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ABT 2017 Tchaikovsky Spectacular

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Actually this lecture by Doug Fullington shows that Balanchine did remember/recreate many of the steps:

 

 

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18 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Actually this lecture by Doug Fullington shows that Balanchine did remember/recreate many of the steps:

 

 

Yes, some of Balanchine's most famous quotes are notoriously untrustworthy. Like many artists he was a master of image projection.

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15 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Actually this lecture by Doug Fullington shows that Balanchine did remember/recreate many of the steps:

 

 

That may be so, but I think the point is that Balanchine didn't try to reconstruct the original, he made choices and kept his audience in mind. My personal reason for not wanting to see the Ratmansky SB again is that I don't think he kept today's audience in mind, and it for me it's a museum piece. I understand that others feel differently and respect that. 

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All I can say is that Carla Fracci is the most youthful un-botoxed un-fillered 51 year old in all of Europe. 

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In addition to the aforementioned "Portfolio: Sleeping Beauty" by Olga Maynard (Dec. 1972 Dancemagazine), perhaps the best detailed description of  the Diaghilev troupe's 1921 The Sleeping Princess is in pp. 555-591 of Cyril W. Beaumont's Complete Book of Ballets (1937, Putnam Books, London).

 

Beaumont  describes the production in detail, including the titles & sequence of diverts in the last scene (Aurora's Wedding) (pp 578-581):

 

1. Pas de Quatre for Harlequin/Colombine and Pierrot/Pierrette. The description of each dance and music suggests that this is danced to the "Jewels pas de 4" music.  [Indeed...Beaumont later lists "Florestan & Two Sisters" as replacing this, two years later, in Diaghilev's 1-act version of SlPrincess.]

 

2. Cats pdd - the usual music

 

3. Florine/Bluebird pdd - the usual

 

4. Red Riding Hood/Wolf pdd - the usual

 

5. Bluebeard/Ariana/"Sister Anne" pas de trois - Beaumont does not state the music but, based on the detailed description on the action, this could be the Hop o My Thumb music...the sisters escape after near murder by Bluebeard.

 

6. Sheherazade/Shah/His Brother pas de trois - danced to Nutcracker Dance Arabe

 

7. Mandarin/Two Porcelain Princesses pas de trois - danced to Nutcracker Danse Chinoise

 

8. Innocent Ivan/Two Brothers pas de trois  - Beaumont describes the dance in minute detail but does not cite the music to which it is danced. (!!! - Nutcracker Trepak? SB Desire solo? SB Aurora/Desire coda?)

 

...then comes the full Aurora/Desire pdd...barely mentioned by Beaumont...just one tiny sentence: "(after the Ivans)...The Prince comes forward leading the Princess and together the dance a charming measure." (p. 581)

 

In his long essay that follows the description of the 1921 version's dances (pp. 582-591), Beaumont states (top of p. 583) that two St Petersburg episodes were excised in 1921: Hop o My Thumb and Cinderella/Fortune pdd.

 

In Diaghilev's 1922 one-act reduction (Aurora's Wedding - Paris), the wedding diverts retained from the full 1921 London ballet were (shortened titles):

 

1. "Florestan and his Two Sisters" instead of Harlequin et al pas de Quatre.

2. Red Hood

3. Bluebirds 

4. Porcelain Princesses

5. Three Ivans

...then the Aurora/Desire pdd, then  Mazurka & finale. (pp. 590-91)...no Cats in 1922?

 

I suspect that the above (1922 diverts) is what we may see from Ratmansky in ABT's Tchaikovsky Spectacular...but with the 1890 Jewels Pas de Quatre instead of the later Harlequins-1921 or Florestan Sisters-1922 Diaghilev-era episodes danced to Jewels music. 

 

One other contemporary (1920s) description is Andre Levinson's preface to a folio-style art book on Bakst's designs for the 1921 Sleeping Princess. I'll let someone else do the research & reporting on that one. 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Natalia said:

8. Innocent Ivan/Two Brothers pas de trois  - Beaumont describes the dance in minute detail but does not cite the music to which it is danced. (!!! - Nutcracker Trepak? SB Desire solo? SB Aurora/Desire coda?)

 

...then comes the full Aurora/Desire pdd...barely mentioned by Beaumont...just one tiny sentence: "(after the Ivans)...The Prince comes forward leading the Princess and together the dance a charming measure." (p. 581)

 

 

 

In his book The Diaghilev Ballet in London, C.W.Beaumont describes the changes Diaghilev made to the original, including:

 

"...Diaghilev refused to permit Prince Charming and Princess Aurora to dance to a certain boisterous melody which occurs after the grand pas de deux. this melody was certainly not suited to a classical pas de deux, and Nijinska used it for a character number, "Innocent Ivan and his Brothers," based on Russian folk dance measures..."

 

Also the RB's 75th anniversary book, by Alexander Bland, talks of the changes made to the 1921 version for the RB's 1939 production, including "The coda to the grand pas de deux was rescued from the Three Ivans, to whom it had rather incongruously been allotted".

 

So that sounds to me as if there was no coda in the 1921 version.

