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Dale

Sylvia

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Does anybody know if Ashton's three-act Sylvia is revivable? I have thinking about the ballet since reading recently an old article on Svetlana Beriosova, saying that she had a great triumph in the main role. Doing some research (I don't yet have David Vaughn's book on Ashton's ballets), I read that in the 60s Ashton made a one-act work out of the ballet. But I'm not interested in that work - a review for that was titled, "Sylvia Revived and Ruined." :)

I also read in a Ballet Review that when Violette Verdy was running POB, she tried to revive the original full-length ballet, but had problems because all the old ballerinas were telling her different things. Is there a three-act Sylvia around? I think there was one by John Neumeier, but...

Sylvia has such gorgeous music and I would think with the constant need for three-act story ballets, one of the big classical companies would want to stage it.

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Neumeier's version (premiered in 1997) will be performed again at the Paris Opera within a few days. I'm not really a fan of Neumeier, but at least it was a good idea to commission a ballet on that lovely score (and what a wonderful cast for the premiere: Loudières, Platel, Legris, Martinez, Le Riche...) Darsonval did stage a revival (of Aveline's production, after Mérante) in the late 1970s, but unfortunately it seems that the POB direction has no intention at all to revive it again.

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I have heard some people say that Ashton's Sylvia could be revived, which would certainly be wonderful. Alexander Grant is still around, and he would hav seen a lot of it! (He was the statue of Eros and had to stand still through one of the acts.) I have seen a very bad tape of the Ashton farewell gala which had the nymph's dance on it, and it was wonderful. The Dance Critics conference had a showing of a tape of the Paris Sylvia supposedly Aveline's, and there is certainly some controversy as to how much was original. The heavy didn't do any mime, just jumped around the way men in black do nowadays (like the Soviet Rothbarts)but the music seemed to call for mimed characterization. But the sets and costumes were beautiful, and of course the music is wonderful. I think Mark Morris is scheduled to do a Sylvia for San Francisco--he was at the showing.

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Thanks Dirac. I loathe Mayerling so I missed that thread.

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Sylvia is being revived for the RB Ashton season next year. There is a RB film record, and there are enough former dancers who remember the ballet.

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Thank you, Brendan, for bringing me the first good news of the New Year on a horrible rainy wet soggy bleak day!

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