Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Ratmansky Recon SL @ MCB 2020


Recommended Posts

19 minutes ago, aurora said:

I'm with you. I really want to see this again, and not jetlagged this time!

Me, too, and I saw it four times in Milan lat year. Also hoping they record and release on DVD. Any more info on dates, theater?

Link to post
1 minute ago, California said:

Me, too, and I saw it four times in Milan lat year. Also hoping they record and release on DVD. Any more info on dates, theater?

Oh I'm so jealous!

I actually timed a trip to Italy in 2016 based on when they were doing it, but only had a chance to go once.

Link to post

I saw it several times in Zurich in 2016 - a magnificent production, overall! The Lake scenes are beautifully designed. Hopefully, the “big wall” in scene1 will be replaced with something more beautiful. Ditto the tacky colors of national costumes in the ballroom scene...not to forget Odile’s key-lime underskirt.

Edited by CharlieH
Link to post
On 6/23/2018 at 8:21 PM, CharlieH said:

I saw it several times in Zurich in 2016 - a magnificent production, overall! The Lake scenes are beautifully designed. Hopefully, the “big wall” in scene1 will be replaced with something more beautiful. Ditto the tacky colors of national costumes in the ballroom scene...not to forget Odile’s key-lime underskirt.

But those costumes were significant -- to the extent they're accurate recreations and I think they tried. In the original, e.g., it was called "Grand Pas de Deux," not "Black Swan" and by golly her tutu wasn't black, but a strange mix of purple and green with a little black. (Which makes me wonder when it evolved into "black swan" - dance historians?) It was also interesting to see all those knee-length tutus, which seemed much more danceable than some of the heavy-seeming things in the Sleeping Beauty reconstruction.

Not sure what the problem is with the "big wall" in the beginning - a solid fence about human height with an iron gate in the middle. I thought it was a nice set for an outdoor birthday party, inside palace grounds, with a lake in the distance with a swan.

Link to post
3 minutes ago, California said:

But those costumes were significant -- to the extent they're accurate recreations and I think they tried. In the original, e.g., it was called "Grand Pas de Deux," not "Black Swan" and by golly her tutu wasn't black, but a strange mix of purple and green with a little black. (Which makes me wonder when it evolved into "black swan" - dance historians?) It was also interesting to see all those knee-length tutus, which seemed much more danceable than some of the heavy-seeming things in the Sleeping Beauty reconstruction.

Not sure what the problem is with the "big wall" in the beginning - a solid fence about human height with an iron gate in the middle. I thought it was a nice set for an outdoor birthday party, inside palace grounds, with a lake in the distance with a swan.

Absolutely wrong. Other than the gate in the middle, the wall is plain and high. Kaplan’s acid-colored national costumes are hideous. Odile’s tutu looks ok until she flashes her underskirt. Kaplan’s only bow to reconstruction aesthetics (1890s style) is the white-swans’ tutu and headpieces/hairstyles.

Link to post
2 minutes ago, CharlieH said:

Absolutely wrong. Other than the gate in the middle, the wall is plain and high. Kaplan’s acid-colored national costumes are hideous. Odile’s tutu looks ok until she flashes her underskirt. Kaplan’s only bow to reconstruction aesthetics (1890s style) is the white-swans’ tutu and headpieces/hairstyles.

I'm wondering if the set was altered on the transfer from Zurich to La Scala. I'm actually looking at a picture I took during a tour of the adjacent museum when they let us see inside the theater while stage hands were preparing for the evening performance. The wall has a variegated color pattern matching the pillars on either side of the stage (sort of a marble look), and there are three large green shrubs/vines with white flowers on them, the full height of the wall, one on the left of the gate, two on the right. Three low steps across the width of the wall. It seemed to me this was a courtyard of the sort you'd see in a castle complex and it differentiated the royal venue from the surrounding area where they would go hunting.

They did not have an exhibit showing evidence of the costumes in the original compared to what we saw in the reconstruction, but that would be appreciated.

 

 

Link to post
38 minutes ago, California said:

But those costumes were significant -- to the extent they're accurate recreations and I think they tried. In the original, e.g., it was called "Grand Pas de Deux," not "Black Swan" and by golly her tutu wasn't black, but a strange mix of purple and green with a little black. (Which makes me wonder when it evolved into "black swan" - dance historians?) It was also interesting to see all those knee-length tutus, which seemed much more danceable than some of the heavy-seeming things in the Sleeping Beauty reconstruction.

Not sure what the problem is with the "big wall" in the beginning - a solid fence about human height with an iron gate in the middle. I thought it was a nice set for an outdoor birthday party, inside palace grounds, with a lake in the distance with a swan.

