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Thread: Favorite ballet?

  1. #241
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    So many great ballets are choreographed to music not originally written for dance. On Friday I attended an all Balanchine evening including:

    Concerto Barocco to Bach's Concerto for Two Violins
    Stravinsky Violin Concerto
    Symphony in C to Bizet
    Also on the bill was the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux a tour de force set to music found in the appendix to the score for Swan Lake.

    In each case the dance adds a new element to the music.

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  3. #242
    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    jegreenwood makes an interesting point, highlighting how, with fewer composers writing original ballet scores, choreographers have been turning to existing scores whose composers never envisaged them as pieces for dancers.

    That, of course, is a complete reversal of normal practice in the nineteenth century heyday of classical ballet. In that period the choreographer was the master: he selected a story and then devised the sequence of dances and the steps of individual dances. Only once he'd done that did he commission a composer to come up with a score that fitted his prescribed requirements. Nowadays, on the other hand, the music almost invariably comes first in the creative process and the choreography is then fitted to it. Perhaps that makes the creation of story-based ballets more difficult and explains why modern ballets are mainly abstract exhibitions of technique?

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  5. #243
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    Daphnis et Chloe, Le Sacre du Printemps by Pina Bausch

  6. #244
    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    Bartok's Dance Suite is a ballet except by name?

  7. #245
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philoctetes View Post
    Bartok's Dance Suite is a ballet except by name?
    https://www.mupa.hu/en/program/dance...sztivalszinhaz

  8. #246
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    My favorite one is Nutracker

  9. #247
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marsilius View Post
    jegreenwood makes an interesting point, highlighting how, with fewer composers writing original ballet scores, choreographers have been turning to existing scores whose composers never envisaged them as pieces for dancers.

    That, of course, is a complete reversal of normal practice in the nineteenth century heyday of classical ballet. In that period the choreographer was the master: he selected a story and then devised the sequence of dances and the steps of individual dances. Only once he'd done that did he commission a composer to come up with a score that fitted his prescribed requirements. Nowadays, on the other hand, the music almost invariably comes first in the creative process and the choreography is then fitted to it. Perhaps that makes the creation of story-based ballets more difficult and explains why modern ballets are mainly abstract exhibitions of technique?
    Or sometimes it just depends on who shows up for class. From an article in the New Yorker:

    People may disagree over which of George Balanchine’s ballets is the greatest, but I don’t think there’s much contest over which one they feel the most tenderly toward. That would be “Serenade” (1934), set to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, the first ballet Balanchine made in America. The piece is beautiful—stirring, sweeping—and at the same time a little odd. The heroine seems to die at the end, but you’re not quite sure.

    Whether spectators know it or not, this ballet is also about what it’s like to have nothing. When Balanchine arrived in America, in 1933, his homeland was far behind him; he had escaped from Russia in 1924. He couldn’t really go back to Europe, either. (Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933.) And what had he come to? He was a ballet choreographer, and almost nobody in the United States could dance ballet. Most Americans didn’t know what a ballet was. He didn’t have a company. He opened a school, but to judge from the photos the young women he was able to collect were mostly rather plump and bewildered. When he set out to make a ballet on them—“Serenade”—seventeen girls came to the first rehearsal, but only nine turned up at the second, and six at the third. So he made the opening tableau—a ravishing sight, people still gasp—for seventeen. Then he made a section for nine, then one for six. When a girl fell, he put that in. When another showed up late, he added that. He made no soloist roles, because he had no one who could handle soloist-level choreography.

    To be clear - it's changed a lot since then.
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Oct-04-2018 at 21:49.

  10. #248
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    I enjoyed Le Corsaire at the RoH some years ago, although I must admit I have not seen many ballets (probably around 4 or 5) as it has lots of drama and the shipwrecjk scene at the end was something else.

    However, I must admit I have a fondness for the chicken dance in La Fille mal gardée, which I take as proof that the past was just as mad and zany as anything the 60's or anything in the present can throw at us.
    Last edited by AlexD; Oct-08-2018 at 00:18.

  11. #249
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    La Bayadere being broadcast live into the Odeon in Harrogate on 13 November 2018 from the Royal ballet.

    The Bolshoi version is also being broadcast into Harrogate Odeon on 20 Jan 2019


    If you haven't tried this live streaming, then I recommend it. You get a comfortable seat, with a better view than the more expensive seats in London for less than £20.

  12. #250
    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexD View Post
    If you haven't tried this live streaming, then I recommend it. You get a comfortable seat, with a better view than the more expensive seats in London for less than £20.
    In some ways, it could be argued, it's a positively better experience. After all, you get close-ups, a greater number of visual perspectives from several cameras and, if the director knows his or her stuff, there should be no possibility of missing important detail as the appropriate camera will pick it out.

    OK, you may miss the "thrill" and atmosphere of the live performance taking place in front of you - and you may be annoyed if the director's choice of shots doesn't always include the dancers' feet (a strikingly common complaint on ballet discussion boards).

    But you save a great deal of time and money if, like me, you'd otherwise have to travel more than 100 miles to get to, in my case, Covent Garden - which is, in any case, impossible for most non-metropolitan working people on anything other than weekends.
    Last edited by Marsilius; Oct-11-2018 at 09:44.

  13. #251
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    I agree - having sat n the "cheap seats" of the RoH - a cinema ticket is by far much better value for money.

    I've also sat in the more expensive seats - and yes, you get much more from it than the cheap seats, but at a premium. A £300 ticket vs a £20 cinema ticket.

    Through the medium of cinema I've managed to see more opera and theatre in the last three years, than in the last twenty, and it is easier to experiment. A ten minute walk to the cinema, and if it is a bad opera, well not much is lost. A trip into London means you invest so much more and to get a lousy experience is ten times worse.

    it isn't quite the same as "being there" but it is pretty close and has got better over the years.

  14. #252
    Member Dimace's Avatar
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    Leo Delibes / Coppelia! With Lyon National Opera Orchestra, Lyon National Opera Ballet and Maguy Marin. This 1994 performance, esthetically and artistically, has everything could make Leo Delibes a proud ballet composer.


    Last edited by Dimace; Oct-20-2018 at 22:59.
    Geheimnisvoll sie nahen die Lüfte, fraglos gebe ihrem Zauber ich mich hin.

  15. #253
    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    More detail on the Maguy Marin "Coppelia" referenced above...

    http://www.musicweb-international.co...lia_109186.htm
    Last edited by Marsilius; Oct-20-2018 at 21:42.

  16. #254
    Senior Member Lisztian's Avatar
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    I've hardly seen any ballet's danced, but currently my favourite -purely how much I enjoy the music- is Stravinsky's Orpheus.

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