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23 minutes ago, Jane Simpson said:

 

In his book The Diaghilev Ballet in London, C.W.Beaumont describes the changes Diaghilev made to the original, including:

 

"...Diaghilev refused to permit Prince Charming and Princess Aurora to dance to a certain boisterous melody which occurs after the grand pas de deux. this melody was certainly not suited to a classical pas de deux, and Nijinska used it for a character number, "Innocent Ivan and his Brothers," based on Russian folk dance measures..."

 

Also the RB's 75th anniversary book, by Alexander Bland, talks of the changes made to the 1921 version for the RB's 1939 production, including "The coda to the grand pas de deux was rescued from the Three Ivans, to whom it had rather incongruously been allotted".

 

So that sounds to me as if there was no coda in the 1921 version.

 

It certainly sounds from those sources like Nijinska/Diaghilev's Three Ivans danced to the PDD coda, as shown in the above video. But then there's this, in ABT's June/July Playbill article "A Tchaikovsky Spectacular":

 

Ratmansky's 2015 production of The Sleeping Beauty proved revelatory, outlining the subtle complexity of Petipa's choreography, matched to Tchaikovsky's music. This season, Ratmansky's staging of the third act, Aurora's Wedding, includes divertissements by Bronislava Nijinska created for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes 1921 production of The Sleeping Princess. The Nijinska dances comprise the Porcelain Trio, for two women dancers and one man, and the Three Ivans. For contemporary audiences, the music for these supplementary dances may bring a shock of recognition: Nijinska set the Porcelain Trio to the Chinese Dance from The Nutcracker and the Three Ivans to the spirited Russian Dance. "Aurora's Wedding is a fresh and interesting combination," acknowledges Ratmansky.

Edited by nanushka

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Thanks for all inputs, fellow amateur balletic sleuths.

 

Nanushka's quote from the current ABT playbill reminds me of the "Three Ivans" dance in the 1962 film "An Evening with the Royal Ballet" in which the Ivans -led by the same dancer in the above clip from New Zealand, Alexander Grant - perform to the Nutcracker Trepak! (I can't find a YouTube clip but the Ivans appear at the 18-minute mark of the Aurora's Wedding segment of the film...and they are immediately followed by the Aurora/Desire pdd.)

 

To add to the mystery of the Ivans' music:  the aforementioned Dancemagazine Dec 1972 "portfolio" by Olga Maynard cites (p. 56...within the segment "Diaghilev's Princess"), in a paragraph about Nijinska's new dances in 1921:

 

"The worst breach of taste was the use of part of the Grand Adagio (Desire's variation) for a rankle pseudo-Russian folk dance, "Innocent Ivan and his Brothers," later to become the Three Ivans in the de Valois version of Beauty. This uncouth trio had nothing whatever to do with the courtly magnificence..."

 

So we now have three possibilities for the music to which our Ivans performed in London - Nov 1921. Which will ABT present? Will Ratmansky "sacrifice" the magnificent Prince Desire variation to give it to the Ivans (hope NOT!)...or shift the Aurora/Desire coda music up to the Ivans (grrr)? That's why my "vote" goes to Ratmansky most likely using the Nutcracker Trepak tune, even if it may not be what was used in 1921.

 

p.s. Even more fun to speculate: Who will dance our three Ivans? My total-fantasy choices for a great impact at the opening:

 

Danil' Simkin 

Jeffrey Cirio

Herman Cornejo (or ??? since he is the lead in two of the performances)

 

...The All-Star Principal Ivans Terrific Trio! Once...just once for fun.

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I'm trying to find out how long the July 6 program is, because I have a ticket, and ABT does not make it easy. It took me a long time to find the synopses of these pieces on their website, along with the total time of each piece. Finally, buried somewhere I found the info, and to my surprise the total dance time is 65 minutes. It breaks down so: souvenir d'un lieu cher is 14 minutes; nutcracker Pas is 13 minutes; Mozartiana is 27 minutes; After Effect is 11 minutes. Only 65 minutes of dancing! I presume there will be one 20-minute intermission, but nowhere is that stated. I always thought that a ballet program should have around 90 minutes of dancing. On the Whipped Cream thread someone said that ballet is only 75 minutes. Those of you who are knowledgeable, what do you think of an evening where there is only 65 minutes of dance? Blink during one of the short pieces and it's gone. And I paid a premium price--$145--for center orchestra. Please weigh in with your thoughts. Was I robbed? Should ABT note on each program, as NYCB does, the length of the ballet so the patron does not have to hunt for it and can decide before buying if the price is worth it to them?

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The NYCB spring gala was very brief as well:

Jeu de Cartes - 23 min

After the Rain pdd - 12 min

Tchai pdd - 9 min

Odessa - 20 min

 

So only 63 minutes of actual dancing. 

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Plus there was no intermission, which I appreciated. Jeu de Cartes bored me to death as always though. 

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13 minutes ago, alexL said:

Plus there was no intermission, which I appreciated. Jeu de Cartes bored me to death as always though. 

 

And mercifully no speeches. 

