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volcanohunter

Ratmansky's Paquita

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Is there a good guide somewhere to some of the less frequently performed mime? Less frequently in the last 50 years that is. Everything I have found online shows the basics from any standard Swan Lake/ Giselle ca 1970 -- I don't need to learn the gesture for let's dance or I am royalty -- but when I see things like this video I realize there are a number of gestures I where I am forced back on guesswork.

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A more detailed mime explanation for "Giselle" is from the 2011 PNB production, based on the notes from Justament:

Unfortunately the printed guide (.pdf) link now comes up as "Page not found." That had more mime than appears in the daisy scene in "Giselle."

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The RAD released this video (Mime Matters) in 2002 -- I've seen parts of it, but not the entire thing. Unfortunately (for me), it seems to only be available in PAL.

From the description on the British Universities Film and Video Council website:

"Demonstrations of mime sequences from classic ballets (Le Carnaval, Coppélia, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake) by a cast including Deanne Bergsma, David Bintley, Alina Cojocaru, Anthony Dowell, Luke Heydon, Johan Kobborg, Monica Mason, Antoinette Sibley and Sarah Wildor.

The demonstrations are interspersed with discussions between some of the participants and Clement Crisp, Pamela May and Sir Peter Wright about the importance of mime, and followed by a long sequence in which Barbara Fewster, Monica Mason and Pamela May demonstrate mime gestures and explain their meanings."

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The RAD released this video (Mime Matters) in 2002 -- I've seen parts of it, but not the entire thing. Unfortunately (for me), it seems to only be available in PAL.

From the description on the British Universities Film and Video Council website:

"Demonstrations of mime sequences from classic ballets (Le Carnaval, Coppélia, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake) by a cast including Deanne Bergsma, David Bintley, Alina Cojocaru, Anthony Dowell, Luke Heydon, Johan Kobborg, Monica Mason, Antoinette Sibley and Sarah Wildor.

The demonstrations are interspersed with discussions between some of the participants and Clement Crisp, Pamela May and Sir Peter Wright about the importance of mime, and followed by a long sequence in which Barbara Fewster, Monica Mason and Pamela May demonstrate mime gestures and explain their meanings."

I have that video, and interestingly, I can play it on a portable DVD player though not on my TV or computer.

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Mime Matters DVD was also released in Japan in NTSC format but I think this is region code 2. Unfortunately it is no longer available here but I have a copy.

It is indeed very, very interesting and gives us a good deal of knowledge.

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I have that video, and interestingly, I can play it on a portable DVD player though not on my TV or computer.

The ways of video are mysterious and strange

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I don't know what the RAD, which is a huge international organization, was thinking when they released this in a format that isn't viewable in the whole world. And furthermore they didn't even label it as PAL only so it was only after I bought it and brought it home from London that I discovered I couldn't watch it. I was mightily teed off and complained to RAD but nary a response did I get.

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I don't know what the RAD, which is a huge international organization, was thinking when they released this in a format that isn't viewable in the whole world. And furthermore they didn't even label it as PAL only so it was only after I bought it and brought it home from London that I discovered I couldn't watch it. I was mightily teed off and complained to RAD but nary a response did I get.

They are a UK-centric organization, that has been working to monitize what they have, but they don't do a very good job of reaching out to a larger audience. I get promotions for most dance publications around, but never for the RAD magazine.

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Kbarber, it's been a long time, but I have this vague memory of being told once that an easy way to deal with PAL was to playback the DVD on a computer rather than to a TV. I don't think I've ever had a PAL DVD to test out this solution. Do you knowif it is a myth?

[edited later to add: My spologies, I joined this discussion late and did not see the earlier post about the DVD not playing back on computer]

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My old Mac had a function where you could choose what region you wanted to set it to, but you could only change it a couple of times before it locked on one. I don't know if that works on my newer Mac.

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Posted (edited)

Alexei Ratmansky has posted on his public Facebook page that he has learned that the sets for the Paquita he staged for Munich w. Doug Fullington have been "destroyed."  Doug Fullington posted the news as well and also credited Marian Smith for her work on the notation. My sympathies to all of them (and Jerome Kaplan) for the way this production has been treated. They both also posted links to the 2015 "livestream" of the production that has recently been made available on youtube:

Here is the youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEp22Pd3KNU&t=1s

I follow both Ratmansky's page and Doug Fullington's but am not "friends" with either so I assume these posts are publicly readable by anyone. Here is Ratmansky's posting: https://www.facebook.com/alexei.ratmansky/posts/10211734710588081

And Doug Fullington's: https://www.facebook.com/doug.fullington.5/posts/10157399412443496

I missed the livestream when it was done and watched it only tonight/this morning upon learning it was now available on youtube. I enjoyed it and thought Ivan Liska did a really fine job introducing the production and giving just enough guidance to the mime ...