I am certainly not a historian, but found this on wikipedia:

"The character of Odile was not a "Black Swan" at all in either the original production of 1877 nor in the revival of 1895, and she was not performed as such for many years - she was simply Rothbart's evil daughter until sometime in the late 1930s or early 1940s. As Odile, Pierina Legnani appeared in a glittering multi-colored costume with no feathers to be found - obviously to appear more as an enchantress than as a "Black Swan." Later performances at the Mariinsky Theatre of Swan Lake used similar costume designs for Odile throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century. It is unknown when the tradition of having Odile performed as a "Black Swan" began, but most historians point to a 1941 staging of the third scene (the "Ballroom Scene") performed by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. This production was staged by Alexandra Fedorova-Fokine under the title The Magic Swan. Odile was danced by the great Ballerina Tamara Toumanova. At the time the only part of Swan Lake that was known in the west was the famous second scene (or the "White Act" as it is sometimes called). In an effort to have the audience distinguish Odile from the more well-known Odette, Fedorova-Fokine had Toumanova perform in a black costume, and almost by accident Odile began to be referred to as "The Black Swan." Though Toumanova was not the first ballerina to wear such a costume when dancing Odile, her 1941 performance set the tradition in motion and soon Odile became "The Black Swan," a tradition that quickly spread everywhere, including Russia."

Link to post
37 minutes ago, its the mom said:

I am certainly not a historian, but found this on wikipedia:

"The character of Odile was not a "Black Swan" at all in either the original production of 1877 nor in the revival of 1895, and she was not performed as such for many years - she was simply Rothbart's evil daughter until sometime in the late 1930s or early 1940s. As Odile, Pierina Legnani appeared in a glittering multi-colored costume with no feathers to be found - obviously to appear more as an enchantress than as a "Black Swan." Later performances at the Mariinsky Theatre of Swan Lake used similar costume designs for Odile throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century. It is unknown when the tradition of having Odile performed as a "Black Swan" began, but most historians point to a 1941 staging of the third scene (the "Ballroom Scene") performed by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. This production was staged by Alexandra Fedorova-Fokine under the title The Magic Swan. Odile was danced by the great Ballerina Tamara Toumanova. At the time the only part of Swan Lake that was known in the west was the famous second scene (or the "White Act" as it is sometimes called). In an effort to have the audience distinguish Odile from the more well-known Odette, Fedorova-Fokine had Toumanova perform in a black costume, and almost by accident Odile began to be referred to as "The Black Swan." Though Toumanova was not the first ballerina to wear such a costume when dancing Odile, her 1941 performance set the tradition in motion and soon Odile became "The Black Swan," a tradition that quickly spread everywhere, including Russia."

Fascinating! Thank you. I wonder when the "pancake" tutu came into vogue. I've found it interesting that some of Balanchine's ballets use knee-length tutus -- e.g., Diamonds. That's what he would have seen in St. Petersburg before he left.

Link to post

Wonderful news, which means... JEANETTE DELGADO FINALLY ABLE TO DANCE THE BALLET!! This would certainly be a challenge for the company, which is a small one. Dancers will be forced to take several roles in the ballet.

So.... what's gonna happen now with their beautiful Balanchine one act production...? I guess they would still be able to keep both...

Link to post
9 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

This would certainly be a challenge for the company, which is a small one. Dancers will be forced to take several roles in the ballet.

It looks like they have 47 dancers on contract + a big school. Regional companies all over the country do just fine with less than that. As long as they have strong principals to carry the leads, they should not have any problems pulling this off. 

Link to post
15 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Absolutely wrong. Other than the gate in the middle, the wall is plain and high. Kaplan’s acid-colored national costumes are hideous. Odile’s tutu looks ok until she flashes her underskirt. Kaplan’s only bow to reconstruction aesthetics (1890s style) is the white-swans’ tutu and headpieces/hairstyles.

Hmm. I think in the case of Ratmansky's Swan Lake I'm 1000x more interested in seeing the choreographic text than the scenery and fabrics used to make the costumes. 

Link to post
16 hours ago, sandik said:

Honestly, I'm not that interested in the designs -- I'd watch the whole thing in rehearsal clothes and count myself lucky.

 

I agree. Although I enjoy nice sets and costumes the most important reason to watch ballet is to see the choreography. Same with opera. I have gone to operas "in concert" without sets and costumes, because the singing was the most important element.

Link to post
15 hours ago, California said:

I'm wondering if the set was altered on the transfer from Zurich to La Scala. I'm actually looking at a picture I took during a tour of the adjacent museum when they let us see inside the theater while stage hands were preparing for the evening performance. The wall has a variegated color pattern matching the pillars on either side of the stage (sort of a marble look), and there are three large green shrubs/vines with white flowers on them, the full height of the wall, one on the left of the gate, two on the right. Three low steps across the width of the wall. It seemed to me this was a courtyard of the sort you'd see in a castle complex and it differentiated the royal venue from the surrounding area where they would go hunting.

They did not have an exhibit showing evidence of the costumes in the original compared to what we saw in the reconstruction, but that would be appreciated.

 

 

Absolutely right, California!  I just rewatched the first act of Ratmansky's SL at La Scala and the wall is how you describe with a lake showing behind a wrought iron gate that connects two sides of the wall. Maybe it was improved upon in Milan. Maybe people complained in Zurich so it was made more beautiful. But you are absolutely right in what you personally saw in Milan.

