CriticalDance Forum

Ballet synopses divided by a score's distinct music pieces?
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Author:  goodpointe [ Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:27 am ]
Post subject:  Ballet synopses divided by a score's distinct music pieces?

Hello all, I’m a newbie to both ballet and to the forum. I would really appreciate some advice on sources (preferably online sources) of narrative ballet synopses which minutely specify which part of the narrative is occurring for which specific portion of a ballet score. For example, these types of synopsis are sometimes included in a ballet score album’s liner notes: “Track 1 – General celebratory dance”, “Track 4 – The princess searches for the ring”, etc. Is anybody able to help with this? Thanks!

(In case you’re wondering why I ask: I love music that tells a story, particularly in the form of musicals. I often enjoy listening to an album of a musical theatre score as much as seeing a live production or DVD, as I enjoy imagining the visuals to go along with the evocative music. I’m interested in learning more about other great ‘narrative music’, such as operas and certain ballets. But I’m finding it difficult to get into listening to ballet scores, I think largely because I often only have a vague synopsis to work with, and am not sure specifically what’s meant to be going on during particular album tracks.)

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ballet synopses divided by a score's distinct music pieces?

This is a great question. Unfortunately I have never seen any such synopsis in print or online in either the USA, France, Russia or the UK for ballets. It's not delineated by musical section in the synopses. And even if you had the musical score itself, that woudn't give you a summary of the ballet action. Nor would the Stepanov notation of the actual choreographic patterns -- as that's just the steps (according to music) without the story itself...

I'm afraid this doesn't exist, at least not as far as I'm aware of. Although it's not practical, the best way to learn this is in a ballet studio or watching rehearsals. that's the point at which the instructor/pedagogue/coach/choreographer will inform the dancers what occurs at which point in the music, usually with an explanation of the motivation behind the action. example: "At this note in the music, you turn to him and ask (using gesture/mime)...." Dancers and dance viewers could tell you the exact point in the libretto, the exact steps the dancer on stage is doing, just by hearing a clip of music. But that's from hours of studio work...

Author:  maithly [ Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ballet synopses divided by a score's distinct music pieces?

In 1968 Keith Money started filming a documentary with/on Margot Fonteyn to celebrate her 50th birthday. The documentary has Margot telling part of her own story, and has interviews with Richard Burton and Sammy Davis Jr. among others. She is filmed in Paris, Venice, shopping at YSL, in Panama... There are also several amazing dance excerpts as well, including part of The Sleeping Beauty.

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Author:  Auntie [ Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ballet synopses divided by a score's distinct music pieces?

I sit down with the score and make my own...

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