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ABT To Unveil New Sleeping Beauty For 75th Anniversary

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The NYCB leaves the Act 3 divertissements pretty much intact so let's hope the ABT's new version also does this.

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This new production is mentioned in the current issue of Dance Europe so I was about to post here but, of course, this was announced earlier. DE's short article uses the work 'rethinking'...

I just hope that it will be a mostly-traditional version (steps and designs). No 'EL CHEAPO' or 'EL WACKO' productions, a-la Ratmansky's 'rethinking' Firebird a couple of years ago, please. Hopefully this will be more in keeping with Ratmansky's more classical manners (like Corsaire at the Bolshoi), being reverent and respectful of 1890s aesthetics. (Perhaps Burlaka may be involved, as he was with Corsaire-Bolshoi?)

One big positive for ABT: No more 'Burger-King Florestan' (that crown & navy-blue robe) and no more day-glo fairy tutus!

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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

I love that entr'acte. The Mariinsky does it during its Sleeping Beauty, and even though the curtain goes down, the auditorium goes dark except a spotlight on the violinist and the whole orchestra is mechanically raised during this portion, it is a breath-taking moment! It is so lovely!

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In Nureyev's version (Paris Opera Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, among others) he gave the Prince a solo to the violin music.

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And hopefully no more "thud" of a castle smack dab in the middle of the stage in Aurora's Birthday scene, no more yucky "yellow brick road" costumes for the Garland Waltz, and maybe, just maybe the restoration of a few of the dances for the last act! (and this is just a short list of the wrongs about this mess of a ballet.) This past production was a total embarrassment for a major company!

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Does Koch have his hand in any ballet companies out of New York.......does anyone know??

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I actually liked the "disney" version of SB. The scenery and costumers were gorgeous. I did not quite understand the spiderweb part.

Ratminski is doing a great job, I hope he does more work with ABT.

What I would like to see in a SB:

When Carabotte enters the court, I'd like to see some some magical ability besides the wig. Maybe supervillan invulnerability or something. The whole court should be in absolute fear when she enters. The role is always well acted, I'd like something that will scare little girls, but not too much. Snakes and Spiders come to mind. A carriage pulled by Spiders?

The Fairy's gifts should be more symbolic, a prop you can see from the cheap seats

Prince Phillip should actually scale the castle or get the drawbridge to come down. Something dramatic. This Castle has been unguarded for 100 years. The Prince is risking his life for the love of his life. Climbing the vines would involve stunt and wire work that the company may not want to risk.

The costumes in the wedding scene should be very different from act I, it is hundred years later. The Mazurka is the main dance, so I'd like to see something eastern-europe looking.

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I often read so much animosity on ABT's production of the classics, but to be honest, I don't have any problem with them. When I went to London and saw the Bolshoi's versions, I disliked them way more than those of ABT. Actually, ABT is probably one of the very few companies that retains the original SL's double suicide original ending, and Makarova's Bayadere successfully goes back to the complete resolution of the ballet, as it was originally intended, unlike the Russian one. The Bolshoi has truncated,weird stagings,, and Grigorovitch's SB is no exception. That floor pattern is a complete disaster when looked from afar. I actually think the Disney aura of ABT's SB is not a bad thing. The cartoonish looking of the sets gives it a vintage feeling, very much like the American companies of the past. The one thing that could be reworked with success would be the re incorporation of certain missing sections as per the current staging, like the Precious Stones Pas de Trois.

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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

I love that entr'acte. The Mariinsky does it during its Sleeping Beauty, and even though the curtain goes down, the auditorium goes dark except a spotlight on the violinist and the whole orchestra is mechanically raised during this portion, it is a breath-taking moment! It is so lovely!

I performed in Mr. B's Nut for several years in Act I, I would stand at the pit door afterward to listen to that gorgeous solo. every night.

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You know, with the spectacular advances in stage technology over the last several years, a smart designer could make a truly magical "panorama" scene using lights/projections that would give the sense of moving through the world and arriving at the castle without using expensive mechanical effects...

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NYCB/Martins did a 'projection-heavy' version 20+ years ago.Quite lovely. That said, nothing says "WOW" like gorgeous old-fashioned painted sets, a-la Mariinsky's 1890 Beauty or the Royal's incomparable designs by Messell. In other words, the opposite of 'El Cheapo.'

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Does the Met still have a stage turntable? I recall seeing Die Fleidermaus set that rotated. Even if ABT took advantage of the Met's huge stage, it does not travel well.

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NYCB/Martins did a 'projection-heavy' version 20+ years ago.Quite lovely. That said, nothing says "WOW" like gorgeous old-fashioned painted sets, a-la Mariinsky's 1890 Beauty or the Royal's incomparable designs by Messell. In other words, the opposite of 'El Cheapo.'

Even when I was just an opera lover I used to tell my opera friends that it is funny how the U.S. uses all these elaborate 3-D opera sets that are crazy, updated or outlandish productions with huge price tags, and then you see something at the Mariinsky or another European theatre with old fashioned painted backdrops, and your senses are much more fulfilled.

