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volcanohunter

Ratmansky's Paquita

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18 hours ago, Laurent said:

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:

Dear Laurent you are right - my ballet historian/lecturer friend in Moscow has confirmed your info, sending a link to an article by Burlaka which appeared in the Vaganova journal last year : (Grand Pas from ballet "Paquita" and Grand Pas "Lively Garden" from ballet "Corsaire" : Comparative Analysis). I am posting the link for the benefit of our Russian-speaking members :  http://vaganov.elpub.ru/jour/article/viewFile/397/389

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14 hours ago, mussel said:

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?

Unfortunately, in the ballet world this is a norm rather than an exception. The majority of productions are a single season affairs. sometimes they run for another season, in order to offset the costs. Big ballet personalities have big egos, and to be completely honest, when they become company directors, their own interests are often of much greater importance to them than the well being of the company they lead, of the dancers they should care about, or of the interests of Ballet, whose servants they supposedly are. If Ratmansky hasn't stirred the community of balletomanes by his facebook post, nobody would have noticed.

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I don't know if there are any rules/laws about selling productions that have been created with state money.  It's also possible that a large company would not want anyone to see another company use sets and costumes and have reviewers and audience associate the original company with them.  In North America, it is common enough for companies to sell productions or parts of productions once they've decided to take them out of active rep.

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Sometimes companies will hold on to physical productions they no longer perform and continue to profit by them. Several years ago the National Ballet of Canada replaced, unfortunately, Cranko's Romeo and Juliet with Ratmansky's new version. But it held on to the sets and costumes for the former and continues to rent them out, for example, to Ballet West. The Bolshoi hasn't performed Petit's Notre-Dame de Paris since before the main theater was closed for renovation, but it rented the sets and costumes to La Scala when that company performed the ballet in 2013,

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7 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

Sometimes companies will hold on to physical productions they no longer perform and continue to profit by them. Several years ago the National Ballet of Canada replaced, unfortunately, Cranko's Romeo and Juliet with Ratmansky's new version. But it held on to the sets and costumes for the former and continues to rent them out, for example, to Ballet West. The Bolshoi hasn't performed Petit's Notre-Dame de Paris since before the main theater was closed for renovation, but it rented the sets and costumes to La Scala when that company performed the ballet in 2013,

The renting and buying/selling of physical productions is actually fascinating behind-the-scenes information. When San Francisco Ballet staged an all-new production of Nutcracker to resemble Victorian San Francisco, they sold their old sets/costumes to the Colorado Ballet, where they look just wonderful (although I'm guessing they needed a little repair work).  When Colorado did Giselle a few years ago, they rented ABT's production and I remember excited Facebook postings when dancers discovered "Baryshnikov" written inside some of the costumes. And I got a pleasant sense of deja vu, having seen ABT's production so many times.

Given the high cost of these productions (not to mention storage costs), this seems to be an important aspect of the ballet world most of us don't pay attention to. 

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Certainly more sensible than destroying unwanted productions.

I have often wondered what became of Luisa Spinatelli's sets and costumes from Makarova's short-lived production of The Sleeping Beauty for the Royal Ballet. Peter Walker's designs from 1977 proved to be especially enduring. The Royal Ballet replaced that production in 1994, but I saw those sets and costumes on stage in 2010, rented from their owner at the time, the Boston Ballet.

I have also seen the costumes from ABT's Giselle used far from New York. :) I can certainly imagine how thrilling it would be to go out on stage in Baryshnikov's former costume. :wub:

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On 5/24/2018 at 3:50 PM, Helene said:

I don't know if there are any rules/laws about selling productions that have been created with state money.  It's also possible that a large company would not want anyone to see another company use sets and costumes and have reviewers and audience associate the original company with them.  In North America, it is common enough for companies to sell productions or parts of productions once they've decided to take them out of active rep.

There is no rule in Germany that state subsidized productions have to be destroyed after use... Munich has a very, very large opera repertoire and I suppose the Nationaltheater just did not have the space to keep the Paquita sets, once Zelensky said he doesn't want the production any more. Which is no excuse, I know. I heard after the last Paquita in Munich that Ivan Liska wanted to sell the production to an American company, but it seems this did not work out.

Not all Paquita costumes did look expensive, by the way. They had floral prints for the gypsies that screamed polyester even if you watched from the fifth balcony.

 

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I imagine they have copyright and patent and trademark protection

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7 hours ago, Fosca said:

There is no rule in Germany that state subsidized productions have to be destroyed after use... Munich has a very, very large opera repertoire and I suppose the Nationaltheater just did not have the space to keep the Paquita sets,

My question is whether there are laws that they cannot be sold if the state-subsidized companies don't have the space or inclination to keep them.  If there are no such laws, then, of course, the question is why they didn't sell them, since renting them out would require space when they were returned.

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On 5/26/2018 at 6:42 PM, Helene said:

My question is whether there are laws that they cannot be sold if the state-subsidized companies don't have the space or inclination to keep them.  If there are no such laws, then, of course, the question is why they didn't sell them, since renting them out would require space when they were returned. 

