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Everything posted by doug

  1. This can be answered broadly or in detail. To begin, the forces are different. Forces are larger in the notated version held at Harvard Library (the only Imperial-era notated version of Le Jardin anime that is extant): 2 ballerinas, 6 demis, 12 korifeiki (between demi and corps), 12 corps couples, 12 little girls and 12 little boys - these forces match those listed in performance programs from the Maryinsky into the second decade of the 1900s. Apart from the opening step of the entire scene and part of the section during which the corps with garlands walks in snaking lines performing arabesques, nearly every step is different. Each of the two ballerinas' entrees are different from any recent version I have seen. The passage still danced that is closest to what is notated is the beginning of the adagio during which Medora is supported by the demis. But even here the step she performs is different - in the notation it is attitude front, fast bourree, attitude front, fast bourree, then two turns (with bourree) while the demis pass flowers, etc. Corps steps that were traditional in Petipa's time are not, in large part, performed anymore (although they crop up in Balanchine ballets, interestingly enough). Bayadere Shades is an exception, plus one or two large-scale dances and some character dances in the repertoire. The major changes were likely made during the 1930 and 1940s (some as early as the 1920s). By the time the current older generation of dancers were coming up in the 1950s, most of the changes had been made and they were dancing a repertoire of 19th-century ballets that had, on the whole, been significantly altered from what had been originally choreographed. Developments and advancements that were made in the school were worked into the choreography of 19th-century ballets (as well as new works, of course). I suppose that by this time 19th-century choreography may have seemed quite passe. The problem for the West has been the assumption that these ballets were original Petipa, etc., when, in fact, they were after-Petipa in many cases and sometimes not Petipa (et al) at all. A striking example of the difference between Imperial and Soviet era versions of older ballets is the female variation from Pavillon d'Armide that has worked itself into the Paquita grand pas. Watching Alexandra Danilova's fleet and space-covering setting alongside the Kirov's more compact but technically more difficult version illustrates some of the change from White Russian times to Soviet times.
  2. The best info on the St. Petersburg notators is found in Roland John Wiley's "Dances from Russia: An Introduction to the Sergejev [sic] Collection," published in the Harvard Library Bulletin, January 1976. Vladimir Stepanov developed the system in the early 1890s. He died in 1896. Some ballets had been notated by that time. The notations are very elaborate - in ink, in cursive, including violin rehearsal scores. These may be in Stepanov's hand but I cannot verify that at this time. Alexander Gorsky, still working in St. Petersburg, succeeded Stepanov as teacher of notation in the school (where the system had been adopted). When he was transferred to Moscow in 1900, Nikolai Sergeev replaced him as notation teacher. Sergeev had two assistants, Chekrygin (from 1903) and Rakhmanov (from 1904). The majority of the notations collected at Harvard are in the hand of these five men who notated much of the repertoire of the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg - choreography by Petipa, Ivanov, Perrot, Cecchetti, Gorsky, etc. Yuri Slonimsky (now deceased) stated that St. petersburg held no additional notations; Wiley surmises that unless some notations are held privately the Harvard Collection includes all extant notations in the Stepanov system. I have an idea that Sergeev's early work is written in a much neater hand than his later work. The earlier notations are works of art in and of themselves while the later notations are more like ballet master's notes. The whole collection really runs the gamut. In the case of Corsaire, the majority of the ballet is very casually notated, though much is usable for reconstruction. The first half of the Le jardin anime scene, however, is very wonderfully notated - ink, cursive, etc. The second half is also elaborate, but in a different hand, in pencil, and without the care lavished on the earlier part of the scene. A second notation of the opening of the scene exists but cuts off abruptly. I theorize that the notator of this second document subsequently discovered the earlier, more elaborate notation and left his current work to complete the unfinished earlier work. Additional, very scribbly notations of the children's choreography for Jardin mention Legnani's variation and therefore can be dated after the 1899 revival. I date the elaborate portion of Jardin circa 1894/1895 because it is notated in the same manner as other ballets in the collection that can be dated around that time.
