Amy

Ratmansky's Swan Lake at La Scala

54 posts in this topic

Hi everybody!

I was away in Milan last week and I attended the La Scala premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's reconstruction of Petipa and Ivanov's Swan Lake. Personally, this was a dream come true for me because Swan Lake is my favourite ballet and I had wanted to see a reconstruction of it for years and just like he did with The Sleeping Beauty and Paquita, Alexei has once again brought Petipa and Ivanov's choreography back to life. :)

For this report, I have decided to go through each number to give you all an idea of how much of Swan Lake has changed over the years and I hope I do a good job; forgive me if I don't! Lol!!

First of all - the cast list and they all did a marvellous job:

Odette/Odile - Nicoletta Manni

Prince Siegfried - Timofei Andrijashenko

Von Rothbart - Mick Zeni

The Queen - Caroline Westcombe

Wolfgang - Andrea Pujatti

Benno - Christian Fagetti

So, here we go:

Overture - as you would expect, no dancing and no prologue

Act 1, scene 1

No. 1 Scene premiere - the curtain rises and standing on stage are Benno and a group of men. Benno mimes Siegfried's arrival, Wolfgang enters first and then enter Siegfried, who greets Benno and the others. This is followed by the entrance of the corps de ballet of peasants, who dance to the woodwind-played section a lovely little terre a terre sequence, at the end of which they bow to Siegfried - they enter in groups, one at a time; each group dancing to the different repetitions of the same melody - the women are carrying flower baskets. Afterwards, Siegfried mimes for the women to be given ribbons and the men to be served with wine and then, Benno introduces two women to Siegfried, who welcomes them to dance and the three move into position for the Pas de trois. So this scene is what's supposed to be - an action scene with very little dancing.

No. 4 Pas de trois - the Pas de trois hasn't changed too much over the years, but it's easy to spot major differences. The male role is danced by Benno, who was a purely-mimed role in the 1895 production, but I think it's more logical to have him dancing the male role; it certainly strengthens his presence in the ballet. It's definitely much better than watching the obnoxious Russian jesters prancing around like show-off idiots. The pas also contains a lot of one-handed partnering, which is very tricky, but Christian Fagetto proved to be an excellent partner for Virnia Toppi and Alessandra Vassallo.

The female variations - where there are usually long leg extensions for the women, there are lovely petite retires, which do not go higher than the ankle. The first variation, which was originally danced by Olga Preobrazhenskaya, has a lot of steely pointe work and is every allegro. Both variations contain a ménage of single turns with chaines on demi-pointe as their closings.

The male variation - this variation is very similar to that from Sir Anthony Dowell's production, complete with a fabulous middle section of entrechats and the same ending section from De Valois's and Dowell's stagings, ending on a quintuple pirouette, though I think Fagetto only did a triple pirouette.

As a whole, the notated version of the Pas de trois is very similar to the version from De Valois's production that was filmed in 1982 with Sir Anthony Dowell and Natalia Makarova.

No. 3 Scene - Siegfried's mother arrives, accompanied by ladies-in-waiting, and interestingly, the music for her mime scene is cut by about half, but the mime itself is very effective and shows that she can be strict with her son. She tells Siegfried that he has to choose a bride, to which he protests, but the Queen makes it clear that he has to take his responsibilities seriously and departs. At first, Siegfried is left unhappy, but when everyone urges him, he calls them all for another dance and at this point, we get a little comic dance from Wolfgang, who has clearly already drunk too much.

No. 2 Waltz - here we have Petipa's original waltz restored to its former glory and it really does make one wonder why anyone would ever want to change it. The stools and maypole are both restored, but there are more cuts in the music than I had realised. E.g. the two music sections that Anthony Dowell's staging and the Mariinsky staging use as a solo part for Siegfried are both cut - however, the musical cuts made to the final section in the Mariinsky staging are retained. There is no dancing for soloists; this is strictly a dance for the corps de ballet and it proves that it doesn't need soloists. The best part is definitely the maypole section and as a reviewer of the 1895 production said, it does look like an umbrella with ribbons of red, blue and yellow. Interestingly, the dance ends a couple of bars before the last note, rather than on the last note - the corps de ballet makes a lovely group tableau in front of the maypole and they remain in this tableau until the music ends.

No. 6 Scene d'action - Wolfgang's drunk dance with a young woman from the corps de ballet; after she causes him to spin out of control, her dance is similar to that from De Valois's staging, but faster.

