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Cubanmiamiboy, Paris, La Fille Mal Gardee. 07/13

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Voila, off to Paris tonight for a well deserved vacation..!! yaaaaaay!!! yahoo.gif Needless to say, a visit to the Palais Garnier is de rigueur. I have tickets for 07/13, to see Ashton's Fille-(which I've never seen live, BTW...). I'm taking with me my best friend and my mom, and for those who are familiar with all the issues that my mother went thru a while ago, you know well this will be our grand celebration of life, so again, thank you for all your prayers and good wishes. My mom-(a silent BT'r)-is certainly grateful. flowers.gif

See ya...!! tiphat.gif

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A "grand celebration of life" !!!! Maravilloso. Ballet is a great way to celebrate life, as you and your mother know so well. What lovelier place to celebrate all this than the Garnier with something so lovely and lighthearted. Wishing you all the best. Don't forget to report all the details.

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Finally reporting from this unbelievable place after some connexion issues! Oh, Lord...words CAN NOT explain all I've felt while discovering every single place of this city. Notre Dame, Pere Lachaise, the Arch du Triumph, the Tuileries gardens, la Madeleine-(where I will be going to see Mozart's Coronation Mass and Cherubini's Requiem tonight)-,Saint-Severine, the charming Le Marais-(where we're staying), the wonderful, romantic Seine, the looooong days-(still sunny at 9 pm!)-and many many other places. Every night there's a concert...coffee at any little corner caffe, the drop dead gorgeous French uber-fashionistas..(the little black dress in every form and design at all hours). En fin...such a chic country.

Last night we went to see Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love" at a lovely mid-century cinema, AND...I'm happy to report that there was NO ONE eating anything at all during the screening...no annoying pop-corn, candy wrappers or soda-sucking noise whatsoever during the whole thing. Even before the film started, during commercials, people were talking very low and softly. And then, the omnipresent cigarette EVERYWHERE. 99 % of the population smokes everywhere...at caffes, plazas, clubs, etc...Wherever there's a table and people seated, coffee, a little drink and cigarettes are de rigueur, and to be honest...it has never bothered me at all...people seem so alive and happy and enjoying each other's company...people really know how to have a great time talking and laughing and getting together at all times, night and day. The city never sleeps. It looks to me as if they eat at all, it is usually little cute salads, some fancy dessert and lots of wine and cigarettes. Actually I've never seen anything like our huge super-markets. In general people look very slim and elegant.

Anyway...thank you all for your best wishes. My mom is in heaven, seeing for the first time in front of her all those sites she has spoke about for many years-(she was a college History of Art teacher back in Cuba), and me...GOING CRAZY WITH ALL THAT FASHION!! yahoo.gif

The Garnier is certainly beautiful. I haven't seen it inside yet, but I'm sure it won't disappoint me. La Bastille Opera House, on the contrary, didn't click on me...it reminds me of our cold, contemporary Arsht Center, which I despise.

Well...off to La Madeleine now. Will be back with more, and again..THANK YOU for all your words.

Aur revoir! tiphat.gif

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What wonderful news -- I'm kvelling for you and your mom!

Merci bien, Mme. Helene! Oh my...what can I say...? My mom is in heaven. She went to St. Etienne to hear mass last Sunday, and this upcoming Sunday she will do it at Notre Dame. I was particularly impressed with La Madeleine. It is such a vast church...very imposing.

Tonight me and my friend will stroll around Le Marais. A little cafe, a bit of wine and some smoke, and voila!...the night is perfect.

Can't wait to report from Ashton's "Fille...". The comparisson with the one act Nijinska's will be interesting...

Au revoir! tiphat.gif

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A bientot! :tiphat.gif : (Sorry, my keyboard doesn't do French keystrokes smile.png )

flowers.gif Thanks, Bonnette! Today we had a great time visiting la Sainte Chapelle and La Conciergerie...Marie Antoinette's cell, all recreated along with a mannequin and everything was particularly chilling. La Sainte Chapelle, on the contrary, was a bit weird. It is the only church I've ever visited that hasn't been handled back to the religious authorities, and so it is full of vending stands and sort of stripped out of its original atmosphere, along with the absence of the relics that once guarded. It is then sort of a museum, I guess similar in ambiance as the churches back in the Soviet period.

