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Natalia   

The ballet world will soon be celebrating the 200th birthday anniversary of the great Petipa!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marius_Petipa

 

I'm opening this thread for long-term discussion of any festivals, commemorations, new or "revived" reconstructions of his works, exhibits, etc. that may be happening in 2018 to celebrate the choreographer whose works are synonymous with CLASSICAL ballet. Perhaps we'll see an emphasis on Petipa's creations by the big Russian and Western companies? (Mariinsky in Flora's Awakening maybe? It costs nothing to dream.) 

 

The sooner that we plan our travels, the better! :) 

 

Thanks for sharing creditable info, as it comes to light officially.

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sandik   
1 hour ago, Natalia said:

It costs nothing to dream.

 

Indeed, and I'm hoping that we'll be seeing more conversations in the community about issues of conservation and reconstruction. 

 

On the more concrete side, Pacific Northwest Ballet will be performing Swan Lake in February 2018 -- the official choreographic credit is shared by Kent Stowell and Francia Russell.  Russell restaged several traditional sections of the ballet (I'll have to go find my notes for a comprehensive list) and Stowell reworked other parts based on the historical work.  The sets are a bit heavy-handed, but the dancing has always been very clean and classical -- it's really a great production.

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Natalia   

Thanks, Sandik. I'm wondering how many ballet troupes, beside PNWB, thought about the Petipa Bicentennial while planning their 2017/2018 seasons? I've heard of a couple of other companies in the US planning recons...but it's not official until the seasons are announced. Once things are announced, with dates, then folks can begin to make cost-effective travel arrangements.

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sandik   

Clarification -- I'm not sure that the bicentennial was a part of the decision to schedule Swan Lake at PNB, but I have a feeling that, even in today's programming climate, we'll be able to make several of our own "Petipa Tours" without too much difficulty. 

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Natalia   

Understood. As much as I would've enjoyed going to another Bournonville Festival, I was a bit happy that it won't be happening in 2018 (as originally hinted at a couple of years ago), so as not to compete with any potential Petipa celebration. 

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canbelto   

Why does Petipa need to be celebrated? His ballets are the bread and butter of almost all major ballet companies. It's as redundant as the Chinese having a year-long festival celebrating rice. 

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sandik   

Oh, I  disagree -- I'm glad to see us look thoughtfully at our heritage, and examine the elements that make up our aesthetic.  It becomes even more important, I think, when we're looking at fundamental things that affect all kinds of developments.

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Natalia   

A follow-up to the recent Petipa Colloquium in Bordeaux (Oct 2015)  would be fantastic:

 

...only with more performances...maybe a week or two during which we would see live performances of these works under one roof:

 

Zurich SWAN LAKE;

 

La Scala RAYMONDA;

 

Mariinsky new-old Vikharev recons of SB, FLORA, BAYADERE;

 

Bolshoi ESMERALDA, PHARAOH's DAUGHTER, COPPELIA (P's version, after StLeon), CORSAIRE;

 

ABT BEAUTY and other Petipa novelty that may be coming from Ratmansky;

 

Mikhailovsky CAVALRY's HALT;

 

Ekaterinburg's FILLE MAL GARDEE (Vikharev recon but not the Petipa era designs);

 

Munich or POB PAQUITAs;

 

A night of "Petipaniana" excerpts, such as various solos from otherwise lost ballets (CAMARGO, CANDAULE, TALISMAN, CINDERELLA, ZORAYA,  etc), SATANELLA Gnd Pas, "Ocean & Two Pearls" pas de 3, Petipa's additions to GISELLE, Medvedev's recent BLUEBEARD Gnd Pas recon, etc.

 

A new recon of the Pugni/Petipa-after-StLeon version of HUMPBACKED HORSE would be fantastic...or recons of the one-act Hermitage ballets, such as RUSSES d'AMOUR, HARLEQUINADE, THE SEASONS?

 

ps - I don't include DON Q in the above because what we see now on stage is mostly by Gorsky...but it would be great if a scholar would decipher what truly remains of Petipa's original. NUTCRACKER not listed; that was Lev Ivanov.

