leave no stone unturned
Sleeping Beauty Ballet
I just came back from watching real ballet for the first time -except for some Greek attempts of Swan Lake and Nutcracker I never watched an international one-and I m over the moon. I watched Sleeping Beauty with Cojocaru and Kobborg, I m thrilled I saw Cojocaru live cause she had cancelled her appearances here the last few years and I was afraid it would happen again. And she was really dreamy-out of this world.
Do you have any suggestions I can watch from old videos with other Sleeping Beauty adaptation?
How delicious! And of all things to start out with as a dance viewer, a ballet with Tchaikovsky music--so deep and exhilarating. You lucky duck. I love that ending triumphal march. Here's a sequence from one production, done by the Paris Opera Ballet with choreography by Nureyev.
Right after World War II, Margot Fonteyn made her international reputation by dancing the Rose Adagio here in the U.S. Here's one production of her dancing that section; commentary by posters underneath says that this is from a 1960s documentary. You can hunt around for more performances from Fonteyn's long, long career.
I'm sure there are great productions by both the Bolshoi and the Kirov.
By the way, have you found Prokofiev's Cinderella ballet? The waltz is just the most splendidly haunting music. Here's one production:
Have a wonderful time immersing yourself in this!
Last edited by Olympia; 12-16-2012 at 07:04 PM.
I like the Disney take on it
Well, of course. Anybody would! And it even has the Tchaikovsky music. But no ballet shoes.
no, most of the time the princess is barefoot (but she wears those ballet flats that are so in these days)
Originally Posted by Olympia
WHAT???!!! You watched ballet live for the FIRST time??? Oh, yeah, silly me. Not everyone used to have the masterpiece stage of Mariinsky just right around the corner. Well, to be fair my current neighbours are not that bad too, even tried to adapt smth. of a classic European opera stage: http://twitpic.com/bewh56 . Their ballet sucks compared to Russian (I am sure the same can be said about Greek ) but at least I will have a chance to enjoy the Ashton version of Cinderella the coming Tuesday. And they are overgenerous with opera and invited opera stars, like Simon O'Neil who I was lucky to enjoy in Tosca a few weeks back, and he is far to be the only one. I adore opera way more than ballet, and most of Russian opera singers are inbearable to listen to (They scream!), so I am super grateful to National Theatre in Tokyo www.nntt.jac.go.jp/english/index.html , but I feel almost embarrassed to post this link if you compare the schedule to Mariinsky. Those guys have more shows a month than Tokyo stage a year.
Originally Posted by seniorita
As for Sleeping beauty, no matter what adaptation you'll choose, I am sure you'll enjoy it much better than the classic one of Petipa. I watched it with Gumerova on one of my trip back to my hometown St-Petersburg, when Marrinsky was holding Sleeping Beauty revival of 1890 production. I alsmot fell asleep. Too much walking in heavy overdecorated costumes and not much dancing. But, my dear. Keep in mind one holy thing- you know NOTHING about ballet if you have never watched Don Quixote, and in classic version, have no idea where you can watch it in Greece, but I am sure there are some shows somewhere in Europe. Don't miss it if you have a chance. It's the most technically difficult party for both male and female lead dancers. All top dancers, male especially, admitted that no ballet left them feel so exhausted as Don Quixote. All ballet quads and 3A (I mean top elements of major difficulty) are there, under the roof of one show. Needless to say the emotional impact they have to present in that Spanish dance fiest. Enjoy!
Last edited by let`s talk; 12-17-2012 at 10:07 AM.
Let's Talk, do you know the Russian singer Sergei Lemeshev? He's from very long ago, and alas, he performed entirely during an era when Russian stars were forbidden to travel, so he's almost unknown outside his country, but thanks be to YouTube, he's now available to one and all. He doesn't have that characteristic metallic tone that a lot of Russian tenors, sopranos, and mezzos have. He's a velvety lyric tenor. Here's his Lensky from his prime, in the 1930s; obviously, he was a Tchaikovsky natural!
And here's him singing about twelve years later, as Levko from Rimsky-Korsakov's May Night, one of my favorite operas.
If you feel like it, let me know what you think. I'm just in love with him, and according to what I've read, I'm just the latest in a long line of Lemeshevists. Apparently he was such a rock star (so to speak) that he had to build a wall around his home, and the fans managed to make a hole in the wall....now that's the respect and attention that opera deserves!