Tonight we will go to La Madeleine to hear Mozart's Requiem.

See ya..! flowers.gif

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I so enjoy reading about what you're seeing, along with your impressions. One museum I've long wanted to visit is the Musee des Arts et Metiers (http://www.arts-et-metiers.net/) - any plans to go there? It might not be possible to fit it in, there's so much to see and do in Paris! I am so glad that you're enjoying everything, and I hope you will be transported by Mozart tonight!

(Edited to add that this museum occupies the former priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs, fitting so beautifully with the locations you've mentioned.)

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So how was your performance of La Fille Mal Gardee, cubanmiamiboy? Did you see Ould-Braham or Froustey (or another ballerina)? Other message boards are "hopping" about the wonders of a new Colas, Pierre-Arthur Raveau, who danced with Froustey. Lucky you, if you saw him!!!

Some of the POB's best dancers did not come to America. Our misfortune is your luck.

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ok...so in the middle of the chaos that's Cristian's luggage unpacking, I sort of lost track of the costly playbill-($ 12 euros), so I will try to give a round up summarising of my experience at the Garnier.

First things first. The Garnier is just to die for. The atmosphere that pours out from the exuberant eclecticism and astonishing opulence of this amazing Second Empire building goes beyond words. To be honest, it amazed me much more than Versailles. I took many pictures. I think my mom though she was Empress Eugenie while climbing up the marble grand staircase..! happy.png

Inside, the theater has a very interesting layout. It gets to be vast, and at the same time very intimate. My seat at the tiny box , all covered by dark red velvet, was the last one, behind two rows of four seats each, but still, I have a great tunnel vision of the ballet. I didn't miss a thing. And let's not even go to Chagall's wonder of ceiling...smilie_mondieu.gif

Well, about La Fille...humm...mixed feelings I have. For once, I found it very long. Once more I remind my fellow BT'rs that I'm just familiar with Alonso's staging of Nijinska-after-Gorsky version to Hertel's score, so this was a completely new thing for me. In general I found Ashton's vision to be too focused on the comical/character dancing side, whereas Nijinska's feels more like a twin sibling of Coppelia. There were lovely moments, of course, like the ribbon sequences, but even those felt way more unballetic to me than Hertel's. Also, I had my problems with the music. There were moments in which marching music seemed to go on and on, along with endless character sequences, which brings another weak-(to me)-point to this version. I couldn't really come to terms with the whole chicken business, nor with Mama Simone's endless displays of buffo art. I have read a lot about Ashton's use and exploitation of this comical, often grotesque aspect based in old British theater traditions, but at least translated to me in 2012, an era of balletic longing for historically based, serious reconstructions a la Raymonda, and a strong tendency to show the best of ballet technique and tricks, seeing this got me off guard, so I found it a bit outdated. The result was that Lissette and Colin's dancing moments seemed diminished after Ashton's real stars of the ballet had their moments onstage. People seemed to be reacting and responding more to Simone, Alain and the chicken sequences than to the real ballet moments of Lissette and Colin.

I will try to find the playbill. It contains an AMAZING chronology of the ballet that includes every single important staging and music sources. For what I remember, Balachova's name seems to be the key for which Nijinska's version was able to take form in the West.

PDD comparison time!

Starting @ 1:28. Annette Delgado and Dani Hernandez.

Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nunez.

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"Chicken business..." ROTFL! Thanks, Christian. I'm looking forward to hearing about Froustey and Raveau, once you have a chance to unpack, relax, etc. Even if you did not love the Ashton version, hopefully the dancers had many admirable traits. And if that failed too, then one can do as Balanchine suggested: close your eyes and listen to the music.

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"Chicken business..." ROTFL! Thanks, Christian. I'm looking forward to hearing about Froustey and Raveau, once you have a chance to unpack, relax, etc. Even if you did not love the Ashton version, hopefully the dancers had many admirable traits. And if that failed too, then one can do as Balanchine suggested: close your eyes and listen to the music.

Oh Natasha...it is not that I didn't like it. I DID have a great time at the ballet. After all, this is a warhorse, and a lovely one. It is just that I've always put Fille somewhere in the same lines as Coppelia, and Mama Simone was never more grotesque or comical than, let's say, Dr. Coppelius, and that was not the case with Ashton's version. I will write a little more later on. I found the playbill!

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