Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

DVD of "Pharaoh's Daughter" has missing parts.....

Recommended Posts

I have a film I was lucky enough to get a hold of that is of the May 2000 premiere of "Pharaoh's Daughter" with Ananishvili as Aspicia, Filin as Taor, and Alexandrova as Ramzea. I noticed that there were alot of differences between the commercially available DVD with Zakharova dancing Aspicia and this film I have of the premiere. I had posted a topic before about some musial differences I had noticed between the two, but after having become more familiar with both films I must say that there are ALOT of differences - there are not only musical differences between both films but there are also many numbers omitted from the Zakharova DVD.

In the film I have of the premiere the introduction at the beginning of the ballet has a different, less spectacular musical structure than that of the introduction at the start of the ballet used in the DVD performance. They both have the same melodic theme, but again, they differ in musical structure and orchestration - for example the DVD intro. has big tympani cresendo at the start, with crashing cymbols, etc. whereas the premiere film has a very simple - almost "little" introduction. In my own opinion the introduction played by the orchestra in the film of the premiere sounds more along the lines of something Pugni would have created than the one played in the DVD performance. In the DVD with Zakharova the prologue goes right into the first scene, but in the film I have of the premiere there is a sort of miniature enter'acte before Act I begins, a little introduction of sorts that builds into the first number of Act I. The adagio that occurs at the first meeting of Aspicia and Taor is very simple as far as musical structure and orchestration goes in the premiere film - there are no colorful touches to the music, but in the DVD it is alot more elaboratly arranged - it is the same with the orchestration of the opening number of Act I - the 2 part 'Pas de Fleche' - in the premiere film the arrangements are very dull and simple but in the DVD they are very colorful and elaborate. Another interesting difference between the two performances is the decor for the 1st Act. On the DVD the backcloth has a big gray hill-looking-thing behind the mounds that covers half of the sky, but in the premiere film its not there, and the backcloth just resembles the blue sky, with only a few mounds at the bottom (where Aspicia runs up to almost get attacked by a lion).

There is a little introduction at the start of Act II in the premiere film that is not in the DVD, another abcense of an intro before a scene. In the DVD, after the grand coda of the Grand Pas d'Action, there follows the scene where Aspicia is taken away by woman with a long scarf, and then the Nubian King and the Pharaoh trade scrolls. In the performance I have of the premiere there is a dance that comes right after the grand coda of the Grand Pas d'Action where 3 woman dressed in white perform a little dance to the music of a solo trumpet - this number is omitted from the DVD. After that comes the number for the corps de ballet and the children dressed in white, which is in both the DVD and the premiere film. Interestingly, that number with the children and corps de ballet dressed in white is the exact same music used for the coda of the Riccardo Drigo Pas de Deux from "La Esmeralda". As well, the variation danced by Taor in the Grand Pas d'Action is the male variation from the Pas de Deux from Drigo's "Le Talisman".

In the premiere film there is a little introduction before the opening of Act III, followed by a dance for the fisherman. After that Aspicia, Taor, and Passifont make their entrance on the boat. That number leads into a little pas d'action where Aspicia mimes to the fishermen/& woman about her love for Taor, and asks if her Taor and Passifont can 'hang' there, and then that number leads into the little allegro dance with Aspicia, Taor, and the fishermen/& woman. In the DVD, the introduction is omitted. The fisherman's dance is edited to be just a little passage that leads into the music that was used in the premiere film for Aspicia's little mime scene - in the DVD that same music is used to accompany the entrance of Aspicia, Taor and Passifont on the boat, thus omiting the pas de deux (so basically the music for the mime sequence and pas de deux is used for the entrance on the boat in the DVD). Everything else is the same, up to the part when Taor and Passifont decide to go fishing with the fishermen/& woman - on the premiere film the scene is longer: after Taor and Passifont decide to go fishing and leave Aspicia by herself, 2 fisherwoman come back looking for Passifont, who has managed to come back unseen and is now hiding behind a basket munching on grapes. There follows a little number where Aspicia tries to hide Passifont from the fisherwoman (a really charming little number I might add). They end up finding him, and they go off to go fish.

Everything is the same untill the under water scene. There is another miniature enter-acte that is omitted on the DVD. In the film of the premiere there are harp arpeggios that accompany Aspica's descent to the bottom of the Nile - in the DVD the music goes right from the opening number of the underwater scene to the fanfares that preceed the first variation, skipping right over the harp section that is in the premiere film. They should have left that harp section intact, its very effective!

Again, in the premiere film there is a little intro for the 3rd scene of Act III that isnt in the DVD. In this scene (where the Pharaoh wants to kill Taor, Passifont, and Ramzea via the snake with the red eyes in the big boquet of flowers - oh yeah and guy costumed like hes about to perform a 1920s black-faced minstrel) there is the part where Aspicia returns. In the film of the premiere there is a very long mime sequence where Aspicia tells the Pharoah about everything that has happened since her and Taor ran away. In this mime sequence there is even a reprise of the dance that her and Taor did during the fisherman scene. Ananiashvili REALLY gets into this mime section in the film of the premiere, so much so that her hair began to fall out of its bun! In the DVD this mime scene is very brief.

It could very well be that all of the introductions for each scene that were left out of the DVD could have been left on the cutting room floor - edited out for the sake of the DVD. As well, the ballet could have been edited especially for the DVD filming.

For most of the music throughout the film I have of the premiere, the orchestration is very simple and plain, where as in the DVD it is alot more elaborate and colorful. I know that Alexander Sotnikov gave the score a "face-lift" to use his own words. Perhaps it didnt happen untill after the ballet's premiere, as the music used in the premiere performance sounds alot more like something Pugni would have scored.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...