No. 7 Sujet - the mimed introduction to the final dance of this scene

No. 8 Dance of the peasants - no props are used here and again, as Natalia said, it's very similar to De Valois's staging, except that the women are wearing pointe shoes. When the corps de ballet departs, those left on stage are Siegfried, Benno, Wolfgang and the group of men who were present when the curtain rose.

No. 9 Scene finale - again, this a purely mimed scene; there's no dancing. It actually starts off very nicely, with Siegfried looking clearly upset about departing with his bachelorhood - he even walks to the gate at the back of the stage and looks into the distance, which clearly shows he's deep in thought. Afterwards, he walks back to Benno and the others and here, we have a mime scene that has been forgotten. Siegfried mimes that it is not yet time for them to go to bed and suggests they go hunting and Benno mimes that they should go to Swan Lake. At a wave of Benno's hand, attendants enter with crossbows and cloaks for everyone and they're all ready to depart. Just like in Anthony Dowell's production, Siegfried tries to persuade Wolfgang to come, but he's too drunk and tired, so off the group heads into the forest. The curtain closes on Wolfgang falling asleep on a bench.

Act 1, scene 2

No. 10 Scene - this is a musical interlude into the second scene, so there's no dancing. The curtain opens at the final forte section to reveal the lakeside and when the oboe returns, just like in the Mariinsky production, we see the swans swimming on the lake, led by Odette.

No. 11 Scene - one of the hunters enters first and sees the swans; the other hunters enter, followed by Benno. Just like in De Valois's production, Siegfried enters on the section at which Rothbart makes an appearance in the Mariinsky's and Anthony Dowell's stagings. After the pizzicato section, the music that usually follows is cut and goes straight into the string-played section where, in De Valois's and Dowell's stagings, Siegfried sees Odette flying through the air. Here, however, Siegfried mimes to the others to leave him alone, they depart and Siegfried aims his crossbow at Odette. He stops and mimes that there's a beautiful girl over here, he hides and enter Odette - she performs a pas de chat, not a jete.

Odette's entrance - The music for Odette's entrance is played faster than usual, which is a welcome change because I hate this music being played slowly. After her entrance, she stays in one position and it's clear right away that she's very sad - in other words, we are introduced to Odette the woman, not Odette the swan. She then performs three quick arabesques, encounters Siegfried and pulls back in fear when she sees his crossbow. As usual, she stands with her arm covering her face, Siegfried approaches her (still holding the crossbow), put his crossbow down beside her and in comes their mime scene.

Siegfried and Odette's mime scene - the mime scene begins with Siegfried pleading with Odette not to flee and when the string section comes, to which in modern productions, Odette tries to get away from Siegfried, that doesn't happen here. Instead, she mimes that she's scared he'll shoot her, to which he responds that he won't harm her and then, it goes to the section where today, she performs a series of arabesques/attitudes, which also happens here. It ends with Siegfried taking Odette by the arms and walking her into the centre of the stage, where they perform their famous mime in which Odette tells Siegfried her story; again, sections that are normally omitted are restored here, like Siegfried asking why Odette was a swan and declaring that he will love her right after she tells him what can break the spell. Siegfried then asks where Rothbart is and when Odette points to the ruins of the chapel, this is when Rothbart makes his first appearance. Siegfried tries to kill him, but Odette stops him and exits; Rothbart exits also.

No. 12 Entrance of the Swan Maidens - when the music for the Swan Maidens' entrance begins, it is Siegfried who is on stage, not Rothbart. Siegfried exits, following Odette, and the Swan Maidens enter, performing their usual zig-zag travel across the stage. Unlike modern productions and just like Odette in this production, the Swan Maidens do not perform the usual swan-arm movements; that comes when they move into the lovely triangular grouping, but when Benno enters, do they ignore him and continue to flap their arms? No, of course they don't; they actually react to his entrance by going into a frightened pose. They then encircle Benno, before moving to the side of the stage; Benno calls in the other hunters and they corner the maidens. They prepare to shoot them, but are interrupted by the arrival of the four little swans and the four big swans. Then Siegfried arrives in time and at this point, the children as swans arrive, but rather than following Odette onto the stage, they arrive on their own after the big swans and Odette enters afterwards. She pleads for no harm to come to her friends and Siegfried states no harm is to come to them; Benno and the hunters bow to his orders, which shows that Siegfried does hold command of authority and strongly presents his character.

