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The Least Foul Swan?


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Poll: The Least Foul Swan? (0 member(s) have cast votes)

The Least Foul Swan?

  1. Martins' -- what's a court without a Jester? (5 votes [27.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.78%

  2. McKenzie's -- two Rothbarts are better than one! (3 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  3. Both are equally good/bad (Go ahead, wimp out and choose this one!) (4 votes [22.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.22%

  4. The one I'm watching at the moment. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. The one I'm NOT watching at the moment. (6 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

Vote

#16 Alexandra

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Posted 14 July 2002 - 03:52 PM

I've always wanted to start a Bring Back Benno club -- and NOT to have him dance the pas de trois in ACT I, either, but the Act II pas de trois, as Mel describes. All Benno does to "assist" in the partnering is one catch, which no one, of whatever age, could do, since one cannot throw and catch the ballerina at the same time. I've always thought this is another of those things we in the West got wrong. We assumed the man and the woman had to have the same amount of dancing, when the man didn't we looked for the answer -- aha! the guy was old! -- instead of, "Hmm. It says here the danseur noble dances the slow and stately measures, not the quick ones."

Benno was a danseur noble, second rank, I believe, and it would be nice to have him back again. Siegfried needs someone to talk to.

#17 John-Michael

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Posted 14 July 2002 - 04:41 PM

I didn't know that Benno didn't do the lifts! It changes my whole conception of the pas de deux although I'd still like to see him back.

#18 Alexandra

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Posted 14 July 2002 - 04:47 PM

There's a video! Royal Ballet, c. 1956. Fonteyn and Somes -- and, alas, I forget the who was Benno. rg, or someone else, will know, I'm sure.

What's really interesting is that the Act II pas de trois had an analog in Act III -- with Von Rothbart taking part in Black Swan "pas de deux."

(And there were huntsmen in Act II. So much has been vacuumed out.)

John-Michael, you may be interested in checking out some of our Archives. We had a "ballet of the month" discussion group for awhile, and those discussions are preserved in the Archives, filed under the name of the ballet. Doug Fullington, especially, who's a musicologist and reader of Stepanov notation, very generously contributed some wonderful posts.

#19 rg

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Posted 14 July 2002 - 05:44 PM

the particulars of the video in question are as follows:

The Royal Ballet :1960.
Notes:A J. Arthur Rank presentation. Produced by Paul Czinner Productions for Poetic Films Ltd. in association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Producer and director: Paul Czinner. Performed by the Royal Ballet, London, starring Margot Fonteyn and Michael Somes.
: CONTENTS: Swan lake: Act II excerpts (Valse, pas de deux, pas de quatre, rondo, and coda). Choreography: Frederick Ashton and Nikolai Sergeev after Ivanov and Petipa. Sets and costumes: Leslie Hurry. Cast: Margot Fonteyn (Odette), Michael Somes (Prince Siegfried), Bryan Ashbridge (Benno), Leslie Edwards (Von Rothbart); Ann Howard, Mavis Osborn, Clover Roope, and Antoinette Sibley (Cygnets), and corps de ballet

#20 John-Michael

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Posted 14 July 2002 - 06:20 PM

Thanks, Alexandra, for the info on the dance archives. I'm very new to the site so I haven't really gotten a chance to check everything out yet. My unofficial major at Sarah Lawrence (the school doesn't have majors) was dance history and I'm especially interested in Petipa but don't have access to a library with good dance material. At college I used to spend hours reading in the dance collection so this will be a special treat for me :).

#21 Alexandra

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Posted 14 July 2002 - 06:29 PM

You're welcome -- I hope you enjoy them.

There's more to the site than the message board, too, and you might be interested in some of the material in our Ballets section

http://www.balletale...ets/ballets.htm

So far, it's all been by Mel Johnson, and on the Petipa-Ivanov ballets. He did a terrific job with these, I think (and I'm hoping for many more, from him and others :) ) and there's a lot of information in there that was new to me!


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