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Mme. Hermine

Kirsten Simone Henning Kronstam in The Nutcracker 1967

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Part of the Ruth Page collection that is going online bit by bit, this is a performance video of Act 2 of Ruth Page's Nutcracker, filmed at the Lyric Opera in 1967. It is generally filmed from far away but comes in much closer for the principal couple. Only viewable in Chrome, Safari,Firefox but not Explorer.

http://www.chicagofilmarchives.org/collections/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/8790

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I find I have a lot of trouble viewing videos on this website. I do think they need to be encoding the video differently - I finally had to download the movie and use the VLC media player to see something. Quicktime wouldn't play the MP4 at all.

Anyway, If you like leaps, spins, fouettes, etc. then have a look. Something about this production reminds me more of 1937 rather than 1967, but that may just be the grainy look. ;)

The Arabian Dance segment has some of the oddest choreography that I can remember seeing in Nutcracker. The Russian Dance is missing its audio track.

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I want to ask them about the encoding; it shouldn't be so complicated to look at things!

It's hard for me to judge about the choreography; this was the first ballet and Nut that I ever saw and I saw it many times over many years with many people; my first Sugar Plum and Prince were Violette Verdy and Helgi Tomasson!

This one is a piano rehearsal on stage from the first year it was done, 1965, also with Simone and Kronstam, and the ballet's original cast of the divertissements, notably Dolores Lipinski as the American Beauty Rose in the Waltz (never saw entrechats six choreographed for a woman before, and later on the last manege, double saut de basque was added for her). That year, the Drosselmeyer was Anton Dolin.

It started out on the stage at the Arie Crown Theatre at McCormick Place and when McCormick Place closed due to a terrible fire in 1967 it went to the Lyric Opera for 2 years. The proscenium at the Arie Crown is 90 feet. When I tried to find the proscenium size at the Met it said 54 feet; that sounded small. The Arie Crown seats 4267 and the Met has a capacity of 3975.

http://www.chicagofilmarchives.org/collections/index.php/Detail/Object/Show/object_id/8741

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It played for me.... with some catches, till I closed all other windows, and then it was fine.

I don't think this video does much for Kronstam -- his choreography is 'ungrateful -- or as a dance-friend used to say, "hard and ugly." I admire most his graciousness throughout. but Simone really does look wonderful -- her timing, focus, and generosity serve the dance and the audience in a wonderful way. WOnderful phrasing, and wonderful stillness. The finale's fouettes are very exciting.

Thank you for posting this.

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I saw it for the first time in 1971. Over the years the choreography for the principals at the beginning of Act 2 was basically as in the 1967 film but his steps in the 1965 film I never saw before. I should ask!

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