No. 13-1 Waltz of the Swans - the notated version is very similar, if not the same, as the version from Anthony Dowell's production, with the exception that the soloist part in the final section is performed by two swan maidens, not four.

No. 13-5 Grand Pas d'action - Ivanov's original pas de deux a trois has been restored, with Benno assisting the partnering of Odette and the hunters standing with the Swan Maidens. You might think that Benno's presence is interrupting, but it really isn't; it works really well. Again, there's a lot of one-handed partnering, there's little use of the swan-arms and there are no split-jumps when Siegfried lifts Odette on the first sets of high notes on the solo violin, just one leg lifted under 90 degrees, switching legs on all lifts.

No. 13-4 Dance of the Little Swans - this brilliant dance hasn't changed much, but there are differences, e.g. in the first section, there are no little jetes into the piques, the travelling arabesques in the middle section are performed on flat feet, not en pointe, and the travelling piques with the head-bobbing in the final section are not performed to the final part of the music like they normally are. And the final two notes were performed faster than usual.

No. 13-5 Dance of the Big Swans - not much to say about this one; just like the little swans, we have the four big swans performing their own dance completely in unison, but with bigger steps of course, like we get today.

No. 13-2 Variation of Odette - there are similarities and differences to what's usually performed for this variation; the developpes a la seconde at the beginning are here, but they don't go higher than 135 degrees and Odette does not perform the swan-arm fifth position. The diagonal section is different and in the final section with the ménage of turns, this is interesting - it's to the music on which she normally travels that here, she spins on the spot and the music she usually spins on the spot to, she travels to it here. It finishes with chaines on demi-pointe and a finishing pose.

No. 13-7 Coda - the coda hasn't changed much, except that after Odette's ménage of petite retires, the repeat of the music danced to by the Swan Maidens before she joins them is cut. She more or less joins them almost straight away, they all dance together, Siegfried and Benno enter towards the end and the coda ends with Odette standing on Benno's leg.

No. 14 Scene finale - the usual cuts in the music are retained. It begins with Siegfried lifting Odette off Benno's leg, Benno bows and exits and Siegfried declares his love for Odette and promises to save her. The Swan Maidens encircle them, Siegfried supports Odette in an arabesque as she directs the maidens back to the lake and then she embraces Siegfried. The spell forces her back to the lake and Siegfried struggles and struggles to keep her with him; he kneels, she performs a penchee arabesque as she hugs him and then Rothbart pulls away her and they exit. Siegfried is then joined by Benno and the others, who kneel to him as he watches Odette fly away. This scene is actually not notated, but this was a beautiful staging; very moving.

Act 2

No. 15 Grand Marche - again, there's no dancing here; this is strictly an action scene. The curtain opens to reveal the castle ballroom with the Master of Ceremonies welcoming the guests. The character dancers make their entrances, starting with the Spanish dancers, the Neapolitan dancers, the Hungarian dancers and the Polish dancers - yes, nobody enters and/or leaves with Rothbart and Odile. Finally, Siegfried and his mother arrive; Benno doesn't show up in this act, which I thought was very unfortunate, though I can't remember from my readings of Roland John Wiley's books if he appeared in this act in the 1895 production.

No. 17 Waltz of the Perspective Fiancées - the notated version is much similar to Anthony Dowell's staging, one of the main reasons is because the women are wearing heeled shoes, not pointe shoes and there is also batterie and no high leg extensions. Just like in Dowell's and the Mariinsky's stagings, Siegfried dances with the women at the section where he dances with them in the mentioned productions.

No. 18 Scene/Entrance of Odile - we begin with quite a tense mime scene between Siegfried and his mother when Siegfried makes it clear that he will not marry any of the women, but then the subject is quickly changed when the trumpets announce the arrival of Rothbart, disguised as a knight, and Odile. Finally, Odile is back to her enchantress form, there's no swan imitations and she's not wearing black!! Rothbart proudly presents his daughter, Siegfried instantly thinks she's Odette, takes her by the hand and they exit.

No. 21 Danse espagnole - the Spanish dance hasn't changed much from the notated version, however, the notated version isn't Petipa's Spanish dance, it's actually Gorsky's 1901 version and I don't know how close it is to Petipa's. However, it uses two couples and Petipa used two couples.

