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Everything posted by odinthor

  1. Thanks for the interest! I glanced over the collection and have made a hasty stab at listing the items which appeared to indicate the holdings of Stepanov notations of Petipa's choreography for operas. These are the operas concerned, which I list by composer: Berlioz, Les Troyens Bizet, Carmen Borodin, Prince Igor Cui, Prisoner of the Caucasus Dargomyzhsky, Rusalka Delibes, Lakmé Glinka, Life for the Tsar Glinka, Ruslan and Ludmila Gounod, Romeo & Juliet Massenet, Esclarmonde Meyerbeer, Huguenots Meyerbeer, Prophète Náp
  2. We see among the works of Petipa preserved in Stepanov notation in the Sergeyev Collection a handful of works intended, as I understand, for the ballet sequences in a number of operas--Lakmé, Aïda, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, and so on. I can imagine, even aside from their being included in opera productions, that these would provide in and of themselves a most interesting suite or suites for production simply as ballet presentations. They would add further diversity to the classic ballet repertory. Have any of these Petipa opera-born works been reconstructed from the Stepanov notation,
  3. ^^^ Thanks so much! It sounds as if I'd enjoy the Meisner book immensely [grabs credit card and rushes off to Amazon]!
  4. I've made a bit of progress on this. Someone in a position to know, authoritatively, has given me to understand that these wonderful works are from the hand of the mother of Jimmy Gamonet De los Heros. Now to find out what production they represent!
  5. Do we know to what degree Petipa scuttled the previous choreography when he rechoreographed an existing ballet? At times I have the feeling that the previous choreography has at least "colored" much of what Petipa's rechoreography/revision presents. Unless he always completely changed everything, obviously it would vary from ballet to ballet; but I'm interested in knowing what remains of the work of previous choreographers in Petipa's rechoreographies. Perhaps at times Petipa simply fine-tuned what he regarded as occasional miscues in the original. We may have more of St.-Léon or Perr
  6. Thanks for your thoughts! Surely somewhere--book or research paper--there's an extended study of ballet in South America, with details of productions...? The signature seems to be "R de los Heros". I'd very much like to see more of his/her work. Online searches have yielded nothing applicable, neither text nor images. The theatrical costume design folks in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London are unfamiliar with this artist, yet clearly these were produced by a professional familiar with costume design. The bird symbol on one gentleman's shield appears to be ver
  7. Still trying to pin down something about the production these delightful sketches presumably come from, or who the artist/designer was. The female has something of a Medea vibe; but the story of Jason and Medea doesn't concern rival men, which would seem to be the implication of the spirit of the sketches. Does anyone know someone who has done research on the Ballet scene in South America in approximately the 1950s? (Of course, just because the pictures came from a collector in Argentina doesn't mean that the production was in Argentina or South America.)
  8. Thanks! I was quite charmed by them. Here are close-ups of the other two figures, should they provide a clue about the production/artist: and The lady seems to be holding a length of rope.
  9. I wonder if anyone has any ideas about what production these costume designs were evidently intended for (and who the artist/designer might be)...? Here is the artist's signature (which for the life of me I can't construe): I recently purchased these three gouaches. The seller indicates that they came from Argentina, and guesses a date around 1940; another design expert, not knowing of the 1940 guess, thought "1950s." (I seem to recall vaguely that Massine had a South American tour or two in that era.) Here's a sharper image of one: Any thoughts would be wa
  10. Saw it last night. Was entertained but underwhelmed. No questioning the commitment and ability of the dancers; but I did not feel the spirit of Isadora was evoked. The movements were too tight and nervous. The presentation was too concerned with being symbolic and allusive. The ever-undulating thisses and thats made me sea-sick. Afterwards, I felt neither a greater understanding of Isadora nor--taking Isadora out of the equation--understanding nor empathy with the faux-Isadora. I was unable to set aside the notion that character Terpsichore looked halfway between an Indian in a
  11. Asking forgiveness for presenting a wall of text--I'll restrain myself after this--but I've run across a page which I feel puts across the essence of what Massine was doing with music vis-à-vis dance. (From Massine a Biography, by Vicente Garcia-Marquez, p. 122; the text relates to 1919, London.) "[...] In the evening the company presented its first performance, Les Femmes de bonne humeur, with a new, more realistic décor by Bakst. To Diaghilev's immense relief and deep satisfaction, Les Femmes and its dancers were a sensation. The ballet's cinematic movements and simultaneous ac
  12. Thanks, Quiggin, for that excellent overview and discussion of Massine! Massine is mentioned in various places, I seem to recall, as being extremely inventive; it's probably a case of having so much to give, and wanting to pack it all in. He became aware, as time went on, that his complexity could be daunting; or at least I recall in his autobiography several remarks from him to that effect. In talking about a revival of his Mam'zelle Angot, for instance, he writes, "In the course of producing this ballet [...], I found that much of the original choreography needed simplification
  13. My word. A Parisian friend, on seeing my recent Facebook blather about Massine, writes to me and tells me that one of his clients worked with Massine in one of the late incarnations of the Ballet Russe, has broached my interest to the client, and the client wonders if I have any questions. If I get any answers of interest, and can relate them without any breach of confidence or privacy, I'll share them here...
