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Posts posted by doug

  1. Balanchine seems to have viewed the divertissement pas a manifestation of Bottom's dream conflated with his personal views as a member of the Russian Orthodox church, i.e., Bottom's dream of Titania as the ideal women coalesced with Balanchine's religious views of the Virgin Mary as the ideal woman. He told Jonathan Cott (as well as Darci Kistler) that he wanted to depict John's vision in Revelation of the woman (often thought to be Mary) standing in the moon surrounded by twelve stars, etc. He didn't do this overtly because he apparently felt people wouldn't understand, thought he'd gone too far, etc. So the divert pas isn't as far removed from the plot as it may seem on the face of it.

  2. PNB does 41 performances of the GB Nut this season, between November 25 and December 28. Three of these are student matinees (complete performances with orchestra). The student matinees are listed at https://www.pnb.org/community/programs/eyesondance/


    Like most (likely all) large U.S. companies these days, PNB's marketing department analyzes sales from prior years for each show in order to determine its Nutcracker schedule and maximize accessibility and revenue. This year, midweek evening performances begin December 14 and midweek matinees begin December 20.

  3. With regard to Khan, it's too bad he didn't know the original Giselle was neither passive nor childlike. Those are characteristics of most 20th- and 21st-century Giselles. Likewise, the details of the original reveal a plot full of very human characters.

  4. Yes, I believe so. This is the divert slot that began with the Pas des Eventails, was changed to the pas de six, back to the Eventails, then to a pas de deux by Sergei Legat, then to the pas de trois by Samuil Andrianov in 1915 that morphed into what we know as the Corsaire pas de deux.

  5. Thanks for the kind words, Helene. The Stepanov notation includes the Pas de six in the grotto rather than the Pas des Eventails, but the Justamant includes the entire fan dance, of which we did only the first part--for Medora, two demis and 8 corps. Jardin is notated in Stepanov circa 1894--for Medora, Gulnare, and 6 coryphees plus 2 groups of 12 women, 12 girls, 12 men and 12 boys--68 total. We reduced the five groups of 12 to five groups of 8--48 total.

  6. If you will have a look, I think you'll find everything about performances and events open to the public from March 17-20 already on the website, here:





    Casting goes on the website once it has been posted internally.

  7. Hi California, I hope you make it to Seattle. The weekend of March 20 is full of performances and dress rehearsals for PNB and its School. We offer the Corsaire lec-dem early in order to build excitement for it as we lead up to the performances. The lec-dem is also an opportunity for the kids to perform some of their dances in front of an audience.

  8. Natalia, my point in posting the Legat sketch is to show the bent elbows in response to your assertion that bent elbows would not appear in Petipa's choreography. We should not assume something was not done simply because we have not seen it in modern times. Much about the dancing in Imperial times surprises us today and our knowledge is limited. Also, to suggest Ratmansky is a careless researcher is unfounded.

  9. But Amy, the solo may not always have been a duet during the Soviet era. See this 1940 film of Dudinskaya at 3:22 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6DlDdu_7xw. Here, she dances part of the variation as a solo sans scarf and sans partner. My belief is that the scarf was held for the first part of the variation and would have been let go of (at which point it apparently flew up into the fly space) around 3:55 in this video. This is corroborated by Vazem, Karsavina, Lopukhov, and also Herida May in England, who was taught the solo by Nikolai Sergeev.

    My advice: Don't assume anything and avoid presumptive statements.

  10. Hi, folks. A few observations, in no particular order: 1) I'm always nervous about having any reconstruction work (particularly mine) labeled as authentic or definitive. With any dance revived using Stepanov notation, there will be any number of decisions made by the stager depending on the amount of information provided by the notation and any number of additional sources that might inform the work. 2) None of Nikia's solo variations are notated in Stepanov notation, including her Shades variation (which I reconstructed from several prose sources and also film) or her first Shades pas de deux. All that is notated for Nikia in the entire ballet is her second Shades pas de deux, the Shades coda, and the last act pas d'action entree and coda. 3) The Stepanov system was published in 1892 and further codified by Gorsky in 1899. Some ballets were indeed notated with original cast performances, including parts of Swan Lake with Legnani. 4) With regard to hand positions in Stepanov notation, wrists are very often notated as flexed 45 degrees and sometimes both turned *in* and flexed.

  11. Regarding Sandra's observations and question regarding chaine turns on demi or full pointe: I can answer that while chaine turns are usually notated on demi-pointe, they are also sometimes notated on full pointe, and both variants are sometimes notated within the same ballet and even the same dance. Two examples are Sleeping Beauty and Le Corsaire (Pas de trois des odalisques).

  12. Here is the answer. Page 124 of the La Scala Raymonda program book states: "The choreography of the variation of the troubadours is absent from the notes of Nikolai Sergeev and was restored according to the recollections of Anatoly Kuznetsov and Nikolai Fadeechev and is transferred to the third act for Jean de Brienne."

  13. Amy, to my knowledge, the Act Two pas d'action male variation in Raymonda is not notated. It is not part of the Raymonda notation housed in the Sergeev Collection at Harvard, of which I have a copy. I know of no other holdings of Stepanov notation besides copies of the 1899 Gorsky publications. Do you have further information about this?

  14. The Sergeyev [stepanov] notation doesn't mention flirting, etc. There is a note to the effect that the "4th suitor is the best," referring, presumably, to the fact that Aurora does most of her partnered dancing with him. That said, the dance is indeed a pas d'action in which the 4 four suitors court Aurora, and in Ratmansky's staging, the suitors and Aurora interact to this end.

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