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Everything posted by CHazell2

  1. Hi, Actually when Vikharev first did the reconstruction in 1999, he met with a lot of resistance from a lot of people, who didn't believe that the notations were real - as a consequence of that, he decided to retain the Soviet variation for the Prince in Act 3 as a sop to the dancers. Same with La Bayadere - he retained the Bronze Idol variation at least to start with. Actually Mr Vikharev was working in a totally hostile atmosphere - so it is a miracle that he succeeded at all - this was at a time when many of the Soviet old guard were still alive including Natalia Dudinskaya herself. I always wondered what she thought of the reconstructions. Alexei Ratmansky and his wife actually worked together on the notations - they studied it from old manuals - the link is here - https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/ratmanskys-beauty-wakes-up . Also https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/19/a-dance-of-sugar-and-cream and http://dancetabs.com/2015/08/alexei-ratmansky-simple-and-wise-a-qa-about-ratmanskys-sleeping-beauty-for-abt/ I actually saw the reconstruction of Sleeping Beauty myself when it came to London in 2001, and I seen various clips of it on youtube. Judging by what I remember then and watching the new clips, there doesn't seem to be a lot of differences - granted that the final pose has been changed in the Apotheosis - but apart from that, the choreography is basically intact. The dancing is a bit ragged but that can be forgiven by the fact that the Mariinsky haven't danced it for a long time. What changes do you think were made? What would you consider to be the "Petipa aesthetic"? The Ballet Russes 1921 production was based on the Stepanov notations which was brought to London by Nikolai Sergeyev himself after feeing Russia in 1917 - so in that sense it has a line of descent directly from the 1890 production.
  2. Are these available on DVD? I can't find them listed on the usual sites (Amazon, B&N, Kultur) Not yet. Surely only a matter of time. I love the Waltz of the Hours in that version
  3. I agree; the casts you name are superior - no let me temper that statement by suggesting that they are better casts (MO). The Cuthbertson/Bonelli dvd will also be in direct competition with the 2009 Rojo/Acosta dvd. Well I think that it sounds super. Please give Cuthbertson/Bonelli a chance. They might suprise all of us. Lauren Cuthbertson is said to be one of the best Juliets of her generation. Please don't be harsh on the current generation of dancers. They do their best to give us wonderful performances. Enjoy them for what they can offer us.
  4. Hi there, I also got this version of Coppelia. From the reviews above, it seems that this version is not very popular. I can see why it is unpopular but as I approached this with no preconceptions, I enjoyed this version and I would like to defend it. Here are my impressions of it. This version is certainly dark, not like the Petipa version, but then so was the Hoffman tale, "The Sandman." It seems to me that Bart was trying to get back to the original tale which he succeeds in some aspects and not in others. For instance, The Sandman opens with the main character who is called Nathaniel recollecting a horrible dream in which Dr Coppelius features. I think that Bart intended this ballet to be seen as perhaps a hallucinationary dream going through the character of Dr Coppelius' head, and in fact in the documentary that was also on the DVD, words are mentioned to this fact, also we see that the character, which is played by Jose Martinez smoking opium, which in itself lends credence to this theory. Also there is a bit of Freudian psychology going on, as Dr Coppelius and Spalanzani, while separate characters - are clearly reflecting two aspects of the same man's personality. In my opinion, I think that just before the ballet opens, Dr Coppelius has just lost his wife and he is still grieving for her. In his grief, he becomes obsessed with Swanilda and the ballet then follows its usual story. For my part, I thought that the ending was a bit too abrupt and the fate of Dr Coppelius was never established. However, this may be because the story is only a subjective description of the proceedings from Coppelius's point of view which, due to enormous psychological problems, may not be an objective view of reality, or possibly also partially objectively portrayed. Bart consciously leaves the viewer unsure of this. The ballet is very well danced and the acting is wonderful. I think that there is room for different choreographical versions of the same story. I love Coppelia in its original form and I love the Act 3 music, but I also think that we should be open minded toward different versions of the same story as I think that each version gives us an insight into the story and makes us think about different things. Believe it or not, the ballet is faithful to the original story in that the wheat is included and also the butterfly scene. It is also quite funny in places, e.g. when Swanilda is copying the automatons, she knocks Spalanzani to the ground, and the relationship between her and Franz is very realistic. you can clearly see that they care for each other, which you don't always. I think that Patrice Bart did a good job with this version, and I think that although Coppelia as we know it is fun and happy and filled of lots and lots of lovely music, the story behind it can be construed as being a very dark story and I think that Patrice Bart has tapped into that darkness superbly.