No. 22 Danse napolitaine - the Neapolitan dance has drastically changed overtime or has been replaced altogether. The Spanish and Neapolitan dances were both met with a neutral response at the 1895 premiere and personally, I didn't think the Neapolitan dance was bad at all; it certainly wasn't the strongest of the four dances, but it wasn't bad at all. It was danced by four couples with lutes and tambourines, but the notation states that it's supposed to be danced by sixteen couples. It makes me wonder what it would look performed by that many dancers...

No. 20 Czardas - again, the Czardas hasn't changed much either from the notation. It had two rows of couples and a solo couple and the choreography was more or less the same. The original 1895 leading couple were Alfred Bekefi and Marie Petipa; the Czardas was encored at the 1895 premiere and in my opinion, it's the best dance out of the divertissements.

No. 23 Mazurka - again, the Mazurka has barely changed; that's three out of the four dances that have pretty much remained in tact, at least in the Mariinsky's and Sir Anthony Dowell's productions.

No. 5 Grand Pas de deux - yes, GRAND Pas de deux, not Black Swan Pas de deux. If you want to see the notated grand pas de deux, look no further than Doug Fullington's After Petipa lecture, unless someone uploads Alexei's staging. The wonderful thing about the notated pas de deux is that we don't have Odile imitating a swan; she's not a swan, she's a seductress and an enchantress. However, I don't think Alexei's staging of the scene when Odette appears at the window is as strong as Doug's - Alexei has Odile hugging Siegfried twice, Siegfried actually sees the vision and is confused, but Odile manages to trance him with her magic, but I think Doug's staging is better because in Doug's staging, Siegfried doesn't see Odette because Odile works her magic on him right away when the vision appears and the way she covers his eyes in the following section is better in Doug's staging too.

The thing is, Odile being an enchantress is much, much more logical than her being a black swan and this is why - her father is a sorcerer and what do sorcerers/sorceresses, wizards/witches, enchanters/enchantresses do when they have children? They teach their children all about magic and usually do so very well, which is obviously what Rothbart's done - he's taught his only offspring everything he knows about magic. Also, Odette is not a swan; she's a woman turned into a swan, so where is the logic about Odile being a black swan?

No. 5-3 Variation of Prince Siegfried - thank goodness, Siegfried has a variation that actually showcases male technique in a brilliant way. Alexander Gorsky's variation is restored and it's so much better than the traditional Chabukiani variation, which I hate and why? Because it's so boring; it's perhaps the most boring male variation ever. In fact, I hate Chabukiani's choreography full stop because it's too acrobatic and it's so repetitive. If you don't believe me, I dare you to watch his variations for Solor, Ali and Actaeon side-by-side if you can and tell me that all three variations don't look almost exactly the same as one another.

Interpolation no. 1 Variation of Odile - Pierina Legnani's variation is restored and it certainly showcases her amazing abilities; there's a lot spinning, as Mme. Legnani was a superb spinner, but also plenty of steely pointe work, again very suitable for Mme. Legnani. Interestingly, there was a little cut in the music before the final notes.

No. 5-4 Grand Coda - the traditional choreography for Siegfried is retained, primarily because there's nothing notated for him here. We have 32 single fouettes; no doubles or triples, thank goodness! The final section has Odile perform a wonderful sequence of fast echappes, before performing a double pirouette supported by Siegfried, ending with a pose and not the one often used in western productions with Siegfried hugging Odile's hand.

No. 24 Scene finale - all the mime is restored here, after Siegfried pledges his love to Odile, Rothbart and Odile flee, Siegfried is left devastated by the trickery, everyone flees in horror and the curtain closes with Siegfried lying at his mother's feet, looking for comfort, rather than him fleeing from the castle. Again, the usual cuts in the music are retained, but there was one cut that is not normally used today, which is the section following the end of the reprise of the swan theme.

Act 3

No. 25 Entr'acte - the curtain opens, at first revealing an empty stage, but then a group of four of the Swan Maidens enter on the first harp section - twelve Swan Maidens enter in groups of four on the harp sections - and when they each enter, they perform the same step as they did in their entrance in Act 1, scene 2 when they were standing in their four straight lines and then stand with their hands over their eyes in a look out pose - they're looking for Odette. At the end, six of the four little and big swans enter in two groups of three, two of them stand in the centre and ask the others if they have seen Odette; they all reply that they haven't.

