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Thread: Favorite ballet?

  1. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by sibelius View Post
    I have not gone through the previous 15 pages, but I do have an unusual favorite ballet: Khachaturian's Gayne. Tchaikovsky's big 3 are wonderful. So is Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. Yet, I enjoy every note of Gayne, and can not say that about the others mentioned.
    Unfortunately Gayane is not staged too often,The Sabre dance is well known.

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    I saw the new version of Giselle, reimagined by Akram Khan and composer Lorenzo Lamagna, twice in a matter of a few days last week. That’s my new favourite. It was so intense, and very moving...
    Last edited by Kieran; May-09-2018 at 07:07.
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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  4. #228
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    My favourite ballet in choreography and music is Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" - the Cranko version: very different from the MacMillan choreography.



    See for yourself:

    Last edited by Christabel; May-09-2018 at 09:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    I saw the new version of Giselle, reimagined by Akram Khan and composer Lorenzo Lamagna, twice in a matter of a few days last week. That’s my new favourite. It was so intense, and very moving...
    I love Giselle too.I do not know this version by Akram Khan and composer Lorenzo Lamagna.I have danced the role of Myrtha in the classical version by composer A.Ch.Adam.The performance you write about would be interesting to see.

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  7. #230
    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sissone View Post
    I love Giselle too.I do not know this version by Akram Khan and composer Lorenzo Lamagna.I have danced the role of Myrtha in the classical version by composer A.Ch.Adam.The performance you write about would be interesting to see.
    It was incredible! It contains the same tale, and a modern take on the dance, featuring the English National Ballet. The music is more propulsive, using elements of the original score to create a very intense experience. You might get a sense of it in this video:

    https://youtu.be/cs2nsC_pchw
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

  8. #231
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    Well,it is a modern choreographic version,but interesting.Thanks for the video.

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  10. #232
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    I am fascinated by the Ballets Russes period in Paris, etc., at the early part of the 20th century: 1909-1929: with their impresario (artistic director) Sergei Diaghilev, dancer/choreographers Vaslav Nijinsky, Michel Fokine, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska and George Balanchine, and my favorite designer of ballet sets and costumes, Léon Bakst. Diaghilev contracted some of the finest composers of the day to provide ballets for his company: Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, Satie, R. Strauss, Poulenc, Schmitt, Milhaud, etc.

    Stravinsky's "Le sacre du printemps" (or The Rite of Spring--1913), "Petrushka" (1911), "L'Oiseau de feu" (or The Firebird--1910), and "Le chant du rossignol" (or The Song of the Nightingale--1920, a symphonic poem turned into a ballet) are favorite ballets of mine, along with Debussy's "L'aprés-midi d'un faune" (or Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun--1912) and "Jeux" (1913). However, my favorite ballet from this period is Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloé" (1912). Charles Dutoit's Montreal recording is one of the finest I've heard (of many):



    Here is Rudolph Nureyev in Nijinsky's choreography for Debussy's Faun:


    Another favorite ballet is the lesser known, neglected, but possibly influential 1911 ballet, "Narcisse et Echo", by Russian composer Nikolai Tcherepnin. I find there are some striking similarities between "Narcisse" and Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloe", which came out a year later. Conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky has made a world premiere recording on Chandos:



    Though it was not composed for the Ballet Russes (surprisingly so), Gabriel Pierné's 1923 ballet "Cydalise et le Chévre-pied" is strongly influenced by Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, with it's opening moonrise scene, wordless chorus, etc.. Interestingly, Pierne had ties to the Ballets Russes as a conductor, having conducted the world premiere of Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird in 1910:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gQVY8qNGCY

    In addition, Diaghilev's company performed Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" and "The Sleeping Beauty", Prokofiev's "Chout" and "Le pas d'acier", and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Schéhérazade" (& "Le coq d'or", and "Soleil de Nuit"), which is another favorite of mine.

    There's an interesting CD series devoted to the ballets of the Ballets Russes on the Hanssler label, although it appears to have stalled at volume 9 in 2013 (as they've not yet recorded Tcherepnin's "Narcisse et Echo", or Stravinsky' "The Firebird" ...).

    https://www.arkivmusic.com/classical...p?list_id=1825

    EDIT: Hold on, I was wrong, there is a volume 10 from 2016, which includes "The Firebird" (but it appears to be the last volume issued):

    https://www.amazon.com/Stravinsky-Ba...ballets+russes

    There are a number of excellent DVDs & books on the Ballets Russes, too (& I especially enjoyed reading Peter Oswald's biography of Nijinsky):

    https://www.amazon.com/Ballets-Russe...ballets+russes

    https://www.amazon.com/Diaghilev-Bal...40_&dpSrc=srch

    https://www.amazon.com/Ballets-Russe..._&dpSrc=detail

    https://www.amazon.com/Vaslav-Nijins...y+peter+oswald

    https://www.amazon.com/Diaghilev-Lif..._&dpSrc=detail
    Last edited by Josquin13; May-26-2018 at 20:52.

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    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    Mentioning works premiered by the Ballets Russes, let's not forget Richard Strauss's longest uninterrupted orchestral work - the ballet Josephslegende. It's not often performed, either as a ballet or in its orchestral form, but Strauss lovers will find themselves in seventh heaven as he indulges in full-blown (1914) late Romanticism and then some!
    Last edited by Marsilius; May-27-2018 at 12:02.

