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Everything posted by doug

  1. Yes, the waltz variation that Raymonda dances in the vision scene was interpolated into the 1898 premiere of Raymonda. The music is indeed from Glazunov's Scenes de ballet and was arranged into a short variation. In the Raymonda piano score at the Harvard Theatre Collection, the two-violin rehearsal repetiteur of this added variation is inserted as the third variation. So, Petipa never choreographed the third variation Glazunov wrote for that scene, but Balanchine choreographed it for Raymonda Variations. The Mazurka in Act III was also interpolated from Scenes de ballet.
  2. Thanks, Rodney - really good points. And I will look at the Paquita discussion, as well.
  3. Re: Paquita. I've never seen grand fouettes en tournant in the Stepanov notations of any female variation, including any from Paquita. I've always thought this sort of step, pedagogical to my mind in the way it is used here, came from the developments in the Vaganova school rather than from Petipa or anyone of his era. (A startling example of Soivet-era addition to Imperial-era choreography can be seen in the Tcherepnin variation that is danced in Paquita but is from Fokine's Pavillon d'Armide: Danilova can be seen teaching it on her bio video; an SAB student dances the entire variation. Compare that to the Kirov version and one can see numerous added steps and hear a MUCH-slowed tempo - nearly a totally different variation and extremely anemic, in my opinion.) That said, the fact that Simon worked in Moscow doesn't necessarily rule out the possibility of Petipa choreographing to his music, but in the case of the grand fouettes, I would have to doubt it was Petipa or Gorsky, et al. I've also never seen the amount of repetition of a step such as that in the notations (Aurora does 14 ronds de jambe in her Act I variation, but that's a rare exception as well as an easier step than the grand fouette). And *that* said, I could be completely wrong in my judgments here. The St. Petersburg Paquita of the turn of the century had 5 female variations, at least one of them to music that is no longer used. Paquita has become a real grab bag and one of those divertissements that has completely clouded Petipa's contributions. I would not rely on the authenticity of any variation I see danced by Russian companies today in productions that passed through the Soviet era. Rodney, let me know if I've completely misread you!
  4. Alymer, thank you so much for your detailed comments about the Shades scene. I appreciate knowing part what was danced in the coda. I could kick myself for not getting to New York to see it when it played there. Glad you enjoyed it.
  5. To my knowledge, Petipa's Cinderella was not notated. At least, it is not part of the Sergeev Collection at Harvard. Didn't Legnani introduce the 32 fouettes in Cinderella in 1894?
  6. Maybe Raymonda was in some guardianship sort of arrangement prior to marriage? Just a shot in the dark ... But it does appear from the original scenario that the castle is hers. Nevertheless, she still takes guidance from Aunt Sybille.
  7. According to the list of characters in the affiche of the first performance, Clemence and Henriette are "girlfriends of Raymonda." In the libretto, they are referred to as Raymonda's "closest friends." Raymonda herself is the "Countess of Doris," and her aunt, the Countess Sybille, is a "canoness."
  8. Hasn't Nissinen been at Boston a year already?
  9. Alexandra, did Bournonville devise his own system of notation?
  10. I have to admit, I'm tired of seeing 32 fouettes, but that is probably because they have found their way into Soviet versions of Paquita and Le Corsaire, etc., that I have had to watch recently at PNB. The fouettes were included in the Black Swan coda because Pierina Legnani could do them. She had done them the year before in Cinderella. If another ballerina had created the role of Odette/Odile in the 1895 production, we wouldn't have the fouettes in Black Swan or, probably, anywhere else. Sometimes I wish that was how it went! I'd admire a ballerina for substituting a combination that seemed to express the dominating quality of Odile's personality (or at least her dominance of Siegfried's attention). Didn't Makarova (ironic, since she was a Soviet ballerina) substitute a manege of pique turns?
