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La Bayadere returns to KenCen 
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Сообщение La Bayadere returns to KenCen


Последний раз редактировалось Octavia 09 июн 2017, 04:01, всего редактировалось 6 раз(а).



28 май 2017, 22:12
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Сообщение A Study in Red and White

    Marina Dmitrevskaya,
    Associate Professor of SPGATI, Theater Critic.

    Цитата:
    The sensual luxury of the first two acts, explosive character dances and scantily clad bodies are in stark contrast with white tunics and veils of the Shades, the abstract dispassion of poses, the superlative geometry of the mise-en-scene of the famous third act. In the last (never recovered) act, the two anti-worlds were to converge (as in the synthesis of the third element of the Hegelian triad), the white shadow appeared among the colorful celebration, the ghost at the feast, its emergence - according to F. Lopukhov's descriptions – was an eerie extravaganza turning to a phantasmagoria, and the action ended in a grand (though somewhat sham) catastrophe. This was a brilliant, I repeat, forever lost piece of choreography and the fragment of it ( Pas Gamzatti, Solor and soloists ), later revised by Vakhtang Chabukiani, was transferred from the wedding palace act, where it should had remained, to the open area of the public square where it appears premature and somewhat out of place.

    And yet the impact of the spectacle on the audience, even with mediocre performance, remains hypnotic: the artistic energy that gave rise to the ballet is so enormous, so great is the abundance of spectacular numbers, the choreography is so fantastically good. Lively and dansant, the fabric of "La Bayadere" is preserved, and so is the metaphorical base: two colors that illuminate the ballet and create permanent poles of attraction - red and white, the color of flame and fire at one pole, the color of tunics and veils at the other. The first act is called Fire Festival: in the depths of the scene is scarlet fire, wild dervishes jump through it; The third act can be called a mystery of white veils, mysteria in white. What is this ballet about? The question is rhetorical: "La Bayadere" is designed for immediate perception and seems to contain no hidden meanings. Motives are obvious, the constructive principle is not concealed, theatrical component dominates all other.


    Изображение

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    Photo: Mark Olich



Последний раз редактировалось Octavia 09 июн 2017, 04:50, всего редактировалось 5 раз(а).



29 май 2017, 20:26
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Сообщение La Bayadere. In-depth View

    Marina Dmitrevskaya,
    Associate Professor of SPGATI, Theater Critic.

    Цитата:
    Constructs of the piazza theatre are showcased in three acts (in Petipa's original - in four) through action, gesture and dance. The formula is triune: firstly, melodramatic intrigue; secondly, period mannerism; and thirdly, excess in everything - excessive passion, suffering, pangs of conscience, unscrupulous villainy, loyalty and betrayal. Over-the-top processions, lot of extras, fake objects and fake animals. Excessive are facades, interiors, landscapes. And, finally comes apotheosis: the action takes place in the public square, in front of the festive crowd, all hands on deck. The square is not only a place of action, but (although to a lesser extent than in “Don Quixote”) a collective character and, moreover, it is an expressive symbol with a role of its own. The piazza stands in contrast to the palace; the palace perishes, while the piazza remains; remains for how long is unclear, eternity is present only in the scene of "The Shades", only art here is eternal. This is the moral outcome of the "La Bayadere", somewhat unexpected for both Parisian melodramas and for the St. Petersburg imperial theatre. This artistic mesalliance, however, is case in point. In "La Bayadere" the two aspects of theatre come together: the colorful energy of the boulevard theatre, which ignited young Petipa, and the noble forms of high academism, Paris and Petersburg, the flame and ice of European art.

    Цитата:
    The second picture of "La Bayadere" brings addition to the artistic perspectives: the optical (a la Gonzaga) in the background and the choreographic (a la Noverre) in the act itself. The next picture after that - the Second Act - is already in the pure form of Marius Petipa, Petipa of the 70 – 80’s [sic. 19th Century], Petipa’s monumental dansant frescoes. Antiquity and novelty are neatly interwoven. The ceremonial procession of numerous mime actors, the manner in which the action is structured, is reminiscent of divertissement, the baroque construction of static mise-en-scenes, and something unprecedented in artistry and scale of choreographic thought: polyphonic development of dissimilar themes, polyphonic structure of mass scenes and corps de ballet episodes. Petipa's fantasy hits the edge, but he keeps his creative juices within strict limits. And the famous finale of the Second Act, the abrupt end of the festival, the tragic crescendo, so-called "Dance with a Snake", carries in itself the same features of archaic eclecticism and fearless discoveries. This snake looks totally false, made of calico and cotton wool. Fokin wrote about similar model with disdain when describing the production of "Egyptian Nights" (shown in Paris under the title "Cleopatra"). But the very monologue of Nikiya is a breakthrough (which, incidentally, the same Fokin for some reason attributed to himself), breakthrough in the field of expressive dance.


