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Buddy

XVIII Mariinsky International Ballet Festival 2018

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49 minutes ago, Buddy said:

Looking over the schedule for 2018 the only time slot available in late February-early April, the normal Festival season, is March 4-17. 

 

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/nextplaybill?type=ballet
 

 

Buddy, this time period coincides with the Petipa Bicentennial, including the Vaganova Academy's planned 3-day seminar (March 10-12, 2018):

http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/42512-the-petipa-bicentennial-march-11-2018/?page=3 (link to earlier topic on the bicentennial)

 

Perhaps the Mariinsky will be presenting a double-whammy combined Int'l Ballet Festival/Petipa Celebration Week? Sorry to no longer be stationed in Russia. Wife, grandkids and I will be on an Asia-Pacific cruise at the time, so I'll be looking forward to reports from St Petersburg.

 

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1 hour ago, CharlieH said:

 

Buddy, this time period coincides with the Petipa Bicentennial, including the Vaganova Academy's planned 3-day seminar (March 10-12, 2018):

http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/42512-the-petipa-bicentennial-march-11-2018/?page=3 (link to earlier topic on the bicentennial)

 

Perhaps the Mariinsky will be presenting a double-whammy combined Int'l Ballet Festival/Petipa Celebration Week? Sorry to no longer be stationed in Russia. Wife, grandkids and I will be on an Asia-Pacific cruise at the time, so I'll be looking forward to reports from St Petersburg.  

 

 

 I didn't know about the Petipa Bicentennial, Charlie. I'm not sure what to make of it except that the Festival has generally been at the end of March the last few years. Is there more than a seminar planned for the Vaganova/Mariinsky ?

 

Since much of each Festival is Petipa material, there's not a lot that would have to be change. The Festival programs have been fairly alike except for the one when six Swan Lakes were performed about 10 years ago. The Festival has never really been about a theme or inventive programming. The attraction is the remarkable quality of performance. 

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39 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

Buddy, I know only about what Natalia and the others posted through that link.

 

The timing would certainly imply a connection. What form it will take is another matter. It'll be interesting to see, although, as I wrote above, the programming format hasn't really changed much from year to year. I'd be fine with a heavy dose of the classics. This is pretty much where the Mariinsky shines like no other, although I think that the dancers do very well with Balanchine and do fine with the more sensitive modern and seem to  have fun with some of the more entertaining modern (i.e. the works of their own, young Maxim Petrov).

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The 175th anniversary of Petipa's birth was celebrated big-time in 1993 with a month of Petipa-only performances at the then Kirov Theatre. Russian BALET magazine published a beautiful commemorative issue that I treasure.

 

Perhaps the int'l ballet festival in 2018 may feature not only Petipa works but also new choreographic tributes, similar to what NYCB will be doing in its 100th Birthday tribute to Robbins next year?

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1 hour ago, CharlieH said:

The 175th anniversary of Petipa's birth was celebrated big-time in 1993 with a month of Petipa-only performances at the then Kirov Theatre. Russian BALET magazine published a beautiful commemorative issue that I treasure.

 

Perhaps the int'l ballet festival in 2018 may feature not only Petipa works but also new choreographic tributes, similar to what NYCB will be doing in its 100th Birthday tribute to Robbins next year?

 

This is an interesting idea, Charlie. Can you suggest any choreographers or works ?

 

The Mariinsky's Yuri Smekalov is a possibility, but he works in 'historic recreations' so he would have big shoes to fill. Forsythe ?  Bob Dylan   ?  I happen to have a few of my major works that might be interesting, ranging from two to five minutes.  :)

Edited by Buddy
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I tend to get pretty emotionally immersed in these Festivals so I decided to give it a half-year head start.  :)  

 

"Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life." - Ludwig van Beethoven

 

I think that something similar could be said about the ballet. 

 

 

Edited by Buddy

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On ‎9‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 6:48 PM, Buddy said:

 

This is an interesting idea, Charlie. Can you suggest any choreographers or works ?

 

The Mariinsky's Yuri Smekalov is a possibility, but he works in 'historic recreations' so he would have big shoes to fill. Forsythe ?  Bob Dylan   ?  I happen to have a few of my major works that might be interesting, ranging from two to five minutes.  :)

 

Maybe someone like Yuri Burlaka might use a piece of music like Glazunov's Four Seasons to produce a ballet "in the manner of" Petipa? (Four Seasons was not notated by Sergeyev so it's for the taking, IMO.)

 

There should be a mixed bill showcasing "Balanchine's greatest tributes to Petipa" such as T&V, Symphony in C, Ballet Imperial and Diamonds. They could probably fill-up two nights: Balanchine's Petipa, Parts I and II!

