Where is "La Sylphide"?
Posted 26 October 2002 - 04:33 AM
Posted 27 October 2002 - 08:51 AM
"La Sylphide" is out of repertory in Copenhagen this season. I think it will be brought back next season -- or perhaps the one after. There has been speculation on who will stage it, and I'll wait to comment until the announcement has been made.
I think the company is between Syphs at the moment -- Jeppesen is retired. Schandorff was a magnicient Sylph, but not a traditional one. I didn't see Gad enough to tell if she, as the Danish critics like to write, "grew into the role." She has everything for it, but was doing a bad Makarova imitation when I last saw her, a decade ago. I haven't seen the young Sylph-most-likely (Gudrun Boesen) and the dark horse candidate (Tina Hojlund, the most musical of the current female dancers for many) is unlikely to get the chance.
ABT has a very carelessly staged version of the old Harald Lander production that's accurate -- at least much more accurate than Schaufuss's, which pops up here and there occasionally.
I haven't seen the production for the National Ballet of China which got enormous publicity (and very engineered publicity) in Copenhagen, but I spoke with many of the Danish dancers who saw it, and although they admired the Chinese dancers -- "It's amazing how much of it they got," as one put it -- they felt the video antecedents, shall we say, of the production were all too visible.
Every Sylph I've seen outside of Denmark -- American or Russian (in galas only) has been doing Giselle rather than the Sylph, to me, so I don't give any votes there.
We're short on Jameses, too, although one of the greatest Madges of all time (Sorella Englund) is around, should anyone ask her to do the role.
Posted 27 October 2002 - 09:31 AM
I got to see the ballet ca. 1984 with Bujones as James, Gregory Osborne as Gurn, Lisa Rinehart as Effy and Erik Bruhn as Madge - I can't even recall the Sylph, but probably Marianna Tcherkassky. Still, I'd have to say I never really saw the ballet until I saw it at the most recent Bournonville Festival as well and would second Alexandra's comments. Schandorff is very fine, but unorthodox, Englund was the best thing about the Festival for me. Mats Blangstrup could have been an even better James than he was; it looked like he hadn't gotten any real coaching and he still was very moving in Act II. Hojlund was in this cast, but as Effy, and she was quite good. Unfortunately, that was only one cast, the second cast was far more problematic.
Posted 27 October 2002 - 10:06 AM
I'll never forget her breathtaking jetes across the front of the stage during the reel (the audiences would gasp), leaving one with an indelible final image of her flying into the wings while gracing James with an imploring and flirty come-hither glace over her shoulder at the very height of her final jete. I imagine Bournonville would not have approved, and I don't particularly care.
I managed to miss ABT's most-recent go-round with La Sylphide (they programmed it against NYCB's Liebeslieder Walzer -- such cruel choices one must make in this city). I'm not sure any of their current dancers would make a good Sylph (if they ever give it to Reyes I'm bringing a flyswatter to the theater). I suppose Ananiashvili could make it work through her great dramatic skill, although her punchy style is about as far from Bournonville as one could get. Kent might be nice, or might be overly saccharine. I think Ferri would be lovely but I don't think she's got the technique for it anymore (if she ever had it).
Actually, I'm running through ABT's roster of current female principals and soloists, and either groaning or shuddering when imagining them as the Sylph.
(Maybe Kevin could engage Matthew Bourne to make an all-male La Sylphide? God knows ABT has enough guys who can jump!)
I'm not conversant enough with foreign dancers to hazard much of an opinion, but I think Cocaraju might be quite lovely with the right coaching.
Posted 27 October 2002 - 06:24 PM
I wont even go there!!!!!
Toni Lander, Violette Verdy, Gelsey Kirkland, Marianna Tcherkasky and my Goddess Natalia Makarova were all beautiful Sylphs.
For me Eva Evdokimova seemed to walk right out of the lithograph. She had gorgeous 'Romantic Era' line, ballon and just the right playful quality of the Sylph. Most of all she seemed to really float (while tossing off amazingly hard technical feats), IMHO.
It would be wonderful if Alexandra would point out what their strong and weak points might have been. I hope to have a better understanding of Bournonville after reading her new book.
Posted 27 October 2002 - 08:30 PM
The Bournonville version has nothing to do with the Taglioni lithographs. Not that they're not pretty, but they're not Bournonville. Evdokimova did care about the Bournonville style, and I have a vague memory (I saw her before I really knew the Danish version) of footwork that matches pictures I have in my head of the way it's been danced in Denmark.
Not saying that these Sylphs aren't lovable in their own way. And please remember this the first time you all see the Biker Concerto Barocco.
Posted 27 October 2002 - 08:49 PM
Posted 28 October 2002 - 06:51 AM
The Kirov's version was staged in 1981 by Elsa-Marianna fon Rosen (sp?) and was then transferred (with amendments/excisions?) to Moscow by Vinogradov
Ayupova is a wonderful Sylph, but I haven't seen many others, so it's hard to tell.
Posted 28 October 2002 - 07:12 AM
Posted 28 October 2002 - 09:02 AM
Posted 28 October 2002 - 09:17 AM
Posted 28 October 2002 - 07:14 PM
Who staged it? Who designed it? Where are the sets and costumes now?
I loved Frederic Franklin as Madge.
Posted 28 October 2002 - 07:27 PM
Posted 28 October 2002 - 08:14 PM
Posted 28 October 2002 - 08:33 PM
What are these notebooks? Bournonville's notations?
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