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Everything posted by John-Michael

  1. Thanks for the info. That's interesting to read about the Sleeping Beauty and Excelsior connection. It's also interesting to read about it being taken seriously... maybe the La Scala production just seemed to me to have its tongue firmly placed inside its cheek. Maybe what I meant wasn't so much solely pop entertainment, but that it seemed to be trying to reach everyone that could potentially be in the audience. Sort of like a G&S operetta transferred to ballet. For dirty old men, there are the pretty girls in tights. For seasoned ballet goers, there are the purely classical bits. For children, there are the special effects and character dances. For middle-brow audience members, there is the upbeat music and self-consciously edifying allegorical scenes. For the least sophisticated audience members, there are the spectacular special effects and costumes. Not that the appeal is that strictly defined and compartmentalized, but with the endless variety there seems to be a little something for everyone and, before you're able to get bored with one part, something else comes along.
  2. I recently saw as much of Excelsior as I could stomach. I'm just wondering... how much of their production is authentic, or is it basically brand new choreography? It seems as if there are, for the most part, clear-cut distinctions between the long mime scenes and long dance scenes without much intergration between the two. Was this typical of 19th century Italian ballets? This question might be a little off-topic, but could this be the type of dancing that appeared in spectacles such as The Black Crook? Cutesy novelty dances, allegorical scenes, circus-like music, and choreography consisting of the corps de ballet doing the same several steps in unison while forming geometric patterns? I assume that the audience for Excelsior would have been more of a "popular" as opposed to a "classical" audience. Actually, parts of Excelsior are delightful, and I bet it's lots of fun in a live theater... on video watching the whole ballet it just seems a bit too much of the same thing.
  3. I'm not disappointed about Adeline Genee... I was just kind of hoping that she had perhaps performed what probably would have been the first and last staging ever in the West of Carargo. Or that maybe she had been invited to St. Peterburg and danced in Camargo for the czar!
  4. I was trying to find photos of Empire Theater ballets and found a postcard from 1912 online of Adeline Genee as Camargo after she had left the Empire Theater. It's ambiguous about what theater she was performing in at that time but it seems to imply that she was at a British theater. Coud this possibly have been a staging of the old Petipa ballet?
  5. Thank you for the libretto but I just got the dvd last week as a birthday gift. I'm going to try to track down the original and Gautier's story. I'm dying to know if those dudes in the hunt scene forming those strange patterns with their spears are in the original and how Lacotte's differs. Watching my dvd's immensely entertaining (it's such a precious, sweet ballet) but I get the feeling a lot of details have been excised that prevent it from rising above merely being adorable to an actual dramatic piece of theater.
  6. Is there anywhere one can find, hopefully online, the original libretto of Pharaoh's Daughter?
  7. Does anyone have any info on the forband in Act II that Birbanto leads? A friend of mine thought it was a croviak. Is the forband a Norwegian dance? An internet search brought up some Norwegian sites but I don't read Norwegian
  8. Hmmm... I might have to give the LS Swan Lake a try and it's not too expensive on Amazon.
  9. Was Franzt a travesty role before '94 and was Swanhilda the only point role in the 3rd act?
  10. I read somewhere that the Royal Danish Ballet has an 1897 version of Coppelia that's a bit unusual... much more mime and character dancing and a more gothick approach to the story (something that I think would actually work considering the questionable behavior of the characters... necromancy, house-breaking, property damage, and intense thoughtlessness at best and mental cruelty at worst). Has anyone seen it or can give me more info on it? Does any of the choreography have any basis in Saint-Leon or Cechetti/Ivanov? Thanks!
  11. Does anyone know anything about the new La Scala dvd of Swan Lake... such as when it was filmed or if the production has more of the traditional choreography than does the ABT PBS broadcast? Thanks!
  12. Does anyone know what Merril Ashley has been doing since her retirement?
  13. I read somewhere that the curret RB production is a bit more authentic than most other productions. Is this true?
  14. *a new prod. in 1954, is credited ivanov/cecchetti, in a production described as sergeyev supervised by de valois (the scenery & costumes here are the work of osbert lancaster) is the perf. on dvd given w/ lancaster's designs? (my copy of the disc is not handy.) if it is, then we might assume this is the prod. recently revised and telecast. except for notations made for new casts after this '54 entry there are none giving new production credits. so, this would seem to be the latest version in royal ballet history. Hi! Thanks for the info. Yeah, the costumes are by Lancaster. I enjoy them, for the most part.
  15. I'm quite perplexed as to why anyone would consider ABT's SL traditional. I thought it borderline modernistic at times and almost always adhering to contemporary tastes. But I'm even more perplexed by the description of the costumes as old-fashioned. Traditional, yes, but old-fashioned?
  16. I recently bought the Royal Ballet DVD of Coppelia. I'm wondering if the choreography for the last act has any basis in Cechetti/Ivanov or if it's entirely by de Valois. Thanks!
  17. Hi! Can anyone tell me about the rather noble-sounding melody after the spoken prologue (Io, Luigi Manzotti) in the dvd of the reconstruction of Excelsior? It doesn't sound as if it were composed by Marenco. Thanks!
  18. Do you mean the Gold Fairy's solo was added by MK's request?
  19. I'm curious to know if anyone knows what Gelsey Kirkland has been up to the past few years. Recently watched her Nutcracker for the first time in years and was reminded how ravishing her dancing was. Thanks!
  20. Thanks... I'm going to have to look on the Internet and see if that Giselle recording is still floatig around somewhere...
  21. Thank you... it's an interesting theory.
  22. Does anyone know why the dance for Hop o' my Thumb, his brothers, and the ogre in Sleeping Beauty is called pas berrichon? Berrichon means from the disrict of Berry so I'm wondering if Tchaikovsky used folk material from the Auvergne or if Petipa maybe resorted to dance steps from the region? Thanks!
  23. I mean Julie Kent. I don't find her especially photogenic but I one time sat in the front row of one of her performances as Giselle and found her absolutely gorgeous as opposed to seeing her on film. Actually, I didn't mean Asymulratova (I'm much more impressed with her dancing than her looks) but the character dancer in the sarabande... Yelena Sherstnyova.
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