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Mayerling and the Royal Ballet


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#1 ronny

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Posted 07 October 2002 - 06:01 AM

Why are the great resources and talents of the Royal Ballet Company being used for the continuing production of Mayerling? Does anyone know the logic behind it?

The music of Franz Liszt is wonderful, the costumes are fab, the choreography is great, but the story??? What are they thinking?:confused:

#2 Juliet

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Posted 07 October 2002 - 01:38 PM

They are thinking that a lot of people like this ballet. Ticket sales.

#3 Helena

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Posted 08 October 2002 - 03:49 AM

I don't quite understand your point here. What exactly is the problem with the story?

#4 ronny

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Posted 08 October 2002 - 04:21 AM

Thanks Juliet... I had no idea that it was so popular. I guess it is a bit of a surprise to me that people would want to sit through the anguish of prince Rudolf and the murder suicide and all that. I have a hard time connecting that to dance but if it sells tickets then it means that there is something there.

Actually I enjoy some sections of it, the first 15 minutes and the first part of the scene in Rudolf's mothers room. Some of Listz's music is really thrilling. Really, I'm quite impressed with the Royal Ballet, they certainly have all the skill and talent to produce anything they want. Very impressive.

Helena, I guess I am just a softy for the more beautiful and lofty kind of things that ballet can do. I am real partial to the fairy tales. But your comments here show me that maybe I need to be a little more tolerant of these other things. So thanks for your repy Helena.

#5 Lynette H

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Posted 08 October 2002 - 05:15 AM

"I guess it is a bit of a surprise to me that people would want to sit through the anguish of prince Rudolf and the murder suicide and all that. I have a hard time connecting that to dance but if it sells tickets then it means that there is something there."

So you wouldn't sit through suicide and death in Giselle or Swan Lake either then ? Or La Bayadere ?

#6 Helena

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Posted 08 October 2002 - 05:59 AM

Don't worry, ronny, I love the fairy tales, too, and I'm all for the beautiful and uplifting things in ballet. I was just curious to know what you disliked. I have always found Mayerling quite an interesting ballet, because I know a bit about Austrian history, and have been to the Mayerling hunting lodge outside Vienna. The people in the ballet are very real to me. (There are photographs of them at Mayerling, and china that they used.) That does make it a bit more frightening than Swan Lake or Giselle, though!

#7 sylvia

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Posted 08 October 2002 - 07:31 AM

Originally posted by Juliet
They are thinking that a lot of people like this ballet.  Ticket sales.


I think the ROH might be a bit scared actually - only 9 performances! No surprise it's hard to get tickets of any sorts.

#8 ronny

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Posted 09 October 2002 - 02:10 AM

Sylvia, I'm just now listening to the CD and music of Delibes from the ballet called "Sylvia". Wouldn't it be great to see the Royal Ballet do a revival of Sylvia. I'll bet that they could do it better than anyone and make it work as never before. Maybe you can talk them into it... and surely they would give you some free tickets:D

#9 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 09 October 2002 - 03:34 AM

I can't recall, but I'm sure Alexandra or others can - isn't Ashton's Sylvia regrettably considered lost?

#10 Mel Johnson

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Posted 09 October 2002 - 03:59 AM

Alas, it is so considered.:)

However, from a scholarly standpoint, even though most of the principals are now gone, a "reconstruction" of the choreography is theoretically possible, even probable, but that leaves aside any considerations of the attitude of the Ashton Estate and Trust toward such undertakings.

(AWK! Post #6001! Woohoo! I gotta get me a life!;) )

#11 Lynette H

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Posted 09 October 2002 - 04:18 AM

I seem to recall David Leonard (of Dance Books) saying on aab or somewhere that there was enough of Sylvia captured to be able to stage it, if there was the will to do it. (Where he got this info, I'm not sure)

A pas de deux from Sylvia was featured in one of the Royal's Ashton mixed bills from the mid-90s, so some of it certainly survives.

#12 Alexandra

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Posted 09 October 2002 - 08:39 AM

I think it's revivable. There was an Ashton panel here at the Kennedy Center the last time the Royal was here, and someone asked what more would be revived. The Heir said, regrettably, none. But David Vaughan and Clive Barnes, the other panelists, instantly -- and in unison -- said, "Oh, yes there are," and began to tick them off. "Sylvia" was one of them.

Like many companies, the Royal started filming and, later, making videos of ballets from the 1960s, at least, there's a good chance there's a film record -- don't know whether they've kept it (the famous story is that Antoinette Sibley's Aurora was filmed, but does not survive).

I'll have to be convinced about the capering goats :) but, of course, I'd love to see it!

#13 dirac

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Posted 09 October 2002 - 09:09 AM

Are there any dancers around who might have a good recollection of Sylvia? Didn't Doreen Wells dance it with Christopher Gable in the sixties? ( If only Gable were still with us he was a memorable Aminta, I understand.)

#14 ronny

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Posted 10 October 2002 - 02:51 AM

Have to admit, I'm a but confused about the talk of the Ashton estate and trust!

I thought Delibes wrote music for a ballet called Sylvia... that was a long time ago... what would any estate have to do with that?? Are you talking about some attempt at a reconstruction of a ballet that was lost?? or what is this estate thing about?:confused:

And Mel, you have a life, you are a great teacher! You give life to everyone with your knowledge. I can't think of a greater profession than that. Congratulations on your 6001 !!

#15 Mel Johnson

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Posted 10 October 2002 - 03:19 AM

Thanks, ronny.

The Delibes music is all free and clear, but the issue with trying to piece Ashton's version of the ballet together, choreographically, is less clear. Ashton's nephew, (The Heir) is a non-dancer, and has one point of view, as noted above, but the Trust, for which David Vaughan seems to be a fairly accurate barometer, seems to have quite another. So the issue is Ashton's version of Sylvia, and not an attempted version of a staging of choreography by Louis Merante.


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