German theatres get a lot of money from the state/the towns, but they are supposed to work economically - as far as I know, they sell the sets and costumes of old productions if there is a possibility. To German theatres or anywhere else, no difference. If they did not sell the Munich Paquita, there may be many reasons - nobody wanted it, the timing with Ratmansky did not work out for the company who wanted to buy it, maybe the sets did not fit for the other stage; Munich has a huge stage. Nothing of this was official or in the newspapers, I'm sorry.

To be honest, I don't think this was the best of reconstructions, many in the "normal", not historically interested Munich audience found it boring and too old-fashioned with all the pantomime - also comparing it to their reconstructed Corsaire which they liked very much. I'm not so sure if Paquita would have been a crowd-pleaser elsewhere. A ballet director has to think about things like that if he buys a production, I guess.

 

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7 hours ago, Fosca said:

To be honest, I don't think this was the best of reconstructions, many in the "normal", not historically interested Munich audience found it boring and too old-fashioned with all the pantomime - also comparing it to their reconstructed Corsaire which they liked very much. I'm not so sure if Paquita would have been a crowd-pleaser elsewhere. A ballet director has to think about things like that if he buys a production, I guess.

It's interesting to think about differences in audiences -- to be equally honest, I went out of my way to watch a cinema screening of this because it was more historically accurate.  Paquita doesn't get too many full productions no matter the source of the choreography, but I was particularly excited to see this one. 

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Posted (edited)

Tweeted out by ABT: a piece of costume that has passed between Natalia Makarova, Cynthia Harvey, Susan Jaffe, Amanda McKerrow and Gillian Murphy. From up close it looks 38 years used, though from a distance I'm sure it looks just fine.

 

Edited by volcanohunter

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To be honest, I don't think this was the best of reconstructions, many in the "normal", not historically interested Munich audience found it boring and too old-fashioned with all the pantomime - also comparing it to their reconstructed Corsaire which they liked very much. I'm not so sure if Paquita would have been a crowd-pleaser elsewhere.

I can imagine that ballet classics can be poorly done (a vivid recent example, grossly inadequate in nearly every way "Sleeping Beaty" by San Francisco Ballet), but "boring", "old fashioned" ?!? Are you speaking for the typical Munich audience? What is considered to be a "crowd pleaser" in Munich today?

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I worked in technical theater many years ago, and one of my bosses used to say that if you can't see it from the back of a horse in the middle of a rainstorm at night, you can't see it onstage.  These would be more than fine!

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On 6/1/2018 at 4:51 AM, Laurent said:

I can imagine that ballet classics can be poorly done (a vivid recent example, grossly inadequate in nearly every way "Sleeping Beaty" by San Francisco Ballet), but "boring", "old fashioned" ?!? Are you speaking for the typical Munich audience? What is considered to be a "crowd pleaser" in Munich today?

I was trying to explain: they had a Corsaire, reconstructed by Doug Fullington and Ivan Liska, which did very well in the repertory over many seasons. Paquita did not do quite so well - what I heard from people who care for their beloved Bavarian State Ballet dancers and not so much for a certain tribute to ballet history, they thought there was way too much pantomime in Paquita, and that the story was silly (compared to Le Corsaire). Bavarian State Ballet has done many Petipa ballets, actually the most Petipa ballets for any German company, but not all were reconstructions, so the styles of staging and dancing are rather different. A Bayadére by Patrice Bart, who also claims to "follow the Petipa tradition",  is certainly more of a crowd-pleaser than the Ratmansky Paquita. Think of St. Petersburg, where they also dropped the Vikharev Sleeping Beauty for the old Sergeyev version. I don't say it is right or good, I only try to understand the reasons. 

Also, Munich has been a Cranko/Neumeier company for many years, so the audience loves dramatic ballet. Being used to the Cranko/Neumeier tradition of story-telling, where the story is in the dancing and not in the pantomime, you might consider the plot and story-telling of a reconstructed Paquita - well: boring and old-fashioned. I'm talking about a "normal" ballet audience, not the reconstruction buffs who care for the difference in the height of a leg or the execution of a certain step. Moving back in ballet history is fascinating for many of us here, but maybe not for the occasional theatregoer who likes to watch five or six ballet performances a year. Oh, and they do everything at Munich to educate their audience: great programme brochures with lots of interesting essays (for the Corsaire, you could read for every single variation where it comes from, choreography and music!), lecture demonstrations, talks etc. Maybe there is a certain point where reconstructions are too sophisticated to convey to a broad audience, I don't know? 

 

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12 hours ago, Fosca said:

what I heard from people who care for their beloved Bavarian State Ballet dancers and not so much for a certain tribute to ballet history, they thought there was way too much pantomime in Paquita, and that the story was silly (compared to Le Corsaire).

Having a sillier plot than Corsaire takes some doing!

(I think your explanation makes a lot of sense, that just struck me)

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