Edited by Natalia
Added the bit about DON Q being by Gorsky.

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Drew   

A night of "Petipiana" excerpts from works rarely performed or never performed (perhaps bits that are well notated from an otherwise impossible to reconstruct ballet) is a wonderful idea -- and something more than one company could offer its audiences -- maybe with a chestnut or two thrown in for good measure! And samples of his revisions to older ballets given their own due...All recorded please if only for archives. Better still if recorded for public consumption. 

 

I can't work up much enthusiasm for Lacotte, but I suppose if one wanted some "after Petipa" or "homage" programming included it could have a place. Ironically the Macmillan celebration at the Royal and the Robbins' celebration at NYCB rather precludes those companies emphasizing the portion of their reps that most reflects the Petipa legacy, whether directly (in productions of his choreography) or indirectly (meaning works like Ashton's Sylvia or Balanchine's Theme and Variations).

 

i have no idea if it has any intended relation to the bicentenary, but next season Atlanta Ballet is dancing its first 19th-century full length Petipa (or mostly Petipa/after Petipa) ballet other than Nutcracker in some years--at least a decade I should think: Don Quixote. They are also staging Act III of Swan Lake (again not seen for many years). I have mixed feelings about these choices for this company, but will now think of them as my local Petipa bicentenary. Which for all I know may be intended. (Intended or not, I won't be surprised if it turns up in the company's publicity.) 

Edited by Drew

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mussel   

Ratmansky mentioned in an earlier interview there will be a reconstruction at ABT in 2018.

 

And Ratmansky will stage Bayadere in Berlin 17/18 season: http://www.berliner-zeitung.de/kultur/theater/staatsballett-das-sind-die-plaene-der-designierten-intendanten--26811508

 

Will the reconstruction for ABT be Bayadere co-produced with Berlin?  I can't imagine ABT would jettison its iconic 38-year old production.

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Natalia   

According to Catherine Pawlik's new "Vaganova Today" blog (link below - scroll down to "News and Rumors" on new Stanislavsky season), the ballet troupe of Moscow's Stanislavsky Theatre will pay tribute to Petipa's 200th with a special program on April 23-24, 2018, featuring guests from Paris POB Academy and the Perm and Stanislavsky Ballets.

 

http://www.vaganovatoday.com/

 

p.s. Lots of other goodies in this Russia-based blog. One to bookmark!

Edited by Natalia
Credit to Catherine Pawlik & her blog.

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Natalia   
14 hours ago, mussel said:

Ratmansky mentioned in an earlier interview there will be a reconstruction at ABT in 2018.

 

And Ratmansky will stage Bayadere in Berlin 17/18 season: http://www.berliner-zeitung.de/kultur/theater/staatsballett-das-sind-die-plaene-der-designierten-intendanten--26811508

 

Will the reconstruction for ABT be Bayadere co-produced with Berlin?  I can't imagine ABT would jettison its iconic 38-year old production.

 

I only know about a totally-new (not in ABT rep) Petipa ballet that Ratmansky and his team have been reconstructing. Will PM you. Not BAYADERE, that I've heard, although things can change until it's official.  BTW, the Berlin BAYADERE seems to be for the 2018/19 season.

Edited by Natalia
Correcting the season for the planned Berlin BAYADERE

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Natalia   

The Ekaterinburg Ballet, Russia, is dedicating its entire 2017/18 season to the Petipa 200th celebration!

 http://m.colta.ru/news/14477 

in addition to existing rep, such as the FILLE MAL GARDEE recon (pictured in the article), novelties include:

 

Nov 17, 2017: Vikharev/Gershenson new recon of complete PAQUITA

 

Mar 15, 2018: Yuri Burlaka's recon of the complete 2-act HARLEQUINADE

 

June 2018: - total rarity! - THE KING's COMMAND, chor by a team led by company A.D. Vyacheslav Samodurov. (Not clear if it'll be a recon or a "rethinking" a-la Lacotte) *Note: this ballet exists in the "Harvard Notes" in the 2-act version of 1900...as "Les Eleves de Dupre." It includes a very famous pdd that Petipa created for Virginia Zucchi & Enrico Cecchetti: "Fisherman & Pearl"...oh, that we may be seeing this gem!