  3. I was very interested to read the many questions and responses. As a result of my own research, as well as reading of other scholarly work, I'd like to offer the following further information. A-M: Corsaire was first produced for the Paris Opera with choreography by Mazilier in 1856. It was then taken to Russia and premiered by Petipa in 1899. and further down A-M: Corsaire was first performed by the Paris Opera Ballet Jan 23, 1856, and the choreography was by Mazilier. Carolina Galetti Rosati danced as Medora and Domenico Segareli was Conrad. Two years later Jules Perrot did a Corsaire in Russia adding pas d'esclave by Petipa, and then five years later Petipa did a Corsaire and added the enchanted garden by Delibes, as there was not enough dancing for the women. Petipa then added music by Pugni and the pas de deux by Drigo for the 1899 production at the Marinsky. In order to clarify: Le Corsaire was indeed first produced at the Paris Opera on January 23, 1856 with music by Adolphe Adam and choreography by Joseph Mazilier. The first Russian production followed on January 12, 1858, produced by Jules Perrot at the Bolshoi Theater, St. Petersburg. Perrot incorporated elements of the Mazilier production and added a "pas d'esclaves" to music by Prince Oldenburg (see Lynn Garafola, The Diaries of Marius Petipa, p. 82). The Paris Opera revived Mazilier's Corsaire on October 21, 1867. Mazilier came out of retirement to supervise the production. Young Leo Delibes was commissioned to compose a "Pas de fleurs," which in Russia would later be called "Le jardin anime" (see Ivor Guest, Ballet of the Second Empire, pp. 102-104). Marius Petipa staged Mazilier's production of Corsaire at the Bolshoi Theater, St. Petersburg on January 24, 1863, apparently with additional music by Cesare Pugni (see Garafola). Corsaire was revived again by Petipa at the Bolshoi Theater, St. Petersburg on January 25, 1868, this time with Le jardin anime (see Garafola). It is possible that Jardin was based on Mazilier's choreography, but I cannot confirm this. Petipa revived Corsaire a third time on November 10, 1885 and a fourth time (this last production was at the Maryinsky Theater, St. Petersburg) on January 13, 1899, for which production Drigo provided music for a new pas de deux for Pierina Legnani, choreographed by Petipa. A-M: I do not have the score in front of me now, but I know the Jardin Animee is Delibes. The big pas de trois is Drigo and Adam. Actually Adam composed most of Corsaire with these other additions. There is a CD out of Corsaire by Adolphe Adam played by the Zapolsky Philharmonic Orchestra. It is the complete three act ballet. It is a three compact disc set by Slovadisk. Mikulas Klimcak-Bordjov is the conductor. and A-M: The waltz variation you are speaking about was added by Dudinskaya for herself. and A-M: Petipa, but it has been changed a lot by Gusev and Vinogradov. and A-M: Gulnares by Delibes (these two variations have been credited to many different composers in various sources.) Adam composed the entire ballet for the Paris premiere. The Delibes music was added for the Paris revival and the rest of the interpolations were added for Russian productions. Even before the 1899 revival, some of Delibes' music for the by-then-called Le Jardin anime was substituted out. Gulnare's variation was replaced by a variation that is as yet unidentified, but possibly by Pugni (my best current guess, based on musical style). This is confirmed by the choreographic notation of Jardin anime(which includes the two-violin repetiteur) that was begun prior to 1899 but finished after that date and is the work of at least two scribes. The violin repetiteur of the entire ballet that is part of the collection at Harvard Library includes two interpolated variations for Gulnare and Medora. The first variation is from The Adventures of Peleus (music by Leon Minkus) and was danced by Olga Preobrazhenskaya, as Gulnare. The second variation is from Pygmalion (music by Prince Trubetskoi) and was danced by Pierina Legnani, as Medora. The music of the former variation is, to my knowledge, no longer performed. The music of the latter variation continues to be performed by the Kirov in the Gusev production. A-M: Orchestrations are from original, but some reorchestrating was done by Kevin Galie. A-M: You can get the Adolphe Adam recording by Slovadisk. I am thinking about recording this. The Jardin anime scene has long been performed in a re-orchestrated version. Delibes' original is preserved in an autograph score in Delibes' hand and in the 1867 Paris Opera performance score. This has been recorded by Richard Bonynge along with Adam's full score, also from the 1867 performance score. A-M: I have extensive notes, diagrams and videos of the productions I have staged. I also have all the old Nicholas Sergeyev notes of all