    .............Изображение


Последний раз редактировалось Octavia 04 июн 2017, 02:04, всего редактировалось 1 раз.



30 май 2017, 19:56
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Сообщение Dance with a Snake

    Marina Dmitrevskaya
    Associate Professor of SPGATI, Theater Critic. 

    Цитата:
    Let us consider the most obvious, namely, where Petipa finds expressive possibilities which are in no way inferior to that of modern dance; they come from within the depths and hidden reserves of classical ballet itself. Contraction and expansion, an unusual balance, unbelievable angles and impossible turns. Without breaking academic form and poses, Petipa creates an image of deformity – a leap triggered by ecstatic passion, an illusion of a broken arabesque. Consider Dance with a Snake. It is a ritual dance and at the same time a monologue of a wounded heart, built on extremes and contrasts, on a sharp transition from one expressive pose to another, from one extreme state to another. Smooth transitions, intermediate forms and psychological nuances are intentionally omitted: instant flash of energy is extinguished by equally instantaneous fall into apathy; The violently twisted jump is arrested by a lifeless still of a pose; The body of a dancer stretches out in a string to soar upward, only to fall “dead” onto the stage floor. The vertical and horizontal lines of the monologue are sharp and boldly cross each other. Fragmented dance of the first part is followed by the dance of despair, of a prayer in the second part, until it suddenly explodes in ecstatic (and even erotic) fiery tarantella. All this is inherent in theatrical romanticism, or, more precisely, post-romanticism in which romantic style is exaggerated and complex to the extreme.

    The entire second act, the festival scene and a choreographic divertissement, is built according to the familiar constructs found in "La Sylphide", "Giselle" and other ballets of the 30s and 40s [sic. 19th Century]. The act represents a bright, picturesque and vivid emotional contrast to the "white" act to follow. But in "La Bayadere", this piazza act itself is composed of a series of internal contrasts. Each room is a kind of attraction, each number is definitely not like the next or previous one. This seems to be a violation of logic, all the rules of the game are cast aside and the most important among them is the unity of style. But, of course, this is not artistic chaos, but a well thought-through artistic calculation, which only strengthens the main, general contrast between the flashes of choreographic fireworks of the piazza scenes and the "white ballet" that flows like moonlight.



    ........................Изображение



Последний раз редактировалось Octavia 01 июн 2017, 18:33, всего редактировалось 1 раз.



31 май 2017, 14:46
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Сообщение "Moonlight Sonata"

    Marina Dmitrevskaya,
    Associate Professor of SPGATI, Theater Critic.

    Цитата:
    Indeed, Petipa's "white ballet" is a genuine choreographic tour de force. Half an hour long (the duration of the classical symphony of the Viennese school) it consists of principal dancers, three supporting soloists and a full-scale corps de ballet. Yet for all their infinite variety, they remain tributes, destined to flow toward one common stream, stream with its internal interactions, caught in the super refined contrapuntal game. This vast choreographic canvas unfolds like a scroll (the dance of Nikiya with a long veil follow this metaphor precisely), and flows as one continuous and infinite cantilena. With brilliant skill, surprising even for Petipa, the choreography sustains this illusion, this mirage for half an hour and the illusion never skips a beat.

    As the Shades one by one descend onto the stage, their movement fluid, yet precisely measured, our own anticipation grows exponentially with each musical phrase. Tension builds up with prolonged pauses and poses executed by thirty-two dancers in total unison and in a manner so delicate, devoid of convulsions and rush, only to be eased when the corps de ballet lines up in four rows. The tempo grows with each pas and plie combination, slowly, with mathematical precision, with inevitability of fate itself. You won't find here sudden bright flashes characteristic of the previous act, only a single white flash, lasting half an hour, as if it was captured on film by some magic camera. No sudden jumps, drops on the ground, throws in the air - rather one smooth collective movement, one fluid collective lowering to the knee.



