mussel

New Ratmansky Swan Lake to premier at Zurich

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See why I went gah gah? It's a great trailer. Also, there's something about the size of the Zurich venue that adds to the magic...more intimate than the Met, La Scala, etc. All elements converged in Zurich...even the gorgeous Zurichsee lake full of swans, next to the theatre!

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This is stunning. What a beautiful color palette for the costumes. Odile's dress.

Odette's humanity - when she hugs Sieggy at 2.00. What a gorgeous

production. Does this company tour?

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This is stunning. What a beautiful color palette for the costumes. Odile's dress.

Odette's humanity - when she hugs Sieggy at 2.00. What a gorgeous

production. Does this company tour?

I don't know the answer to that, but even if they do tour, would this even be possible to bring on tour given all of the students/extras needed for the cast?

And I agree, that hug is so emotional.

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This is stunning. What a beautiful color palette for the costumes. Odile's dress.

Odette's humanity - when she hugs Sieggy at 2.00. What a gorgeous

production. Does this company tour?

I'd hug Alex Jones emotionally too! :happy:

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Just a small warning about the beautiful venue: Zurich opera house has the worst sight lines for ballet you can imagine, so if you go be sure to get a seat in the stalls, or if you sit in one of the balconies, sit in the middle. Do not chose a place on the sides and absolutely no seat in the second or third row of the boxes, you don't see the whole stage even if you stand up. Same goes for the second balcony on the side.

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In case anyone finds it easier to watch the trailer on YouTube, here it is. Thanks to naomikage for spotting it.

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Just a small warning about the beautiful venue: Zurich opera house has the worst sight lines for ballet you can imagine, so if you go be sure to get a seat in the stalls, or if you sit in one of the balconies, sit in the middle. Do not chose a place on the sides and absolutely no seat in the second or third row of the boxes, you don't see the whole stage even if you stand up. Same goes for the second balcony on the side.

Thank you -- this kind of information is helpful when planning trips! The production looks lovely --

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Unfortunately, much the same is true of La Scala, and naturally the entire orchestra, where the seats are not staggered, and the first row of all boxes, except for the sides of the fourth ring [!], fall into the top price category. If aiming for the galleries, only the first row in the middle should be considered. At least ballet tickets are somewhat less expensive than opera tickets, although the service charges are steep.

:off topic: What I find most amusing about the La Scala ticket service is that the envelopes in which tickets are mailed include no return address. Evidently every postmaster in the world is expected to know where the Teatro alla Scala is located; at least the postmark says Milano. (That might seem like an insignificant detail until you see your address converted into the standard Italian configuration, whereby 212 12 Street becomes 12 Street 212, and your state or province code is not included on the mailing label. Then you're just grateful the tickets reached your mailbox.)

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:off topic: What I find most amusing about the La Scala ticket service is that the envelopes in which tickets are mailed include no return address. Evidently every postmaster in the world is expected to know where the Teatro alla Scala is located; [...]

:rofl:

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I love the trailer, now I just need to go and see the production itself! My friend went to see the premiere and he told me it was wonderful. I was particularly interested to hear him say that the final act was lovely, which I haven't heard anybody say before. I also loved reading in the reviews how Odette was a human, not a Swan Queen, which is fabulous to know because most of the time, especially in Russian productions, she never feels like an actual character, she never seems to have a personality and on rare occasions do she and Siegfried have any chemistry. One thing that really struck me about Ratmansky's Sleeping Beauty reconstruction was how romantic it was at certain moments, which really made it feel that Aurora and Desire belong together and from this trailer alone, you can see the same in his Swan Lake reconstruction. It's really touching me how romantic it feels, especially when it shows Siegfried and Odette together. This just adds to why Ratmansky is the perfect person to reconstruct Petipa because what makes him such a great ballet master, choreographer, coach and producer are his strong abilities as a storyteller and presenting strong storytelling is what Petipa would've done.

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Any La Scala fans know how often they repeat their repertoire? I can't get overseas until 2017, and I really want to see this.

