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About Tom47

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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    New York

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  1. Due out sometime this year (2021) is the animated film “Mavka, The Forest Song.” According to the video to be found at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3Ne0swwtnc a Mavka (plural Mavky) is closely related to a Rusalka except that Mavky live on land - Forests, Meadows or Mountains. (Thus connecting a Mavka with Rusalka and by extension with a Vila and a Wili.) Also based on that video a Mavky can be similar to the Wilis from the ballet “Giselle” in that in some cases Mavky are women who end their lives because of unrequited or tragic love and refuse to go to the underworld. A di
  2. Again thank you for your comment Volcano Hunter. I suspected that no Slavic language forms a plural by tacking on an “s” at the end of a noun, but I wasn’t sure of that, so I am glad you offered your opinion. As to what can be gleaned about the ballet by studying folkloric sources maybe nothing. I started this topic with the two paragraphs which inspired the ballet, then compared those paragraphs with a description from the Marius Petipa website and pointed out that they do not agree. As simple as that. In addition the world premiere of the ballet was in Paris the year prior to the Saint
  3. Thank you volcano Hunter, for your comment. I have found cases where the plural of names of female beings similar to the “Willis” is formed by an “i” or “y” at the end instead of an “s” and in the Encyclopedia Britannica article the plural of Vila is formed by an “e” at the end. As there is no one plural ending for vila (vila/wila) it also seems that the characteristics of a Vila, Rusalka or Mavka varies across the Slavic Language area. Tom,
  4. I have realized that I was in error when writing about the ballet Giselle, as I had assumed that at the end of the ballet Giselle continues to be a Wilis, but then I read on the Marius Petipa website that at the end “The Wilis are forced to disappear and Giselle, whose love has transcended death, is forever freed from their power and returns to her grave to rest in peace.” I find this ending to be unsatisfying. As I wrote earlier, I would rather that Giselle’s spirit joins with the other Wiles and have an afterlife with friends she can sympathise with and be relatively happy with. I feel Gi
  5. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that a “Rusalka, plural Rusalki, in Slavic mythology, [is a] lake-dwelling soul of a child who died unbaptized or of a virgin who was drowned. . .” Note here that the encyclopedia spells the plural of Rusalka by replacing the “a” at the end with an “i.” It is also stated that around the Danube River Rusalka are called Vila, with the plural being Vile (connecting the being Rusalka with the being Vila) and that “All rusalki love to entice men - the vile to enchant them and the northern rusalki to torture them.” Then at the beginning of the summer the Rusalki
  6. Recently I came across something that gave me a new outlook on the story of the ballet La Sylphide. Originally I saw the sylphide as impulsively falling in love with James on what happened to be the young man’s wedding day. Thus, I saw the sylphide as maybe not really caring too much for James. But, this 2 minute video explaining a mime scene in the first act shows something different: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=728TQeVyIJk. Based on this video the sylphide has loved James and cared for him since he was a boy. Also, as she has been protecting him since he was five and while she m
  7. In the Marius Petipa website it is pointed out that Wilis “. . . are based on the Vila, a fairy maiden from Slavic mythology.” Heinrich Heine was German having been born in Dusseldorf. In German “W” is pronounced as an English “V.” So, for that reason he may have written Vila as Wila. Now, in looking up slavic mythology I’ve found some cases where the plural of names of female beings similar to the Wilis, is formed by an “i” or “y” at the end instead of an “s.” So, the plural of Vila could then be Vili. Combining these two ideas it is possible that Heine wrote Vili as Wili and at some po
  8. Wili, Vila, Rusalka and Mavka are names that refer to female beings from Slavic mythology. Of course Wilis are featured in the ballet Giselle, but Vilas may refer to the same beings. Rusalkas live in lakes, but can come on land and Mavky live in forests, meadows and mountains and appear to be mainly from Ukrainian folklore. Here are the two paragraphs that Heinrich Heine wrote about Wilis in his De l’Allemagne that when read by Theophile Gautler inspired the ballet Giselle: “There is a tradition of nocturnal dancing known in Slav countries under the name of Wili. The Wilis are affia
  9. The idea of sex role reversial interests me. The movie “The Tempest" (2010) with Helen Mirren in the role of Prospera, instead of Prospero is an example of this. This movie was directed by and the screenplay was written by a woman, Julie Taymor. So, I thought about a version of Swan Lake, where the sexes of all of the characters were reversed. Perhaps Prince Seigfried becomes Princess Brunhild, Odete and the other swans are male instead of swan maidens and Rothbart is a sorceress. I’ve seen Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake with male swans, but in that case the sex of the other characters are no
  10. Thoughts about Swan Lake: To me it is the most dramatic ballet because of its music and its story; unlike Solor and Albrecht, Siegfried is not at fault for being unfateful since he was tricked and if you do not like the ending you can see another version and hopefully get one you like better. The first version I saw of Swan Lake had Siegfried die fighting Rothbart and to me that seems the most authentic version. According to the Marius Petipa website that is not the original ending. In the 1877 production due to Siegfried’s not wanting ever to be separated from Odette, they both died. Th
  11. Not all ballets dealing with romance turn out tragically. In particular three, La Fille mal gardee, Don Quixote and Coppelia are romantic comedies. My favorite, feature length, non-Tchaikovsky ballet is Don Quixote, at least the Mariinsky Ballet version with Olesya Novikova and Leonid Sarafanov. Not only are they great dancers, but it is easy for me to think they are in love and maybe that is because they are. They are married and have 3 children. There is not much that I would change in the stories of these ballet, although I feel a little sorry for Dr. Coppelius in that he wanted s
  12. Buddy, an interesting topic. My contribution to it will be focused on or tend to be focused on female artists. This picture is “Marche aux chevaux de Paris” (The Horse Fair of Paris, 1853) by Rosa Bonheur (b. 1822 in Bordeaux, Gironde, France). The main subject of the painting is not people, but horses, however it is full of action and motion and so I feel it fits your topic. I see the painting as presenting an attempt by the intellect, the human handlers, to control animal emotion, the horses. The sense of drama is enhanced by the ominous darkening sky, the row of dark trees and by the d
  13. California, thank you for the links particularly the one on Les Noces. When I first saw Les Noces (on video I have never seen it live) I was disappointed. It was when I first became interested in ballet and I expected tutus and instrumental music. Within the last year I read somewhere that it was about an arranged marriage. I don’t know if that was Broni’s meaning, but it made a big difference in how I viewed it. Now, it seems to be invoking a very structured culture. The only emotion is at the end of the third sense when the bride and her mother are saying goodby. Based on the music an
  14. Tom47

    The Stolen Veil

    Fosca, thank you for the links. I was able to read it with google translate and I was happy for the opportunity to view the illustrations. One thing in the translated story, the one on one page at least, is a description of the veils. They are “woven from condensed rays of light from the ether, which expands according to the measure of their growth, and not only has all the properties of the purest fire air to overcome the earthly weight of the body and to raise it to the clouds with easy flight, but also communicates the swan shape to the owner as long as she is clothed with it.” And are
  15. I’ve been searching for information on Broni Nijinsky's life after the end of her autobiography “Early Memoirs,” as well as information on her later choreographed works. As a result of this I found two articles. The first can be seen here: https://peoplepill.com/people/bronislava-nijinska/. This article first summarizes Broni’s life from birth to 1934. The part I am most interested in starts with the heading “As a Choreographer.” The article gives information on many of the over 70 ballets that Broni choreographed. Included are Les Noces, Les Biches and Le Train Bleu, but I was most inter
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