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The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia are performing a collection of works across the UK at the moment including La Fille Mal Gardee, Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Giselle, Cinderella, Snow Maiden.

 

I went to see La Fille Mal Gardee at Buxton Opera House tonight and was very satisfied and enjoyed the performance very much.  Lise, Colas, and Widow Simone were Elena Svinko, Marcello Pelizzoni, and Pavel Kirchev.

 

It was almost incomparable to the Birmingham Royal Ballet production (Ashton) I saw (for the first time) a couple of months ago at the Lowry Salford. No famous clog dance music, no ribbon promenade, no maypole. However it was full of great top quality dancing and wonderfully played music and had it's own set of highlights. The Widow Simone was extremely good, having more solo work than the the BRB version, Colas and Lise had more 'showy' pas de deux and solo work particularly in Act II and performed them with aplomb. The Esmeralda solo with tambourine is inserted into Lisa's solos in Act I. Then Act II ramped up the effects and bravura from the leads and the corps (coupe jetes, fouettes etc) so the stage and theatre fairly buzzed with lively, joyous, action. Some very nice umbrella work from the corps in the thunderstorm scene.

 

My first trip to Buxton and being in the upper circle I could not see the strange rake of the stage that has been mentioned on this forum. I did think the stage small and saw one of the corps rather flinch and duck when Colas was doing his grand manege, and Lise almost fell into the orchestra pit at the end of a diagonal in one of her solos!

 

Really have to compliment the orchestra they were terrific and got my feet tapping to the spirited music - something I hardly ever do.

 

Yes overall it's not the quite at the level of the major UK companies, but I'd highly recommend this company based on this performance.

Edited by northstar
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That's reassuring, I'm seeing them here in Swindon soon.

 

Is there no ribbon work at all?

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Not that I remember, since it's not Ashton.

 

I think I posted my thoughts about the production on here a few years ago, having seen them in Wimbledon.

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Posted (edited)
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Is there no ribbon work at all?

 

Actually in the performance I saw there was a brief ribbon section between Lise and Colas including some 'cat's cradle' (but much less intricate than the BRB/Ashton) - and actually I tell a lie - there was a sort of ribbon promenade, but it was Colas who was promenaded by Lise!

 

Alison was the thread you mention this one?

Also a thread from their most recent previous tour with lots of discussion and info, including link to detailed review of this production of Fille on dancetabs.com by Jann Parry.

 

Good old balletco forum, lots of different impressions and thoughts and info in these threads, great stuff!

Edited by northstar

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I am going to see their Cinderella at the Grand theatre, Blackpool next Friday so I'll let you know what I think. I saw their la Fille in Blackpool 3 or 3 years ago and don't know why they've never repeated it there as is was virtually a sell out. Slightly different music to the Ashton version as obviously no John Lanchberry special arrangement and a slightly different style. there was a sort of clog dance I think but not performed in clogs which I heard people complaining about as I left. But it was still a very pleasant evening, especially if you didn't know the Ashton version to compare it to and good to have a live orchestra and not recorded music.

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Very largely different music, I thought, or am I confusing it with La Sylphide?

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Yes to me the music seemed v different to the Ashton version and indeed my programme says this version is based mainly around Hertel's music rather than Herold.

 

I could hear the clog motif occasionally but during the actual clog dance the music was not the most famous tune we are familiar with. 

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Ashton's clog dance music was composed by John Lanchbery.

 

Thank you toursenlair and jmhopton for the info.

   
Apologies I was posting rather lazily  'on the go' without adding too much detail

 

The programme I bought does indeed indicate that Lanchbery, (conductor of the Royal Opera House) was commissioned by Ashton to supply music for his version of Fille. For this verision of Fille by Russian State Ballet of Siberia, the programme contains a whole page on Hertel, and says that he was colleague of Paul Taglioni who created a new version of Fille in 1864 in Berlin. And says 'Hertel must be credited with composing the only truly orignal score [for Fille]'. And the cast sheet says 'Music by Peter Ludwig Hertel'. Apologies for those of you who already know this by heart.

 

Nonetheless, I am sure I heard on a couple of occasions, snippets of the undeveloped famous clog dance theme in this Hertel version I saw on Friday - maybe I was imagining things! If anyone else goes to see it (Rob S in Swindon?) let me know if I am!

 

Although the music to me seeemed similar in mood (joyous, sunny, dance-y) to the Ashton/Herold/Lanchberry score I heard a couple of months ago, I found it still markedly different in many other ways.