 

The most creative neo-classical choreographers should create works to classical music answering the question "How would Petipa have choreographed to this music?"

 

What we don't want: Boris Eifman's "Petipa - The Ballet"...in the manner of what he did to poor Balanchine in Musagete a few years ago. Then again, didn't that win a Golden Mask award?

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48 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

 

Maybe someone like Yuri Burlaka might use a piece of music like Glazunov's Four Seasons to produce a ballet "in the manner of" Petipa? (Four Seasons was not notated by Sergeyev so it's for the taking, IMO.)

 

There should be a mixed bill showcasing "Balanchine's greatest tributes to Petipa" such as T&V, Symphony in C, Ballet Imperial and Diamonds. They could probably fill-up two nights: Balanchine's Petipa, Parts I and II!

 

Val Caniparoli used the Glazunov for a work at Pacific Northwest Ballet several years ago -- I thought it was problematic as a whole, but was fascinating as individual sections.  They felt very distinct, which is often the case with Petipa's work.  In some ways, his overall structures remind me of children's building toys, where each interlocking piece could attach to several other pieces in many different orders.  Caniparoli's work had a similar feeling, where you could re-order material if you chose. 

 

In a way, it underlined the connection between Petipa and post-modern choreography, though I doubt that was the goal!

 

Perhaps Doug Fullington could stage a larger version of his Petipa and Balanchine lecture-demonstrations -- I learned so much from those programs.

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59 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

 

Maybe someone like Yuri Burlaka might use a piece of music like Glazunov's Four Seasons to produce a ballet "in the manner of" Petipa? (Four Seasons was not notated by Sergeyev so it's for the taking, IMO.)

 

There should be a mixed bill showcasing "Balanchine's greatest tributes to Petipa" such as T&V, Symphony in C, Ballet Imperial and Diamonds. They could probably fill-up two nights: Balanchine's Petipa, Parts I and II!

 

The most creative neo-classical choreographers should create works to classical music answering the question "How would Petipa have choreographed to this music?"

 

What we don't want: Boris Eifman's "Petipa - The Ballet"...in the manner of what he did to poor Balanchine in Musagete a few years ago. Then again, didn't that win a Golden Mask award?

 

Just some very first glance opinions. I like the idea of a Balanchine tribute very much. I'm not particularly good on ballet details unless I see one about thirty times. I tend to go for the enchantment. Yet, I was wondering today about physical comparisons between Odette's Swan Lake and Diamonds. I 'feel' a great deal in common, especially since the Bolshoi's Alyona Kovalyova (formerly Vaganova) has recently performed both of them. By the way, I still wouldn't mind at all seeing her back at the Mariinsky (Vaganova-Mariinsky). Maybe you could give me some thoughts about Swan Lake/Diamonds. I sense that they might be soulmates.

 

Bob Dylan's name isn't as off the wall as it might seem. I'd really wouldn't mind a 'from somewheres far away' take on all this  (rock'n'roll, Chinese classical....).

 

 

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On 9/18/2017 at 10:59 PM, CharlieH said:

 

 

There should be a mixed bill showcasing "Balanchine's greatest tributes to Petipa" such as T&V, Symphony in C, Ballet Imperial and Diamonds. They could probably fill-up two nights: Balanchine's Petipa, Parts I and II!

 

 

 

I still like this idea very much. I did write that I felt that Odette's Swan Lake (the White Swan duet) and Diamonds (the duet) have a great deal in common. I would also include Symphony in C. I asked if anyone saw similarities in physical details.

 

I've done a very quick perusal and feel that the duets from Swan Lake and from Symphony in C may be the most structurally related -- overhead, reclining lifts and the final dramatic layback in both being the most noteworthy. Also my perceived longing for love by at least one of the famous Symphony in C  ballerinas has a great deal in common with Swan Lake.

 

On the other hand, I still feel that the Diamonds and Swan Lake duets may be more soulmates. Why? Not totally sure. There's an aura, for me, to the Diamonds duet that makes it special in the same way that Swan Lake is special to all of ballet. Also the Diamonds music seems more definitive, more of a statement, and the choreography responds. The music to Symphony in C is more a uniform flow.

 

If anyone would like to add their thoughts, please do.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Buddy said:

 

I still like this idea very much. I did write that I felt that Odette's Swan Lake (the White Swan duet) and Diamonds (the duet) have a great deal in common. I would also include Symphony in C. I asked if anyone saw similarities in physical details....

