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EricMontreal22

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Everything posted by EricMontreal22

  1. Surely this is no longer true? When I fell in love with Petipa era ballet it would have been bizarre to think of any company tour coming to "little ol' " Victoria, BC, Canada with the full Sleeping Beauty. In the past 10 years *three* companies have. I think ballet has moved back towards narrative works--for good and bad.
  2. Oh, MAN I wish this was playing by me. is there any hope for a DVD release after the fact? The only chance I've had to see Nijinsky's Sacre, is the youtube posting of the Joffrey ballet reconstruction.
  3. Is pastiche usually negative? I first came across it when I was obsessed with Stephen Sondheim's musical (with Hal prince and Michael Bennett) Follies, where half the score is pastiche of older musical composers--for instance Losing My Mind is a pastiche of Arlen. In that sense it's an affectionate hommage--and I think this is how Balanchine's Swan lake was intended too. I will agree it's not a work that's intended to be watched with the gravitas the original Act II would be (which is one reason, I admit, I'm not moved or fond of it, though I appreciate its details)
  4. All I have found is some sketches in the Bolshoi program with a bit of info. I'd LOVE to read something more indepth.
  5. Youtube has two wonderful clips of America, one from Letterman and one from Dancing with the Stars. They're a month apart and you can see how much more confident a dancer the, non dancer, Karen Olivo has become as Anita. The Robbins choreography is still slightly toned down for her but she makes it work.
  6. I just came back from an amazing night at the second performance. If I can I'll upload some pictures--Waiting at the stage door I met Matt C and had a brief snap with Arthur Laurents--despite my grumpiness about him a super nice guy.
  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrJZdp5Vi5E The cast performing America on Letterman And NBC Nightly News had a piece on the show--11 mins or so mainly of Laurents yabbering away ;) Apparantly it has the highest advance sales in the HISTORY of a Broadway revival--so whatever the merits or faults of the new production it seems audiences were waiting for it. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/vp/29762745#29755805
  8. With the opening this week, another interesting article, this time in New York Magazine and focusing on Arthur Laurents, his revisions and the new book. http://nymag.com/arts/theater/profiles/55341/ I still find him arrogant to an extreme and a hypocrit in what he's said about Robbins' original production, but it's still interesting to read and I will read his book.
  9. I'll be making a trip to Seattle froim Victoria just to see that (I'm also going over for the revival of my fave musical, Sunday in the Park with George so it's starting to become pretty expensive--but I can't resist). Does anyone know if the Nightmare from the Dream Ballet is kept in the Suite? I knwo Robbins deleted it from Jerome Robbins Broadway among some controversy (which is where Arthur Laurents has, wrongly IMHO, made the excuse that Robbins would approve--not realizing that a ballet in a dramatic piece and a ballet as an excerpt serve very different functions). To be honest as excited as I am to see the WSS numbers performed by a talented company, I've seen them before when I saw the London revvial of the original WSS in 2000. I'm even more excited to see Balanchine's Slaughter on Tenth Avenue which PNBallet well be doing on the same program and I've never seen. Broadway ballet heaven!
  10. Something's Coming is one of my fave pieces in the score too (and the only place where Sondheim blatantly helped with the music as well--Bernstein was having trouble turning his ideas into "Broadway" sense and a young Sondheim helped with the syncopation in the accompaniment). Printscess, what did you think about the dropping of the Nightmare ending to Somewhere (and the addition of a young boy to sing Somewhere)? Those are the two big changes that everyone I've talked to have felt were done for the wrong reasons and take away from the drama. Arthur Laurents has a new book on directing that just shipped last week and it's a fascinating read--both for what it reveals and for all the grudges and bitchiness Laurents still seems to have. One gets the feeling he was just *waiting* to be able to stage West Side Story without Bernstein or Robbins watching over him--for good and bad.
  11. If the Mariinsky truly does drop their three Petipa/Vikharev productions is there any chance they'd transfer to the Bolshoi? I suppose it's more complicated than that--I know the Mariinsky holds tight to their music sources, etc, and doesn't often lease them out--and I also know that the Bolshoi currently seems to consider their Grigorovich versions of the big classics (ie Sleepign Beauty) as sacred as some at the Mariinsky feel about Sergeyev's.