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La Scala is bringing their Cinderella to Segerstrom in late July 2017. Is it too much to hope they might show the Swan Lake at the 2017 Lincoln Center Summer Festival? Or perhaps LA Chandler Pavillion? Somebody must be thinking about the huge interest from American audiences. Here's the Segerstrom announcement of their 2016-17 season:

http://www.scfta.org/scfta/media/General/Press/2016-17-Full-Season-Announcement.pdf

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Mikhailovsky LAURENCIA in Fall 2016 (correction). I sure hope that this will at in DC, too (or somewhere easy to get to).

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Any La Scala fans know how often they repeat their repertoire? I can't get overseas until 2017, and I really want to see this.

RAYMONDA played two seasons in a row but that was their own production (not shared).

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Mikhailovsky LAURENCIA in Fall 2017! I sure hope that this will at in DC, too (or somewhere easy to get to).

It's Nov. 18-20, 2016 at Segerstrom.

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I love the trailer, now I just need to go and see the production itself! My friend went to see the premiere and he told me it was wonderful. I was particularly interested to hear him say that the final act was lovely, which I haven't heard anybody say before. I also loved reading in the reviews how Odette was a human, not a Swan Queen, which is fabulous to know because most of the time, especially in Russian productions, she never feels like an actual character, she never seems to have a personality and on rare occasions do she and Siegfried have any chemistry. One thing that really struck me about Ratmansky's Sleeping Beauty reconstruction was how romantic it was at certain moments, which really made it feel that Aurora and Desire belong together and from this trailer alone, you can see the same in his Swan Lake reconstruction. It's really touching me how romantic it feels, especially when it shows Siegfried and Odette together. This just adds to why Ratmansky is the perfect person to reconstruct Petipa because what makes him such a great ballet master, choreographer, coach and producer are his strong abilities as a storyteller and presenting strong storytelling is what Petipa would've done.

I think the romantic looks and "chemistry" is a very modern 20th century thing. Alicia Markova said that ideally, Odette should never look at Siegfried in the White Swan pas de deux. She's a Swan Queen, and she doesn't trust him.

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I think the romantic looks and "chemistry" is a very modern 20th century thing. Alicia Markova said that ideally, Odette should never look at Siegfried in the White Swan pas de deux. She's a Swan Queen, and she doesn't trust him.

Well I meant the strength of the storytelling in general because many of Petipa's dancers were very good actors and actresses and they always were expected to bring emotion to the stage. One big example of a 19th century ballerina who was a fabulous actress is Virginia Zucchi; one critic described her as being like "a silent actress" and she even shed real tears on stage in certain roles, such as Esmeralda, her greatest role.

And actually, Esmeralda is a good example of a role for which Petipa expected the dancers to put emotion before technique because when Kschessinska first asked him to let her dance the role, he told her that only artists who had known the sufferings of love could truly understand and interpret the role of Esmeralda. And I also read that the key ingredient for Odette is emotion, not technique. So what I was saying is that in Petipa's time, acting and storytelling were taken seriously, certainly more seriously than they are today in some productions of the classics and it's wonderful to see Ratmansky bringing the narrative of these ballets back to life.

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In California's link to Segerstrom's season next year, it announces also that Wheedon's An American in Paris is part of Segerstrom's musical theatre season in spring of 2017, as part of a National tour.

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In California's link to Segerstrom's season next year, it announces also that Wheedon's An American in Paris is part of Segerstrom's musical theatre season in spring of 2017, as part of a National tour.

The touring company will be in Denver March 8-19, 2017 at the Denver Performing Arts Center:

https://www.denvercenter.org/shows/specific-series/Get?Id=20d44ce2-4382-4b11-b7d9-ed33d6a8ab29

I'm so sorry I missed Robert Fairchild in this production, but this will do, I guess.

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Posted (edited)

I have just come back from Zurich where I saw two performances of this production. I do not intend to give a detailed account of the production as Amy did a sterling job when she described what she saw in Milan nor do I intend to give a blow by blow account of the choreography. It was all so familiar and yet so different. At regular intervals I saw elements not only of the Dowell production but of the productions which preceded it but those familiar sections were performed with a different emphasis and accent as everything was performed in period appropriate style. This had the effect of making the performance of the choreography emphasize dance as a flow of movement rather than movement from pose to pose.As legs are kept low and are often curved and limbs are not stretched to the nth degree the dancing looks softer in performance than we have become used to in this ballet.