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1 hour ago, CTballetfan said:

I'm trying to find out how long the July 6 program is, because I have a ticket, and ABT does not make it easy. It took me a long time to find the synopses of these pieces on their website, along with the total time of each piece. Finally, buried somewhere I found the info, and to my surprise the total dance time is 65 minutes. It breaks down so: souvenir d'un lieu cher is 14 minutes; nutcracker Pas is 13 minutes; Mozartiana is 27 minutes; After Effect is 11 minutes. Only 65 minutes of dancing! I presume there will be one 20-minute intermission, but nowhere is that stated. I always thought that a ballet program should have around 90 minutes of dancing. On the Whipped Cream thread someone said that ballet is only 75 minutes. Those of you who are knowledgeable, what do you think of an evening where there is only 65 minutes of dance? Blink during one of the short pieces and it's gone. And I paid a premium price--$145--for center orchestra. Please weigh in with your thoughts. Was I robbed? Should ABT note on each program, as NYCB does, the length of the ballet so the patron does not have to hunt for it and can decide before buying if the price is worth it to them?

 

AfterEffect is actually quite long: about 40 minutes. Gomes initially choreographed an 11-minute version to one movement of the Souvenirs de Florence score. We'll be seeing the version with all four movements. The ABT web has separate descriptions for  each version.

 

Both Tchaikovsky mixed bills will be substantial. 

 

So your show should include about 95 minutes of dancing. With two 20-min intermissions, the full evening should run about 2 hrs, 15 mins...start at 7:30, end 9:45ish. 

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7 hours ago, California said:

You might be referring to an old photograph, perhaps? She's now 80, born in 1936: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carla_Fracci

I think Jayne was referring to the video posted above in this thread--in which a 51 year old Fracci is just enchanting.

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34 minutes ago, canbelto said:

The NYCB spring gala was very brief as well:

Jeu de Cartes - 23 min

After the Rain pdd - 12 min

Tchai pdd - 9 min

Odessa - 20 min

 

So only 63 minutes of actual dancing. 

Right--it is usually expected that the gala program will be shorter because the dinner follows. On the occasions when I have attended a gala program (although I never went to the dinner) I understood that it would be a shorter program. But it bothers me that the amount of dancing in the July 6 mixed bill is so underwhelming and that ABT did not state up front how long the whole program is and how long each piece will be so patrons could decide whether to spend the money. In fact, on the programs featuring Aurora's Wedding, the synopsis does not state the length of time that piece will take. I wondered, considering that one of the programs features only AW and one other piece, how long that program will be. I think ABT needs to do a better job of communicating with its patrons on this issue. Transparency is everything, especially when you are trying to cultivate loyalty and contributions!

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CTballetfan, I see your point and you are correct about WC. Both Golden Cockerell and Whipped Cream make for shortish "full evenings." So will Harlequinade which, at NYCB (with exact same length of the gorgeous 2-act Drigo score), is always followed by another ballet  - usually The Concert or other light-hearted one acter. 

 

No worries with the Tchaikovsky evening, as I've explained above. 

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I think ABT needs to beef up its website in general.  It's not just the running times that are missing. There is very little information about the ballets. 

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3 hours ago, Natalia said:

 

AfterEffect is actually quite long: about 40 minutes. Gomes initially choreographed an 11-minute version to one movement of the Souvenirs de Florence score. We'll be seeing the version with all four movements. The ABT web has separate descriptions for  each version.

 

Both Tchaikovsky mixed bills will be substantial. 

 

So your show should include about 95 minutes of dancing. With two 20-min intermissions, the full evening should run about 2 hrs, 15 mins...start at 7:30, end 9:45ish. 

Thank you so much for the correction! The running times on the synopsis on the ABT webpage is incorrect then. I feel better and look forward to the performance.

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3 hours ago, Drew said:

I think Jayne was referring to the video posted above in this thread--in which a 51 year old Fracci is just enchanting.

Yes this was my reference: she doesn't look a day over 31.

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27 minutes ago, CTballetfan said:

Thank you so much for the correction! The running times on the synopsis on the ABT webpage is incorrect then. I feel better and look forward to the performance.

I don't think it's incorrect; I think it's just that the initial one-movement piece had the same title so there are two different listings for the piece. They often list different versions under the same title in their rep listings. Perhaps the only way in which their website could be described as "comprehensive."

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9 hours ago, nanushka said:

I don't think it's incorrect; I think it's just that the initial one-movement piece had the same title so there are two different listings for the piece. They often list different versions under the same title in their rep listings. Perhaps the only way in which their website could be described as "comprehensive."

 

The titles differ slightly. Note spellings in the listing to the left of this page:

 

http://www.abt.org/education/archive/index.html

 

The first (short) version is Aftereffect. The longer, newer one is AfterEffect. Each has its own entry. The write-ups and dancers' names differ too...more dancers for AfterEffect. The latter entry is now missing the timing but it's a 38-40 minute orchestral work. 

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40 minutes ago, CTballetfan said:

Thank you so much for the correction! The running times on the synopsis on the ABT webpage is incorrect then. I feel better and look forward to the performance.

 

You're most welcome, CTballetfan! Enjoy the show.

 

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