  5. I love the Waltz of the Snowflakes in the Royal Ballet's version as it is the original version as given in the notations of the original Mariinsky production. The patterns are meant to represent a snow storm. For myself, I have two favourite Nutcracker productions, the first one is the 1990 BRB version as it is the very first Nutcracker that I ever saw on TV and I believe that this version is held in very high regard. I love it because it tells a clear story and the dancing is never less than absorbing. I love the sets and costumes as well. The acting is not too bad either. Sandra Madgewick in particular is very believable as a young girl that turns into a young woman. My second one is a unconventional one and it is the Australian Ballet's version. It is not the usual Nutcracker story, instead it is a story of a Russian ballerine who emigrates to Australia after the Russian Revolution. The ballet is her memories of her life in St. Petersburg and it is a very good and moving version. The acting and dancing are outstanding and the dancer that plays the elderly Clara is a dead ringer for Vanessa Redgrave.
  6. I can't wait to see Coppelia. But I do have a question. Which ballerina should I see. Maria Alexandrova or Natalie Osipova. I have heard good things of both ballerinas and as I am a student. I can only afford to see one ballet. So which one? Please help? I will be more than grateful
  7. Hi there. Are the mime scenes included, e.g Berthe's Mime Scene? Also what is the production like? Is it dramatically exciting?
  8. Hi there Eric Montreal Like you, I am a great fan of the Mariinsky reconstructions of the Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadere. I saw the reconstructions in London when the Kirov brought them on tour and I always felt that I was gazing at a different world. Why can't the Mariinsky Ballet just film them and put them on DVD? I think that part of the problem is that the Kirov Ballet old timers were very resistant to the reconstuctions not only because they saw it as a betrayal of everything that they were ever taught but also because they saw it as vulgar in some ways. Russians are a very patrotic people and the 1952 Soviet production of the Sleeping Beauty became part of that patrotism for reasons that I can't explain very well because I haven't got Tim Scholl's book on hand but his argument is that the Kirov Ballet wanted to Russianize Petipa because he was seen as too foreign and one could certainly make a case that Konstantin Seregev actually saved the ballet from more radical treatment. Sure he made a lot of changes and discarded the mime (which I think is a serious crime. The story does not make any sense without mime) but he did what seemed to be expedient at the time and the Russians did not know that the notations even existed until 1997. Although having said that I read somewhere that Mona Inglesby who had inherited the notations did try to approach the Kirov Ballet with a view to selling them but she decided against it and I think that was a good thing because they certainly would have disappeared and never seen again La Bayadere is more problematic as the 1940s staging is much loved and I think that some of the reasons why it is so much disliked is because ballet dancers especially the older ones who have trained under the Soviet system see it as a betrayal of their beloved teachers. Also I think that they don't really know how to deal with the mime because mime is seen as being a relic of the Imperial past and I also think that because deaf and mute people use sign language to communicate, the Kirov dancers are a bit wary of it. But basically, there is a lot of pettiness about the whole issue of reconstruction Sorry for rambling on but I just wanted to explain the probable reasons why the Mariinsky Theatre seemes to have dropped the reconstructions. It is extremely sad because I would love to see the Sleeping Beauty again to refresh my memory of it but it's the way of the world. Personally I admire Sergei Vikharev for having the guts to reconstruct these wonderful ballets and for the Kirov for giving them a fair chance. The reconstruction of The Sleeping Beauty has been performed at least every year since its premiere in April 1999. I am always happy to discuss Sleeping Beauty as it is my favourite ballet of all
  9. Hi there. Does the POB production include any mime at all, e.g. Berthe's mime warning Giselle of the Wilis? I just think that the story makes more sense with the mime than without it. Also is Act Two based on the Skemping Production, in that I mean is that do the Wilis scare off any other men besides Albrecht and Hilarion?
  10. Hi there Mashinka. I was just wondering whether you have read the discussion that I had with Mel Johnson on the Awakening Pas de Deux here. Extra PDD In Het Nationale DVD Can I ask if you remember any more of the Ashton and Wright production as I love to hear about it. Did you see it when they had the long tutus? I look forward from hearing from you very soon.