(maybe you won't like him as much, which is fine...!)
I hope you enjoy the Ashton Cinderella. I've seen it on TV, and it's splendid fun.
Last edited by Olympia; 12-17-2012 at 11:01 AM.
leave no stone unturned
Imagine getting to watch opera in a wonderful old opera house in Europe. Mmmmm! It must be just heavenly. I'm sorry you missed the Bolshoi, but it gives you something to look forward to, yes?
Let me know what you think of the videos.
I'm not as up on ballet as Let's Talk clearly is, so that's the person who should answer your question about whether you saw the Petipa. Over here in the U.S., we often used to see Balanchine choreography--he was televised frequently--and he was amazing. He was definitely a classical choreographer, but he modernized classical idioms.
One person who's fun to watch doing ballet is skater/dancer Katherine Healy. She danced with the Vienna Ballet, I believe, for most of her career.
This first one is from Coppelia by Leo Delibes. It's the same story as part of Offenbach's opera The Tales of Hoffman.
This one is the first variation from Tchaikovsky's Suite Number 3 (which is just a stunning piece of music)
This is a lovely tribute video to her that shows both her ballet and her skating:
Wicked Yankee Girl
floskate did a wonderful job with that montage!
I just love it, and I view it frequently. The music is perfect. I can't place it; haven't ever heard it anywhere else. If you look at the postings under the video, Katherine Healy has a post, and Floskate posts a delightfully excited response. Healy is such a treasure for skating, a totally individual presence who shows the possibilities of what skating can entail. Of course some of her work is not possible in competitive skating, but if we had a healthier pro skating scene, there would be room for technique such as Healy's. One thing she brings from dance is symmetry. Typically, skaters have one side that they stress for positions such as the I-spin. I notice that Healy uses both legs for extreme positions. She also can do a spreadeagle with a backbend that makes you think she's doing an Ina Bauer--so awesome!
Lemeshev was an icon, what we would call now a sex symbol and a rock star. I don't know what is wrong with the modern Russian opera singers. Some of them are fine and tour internationally, but really just some. The vast majority are singing from their urinary bladders with all intestines out. Maybe for Mussorgsky it might work. But for all the rest is- you should plug your ears. I just tried not to care when I visited Mariinsky, I simply enjoyed the stage, the music, the orchestra, and if I got lucky- the voice. I believe the technique that they teach now is entirely wrong. It doesn't collect the voice in "tube" as a flow, instead of that it goes forced as yelling. But Vaganov's ballet school rocks! Tuesday's Cinderella in Tokyo was lovely, and the Ashton version is full of optimisim and humour. But. It has a long way before it reaches the Mariinsky, and Russian ballet in general, level. I did love Jester's guy (Yahata), with his metal but plastic legs, super flexibility in all body and the presentation that make you believe- he is not acting Jester, it's HIM. Generous costumes and decorations deserve the special "Thank you". But my Gran-Prix goes to the conductor Emmanuel who made Prokofiev music sounds crystal like magic. Real fairy tale on a Christmas season.
Originally Posted by Olympia
The Bolshoi used to be the prime stage in the USSR times. After the collapse of the country it got stucked in cats fights and dogs fights or whatever. While Mariinskiy was collecting the reachest sponsors in the country like Gazprom. The result is known. I've been to Moscow enough but visiting the Bolsoi was my last entry on the list. Still, it's a much better stage of a classic ballet than any other worldwide (besides Mariinsky).
Originally Posted by seniorita
On your photo it does look like the classic Petipa version of Sleeping Beauty. But I was referring to the very original version of Petipa (the one where I almost fell asleep), what they called revival of 1890 production. I mean you might have seen a Petipa verison but a more updated one, adjusted to the modern ballet. Or whatever. I wasn't there. In general I am much more interested in classic ballet (not SB of 1890 of course ). Yet there is one non-claasic ballet that hooked me- the "Russian Hamlet" by Boris Eifman. It's available on youtube. Quite an unusual thing. Well, you just should see it to have an opinion.
My conclusion is always one and the same- on Opera&Ballet stages Italians, Russians and Wagner RULES!!! All the rest are just visting.