the ballets that he brought out of Russia. The Stepanov system notations and musical scores of many ballets from the repertoire of the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg are housed at Harvard Library. The majority of these documents, including most of the choreographic notations, have not yet been photographed for microfilm and so are not available to be copied for use outside the library. However, the choregraphic notation for Le Corsaire has been photographed for microfilm. Not all of the notations are in the hand of Nikolai Sergeev. A number of them pre-date Sergeev's involvement with the Stepanov system. These include the (roughly) first half of Le Jardin anime, which is one of the most detailed and elaborately-notated sequences in the entire Harvard collection. * * * * * I would be very interested in a closer comparison of the Konstantin Sergeev and Pyotr Gusev productions of Le Corsaire with the choreographic notations and violin repetiteur that essentially documents Petipa's 1899 revival of the ballet. Claims that the K. Sergeev production more closely resembles Petipa's final conception than does the Gusev production can be called into question. For example, Balanchine and Gusev each staged his own production of Petipa's Harlequinade - Gusev in Russia and Balanchine at New York City Ballet. Scholars have commented on the many choreographic and structural similarities between the two productions, yet the choreographers did not, to my knowledge, consult each other about their stagings. It is therefore possible that both were remembering fairly accurately (or at least similarly) what they danced/saw danced in their youth. We also know that Konstantin Sergeev's choregraphic changes to Petipa's Sleeping Beauty were very significant, particularly in the Prologue and Act II vision scene and these changes were not widley acknowledged, or at least their attribution to Petipa was not corrected in the West until fairly recently. That said, the Jardin anime scene in the Boston/ABT productions of Le Corsaire more closely resembles what is documented in the circa 1900 choreographic notation of that scene that does the current Kirov production. However, the resemblance essentially ends with the choreographic structure (ground plan) of the scene - most of the actual steps in the Boston/ABT productions are different from those in the choreographic notation.
  4. I like the Dutoit recording best, too. One thing to remember about recording tempi is that performance tempi for Swan Lake in 1877 and/or 1895 may well have varied from appropriate tempi for dancing today because the choreography and performance style was different then. Also, Tchaikovsky may have preferred (this could be deduced from his tempo markings) tempi that one would not deem suitable for dance performance today. A number of variables exist when a conductor selects tempi for a recording of music for which a metronome marking has not been given by the composer and the Italian rubrics given may be interpreted with flexibility. I assume a condcutor would prefer to follow Tchaikovsky's tempo markings rather than those of Drigo or (God forbid) a ballet master. Also, a conductor likely is not conducting a recording with dancing in mind. I also assume that most conductors would assume a dance performance will have live, rather than recorded, music and therefore would not presume their recording would be used to accompany a dance performance. Some of the Bayadere Shades scene scores in the Harvard collection have metronome markings that would have most dancers today up in arms.
  5. Sorry not to have chimed in - this ballet is not part of the Harvard University collection of Stepanov notations (however, there are some fragmentary bits, although most of those have been identified by now), and I don't believe any other Stepanov notation scores have been found outside this collection (although I would like to be wrong about that!).
  6. MinkusPugni, the changes made for the 1895/95 revivals are listed in Roland John Wiley's "Tchaikovsky's Ballets." You can get it an amazon.com by clicking at the top of this page on your screen. I think you would enjoy this book very much. The scholarship is very reliable and many questions are answered. Cheers.
  7. Adding to rg, Balanchine's 1946 Raymonda was a 3/4-length version, that didn't last long in the rep before being pared down to Act III only. Frederic Franklin has recently revived some variations from that staging for the Balanchine Foundation. Pas de Dix (1955) is essentially Act II of the version, thought not a carbon copy. Raymonda Variations (1961) is new choreography with just one or two very minor Petipa quotes. Cortege Hongrois (1973) includes more Petipa quotes and includes much of Raymonda Act III, as well as numbers from Acts I & II. I think Cortege is underrated.
