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Thread: The Joy of Ballet!

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    Senior Member BurningDesire's Avatar
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    Default The Joy of Ballet!

    I looooove ballet, and didn't see any other threads discussing ballet music, so here we go~

    Many of my favorite compositions are ballets, or shorter dance pieces (or pieces in the style of a dance that may or may not be danced to). My faves would include The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, The Seasons by John Cage, and The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky. What ballets do you guys like? Has anybody had the fortune of seeing on performed live? What are your favorites? I've only seen The Nutcracker, and a performance by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company which featured two John Cage selections.

    On a side note, if you love ballet and especially Romantic music, and you also like great stories, I must recommend the anime Princess Tutu, which is a wonderful light dramatic series in 26 episodes that features a music score of primarily 19th Century music (including Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Chopin, Wagner, Beethoven, Robert Schumann, and Prokofiev), especially music from ballets. The story and use of music is perfect, and all adds to a beautiful series.

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    Senior Member Sonata's Avatar
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    I do really enjoy ballet music, though I've not listened to a lot of the repoirtoire yet. I love Swan Lake and Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, though the former has a little too much brass towards the end for my tastes. I really do enjoy the Nutcracker as well.

    In my to be listened to pile, I have Sleeping Beauty. Down the road, I intend to listen to Stravinsky's major ballets, Prokofiev's Cinderella, and Giselle. Delibes and Manon are also possibilities.

    That anime sounds interesting. If I have the chance I may check it out.

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    Senior Member BurningDesire's Avatar
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    Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet are both brilliant too Stravinsky wrote a ton of ballets X3 and all the ones I've heard, from The Firebird and Petruschka to Pulcinella and The Fairy's Kiss, to Agon are beautiful, brilliant ballets, and if you like his, I highly recommend Cage's The Seasons. Its actually a very accessible Cage piece, with very gorgeous orchestration.

    Also, Princess Tutu is up on Youtube, free and legal to watch. (There's a whole episode referencing the plot of Adam's Giselle, and using music from it during a climactic scene, and music by Delibes appears throughout the series).

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    Senior Member Sonata's Avatar
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    Awesome! Thanks for the info.

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    Nijinsky's and Pina Bausch's interpretations of the Rite of Spring. I personally like Nijinsky more because I think it fits the music better than Bausch. However, I like the beginning (which Nijinsky leaves out) of Bausch's.

    Other music:

    Stravinsky: Petrushka
    Stravinsky: The Firebird
    Stravinsky: Pulcinella
    Stravinsky: Agon
    Stravinsky: Apollo
    Stravinsky: The Fairy's Kiss
    Stravinsky: Jeu de cartes
    Bartok: The Miraculous Mandarin
    Bartok: The Wooden Prince
    Debussy: Jeux
    Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe
    Last edited by Toddlertoddy; Jul-26-2012 at 08:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddlertoddy View Post
    Nijinsky's and Pina Bausch's interpretations of the Rite of Spring. I personally like Nijinsky more because I think it fits the music better than Bausch. However, I like the beginning (which Nijinsky leaves out) of Bausch's.

    Other music:

    Stravinsky: Petrushka
    Stravinsky: The Firebird
    Stravinsky: Pulcinella
    Stravinsky: Agon
    Stravinsky: Apollo
    Stravinsky: The Fairy's Kiss
    Stravinsky: Jeu de cartes
    Bartok: The Miraculous Mandarin
    Bartok: The Wooden Prince
    Debussy: Jeux
    Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe
    Ditto. But most ballets before Stravinsky (other than French baroque) are so incredibly boring IMO.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I like Shostakovich's 'The Golden Age' - written in 1929-30 just prior to the time when cultural figures like Mandelstam, Meyerhold, Akhmatova and Shostakovich himself fell foul of Uncle Joe in the early 30s. It's also the only ballet I can think of where there are two different plots but using the same music - the first concerned a Soviet football team on tour in the West and digs at the bourgeoisie were represented by western dance music that was popular at the time - the foxtrot, tango and shimmy - thus giving it a contemporary feel. Then, after Shostakovich's death, a new plot was written about low-life in an unspecified Soviet town/city (in this case 'The Golden Age' is the name of a nightspot).
    Last edited by elgars ghost; Jul-26-2012 at 12:30.

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    Senior Member Sonata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddlertoddy View Post
    Nijinsky's and Pina Bausch's interpretations of the Rite of Spring. I personally like Nijinsky more because I think it fits the music better than Bausch. However, I like the beginning (which Nijinsky leaves out) of Bausch's.

    Other music:

    Stravinsky: Petrushka
    Stravinsky: The Firebird
    Stravinsky: Pulcinella
    Stravinsky: Agon
    Stravinsky: Apollo
    Stravinsky: The Fairy's Kiss
    Stravinsky: Jeu de cartes
    Bartok: The Miraculous Mandarin
    Bartok: The Wooden Prince
    Debussy: Jeux
    Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe
    How did I forget Daphnis Et Chloe in my original response? Daphnis Et Chloe is an awesome piece of music.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    ...most ballets before Stravinsky (other than French baroque) are so incredibly boring IMO.

    And as usual... your opinion is WRONG!
    Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

    Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with
    those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.

    Pablo Picasso

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    I'd like to see Satie's Parade sometime before I die. It's probably not going to happen, either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ComposerOfAvantGarde View Post
    Ditto. But most ballets before Stravinsky (other than French baroque) are so incredibly boring IMO.
    Thats a weird way of spelling "inspired genius"

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    Senior Member (Ret) Lenfer's Avatar
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    I love ballet, I had trained to become a dancer until I shattered my ankle after that I couldn't continue. I have lots of ballet on DVD and Blu-ray and will write up a list of my favorites once I've finished what I'm doing. I have seen ballet in person in fact I go as often as I can often go several times to the same production on different nights.
    Last edited by Lenfer; Jul-27-2012 at 08:10.

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    Senior Member (Ret) Lenfer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StlukesguildOhio View Post
    ...most ballets before Stravinsky (other than French baroque) are so incredibly boring IMO.

    And as usual... your opinion is WRONG!
    I have to agree with you that I disagree quite strongly with CoAG on ballet however that is his opinion and I'm not sure one's opinion can be wrong. Even if it is written in large font, emboldened and underlined.

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    Senior Member MaestroViolinist's Avatar
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    I love ballet and ballet music! Though (dare I say it?) Swan Lake is overrated, they play it way too much.

    The Nutcracker is wonderful! Probably my favourite. Sadly I haven't seen that performed live, but I've seen a couple of others on stage.
    If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaestroViolinist View Post
    I love ballet and ballet music! Though (dare I say it?) Swan Lake is overrated, they play it way too much.

    The Nutcracker is wonderful! Probably my favourite. Sadly I haven't seen that performed live, but I've seen a couple of others on stage.
    Swan Lake is overrated, I agree.

    I forgot to mention my favourite ballet, Satie's Relâche.
    Last edited by ComposerOfAvantGarde; Jul-27-2012 at 10:22.

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