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volcanohunter

Ratmansky's Paquita

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2 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I now find myself wondering and worrying about the fate of the physical production of the Burlaka/Medvedev Nutcracker in Berlin, which was dumped from the repertoire when Duato became director.

Good point. Those Berlin Nutcracker sets/costumes are spectacular. One would think that the Mariinsky would be hungering for them. Modern Russian Ballet doesn’t seem to care for its imperial heritage, despite paying lip service with faux-Petipa galas.

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3 hours ago, Helene said:

I thought many of the Paquita costumes lovely.  Chacun a son gout.  I'm sorry they are lost.  And I consider Ratmansky a reliable source.

Ratmansky & Fullington are reliable for the steps (translating the Stepanova notes ). I don’t think that Ratmansky ever claimed to have resurrected the Petipa-era sets and costumes in any of his stagings (Paquita, Sleeping B, Swan Lake other than the Swan tutus, etc). But that’s beside the point. I hate to see the financial waste in tossing out new sets/costumes, tacky or not.

Editing to add: I forgot to mention the Bolshoi Corsaire, in which Petipa-era designs were reproduced, to magnificent effect. I incorrectly think about Burlaka as the main Stepanov expert of that production, as it was Ratmansky’s first Petipa-Stepanov reconstruction. What a start!

Edited by CharlieH

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A reliable source for whether the sets and costumes have been destroyed.  

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21 minutes ago, Helene said:

I thought many of the Paquita costumes lovely.  Chacun a son gout.  I'm sorry they are lost.  And I consider Ratmansky a reliable source

I have no problem with the sets and costumes - the awful quality of the dancing and the variations is my problem. OK maybe the variations were such in its day but it doesn't look Petipa to me, or have I been conditioned to look for current technique and style ??  But what about the horrible PdB even I can notice - surely Petipa didn't ask for that !  (the Vaganova GP last year was excellent imho - I saw the full Smikalov Paquita the next evening and thought Vaganova's 3rd Act was better)

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4 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

I now find myself wondering and worrying about the fate of the physical production of the Burlaka/Medvedev Nutcracker in Berlin, which was dumped from the repertoire when Duato became director.

It will be back in November2018! The new director Johannes Öhman will throw out the Duato Nutcracker and restore the Burlaka/Medvedev production.

https://www.staatsballett-berlin.de/en/spielplan/der-nussknacker/17-11-2018/808

Edited by Fosca
typo in Medvedev

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3 hours ago, Helene said:

A reliable source for whether the sets and costumes have been destroyed.  

Ah, got it. 

 

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3 hours ago, mnacenani said:

I have no problem with the sets and costumes - the awful quality of the dancing and the variations is my problem. OK maybe the variations were such in its day but it doesn't look Petipa to me, or have I been conditioned to look for current technique and style ??  But what about the horrible PdB even I can notice - surely Petipa didn't ask for that !  (the Vaganova GP last year was excellent imho - I saw the full Smikalov Paquita the next evening and thought Vaganova's 3rd Act was better)

I don't expect the dancers in Munich -- whether several years ago or even now -- to look like the dancers of the Mariinsky or Vaganova graduates. They wouldn't look like them even if they  were dancing the identical variations under the identical coaches. For me, the interest of the production was a chance to see something that was based on the notations and the original libretto and thus close at least to the steps and patterns Petipa designed and the story he used (after Mazilier). I thought the Pas des Manteaux was a special treat...and I enjoyed seeing the extended mime. 

I allow that all reconstructions leave room for debate and I can also see why companies might feel that this Paquita might not meet the expectations of their 21st-century audiences. And I find it unsurprising when it is companies like Bayerisches Staatsoper and Zurich etc. that are willing to commit to these historical reconstruction/revivals because at least they don't have their own quasi-sacred traditions to preserve in the dancing of the classics -- at least not to the same extent as the major Russian companies.

I'm rather an eclectic fan and I love the "Grand Pas" stagings I've seen that are not based on notations per se --they include some of my favorite variations (or versions thereof). For me it was still a pleasure to see this Ratmansky staging...and an informative pleasure too. 

