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Neumeier's Anna Karenina

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Agree from what I saw on video -  Neumeier AK is horrible.    

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8 hours ago, Fleurdelis said:

Giselle first counts imaginary flower petals then tries to stab herself with a sword. Perfectly normal everyday adolescent behavior, sure.

Suicidal isn't, by definition, "clinically insane." 

There is much that isn't normal everyday adolescent behavior, but normal everyday adolescent behavior generally doesn't make good theater.  Or good archetype.

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Just now, Fleurdelis said:

Kitty wears a chair on her head. Giselle first counts imaginary flower petals then tries to stab herself with a sword. Perfectly normal everyday adolescent behavior, sure.

Despair, betrayal, anger, the end of an engagement = schizophrenia?

Remembering good times and promises, and trying to figure out if they were a lie = schizophrenia?

Emotional pain = insanity?

Is any adolescent behavior "normal"?

Anyway, I think stage people do unconventional things as metaphor or for shock value or to make a point. Maybe she is saying something about other chairs, such as the electric chair (does she deserve that punishment for what she did? Especially when Albrecht is a tragic hero according to experts, for suffering his conventional restraints). Is it a reference to Revelations, Carmen, Bolero, the Judge?

Would you find life worth living, or think you could endure, at the point of the shock, in her era, after a public "deflowering" (is that what it suggests, besides the internal rewind and review of the facts and what he told her?) and betrayal, and the end of an engagement (leaving you maybe unable to marry, as required, in that era), and exposure of your naivete, and inadequacy (vis a vis the noble woman), where all your neighbors are in your business?  Does that make you insane or reasoning?

Is every person Romantically defrauded or the victim of a ponzi scheme "insane"?

 

 

 

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Giselle stops recognizing her mother, flings herself about uncontrollably, looks at an imaginary wedding ring, picks up imaginary flowers and then tries to stab herself with a sword. Kitty stands up and tumbles to the ground, shakes in violent convulsions and then puts a chair on her head. Reasoning? Not insane? I give up.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Fleurdelis said:

Giselle stops recognizing her mother, flings herself about uncontrollably, looks at an imaginary wedding ring, picks up imaginary flowers and then tries to stab herself with a sword. Kitty stands up and tumbles to the ground, shakes in violent convulsions and then puts a chair on her head. Reasoning? Not insane? I give up.

I think much of what the end of Giselle Act 1 portrays is explainable as being a result of shock and not madness.  Giselle is so overwrought or disturbed by Albrecht's betrayal  or absorbed in her own thoughts, turned inwards, that she is not paying attention to external events.  She just doesn't "see" her mother because her mind is elsewhere.   She is remembering thinking of marrying Albrecht, remembering picking the daisy etc.  The part with the sword is more problematic though - she is so distraught she would LIKE to kills herself?  Re the Neumeieur AnnaK, honestly I thought the Mariinsky AnnaK was bad enough, but now I think it is work of genius compared with the Neumeier version.  Just my opinion, of course!  

Edited by MadameP

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Just now, Fleurdelis said:

Giselle stops recognizing her mother, flings herself about uncontrollably, looks at an imaginary wedding ring, picks up imaginary flowers and then tries to stab herself with a sword. Kitty stands up and tumbles to the ground, shakes in violent convulsions and then puts a chair on her head. Reasoning? Not insane? I give up.

The artist is expressing nonverbally her inner thoughts. That is a typical stage device. We are supposed to ignore everyone else.

She doesn't want her mother's comfort in that moment because the intensity of her feelings, too.   And is embarrassed and wants her to go away, pretending or angrily dismissing her or saying she cannot rectify the horror. And taking out her anger on poor mom, like all teens. And I can give you a million other explanations, but I am boring myself, likely you, and most importantly, the Moderator.

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Discussing the topic at hand is not boring or tedious.  And no one is obliged to reply, post, or discuss anything or more than they want to on BA!

 

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Posted (edited)
Just now, Fleurdelis said:

Giselle stops recognizing her mother, flings herself about uncontrollably, looks at an imaginary wedding ring, picks up imaginary flowers and then tries to stab herself with a sword. Kitty stands up and tumbles to the ground, shakes in violent convulsions and then puts a chair on her head. Reasoning? Not insane? I give up.

Mrs. Capulet fell to the floor, cried with convulsions, and beat herself in anger, grief, desperation, and futility after her cousin's murder.

People routinely write on the floor in pain, emotional or physical.  Sometimes they do it monthly and might end up like Mrs. Eliot. Or try a slipped disc or a little intestinal illness (there are many varieties, including fatal ones).  Look in at a ballet studio after a "pop". 

Sometimes they lie around trying to figure out whether "he was lying when he said he loved me."

Sometimes they hit the wall in anger or frustration when society denies them things irrationally. (Poor Albrecht; slutty, punishment-deserving Anna (She must be worse than the Shakespeare Mrs.s who murder or advocate it).

This is also a typical stage device to express being hurt.  The chair, as I said, is also a typical stage device. 

Also, bad, excessively dramatic actors exist.