  11. I'm afraid I can't agree with the assertion that the MacMillan Beauty 'was even more disliked than the 1968 Ashton and Wright production', as only the critics disliked the A & W production whereas audiences loved it. Setting the ballet in the middle ages upset the ultra conservative critics of the time as it is apparently set in stone that Sleeping Beauty must always appear to be set at the court of Louis XIV. Speaking for myself, if given a time machine to see RB productions of the past, I'd head straight back to that wonderful A & W production (with Margot and Rudolf dancing the leads): it was magical. MacMillan's 1973 production gave the critics more or less what they wanted, but the production was panned not so much because of any intrinsic failings (though some production details needed changing) but more because of the anti-MacMillan sentiments of the time. In other words it was the producer that was hated rather than the production. I rather think the production did tour to the US and was even more disliked there than at home as I seem to remember Deborah MacMillan recalling in a documentary how an American ballet goer took to following her husband around making vomiting noises. The Makarova version did indeed follow the standard Kirov-Sergeyev choreography which I considered a grave mistake but it was very handsome to look at and I would have thought that making a few alterations would have been a better option than simply chucking it out in favour of something else, particularly as the RB's vile production of Swan Lake trundles on and on with no hope of any replacement in sight. Having seen the original Messel version I have to say I can't see much similarity between it and the current version, in fact marketing it as the 'Messel version' is tantamount to a con trick in my view and I find it ironic that current designer Peter Farmer was the designer for the old MacMillan version too. Also ironic is the fact that the RB's rival British company, English National Ballet, has a far better production than the one at Covent Garden and it is in fact a later version by MacMillan. Thank you for replying so quickly and I know what you mean about the A + W production, I would have loved to have seen it but I was not alive then, but then I have the photgraphs and my imagination to fill the gaps. I saw the English National Ballet Production and I loved it, I like the mime for Carabosse in that production rather than the Royal Ballet's production as I think it makes better sense. Carabosse is hammering home the curse. I quite like the Royal Ballet's production of Swan Lake and I don't mind the scenery and I especially like the fact that the choreography is wholly authentic. What don't you like about it? Can you remember which details in the 1973 MacMillan production needed to be changed? I wish that they had kept the scenery for the 2003 production and just changed the choreography. How long do you think the new 'Messel' production will last?
  12. Thank you, but I have already read it. Thanks anyway for replying.
  13. Thank you, Mr Fullington for replying to my question. I wonder whether it would be possible if you could consult the notations at some point and write down the mime that is used because I tell you why. I sometimes act out mime scenes when I am listening to Sleeping Beauty. Thank you so much for answering my question and I look forward to hearing from you again
  14. By the way, thank you you RG for replying so quickly.
  15. Hi there, Mr RG I wondered if you could tell me what the mime is for the King when he dithers on whether to hang the peasant women in the Kirov reconstruction of the Sleeping Beauty. I have always loved that scene but it's been so long since I saw it, I can't quite remember it. Thanks for reading this.
  16. I just wondered why the Messel production is so revered by everybody in the ballet world. I know that in 1946, it must have been marvellous but the revival does not I think stand up to its huge reputation, mainly I think due to Peter Farmer, who ought to be shot in my opinion. What do you think about a production set in Tudor times?
  17. I saw the Makerova production twice and while it had its good points, I didn't like the way that she forced the Sergev choreography onto the Royal Ballet. I did like the scenery though
  18. Hi there. I wonder if anybody here had seen the 1973 production of the Sleeping Beauty by Sir Kenneth MacMillan and whether they could give me their impressions of it as I have heard that it was even more disliked than the 1968 Ashton and Wright production. I am interested in hearing all about the various Royal Ballet productions of the Sleeping Beauty as they always seem to cause people to take sides either for or against the various productions. Finally do you think that it was a good idea to revive the Messel production or whether the Royal Ballet should have splashed out on a entirely new production?
  19. I would like that very much, Mr Johnson. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I shall look forward to that.
  20. I know what you mean. I have done my research into the original 1890 production as well.
  21. Why must it be a hymn to autocracy? I know the original production was created in 1890 as a tribute to the Sun King, but can we just enjoy the ballet for what it is, a fairy-tale. certainly the children that go to see would just enjoy it as a fairy-tale. I know that I did.
  22. Exactly. I think that most of the critics wanted the Messel production exactly as it was. I think that times have changed and some critics are not prepared to move with the times. I think that the Royal Ballet would have done better to splash on an entirely new production rather than try to turn the clock back but as you say, it was a very good intention.
  23. Which production did you see? Do you think that it was a mistake to recreate the old Messel production?
  24. I quite like the Dowell production as it was the first production that I ever saw on TV in 1995. I quite agree with you about our conversation. The Dowell production is rock solid choreographically and I like the Fairy of Joy solo.
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