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Blast at Nutcracker


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#46 Mel Johnson

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 11:04 AM

CHristian, what do you thinik of Balanchine's version? or Vainonen's?

Balanchine's...well, as i said before, it lacks what i consider to be the stylistic heart of the work, the "Sugar Plum Fairy PDD". I beg pardon to the majority of this board...but i find this version mutilated.
Vainonen's i have it, and saw it only once, but honestly, i don't have too many memories of it...have to revisit it.


Vainonen? I remember how deeply frustrated I was when I first saw it. There are six people in it. I'm a big fan of the Ivanov, and Balanchine's version frustrated me too, but not as much as the Vainonen. As presentational as pas de deux are, having other partners in there seems to spoil the intimacy of the work. I could never quite figure out why, in the Bonynge recording for "Art of the Prima Ballerina", he took the cut that he did, but it became more obvious to me after reading Wiley. He was working from Markova's performance cuts, and she had cut the music used for the "magic" effect of the little wagon under the chiffon.

#47 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 12:47 PM

CHristian, what do you thinik of Balanchine's version? or Vainonen's?

Balanchine's...well, as i said before, it lacks what i consider to be the stylistic heart of the work, the "Sugar Plum Fairy PDD". I beg pardon to the majority of this board...but i find this version mutilated.
Vainonen's i have it, and saw it only once, but honestly, i don't have too many memories of it...have to revisit it.


Vainonen? I remember how deeply frustrated I was when I first saw it. There are six people in it. I'm a big fan of the Ivanov, and Balanchine's version frustrated me too, but not as much as the Vainonen. As presentational as pas de deux are, having other partners in there seems to spoil the intimacy of the work. I could never quite figure out why, in the Bonynge recording for "Art of the Prima Ballerina", he took the cut that he did, but it became more obvious to me after reading Wiley. He was working from Markova's performance cuts, and she had cut the music used for the "magic" effect of the little wagon under the chiffon.

Ok, so i just revisited my Vainonen's DVD, and Mel Johnson just perfectly described all that can be said about it. Way to many people in the PDD!...
There is also the Bolshoi's production, with Maximova and Vasiliev, which during the beggining of the Adagio are almost motionless, using some praying-like postures and too slow patterns...also a definitive turn off...

#48 Lidewij

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 01:15 PM

Vasiliev and Maximova are in the Grigorovich version. The Vainonen version is available on DVD with Larissa Lezhnina and Victor Baranov. :wub:
I actually like the Vainonen version very much, but I think that probably is because I grew up with it - you can't believe how many times I saw that video.. :lol:

#49 Sacto1654

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 02:10 PM

Oh, God...


I agree 100%. It was the weirdest and strangely ugly ballet I've ever seen. I am almost beginning to contend that Chemiakin must have gotten some inspiration from Quentin Tarantino because its set and costume design was a major mockery of the other versions of the Nutcracker we all know and love.

#50 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:40 PM

Meanwhile, i propose to pay tribute to Tchaikowsky, Petipa, Pavlova, Sergueiev, Fokine, Mme. Fedorova Sir Peter Wright and Mme. Alonso for giving us balletomanes some beautiful hints of a truly classic who screams in desperation reclaiming the same royal treatment the others have.

#51 Mel Johnson

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 02:33 AM

Let's not leave out Ivanov!

#52 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 07:15 AM

OMG.., Mel!...where's my head when i need it...? :) , Of course, a deep reverence to Lev Ivanovich Ivanov, whose contribution we tend to forget too often. :bow:
So, for our pleasure, here's a beautiful clip of the sugary PDD, by Lorna Feijoo and Osmay Molina, pre-defection. Bravo! :unsure:


#53 innopac

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 08:54 PM

What do people think about reworkings of the Nutcracker?I'm thinking of Graham Murphy's Nutcracker. I found it moving in that it paid homage to those Dancers who came to Australia before the war and gave us a ballet tradition which had not existed. I also liked some of the reworking of the actual dances particularly the snow sequence although the flashbacks to the red army as rats was pretty horrible.


You might find these links about Murphy's Nutcracker and Swan Lake interesting - lots of different opinions!

Graeme Murphy, Grrr

Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake

Nutcracker: The Story of Clara



#54 Nanarina

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 02:50 PM

:P :flowers: Well Mel I hope you are happy now you have got that off your chest..... The Nutcracker, has never been one of my favourite ballets, it may be something to do with the fact, it was the second ballet I ever saw, not just once, but every year at Christmas, it was my two Aunts, it was a good production, but after about 7 years got a bit boring. Since then I have worked in the genre, and learnt a lot about the subject, and my knowledge has somewhat widenend.

Having seen different "Nutcrackers" I am not so biased now, and can appreciate three different versions, Nureyevs for The Royal Ballet, Sir Peter Wrights for Birmingham RB, and surprise, surprise, a very different one by Grahame Murphy for The Australian Ballet, that tells the story of Clara, a Russian Ballerina. It touches on the Ballet Russe history of their arrival in Australia, and features some older dancers, as well as current stars. The music and well known content is used as a performance in the production, which is choreographed in the style of the era. I wont go any further with a description now, but will post a more detailed report as soon as I can. :clapping: :bow:

#55 volcanohunter

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:26 PM

Here's revisionism for you: a report from French television on The Nutcracker as performed by the National Circus of China.

http://tf1.lci.fr/in...-noisette-.html

#56 Sacto1654

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 07:47 PM

I think one issue with trying to appreciate The Nutcracker is the fact there are two very distinct "reference" variants (in my humble opinion! :) ), the Vainonen version from 1934 and the Balanchine version from 1954. There is no Sugar Plum Fairy in the original Vainonen version, if I remember correctly.

Americans are so ingrained by the Balanchine version and its subsequent variants that anything different is going to confuse the viewer. I believe Europeans are more used to the Vainonen version, so they might not be used to the Balanchine version.

#57 carbro

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 08:38 PM

An important and profound distinction. Thanks, Sacto!

#58 Sacto1654

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 10:19 PM

An important and profound distinction. Thanks, Sacto!


You're welcome. :thanks:

At least with two other famous Tchaikovsky ballets, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, we pretty much have a good idea of what how the story more or less goes in the most commonly-produced versions (despite all the divergent versions of the ballet's end, almost everything else about most versions of Swan Lake have a lot in common in terms of plot points).

Because the story of the lead character (Maria or Masha) in the Vainonen version is quite different than the story of the lead character (Clara) in the Balanchine version, trying to compare various different versions of The Nutcracker is a hard nut to crack (pun definitely intended! :wink: ).

#59 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 10:51 PM

I think one issue with trying to appreciate The Nutcracker is the fact there are two very distinct "reference" variants (in my humble opinion! :thanks: ), the Vainonen version from 1934 and the Balanchine version from 1954.

Neither one was my point of reference while growing up. I think it's pretty fare to add "Fedorova after Ivanov" to the list, considering the millions of Cubans who, like me, are totally strangers to any other version, and for which the ballet is as very well known and much loved and for which depriving the PDD of its variations and/or coda seems something unthinkable-(links regarding a similar choreographic "diversity" phenomena in other ballets are many). Said that, i will also want to clarify that this is just ANOTHER opinion, (and also humble, if i may...)

#60 Hans

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 11:36 PM

There is also the Wright version performed by the Royal Ballet, presumably standard in England.


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