  11. rg is absolutely correct. The dance after the Rose Adagio was choreographed by Petipa for eight pages who were danced by girls (in the notations, in Sergeev's hand, they are represented by circles - females - rather than x's - males - and he has indicated in writing that these are "girl students"). They are followed by the four women who held the mandolins during the adagio and then the four maids of honor. This represents, in order from lower to higher, the hiercharchy rg mentions. Please see Wiley, "Tchaikovsky's Ballets," pp. 174-176. I believe the Kirov has it right in their new/old Beauty. In Raymonda, Petipa's lead couple in the Act II Spanish dance was augmented by eight "couples," all danced by women (corps de ballet members in that instance). But he also choreographed the Act III "Danse des enfants" for 12 students couples who were danced by girls and boys, as was the Paquita Mazurka.
  12. Re Lilac variations in the Sergeev notations. The one marked "Marie Petipa" has some pointe work but is simpler than the second version. I'll look at the second version and compare it to Grace's notes, etc. In its new-old version of BEAUTY, the Kirov comes up with a Lilac variation that is neither of the notated versions. I don't know where it came from. I believe they claimed it was the Marie Petipa version from the notation, but it's not. These were my impressions of the Kirov's new-old Lilac variation when I saw it a few years back: The Kirov's Lilac Fairy variation follows neither notation, although claims have been made that their Lilac Fairy dances Marie Petipa's version. While the floor plan of the Kirov's variation follows that of Marie's, the steps differ from the notation. For example, the Kirov's Lilac begins with a diagonal of large jetés, traveling from upstage left to downstage right. The notation, however, offers the following first combination: after a starting pose with left foot tendu front, the ballerina steps forward on the left foot and piqués on the right foot in a low arabesque. Stepping through to plié on the left foot, she performs a pas de chat, leading with the right foot, to finish en face in fifth position, left foot front. She now steps to her right side, piqués on the right foot and brings her left foot to coupé front, while making a half turn to the left to face the upstage left corner. She pliés on her right foot, as her left leg moves to a low à la seconde, presumably while finishing the turn. (The lack of a left turn sign in the notation – indicated by a minus sign in parenthesis above the feet and legs stave – makes this turn slightly ambiguous.) She steps to plié-coupé on the left foot and is ready to begin again. The entire combination is performed three times. No jeté is indicated. The Kirov's final combination of penchée arabesques also is not given in the notation.
  13. About the gold waltz and the jewels pas de quatre: fortunately there is no mystery anymore. Wiley has dealt with the pertinent primary sources. We know the four ballerinas mentioned danced at the first performance in 1890 (see Wiley, A Century of Russian Ballet, p. 364). According to the notations, which I have in front of me, all but Diamond began the intrada, with Diamond dancing solo for the second half. Silver variation danced by Silver, Gold and Sapphire; Diamond danced Diamond variation. All four danced the Coda. The Sapphire variation music was cut. The Gold variation music was interpolated into Act II as Aurora's variation, in place of the music Tchaikovsky composed for Aurora. See Wiley, Tchaikovsky's Ballets, pp. 181 (Act II) and 184 (Act III) and Appendix H, pp. 401-411 for a discussion of the performance score.
  14. Hans, the intrada music I am referring to is the intrada of the pas de deux, rather than the intrada of the jewels pas de quatre. The jewels intrada remained in place; thje question here is whether the pas de deux intrada was danced by Gold and Sapphire, possibly after the pas de deux adagio. Yes, Desire's Act III variation is notated with Sergei Legat's name written at the head of the notation. The variation is very difficult; I like it. There are many connecting steps between the larger combinations. It's fairly non-stop and I've never seen it performed, but taught it to a dancer just once.