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  14. #234
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    Here are my favorite ballets:

    The Sleeping Beauty--probably my favorite ballet. I've seen eight versions and have liked all (except one) to some degree. I love the music, the dancing, the choreography, and the characters. So far, the Royal Ballet with Marianela Nunez as the Lilac Fairy is my favorite. Her dancing's so beautiful, and she has a smile on her face the whole time that doesn't look forced. Overall, it's a lovely rendition. Nureyev's version is nice: it has the best Puss-in-Boots duet I've seen, but I hated that he made the Lilac Fairy a character role. Matthew Bourne's version was a nice variation, with Aurora having a sweetheart before she falls asleep, and Carabosse having a credible motivation. The only one I've disliked is the Teatro Munipical from 1982. Avoid: it awkwardly edits out portions of the ballet, and the dancers are not that good.

    Jewels--I like seeing abstract ballet, and this is my favorite of that type. I like seeing three different ballet styles, each with a different type of costume. When I first saw it, I liked Diamonds best and didn't like the funky Rubies. The second time, I liked Rubies better, and right now, it's my favorite of the three.

    Cinderella--to be totally accurate, I don't like this ballet: I love one version of it Birmingham's is magical: the dancing is strong, the dancers fully inhabit their characters (the stepsisters are cruel but pathetic and funny, Cinderella's plight shines through even when she makes fun of her sisters behind their backs), the costumes and sets are beautiful, and the music's growing on me. Unfortunately, I haven't liked the other four versions I've seen, but I'll treasure this one.

    Sylvia--nice dancing and music. Not much more to say: I just like it.

    Raymonda--practically no plot, but I don’t care: I like the dancing.

    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland--this one was a lot of fun. It's also the only version of the Alice story I've liked. Fun characters, inventive staging (the Cheshire Cat as a puppet made of several pieces, each carried by a puppeteer in black, was particularly clever), a tap-dancing Hatter, Middle Eastern caterpillar, a parody of the Rose Adagio, and a mix of mime and dance make this one very entertaining.

    The Dream--I liked this truncated version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" better than the full one. The staging and costumes are gorgeous (it helps that there's only one set, so they can dress it up as much as they want). There's excellent dancing by all, especially Oberon, Puck, and Bottom (who's one of the few men I've seen dance en Pointe!). I love that it focuses on the fairies--by doing so, it becomes the story of a failing marriage that's reinvigorated. Only fifty minutes long, but they're a great fifty minutes.

    The Prince of the Pagodas--Here's a weird one. I've only seen this twice all the way through, but I love Act II, especially the Salamander's solo. The four kings each have a different style to their dancing, and the dancer playing Epine is having a lot of fun as the villain. Act III is still a bit dull to me, and some of the costumes are grotesque (the King of the South's costume should never have made it past the drawing board), but I enjoy it. There's only one DVD version that I know of.

  15. #235
    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    It would be interesting, Ice Dragon, to hear your opinion of the most recent Royal Ballet Sleeping beauty on Blu-ray/DVD because in that one Marianela Nuñez takes the role of Princess Aurora herself.

    I wonder, given that it notoriously divides opinion, whether the one version of SB that you don't like is another Royal Ballet performance - the one from the 1990s starring Viviana Durante and Zoltan Solymosi? That, to me, is by far the best filmed version, made even better by Maria Bjornson's imaginative Expressionist sets and striking costumes.

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    Minkus: La Bayadère
    Recorded live from the Royal Opera House, January 2009

    Carlos Acosta (Solar), Marianela Nuñez (Gamzatti), Tamara Rojo (Nikiya), Gary Avis (The High Brahmin), Christopher Saunders (Rajah), Kenta Kura (Magdaveya) & Valeri Hristov (Solor’s Friend)

    The Royal Ballet & The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Valeriy Ovsyanikov



    Watching this one not so long ago, very impressive.

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    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    Personally, I find that particular Royal Ballet production a little underwhelming when compared to that on offer from the Bolshoi (BelAir Classiques Blu-ray BAC501). If I remember correctly, London offers 24 dancers in The Kingdom of the Shades as opposed to 32 from the Bolshoi - just one example of how the Bolshoi's bigger stage is put to spectacular use - and the extra ones, exquisitely and expertly filmed, make the visual impact of the Russian production even more stunning. The Bolshoi soloists - Svetlana Zakharova, Vladislav Lantratov and Maria Alexandrova - are superb and the whole thing has been filmed in stunning quality (the very best of my many Blu-ray Discs of classical ballet). The one area in which, I think, the Royal Ballet production scores higher is in the decision to add Natalia Makharova's reconstruction of the final scene - thereby providing a more satisfactory emotional climax to the story.
    Last edited by Marsilius; Jun-27-2018 at 17:05.

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    You should check out “dakini” which was a special coreography made for the tv series flesh and bone (which i was not a great fan of). However, i found the music-coregraphy amazing.

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    Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. I know pretty much nothing about dance. I chose it because it happens to be one of my favorite pieces of music. I could count on one hand how many times I’ve been to the ballet, and three of them were performances of Romeo and Juliet. I also saw Prokofiev’s Cinderella once. At the Metropolitan Opera. I think it was the Kirov. Also great music.

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    Someone raised a valid point early in the thread - are we including the dance aspects in our choices or, as I would be inclined to do, just nominating the music? Although music and dance should often be roughly equal partners in this genre I'm not a fan of dance itself as a visual experience, but the original costumes and stunning choreography of The Rite of Spring allied with the severity of the music makes for such a spectacle that it's probably the only ballet I would pay to see.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

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