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Balanchine's Petipa returns!

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Doug Fullington is taking his "Balanchine's Petipa" lecture-demonstration to the Guggenheim's Works and Process series in NYC this spring, and PNB is presenting a kind of dress rehearsal on Tuesday, May 11. I saw this last year and was totally gobsmacked -- the comparisons between the work that Balanchine saw and danced as a young man in St. P, and the work that he later created as a choreographer were so illuminating. There aren't a lot of seats in the big studio for these events, so get a ticket now.

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I assume this "dress rehearsal" is at the PNB Seattle studios. Do you know where one can go to purchase tickets? I've been all over the PNB website and can find no reference to this event.

It better be at the Phelps Center -- I can't afford to fly to NYC!

It was listed on the back of my program last night (the insert with the casting) and says it's a "Seattle viewing." Try calling the box office (206-441-2424) and see what they say.

This could be a really recent decision, and so the web isn't updated yet...

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"Balanchine's Petipa" was cited in Alastair Macaulay's review of American Ballet Theatre's "La Bayadere":

Why do the practice and theory of “La Bayadère” rarely meet? The first problem is the minor-league music, by the Austrian composer Ludwig Minkus. It doesn’t help that what we hear today is John Lanchbery’s 1980 embellished edition of what was probably a Russian edition that coarsened Minkus’s original.

Petipa, however, may have made this music matter; his response to it was probably subtler than what we now see. Last week the scholar Doug Fullington presented a lecture-demonstration, “Balanchine’s Petipa,” at the Guggenheim, as part of its Works & Process series. With eight dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet, he showed reconstructions of original Petipa dances as recorded in the choreographer’s lifetime. (In part, the aim was to illustrate their stylistic and structural connections to various Balanchine dances.) Several excerpts from the careful 1900 notation for the “Bayadère” Shades scene were demonstrated.

It was amazing to see not just how different these were from the much more formulaic versions Ms. Makarova and others have inherited from the Kirov Ballet, but also how much more musically attentive. Doubtless, exact musicality is the most controversial feature of any Petipa reconstruction. Still, they certainly showed a rhythmic variety that revealed the same quality in the Minkus music.

If only we could see the ballet here, with the reconstructions. The ballet has three great principal roles, the Golden Idol, the Shades for three soloists, character roles, and I bet the East Indian community in Redmond/Bellevue could come up with great costumes.

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