 

One of the first things that struck me about the performances which I saw was that in this version Odette does not engage in Swan impersonations and the music is not 

distorted in order to accommodate the dancers and their desire to exhibit their muscular control and their technique. This meant that for the first time in years I saw an account of the first lakeside scene in which Odette and the corps de ballet actually seemed to be appearing in the same ballet as far as tempi were concerned rather than at the brisk tempo indicated by the composer when the corps were dancing and at a "as slow as you can you go" sort of speed during the pas de deux or pas de trois as it is here.While the floor plan for  act 1 scene 2 is pretty much the same as it is in the Dowell production it looks and feels very different in performance simply because of the speed at which it is danced..It is lighter, faster and far less like the monumental classical ballet which modern productions tend to make it and it contains no overhead Bolshoi style lifts.

 

In the second act the pas d'action is just that, it tells the story through dance and mime and it does not degenerate into competitive dancing towards the end of the pas. Siegfried's choreography can be seen as an expression of his pleasure at having found the girl of his dreams rather than an expression of his bravura technique.

 Odile's choreography is used for narrative and expressive effect. It is not simply an opportunity for the dancer to display her bravura technique to the audience, it is the means by which she first distracts Siegfried when Odette appears at the window and then entrances and beguiles him. I think that Ratmansky is right where his staging gives Siegfried the possibility of catching a glimpse of Odette at the window as it explains Odile's subsequent actions, touching his forehead and thrusting herself between him and the apparition at the window. At the end of the pas when Siegfried swears eternal love for Odile both Rothbart and Odile laugh at him before they rush off, the laughter is in the score. The act ends with Siegfried collapsing distraught at his mother's feet which does not look at all heroic .It is easy to see why in later post revolutionary productions the prince rushes off into the night when he discovers that he has betrayed Odette. It makes him look more like a man of action and less like a wimp.

 

The last act begins with four swans entering and then looking out onto the night waiting for Odette's return and they are followed by another four swans who do the self same thing but facing in the opposite direction. Odette arrives and tells them what has happened and that Siegfried has abandoned his love for her.The rest of the act is very similar to the Dowell production.

 

I have seen seen the Mariinsky reconstruction of Sleeping Beauty which restored the original sumptuous designs but performed the original choreographic text using 

modern "improved" technique and the Bolshoi reconstructed Corsaire "seen through twenty first century eyes" in live performance. I have seen the Ratmansky reconstructions of Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake in live performance and the Munich Paquita in a streamed one. All three of these were performed in period appropriate style and at tempi which the choreographer and his composers might have recognised. While it might be nice to stage reconstructions of nineteenth century ballets with expensive designs I don't honestly think that the success of a

reconstruction is dependent on expensive costumes and designs. What really matters in the initial stage is the choreographic text and how it is performed.

 

Ballets are expensive to stage and at a time when the majority of ballet goers, dancers,coaches and artistic directors have yet to be convinced of the relevance and value of reconstructing the great ballets of the past it seems to me that the bulk of the effort has to go into reconstructing choreographic texts and recruiting dancers who can perform these works in period appropriate style with the same sort of facility we expect of those dancers performing in current performance style.  

 

It seems to me that there is little point in staging a reconstruction of any nineteenth century ballet if the stager is not going to insist on period appropriate performance style and observing the tempi set by the composer. that way there is a possibility that the audience will experience something approaching the choreographer's musicality. Seeing the Mariinsky's Sleeping Beauty was fascinating as far as the designs were concerned  but what we were saw in performance bore little resemblance to what was staged in 1895 as it was being performed in the most modern style rather than in a style and at a speed which might have allowed the audience to experience Petipa's musicality.I have to say that what I have seen so far makes me eager to see more reconstructed Petipa and then there is the Justament archive.There is always a possibility that some of the great French ballets of the nineteenth century could be revived,

 

 

Edited by Ashton Fan

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