Edited by Drew

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2 hours ago, Drew said:

I missed the livestream when it was done and watched it only tonight/this morning upon learning it was now available on youtube

Thank you so much for this heads-up !  I have seen the Lacotte version of POB and last year saw the Smikalov reconstruction at the Mariinsky :  the first two acts of Lacotte and Smikalov did not have much in common between them. Eager to see how Ratmansky has treated it, but most probably one will be able to tell once again that Act 3 is the real thing.

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How awful! So when the company announced on Twitter in April 2016 that the ballet was being performed "for the very last time," it was serious, despite assurances to the contrary. How horribly unenlightened Igor Zelensky's leadership is. My heavens, he couldn't have sold the production to another company?!!

Thank you for the link to the video. At least that has been preserved.

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6 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

How horribly unenlightened Igor Zelensky's leadership is. My heavens, he couldn't have sold the production to another company?!!

Zelensky is like the Grim Reaper !  When he took on Stasik 25 dancers resigned upon hearing the news, and when he took on Munich 55 dancers left the company, including Lacarra. :FIREdevil:

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I'm baffled by this. If they had been "destroyed" by a flood or other natural disaster, well, that happens. But intentionally destroyed by human beings? As volcanohunter suggests, if a company in the US were mounting a new production of something or other, wouldn't they try to sell or rent or recycle the old sets? 

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Posted (edited)

After watching the webcast from 2015 I can't help thinking that Zelensky was probably right in sacking or not offering contract extensions to the 55 dancers (Lacarra aside) who left. I saw the 3rd Act of Paquita which Vaganova Academy performed at the Mariinsky last year as part of their graduation performance which is on YT (link below) - compared with that this Munich performance looks (imho) awful :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK3HRdrwvxc

Edited by mnacenani

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The dancers who left Munich upon Zelensky's arrival were primarily principals and first soloists, not the ones who would have been dancing in the corps of the third act of Paquita.

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I am baffled by the information that the sets "have been destroyed. Not being, however, in possession of reliable information, I am reluctant to make hasty conclusions. The internal recordings of the Fullington/Ratmansky Paquita were made, they survive, and in Munich they make them of very high quality.

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Just for the record: the Munich newspapers all had the number of 29 dancers leaving in June 2016, maybe some 10 more in the next season. But 55 would have meant almost the whole company erased. It was a huge change in the roster, but let's stick to the facts.

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42 minutes ago, Fosca said:

Just for the record: the Munich newspapers all had the number of 29 dancers leaving in June 2016, maybe some 10 more in the next season. But 55 would have meant almost the whole company erased. It was a huge change in the roster, but let's stick to the facts.

I apologise for this error :  I was almost certain I read this figure somewhere on the web while looking up Ivan Liska today but now can't find it. Anyway the correct number of departures seems to be 29 as you have stated, it can't have been 55 since the company had ca. 69 members at the time.

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I now find myself wondering and worrying about the fate of the physical production of the Burlaka/Medvedev Nutcracker in Berlin, which was dumped from the repertoire when Duato became director.

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Posted (edited)

Those Paquita costumes aren't reconstructed ones and the sets are, as Natalia would say : "El Cheapo" style. Yaiks.

 

Sad would be to see the reconstructed costumes from Burlaka's nutcracker production be destroyed, now THAT would be a loss.

 

That being said, Igor Zelensky shouldn't be AD of any company, ever. 

Edited by Gnossie

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47 minutes ago, Gnossie said:

Those Paquita costumes aren't reconstructed ones and the sets are, as Natalia would say : "El Cheapo" style. Yaiks.

 

Sad would be to see the reconstructed costumes from Burlaka's nutcracker production be destroyed, now THAT would be a loss.

 

That being said, Igor Zelensky shouldn't be AD of any company, ever. 

Even though the sets and some costumes were a bit tacky to some eyes, the work that went into the Munich Paquita was commendable. The Ratmansky and Fullington team did a masterful job in reconstructing dances and mise en scene, more true to Petipa than the reimaginings at POB, the Mariinsky & Vaganova School. Thus, it is very sad to see the way that this Munich production has been tossed away so quickly. Why not try to sell the sets/costumes to another company?

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