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The Pharoahs Daughter

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I am totally fascinated with the Bolshoi's reconstruction of this almost 'extinct' ballet of Petipa. I am curious - I know its available on DVD in Europe but is it in the West (Its the only film I know of with Zhakarova dancing)?

Did any parts survive at the Kirov over the years? Any of the music ever been thrown into another ballet?

What happened to this ballet? Why did the Kirov (Or then the Imperial Ballet) stop performing it long ago? (I have many pictures -studio portraits- in books of mine from the turn of the century of various dancers in it-including Pavlova) It seems at some point in the 1910s or 20s the Mariinsky stopped performing it - WHY??

If anyone on the forum has seen it, what were your impressions?

What about Pugni's score - I would be so EXCITED to hear it.

I know that little George Balanchine performed as a monkey in it! And in the ballet was shot down from a tree by Kchessinksa!

ANY and ALL info would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!! I am so FASCINATED with this ballet :thanks:

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I can't answer any of your questions about the history and the reconstruction, but I have seen the video.

Ha, you will like this, it's staged as a sort of opium induced dream, ala SOLOR in La Bayadere.Modern day archeologists are at an ancient Egyptian site, there is an earthquake and then the lead archeologist hits the opium pipe (to soothe his frazzled nerves from the earthquake?)

The production is on a truly gigantic scale, there are many sets. Zakharova shows off great technical prowess and must have 7 or 8 costume changes.

Yes, there is the chimp, at least one other animal, and also a cobra in a huge flower filled urn. they missed the kitchen sink, but that's about the only thing.

It's much fun and there is some wonderful dancing in it.


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I've read a few rave reviews in French and one in English (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2005/Feb05/pugni.htm) and I looked for the DVD in American shops but had no luck. Even in France where the DVD was originally released by a small company BelAir, it is not available in shops like Amazon.fr... But the good news is that the DVD plays in all regions so if you get it from Europe you shouldn't have any problems playing it, at least on your computer (the British review says there is currently no NTSC version listed). I think I'll give in and try to get it from Europe.

Best, Ariodante

PS. I've just checked: it is available in fnac.fr for ca. 30Euro (but here they say it's region 2, that is Europe but they may simply be wrong as Amazon often is in these matters) and from a British store Crotchet http://www.crotchet.co.uk/cgi-bin/cws/scan...cl?mv_pc=zmusic for about 28 pounds (seems more expensive than in France). It's been released in France already in September 2004! Since it is so hard to get in its country of orogin, I doubt it will come to the US soon...

Edited by Ariodante
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I, too, would be interested to know if any parts of this ballet have survived as interpolations in other ballets. I haven't thought so to this point. The ballet was *very* popular in Russia for over 50 years after its premiere.

Having worked with some parts of the Pugni score, I have to say I don't think it is of very high quality - not at all, in fact! But, it is rhythmic and provides a suitable basis for dance. I'm generally sympathic to specialist 19th-century ballet music, but this drove me crazy. :(

Lacotte's production is quite grandiose; however, I would love to see a reconstruction based as much as possible on the notations of the ballet, even if only in suite form. The River variations (as notated) are quite clever.

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On the web I found Lacotte saying lots about his work which I found interesting.

He says that his teacher acctually saw the premiere of this ballet and that he learned lots of the steps from her. Russian friends of mine dispute this absolutely. But I think he is right. There is so much which caries the signiture of Petipa.

The ballet is much shorter as it origianly was. Most of the mime has gone. Critics in London found this a great handicap.

Karsavina, by the way, tought the mime scene 2.Act. "Arrival of the pricess" here in London many years back. So she obviously still knew lots of the ballet. I know someone who was in that particular class. But unfortunately she (Joan Hewster) remebers lots about Karsavina but nothing about this particular mime scene.

I do have the ballet with Grachova, Assylumoratova and Alexandrova as well, in case anyone like to exchange something with me.

