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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Red Poppy is a great ballet in 3 acts. It is a sad story where a Chinese dancer sends a red poppy to a passing Russian captain, and as in Carmen, she falls in love with the dancer, and she also falls in love with the captain. Following the revolt of the boxers, which fraternize with Russian Soviet troops, the captain fails to be killed but is saved by the Chinese, who is assassinated by his boss, who regarded this idyll with an evil eye. The end is very affecting because in dying the Chinese offers a poppy, symbol of freedom and fraternity to a little girl ...

We know the dance of the sailors of this ballet, and it's a shame because this whole ballet is very beautiful. It is available in full version at Naxos.

We find this ballet in film version on Youtube, but in this film the flower is not given to the little girl.


 

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I fully agree, though I doubt whether a film like that one could be made in the same form these days. The making-up of Caucasian dancers to appear Chinese would surely cause huge controversy in the same way that the blacking up of white actors rightly does. It's interesting, though, that such PC attitudes have yet to permeate thought processes at the Bolshoi where, following the original nineteenth century productions, dancers in La bayadere (the children) and The pharoah's daughter (the heroine's devoted servant) still apply black make-up to white bodies for the roles of slaves. The same thing occured a few years ago in the case of the child slaves in La Scala's "authentic" revival of Raymonda. It was interesting that, perhaps anticipating controversy, in its recent performances of La bayadere at Covent Garden, the Mariinsky Ballet had its child slaves blacked up on their arms and legs but kept their faces white, producing a very odd effect indeed that can hardly, one imagines, have pleased either side in the debate.

Another Gliere ballet score, The bronze horseman, is also very attractive: the story is set in St Petersburg and the climactic number Hymn to the great city used, in Soviet days, to be played on an endless loop over the tannoy at that city's railway station to welcome arriving passengers. I wonder if it still is?
 

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here's another Reinhold Gliere ballet "The Bronze Horseman" staged by Mariinsky Theatre back in 2016 -

Hi Zhdanov,
The link doesn't work, leads to a "video unavailable" sign. Is it based on the Pushkin poem?

Hope you are staying safe amid the plague.
 

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^^^^^^
Perhaps this one is for you.


The Bronze Horseman (Mariinsky Theater 2016)
 
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