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"Laurencia"


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Although I've only heard snippets of "Laurencia", some of it has struck me as disturbingly similar to pre-existing ballet music. The Adolphe Adam variation (male) from the Paquita Pas de Trois as well as the "Cabriole" Shade from La Bayadere among others.

I haven't really been able to find any information on the music of Laurencia so excuse me if this question is incredibly ignorant, but did Krain go back to the roots of ballet and create a pastiche score or is this just a "coincidence" he hoped no one would notice?

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I don't know more about Alexander Krein than you probably do, having only a passing familiarity with the Laurencia pas de six and experience playing one of his klezmer-based chamber quintets, but I think it's useful to consider how musique dansant was treated in Russia, even during the Soviet era. As in the "Paquita Grand Pas", music could freely be extracted from other works, and be interpolated into another of similar sound. The male variation cited may even be by Deldevez, dating from the earliest version of Paquita or even Corsaire, the evidence is arguable. I get this picture of ballet scores being a lot like loose-leaf binders, with numbers circulating through the repertoire, so it would not be out of the ordinary for some Minkus or Drigo to show up in ballets by other composers. Whether Krein did it or not, I don't know. I don't know enough about his working methods. Chabukiani could have just thrown something into something else on his own authority. Le Corsaire is a good example of this practice, with its 5-7 composers, depending on whom you ask.

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a film of the complete LAURENCIA is not likely much available, if at all.

there was a Soviet film, from the '40s? which is rarely shown/seen and not to the best of my understanding available on the web.

mostly what remains of the ballet are solo 'variations,' which various Soviet/Russian ballet video compilations include and the self-contained Pas de Six - which i imagine is the work being 'restaged' for the Trocks, and which is probably best known in the West from Nureyev's '64 staging for the Royal Ballet.

NYPL dance coll. cat. listings for the full ballet and the pas de six follow:

Laurencia Original title: Laurensiia. Chor: Vakhtang Chabukiani; mus: Aleksandr Krein; lib: E. Mandelberg after the play Fuente ovejuna by Lope de Vega; scen & cos: Simon Virsaladze. First perf: Leningrad, Kirov Theater, Mar 22, 1939, Kirov Ballet (Company).//Revived: Moscow, Bolshoi Theater, Feb 19, 1956, Bolshoi Ballet (Company); scen: Vadim Ryndin.

Laurencia (Choreographic work : Nureyev after Chabukiani). Pas de six.

Chor: Rudolf Nureyev after Vakhtang Chabukiani; mus: Aleksandr Krein; scen & cos: Nicholas Georgiadis. First perf: London, Covent Garden, Feb 9, 1964, Royal Ballet (televised live).

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A cur down, but still full evening, version of Laurencia was staged for the Mihailovsky ballet a few years ago. It must still be in the company's repertory as I belive it was one of the ballets danced by Osipova and Vasiliev when they first joined the Mihailovsky. There were some extracts from the Soivet film on youtube.

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