    ............................Изображение


01 июн 2017, 18:23
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Сообщение Nikiya

    Marina Dmitrevskaya,
    Associate Professor of SPGATI, Theater Critic. 

    Цитата:

    At the intersection of all the facets of the ballet, in the focus of all the contrasts, collisions and stylistic games, finally in the center of the intrigue is main character, Nikiya, she is a bayadere in colorful shalvaras, she is a white shadow, she is a dancer in the festival, she is the personification of passion, dreams and sorrows. Such a versatile a role had not thus far been seen in ballet. No ballerina had tackled a character of such contrasts and complexity.

    Here is a question - how justified are these metamorphoses, and are they even motivated by character development? Is it not rather static assembly of classical ballet situations - festivals and dreams, love and deceit? After all, S. Khudekov, a ballet historian, balletomane and also a librettist, built his script on existing schemes dear and near to his heart. But that's not all: many questions remained in reference to the title role itself. And how to explain the strange logic of "dance with a snake" - a sharp transition from despair to joyful abandonment, from a mournful entreaty to an ecstatic tarantella? The libretto doesn't explain it, or explains naively at best - Nikiya thinks that a basket of flowers was sent to her by Solor. Perhaps Petipa miscalculated? Did he sacrifice coherence on the alter of romantic ballet metaphors?

    Not in the least, Petipa's vision of the role of Nikiya is as carefully considered, as the whole ballet itself. Petipa's choreographic thought earns for new means of expression and he does discover new them here, although they are not totally free from ideology. The libretto by Khudekov is just that - a story of passionate love, but of love imagined. In the ballet of Petipa Nikiya is an artist, but also a poet, visionary and dreamer.



    ............................................Изображение


Последний раз редактировалось Octavia 09 июн 2017, 04:52, всего редактировалось 1 раз.



04 июн 2017, 17:37
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Сообщение Love Triangle

    Marina Dmitrevskaya,
    Associate Professor of SPGATI, Theater Critic

    Цитата:

    Solor is totally different - not a divine youth, not a poet or a dreamer. He is a man of this world and Gamzatti is ideal for him. Look how they dance in unison (in the current version transferred from the last act to the second). They are on equal footing. And what a brilliant ending of the entree, when, holding hands, they fly to the forefront of the stage in a stylish demonstration of their unity. Even if we allow the supposition that this move had been added by Chabukiani (he worked on the editorship, in 1940), still, we must recognize that at least in this particular instance the episode is in agreement with spirit of Petipa's choreography. The move to the front of the stage, like the whole duet, is brilliant and it comes as apotheosis to all the festive elements of the ballet. And this is a very important point for clarifying its essence.

    In the libretto the situation is rather simplified: Nikiya is a pariah, Gamzatti is a princess. Solor, a noble warrior, chooses the princess and this choice of his had been predetermined. In the ballet, however, Solor seeks excitement, not position or wealth. Gamzatti is bright and spirited – a ray of sunshine in the rain, so it is rather disappointing that some dancers portray her as one who is just arrogant. Nikiya, on the other hand, is filled with sorrow as she strikes a ghostly figure in the midst of the fest in Act II. All these noisy gatherings are not for her. It is in the act of "Shadows" that she creates her own, quiet celebration. There her soul finds peace and her turbulent rebellious passions find harmony. Nikiya is not only an artist and a magician, but also a rebel, a creature wild and untamed. Her very dance is a metaphor of fire, as performed by a professional dancer, a temple bayadere.

    Nikiya's physical portrait is painted with piercing impulses combined with gentle movements of her arms and torso. Fire within her is only partially tamed, so it comes to no great surprise when she throws herself at the rival (Gamzatti) with a dagger in her hands. Having drawn such a unique portrait, Petipa throws a veil over it, thus surrounding Nikiya with a halo of mystery. Indeed, this is the most mysterious character in Petipa's ballets.



    ...................Изображение

    Изображение



08 июн 2017, 23:34
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Сообщение Great Nikiyas of the Past - EKATERINA VAZEM

    Marina Dmitrevskaya,
    Associate Professor of SPGATI, Theater Critic

    Цитата:

    To say the least, the part of Nikiya does create for ballet performers many problems. Moreover, it is technically very difficult, because it requires virtuosity of a special kind, that of the 70s, based on terre a terre technique at a slow pace and without support of a partner. The first performer of the title role was Ekaterina Vasem - as Petipa wrote in the memoirs, "the actress rather remarkable." All technical, and as it seems stylistic challenges, she overcame just fine. At the same time it is reasonable to assume that Vasem was not able to fully appreciate the depth of the role. Incidentally Vazem herself tells in her memoirs about the rift that she and Petipa had over "dance with a snake" and a theatrical costume.

