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doug

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About doug

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

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  1. doug

    The Lilac Fairy

    Thanks, Laurent. All of these explanations about Marie Petipa make sense and answer my questions. Yes, I am referring to the staged studio photographs of Corsaire held by the Theatre Museum in St. Petersburg. Thanks also for the Sleeping Beauty citation.
  2. doug

    The Lilac Fairy

    Sorry not to have been on for a week. I guess I must stand corrected regarding my assumption that Marie Petipa performed the role of Medora because indeed the Yearbooks do not list her performing Medora in the years listed by Laurent, or thereafter, from what I can see. I wonder why the numerous studio photographs of Marie Petipa as Medora with Sergei Legat as Conrad in the grotto scene of the ballet. (I used the term second cast meaning secondary to Legnani/Gerdt based on the photos of Marie Petipa and Sergei Legat that are similar to the studio photos of Legnani and Gerdt in Corsaire.) Any ideas or avenues for research? For what it's worth, Marie Petipa is listed in the Yearbooks for 1900-1901 as dancing the title role in Paquita once that season. She was photographed with Sergei Legat as Lucien in numerous scenes from the second scene of Paquita. As for the Lilac Fairy variation, two notated versions are preserved in the Sergeev Collection. One is marked M. Petipa and the other (more difficult technically) is without a dancer name. I have not worked on the second of the two variations. If anyone has citations to confirm the history and chronology of the Lilac variation (when it was or wasn't danced and which version/variation), I am interested.
  3. doug

    The Lilac Fairy

    A lot of assumptions here about Maria Petipa, late 19th-century pointe work in St. Petersburg, and the Lilac Fairy choreography. I cannot confirm that the notated Lilac Fairy variation represents the 1890 premiere choreography, though I would guess that it does. The notation system wasn't developed until 1892/3. Marie danced the leads in Paquita and Corsaire with Sergei Legat (in Corsaire, they were "second" cast to Legnani and Gerdt in 1899) at the turn of the century and was photographed in pointe shoes in conjunction with those productions. Would pointe work have been abandoned for her performances? My guess is no. The notated pointe work in both Paquita and Corsaire is not strenuous. I'm interested in the evidence that the Lilac variation was dropped in the early years of Beauty. My familiarity with Petersburg press accounts is in no way thorough, but many accounts do not comment on all dances in a ballet. The prologue variations come early in Beauty. They are all quite short and they are not the bring-house-down type. I'll say again that I think the Lilac Fairy variation that bears Marie's name is beautiful and suits the character. Based on what we know about Petipa's approach to choreography and subsequent changes of casts, I agree that he would have choreographed something different for another dancer.
  4. doug

    The Lilac Fairy

    Marie Petipa gets a pretty bum rap in Soviet-era writing about the Imperial Ballet. All evidence (photographic and notational) indicates she danced on pointe in the Beauty prologue. The notated Lilac Fairy variation that bears her name includes simple pointe work compared to the other five fairy variations. (I think it is a most beautiful variation.) She also danced the lead in Paquita and Medora in Corsaire, among other ballerina roles, and she was photographed in pointe shoes many times. Contemporary accounts agree that she was an excellent character dancer and a weaker classical dancer. They also agree that she had lots of brio and appeal. Plenty of roles featured changes of shoes between acts. Henriette and Clemence danced in heels in act one of Raymonda and swapped them for pointe shoes in act two.
  5. Yes, the Fedorova version is very important to the history of Nut in the U.S. and really got the ball rolling.
  6. For heaven's sake. There are three guides to reading Stepanov notation that I am aware of after 33 years of familiarity with the system: Stepanov's publication, Gorsky's two publications, and the handwritten guides held at Harvard. Perhaps there are others, but I've not been made privy to them if there are. All of these sources are complementary, though the Gorsky publications are more thorough than Stepanov's. The system is not rocket science. Some of the scribes show minor differences in how certain things were written down, but any difficulties in "decoding" Stepanov notation lie in factors beyond the notation symbols themselves. Yes, variations were changed, rechoreographed, otherwise altered, sometimes replaced. This is evident in the Harvard documents and matches what we know from memoirs, reviews, and other descriptions. And those today working publicly with Stepanov notation all take a slightly different approach in how they choose to realize (or ignore, alter, transform, "update") the material. But to post on this forum that the notation keys are fraudulent is simply not true.
  7. In the OFTR casting, each time a dancer has an asterisk by his or her name, he or she is dancing in a new role. Several do two roles in OFTR, and the debuts in the second roles will be on Thursday. I know that's confusing when the roles aren't identified by anything other than dancer names and everyone is listed alphabetically.
  8. Jayne, I will let Francia Russell know. She penned the story!
  9. Francia Russell staged Symphony in C for PNB the way she learned it with Balanchine at New York City Ballet in the late-50s and 60s, a time when she also staged it for a number of companies as Balanchine's repetiteur. In 2016, Victoria Simon staged Symphony in C for PNB, Francia having stopped staging (for the most part). Simon's staging included 8 (rather than 6) corps women in the fourth movement, an addition made by Balanchine after Francia's time with the company. After Taras' death, the rights for Symphony in C went to the School of American Ballet. (Related to this, after Kirstein's death, the rights for Concerto Barocco and Orpheus went to New York City Ballet.)
  10. doug

    Imperial Ballet's Nutcracker. 1892 pics

    Sugar Plum, above, is Varvara Nikitina rather than dell'Era.
  11. doug

    2017 Fall Season

    No further news on the Petipa documentary, but I'm sure there will be after the first of the year.
  12. doug

    2017 Fall Season

    The Tiler Peck/Ratmansky session was for a Petipa documentary.
  13. Here it is: http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/servlets/MCRFileNodeServlet/FUDISS_derivate_000000007745/Early_Life_and_Works_of_George_Balanchine.pdf
  14. Only that I'm an optimist
  15. Don't discount the Croce. It may yet happen.
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