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.... I know its available on DVD in Europe but is it in the West (Its the only film I know of with Zhakarova dancing)?

Elsewhere on this BalletTalk forum, I read that the 'Pharaoh's Daughter' DVD would not be made available in America until the summer 2005 Bolshoi tour is over. This seems a tad silly, as if marketers are afraid that we won't buy tickets to see the real thing if the DVD were available?

The DVD is available through the Royal Opera House's on-line shop, if you can't wait until autumn (or whenever its released in the US). It plays beautifully on American TV/DVDs. Most of the DVDs that I buy in the UK or anywhere else work wonderfully on my American TV/DVD player. Maybe I've just been lucky.

Also, your comment about Zakharova on film is not quite right, as Zakharova dances 'Scheherazade' on the 'Kirov Dances Nijinsky' DVD, available in America & elsewhere.

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Solar, so far only the Bolshoi performs this ballet.

(An aside to you Solar. You might not know, but all caps on the internet means shouting :( We try not to shout too much around here, hence why I've been editing your all-caps posts.)

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News flash (found as I occasionally check Amazon's web site for new DVD releases under the keyword "ballet):

The Pharoah's Daughter is being released on DVD in the United States on July 12, 2005 by Harmonia Mundi. It will be Region 1 encoded for viewing in the US and Canada. Click here for more info.

I don't as yet see a listing on Amazon.co.uk for wider release in the European market, but I'm sure it will follow soon enough.

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I tried that Carbro, but when I put in a search for it, 'La Fille du Pharaon ' was nowhere to be found!

I bookmarked the link however provided by art076 ( :) )

Maybe it doesnt show up in a normal search becasue it has not been released yet.

But it will be!!!!!!! :beg:

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Maybe the film of the ballet is being released to commemorate the Bolshoi's tour this summer? Maybe thats why?

Whatever reason, Its about time! I cant wait to hear the old "shmoltzy" antique ballet music of Chezzie Pugni and the see Opulent pas of Lacotte. From the pics I have seen of this ballet he really out did himself in making it a true grand-ballet spectacle. All of the dances seem very elaborate and BIG.

Are any of the pas from the original Petipa? Any notation, memories from old dancers, etc. that have survived and are incorporated?

What of the music of Pugni? Is ALL of it his or is any of it filled in with other composers?

Im so excited that this great work is gonna be released in the states! :D

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What of the music of Pugni? Is ALL of it his or is any of it filled in with other composers?

At many times, the music of Pugni IS the music of other composers! He plagiarized freely, making his ballet music a sort of "hit parade" salmagundi. For an example, consider the Taglioni variation in "Pas de Quatre". It's the second theme from Johann Strauss Sr.'s "Kettenbrücke Valzer".

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Oh yes - I have heard of this going on with the good ole 19th century ballet music specialsts. Borrowing music from operas etc.

Even Tchaikovsky did for Nutcracker - the Arabian Dance is a Georgian Lulluby (spelling?), if memory serves :yahoo:

Speaking of that Pas de Quatre Variation for Taglioni, if you watch the movie 'Interview With the Vampire', you'll notice that in the scene where Claudia and Louis first arrive in Paris they are waltzing to that same tune! :)

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Pharaos's Daughter has just been shown on TV in Uruguay.

I was in awe at the production. So many costume changes, beautiful costumes and setting.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of Bolshoi dancing. Comparing this video (2003 release) with earlier ones, I notice that their style seems to have approached Kirov's. I mean, the broken wrists are seldom seen, hands follow the line of the arm, and there seems to be a little less "showing off" in the dancers. Also the female dancers are much more feminine like, much more delicate than earlier Bolshoi ones.

Also I liked Zakharova very much in this ballet: her torso looked beautiful, with beautiful epaulement, as opposed to her Swan Lake, which is rather distorted in my view as far as placement of the torso goes (too "broken" at the ribs in my opinion)

I wonder if anyone agrees with my views...

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