  8. I'm not sure if it would be possible to stage the entire ballet. I haven't looked at the notation for all of it for about 7 years. When I worked for Lacotte, I only had notation for what he wanted me to reconstruct. What I had was mostly legs and feet with ground plan. Certainly you can work with that, but upper body and port de bras will be editorial.
  9. Originally, Lacotte did not use any of the river variations I reconstructed. Maybe he has since inserted them? He had made use of two female variations (making one a duet) and a male variation (adding a double tour at the end) in the large palace scene.
  10. Yes, Rajah's Dream is essentially the Shades scene. So I guess it was peformed. Somehow I'd always thought it didn't make it to the stage because the scenery fell apart. Sergejev's synopsis of Rajah's Dream is reprinted in the Wiley article. It's got an intro scene before Shades proper.
  11. Sorry to be silent through this. I think a lot of the notated ballets were considered passe during the years that Sergejev was in the West. When he was staging the Shades scene for Mona Inglesby's International Ballet (never made it to the stage), dancers later wrote that they were in hysterics because of the melodrama of the plot - and the was the Shades scene (with very little plot to it). But Sergejev did manage to stage a number of ballets and had plans to stage more than he was able to do before he died. I think Wiley's article on the Sergejev Collection was published in the Harvard Library Bulletin in the mid 1970s. The ballets in the collection differ widely in the detail of their notation. Most are not notated in great detail - only legs and feet with ground plan. Some are very sketchy. I believe the scores by Pugni and Minkus were also a hindrance to popularity.
  12. That's kind of you, Mel. However, I'm not the one who worked on the BRB Nutcracker. It was probably Roland John Wiley. He also provided information for the RB's Swan Lake.
  13. Appendix H of Roland John Wiley's "Tchaikovsky's Ballets" documents the St. Petersburg performances scores of Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. Wiley lists changes in the holographic score, two period piano reductions and a violin repetiteur. There were many, many minor changes/additions, several major ones. This scholarship is excellent; the book was published in 1985. Most (but probably not all ...) questions can be answered by a look at this material. MinkusPugni, if you can get your hands on this book, many of your questions and concerns will be authoritatively addressed. Scholarship like this serves to eliminate a lot of guesswork that has gone on in dealing with 19th century Russian ballet.
  14. Hi Natalia, I've not seen the Maly version but wish I could. I can't speak to the provenance of the variations but also wonder about two different versions set by Gusev!
  15. The added intro to the Arab boys' dance is on both recordings. The Raymonda article is only available in Ballet Review. It's a quarterly journal to which you might consider subscribing - see www.balletreview.com. Most large universities likely have a set.
  16. Leigh, the structure of Shades is the same now as it was in 1900. According to Wiley, in 1877 Petipa included a scene in which Nikia showed Solor a palace that rose up out of the stage. This took place where we now have the first pas de deux. According to notes I have from POB, Petipa added the pas de deux by 1900 (perhaps even in the 1880s). But what we see today closely mirrors the 1900 version in structure. Only steps are different, most significantly in the big pas de deux (the one with corps), the first and third shades variations, Nikia's variation (according to contemporary written sources - this variation was not notated) and parts of the coda. For comparison, current Jardin anime settings (particularly the bizarre one from ABT in the early 80s) have significant structural differences from its Imperial-era version mostly because fewer dancers are used today. I've found the notations offer a greater variety of steps than those we see today. For example, Nikia's second coda entree (the solo one) has about 3 times the variety of steps in the notation compared with what is danced today. I'd have to pull out my notes to list what the steps are, but can try if you are interested. In my opinion, Petipa deserves far greater acknowedgement as a choreographer than he receives today and his ballets deserve to be danced with the steps he created (even if their execution must change to follow changes in bodies and style today).
