Russes/Leon Bakst production.

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Yes. Every cosmopolitan ballet company deserves a top quality Sleeping Beauty production. Good for ABT.

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I hope Ratmansky & Hudson will be faithful to the Ballets Russes/Leon Bakst production.

Is there any record of the Ballets Russes's iteration of the Petipa choreography? Is it safe to assume it would have been more purely Petipa than later versions? I've only ever been familiar with the NYCB and ABT productions, and I'm not very knowledgeable about which portions of those productions are Petipa versus non-Petipa (except for obvious things like spiderwebs and pyrotechnical Carabosses.) It's a bit unclear from the press release if this new production will be a historical reconstruction of the dance in addition to the sets/costumes, but if that's the case, where would Ratmansky turn for most accurate Petipa choreography? I love Ratmansky's Nutcracker, but I'm glad it sounds as if his choreography for Sleeping Beauty may be more referential to the Petipa.

I'm excited and relieved to hear about this new production. I'm so glad ABT decided to do a new production while dancers such as Murphy, Gomes, Hallberg, Part, Lane, etc. are still with the company rather than wait years and years to get their money's worth out of the old production. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but I'd really love to see Gomes cast in the premiere. I've been blown away by what he has brought to ABT's flawed production year after year. He's truly the ideal cavalier for any Aurora. Also, as we're always saying in these forums, a Live from Lincoln Center or similar PBS broadcast is long overdue!

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I hope Murphy and Gomes get the opening night for this. Of course, this is a long way off.

It's a shame that so much money was spent on the old production (which isn't really very old) but it turned out so badly. I think a lot of the blame can be attributed to the "reworking" of the story by Gelsey's husband. It was more Disney than ballet. Also the destruction of so many important portions of the wedding scene (precious metal dances) was inexplicable. Good thing David Koch has so much money to throw around. If memory serves, he paid for most of the cost of the last SB production too.

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Also the destruction of so many important portions of the wedding scene (precious metal dances) was inexplicable.

Pacific Northwest Ballet just finished a run of SB last month, and I was struck again with how beautiful and tricky the Gold and Silver dances are, and what a great showcase for up and coming dancers in the company they can be.

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I wish there was some way the "Entr'acte symphonique" between Scenes I and II of Act II could be incorporated. Though it was cut from the original production, I think it's some of the most beautiful music in the score. It would be hard to justify its inclusion from a dramatic standpoint and I realize it probably has no place in a production focused on historical reconstruction, but I love that section of music nonetheless.

No.16 Scène

No.17 Panorama

  • Interpolation: 3 transitional bars for the end of no.17 composed by Riccardo Drigo to lead into no.19, as no.18 was cut in the original production

No.18 Entr'acte symphonique (solo for violin composed for Leopold Auer, cut from the original production)

Scene II — Le château de la belle au bois dormant No.19 Scène du château de sommeil

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surely the Entr'acte symphonique, while written with Auer in mind was composed BY Tchaikovsky?

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I wish there was some way the "Entr'acte symphonique" between Scenes I and II of Act II could be incorporated. Though it's not by Tchaikovsky and it was cut from the original production, I think it's some of the most beautiful music in the score. It would be hard to justify its inclusion from a dramatic standpoint and I realize it probably has no place in a production focused on historical reconstruction, but I love that section of music nonetheless.

No.16 Scène

No.17 Panorama

  • Interpolation: 3 transitional bars for the end of no.17 composed by Riccardo Drigo to lead into no.19, as no.18 was cut in the original production

No.18 Entr'acte symphonique (solo for violin composed for Leopold Auer, cut from the original production)

Scene II — Le château de la belle au bois dormant No.19 Scène du château de sommeil

Sorry, rg...I was clearly in need of my mid-afternoon coffee as I was perusing wikipedia. In any case, I spoke too soon. This book recounts how Diaghilev and Stravinsky re-inserted the entr'acte for the Ballets Russes:

http://books.google.com/books?id=DteDDV50v44C&pg=PA1520&lpg=PA1520&dq=leopold+auer+sleeping+beauty&source=bl&ots=SoTiGLiI1O&sig=LZbg4QFC61da5IDfLfKAGxtrapY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=AfcMU56iGIb_rAel_4DICA&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=leopold%20auer%20sleeping%20beauty&f=false

It makes me wonder if ABT is interested in adhering to the Ballet Russes's arrangement of the score...

