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6 minutes ago, Gnossie said:

You did not asked me but I most answer. 

 

The reconstruction of The Sleeping Beauty performs Aurora's variation to the Gold Fairy music from Act III, just as it happened on the premier since Petipa discarded the music Tchaikovsky had originally composed for Aurora's variation. This is historically accurate. 

Ah - So that is where it comes from originally?  I did not know!  Nevertheless, this music IS currently used for the Lilac Fairy's 3rd act variation in the Sergeyev version.   The Gold Fairy doesn't get a variation in the Sergeyev SB.

 

 

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Since the Sergeyev version has so many changes from what Petipa had originally created what version would people consider closestest to the original, after the reconstruction? 

Edited by NAOTMAA

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1 hour ago, Gnossie said:

The reconstruction of The Sleeping Beauty performs Aurora's variation to the Gold Fairy music from Act III, just as it happened on the premier since Petipa discarded the music Tchaikovsky had originally composed for Aurora's variation. This is historically accurate

Thank you very much for this info !

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This variation in question - here's the history:

Petipa and Carlotta Brianza both rejected the music that Tchaikovsky composed for Aurora's Act 2 variation because they didn't feel it was very suitable for Brianza in terms of showcasing her talents and abilities. So they chose the music that Tchaikovsky composed for the Gold Fairy's variation, which was interpolated into Act 2 as Aurora's variation. However, this variation does not musically match the preceding waltz, so Riccardo Drigo was required to compose four new bars between the two numbers for the modulation into the new key. Most modern productions, however, retained Tchaikovsky's original music for Aurora's Act 2 variation and Sergeyev gave her original Act 2 variation (with the choreography altered) to the Lilac Fairy, clearly so that the Lilac Fairy would have some dancing in the final act.

Choreographically and stylistically, Ratmansky's reconstruction is the most faithful to Petipa's version.

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I read back then Petipa use to rechoreograph and tweak ballets on the strengths and weaknesses of the dancer taking over the role. That's why it's near impossible, even with the notation, to see what Sleeping Beauty was like when it was first performed in 1893. Yet today from what I've seen it seems everyone is expected to dance it as choreographed regardless. When did that change? 

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6 minutes ago, Gnossie said:

In YOUR opinion. 

No it's not my opinion, it's a fact. Ratmansky followed the notation scores 100%, which unfortunately, poor Vikharev didn't do because he staged everything in a modern style. He also retained many of the Soviet passages instead of the notated passages, probably due to pressure.

Just look at this quote from Alexandra Danilova about the idea of Imperial ballerinas sticking their legs up at 180 degrees - "Of course we could do it, but it was considered vulgar." And Petipa said that raising the leg above the head is "not art... but a clown act."

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22 minutes ago, Gnossie said:

In YOUR opinion. 

I haven't seen the Ratmansky reconstruction so I can't compare but I guess looking at pictures and small clips the overall look seems very flashy and out there. I guess it's the feeling and atmosphere that would be the biggest difference. It certainly has the Dagliev flash which is different from Petipa and his overall style.

Of course Sleeping Princess was over 30 years after Petipa's original and a lot changed in between them (in dance and culture) so of course there is differences in that area. 

 

Edited by NAOTMAA

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Petipa Gala Masha

I must have been gawking open-mouthed at Masha for minutes at the Petipa Gala past Sunday before she gave me this look  :wub:

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17 minutes ago, mnacenani said:

Petipa Gala Konda-Masha

Primas galore at the Petipa Gala

One can’t be sure, but Kondaurova looks like she is signing an autograph for someone (the woman standing in front of the box looking up at her) —that would be quite gracious given that she is there as a spectator of the performance.

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4 minutes ago, Drew said:

Kondaurova looks like she is signing an autograph for someone (the woman standing in front of the box looking up at her)

Yes - she came round twice, the other time for Teryoshkina

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18 minutes ago, Gnossie said:

Masha was really looking at you! Didn't you blow a kiss to her?

Эти большие чёрные глаза ...  sigh !

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5 hours ago, Gnossie said:

 Do you read notation? Were you present during the creation of the Vikharev reconstruction? I think the answer in both cases is NO. 

First of all, Ratmansky didn't follow the notation 100%.

Secondly, you have no right to refer to Mr.Vikharev as "poor Vikharev" because you were not his friend nor colleague. 

In third place, no he didn't stage everything in a "modern way" and he didn't retained any Soviet passage, he reconstructed the notation 100%, that the Mariinsky dancers once on stage decided to lift their legs when they were told to not do it, and danced the Soviet choreography, it's not his fault. 

Ratmansky's production is, if anything, a reconstruction of the The Sleeping Princess (1921), but never in the life of the Sleeping Beauty, I can't help but laugh at "Choreographically and stylistically, Ratmansky's is the most faithful to Petipa's version" Yeah sure, especially when using an aesthetic that is the whole opposite to that of Petipa. 

