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Taglioni vs. Bournonville Versions of La SylphideWAS: I just got 3 new Ballet DVDs


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#1 EvilNinjaX

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 07:21 PM

My latest dvd order just came in today. I got BOLSHOI BALLET - BETWEEN FAME AND DRILL (a documentary about the Bolshoi Ballet school), IVAN THE TERRIBLE (Paris Opera Ballet), and LA SYLPHIDE (Paris Opera Ballet).

interesting, the LA SYLPHIDE is not Bournonville, but is a Pierre Lacotte staging of Phillipe Taglioni. can someone explain/describe the history of this choreography? I've only seen the Bournonville a couple of times; could someone explain what the differences are that i should note?

thankx

-goro-

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 08:14 PM

Goro, Pierre Lacotte is a dancer and choreographer who's been reviving (rechoreographing, really) a lot of 19th century ballets recently. I think "La Sylphide" was his first. I think Paris Opera Ballet wanted their great Romantic ballet back! It was choreographed by Marie Taglioni's father, and the choreography lost long ago. (The Bournonville one uses the Taglioni libretto, but is completely different choreography and a different score.)

Lacotte had access to Taglioni's notebooks and used some of the combinations in those books as the basis of his choreography, and the rest is made in the style of the time.

Here are two big ones, in addition to the choreography.

Pointework - in the first French production, only the Sylph was on pointe. To me, it looks odd that Effie and her friends are on pointe; I think they should be in character shoes, as they would have been in the 19th century and much of the 20th, but putting them on pointe is what a contemporary audience expects.

The Sylph -- the Sylphide is a grand ballerina role, a la Taglioni, and the choreography uses a lot of poses from drawings and lithographs of Taglioni. The dancer is also wearing the pearl necklace and bracelets that Taglioni wore.

So it's really a different ballet, as different from the Bournonville version as is, say, the MacMillan "Romeo and Juliet" is from Lavrovsky's.

I hope you'll write about all the DVDs once you've had a chance to watch them -- that's quite a haul!! :)

#3 Joseph

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 10:29 PM

where did you get these dvds???

#4 richard53dog

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 08:30 AM

where did you get these dvds???

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Yeah, I'm curious too. Let me guess, they are not realeased in the US.

This all seems a bit arbritary which DVDs get released where.

For instance, I wanted to see the POB Sleeping Beauty, not available in the US
but released in Europe, and probably elsewhere, in PAL.

I did get an Ebay copy of a Chinese release, MAYBE in NTSC, but it really didn't play well and I sent it back.

I finally was able to get a DVDR copy, but a commercial US release would have been so much easier.

Richard

#5 Dale

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 08:42 AM

Richard, the POB Sleeping Beauty release is a curious one. Because several other recent POB DVDs have been released here -- Coppelia, Paquita, Clavigo, Don Q and Ek's Apartment -- but not the Sleeping Beauty. These are "TDK" releases. TDK also has chosen not to release (yet, I hope) the Bolshoi's Pharaoh's Daughter. But patience is sometimes rewarded as the Kirov's Nijinsky program was on European TV years ago but has finally been released here.

#6 richard53dog

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 09:08 AM

Richard, the POB Sleeping Beauty release is a curious one.  Because several other recent POB DVDs have been released here -- Coppelia, Paquita, Clavigo, Don Q and Ek's Apartment -- but not the Sleeping Beauty.  These are "TDK" releases.  TDK also has chosen not to release (yet, I hope) the Bolshoi's Pharaoh's Daughter.  But patience is sometimes rewarded as the Kirov's Nijinsky program was on European TV years ago but has finally been released here.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Dale,

But patience is so difficult!!!!!

Seriously, the market demand, in the US at least , seems to be very strong, so all kinds of "cultural" material is being released all the time. This is encouraging.

Kultur has on their site that they will be releasing the Kirov Corsair (with Altynai Asylmuratova and Faroukh Ruzimatov ) in April.

They are also releasing an ABT in San Francisco DVD.

www.kultur.com


Pharaoh's Daughter has a spectacular, large scale production, so that may make it
marketable. One can hope.

Richard

#7 Dale

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 09:18 AM

Maybe Pharoah's Daughter will be released in the US to coincide with the Bolshoi's tour with that ballet this summer.