Edited by Drew

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3 hours ago, Gnossie said:

 

The Burlaka Nutcracker at the Mariinsky? Impossible, Yuri Fateyev hates reconstructions and the company already has 2 productions. 

And both of them horrid. Vainonen"s and his pseudo-Rose Adagio for the Fee Dragee and that other modern monstrosity whom I can't even fathom being danced at the Imperial stage.

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14 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

...and that other modern monstrosity whom I can't even fathom being danced at the Imperial stage.

Ratmansky was one of several choreographers who began working on that monstrosity and ended up running the other way! (He kept the idea of the bees for ABT, though.)

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Both Ratmansky and Fullington wrote about the Paquita sets being destroyed. Neither wrote anything about the costumes. Sadly, there is no indication that the sets were destroyed in order to be replaced by new ones. The posts suggest that the production will no longer be performed. That's a huge pity, since the world isn't exactly drowning in full-length Paquitas. That it should have been discarded during the Petipa bicentenary is particularly shameful. This is the year that the fruits of Liška's Petipa project should have been displayed front and center, not thrown onto the rubbish heap.

But I am very pleased to learn that the Burlaka/Medvedev Nutcracker is returning to Berlin. If it were to return as a full-on choreographic reconstruction, that would be even better!

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What a shame, if only PNB could have bought the sets / costumes for the 2019 season!  

Surely the Bayern government would be interested in their tax payer funded sets (government property) being destroyed?!?

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6 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Wonderful news...and Ratmansky is reconstructing the Petipa-era Bayadere at the same time. Utmost respect for Berlin.

Are you sure the Ratmansky Bayadere for Berlin is a recon? I've heard otherwise.

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18 minutes ago, mussel said:

Are you sure the Ratmansky Bayadere for Berlin is a recon? I've heard otherwise.

From Staatsballett Berlin website notes on their forthcoming new Bayadere production : "In order to get as close as possible to the original, Alexei Ratmansky not only reconstructs “La Bayadère”, but also painstakingly examines Petipa's taste and instinct. This approach is taken up in the stage design and costumes being newly developed by Jerôme Kaplan". Regrettably Berlin does not have the company to do this work justice.

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11 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Editing to add: I forgot to mention the Bolshoi Corsaire, in which Petipa-era designs were reproduced, to magnificent effect. I incorrectly think about Burlaka as the main Stepanov expert of that production, as it was Ratmansky’s first Petipa-Stepanov reconstruction. What a start!

You "incorrectly think" that you "incorrectly think about Burlaka as the main Stepanov expert of that production". Yuri Burlaka was by all means bearing responsibility for the reconstruction part , Alexei Ratmansky for producing new choreography. The difference between the two is easily recognizable even without knowing which one is reconstructed, which one is new. The more Ratmansky works with reconstructions, the longer he studies the canons of classical dance, the better is his grasp and feel for reconstituting the missing parts. I also hope this serves to improve his own choreographic skills which, despite all the praise heaped on him by benevolent newspaper critics, will benefit from such improvement.

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11 hours ago, Helene said:

A reliable source for whether the sets and costumes have been destroyed.  

The verbiage "the sets are destroyed and the production does not exist anymore" sounds strange, especially "the production does not exist anymore". Most modern productions are one-time affairs. A reprise  4-5 years later (the première at Munich took place in 2014) would be essentially a new production, with a completely new set of dancers and, possibly, a new set of decorations, higher in quality and corresponding closer to what we know about the original decorations. While watching the reconstructions, one needs to be aware that several are by necessity financially constrained, with costumes sometimes borrowed from other productions and decorations simplified or nonexistent, and what the audience sees is not what the ballet master really intended. The same applies to the human resources. Few companies today can afford reconstructions with exactly the same number of dancers in ensemble scenes as the original productions.

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Yes indeed - who else but the Bolshoy has the human and financial resources to put all of the "24 Hours" on stage in Coppelia ??

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10 hours ago, mussel said:

Are you sure the Ratmansky Bayadere for Berlin is a recon? I've heard otherwise.

It is, Mussel. This would be the second time that someone stages Bayadere from the Stepanov notes, the first having been Sergei Vikharev around 2002/03 period at the Mariinsky. It will be interesting to compare the two interpretations of the same notes...and two different designs! Vikharev’s stagings almost always included sumptuous recreations of Tsarist-era designs, with exception of the recent Fille Mal Gardee (pretty enough, based on Van Gogh paintings, but not from the Imperial Theatres tradition).

