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Anna Marie Holmes on Le Corsaire

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Helene



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Posted 06 August 2005 - 10:20 AM

Anna Marie Holmes has graciously offered to answer questions about the staging of Le Corsaire she did for Boston Ballet and ABT.

If you have a question for Ms. Holmes, you may post it to this thread until 20 August. She will review the questions and send us her responses, which will be posted here.

There are some simple guidelines:

1. The questions must be on the topic of the staging and version, including music.
2. No questions about casting, unless they are about whether the version the dancer(s) performed was the correct one.
3. We hope you'll understand that it may not be possible for all questions to be answered.

There was a rousing discussion on the ballet in the ABT forum, and we hope you take this opportunity to ask the questions you still have about the production.

#2 Hans


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Posted 06 August 2005 - 12:22 PM

What a wonderful opportunity! Thank you Ms. Holmes and Helene!

I would like to ask whether the production was modified from the Bolshoi's version to suit ABT.

I'm sure I'll have others...is it all right to edit my post to add them or should I make separate posts?

Edit: Who choreographed the "bedroom" pas de deux between Conrad and Medora (the one Giselle05 refers to)?

#3 Giselle05


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Posted 06 August 2005 - 12:51 PM

I'd like to ask what the music is, and who the composer is for the pas de deux between Conrad and Medora at the end of the second act, after the departure of Lankendem with the rose, beginning from their entrance into the cave together. It is so beautiful!

Thanks for the opportunity! (I may be back with more)

#4 Helene



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Posted 06 August 2005 - 03:19 PM

I'm sure I'll have others...is it all right to edit my post to add them or should I make separate posts?


It's perfectly fine to edit your post. I'm going to send all of the questions to Ms. Holmes via email on 21 August.

Thanks for the opportunity! (I may be back with more)


Please feel free to add more over the next two weeks :)

#5 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 04:41 PM

What seems to have come down to us today is a comic ballet. Not only do the "good guys" win at the end, but the mime passages are shot through with how dumb the Pasha and his court are. Do you think that this has been modified by a trip through "Marxist-Leninist Realism", or is this the Old Way, persistently making fun of the Turks, the Russian ancestral enemy? Or is it just a one-act, swelled by the inclusion of all sorts of other stuff?

#6 BalletNut


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Posted 06 August 2005 - 06:59 PM

In the same vein as Hans' question, if changes have been made from the "original", what has been changed, and what is the reason behind those changes?

(The use of the term "original" can be interpreted however you like. :) )

#7 Solor


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Posted 07 August 2005 - 10:19 PM

-what sections of music are each of the composers credited responsible for?

- why is the incidental music of the Boston Ballet / American Ballet Theatre version so completly different from the music of the Mariinksy staging?

- what is the history of "Le Corsaire" from its very first staging untill now? What of the history of what was interpolated, when, by whom, and for whom?

- what of the character dances from act I scene 2 (the Slave Market) of the Mariinksy staging? Why are these dances absent from western productions? Who composed these dances? They are very different musically from the rest of the music.

- why was the waltz variation by Ludwig Minkus from "Don Quixote" chosen for the solo of Medora in the scene 'Jardin Anime' in place of the traditional variation of Medora that is danced at the Mariinksy? Who composed the traditional variation of Medora's 'Jardin Anime' variation? Who composed Gulnare's variation for the same scene? (these two variations have been credited to many different composers in various sources.)

- why do the orchestrations of the 'Pas d'esclave' and the 'Trio of the Odalisques' differ so much from that of the Mariinksy staging? Who did the re-orchestrations?

-will there ever be a recording on CD of the music of this ballet? There is no recording available of the full-length "Le Corsaire" on CD (There was a recording done by Richard Bonynge, but only of fragments of Adolphe Adam's original score and the 'Flower Waltz' of Delibes for 'Jardin Anime'.)

-what role did Natalia Dudinskaya play in the staging of this ballet?

-does this staging for Boston Ballet / ABT stem from the Bolshoi or the Mariinksy? Did the Bolshoi version not come from the Mariinksy?

Thanks A Million Madame Holmes!
-- Adam AKA Solor

#8 cargill


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Posted 08 August 2005 - 08:43 AM

I would like to ask about the character dance that Medora had during the pirate scene. I saw it in Boston, and thought it was just charming, and seemed to be a real breath of the 19th century. Is there any chance it will be revived? Ditto the dance for Zamora (the Pasha's favorite) in the last act.

#9 bart


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Posted 18 August 2005 - 07:14 AM

I would like to ask some general questions about the process of "staging" a full-length ballet like Le Corsaire. Along the lines of ... what does a stager really do?


What aspects of the production are you responsible for when you undertake to stage something like Corsaire? What aspects of the production are you NOT resonsible for.

In what order do you address the various parts of this task?
-- What has to be done first, before actually showing up at the rehearsal hall? In other words, what do you "bring" to your first meeting with the dancers?)
-- What develops during the process of working with the dancers?
-- Do you find yourselve changing things in any significant way during the course of actually setting the ballet on dancers? If so, what kinds of things tend to have to be adjusted?

What influence do you have on casting? Is this only for the first cast, or do you set guidelines to be followed with other casts?

What kind of records must you keep about process of staging a ballet? In what form? How are they preserved and accessed by the company after you've left?

What is it like to sit in the audience and watch the first performance(s) of something you've created in this manner? Can you sit back, let it go, and enjoy it? Or do continue to work on things that should be changed?


Many thanks for offering to do this task for Ballet Talk. :)

#10 Helene



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Posted 21 August 2005 - 07:21 PM

Many thanks for your questions!

This topic is now closed for questions.

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