 

 

Edited by northstar

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Posted (edited)

I also attended the Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia performance of Swan Lake at Buxton Opera House on today (Sat) matinee. Anna Fedosova was Odile/Odette and Daniil Kostylev was Siegfried.

 

I really enjoyed it. Not much time to add much detail but it was a punchy, entertaining, well-danced Swan Lake with some beautiful moments. I have just seen the exquisite English National Ballet version and it must be said that when placed next to that, this production/performance seemed - to but it bluntly - unsubtle, gauche, melodramatic.

 

But I love a bit of melodrama! And the sense of a company really 'delivering' a show without too much artistic angst.

 

Sorry I realise that sounds like damning with faint praise, or make it sound like I'm describing a panto, but I had a great time at this Swan Lake and left Buxton smiling. To add more detail: some great dancing and new variations/divertissments/music I'd never seen/heard before. LOVED the Spanish dance with the continual exaggerated backbends. A stunning set of black swans in the final act. All the swans including Odette doing the entrechats at the climax of Act II. Fedosova's fantastic fast fouettes (all 32 if you're interested, I don't count but she finished when the music finished). Loads of treats, I'll maybe post more of what I remember and look forward to hearing what other people think of it.   

Edited by northstar
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2 hours ago, northstar said:

 

 

Nonetheless, I am sure I heard on a couple of occasions, snippets of the undeveloped famous clog dance theme in this Hertel version I saw on Friday - maybe I was imagining things! If anyone else goes to see it (Rob S in Swindon?) let me know if I am!

 

 

 

 

 

No, you are right - Lanchbery based the clog dance on one of Hertel's numbers.

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No, you are right - Lanchbery based the clog dance on one of Hertel's numbers.

 

Thanks Jane S and those above on this discussion of Fille music! The relation between the Fille music from Herold, Hertel and Lanchberry can all be found on google, youtube, wikipedia, but much more fun to discuss it, and be educated, here on this forum!

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Posted (edited)

Just further to my post on the RSBS Swan Lake, (and while I remember) the main divertissement I'd not seen before (or seen so long ago I've forgotten I saw it) was the Russian Bride solo in the 'black act'. The last ~ 10 years Swan Lakes I have seen have been English National Ballets or Birmingham Royal Ballet and don't have this divertissement .

 

Also while I remember must praise the RSB Orchestra, in the small Buxton Opera House you could hear the individual string and woodwind solos accompanying the dancers really clearly and beautifully.

Edited by northstar
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Hello all, as someone who sees a lot of ballets, I Saw  Siberian Ballet at New  Wimbledon Theatre  SW19 yesterday, in February 2019 performing  Nutcracker Very accomplished lead and cast, particularly bearing in mind the small size of the theatre stage in Wimbledon. Loved the costumes too. Spanish dance not great, but Arabian dance and Chinese dancer excellent. All the boys were good and King rat stood out as very good Loved it and for £30 it was excellent value. I believe The Russian style was very evident in the dancing with clean and sharp moves, really enjoyed it with the family, and Clara was outstanding.

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Hello Jackie,

 

As you had posted this into a thread about ENB’s Nutcracker, I’ve separated your post into a new thread about Siberian Ballet. 

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I only realised I'd missed their Wimbledon run a couple of days ago - shame, as I'd have been interested to see their Cinderella.

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I enjoyed their La Fille mal gardée in Swindon last week, no ponies, carts, chicken outfits, not a lot of ribbonography but great fun

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Yes, I enjoyed it a few years ago, which is why I was annoyed to miss it :( 

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1 hour ago, alison said:

I only realised I'd missed their Wimbledon run a couple of days ago - shame, as I'd have been interested to see their Cinderella.

 

You might have been disappointed Alison. I certainly was. I saw it at the Grand, Blackpool with Terry and we both thought the first act was very poor with virtually no dancing. More of a pantomime than ballet. When the second act opened with hideous costumes and uninspired movements at the ballroom scene (usually a highlight for me) my spirits plummeted even more. Then the prince arrived in a perfect classical costume and did a very passable variation. I could have kissed him! After that things improved somewhat but I wouldn't be tempted to go again (at least to see Cinderella). having said that we were possibly in the minority as most people leaving seem to be saying they'd enjoyed it to the management saying good night. Later, I filled in a questionnaire and asked for the Grand to show La Fille again as we saw it there several years ago and it was nearly a sellout.