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bottom line: the SLEEPING BEAUTY entr'acte is a fine piece of music, which Balanchine 'noted' when he included it in his NUTCRACKER.

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Well the panorama music is often cut down (as it was at the Maryinsky). It is stunning music and I hope to hear all of it.

As for the choreographic text used in 1921 - it was staged by Nicolas Sergeieff, the former regisseur of the Imperial Russian Ballet, St. Petersburg from the notations currently housed at Harvard. So it would have been basically a faithful reconstruction of Petipa's original text as notated around 1900/1903. But I have read that Bronislava Nijinska had a hand in excising much of the mime and rechoreographing a few of the dances in Act III's wedding scene. Stravinsky made a lot of changes to Tchaikovsky's score.

Given that Ratmansky in collaboration with Yuri Burlaka at the Bolshoi has used the Harvard Collection Sergeyev notations before in reconstructing "Le Corsaire" and "Esmeralda" among other Petipa ballets - and they were used in the 1890 Mariinsky "Sleeping Beauty" reconstruction, I suspect his reconstruction would be based on that material. Perhaps Doug Fullington will be involved, dare we hope? Hopefully, Ratmansky will leave Petipa's major classical dances intact limiting his original choreography to some character dances which his off-kilter sense of humor should make memorable and charming. I have read that there are sketchy portions of the Sergeyev notations like the Blind's Man Bluff section of the Hunting Party before the Vision Scene. Or the Knitting Ladies.

Here are photos showing Bakst's original costume designs and some actual costumes:

http://nga.gov.au/Exhibition/balletsrusses/Default.cfm?MnuID=3&GalID=23

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Hmmm----I wonder, will this be another upstairs/downstairs scenario??innocent.gif

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I don't have time to look it up right now, but you can check Lynn Garafola's excellent book on the Ballet Russe for details about their production.

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I wish there was some way the "Entr'acte symphonique" between Scenes I and II of Act II could be incorporated. Though it was cut from the original production, I think it's some of the most beautiful music in the score. It would be hard to justify its inclusion from a dramatic standpoint and I realize it probably has no place in a production focused on historical reconstruction, but I love that section of music nonetheless.

No.16 Scène

No.17 Panorama

  • Interpolation: 3 transitional bars for the end of no.17 composed by Riccardo Drigo to lead into no.19, as no.18 was cut in the original production

No.18 Entr'acte symphonique (solo for violin composed for Leopold Auer, cut from the original production)

Scene II — Le château de la belle au bois dormant No.19 Scène du château de sommeil

Ashton choreographed an "Awakening Pas de Deux" to this music (I believe for Peter Wright's 1968 production). No. 20 (The Awakening) was cut and instead No. 18 (Entr'acte) began after the tam-tam of No. 19 (Entr'acte Symphonique).

The pas de deux is really very beautiful and dramatically makes much more sense than the allegro awakening. I BELIEVE the pas de deux was created for Sibley and Dowell.

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I think I read somewhere that Nijinska was responsible for adding the fish dives in the adagio of the grand pas de deux that are now standard in western productions.

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It's hard for me to imagine any ABT Sleeping Beauty lasting longer than 2 h 45 minutes if as long (unions, Met audiences that have to make the train home etc). That would make for a limit to what they can keep/restore of original choreography. With the Bakst designs as point of reference they presumably don't have in mind a Mariinsky style type reconstruction in any case. But I do believe Ratmansky understands and loves Petipa and will do something well worth seeing!

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The Precious Stones Pas ought to be back and he fairy tales characters need some reworking also.

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