 

 

 

Hi, Actually when Vikharev first did the reconstruction in 1999, he met with a lot of resistance from a lot of people, who didn't believe that the notations were real - as a consequence of that, he decided to retain the Soviet variation for the Prince in Act 3 as a sop to the dancers.  Same with La Bayadere - he retained the Bronze Idol variation at least to start with. Actually Mr Vikharev was working in a totally hostile atmosphere - so it is a miracle that he succeeded at all - this was at a time when many of the Soviet old guard were still alive including Natalia Dudinskaya herself. I always wondered what she thought of the reconstructions.

Alexei Ratmansky and his wife actually worked together on the notations - they studied it from old manuals - the link is here - https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/ratmanskys-beauty-wakes-up .  Also https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/19/a-dance-of-sugar-and-cream and http://dancetabs.com/2015/08/alexei-ratmansky-simple-and-wise-a-qa-about-ratmanskys-sleeping-beauty-for-abt/

I actually saw the reconstruction of Sleeping Beauty myself when it came to London in 2001, and I seen various clips of it on youtube. Judging by what I remember then and watching the new clips, there doesn't seem to be a lot of differences - granted that the final pose has been changed in the Apotheosis - but apart from that, the choreography is basically intact. The dancing is a bit ragged but that can be forgiven by the fact that the Mariinsky haven't danced it for a long time. What changes do you think were made?

What would you consider to be the "Petipa aesthetic"?

The Ballet Russes 1921 production was based on the Stepanov notations which was brought to London by Nikolai Sergeyev himself after feeing Russia in 1917 - so in that sense it has a line of descent directly from the 1890 production.

 
 
Edited by CHazell2

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According to the Marius Petipa Society Stepanov notations for Sleeping Beauty were done around ca. 1903, 10 years after the premiere and after Petipa was dismissed from the Mariinsky. Chances are there were many changes done within those ten years by Petipa himself due to either change in dancers with different strengths or his own personal tinkering. And who's to say there wasn't additional tinkering after 1903 when the talent at the Mariinsky was overflowing to insane proportions. 

https://petipasociety.com/the-sleeping-beauty/

Quote

In 1921, the first full-length production of Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty was staged by Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes on the 2nd November at the Alhambra Theatre in London under the title The Sleeping Princess. Dancing Princess Aurora and Prince Désiré in the première were Olga Spessivtseva and Pierre Vladimirov. The décor and costumes were designed by Leon Bakst, using the same type of designs he had used for Pavlova’s costume for her abridged staging in the United States. Igor Stravinsky arranged and re-orchestrated parts of Tchaikovsky’s score, while some of Petipa’s choreography was altered by Bronislava Nijinska

Diaghilev may have used the notations but as stated here even he had done some tinkering of his own both to choreography and music. So the line from Petipa 1893 to Ratmansky 2015 has quite a number of twists of turns of its own just like Vikharev's does. No one will ever know just how close to 1893 they are unless someone invents a time machine. 

 

edit: I do agree with Gnossie that the Baskt aesthetic doesn't feel very "Tsarist." I look at the costumes and sets and have a hard time imagining the Romanovs or Tsarist elite sitting in the Imperial box watching it. Everything I have read about Alexander III or his son suggests to me that they would have found it too far out there. Perhaps it would have been performed at the private theatre of a more adventurous aristocrat but not the Tsar's theatre.

Edited by NAOTMAA

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GNOSSIE, those clips are wonderful!  How adorable, enchanting and joyful!  And yes, what a great tribute to the Great Vikharev!  If ONLY Mariinsky had this jewel in their repertoire right now - imagine Oksana Marchuk or Margarita Frolova as Lise!  Mariinsky has many dancers who would be perfect for Lise and Colas.  Tragic... but yes, what an achievement for Yekaterinburg!  

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1 hour ago, Gnossie said:

The biggest hit at this year's Dance Open festival has been the Yekaterinburg ballet performances of Sergei Vikharev's reconstruction of Marius Petipa's version of La fille mal gardée(1885)

Dear Gnossie I saw this production in March 2016 at the Bolshoy when Yekaterinburg performed it as their entry for Z. Maska. What struck me as somewhat unusual was the performance beginning and ending with a "ballet class", otherwise it was FMG as I know it - could you kindly shed some light on this ? (a somewhat funny story - I could not get to grips with the ZM website where tix sales page is in Russki only, so asked my hotel concierge to get tix for me to Yekat FMG at Bolshoy. But when they called ZM they were told there was no FMG scheduled. It later turned out that FMG is known in Russia as "Tshetnaya Predostorojnost" ..... good to know !  :D

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The clips are fantastic. It would be great if the Mariinsky were take this up and I'm wondering it it would be possible and make sense to restore original designs as well.  (I think Shakirova also might make a great Lise.)