Interpolation no. 2 Waltz of the White and Black Swans - the notated version of this beautiful waltz is, again, much more similar to Sir Anthony Dowell's version than the Mariinsky version - the Mariinsky staging loses out due to exchanging glorious batterie and petit allegro footwork for high leg extensions.

No. 28 Scene - as some of you have already seen, Odette enters not with dancing and swan poses, but in tears and absolute despair; she's a woman who's just had her heart broken, so why wouldn't she be this way? And of course, the Swan Maidens gather around her as women concerned for their queen, not as swans. That's one of the things I really love about this reconstruction - we are never allowed to forget that there is a story being told here and that Odette and her friends are not swans; they are young women who have been turned into swans and the Swan Maidens are actually characters, not backdrop dancers! No symbolism of classicism here and thank goodness; thank you Alexei!

Interpolation no. 3 Scene dansante - again, much more similar to Anthony Dowell's staging, with one of the main reasons being that all the mime is restored.

No. 29 Scene finale - the finale is only partially notated; it comes to an end at the point of the forte-fortissimo dynamics section when Odette and Siegfried jump into the lake, but Alexei has filled in the blank spaces here perfectly. The drama and intensity of this scene is perfect, with Siegfried and Odette fighting against Rothbart and then Siegfried struggling again and again to stop Odette from jumping into the lake. Obviously, Alexei turned to the old Royal Ballet productions for help and I like how he keeps the Swan Maidens on stage the whole time. The ending was really lovely; the softness of the music was definitely more suitable for such an apotheosis, I think; after all, it's a love story that ends with our two leading characters ascending into Heaven together.

So there we go everyone; I hope this gives a good outline of what truly is a masterpiece of a reconstruction. If anyone is considering going to see it, I strongly recommend that you do. For the first time in too many years, we finally have a classical ballet production of Swan Lake that doesn't stand for something symbolic, which is not what the ballet is supposed to about; same goes for all the classics.

Once again, Alexei has restored one of Petipa's masterpieces to its former glory and as I told him on the night of the La Scala premiere, the ballet world needs more people like him. Congratulations to Alexei and all the dancers of La Scala and I'm looking forward to hearing what ballet Alexei will be reconstructing next. :)

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Another thank you to Amy!

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What a terrific synopsis! A third thank you, Amy!

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You gave us as complete a visual (in our minds) as anyone could give. It sounds fascinating. Someone reported on another thread that it will possibly come to an American company, so perhaps I will get a chance to see it one day soon.

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Thanks for the details, Amy. It sounds wonderful and hopefully we'll

get to see it soon.

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Thanks! I can't wait to see it tomorrow!!! This was a great primer!!

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Hi Amy, thanks for the great update/write-up. i'm puzzled by your assertion that there aren't "swan arms" in the finale or act 2. I've seen clips of the finale and I was surprised at just how "swan-like" the arms were. In fact in the finale the sea of corps flapping their swan arms up and down had more of the "swan" feel than the video from La Scala with Zakharova and Bolle in the Bourmeister production.

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Hi Amy, thanks for the great update/write-up. i'm puzzled by your assertion that there aren't "swan arms" in the finale or act 2. I've seen clips of the finale and I was surprised at just how "swan-like" the arms were. In fact in the finale the sea of corps flapping their swan arms up and down had more of the "swan" feel than the video from La Scala with Zakharova and Bolle in the Bourmeister production.

Hello canbelto and you're very welcome; glad you like it. :)

Let me rephrase that statement because you're right - the swan arms are in this production, but they weren't as exaggerated as they tend to be in many modern productions, especially in those of the Mariinsky and the Bolshoi.

What I was trying to say is that while we do get the lovely, soft swan arms from Odette and the Swan Maidens, we don't get them ALL the time; they don't happen at every second and even the Black Swans in the final act don't perform them at every second. As I said, this reconstruction never allows us to forget that Odette and the Swan Maidens are not really swans, but young women turned into swans by a spell - they are actually presented as human characters rather than symbolism of classicism and ballerinas pretending to be birds.

So yes, apologies for the confusion; I can confirm, however, that Odile never performs swan arms.

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Thank you, Amy! :flowers:

Another thank you to Amy!

What a terrific synopsis! A third thank you, Amy!

You're all very welcome, guys! :)

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Thanks for the details, Amy. It sounds wonderful and hopefully we'll

get to see it soon.

You're very welcome; I hope too that you get to see it soon. :)

Thanks! I can't wait to see it tomorrow!!! This was a great primer!!

