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  1. From Amazon: In 1922 the dance historian Cyril Beaumont contributed to the Dancing Times an article on the history of Harlequin, which as a result of continuous research since that period grew into the present volume. It covers the history of Harlequin, and of the Commedia dell'Arte, from their beginnings in the 16th century through their heydays in the 17th and 18th century and their gradual decline thereafter. The book includes more than 40 illustrations and the complete text of a Harlequinade from 1806, together with a dance for a Harlequin in Feuillet notation.
  2. The University of Chicago Press recently published Irina Baronova and The Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo by her daughter, the actor Victoria Tennant. 235 pages with at least one picture on every page, many images are full page. Also an excellent text to put them in context using extracts from diaries, letters and interviews. Relatively large format -9.5 x 11". Such a high quality printing job I am thinking of buying a second copy to frame some. An excellent documentary of her life. Strongly recommended.
  3. I have the following Giselles on DVD or Blu-ray. There are a few more available but I think I'll have to call a halt soon. All have something to offer except -sadly- Bessmertnova's. The image quality on this DVD makes it simply unwatchable. I think it may have been issued along with a monthly magazine about ballet for girls. (You know the kind: one pays $8-10 each week for a year or two and more for binders. I bought one on dinosaurs for my kids years ago when the craze was active and you can guess what it cost overall). The best is Ferri, but Mezentseva is close. I suggest looking on amazon.fr and amazon.de. A few years ago I bought a remote from a company in the UK which hacked my Sony Blu-ray player in about two seconds. It has played DVDs without a problem from all around the world since then. 1. Carla Fracci, Eric Bruhn, Toni Lander, ABT Deutsche Grammophon/Unitel 1969 + 2005 DVD 2. Rudolf Nureyev, Lynn Seymour, Monica Mason, Kultur DVD 1979 3. Creole Giselle Virginia Johnston, Eddie Shellman, Lorraine Graves, Dance Theater of Harlem Kultur DVD 1988 4. Galina Mezentseva, Konstatin Zaklinsky, Tatyana Terekhova Kirov,1983 NVC Arts 5. Anna Tysgankova, Josef Vargas, Igone de Jongh Dutch National Ballet NVC Arts 2009 6. Alicia Alonso, Vladimir Vasiliev Ballet Nacional de Cuba 1980 VAI 2007 7. Svetlana Lunkina, Dmitry Gudanov, Maria Allash Bolshoi BelAir classiques 2012 8. Nadia Nerina Nikolai Fadeyechev, Margaret Hill, Lydia Sokolova, 1958 BBC ICQ Classics Legacy 2011 9. Laetitia Pujol, Nicholas Le Riche, Marie-Agnes Gillot. Ballet de l'Opera national de Paris TDK 2006 10. Alessandra Ferri, Massimo Murru Isabel Seabra La Scala ArtHaus Musik 1996 11. Karen Kain, Frank Augustyn. National ballet of Canada CBC Video VAI 1976 12. Alina Cojocaru, Johan Kobberg, Marianela Nunez Royal Ballet 2006 Opus Arte 2008 13. Creole Giselle Virginia Johnston, Eddie Shellman Lorraine Graves Dance Theatre of Harlem Kultur 1988 14. Svetlana Zakharova, Roberto Bolle, Marta Romagna La Scala TDK 2005 15. Natalia Bessmertnova, Mikhail Lavroski, G. Kozlova Bolshoi 1975 ABC Entertainment www.zyx.de 2008
  4. I find Nancy Goldner's essays on 20 Balanchine ballets useful in placing his work, and how it differed. Goldner, Nancy. (2008) Balanchine Variations. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
  5. Peggy van Praag, Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet, and choreographer. Author of the The Choreographic Art Writers Katherine Sorley Walker, Lynn Garafola and Mary Clarke. Tamara Karsavina, Mathilde Kschessinska, Olga Preobajenska for their inspiration and their teaching in Paris and London.
