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Swan Lake - most important sequences?


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#16 sandik

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 02:58 PM

The music for the jester solo in the opening scene of the ballroom act is the "Dance of the Corps de Ballet and the dwarves. Moderato assai. Allegro vivo", deleted for the '95 Petipa/Drigo revival.   I like the jester.  It certainly gives an extra opportunity for a soloist.

 

Thanks for the reference!



#17 Drew

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 07:17 PM

 

The music for the jester solo in the opening scene of the ballroom act is the "Dance of the Corps de Ballet and the dwarves. Moderato assai. Allegro vivo", deleted for the '95 Petipa/Drigo revival.   I like the jester.  It certainly gives an extra opportunity for a soloist.

 

Thanks for the reference!

 

 

I guess if the music was originally a dance for corps and dwarves it was always a kind of "jester" piece...though I'm afraid I usually don't like the jester. Still, I do seem to have gotten used to it.

 

Unfortunately I have never seen Stowell's version of the ballet.



#18 AlbanyGirl

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 07:20 PM

 

hi ABT Fan and AlbanyGirl. Thanks so much for your responses! To answer your question, the company is/was the Ballet of the National Theater of Brno, in the Czech Republic, which is where I live. I saw one performance last night, and I will return to see a different cast on Saturday. 
 
AlbanyGirl, I'd love to see your comments whenever you have time!
 
ABT Fan, your last comment is so on the money in regard to my Odette/Odile from last night. The ballerina, a visiting soloist from the Eifman Ballet in St. Petersburg (Svetlana Bjednenko), was not compelling as Odette, at least not to me. But her Odile -- wow! From the minute she appeared, I could see this was her part. That is why it was so unfortunate when she had some troubles with the fouettes... First of all, she did travel. But that was a small thing. About two-thirds of the way through the sequence, she faltered significantly enough that I was afraid she was going to fall. Someone earlier in Act III *did* fall, so who knows -- maybe that was on her mind. Anyway, when she faltered, I could hear people all around me sucking in their breath. She kept going, thank god, more or less until the point at which I think the music says you're supposed to stop. But it did seem that she ended the fouettes a few beats early, and a little clumsily.
 
It really was too bad, because as I said, up until then, she was a beguiling Odile. But, as you say, it's not enough to do just one part, and I think her Odette needs a lot of work. It seemed very one-note to me. She came across as martyr-like and not much else.
 
So that was the big downside. It might sound like a big downside, but in general I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the production. Brno is not a very big city, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But in general, I thought the standard seemed high, and I'm looking forward to seeing a different ballerina in a few days.
 
By the way, the little swans were great. Thanks for letting me know which they were. I'd heard to look out for little swans but never would have guessed that that's who they were!
 
Sasha

 

Oh, dear.  I haven't had the time to write.  I'll make some time in the next few days, Sasha.  My apologies.  ~ Karen 



#19 sasark

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 12:49 PM

No worries, Karen!

 

cubanmiamiboy -- To answer your question, in the version I saw there was no jester. Instead there was a "friend of the prince" who did what I suppose was originally some of the jester's role. Of the national dances, only the Neapolitan dance featured on pointe dancing -- I don't know whether that's typical or not.  

 

The big surprise I found on my second viewing was what a difference the seat choice makes. Last week I sat in the third or fourth row, which is what I typically choose. I like to be able to see the expressions on their faces. This time, the close seats were sold out and I ended up in the center balcony, which is the farthest I have ever sat from the stage. I was afraid it was going to be bad, but it was amazing being able to see the swans from that view! I have a whole new appreciation now for the corps. It was really great. On the other hand, I did miss seeing all those details you get when you're up close. So I don't know how I'll choose seats next time I go to Swan Lake....



#20 sandik

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 09:05 PM

 

 

The music for the jester solo in the opening scene of the ballroom act is the "Dance of the Corps de Ballet and the dwarves. Moderato assai. Allegro vivo", deleted for the '95 Petipa/Drigo revival.   I like the jester.  It certainly gives an extra opportunity for a soloist.

 

Thanks for the reference!

 

 

I guess if the music was originally a dance for corps and dwarves it was always a kind of "jester" piece...though I'm afraid I usually don't like the jester. Still, I do seem to have gotten used to it.

 

Unfortunately I have never seen Stowell's version of the ballet.

 

 

Stowell's version has some weak points (as do all) but on the main it's a solid production of a heritage work, with some truly beautiful moments.  I wish that the company could afford to have it recorded for commercial distribution.

 

And for those of you who really love the fouettes, these are very powerful.  Carrie Imler!



#21 Helene

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 09:27 PM

What I appreciate most about the Stowell version is the fourth act:  there's a long, beautiful dance for the swans and a pas de deux that balances out the second act.  I've always thought of it as like the Wedding Pas de Deux in "Romeo and Juliet" as opposed to the Balcony Pas de Deux:  by Act IV, their eyes have been opened.



#22 sandik

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 09:38 PM

 I've always thought of it as like the Wedding Pas de Deux in "Romeo and Juliet" as opposed to the Balcony Pas de Deux:  by Act IV, their eyes have been opened.

 

Oh, I think you've really put a finger on it here!



#23 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 07:43 AM

  I like the jester. 

 

Me too!!!  innocent.gif



#24 hydraulix

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 04:59 PM

For me the most important part of SL is portraying the difference in character between Odette and Odile. Many ballerina's unfortuantely go overboard with a much to 'evil' and attacking Odile. I rather prefer a more subtle approach. Ofcourse Odile is very flirtuous, sensual and boosting confidence; for a ballerina these aspects are important to give us a showcase of her technique. The 32 fouettes are therefore (unfortunately) a part of it.

 

Another big aspect of SL is the corps de ballet. The 2nd and 4th act have to show us what the company has to offer; the unison of movements, the synchronization and the entire stage filled with dancers as a living scenery. I've seen quite a lot of productions (unfortunately only on film) and the Nureyev version is one of my favourite; especially in the 4th act, truly poetry in motion. Have a look at this video: POB - Swan Lake (it already starts at the beginning of act 4). The variety and great changes in formations must be quite some work for the corps de ballet to study, but if they master it, it's simply breathtaking.




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