 

July 7, 2018 - a gala of many Petipa gems, incl premiere of Burlaka's NAIAD & FISHERMAN SUITE (ONDINE suite)...a "Petipaniana" extravaganza!

Edited by Natalia
Added bit about Fisherman & Pearl pdd.

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Amy   

Thanks for this discussion thread, Natalia!

 

There will be another Petipa conference next year in Marseille (Petipa's birthplace), but I don't know when it will; no one seems to know yet...

 

Alexei Ratmansky has another reconstruction planned for ABT, but I didn't know he was doing La Bayadere in Berlin; great!! :)

 

I would love it if there was a big Petipa gala with nothing but excerpts of Grand Pas and other highlights staged from the notation scores ONLY; no revivals and no Soviet choreography! It would perhaps be appropriate to stage such a gala in St Petersburg, but the last time the Mariinsky claimed to be holding a "Homage to Petipa" performance, they actually insulted him because they didn't use an ounce of his choreography. Instead, they used the Soviet version of the Kingdom of the Shades and the Paquita Grand Pas Classique.

 

For me, this would be the ideal programme for a Petipa gala, as reconstructed from the notation:

 

Paquita Grand Pas Classique

Le Jardin Anime from Le Corsaire

The Underwater Kingdom scene from The Pharaoh's Daughter

The Kingdom of the Shades from La Bayadere

Fete de la cloche and Grand Pas de deux from Coppelia

Grand Pas de six, Garland Waltz and Grand Pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty

Waltz and Grand Pas de deux from Swan Lake

Visions Pas d'action and Grand Pas classique hongrois from Raymonda

Harlequinade

The Awakening of Flora

 

To be honest, with this selection, it would be a series of galas for more than one night lol, but these are by far some of Petipa's greatest passages. :)

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Natalia   

Thanks, Amy. Great list. I'd add the Grand Pas des Fleurs from Esmeralda, Animated Frescoes from Little H H, and Dance of the Hours from the opera Gioconda, which was recon in Japan a few years ago.

 

 The conference in Marseilles could be a winner. Please report dates/details if you find out.

 

I wish that Ekaterinburg would live-stream at least some of their Petipa recon productions.

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Amy   
14 minutes ago, Natalia said:

Thanks, Amy. Great list. I'd add the Grand Pas des Fleurs from Esmeralda, Animated Frescoes from Little H H, and Dance of the Hours from the opera Gioconda, which was recon in Japan a few years ago.

 

 The conference in Marseilles could be a winner. Please report dates/details if you find out.

 

I wish that Ekaterinburg would live-stream at least some of their Petipa recon productions.

Thanks Natalia; yes I did consider the Grand Pas des fleurs and the La Esmeralda Pas de six, but I don't know if they're notated; I'll need to check. And yes, the Animated Frescoes from Little Humpbacked Horse would be wonderful too. One thing that Ashton said was that Petipa's best passages were his group/corps de ballet dances and sure enough, they really are among his best creations.

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Natalia   
29 minutes ago, Amy said:

Thanks Natalia; yes I did consider the Grand Pas des fleurs and the La Esmeralda Pas de six, but I don't know if they're notated; I'll need to check. And yes, the Animated Frescoes from Little Humpbacked Horse would be wonderful too. One thing that Ashton said was that Petipa's best passages were his group/corps de ballet dances and sure enough, they really are among his best creations.

 

Yes, Amy, the Harvard notes include a complete Esmeralda (3 acts, 5 scenes). Yuri Burlaka (& V. Medvedev?) used the notes to some degree for his recent Bolshoi staging. Some ballets were more completely notated than others; some lack full port de bras, so Burlaka had to make educated guesses with  the knowledge of the style.

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Amy   
37 minutes ago, Natalia said:

 

Yes, Amy, the Harvard notes include a complete Esmeralda (3 acts, 5 scenes). Yuri Burlaka (& V. Medvedev?) used the notes to some degree for his recent Bolshoi staging. Some ballets were more completely notated than others; some lack full port de bras; etc.

