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The original "Sylvia" ????


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#1 katharine kanter

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 02:38 AM

"In this series of three film screenings, you can experience ballets that were popular once upon a time, but then disappeared from the world’s stages. Recently, rediscovered, these ballets appeal again as works of art in their own right—and can now be seen as influencing the choreography that came in their wake. A question and answer session follows each film with dance scholar and project curator, George Jackson.
Film 1: Sylvia, France. 1876/1919 at the Paris Opera. Choreography by Louis Merante Leo Staats. Music by Leo Delibes. "

Found on the Kennedy Centre site for June screening of rare ballet film.


WHAT o WHAT is this ? Has someone found the original Sylvia ?????????????

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 07:43 AM

I know something about this because George Jackson is a Washington-based critic.

There was a revival 15-20 years ago (forget the date, sorry) by Darsonval. I believe it was when Violette Verdy was director, but someone may correct me on that.

Jackson saw it and was fascinated by it. (Others were less so, and, as always when there is a revival, there were questions of its authenticity.)

Jackson wrote about the revival for DanceView, but I don't have an electronic copy. It's on my To Do list to scan in and put on the main site some day, but not for the next two months!

The film was shown at the Dance Critics Association a few years ago and it didn't cause a stampede to revive the ballet again. I haven't seen it, but am looking forward to this festival and will report then.

Did anyone see the revival? Estelle will have much better information, I'm sure.

#3 Françoise

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 07:48 AM

Sylvia passed on Antenne 2, French public chanel, some years ago in 1979 (if I remember well), it was the Darsonval version after Merante. It was with Noella Pontois as Sylvia, Cyril Atanassof as Orion, Jean-Yves Lormeau as Aminta, Sylvie Clavier as Diane, and Georges Piletta as Eros.
It was the traditionnal version with fauns, nymphs, and all the antic hellenistic pictures, but it was a lovely version, a few up-dated but... so cute to see ;) !

#4 katharine kanter

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 07:53 AM

and without wishing to be in any way rude -

"antic" in English - it's a very old word, now rather out of usage - means "frolicking" or "capering about" - related to our current expression "getting up to wild antics". Shakespeare was very fond of it, being of an antic disposition himself !

As it so happens, though I s'pose you meant antique, or ancient, antic is HIGHLY suited to the subject of "Sylvia" ! Comme quoi !

#5 Estelle

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 08:13 AM

Thanks Francoise, you said it all!
I've never seen it, I just remember seeing some cute photographs of Noella Pontois and Michael Denard in it. By the way, it is frustrating to know that until the mid-1980s, the French public TV (well, back then all channels were public) regularly showed some ballet, and moreover at a decent hour (not at 2 AM), while now there's nearly nothing, and such videos are impossible to see...

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 08:30 AM

Just curious but both Francoise and Estelle have used the word "cute," and I'm interpreting that that the staging looked old-fashioned? The score would call for grandeur, I think -- in addition to the scampering goats!

(Katharine, I'm reasonably sure that "antic" was meant to be "antique.")

#7 Estelle

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 10:38 AM

Yes, the corsutmes on the few photos that I saw looked a little bit old-fashioned, like Michaël Denard in a costume of shepherd... But it was only a few ones, not enough to really have an impression of what it looked like.

#8 Françoise

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 10:45 AM

Sorry for antique, I spoke very bad english I said it in an other topic.

Sylvia is so up-dated, that it becomes "cute", as Estelle said, Michael Denard, or Jean-Yves Lormeau in hellenistic dress is funny and old-fashioned. But personally I love also Neumeier's version than Darsonval's one.

And I think we could see the old version with a certain pleasure !

And I'm sorry for my english !

#9 Alexandra

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Posted 17 January 2003 - 11:32 AM

Francoise, please, there is no need to apologize for your English! We are very glad for your comments, and I hope you will understand that if someone asks you what you meant, it is only to make sure you are understood, NOT a criticism.

Estelle, yes, I can see what you mean. Costume can date things more than anything, I think.


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