 

On the other hand, I still feel that the Diamonds and Swan Lake duets may be more soulmates. Why? Not totally sure. There's an aura, for me, to the Diamonds duet that makes it special in the same way that Swan Lake is special to all of ballet. Also the Diamonds music seems more definitive, more of a statement, and the choreography responds. The music to Symphony in C is more a uniform flow.

 

If anyone would like to add their thoughts, please do.  

 

 

 

One of the biggest items, of course, is the music -- Balanchine's response to Tschaikovsky is quite distinctive.  I also think there are geometrical similarities in the general stage patterns, alongside the specific moments that we've talked about elsewhere on this site.  But for me, it's about the way the two dancers approach each other at the beginning of their partnership -- in Swan Lake, we usually see Siegfried down stage right watching in astonishment as Odette comes in to protect her flock -- the two dancers face each other across the stage on the diagonal, ready to act on their own, but also intrigued by each other.  In Diamonds, the first meeting spools out along the opposite diagonal, as the two dancers take the long way around to meet in the middle (twice), and finally begin their pas de deux.

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4 minutes ago, sandik said:

In Diamonds, the first meeting spools out along the opposite diagonal, as the two dancers take the long way around to meet in the middle (twice), and finally begin their pas de deux.

 

In "Emeralds" the Verdy couple walks along their respective wings  before meeting each other, so the set up for "Diamonds" is there.

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2 minutes ago, Helene said:

 

In "Emeralds" the Verdy couple walks along their respective wings  before meeting each other, so the set up for "Diamonds" is there.

 

True, and there are plenty of other examples of "seeing each other across a crowded room" that might fit here as well -- I'm just talking about what I feel when I see these moments...

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In "Emeralds," though, I think this was a deliberate construct on Balanchine's part in that set of ballets and a direct reference, and the parallel vs. diagonal approach distinguishes between the two relationships.

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4 hours ago, Helene said:

In "Emeralds," though, I think this was a deliberate construct on Balanchine's part in that set of ballets and a direct reference, and the parallel vs. diagonal approach distinguishes between the two relationships.

 

I'll have to think about that.  I've always been struck by the use of walking in Emeralds for both couples.

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Some type of partnered "walking," variously stylized, seems to me at play in all three Jewels Ballets.

 

Helene has convinced me over several posts that it's best in performance not to overindulge the Odette-Diamonds link...also the video of Ansanelli's gorgeous, urbane, and still very moving--but not at all Odette-like-- Diamonds affected me.

 

But I must admit a whiff of of Swan Lake in Diamonds can work for me. Any echo of (or allusion to) another ballet is a delicate thing though--and finding the right tone is important. 

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

Some type of partnered "walking," variously stylized, seems to me at play in all three Jewels Ballets.

 

Helene has convinced me over several posts that it's best in performance not to overindulge the Odette-Diamonds link...also the video of Ansanelli's gorgeous, urbane, and still very moving--but not at all Odette-like-- Diamonds affected me.

 

But I must admit a whiff of of Swan Lake in Diamonds can work for me. Any echo of (or allusion to) another ballet is a delicate thing though--and finding the right tone is important. 

 

I don't recall reading any comments linking Odette/Diamonds before our discussion, although it's possible. My feeling that Diamonds is the more related is from my own viewing, even if the dance elements in Symphony in C seem more so.

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1 hour ago, Buddy said:

 

I don't recall reading any comments linking Odette/Diamonds before our discussion, although it's possible. My feeling that Diamonds is the more related is from my own viewing, even if the dance elements in Symphony in C seem more so.

 

The subject has come up on several different threads when performances of Diamonds have been discussed including the Bolshoi broadcast with Smirnova, but also discussions of American companies performing Diamonds.

 

I find your insights and responses always valuable to read!

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Thanks very much, Drew.

 

I do have to admit, and was going to post, that my feelings about an Odette/Diamonds connection do come more from watching Olga Smirnova than Suzanne Farrell. I simply mentioned that my opinion is from my own uninfluenced by discussion viewing to show that there might be some uninfluenced merit to this idea. 

 

Added: By the way, I return the compliment.

Edited by Buddy
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A "Diamonds"-Swan Lake link was mentioned by Mary Clarke and/or Clement Crisp in The Ballet Goer's Guide in 1981. So this is back when the ballet was not performed as widely or as internationally as it is today, and at the time when it would certainly have been completely unaffected by any manifestations of Russian-ballerina-divadom.