  6. Was it ever filmed? Even on a newsreel?
  7. The account of that evening, May 29, 1913, by Modris Eksteins in the first chapter of his Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age is brilliant. He has a historian's cold eye for exaggeration, and places the event in the history of modernism. Accounts were written by Gabriel Astruc, Romola Nijinska, Igor Stravinsky, Misia Sert, Marie Rambert, Bronislava Nijinska, Jean Cocteau, Carl Van Vechten and Valentine Gross. Eksteins points out that these all vary on significant details, and that not one of them mention the other ballets performed that evening. Karsavina made no comment about it in Theatre Street, perhaps not surprisingly as it up-staged her performances that evening. Jean Cocteau admitted "that he was more concerned with 'subjective' than 'objective' truth; in other words with what he felt, what he imagined, not with what actually occurred." "That opening night of Le Sacre represents a milestone in the development of 'modernism', modernism as above all a culture of the sensational event, through which art and life both become a matter of energy and are fused as one." (Eksteins).
  8. I agree with Helene, the blackface kids are no longer appropriate. Musing about why the Russians still use them was also a distraction. Their choreography is another dubious aspect. My son (24 y.o. and media-aware) was rather shocked. This version completely isolates the Kingdom of the Shades sequences from the narrative of the ballet: it is almost an unrelated epilogue. Why is it that very few people know how to film ballet? Do any of them actually know what is going to happen next and what they should be showing?
  9. Cyril Beaumont uses a similar photo of Martha Muravieva in his book on Giselle published in 1944. It is clearly from the same photographic session in 1863 as the above, as there are only slight differences in hand and head positions. It was published beside a photo of her costume from Act II. I took photos of these from the book (small jpgs) that came out surprisingly well but need advice about how to attach them to a message in Ballet Alert.
  10. The Kultur documentary on DVD called "Balanchine" has a few clips of Tanaquil dancing, some in colour. See: http://www.amazon.com/Balanchine-George/dp/B00019G8BA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1359388150&sr=8-2&keywords=balanchine
  11. Certain as of this morning. Confirmation is a few clicks away. They must have printed far too many.
  12. Jane Pritchard, the Curator of Dance at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London has published a book on Anna Pavlova with Caroline Hamilton, a dance and costume historian. (Pritchard organised the Ballet Russe exhibition last year and edited the accompanying excellent book of essays). This is a large format hardback (10 x 13 inches) with 170 profusely-illustrated pages, a few in full colour. It has a British slant as most of the sources are the V & A and the Museum of London. The text is also excellent, and places her properly in the history of 20th century ballet. While there is much published on Pavlova nothing rivals the wealth of illustrations in this book. It is on offer on Amazon.com at the amazing low price of $23.18 if bought now for release in early March. It is also available on Amazon.co.uk now from £14.99. Unmissable.
  13. I was fortunate enough to see Vikharev's revival of Raymonda in Milan recently. Olesia Novikova danced Raymonda, as in the recent DVD. I liked it, as it was quite an occasion, but the audience was the coldest I have ever seen for any opera or ballet. Applause was insufficient to accompany dancers off the stage after variations, and the audience flocked to the doors at the end before curtain calls were completed. I knew that this was a notoriously tough audience but this took me aback.There was nothing overtly wrong with the ballet, apart from too much ensemble dancing for my taste, and Novikova's excessively detached air. I have since replayed DVDs of Kolpakova and Bessmertnova dancing Raymonda, and their emotional intensity was simply at another level. Perhaps the audience had a point after all.
  14. Domininique Delouche produced a film some years ago called "Serge Lifar: Musagete" available on the French Amazon site. It has subtitles in English. It consists of interviews with the likes of Yvette Chauvire, Nina Vyroubova, Jean Babilee and teaching sessions with them using POB etoiles like Legris, Guerin and Loudieres.There are short films of Lifar teaching and films of two dances: 'L'Adage' and 'Le Spectre de la Danse'.I was marginally better disposed towards Lifar after it. I still don't warm to his portentious style.
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