 

Edited by Vs1

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Dmitri Tcherniakov used them extensively in his indoor production of "Eugene Onegin," and, quite famously, Galina Vishnevskaya protested.  From her obituary in "Opera News":

Quote

In 2006, she was so angered by the Bolshoi's untraditional new staging of Eugene Onegin, directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov, that she termed the production "vandalism" and vowed never to set foot in the Bolshoi again. She canceled her planned eightieth-birthday celebrations at the theater that had been her artistic home and marked the occasion instead at Moscow's Tchaikovsky's Concert Hall.

Who would have thought that chairs could be so controversial?

Edited to combine:

 

6 minutes ago, Vs1 said:

People routinely write on the floor in pain, emotional or physical.

In Seattle last November we saw just that in Crystal Pite's "Plot Point," in which the Wife has a "mad scene" that represented her internal feelings about being betrayed by her husband.  She was hardly mad in the psychiatric sense.

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1 hour ago, MadameP said:

honestly I thought the Mariinsky AnnaK was bad enough, but now I think it is work of genius compared with the Neumeier version.

You mean the Ratmansky AK on tour in London last summer, for which I flew over so that I could see Diana ??  Neumeier's AK worse than that one ??  Mamma mia !! :wacko::wacko:

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What is the role of the Chair in Eugene Onegin? Other than the mirror or note scene?

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It was a chorus of chairs, and they got toppled and we're dissheveled more and more as the opera went on.

It was set indoors and took place mostly in the dining room, if I'm remembering the DVD correctly.

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15 hours ago, MadameP said:

Agree from what I saw on video -  Neumeier AK is horrible.    

Do not jump to hasty conclusions. Watch the whole performance, if you can, and withdraw the judgement before you saw it. "Anna Karenina" at Mariinsky is indeed a flop. Neimeier's piece is not.

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3 hours ago, Laurent said:

Do not jump to hasty conclusions. Watch the whole performance, if you can, and withdraw the judgement before you saw it. "Anna Karenina" at Mariinsky is indeed a flop. Neimeier's piece is not.

I did say, "from what I saw on video!"   But in addition, I do not like (some of ) the music!    

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Videos can be misleading: sometimes the piece itself is a lot better, and sometimes it's like movie previews, ie, you've seen the whole thing and the other 1 hour 55 minutes is part of your life you can never get back.  However, with limited time and resources, it's a viable option to decide whether to invest time and money into a performance based on the video, knowing that it might not represent the work.  Only critics who are hired to review things have an obligation to go to things they don't like.

Liking/tolerating the music is often a big input into whether to see a production.  We just saw "One Flat Thing Reproduced" in Seattle, and while I loved the industrial banging soundscape, there are people who found it intolerable.  (PNB has turned down the volume levels that composer Willems requested, but when I see him listed as a composer, I always have earplugs at the ready.) 

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Posted (edited)
On 30.03.2018 at 2:26 AM, Helene said:

It was a chorus of chairs, and they got toppled and we're dissheveled more and more as the opera went on.

It was set indoors and took place mostly in the dining room, if I'm remembering the DVD correctly.

It took place entirely in dining rooms, including the duel and the final meeting between Tatiana and Onegin. It's almost a theme in Tcherniakov's productions. There was his Don Giovanni in Aix which took place entirely in a wood-panelled room, and his il trovatore in Brussles, which was set entirely in the lobby of a seedy hotel. Saves money on sets, i suppose. I was amazed when his Macbeth, set in a suburban neighborhood, included inklings of outdoor scenes.

For me perhaps the funniest thing was his follow-up at the Bolshoi, Ruslan and Lyudmila, because the curtain came up on a large and heavily decorated hall and a stage full of singers in colorful traditional costumes with lots of fur trim, though it did seem to me that they were anachronistic. But the audience gasped at the sight and applauded. Eventually I noticed that there were two large television screens at the back, and that the costumes were indeed a historical mish-mash, and then i realized that he'd set the first scene in a tacky Russian wedding palace, and that he'd thumbed his nose at the audience once again, and they'd fallen for it hard.

Still, Vishnevskaya's reaction to Eugene Onegin was nothing in comparison to the reaction of the Poulenc estate to Tcherniakov's production of Dialogues des Carmelites in Mumich, because they actually sued to have the DVD taken off the market, and for a while they succeeded.

Edited by volcanohunter

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On 3/17/2018 at 4:03 AM, meunier fan said:

The lacrosse element at least should go down a storm in Canada I think.

Years - and I mean decades ago - I did a national tour of a play across Canada.  We were playing in Kelowna, British Columbia - nestled in the truly stunning Okanagan Valley - and home to the Ogopogo (Canada's version of the Loch Ness Monster) - and - not having a theatre to suit at that time - the production was placed in the local hockey arena. 

After the first act finished (to a surprisingly good sized and responsive audience) I exited unto the sports vomitory and into my designated hockey changing room.  The interval seemed to stretch forever.  I was afraid - without a tannoy - that I might have missed my call.  I looked out from the vom and - to my surprise - our set had dismantled and they were having a lacrosse game.  Never having seen one I decided (with the PSM's permission of course) to go out and watch it.  I had a great time.  We did - EVENTUALLY - (once the set was reassembled) do the second act to - understandably - a virtually empty house.  T'was a unique occasion.  (Well, for me at any rate).   

😃  We were given a tour of Kelowna when there for a conference last year and chuckled at the description "NHL Row" or something like that apparently where hockey players live in the off season.

I am pretty certain I have read about Neumier updating productions as they evolve over time so who knows what we may end up seeing in Canada.

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