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I have just discovered the enchanting pas de six from Markitenka (a.k.a. known as La Vivandière, or so have I learnt through a rapid search on this board )on the “ballet du Kirov” video.

The booklet states the following :

Chor : St Léon

Musique : Pugni

Première : Paris 1847

“pitch”: sculptor falls in love with statue, asks the devil to give her life, wish fulfilled under the condition that the young girl herself does not fall in love, or else shall be transformed back into statue.

A google search mad me stumble across the Thessalian Ballet website (http://www.thessalyballet.gr/main1/en/repe...nka_history.htm) which provides another story : one act ballet set in a little village of Hungary. It tells the story of Kathy and Hans, two youngsters, who in order of them to get married, they had to escape from the plans of the Mayor, the Baron of the region, who both of which wanted Kathy for themselves! First performed in 1844 in London, choreography by A. Saint Leon and music by C. Pugni with C.Grisi and the choreographer himself in the leading roles. Today it is performed as a "pas de six" of the wedding.

Elsewhere, one can read that the divertissement on the le ballet du Kirov video is a “ Pierre LaCotte restoration of the choreography of Perrot: the pas de six from "Markitenka" or "La Vivandare".((http://hallvideo.com/index.php/Mode/produc...33/page/Unknown))

I am confused here and beg for enlightment.


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No wonder! The pas de six from Vivandiere is by St. Leon and I believe (writing this without checking) that the Thessalian Ballet's version of the story is the right one. (The other capsule libretto is of a different St. Leon ballet.) The story is that it was found, in a book in the Paris Opera Ballet's Library, in this century, by Ivor Guest. St. Leon had written it down to prove that his notation system was accurate, stuffed it in a book, and forgot about it!

You can read about "Vivandiere" in Cyril W. Beaumont's Complete Book of the Ballets, if you can find a copy. The ballet wasn't popular, he said -- because it had too much dancing in it!

(There's a real difference in style between those two videos, too. One is tighter, smaller scale, the other more stretched.)

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TheSwedish part of the European Broadcasting Union ballet competition has just been shown on Swedish TV. Finals will be July 4, to take place in Amsterdam, Holland.

Well, one girl danced a solo (she did not make the finals) from La


I thought she was very good - and how refreshing to see something different. We are getting a bit tired of seeing one Kitri after another, not to speak of several Esmeraldas. However, a pas de deux won the competition - in my mind a frightfully boring work by Mats Ek. Anyway, the boy was a former classmate of my daughter and also, a former neigbour - we all rejoice!

The boy's name is Sebastian Michanek, he is already a dancer with the Stockholm Opera Ballet - we might hear more about him.

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vila, Koegler's dictionary gives the second libretto too. But it mentions an earlier version, also by Saint-Léon, in Rome in 1843- I wonder if it was the same story (probably, as the title was the same... The other plot sounds like a twisted version of the story of Pygmalion!)

Err, Alexandra, which two videos are you talking about? The "ballet du Kirov" and which one?

I've only seen the "pas de six" once, in a "young dancers" POB program, and it really was lovely to see (I believe it was staged by Lacotte, but am not sure). I wish it were danced more often- and I also wish Saint-Léon would have notated more of his works, the little few things which remain are such gems that it makes one hungry for more!

Also, vila, thanks for bringing the Thessaly ballet to our attention, it's nice to know that there is some ballet performed there!

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