One example is the Met's recent Ring Cycle. I know some will disagree, but they spent so much money reinforcing the stage to fit that "Machine" on the stage and it was ugly and in most scenes just sat there like a bunch of metal planks, so what was the point? To me it was the biggest production disaster in the history of opera. And probably most expensive disaster in opera.

Then, you go to an opera at the Mariinsky with old fashioned painted backdrops and you feel totally involved in the magic.

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According to their website , Ballet of the La Scala Opera is doing A Ratmansky's new Sleeping Beauty on Oct 2015 as a coproduction with ABT. That makes sense in the present economic conditions especially for expensive productions like this. Alexei is also doing a new full-length Paquita, based on the Stepanov notations, for the Bavarian State Ballet this December. It would be wonderful if ABT can coproduce this or acquire it later.

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According to their website , Ballet of the La Scala Opera is doing A Ratmansky's new Sleeping Beauty on Oct 2015 as a coproduction with ABT. That makes sense in the present economic conditions especially for expensive productions like this.

Note that the only casting announced so far for the La Scala production is Zakharova and Hallberg. As Ratmansky seems to have a lot of control over the casting in his ballets, we might wonder if that means Hallberg will also be in the ABT production in 2015 at the Met and perhaps even the Segerstrom premiere. It's interesting that Bolle, a La Scala principal, is not listed, nor is Osipova, a regular La Scala guest and Ratmansky favorite. Of course, this might change:

http://www.teatroallascala.org/en/season/opera-ballet/2014-2015/sleeping-beauty.html

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I noticed that the running time is 3 hours, including intermission. Hopefully this means that the Ratmansky version will restore all of those wedding act divertissements that McKenzie inexplicably cut in the interest of getting the kids home early.

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Yikes that is so long... that means on a "work-night" we'll be getting out of the Met around or after 11! They never start on time & their intermissions are always longer than they predict.

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Does anyone know how long a La Scala intermission usually lasts? The old ABT Sleeping Beauty was 2 hrs 35 min. (including intermission), and I believe they usually aim for intermissions of approx. 20 mins. (as opposed to the Metropolitan Opera's tiresomely long 30-40 min. ones). If La Scala does intermissions that are as short as ABT's, then it's very likely that Ratmansky has restored some choreography. Twenty to 25 extra minutes of choreography would make sense for the wedding variations, I believe? And I have my fingers crossed that he can fit in that gorgeous entr'acte!

I find it very odd that ABT's press release on Sleeping Beauty did not mention that it would be a co-production with La Scala. Surely their press offices could have made a coordinated effort in publicizing this new ballet.

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Yikes that is so long... that means on a "work-night" we'll be getting out of the Met around or after 11! They never start on time & their intermissions are always longer than they predict.

Might the La Scala version feature two intermissions? Three hours seems very long for just one intermission.

Even with the old McKenzie version lasting 2 1/2 hours, reinstating Little Red Riding Hood and Puss-in-Boots wouldn't take up that much time. Personally I would also love to see Cinderella (the divertissement) reinstated: very few versions do it.

I can't recall what else the production cuts.

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McKenzie cut all the precious metal/precious stone dances. He essentially ripped the guts out of the wedding scene.

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And I have my fingers crossed that he can fit in that gorgeous entr'acte!

One solution is to use it in lieu of an intermission, to 'depict' the passing of 100 years between Acts 1 and 2.

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PNB's SB (staged by Ronald Hynd after his ENB production) runs just under three hours, including three 15 minute intermissions. It's a long evening in the theater, but well-paced.

They really only have one performance (Thursday evening, second week) that is technically on a "school night," though -- if there were more mid-week performances, that might be an issue.

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I just don't see ABT doing a 3 hour work. There is musician and stage hand overtime to consider. My husband was a stage manager on broadway shows and time was always of the essence. Aside from that this is a work people bring their kids to - it it lasts for 3 hours it better be very magical.

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ABT lists the running time of R&J as being 3 hours, and so much of that time is spent on harlots twirling around in the street and other filler.

http://www.abt.org/performances/performance_display.asp?Event_ID=13

At least with SB, it's three hours densely packed with interesting dance. I love R&J, but I feel like the viewer has to slog through a lot of boring bits to get to the good parts.

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I agree that SB is "three hours densely packed with interesting dance" as fondoffouettes writes above -- and I love it and even adore it more than I can write -- though I'm not sure new-to-ballet-viewers always agree. I remember at the end of a performance by the Royal Ballet some years ago an older cousin walking over to say knowingly to me (that is, ignorantly, but in a 'knowing' tone of voice), 'obviously all the good dancing is in the last act...' I was actually too dumbstruck to argue.

Let's hope that ABT & Ratmansky go for as dense and substantive a production as they can muster! For myself, I am planning a trip to NY to see this production multiple times next season. If it's the quality of the Ratmansky-Burlaka Corsaire, it will be well worth it. Even if it's not, I expect it will be worth it.

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