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Sebastian

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  1. Indeed FLOSS, it is a great pity we don’t have a filmed record of these (or any) lectures by Karsavina. However some of her manuscripts of the talks have turned up, which is why I was recently able to write here with authority about what she said at White Lodge in 1967.
  2. Yes please - I'll send you a DM now! Many thanks, Sebastian
  3. Thank you MargaretN7. As I indicated in my original post, one does indeed read this all over the place, asserted as if it is established fact. I have tried to find proper sources - it is such a nice idea one wants it to be true - but without success. One problem is that the dates don’t really fit. The Mariinsky Theatre was indeed electrified by 1890 but, contrary to some claims, electricity was not that season’s sensation. Electrification was completed some years before Sleeping Beauty and indeed Petipa and Vsevolozhsky had done a fair number of other ballets in the interim. So if the variation celebrates electricity - and as yet no document has emerged from Petipa’s papers to support this - it does not do so because the theatre had just fitted new lights. Incidentally, there are interesting differences as to where or how high this fairy points, depending on whose performance tradition is being followed. Perhaps Ratmansky has found a good source for this (the notation does not include arm movements). Sadly although Karsavina - when speaking to the Royal Ballet School in 1967 - did at one point refer to electricity in relation to Manzotti’s 1881 ballet Excelsior, she said nothing about Violente’s fingers or arms. One final tidbit. The original costume for this fairy - as designed by Vsevolozhsky - features a turquoise salamander over the dancer’s heart as well as a crown of flames, which might lead one into further speculation.
  4. This website is indeed a marvellous compendium of secondary sources and some lovely visual material (including much which is hard for the casual reader to find). However one can’t rely on it, as I discovered when doing some research around the history of the Sleeping Beauty. To give one example, the site asserts - as if established fact - that >>The purpose of the Fairy Violente pointing her fingers during her variation in the Grand Pas de six of the Prologue is that she is zapping electricity, which was new in 1890. I very much hope this is true, as it is a most entertaining idea and the Prologue Fairies are somewhat mysterious. However nowhere does there seem to be a 19th century source for this observation, in any language, although it pops up, unsourced, in some speculative writing after the Second World War. More than happy to be corrected by those who know more but I can’t find where this comes from.
  5. I would be grateful for an affordable (SCS or such like) ticket for this evening.
  6. I would be interested in Dec 7 if Thalia doesn’t take the ticket for some reason - have sent a PM
  7. I booked for this fascinating-looking film screening back in August but will now be away so can't use my ticket: https://www.pushkinhouse.org/events/the-brothers-karamazov Next Sunday, 10 November, 3.15pm, Pushkin House in London (unreserved seating): £12. The screening is currently sold out. I have an eticket so can send it by email. Please PM as well as posting here if interested.
  8. To add a little more about Lydia Pahkova. The always impeccable Roland Wiley, who never goes beyond his voluminous sources, writes this of Pashkova in "The Ballets of Lev Ivanov": "A Parisian bohemian and occasional correspondent for Le Figaro who (as rumour had it) was related to Vsevolozhsky, Pashkova wrote...libretti for St Petersburg, one of which - Raymonda - brought her such recognition as she enjoys in the history of the ballet." A footnote: the claim that Pashkova was Vsevolozhsky's wife - repeated this Sunday during the live transmission of Raymonda by the delightful and multilingual head of press at the Bolshoi, Katerina Novikova - is not correct.
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