  15. Hi all, Yes, the Gold variation from Act III was interpolated in place of the original music for Aurora's variation in Act II. And this apparently was in place for the premiere. Just as Petipa made some concessions to Tchaikovsky, the composer did same for choreographer, and Petipa must have felt this was the thing to do, despite the incongruity of the music, aesthetic, etc. Drigo fashioned an extra couple bars of music to facilitate the modulation to the new key (E-flat). Wiley has published this music in his book. Doesn't make sense to me either, but there you go. Ashton did choreography this solo, as did Balanchine for Patricia McBride in the 1970s - I am assuming he choreographed the original music. Someone needs to ask her if she remembers it. The intrada. Sketchy info here, but some concrete notation. We know that the Gold and Sapphire fairies (who variations were eliminated from the jewels pas de quatre) participated in the now-so-called "grand pas de deux," which was actually also a pas de quatre. The music to which the fairies danced is in question. There is notation for the fairies, and it is quite clear choreographically. My thinking at the moment is they danced to the intrada, but perhaps after the adagio (I thikn WIley suggests this). It is also *just possible* (my assertion here) that they danced the first 32 counts of the coda. The notation of the coda begins with Aurora's diagonal entrance, about 32 counts into the music, at least as we know the choreography today. It's possible the fairies danced in the coda before her entrance. I have all this info lying around but haven't really looked hard at it. Some speculation required, unfortunately. Re the Beauty notations in general. Yes, they are in Sergeyev's hand (unlike the Bayadere notations, although the Kirov claims they are in Sergeyev's hand). Sergeyev regularly include groundplans and foot/leg work, very occasionally arms, torso and head. Of course, the foot/legwork is needed most. A few other notators are represented in the Beauty notations, as well, but just contributing one or two numbers, or a second notation version of something. Fishdives are not in the pas de deux notation. Wiley has documented all cuts in the music, as well as metronome markings - invaluable stuff!
  16. Yvonne, as a west coaster, I'd be interested in your reviews and thoughts on Ballet West. I hope you'll begin writing about them again.
  17. Cyril Beaumont's "Complete Book of Ballets" (1941) includes a cast list and scenario for THE TALISMAN (pp. 424-429). A sparse choreographic notation of the ballet is preserved in the Sergeev Collection at the Harvard Library, including, I believe, a second notated copy of the pas de deux for Nal and Damayanti. In reviving dance from this collection of notations, I've found that much of the choreography looks like Bournonville. It's a good reminder that the French school was the basis for both the Russian and Danish 19th century ballet schools.
  18. Thanks, everyone, for your comments on the Russian teachers issue and the timeline of style from Imperial-era through Balanchine's neo-classicism (and Vaganova's Soviet style in Russia). This is a subject of real interest to me and worth discussion.
  19. Sorry to be so slow on this. Sergeyev made a second career out of staging ballets with the help of the Stepanov notations he brought out of Russia. The notations aren't all in his hand. The earlier ones are better than the later ones that he made. Sergeyev's notations are mostly for legs and feet (with groundplan). Sometimes upper body movements are given, as well. Most of the formal dance numbers in Sleeping Beauty are notated in some form or other. But some are missing and other means must be used to determine what is the most "original", etc. Sergeyev staged a good part of Beauty for Diaghilev in 1921 and then staged the entire ballet for Sadler's Wells and later the International Ballet. I assume he had most of it in his head and used the notations as a guide to jog his memory. That said, the RB's Beauty (those parts that Sergeyev staged that are still danced, at least) is on the whole closer to what is given in the notations and what additional research about early Russian productions reveals than Konstantin Sergeyev's production for the Kirov circa 1952. We're getting to the point where research can really back up these assertions with solid fact. cheers, Doug
  20. Hi, everyone. Carbro -- I think the movement you mention is too detailed to be included in the notation made in 1900, although the Bayadere notations are very detailed, relatively speaking. I can dig them out and check when I have a moment. Grace -- the notations are in the Stepanov dance notation system, used in St. Petersburg at the turn of the 20th century. The Bayadere notations are based on the December 1900 revival by Petipa. These are the main documents upon which the Kirov has based their recent reconstruction.
  21. In the notations of the BAYADERE Shades from 1900, Solor doesn't dance. Gerdt did this role and the most he gets is a notated fourth position and port de bras. Nikolai Legat did the dancing the in fourth act.
  22. I agree, Marc, that the Maryinsky seems to be trying to resurrect the aesthetic of the day in their reconstructions. I am not surprised that all the dancers don't want to go along with this.
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