  17. The Raymonda article was published in the journal Ballet Review, vol. 26, no. 4. Drigo may well have made some changes of tempi in the conductor's score, but any changes to Raymonda do not approach those made for Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty. To my knowledge and based on Imperial-era sources available in the West, very few changes were made at all. Additions of music were handled by Glazunov. The collaboration between Glazunov and Petipa, like that between Tchaikovsky and Petipa, appears to have been very close. However, Glazunov followed Petipa's instructions (available in English translation and also published in the original Russian) nearly to the letter, so fewer changes were made as the production approached its premiere. Other than the two interpolations mentioned(and also the apparent omission of the Act II "Dance Orientale") and a couple of minor cuts or added repeats, the score was essentially played as written. I suggest getting hold a piano score of Raymonda. It is published in its original version with interpolations, cuts, added intros, etc.). You can compare it to the Fedotov recording. And do you have the NAXOS recording of the complete score?
  18. To my knowledge, the complete Paquita score is not recorded on CD. POB has released their production of Paquita on DVD, so you can hear his music there for the time being. If anyone knows differently, I'd love to hear about it!
  19. Hi everyone. I can add more tomorrow. In my opinion, things for the most part are still unclear with Petipa vs. altered-in-the-Soviet-era Petipa, but the topic is very important and deserves as much solid scholarship as possible. In many cases, with some important caveats, I think this may be possible. To answer re Shades, it is true the Kirov neglected the notation of the Shades scene in their 1900 version of Bayadere. Nikia's solo entree in the Coda demonstrates a slight change from the 1940s changes but only very slight. Karsavina's recollections in Dancing Times, written when Nuruyev staged Shades for the Royal, point out differences. Each of her points is represented in the 1900 notations. More generally, in most cases, the notations do not include the arms, head and torso movements. However, some are so detailed as to include wrist flexion, etc., but only very few. Most just give feet and legs with a floor plans and written rubrics. I'd be happy to share what I have found studying the Stepanov notations. More details to come.
  20. Raymonda's waltz variation in the vision scene (Act I, Scene 2) is from Scenes de Ballet and replaced the third variation (C major) that Glazunov originally composed. The mazurka from Scenes de Ballet was added to Act III. Solor, I would love to know your source for the information on Drigo's participation in any alterations to the score. The Harvard Theater Collection has an Imperial-era piano score that includes pencil-marked cuts for the version performed at the Maryinsky in the early years of the 20th century (it appears to go back all the way to the 1898 premiere). This includes some handwritten music, including the intro to the Arab boys' dances, and some piano reductions of single pieces, like the Scenes de Ballet mazurka.
  21. I like how Roland John Wiley (in his Tchaikovsky's Ballets) states that the music at the end of Swan Lake describes neither a good nor an evil. Although the earlier B minor music has modulated to B major, the final note of the ballet is a repeated B without a chord attached - neither major nor minor.
  22. Thanks, Solor, for mentioning the recordings. The NAXOS recording includes the complete score without the Petipa (Drigo?) revisions. Did Drigo really handle the revisions for the premiere or did Glazunov make those at Petipa's request? I've never read in depth one way or the other. The changes aren't too involved: a couple interpolations from Scenes de Ballet and some added bars before the Arab boys' dance and when Abderrakhman makes an originally unplanned entrance in the first scene. (The Glazunov materialy includes these bars in Glazunov's orchestration, so I assume the composer made at least that change for Petipa.) Also, a couple of cuts in the sprites dance at the end of the vision scene. What am I forgetting? cheers,
  23. PNB's Midsummer was shot in London because Ross MacGibbon wanted to direct it for the BBC. I don't remember this having to do with union issues in the States, but I agree with you that the film probably would not have been made in the States.
  24. I'm with Leigh on this one, though I admit to not having seen all of the productions.
  25. I am interested in Minkus and the topic of his orchestrations. I would like to know the source for your statement that Minkus did not orchestrate his own music. I know this was common in other musical genres but haven't come across this information about Minkus. I would be very interested to know your source so I can read more about it. Thanks! We can't change 19th century ballet history, but we certainly can try to sort it out and determine who composed what. I'm all for that, and there is much scholarship needed in this area. Those few working in this field deserve our thanks!
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