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 Post subject: I want to know...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2001 1:29 am 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 329
Location: Scotland.UK
Like many others i was glued to Sir Anthony as Drosselmeyer in the Nutcracker on BBC2 at Christmas...what i want to know is ..why has the sugar plum fairy's 10 minutes on stage changed..it has been toned down since the Leslie Collier 1995 version where Sir A was her prince...in fact most of the whole ballet has been changed!!<BR>I like Drosselmeyer guiding you through the ballet , but Clara and the Nutcracker usually sit at the side and watch the dancing put on in their honour....so why the changes?? I read somewhere that Sir Peter Wright said that they couldn't change any steps unless he said so in his will!!<BR>I mean don't get me wrong i love this version , it's just that it's changed so much!!


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 Post subject: Re: I want to know...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2001 2:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Hi sugar plum. It was revised for the Royal Ballet by Sir Peter Wright in 2000. From memory, he wanted to make the role of Clara more suitable for a major dancer and thus created new steps which interact with the ACT II divertissements. I believe he also made some changes to strengthen the story line.<P>We can each decide which version we prefer, but ballets have always been revised. Notation will help to preserve the steps, but I hope it leaves scope for dancers and Artistic Directors to make changes that they consider artistically valid. In today's Guardian, Judith Mackrell describes the way that 'Swan Lake' has changed and explains how Petipa and Ivanov junked the original version by Julius Reisinger. <P>Interestingly the version of 'Swan Lake' that Stanislavsky Ballet will bring to the Royal Festival Hall shortly uses the original score from the Reisinger version and apart from Act II will be very different to the one we are familiar with.<P>Here's the link to <A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/story/0,3604,624865,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>Judith Mackrell's article</B></A><P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited December 27, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: I want to know...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2001 5:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I have only seen this version once (I taped it so I intend to watch it again), but my initial impression is that I like the way Clara interacts with the characters in the second act. <P>It seems more dreamy to me - we usually interact with the plots and characters in our dreams, I think.


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 Post subject: Re: I want to know...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2001 11:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 314
I saw this on PBS last night. I found it very interesting. I liked how un-american it was. I did not like Act 2 that much. Spanish and and all of those I did not care for the coreography. I did like how clara and the Prince danced through out the whole thing. Just my humble student opinion!


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 Post subject: Re: I want to know...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2001 7:28 am 
Didn't like the RB's production of Nutcracker at all. The tempi were sloooow. It sucked all the life out of the music. The choreography was uninspired. Sort of pretty but no invention. Cojocaru as Clara was excellent and Ivan Putrov just incredible. One of the most exciting dancers around. The rest of the performers left me cold. It just points out to me again how all the best dancers in that company aren't English. They (the dancers of the English school) just don't know how to move. Lovely placement, pretty line (but not as pretty as most Russian-trained dancers), but they just don't know how to put steps together. <P>Dowell, one English dancer I do love, did his best, but was given nothing to do. He looked like a maiden aunt in male drag. No mystery, or wit to this Drosselmeyer, just a few tired not very magic tricks. That kind of sums up the entire production. Again, I highly recommend Victor Levashev's performance as Drosselmeyer in Grigorich's Nutcracker if you want to see how much fun this usually botched character can be.<P>------------------<BR>cheers,<BR>ralph<p>[This message has been edited by ralphsf (edited December 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: I want to know...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2001 1:23 am 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 329
Location: Scotland.UK
I don't think that is fair to say that dancers from English schools don't know how to move..they are anongst the best in the world , if not the best . I grant you that some of the dancers from abroad are good but some of their movements are over emphasised , jagged even..some do not seem to be as polished as the English dancers..i will not name who i am referring to ( they were in both RB performances on BBC2).<BR>As for Sir Anthony looking like a maiden aunt well!!!! as i have always stated Drosselmeyer was made for guiding you through the ballet , and Sir Anthony does it well...it fact he is the best i have ever seen.I have seen some Drosselmeyers where he acts like a molester of the children, especially around Clara..this is not right!!<BR>So i will stick to this performance as my favourite , followed by the 1995 RB version.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: I want to know...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2001 10:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 43
Location: Sussex, WI USA
We watched and taped the English production. It is my favorite, and being at my age I've seen quite a few! <P>I thought Clara was an awesome dancer, very diverse and a limber back for the Spanish dance. <P>I liked the Arabian dance in soft shoes, you really see the strength in her feet. Some of the men had awesome forte jumps. <P>I'm glad the snowflakes were all women, I had a hard time with a production in which they used men and women in the snowflakes. I liked the men in the Waltz of the Flowers though. I prefered the dancing of the flower over their sugar plum fairy. My 2 cents, or 2 pence. <P>Watching TV Nutcracker productions worked out with the baby.


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 Post subject: Re: I want to know...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2001 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 717
Location: California
The English dancers can't move....okayyyyy...... hmmmmmmm<P>The tempi were too slow, otherwise I would've really loved this production. The entire thing was so beautiful. The details in the first act are amazing. <P>In terms of dancing......the epaulment, the port de bras, the use of the feet.....gorgeous. <P>But I'm jaded and to be perfectly honest, Russian ballet just bores me to death. Only my opinion folks!I mean in the Maximova video the Nutcraker is a plush doll.....can't even begin to handle that! And that's only the first of about a thousand things I don't like about the Bolshoi version. hahaha <P>Happy New year! <p>[This message has been edited by DavidH (edited December 29, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: I want to know...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 10:11 am 
David H:<BR>Well, at least we agree on one thing, the tempi were too slow. Yes, English dancers have beautiful placement, and pretty arms, but (to continue my unfair character assasination) they don't have what the Russians call a beautiful "plastique"... how the entire body looks as a unit and, moreover, how it looks when it moves in space. To me, native Royal Ballet dancers always look tentative and not very expressive, they don't have an attack or flair to their dancing. It's really a matter of taste and what you like to watch. For instance, I think Jonathan Cope is an excellent dancer, I just find him boring to look at.<P>------------------<BR>cheers,<BR>ralph<p>[This message has been edited by ralphsf (edited January 03, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: I want to know...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
I have heard this criticism of English dancers from other sources as well. I think it is a difference in emphasis in training. American dancers are trained to be more mobile and athletic. English dancers are trained to be more precise. Both approaches have strengths and weakenesses, which we are now verbalizing.<p>[This message has been edited by LMCtech (edited January 03, 2002).]


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