Link to post
On 6/23/2018 at 10:21 PM, CharlieH said:

I saw it several times in Zurich in 2016 - a magnificent production, overall! The Lake scenes are beautifully designed. Hopefully, the “big wall” in scene1 will be replaced with something more beautiful. Ditto the tacky colors of national costumes in the ballroom scene...not to forget Odile’s key-lime underskirt.

Hmm the good thing is that the internet exists. 

So here is Odile's tutu. It's a mulit-colored tutu with some emerald green/purple/black patterns.

13431_2.jpg

Then here's the wall in Act One:

34158-thumb_toc0yz_resize_900_0.jpg

It's not ugly. It's evocative of a time and place (a medieval courtyard) with vines growing on the wall. 

Link to post

Thank you! For several lengthy video clips, see: https://petipasociety.com/swan-lake-ratmansky-reconstruction/

Act I, Scene 1 is actually interesting (for a change). I can see why contemporary companies want to get rid of those little stools, but there's so much interesting choreography for the ensemble.

I was fascinated with the use of eight child-swans in Act I, Scene 2, something I've never seen. The footage on this site also shows the white swan "pas de trois" with Benno. They omitted the use of the hunters mingling in formations with the swans, unfortunately.

Link to post
6 hours ago, California said:

It looks like they have 47 dancers on contract + a big school. Regional companies all over the country do just fine with less than that. As long as they have strong principals to carry the leads, they should not have any problems pulling this off. 

Pacific Northwest Ballet had 49 on contract this year (46 ranked and 3 apprentices) and filled in the rest from their school for their production of Swan Lake this year -- it's a lovely version and feels very full.  I can't remember -- how many dancers did Ratmansky have on stage in the corps?

Link to post
6 hours ago, canbelto said:

Hmm the good thing is that the internet exists. 

So here is Odile's tutu. It's a mulit-colored tutu with some emerald green/purple/black patterns.

13431_2.jpg

 

 

Some of the things we discuss are matters of personal taste, and so descriptions like "beautiful" and "ugly" are more variable than "tall" or "monochrome."  But in my tiny universe, the costume for the corps man in the act 3 photo above over on the right (not Rothbart) is astonishing with all those lines -- like a bolero jacket made of golden armor...

Link to post
1 hour ago, sandik said:

I can't remember -- how many dancers did Ratmansky have on stage in the corps?

One thing that annoys me about programs at La Scala (and the Royal ballet): they don't list names of corps members, just "Artists of the X Ballet." So the only way to know is to count from those video clips!

Link to post
1 hour ago, sandik said:

Pacific Northwest Ballet had 49 on contract this year (46 ranked and 3 apprentices) and filled in the rest from their school for their production of Swan Lake this year -- it's a lovely version and feels very full.  I can't remember -- how many dancers did Ratmansky have on stage in the corps?

In interviews prior to the La Scala premier, there were indications that the La Scala production used more people in the ensembles than Zurich and thus was more accurate still in reproducing Petipa's patters in Act I especially--I imagine Miami might go with the Zurich numbers. Honestly I can't remember if it was an interview with Ratmansky himself or not.

One thing I'm curious about is whether Ratmansky will stick to the approach that informed the Zurich/La Scala productions when it comes to his interpretation of performance style or whether he will shift to the approach he expressed in an interview about Harlequinade w. Marina Harss: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/arts/dance/harlequinade-alexei-ratmansky-american-ballet-theater.html 

Key quote I am thinking of below:

"As he has become more conversant in Petipa’s style, his freedom within it has increased. In 'The Sleeping Beauty,' he was adamant that the women should raise their legs up only 90 degrees and not point their feet when they stood at rest, but rather hold them in a semirelaxed position. Many of the women’s turns were executed with the foot on half tiptoe rather than fully on the tips of the toes.

"These period details were difficult to maintain — the dancers kept going back to their old habits, he said — so he hasn’t insisted on them in 'Harlequinade.' 'It requires too much time to make it work, and there are never enough rehearsals,' he said."

(I can't help but notice that what Ratmansky says about the change and what Harss says about it seem to me to be a little at odds--whatever her intention may have been. That is her language implies that his shifting views reflect growing mastery and ease "As he has become more conversant in Petipa's style, his freedom within it has increased." He presents it as a practical decision: "never enough rehearsals." We will see what Miami City Ballet and Ratmansky do with this production...I certainly hope I will see it.)

Link to post
On 6/26/2018 at 1:54 PM, Drew said:

(I can't help but notice that what Ratmansky says about the change and what Harss says about it seem to me to be a little at odds--whatever her intention may have been. That is her language implies that his shifting views reflect growing mastery and ease "As he has become more conversant in Petipa's style, his freedom within it has increased." He presents it as a practical decision: "never enough rehearsals." We will see what Miami City Ballet and Ratmansky do with this production...I certainly hope I will see it.)

While I would love to see a production that maintains the limitations that period technique would have produced, I can understand why Ratmansky would give that particular element away in a project like this.  I was lucky to see a reconstruction of Jardin Animee that Doug Fullington did with students at Pacific Northwest Ballet school, several years before his pocket reconstruction of Corsaire, and I remember how hard it was for those aspiring students to hold back when it came to flexibility and technical facility -- I can only imagine it would be even more difficult for experienced professionals.

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...