What did you learn about Sleeping Beauty from the new/old Kirov Versio
Posted 25 February 2002 - 02:20 PM
I was struck by how much it looked like (what I've read about) an 18th century court ballet. Not only all those processions and court dances (which we used to call "character dances," but they're not; I did notice the dancers used a much deeper pliť in those than in other parts of the ballet. Coincidence, or genre?) but the dominance of the King, to a lesser extent the Queen, and a far greater extent, the Lilac Fairy.
The Royal production seemed to me a hierarchy headed by Aurora, The Ballerina. Good and evil, Carabosse and Lilac, were opposing forces on either side. The King and Queen, and Catalabutte, were side characters. In the Kirov production, the King was much more important -- even though they've cut two of his mime scenes (explaining to Aurora what the Rose Adagio is about, and banning spindles from the kingdom). And the Lilac Fairy is Queen of the Night -- she's in every act, she presides over the Apotheosis, she's mistress of ceremonies, solver of problems, an old-time danseuse noble.
Did anyone else come to think about "Sleeping Beauty" differently, or learn something about the ballet from this production?
Posted 25 February 2002 - 10:47 PM
Posted 26 February 2002 - 10:24 AM
Posted 26 February 2002 - 10:57 AM
I'm reminded of Balanchine's rationale for reworking Coffee in Nutcracker into the refined cheesecake we see today, as something for the husbands and fathers (presumably ones dragged by their spouses/kiddies to the performanc) in the audience. I wonder if Petipa had something of the same rationale for these girls in Beauty.
Certainly this was the last thing I expected to see in Beauty, but it reminded me that it was of a time when grandiose, somewhat balletic "entertainments" were popular all over Europe.
Posted 27 February 2002 - 03:00 PM
But having all the divertissements not only shows us Petipa's way of having a classical, demicaractere, character, demicaractere, classical balance, but having all of them, to me, made the act actually seem shorter. "Cindrella" is so sweet and gentle it provides breathing room.
I also agree with Mary's point about the English version (which I took for "pure Petipa" for years). Maybe this was the answer, in 1946, to "Dante Sonata" (which, created during the War, left the conflict between good and evil unresolved). Part of it, too, was that the early Western stagers apparently could not believe that the Lilac Fairy wore heeled shoes. Putting her in a tutu throughout changes the balance, diminishes her role, somewhat, rather than enhancing it.
Manhattnik, Bournonville felt that Petipa's ballets were "lascivious." All that skin (and, as George Jackson pointed out in a review, with the heavy costumes, the naked shoulders of the female dancers really look naked)! But as for 19th century chorus lines, we haven't seen any. We don't know if what we're seeing in chorus lines from the 1930s comes from ballet, or if Petipa was taking material from the girlie shows of his day. (Maybe Doug knows smile.gif )
Posted 28 February 2002 - 11:34 AM
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