  14. Outstanding and exciting! I'd feel honored and enriched to see such offerings today. I'm fairly sure I saw the Joffrey in L.A. about then doing at least Parade, Petroushka, and The Green Table. (And maybe I've just forgotten the others; it was about then that I started attending ballet, and I wouldn't yet have been hip to the significance of the various choreographers and their works.) And so, anyone who has any sway: Start talking up Massine, and the serious stuff (I wonder if his own choreography of Sacre du Printemps is recoverable...?) as well as the light pieces
  15. Yes, it looks like it; or Theodor Massine. See http://massine-ballet.com/html/revivals.php : "For revivals the original Léonide Massine Ballets of the Ballets Russes and Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo have been documented on film and are available for remounting of these ballets. In addition the Massine Ballets have to be restaged in cooperation with a repetiteur approved by the Massine Estate. Restagings have been conducted by Lorca Massine, www.lorcamassine.com. Please send all enquiries to Mr. Theodor Massine."
  16. I'm sure I saw The Good-Humoured Ladies performed at the L.A. Music Center, albeit quite some time ago (late 1970s?), though I can't quite recall the company (Joffrey? ABT?). And--this is a pretty watery statement, but for what it's worth--in something I read in the last day or two (M's autobiography? something I ran across on the net?), I believe it was M himself who stated, with relief, that one of his more obscure pieces had been set down in notation (I forget which), and there seemed to be some implication that others of his output had also been notated. At the ver
  17. A simple question: Why is there so little Massine around? What little I've seen of his choreography I've found exciting, sensitive, distinctive, intelligent, stageworthy, and--even in the light stuff--deeply-felt and masterfully composed. I'm in the middle of reading his autobiography, and my appreciation of him is redoubled by becoming aware of not only what he observes and the depth and breadth of his reflections but also the varied richness of his output over so many years--so many works I had never even heard of before. Surely it is time, and past time, for a Massine renaissance, surve
  18. My quick reaction to Saturday night's performance: Entertaining, sophisticatedly sweet (not cloying), choreography was postmodern classicism, vibrant and imaginative; music was charming and good while playing, but darned if a bar of it lingers in the memory. All of my audience neighbors were completely enchanted. Natalia has hit all the nails on their various heads in her postings; no disagreements. Cornejo was wonderful, both dancing-wise and acting-wise. All the dancers were dedicated, inhabited their parts, and--best of all--seemed to be having a great time.
  19. Thanking everyone for their comments and details about this. I'll be there Saturday night, and will post any observations which add anything of (I hope!) value to the above. Cutesy and sweet try my patience; but . . . we'll see . . .
  20. Thanks (about what happened after I left)! I'm usually a stay to the bitter end sort, so was chagrined when I realized something was happening without me. Yes, the audience was very receptive Saturday night, which doubtless energized the dancers. Everyone was a winner. My audience neighbor was very impressed with MacKay, as I was--very lyrical and smooth. His lifts need a little work; but I'm sure he's working on that as I type this. The performers last Saturday from the top of the bill to the bottom all get an enthusiastic thumbs up from me, whatever use
  21. Saw the Saturday evening (Nov. 19) perf. of Le Corsaire at Costa Mesa. I was a bit taken aback to find the production not starting with the familiar shipwreck scene etc., a scene which enriches the ballet dramatically as well as providing a production with a chance to strut its stuff in theater-craft and wow the audience. I was then disoriented to find the quondam Ali the slave role much much reduced and the choreography scrambled, the Pas d'Esclave gone from Act II. Needless to state, ballet is not a history lesson; but, gee whiz, the pirates' ship seemed to be a Spanish galleon from the 150
  22. I attended the evening of the 11th. It was danced beautifully and with concentration and verve by the uniformly disciplined and expert dancers in the company; the stark, brutalistic sets were impressive and appropriate; the Tchaikovsky score (a pastiche) was splendidly performed, though I wouldn't say the pieces were always well-chosen. And so we come to an interesting dichotomy: I enjoyed it as a display of outstanding dancing expertise; and I enjoyed the vigorous, fresh, and intriguing conceptualization of the choreography; but, as a depiction of a story, it left me completely untouched.
  23. About the Russian trio: California, I see where you're coming from on this, and would feel the same way if the choreographer weren't a Russian native; but my read on this is that making them three sillies is a sort of gracious joke from Ratmansky: He's saying, "Yes, I'm Russian, and we're very proud of our extraordinary ballet history and notoriously wonderful dancers; but here I am in America and I'm going to show that a Russian can poke a little fun at his fellow Russians." Had Nutcracker had an "American Dance," and made its dancers loonies, I'd feel insulted; but I take this as a sort o
  24. As previously mentioned in prospect, was at the Saturday evening perf. (last night). Just a few notes to record. A general word: The dancers were committed and focused, but--the audience was not very receptive, it seemed to me. I finally laid this to the account of the audience being largely made up of not balletomanes but rather families doing a Christmas event and so unfamiliar with what to appreciate and how to appreciate it. Our Harlequin (Craig Salstein) and Columbine (Luciana Paris) were, I thought, particularly splendid, and I was startled by the weak or indeed non-existent respons
  25. Still no DVD of Les Millions d'Arlequin? Any recent productions? Assuming "no" and "no," why and why?
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