  12. I understand Vikharev's reconsturction has played at other theatres, but this week is the premier of it at the Bolshoi. Anyone here have any plans to go? It's exciting that the Bolshoi is getting these productions though a bit ironic now that the Mariinsky seems to have lost interest in them (much to my upset). (Although I have to admit I've never placed Coppelia in the top tier of ballets for me--I love the music and love the ecomedy in it but... But maybe this will get a DVD release and I can see how the Russians did it) The Bolshoi's English Official page has a great little piece about the ballet with a nice photograph of the model of Act III http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/season/press-offi...x.php?id26=1164
  13. Fascinating, albeit too brief, piece in the New York Times about reconstructing Robbins' choreography: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/arts/dan...tml?ref=theater
  14. Helene--I saw those productions in Montreal 5 or so years ago--I'm a HUGE Robert LePage fan, so went just because I knew he was the director. I thought both were striking--but particularly Bluebeard's Castle which has become a fave opera of mine since, as well. Now that I'm in Victoria I wish I could take the boatride just to see them again--certain images have really stuck in my brain. LePage loves using water--almost too much by this point--but always poetically. A few of his art installations have used nudity with the water--shower imagery based on Psycho in his movie adaptation of his own Le Confessional caused some controversy when I was younger I think because it was so erotic.
  15. When I was a theatre major I was in a production of Cloud Nine that involved (brief) nudity. It was a production done for a directing student's thesis project so it didn't get a big audience but I was surprised at how, when I was in character in the piece, the nudity from an acting standpoint was fine and not hard to do at all. On the other hand from an audience stand point--and I think this would be the same for ballet too--everytime I've encountered anything on stage with nudity it has also taken me out of the moment of the play/dance piece. Maybe if it was a dance that was *all* nude, after a while you'd get used to it and look past the nudity. I saw a Fringe dance/music piece based on the Russian novel The Master and Margarita that had maybe 15 seconds of full male nudity. It was a costume change done on stage but it caught the whole audience so much by surprise that it was all I heard *anyone* leaving the theatre talking about. So I think more often than not you have to be really careful about how you use it as it still causes such a reaction (not necesarily shock so much as surprise) even in non conservative audiences that it can make the rest of your piece suffer. As for why we accept it in art and sculpture I think there are two reasons--one is we're all used to it beign a part of art and sculpture (and photography even). And another is, like nudity in film too, it's there at a distance--in ballet or stage you're there in "real time" with real people and I think that causes more of a reaction.
  16. The revival is in previews on Broadway. I have a friend who has seen it twice now (both times through the 25 dollar lottery system--worth checking out) and he says it needs tightening but he loves the use of Spanish and most of the cast. One complaint that I thought people on here would like to discuss--Arthur Laurents seems to have gotten his final revenge on Jerry Robbins--the Somewhere Dream Ballet has been cut so that the entire final "Nightmare" sequence is missing. (!!) It's true that when Jerry did Jerome Robbins' Broadway during the WSS suite he cut the nightmare as well--but that was for a show that was merely highlights from hsi work--not a dramatic piece. With the Nightmare cut from the ballet in the actual show it makes the whoel Dream Ballet seem like a uotpian ideal--there's no dramatic tension and when the ballet fades away and we see Tony and Mria in bed clutching each other in fear there's now no reason for it. I'm *really* hoping this is one of the things that might be put back in by the opening March 19. (The ending of the piece is also quite different from Jerry's--no procession, but that doesn't bother me as much)
  17. Thanks so much for the link! This is far and away my fave Fellini film. When I was 19 a friend dragged me to a screening of it--I really wasn't in the mood for such a long film but was absolutely entranced. A few months later I ended up spending a couple of weeks in Rome. The film had made such an impression on me that I decided to pay the extra to go up St Peter's Dome--just because Anna Ekberg ran up there in the movie! The problem is I'm petrified of heights--so getting to walk around the top of the dome *inside* on a grated floor, and then climbing up an endless tight spiral staircase was one of the hardest things I've ever made myself do--when I reached the top all sweaty and got to setp outside I felt like I had climbed Everest. But it was worth it just to relive that movie moment. (I have a feeling that even in Italy, due to legal issues, soon they won't let people make that climb--nothing about it felt safe!)