On the title: I think the idea when translating the title of a ballet or theater piece is that it has to "sound" catchy enough in the target language to draw in audiences. "The Poorly Guarded Daughter" was probably judged a rather ineffective title in English. I'm not crazy about "Vain Precautions" either, but it does sound more like a stage title in English than "The Poorly Guarded Daughter."

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Thank you for these clips! It's wonderful to see some excerpts of Vikharev's La Fille mal gardee. However, there is one thing that should be pointed out - that Grand Pas de deux in Act 3 is not Petipa's choreography or creation for that matter. It's the famous so-called La Fille mal gardee Pas de deux that's performed many times today in galas and on the competition circuit and it was created by Gorsky in 1903, not Petipa, though this version is undoubtedly a Soviet revival of Gorsky's original version, possibly by Pytor Gusev.

The music is a pastiche of various pieces from various ballets; only the adage is from Hertel's score for La Fille mal gardee. The male variation is the Variation of the Genie of the Forest by Drigo from The Enchanted Forest, the female variation is the coda of a supplementary pas de deux by Drigo for Vera Trefilova's performance in The Haarlem Tulip and the coda is a general dance from The Calvary Halt. As far as I know, there are no fouettes in the notation scores for La Fille mal gardee, though according to an eyewitness report, Kschessinskaya performed fouettes in one of her La Fille mal gardee variations, though I don't know which one.

Also, I should correct something I said in my last post, if I may. I was wrong to say that Ratmansky restores the notated choreography 100% because even he has deviated from the notated steps in a couple of places, though, in his defence, he has not deviated a great deal. One major problem with dance notation (any kind of dance notation) is that anybody can always make an error in decoding it.

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7 minutes ago, Gnossie said:

the problem with Stepanov Notation is that there's not a definitive way of decoding it,

I think I read somewhere that a decoding guide had been found at one time in the Mariinsky archive - is there any truth in this or am I making it up ?

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I have been saying for a long time that the performing arts, especially in the 19th century, were a living thing. I know in opera, composers would often rewrite an aria or compose a new one for a new singer. Both the composer and the singer wanted a success. Things would be changed for a different singer, different theatre, or country (the french were used to 5 act operas that included a ballet). There was less, "It must be exactly what I created" concept in the 19th century. In some ways each new production was a new work b/c you had new stars and a new format at times. I think reconstructions are very interesting, and it is worthwhile to stage them, so that maybe we get a glimpse of what the style MIGHT have been, but I think a rigid adherence to what "should be" is foolhardy.

I also suspect that if we could go back in time we would all be disappointed with Giuditta Pasta's Norma (Callas changed it forever, in my opinion) or Kschessinskaya's fouettes. Technique in both opera and ballet has evolved/changed......what we are used to is different. That is normal in the performing arts, in my opinion.

 

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For heaven's sake. There are three guides to reading Stepanov notation that I am aware of after 33 years of familiarity with the system: Stepanov's publication, Gorsky's two publications, and the handwritten guides held at Harvard. Perhaps there are others, but I've not been made privy to them if there are. All of these sources are complementary, though the Gorsky publications are more thorough than Stepanov's. The system is not rocket science. Some of the scribes show minor differences in how certain things were written down, but any difficulties in "decoding" Stepanov notation lie in factors beyond the notation symbols themselves. Yes, variations were changed, rechoreographed, otherwise altered, sometimes replaced. This is evident in the Harvard documents and matches what we know from memoirs, reviews, and other descriptions. And those today working publicly with Stepanov notation all take a slightly different approach in how they choose to realize (or ignore, alter, transform, "update") the material. But to post on this forum that the notation keys are fraudulent is simply not true.

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Mna, Masha was really looking at you

She was rather listening to Valeria Iosifovna Uralskaya.

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1 hour ago, Gnossie said:

Yesterday, Olesya Novikova -pupil of Sergei Vikharev and Mariinsky first soloist- was discussing the La Scala reconstruction of Raymonda, as part of the Petipa Bicentennial conference at the Bakhrushin Theatre Museum.

Not to diminish Novikova’s participation, but the official conference does not begin until Wednesday, June 6, with the initial session with Ratmansky & our own Doug Fullington (among others), followed by cocktail party! Reports, please!

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45 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

Not to diminish Novikova’s participation, but the official conference does not begin until Wednesday, June 6, with the initial session with Ratmansky & our own Doug Fullington (among others), followed by cocktail party! Reports, please!

I certainly would want to listen to what great authorities on the Stepanov-Harvard notes, like Ratmansky & Fullington, have to say. I give all reconstructionists, Ratmansky, Fullington, Burlaka, Medvedev...not just dear Sergei Vikharev, the deepest respect.

Edited by CharlieH

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1 hour ago, Gnossie said:

Good for you! I don't. 

If I can have a cocktail while  discussing Stepanov reconstructions with any of these authorities, all the better. Cheers! 💕 

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