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  1. In the late nineteenth century the ballet reformers in St. Petersburg thought that the emphasis on technical developments for their own sake had gone too far.Even Petipa wrote that the Italian school was in danger of destroying ballet. The response of the ballet reformers in St Petersburg was to emphasise the purity of the French school.As a pupil of the Imperial School Pavlova was singled out, not for her technical skills but for the purity of her dance.Then Fokine created a revolutionary work without any choreographic pyrotechnics evoking the French romantic ballet, Chopiniana known to the West as Les Sylphides. Fokine's aesthetics dominated ballet for a time in Russia and for far longer in the West where choreographers continued to create ballets which emphasised balance, order and mood rather than creating works which were "displays of dance". Should the various attempts to reconstruct ballets ranging from LaCotte's La Sylphide and La Fille du Pharon to Ratmansky's Corsaire, Don Quixote, Paquita and Sleeping Beauty be seen as part of a single movement or are there several strands at work? Was LaCotte merely using the idea of reconstruction of long lost works as a cloak of respectability for the creation of works that were essentially new ?Are some of those working in the field trying to recapture the imagined purity of past performance style and practice in a way reminiscent of the Early Music Movement of forty or fifty years ago ? Are some simply against extreme movement and others trying to reassert the supremacy of the choreographer over the performer? Given the amount of time that restoring a ballet takes when there are still former dancers who remember dancing in it are Ratmansky's attempts to restore both choreographic text and performance style of a number of Petipa's major works a good use of his time and creativity ?Do we need to know what Petipa's choreography really looked like or is it enough to praise it however altered what we see may be? Are attempts to reassert the supremacy of late nineteenth classical choreography and dance style and performance practice a thinly disguised attempt to remove every aspect of Soviet balletic practices and style or are they directed at the practices of a few individuals? Is the authenticity movement a welcomed back to basics or a potential block to technical advance?
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