You're welcome; hope you enjoy the production! :)

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You gave us as complete a visual (in our minds) as anyone could give. It sounds fascinating. Someone reported on another thread that it will possibly come to an American company, so perhaps I will get a chance to see it one day soon.

Let's hope so, Birdsall because it's worth going to see. Just in relation to one of your posts on the other thread, I can confirm that there is plenty of dancing in this production, but unlike in modern productions, especially the Mariinsky's, the dancing only happens when it needs to; it doesn't happen all the time. There's more acting in this production than most productions, which works tremendously, especially for the music numbers that were written for action scenes.

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Amy thank you for your account of this production. You have told me far more about it than I have managed to get out of other people who have seen it. Are you able to say with absolute certainty that this production contains the original choreography for the act 1 waltz rather than a patch job "choreography in the style of Petipa" by Ratmansky? I ask because I seem to recall that when Dowell's Swan Lake was first performed we were told that the original choreography for the act 1 waltz was lost. That was certainly the justification given for the insertion of a chunk of rather uninspired choreography by David Bintley at that point in the ballet.

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Amy thank you for your account of this production. You have told me far more about it than I have managed to get out of other people who have seen it. Are you able to say with absolute certainty that this production contains the original choreography for the act 1 waltz rather than a patch job "choreography in the style of Petipa" by Ratmansky? I ask because I seem to recall that when Dowell's Swan Lake was first performed we were told that the original choreography for the act 1 waltz was lost. That was certainly the justification given for the insertion of a chunk of rather uninspired choreography by David Bintley at that point in the ballet.

You're welcome and to answer your question, yes this reconstruction uses Petipa's Act 1 waltz, which is notated. Petipa's choreography for the Act 1 waltz certainly isn't lost, although I think the notating of the steps is a little sketch at times (as with most of the manuscripts, only the feet/legwork is notated), but the floor plans are very clear. I can certainly confirm that the notated waltz is so much better than Bintley's waltz; Bintley didn't use any of Petipa's floor plans, let alone any of his steps.

Also, some of the ways in which Bintley used the stools i.e. having the women standing on the stools in arabesque en pointe supported by the men, is really, really tacky compared to how Petipa used the stools - there are no poses like that on the stools anywhere in the notated waltz; when the dancers are on the stools, they stand in fifth position, while their partners dance around them and the men and women take turns at this - at one or more point, we have the men on the stools and at another point, we have the women on the stools. We also have the women dancing with flower baskets, which they hold above their heads when they're standing on the stools and there are one or two moments when dancers are sitting on the stools, but we mostly have them standing on them.

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The La Scala trailer:

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I like so much of what I see here, but I just wanted to mention Odette's costume -- such an aura of the original period without feeling dated.

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Thank you, Amy for the detailed synopsis and the trailer. It looks enticing! I love the tutus.

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Any explanations on why Ratmansky and Kaplan elected not to use period costumes for the men?

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I like so much of what I see here, but I just wanted to mention Odette's costume -- such an aura of the original period without feeling dated.

Thank you, Amy for the detailed synopsis and the trailer. It looks enticing! I love the tutus.

I love the costumes for Odette, Odile and the Swan Maidens too; I'm liking these bell-shaped tutus much more than the pancake-shaped ones.

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Any explanations on why Ratmansky and Kaplan elected not to use period costumes for the men?

I've no idea and I do wonder the same thing, though the costumes for men are beautiful.

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I presume the hair styling is also true to the period but the long tendril/pony tail looks a bit odd to me. Maybe just so used to bunheads!

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Any explanations on why Ratmansky and Kaplan elected not to use period costumes for the men?

(last attempt to answer this went awry -- fingers crossed here)

When Kaplan designed Giselle here in Seattle there was a great deal of discussion about whether men would wear pants or tights -- trying to find a way to keep the line of the legs clear, but keep the period integrity.

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La Scala posted coda of Act III (Ballroom scene) pas de deux:

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How very interesting -- I love the way that he escorts her onstage for the fouette sequence.

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How very interesting -- I love the way that he escorts her onstage for the fouette sequence.

Hard to say how this all fits into the overall picture of the ballet, but neither dancer created much electricity or power. Both looked a bit "leaden" at times (his jumps, her turns). The eschappes at the end were a bit of a downer, as was the run off stage. That music is so thrilling, but little of it seemed realized here.

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