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I thought about going but the prices seemed just too high - started at £35 for anywhere convenient for me (couldn't see any offers for the theatres in question).

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I thought someone posted an offer for the Wimbledon ones?

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I saw the "Russian State Ballet of Siberia" for the first time at the Liverpool Empire on Friday. I have to say that I was attracted more by the ballet than the company.  I was curious to see a version of La Fille mal gardée that had not been created by Ashton with a score that had not been written by Lanchbery and sets and costumes that had not been designed by Lancaster.

The version that I saw on Friday had been created by Alexander Gorsky to music by Peter Hertel.  In that respect, it was very much older version than the Ashton-Lanchbery-Lancaster version but maybe further removed in spirit from the show that was premiered at the Grand Theatre of Bordeaux a few days before the storming of the Bastille.  For instance, Gorsky's version ends with a full-blown classical pas de deux with an introduction, man's solo, woman's solo and coda and Lise in a pretty classical tutu with flower motifs. That placed it slap bang in the last quarter of the 19th century,

On the other hand, the story was very much the same. The big difference is that Colas inveigled his way into Simone's home dressed as a notaire rather than smuggled inside a bundle of wheat sheaves. There was a ribbon dance though it did not end in a love knot and even a clog dance of sorts though not the one we know. I missed the human scale poultry and Lancaster's designs though the Russians used some computer generated animations on a backdrop that reminded me faintly of Constable country.

On the whole, I prefer the Ashton version though I was somewhat underwhelmed by BRB's the last time I saw it which was at the Lowry last October. It had somehow expanded into three acts and had begun to drag.  The Russian version was the right length and it was still fresh and jolly even with Hertel's more ponderous score.

There seem to be a lot of companies with the adjective "Russian" in their names that tour the market towns of this country with full-length works so I had never taken much notice of that company before.  I think I have deprived myself of a pleasure because they turned out to be not too bad at all.  In fact, they were rather good especially Elena Svinko who danced Lise in a coquettish feisty way and Marcello Pelizzoni who danced Colas.

Because they were a lot better than I had expected I looked them up and found that they are based on the resident company of an opera house that opened in 1978 in a place called Krasnoyarsk. Krasnoyarsk is a city just slightly smaller than the combined populations of Bradford and Leeds on approximately the same latitude as Dundee east of the Ural mountains.  According to Google Maps, its opera house is some 4,560 miles from the studios of Northern Ballet.  Despite its remoteness and by world standards population Krasnoyarsk has produced some fine dancers including the Dutch National Ballet's principal ballerina Anna Ol and the Mariinsky's Viktoria Tereskina. Some of those folks had started their training at the city's ballet school and Ol seems to have toured with the Siberians so they have to be taken seriously.

They are coming to Sheffield and Halifax before the end of their tour and I have tied an electronic knot in my digital hankie to see what they make of Swan Lake.

If anyone is interested I have posted a review to Terpsichore this morning.

Wishing all subscribers to this website a great weekend.   If you are an amateur dancer in the North and fancy a great workshop in Leeds next Sunday check out Powerhouse Ballet's website and sign up for it now. My practice is sponsoring the event so it won't cost you a bean.      

Edited by Terpsichore
correcting grammatical error
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Thanks for the report.  Sorry I couldn't see this but Birmingham called!

 

As a point of interest, BRB's production of Fille has always been 3 acts.  I was told by a friend years ago that it was to do with manipulating the sets that the touring company had to have the extra act.  As theirs is the production I have most seen I prefer it to the RB 2-acter.

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Thanks, Janet. 

Liverpool is a lot easier to reach from Huddersfield as there is a direct service which takes just over the hour.  It's hard to take time off during office hours.  Otherwise, I would have gone to Birmingham too.

I like both the Royal Ballet and Birmingham's productions.   I know the Royal Ballet's better than Birmingham's and did not notice very much difference between them until last October.   I saw a great performance by BRB in Nottingham nearly 5 years ago.   I don't remember a  third act, though, and I think I would have done.

I wasn't the only one who was surprised by two acts.  My companion, Gita, mentioned it to our ballet teacher who also expressed surprise and suggested it might be a bit too long. Our teacher trained at Northern Ballet School in Manchester danced with Northern Ballet and teaches at the Northern Ballet Academy in Leeds.  

The Krasnoyarsk opera house production was far from bad and I look forward to seeing that company in "Swan Lake" or some other ballet that I know well.  

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