#8 EvilNinjaX

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 06:42 AM

Richard, the POB Sleeping Beauty release is a curious one.  Because several other recent POB DVDs have been released here -- Coppelia, Paquita, Clavigo, Don Q and Ek's Apartment -- but not the Sleeping Beauty.  These are "TDK" releases.  TDK also has chosen not to release (yet, I hope) the Bolshoi's Pharaoh's Daughter.  But patience is sometimes rewarded as the Kirov's Nijinsky program was on European TV years ago but has finally been released here.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You are correct, those POB releases are TDK and TDK has done a nice job of stepping thei rrelease, first in UK, then Japan, then US. And also to TDK's credit, their dvds are beautiful: nice, crips anamorphic picture with beautiful sound.

however, the POB Sleeping Beauty is an NVCArts/Warner dvd and they are not so good in their relesaes. apparently, they relese thru Kultur in the US. I've had my r2 PAL Kirov Le Corsaire for seemingly ever and it is only now that it is being released in the US? It does seem that Kultur (as of late) has set up a nice timetable of releasing 2-4 ballet dvds each quarter and so maybe there's hope after all..

-goro-

#9 EvilNinjaX

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 06:53 AM

I got these dvds from japan.
Here are the tdk pages:
Ivan teh Terrible: http://www.core.tdk....01/bal07200.asp

La Sylphide :
http://www.core.tdk....01/bal07100.asp

Bolshoi Ballet - Between Fame and Drill
http://www.core.tdk....01/bal07000.asp

so far, from what i've seen La Sylphide is aboslutely stunning. gorgeous production, gorgeous dvd (pristine video and audio). the dancing is excellent as is the acting. Mathieu Ganio and Aurelie Dupont are both sensational and the end of Act I gave me chills.

Nicholas Le Riche as Ivan the terrible is a vision. the produciton is unbelievable. i haven't had time to watch much of it though.

Between Fame and Drill is quite interesting, althogh, it's in russian with japanese subtitles (and my kanji reading is less than so-so :pinch: ). But it's still quite an interesting look into the selection, trianing, and achievements of these children.

-goro-

#10 chrisk217

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 06:21 PM

Is all the DVD that way (respectful of the flow of the choreography)?

#11 EvilNinjaX

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 12:13 PM

This is an excellent dvd. The camera work is very good throughout. At times, it zooms in for reaction shots, but genereally when there is dancing, you have a good-to-excellent view of what you want to see. There wer only some times that i'd rather wish they'd have pulled back a bit more, but nothing terrible. It's the price to pay for watching on video instead of live, i suppose.

The video quality and sound are just great as well. The dvd is a bit pricey at 4800Y (abotu $50US), but worht it, imo.

-goro-

#12 Ariodante

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 12:10 AM

POB's "La Sylphide" will be available commercially in the US in ten loooong days! (June 21) I can't wait! All those descriptions are mouth watering!

Best, iza

#13 Paul Parish

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 12:30 AM

Evilninjax, there's also an old POB la Sylphide, starring the amazing unbelievable Ghislane Thesmar and some awfully good-looking young man......

THe camera-work was st\range, and sometimes the sylph's image would widen strangely -- BUT mostluy, in fact, the photography was mysterious and made her look almost like the light was coming from inside her,as in a cartoon - -and her technique was so extraordinary htat she did seem weightless....... again, pearls and bracelets and that elicate/expensive look.

Sounds like you've got a lot to look at and study now, but if you ever get the chance, get the old video tape and compare the two. I'm sure it will be interesting, and I'd bet there will be moments of Thesmar's that even Aurelie Dupont can't match......

#14 Joseph

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 08:50 AM

Where do you think I could get "Between Fame and Drill?"
I also look forward to POB La Sylphide!
Thanks for all your great info, EvilNinjaX!

#15 Estelle

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 08:50 AM

Evilninjax, there's also an old POB la Sylphide, starring the amazing unbelievable Ghislane Thesmar and some awfully good-looking young man......


It was MichaŽl Denard, who had just become a POB principal a few months earlier (Thesmar, who is Lacotte's wife, was hired directly by the POB as a principal- before that she danced for the Ballets des JMF- and she still teaches there). Denard and Thesmar danced together a lot (there even is a book about them, "Thesmar/Denard", with a lot of nice photos), especially in Lacotte's reconstructions ("Coppelia", "Marco Spada"...) and "La Sylphide" was their "signature ballet", especially for Thesmar.

If I remember correctly, the video was filmed in 1971, a bit before the work was performed on stage by the POB (in 1972).

Anecdotically, one of the first books about dance that interested me in the early 1990s when I was a teen-ager was one about MichaŽl Denard. And I really regret that I became interested in dance too late to see Denard and Thesmar on stage together !


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