Edited by CharlieH

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8 hours ago, Laurent said:

You "incorrectly think" that you "incorrectly think about Burlaka as the main Stepanov expert of that production". Yuri Burlaka was by all means bearing responsibility for the reconstruction part , Alexei Ratmansky for producing new choreography. The difference between the two is easily recognizable even without knowing which one is reconstructed, which one is new. The more Ratmansky works with reconstructions, the longer he studies the canons of classical dance, the better is his grasp and feel for reconstituting the missing parts. I also hope this serves to improve his own choreographic skills which, despite all the praise heaped on him by benevolent newspaper critics, will benefit from such improvement.

So it WAS Burlaka who did all of the reconstructing of the Bolshoi Corsaire? Thanks for this. Well, no wonder then that the designs are authentic to the Tsarist era. No “El Cheapo,” as Gnossie says! 😂 

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5 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

So it WAS Burlaka who did all of the reconstructing of the Bolshoi Corsaire?

If I remember correctly Ratmansky did the choreo for the Jardin Animé - am checking immediately !

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Regardless of how expensive the costumes look to observers, the company spent $$$$ on Paquita using very fine materials, and it is unlikely that they'd invest that kind of money to reproduce the production again.

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3 hours ago, Helene said:

Regardless of how expensive the costumes look to observers, the company spent $$$$ on Paquita using very fine materials, and it is unlikely that they'd invest that kind of money to reproduce the production again.

I’ve no doubt, Helene. That’s why I’m flabbergasted that Munich’s Paquita production would simply be trashed. Such productions are built to last 20+ years. Look at ABT’s Bayadere, approaching 40 years. Those jampe scarves fly on their own! 

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The National Ballet of Canada is still using costumes from 1972 in its production of The Sleeping Beauty, though I imagine that the ostrich feathers in Georgiadis' elaborate headdresses have been replaced several times. How often on social media do you see photos posted by dancers awed at wearing a costume once used by a legend? Generations' worth of dancers' names are often marked on the tags.

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16 hours ago, mnacenani said:

If I remember correctly Ratmansky did the choreo for the Jardin Animé - am checking immediately !

It was Yuri Burlaka who did. Their collaboration on "Le Corsaire" at Bolshoi 10 years ago was summed up this way by a person who observed the whole process from a close distance:

Quote

The complete opposite of the departing artistic director (Alexei Ratmansky) is his successor and classmate at the Moscow Choreography Academy, Yuri Burlaka. A scientist, a pedant, a subtle stylist and the main Moscow connoisseur of the classical heritage, he is painstaking and meticulous in his work. He will never stage "off the top of his head": not surprisingly, the question why he shouldn't produce the whole of "Paquita", instead of just the Grand Pas, he couldn't even comprehend - "the ballet has disappeared, after all, should one invent it again?!"

They perfectly complemented each other, these classmates, when together they staged the ballet "Le Corsaire": Burlaka, like Schliemann (the archaeologist , who excavated the ancient Troy) dug out everything that remained of the famous performance in the ballet archives, Ratmansky, like Ostap Bender (a proverbially famous con artist of the early Soviet period), built his fantasies from scratch. Archaeology and stylization perfectly suited in the territory of one ballet. Yet Burlaka, plausibly, had it harder: in the 20-minute composition "Le jardin animé" that he reconstructed, 68 artists, including young children and the prima ballerina, were involved.

This is a slightly corrected google translation (when the meaning was incomprehensible or distorted) of an excerpt from the article by T. Kusnetsova:

https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1052648

Overall, the article, is very complimentary towards Ratmansky in the opening part, and it closes with interesting insider information on some of the problems "of authority" that Burlaka was facing vis-à-vis the dancers of the company. 

This was then. During the ten years that have passed, Alexei Ratmansky gradually himself got more and more interested and serious about the whole business and methodology of reconstruction, as is attested by his recent work.

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It's cruel and crude to totally trash a perfectly fine production, seems to me it's out of spite. Is there known animosity between Ratmansky and Zelensky?

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