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Le Corsaire


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I love the dancing at the Kirov,but the music version at ABT seems more touching.The Kirov version omits several good pieces of music in my opinion.Why there are different music versions of a same ballet.Were they written by the same composers?

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Was Le Corsaire thought of as silly at its premiere or was it considered a serious drama?

My impression is the original audiences for these more far fetched ballet plots lapped them up. They probably didn't take them seriously, *exactly*, but they did enjoy them and all their twists and turns. It's ironic that one of the common negative reviews of Sleeping Beauty when it premiered was its story was too simplistic--after being used to getting these exciting, plot driven melodramas for years suddenly they were meant to watch a children's fairy tale? Of course now audiences find many of those melodramas hard to swallow or take seriously (though I like that lately people seem far more willing to accept them) and a plot like Sleeping Beauty seems a natural for a ballet.

Do you think we'll ever get a DVD of the Bolshoi's production? It sounds like it's the most faithful to the various Petipa versions and the closest to a "reconstruction" we'll get (using the notations for choreography and the costume designs of the 1899 production I think). Also would be amazing to see considering that wikipedia says it's the most expensive mounting of a bellet so far. I do love the Kirov DVD but haven't seen ABT's--while I'd never confuse the music of it for Tchaikovsky or Glazunov it is interesting that the piece holds together as well as it does considering all the sources of music, etc. (and since the ABT DVD is out of print and Amazon lists it for $150 dollars I don't think I'll see it anytime soon...)

Ellen, wikipedia gives a good listing of all the myriad of places and composers the music for Le Corsair comes from--Even though it was common practice back then for ballets to incorporate whatever piece of music they wanted to, I still can't think of another example of a ballet that uses such a large mix of music sources and composers. (Wikipedia's article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Corsaire is also interesting for the drama around K Sergeyev's production for the Kirov in the 70s which was quickly pulled and then for the Bolshoi in the 90s where it was again quickly pulled)

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KORSAR as the russians call their ballet entered bolshoi rep. in 1858.

the russian encyc. of russian ballet notes a 1956 film of some, presumably russian, produciton of the ballet, but gives no particulars.

the most recent bolshoi staging, from which ABT's comes, was first done in 1992, by k.sergeyev - thus it has a st.pete/leningrad lineage - i suspect k.s. was in some way wanting to have his 'say' likely b/c it differed in some way(s) from the gusev-based version then being done at the kirov. (a '94 prod. seems to be a slight revamping of this bolshoi theater prod. by grigorovich - for nearly the same cast as the one that led in '92, i.e. Gracheva as Medora; A. Vetrov as Conrad.)

I know this was posted years ago--before the current Bolshoi blockbuster production, but Wikipedia has a different take on Sergeyev's version. After it was pulled with only 9 performances at the Kirov in the 70s and they went back to their prior version (which they still perform) apparantly:

" In 1992 Yuri Grigorovich, director of the Bolshoi Ballet of Moscow, invited Sergeyev to mount his 1973 revival of Le Corsaire for the company. This production—which included a heavily re-edited and re-orchestrated score by the Bolshoi Theatre's conductor Alexander Sotnikov—premiered on 11 March, 1992 to great success, but after only seven performances Grigorovich decided to pull the production from the repertory. After witnessing the success of Sergeyev's production, Grigorovich decided to stage his own version, which premiered on 16 February, 1994. Grigorovich's production was then taken out of the repertory after the director left the company in 1995."

If I were Sergeyev I'd be mildly pissed off to say the least... But I think him and Grigorovich had a strange competitive relationship.

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