Yes thank you Natalia, but what I meant was, I wasn't sure if all the dances were notated since there are passages missing from the scores; I hope those two were notated, especially since Kschessinska, herself, helped Sergeyev to complete the notations for La Esmeralda.

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Joseph   

Yes eagerly awaiting word on when the conference in Marseilles will be!!

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Amy   
On 28/04/2017 at 8:23 PM, canbelto said:

Why does Petipa need to be celebrated? His ballets are the bread and butter of almost all major ballet companies. It's as redundant as the Chinese having a year-long festival celebrating rice. 

Of course Petipa needs to be celebrated; he's the one who made classical ballet what it is! The ballet world owes him a huge debt, but unfortunately, for the past century, he and his works have been abused, appropriated and disrespected and this really needs to stop. So celebrating him on his 200th birthday is the least we can do; after all, he is the Father of Classical Ballet.

Edited by Amy

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Birdsall   

Just for Devil's Advocate, I think it is easy to say with hindsight that his works have been abused and disrespected, but at the time (when there was no video to freeze his choreography and set it in stone and when the notations were not widely available and many could not even read them) I think people did what they thought was right and attempted to keep his art alive. Probably everyone along the way had great love and respect for Petipa even if they were making changes. Without all of the artists keeping some Petipa ballets in the active repertoire (even if changes were made) there would not be interest in reconstructions, because his works would have been totally forgotten without all the people in between. In my opinion, people and companies made decisions to keep the public happy and to keep their government happy and probably made some mistakes, but they kept his art alive and without that having ever happened we might not have anyone caring about reconstructions. Ballet might have totally died out and no one would care, because they wouldn't know what they are missing and would see dusty notations in some library at Harvard and wonder, "What the heck is this?" I just don't think anything is cut and dry and no one should be hanged or condemned for keeping what he/she thought kept ballet alive at the time.

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Amy   
4 minutes ago, Birdsall said:

Just for Devil's Advocate, I think it is easy to say with hindsight that his works have been abused and disrespected, but at the time (when there was no video to freeze his choreography and set it in stone and when the notations were not widely available and many could not even read them) I think people did what they thought was right and attempted to keep his art alive. Probably everyone along the way had great love and respect for Petipa even if they were making changes. Without all of the artists keeping some Petipa ballets in the active repertoire (even if changes were made) there would not be interest in reconstructions, because his works would have been totally forgotten without all the people in between. In my opinion, people and companies made decisions to keep the public happy and to keep their government happy and probably made some mistakes, but they kept his art alive and without that having ever happened we might not have anyone caring about reconstructions. Ballet might have totally died out and no one would care, because they wouldn't know what they are missing and would see dusty notations in some library at Harvard and wonder, "What the heck is this?" I just don't think anything is cut and dry and no one should be hanged or condemned for keeping what he/she thought kept ballet alive at the time.

This is probably how people may feel about the whole issue of Petipa's choreographic passages being changed, but not when one learns that in terms of the Soviet revivals, both Sergeyev and Dudinskaya had an encyclopedic knowledge of Petipa's authentic choreographic passages to begin with and that there were a lot of people from the Soviet ballet who were against Petipa's choreography being changed. However, most of them kept quiet, but one person who didn't keep his opinions on this matter to himself was Yacobson.

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Birdsall   

Well, what was done is done, and I think it is great to have reconstructions and great to have some variations on a theme as well. I try to enjoy everything.

 

The Sergeyev Swan Lake is known to be his. It is not billed as pure Petipa. Maybe it once was, but now it is called the Sergeyev version by most people and even on the Mariinsky website it says, "Choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov (1895)
revised choreography and stage direction: Konstantin Sergeyev (1950)"......the Mariinsky Bayadere credits other choreographers too:   "Choreography by Marius Petipa (1877)
Revised choreography by Vladimir Ponomarev and Vakhtang Chabukiani (1941)
with dances by Konstantin Sergeyev and Nikolai Zubkovsky"

 

I think there is room to have reconstructions and Soviet revisions side-by-side.