  18. I went through a Rand phase in high school as well (I think that's probably the best time in your life to read her)--and I still think The Fountainhead is a fine novel. I agree though the movie is glorious camp. Reading about the making of the film is interesting unto itself--Rand and director Vidor's fights, how it was such a dream project for Vido--I think it was made with a lot of love and honest belief in its message (but then that's probably true of all *true* camp). To be honest, when I first heard about Objectivism and started reading that Rand's books were so full of Message, I felt kinda betrayed. These books I loved and took so much to heart were seen by many to be merely propaganda? And I certainly don't agree with Rand's beliefs about society--I think I feel about the opposite. But now I can look back at them and appreciate them as stories too, and what I got out of them. Regardless I think atlas Shrugged being made into a film is a thankless job and will probably just accentuate (as Fountrainhead does) how silly it all is.
  19. "Mariinsky Ballet Feb 9 - 14, 2010 Russia's world-renowned Mariinsky Ballet returns to perform Konstantin Sergeev's 1952 version of the full-length staging of the beloved fairy tale ballet, The Sleeping Beauty. " I actually love this version of Sleeping Beauty so I feel an ingrate to complain but... I guess it's true no more reconstructions--pity because I knwo Kennedy Center has a big enough stage to hold the 1890 reconstruction, and this year I, for the first time, actually would have had enough advance warning to save up for a trip to see it in person. Oh well...
  20. This clears up SOO much thanks rq!--all the other posts are clearly Cinderella (it's great to see what sets in the 1960 film WERE from the stage version and how other scenes were done that clearly couldn't have worked on stage the way they did on film like the drop curtain for the foreign travels scenes). One thing about Bolshoi photos from this time--maybe it was partly because of designers like Peter Vilyams who designed Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet magnificently, almost too opulently--is how MASSIVE the stage looked. I mean the Bolshoi stage still looks massive but to me, it was never emphasised quite as much. Carbro, I agree completely. I guess they put out as much as they could, as quickly as they could, but surely they have more complete credits for most of these. Still, as you say, it seems wrong to complain. BTW it's also a great resource for Broadway pics particularly from the 40s and 50s--some GORGEOUS West Side Story original cast colour shots I had never seen before.
  21. I agree witrh Alexandra--Gautier probably wouldn't even have asked this question. For him it was irrelevant. And I agree that Albrecht would have soon moved on, tiring of his charade. It's interesting that because Giselle DID become a Wili she absolves him and in many ways makes him a deeper person. I'm not sure he would have understood the severity of what he had done without that ghostly encounter--which is why it becomes thematically the true core and heart of the ballet. Otherwise he could have easily cleared his conscious with thoughts like "well she had a weak heart--it was inevitable".
  22. A few months back Life Magazine started releasing their full photo archive for free on the web. I only recently went through the ballet photos I could find but their collection of Bolshoi pieces is especially interesting--great photos of Cinderella's original production, a Chinese ballet that I think must be The Red Poppy, etc etc: http://images.google.com/hosted/life is the site and then you enter your search from there. Enjoy! http://images.google.com/images?q=cinderel...q=source%3Alife are the Cinderella images that show off the massive original set. What I was wondering about is there appear to be two different court sets. This one ( http://images.google.com/hosted/life/f?q=c...48ad1f7c0b89433 ) which corresponds with the Act II set in the Bolshoi Movie of CInderella more or less, and this one ( http://images.google.com/hosted/life/f?q=c...02744731841589d ) which I can't figure out WHAT scene it would be for. Anyone know? (There are also some great 1940s and 50s Royal Ballet images)
  23. Thanks to the great suggestions on here I came across Souritz's Soviet Choreographers of the Twenties in a used book store a bit back and have been making my way through. I only wish it went into the 30s and 40s (so it would cover the Prokofiev works) but it's fascinating--especially in its comparison of how Lopukhov handled the Kirov and Gorsky handled the Bolshoi in the 20s in terms of revivals of the Imperial Russian classics--Lopukhov more or less striving to keep the Petipa, and Gorsky going all out modern in with very 1920s theatre ideals in his stagings (which don't seem like they were successful to me personally but are exciting to read about).