    It is unlikely that the issue was just the shalwar [sic. piece of theatrical costume]. Probably Vasem was not an intuitive actress. Characters like Nikiya were alien to her. Ekaterina who was a brilliant and very enlightened representative of St. Petersburg academic school of ballet, also the author of the first book on the subject ever written by a ballerina, is hard to be pictured with a dagger in her hand and a "bullet" in her heart. That said, let's bear in mind that it was she, who endowed Nikiya with royal stature, and it was she who created the tradition of noble interpretation of this role. It is by no means a transient point as even today quite different tradition still exists – which turns the tragedy into a philistine melodrama.


    ...............Изображение

    Цитата:
    The key to "La Bayadere" is, of course, interpretation of the title role. To interpret it is to feel, better still - to realize its genre nobility. A well thought through approach should leave no place for a philistine melodrama, but unveil the powerful message of the work of true genius. There were at least three such profound renderings of Nikiya. All of them have historical significance and all three reveal both, transcendent purity and artistic revelations.



10 июн 2017, 07:13
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Сообщение Great Nikiyas of the Past - ANNA PAVLOVA

    Marina Dmitrevskaya,
    Associate Professor of SPGATI, Theater Critic

    Цитата:
    Anna Pavlova danced "La Bayadere" in 1902 and with her another stage in the life of the ballet began. In turn, Pavlova was deeply influenced by this work. The ballerina was preparing the role under the supervision of Petipa himself, as well as the next big role that of Giselle (as indicated in the diary of the choreographer). Pavlova's performance in "La Bayadere" stands as a testament to the old maestro and as his personal contribution to the art of the twentieth century. Five years would had passed before Fokine's "Swan", but an eighty-four-year-old man, suffering from many illnesses and being openly spoken of as someone who is old-fashioned, even senile, the one who just "lost it" was once again on top of his game to meet the challenges of the new age. The first triumph of Pavlova was the last triumph of Petipa, a triumph not immediately recognized, but triumph nevertheless.

    What was so striking in Pavlova’s performance? Uniqueness of her talent and incredible lightness of the interpretation. Everything which is old, unnecessary, dead, that accumulated over a quarter of a century just vanished. Pavlova literally chiseled away heavy emphasis, introducing instead the subtlety of chiaroscuro. To use a metaphor, Anna Pavlova broke though static fragments of the choreographic fabric and stepped into the world of semi-mystical revelations.



    ..........................................Изображение


Последний раз редактировалось Octavia 24 июн 2017, 23:35, всего редактировалось 1 раз.



14 июн 2017, 20:24
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Сообщение Great Nikiyas of the Past - MARINA SEMYONOVA

    Marina Dmitrevskaya,
    Associate Professor of SPGATI, Theater Critic

    Цитата:

    Semyonova danced "La Bayadere" in the late 1920s, while still at the Mariinsky Theater, and still attending the Vaganova class and with acute awareness of a special mission that fell on her shoulders. Appreciation of the mission permeated her dance and filled it with certain pride. Semyonova was called upon to save and defend the classical dance, to pour fresh blood into it and win a duel with other dance forms, which aggressively claimed modernity. One could “hear” that theme in all her roles - "Swan Lake", "Sleeping Beauty", "Raymonda".

    In the act of "Shadows" with striking clarity, that amazed both amateurs and connoisseurs, Semyonova demonstrated what can be called a super dance - the rarest gift of an uninterrupted symphonic cantilena. That was what Petipa had in mind, when he created his "Entrance of the Shades", where same choreographic phrase was repeated thirty-two times. This bold, in fact, Wagnerian idea, which only the corps de ballet could realize (and which the composer failed to grasp by introducing two musical theme in place of one), this visionary idea that was ahead of its age and impossible for virtuoso ballerinas of the second half XIX century to bring into play, Semyonova realized as a ballerina of the XX century. She preformed the sequence of consecutive numbers, including pauses, exits from the stage, the rapid diagonal pas as one symphonic episode, which was destined to become the andante cantabile of classical ballet.


    ......................Изображение

    ...................Изображение


15 июн 2017, 21:00
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