 

I saw the reconstructed Sleeping Beauty at ABT and enjoyed it very much, but I also love the Sergeyev version and will always love it.

 

I also think there was a different attitude about "performing arts" before the days of video. Now with video we can capture pretty much the exact way something is to be performed. We can freeze things in time and recreate them. I know in opera in the past there are many operas that were often performed with cuts, arias interpolated, etc. There used to be divas who would simply insert an aria they were sure to get lots of applause for even if it were by a different composer. All kinds of wacky things happened in the performing arts. I think it is great to strive to discover what audiences from the 19th century may have actually seen on stage, but I also think you can't completely erase what went on after.

 

My favorite opera Bellini's Norma would probably disappoint me if I heard it in 1831. Maybe not. I just believe since Maria Callas we expect a very powerful dramatic soprano and a very commanding and heavyweight Norma. Supposedly, that was not how the role was originally sung. Who really knows if Giuditta Pasta was that kind of singer in real life (we only have descriptions of her singing that indicates she was a great actress but had trouble with the high tessitura of the original Casta Diva, so now you have two versions of Casta Diva. She couldn't sing or didn't think she could sing what Bellini originally composed. If I traveled back to 1831 I might be disappointed and want to travel back to the 1950s and hear Callas instead.

 

The performing arts are a living and breathing thing and take on a life of their own, in my opinion. In opera composers would compose a whole new aria for a diva to show off her specific traits and/or hide her flaws. That was normal. If a singer sounded lousy the work sounded lousy to the audience as well.

 

So changing things up was actually a thing that happened in the performing arts. I think videotape has created an obsession with wanting a frozen moment in time recreated again and again. I don't think that is necessarily bad, but I don't think all the ballet professionals who have come and gone since Petipa should be treated like criminals either. Everyone does their best in paying homage to their art. There will always be disagreements about how well they did that.

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sandik   
2 hours ago, Birdsall said:

I also think there was a different attitude about "performing arts" before the days of video. Now with video we can capture pretty much the exact way something is to be performed.

 

You've put your finger on something here that the notation community has been discussing for many years.

 

A video or film is a record of a performance -- a specific moment in the careers of a particular group of people, with all their skills and deficits.  A score is a record of a work, without the interpretation of the individual.  It is both more and less specific than the performance.

 

This distinction is really easy to recognize in fields that have written scores as a standard tool -- we are very comfortable talking about Beethoven's symphonies as items that are distinct from individual performances.  Likewise, we talk about Shakespeare's Hamlet, as well as talking about Lawrence Olivier's and Kenneth Branagh's. 

 

Dance has a harder time making those distinctions, since so few people read notation.  But as we see more productions that are using the notated tools we have, I'm hopeful that we'll have more conversations about these differences.  The Petipa anniversary is just one place that this can move forward.

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Natalia   

I'm with Birdsall on this but understand your frustrations, Amy.    Rethinkings of Petipa can be glorious works of art in and of themselves and the great majority of "Petipa" on view is exactly that - something "AFTER Petipa"...the over-abundance of rice, as Canbelto humorously put it!  

 

However...at this stage in life, I prefer to spend my travel $$$ on reconstructions, be they historically "perfect" or partly perfect (eg, correct steps if not the original Tsarist-era designs).  Yet, in cases when the ONLY versions of rare Petipa  ballets "out there" happen to be intelligent, in-the-manner-of-Petipa rethinkings, as in the case of K. Sergeyev/Dudinskaya's THE SEASONS (Glazunov), or Lacotte's ONDINE or PHARAOH's DAUGHTER, then  I'm all in! Thank goodness that we have those works, with complete music and luxurious 19th-C-style designs! And thank goodness for the 1946 Royal Ballet BEAUTY or Konstantin Sergeyev's versions of the classics - long may they live on their own!

 

My main reason for starting this thread is to learn about any upcoming conferences (such as the one in Marseilles), any interesting reconstructions (as in Ekaterinburg and maybe ABT), or any multi-performance Petipa festivals that may happen (not yet but may be coming) during 2018. In just a couple of days, valuable info has come to light. Keep it coming! :)

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