  24. Sorry to reply to myself but I finally saw the Kirov DVD and wanted to post my thoughts on it and how it compared: I've been sick at home the past week or so, but it's had one benefit and that's giving me a chance to catch up on my ballet DVDs! I've now seen and watched the above mentioned Kirov performance that's mislabelled as Bolshoi and released by a couple of "cheapo" companies. Amazon lists several editions and a word of help--I first ordered the edition with a photograph of Cinderella washing a pan on the cover--I made sure it was NTSC before ordering it, but when it arrived it was a PAL DVD. Amazon apologized and took it back, but apparently there is no NTSC release from that company/with that cover despite what it says. I ended up getting from Amazon's marketplace a copy with the Red Bolshoi cover and a random image of a ballerina. The text in the back is all in some European language I don't know but the DVD is all regions and in NTSC. I was worried about the quality but the actual image is very good for an older, unremastered videotaped source. The sound is good too but has a bit of an odd quality to it (I think because the company remastered it to 5.1 Stereo and did a cheap job)--but both are better than Kultur's unremastered Bolshoi DVD that I reviewed above. This is the Konstantin Sergeyev production (premiered in 1946 but in a Soviet Ballet book I read that Sergeyev completely restaged the ballewt in 1964 with much less mime and more dance, so I assume this reflects that) that Natalia and others mention above, danced by the Kirov and copyrighted 1985. It doesn't seem to have been performed on either the Kirov or Bolshoi stages, but was filmed nearly completely in a studio for television it seems. Like the Bolshoi film, sadly it's edited for time, and has some cheesy and useless special effects. That said, I thought it was great watching and made for an interesting comparison to the Bolshoi film. I wish I could find more information on the Soviet opinion of these ballets--Sergeyev did his staging for the Kirov so soon after Zakharov's for the Bolshoi, when it was standard at the time to merely bring over a staging intact--I wonder if there was any controversy or competition--and which version critics preferred? Judging from these two films, and sadly not from live performances, they both seem to have their pluses or minuses but I still prefer them to the Western traditional versions I've seen. My first thought was that the Kirov's seemed to have more intricate corps work with more challenging steps, but less challenging steps for the leads--much of the corps work in the Bolshoi film is basically walking in patterns, but Sergeyev's use of a female corps (Cinderella's fairy retinue) through most of the ball scene reminded me a lot of the choreography for the fairies in his production of Sleeping Beauty. The Bolshoi's production also had more out and out humour--in comparison the stepsisters here were much better dancers. But most of the Soviet elements that Ashton dropped are in both--the Stepsisters played by women and the father being around, the Fairy Godmother being a beggar at first who Cinderella helps, the four seasons fairies presenting gifts for the ball, the presentation of the Three Oranges there, etc. Gabriela Komleva as Cinderella is the only person credited in English on the DVD but as expected everyone dances magnificently. My major let downs were with some of the cuts (the Third Act here is only 13 minutes long--with a ridiculous special effects sequence for the Prince's voyage and the women of exotic locations he tries the shoe on not even getting ANY of their actual music or dancing--just an appearance). Also, surprising for such a large company, the Ballroom scenes suffer because the corps has been massively cut down to fit the smaller TV studio stage. This allows more closeups (and some weird filming from weird angles) but comparing it to the youtube performance of this Act by the Vaganova students (just search youtube for Vaganova Cinderella) using the same choreography, you miss the grandeur--especially as Prokofiev's music is so rich and intoxicating for this scene. Finally the special effects really are a waste and kinda awful--worse than any of the cheesy ones used for the Bolshoi movie. Essentially we often get "swirling" backgrounds that are blue screened poorly behind the dancers--distracting us from the dancing (for example for the Summer Fairy we get a kaleidoscopic image of tulips). It all makes me wish all the more that they had simply filmed the ballet on the Kirov stage as performed live. But the performances and choreography make up for it--also the smaller details like Cinderella hiding the picture of her stepmother. One more oddity, the Beggar woman never really transforms into the Fairy Godmother like she does at the Bolshoi--she's more like a Fairy Grandmother here and the ending has been badly edited for TV barely showing her return for Cinderella's apotheosis with her Prince which has such entrancing music. Compared to Struchkova, Komleva plays Cinderella with more seriousness and less childlike playfulness, but it works just as well and may suit the music (Cinderella's mournful leitmotiv) better. The father's reluctance to mistreat Cinderella was also more touching here although you had to wonder why he married the Step Mother in the first place (in this production the Step Sisters are beautiful but the step mother is neither kind nor pretty) So I guess this sounds like a mixed recommendation, but I think considering it can be found for so cheap, that it's danced so well, and that it's our only chance to see the Sergeyev production which still feels so authentic to me (I really wish the Marrinsky would have kept it in their repertoire, but the current ideal in Russia for Cinderella seems to be to not do a traditional version). So all that considered I think it's a good buy--and I'm really glad to have the chance to see what this early version of Cinderella looked like.
  25. There's a lot of talk about how Laurents has edited the ballet. I was wondering how people on here, a ballet forum, felt about that? It seems odd considering so far all the positive reviews have commented on the dancing.
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