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  1. Thank you Sebastian. Might well read further stories. I stated 1697 since it is the year given in Wikipedia, but I have noted that an endnote reads 'with republication in several compilations', which might explain the different dates given. And SheilaC and jmhopton, over yesterday and today have watched The Bluebird and Princess Florine. A pleasant ballet, glad I watched it, would pay a reasonable amount to see it live.
  2. The Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty Although my only qualification is enthusiasm, I lead a ballet appreciation group and recently sent the following to members. Thought it might interest Forum members. In the last Act of The Sleeping Beauty Puss-in-Boots and Little Red Riding Hood appear, these characters being from Charles Perrault’s fairytales, published in 1697. The Act also includes the Bluebird and Princess Florine. Although I’ve seen the ballet many times I’ve not understood why a Bluebird and a Princess Florine appear. Having watched various parts of the recent streaming by the Royal Opera House ­– I enjoyed Fumi Kaneko’s performance as Aurora – I turned to the internet to find out about these two characters, having only come across bluebirds flying over Judy Garland’s rainbow. Evidently, in mythology, the bluebird is a sign of happiness, prosperity, good health, and the arrival of Spring, the blue plumage being associated with the sky and eternal happiness. I found what I consider a possible connection between a bluebird and the ballet in Wikipedia’s ‘The Blue Bird (fairy tale)’. This fairy tale was published by Baroness d’Aulnoy in 1697 (the same year Perrault published his stories), the Baroness being the person who in 1690 first coined the phrase ‘fairytale’. Very briefly the plot is: widower King, who has beautiful daughter Princess Florine, marries not very nice widowed Queen who has ugly, selfish daughter Truitonne. Visiting the kingdom, Prince Charming falls in love with Florine, Queen and daughter do all they can to prevent Prince Charming and Princess Florine marrying so that he marries Truitonne instead, and as a last resort Truitonne’s fairy godmother turns the Prince into a bluebird. But all ends happily ever after for the Prince and Princess Florine. So, perhaps an explanation of why the Bluebird and Princess Florine appear in the ballet. As a child Aurora would have known this story along with those of Puss-In-Boots and Little Red Riding Hood. To round off, back to Judy Garland’s song, the second verse: Somewhere over the rainbow Bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow, Why then, oh why can’t I? If happy little bluebirds fly Beyond the rainbow, Why, oh why can’t I? In the film The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is told by her Aunt to find a place where she won’t get into more trouble. Dorothy muses, ‘is there a place where there isn’t any trouble?’. Thinking there must be, but you cannot get there by a boat or a train, she imagines such a place being ‘far, far away ... beyond the rainbow’. At their wedding to their Prince, both Princess Florine and Princess Aurora would of course be ‘over the rainbow’ with happiness.
  3. Have seen this Giselle twice and got the DVD. Can any one advise me why in Act 2 the Wilis hold the bamboo canes in their mouth?
  4. This morning Coliseum booking office confirmed that recorded music is used for this performance but I nevertheless went ahead and booked Dress Circle tickets for my wife and myself.
  5. Mandy I would be happy to say hello if spotting a group on the terrace. John
  6. Had a lovely and marvellous night at the ballet yesterday, the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre's Swan Lake at the London Coliseum. Denis Rodkin of the Bolshoi was superb, and what an outstanding ballerina is Irina Kolesnikova. I thought her portrayal of Odette in Act 2 had so much depth and was so moving. Is anyone else going?
  7. I have a ticket for ENB's The Sleeping Beauty but understand Maria Alexandrova is dancing some performances. Would book a further ticket to see her but does anyone know when casting is to be announced?
  8. Not sure whether this is relevant to the discussion but in her book Apollo's Angels Jennifer Homans mentions that during the French Revolution many women wore a simple white tunic, symbolising the nation cleansed of corruption and greed, and representing purity and virtue. She goes on to say that in the popular festivals that took place celebrating the Revolution, white-clad women, sometimes wearing tricolor sashes, moved gracefully, not marring their beauty with speech. In the Festival of Reason a woman played the lead role, supported by girls in white. Thus, the origin of what became the corps de ballet; before the Revolution the corps generally comprised men and women dancing as couples.
  9. A year or so ago I was told by a good authority that the reason there is no DVD is a copyright issue..
  10. I have a DVD of a 1978 performance of Don Quixote, Kitri danced by Nadezhda Pavlova and Basilio by Vladimir Lasashev. Their dancing of the last Act pas de deux is marvellous, I have not seen it done so marvellously. Last year I twice saw the Bolshoi performance of this ballet at CG and on Tuesday the Mariinsky's. I thoroughly enjoyed these performances and the dancing was excellent but in the pas de deux the dancers were a lot less adventurous in terms of lifts etc and bravado than the pair in 1978. Might it be that dancers are a lot more cautious these days, or maybe the quite justifiable wellbeing of dancers, or a Company's health and safety liability playing a part?
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