 

"It is possible to view Diamonds as a homage to the Petersburg traditions in which Balanchine was educated and to examine the 'Russian to Russian' relationship of Tchaikovsky and Ivanov rather than the 'Russian to French' manner of Tchaikovsky and Petipa. The two ballabile set to the symphony's Alla tedesca and its later Scherzo use fourteen girls to evoke the crystalline evolutions of the snowflakes in Ivanov's Nutcracker, rethought, but still catching an essential lyricism. Even more so the Andante elegiaco, which Balanchine made as a duet for the leading couple, It is a loving summation of the late-Romantic pas de deux, suggesting the Odette-Siegfried encounter in the second act of Swan Lake, with the same intensity and magnificent unfurling of the choreographic line."

 

But...

 

"The symphony's final Polacca is Petipa, a polonaise for the entire cast, and it could serve as the closing sequence for The Sleeping Beauty: noble, Maryinsky-grand, and wonderful. If the entire Imperial Russian inheritance of ballet were lost, Diamonds would still tell us of its essence."

 

(For my part I'll say that the finale of "Diamonds" is way better than the ending of The Sleeping Beauty.)

Edited by volcanohunter

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8 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

A "Diamonds"-Swan Lake link was mentioned by Mary Clarke and/or Clement Crisp in The Ballet Goer's Guide in 1981.

 

Thanks very much, Volcanohunter, for this very interesting information.

 

Although I certainly may have read such a reference, based on all that’s been mentioned here, it’s not something that I recall. “….with the same intensity and magnificent unfurling of the choreographic line" perhaps describes part of my reason for making a Swan Lake/Diamonds connection along with such things as Tchaikovsky music, mood and costume resemblance. In my case, I believe that it's been more of an intuitive, rather than influenced, response, which might add some support to the idea of such a connection.

 

The reason that I brought this up in response to Charlie’s suggestion for a Balanchine tribute is that Swan Lake is so at the heart of the Mariinsky’s heritage, even if its authorship is divided. For me, the Mariinsky has had great success with the Balanchine that it’s chosen to perform and connections such as this are perhaps the reason.

 

What is also implied is the timeless value of these things. What possible worth could something put together over a hundred years ago in a style so possibly ‘dated’ have for us? Timeless essence is perhaps the answer —human beauty, the power of art, love — a timeless ‘enchantment.’  

 

Added: 

 

"If the entire Imperial Russian inheritance of ballet were lost, Diamonds would still tell us of its essence."

 

Wow !  That's quite a statement.

 

Added, added:

 

I've just been watching the Suzanne Farrell/Peter Martins and Olga Smirnova/Semyon Chudin videos and am fascinated. The first seems to really illustrate the intelligence of George Balanchine. The second adds a definite 'perfume' and perhaps equal intelligence, that of Olga Smirnova.

 

The idea of flight seems very prevalent in the Suzanne Farrell/Peter Martins performance, a definite affinity to Swan Lake imagery. For anyone who might have seen Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins performing live, I would be curious as to the resemblance of this video to seeing them live. I've been told by one poster that seeing them on stage was a more relaxed and alive experience.

 

The comparison of Swan Lake and Diamonds might be somewhat akin to that of a Rembrandt and a Picasso. 

 

Edited by Buddy
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Okay, a somewhat heart-searching question for me.

 

If you had to chose between Swan Lake's Odette duet and Diamonds, which would you chose.

 

I'd have to go with Swan Lake.

 

Anyone else ?

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It's a quiet Sunday so could I please go on some more ? 

 

Who would you prefer in Diamonds, Suzanne Farrell/Peter Martins or Olga Smirnova/Semyen Chudin? I couldn’t decide.

 

I enjoy trying to figure out what it’s about. It’s possible that the choreographers (Swan Lake and Diamonds) simply had a general concept and put together what looked and felt beautiful, maybe much more. Here’s my first shot at what it could be. 

 

Both ballerinas seem to be discovering themselves and both seem to be deciding how they are going to relate to their partner/lover.

 

In the Suzanne Farrell/Peter Martins the motion seems more defined and prominent. If it’s about flight, then Suzanne Farrell is learning how. She is aided completely by Peter Martins. When she leans back (collapses?) he keeps her from falling. She recovers confidently. Finally with that kick (that I certainly wouldn’t want to get in the way of) she asserts her total self assurance and takes flight. In the end, she is totally self secure and  makes her commitment to her partner with love and gratitude.

 

Olga Smirnova seems more involved with life and it’s discovery. Her development is in discovering its joy and her place — loving, sensual, sharing. Again, aided by her partner, she grows. When she falls back is it more of a swoon, a revery? Finally she also gratefully and lovingly acknowledges him from a state of total self assurance and self fulfilment.  

 

Seem acceptable? Your guess is surely as good as mine. Tomorrow I might see it slightly differently. And above all, I try not to let my preconceptions interfere with new discovery and overall appreciation and enjoyment.

Edited by Buddy
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