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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 2:14 pm 
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We're talking about two different things. Petipa's pieces were never under copyright, so anyone is free to alter them. Videos and most other ballets are copyrighted, so to use the them or copy tapes of them without permission is a violation of law. Authenticity may be desirable, but there's no law against updating a non copyrighted ballet.

That said, as I've said before, Petipa ca. 1950s and on is well captured on video, so we'll always have something to look back to for reference. It's not going to be lost.

Almost anytime you see Petipa's name left out it's either because the choreography is totally new or because the press person has no dance experience and doesn't realize that Petipa should be credited. You'd be amazed at how many press reps have no clue about dance - they tend to be from PR backgrounds rather than dance backgrounds. I've caught major errors by press reps for major festivals.

And I see no problem in advertising a ballet as by xxxx after Petipa because it tells you the truth about the ballet - you're going to see a version that has sections reworked by someone else. It would be worse to credit someone else's work to Petipa.

Plus, I like to the ballets updated and reworked. For example, ABT's "Swan Lake" is probably the most Petipa of any I've seen, but it's my least favorite. I like the changes and new vision that Peter Martins and Christopher Wheeldon and Sir Peter Wright have brought to their versions. If people had to do the same thing over and over again, ballet would become very stale. And honestly, when I see Swan Lake, I'm never sure what is Petipa, what is Ivanov and what was added in by various Soviet/Russian stagers over the years. What we think of as 'Petipa's Swan Lake' is probably a far cry from his original.

The RDB does protect Bournonville, but that doesn't prevent them from allowing different stagers to come and create different productions. And the dancing has changed because in Bournonville's time the women rarely dance en pointe and no-one did more than a double piroutte (no spotting). Today the divertissements are all done on pointe with much higher retire positions and more rotations in turns. Also, the Danes would probably be the first to say that they consider Bournonville's ballets as living things, and don't want them to be treated as museum pieces.

From my interview of Lloyd Riggins:

Quote:
I think what people misunderstand in this theatre is that we’re not recreating what [these ballets] would look like in Bournonville’s time; we are living the process of continuing a tradition. It hasn’t died; it’s still living. And I was trying to tell the dancers especially – every time you do a performance, you have to live again inside that ballet, or else you might as well not do it.


Kate


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:05 pm 
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Petipa's pieces were never under copyright, so anyone is free to alter them. Videos and most other ballets are copyrighted, so to use the them or copy tapes of them without permission is a violation of law. Authenticity may be desirable, but there's no law against updating a non copyrighted ballet.

There were no copyright laws in the time of Petipa? Really? ;-) What a shame. Perhaps, there’s something that can and should be done about it. Firstly, a fair minded artist would put his creative juices into cooking something new and original. There is no glory in altering works of others. To me it’s nothing more than glorified plagiarism, euphemistically called NNN after Petipa, Perrot, Coralli

If anything credit should go to those, who care to preserve works of the giants for this and future generations. See, Kate, it’s not just about being right. It's about doing right. There were no copyright laws on Egyptian mummies either, yet at the request of the Egyptian government, many museums took the initiative to return them to Egypt for proper burial.

If A letter of the law is your primary concern, then I understand. I might be just as concerned if...

....IF there were no infinitely larger issues at stake deserving our attention. So here we have that connection - some battles are worth fighting more than others. And to me preserving priceless heritage of European culture is infinitely more important than some tapes, copyrighted or not. Sorry, but I don't share your hype ;-)

PS. Having said that, I neither record, nor do I take pictures during a performance. In fact I don’t even own a video camera. Nor do I buy, sell, trade or exchange such recordings.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:46 am 
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Thank you everyone for your great input!

I just wanted to go back for a second to those who sneak in camras at the Mariinsky -

[commmented edited by moderating staff]

I say this because, for example, not everyone can just hop on a plane and go there whenever they wish (and those that can are LUCKY!!!!), as well as the fact that the Mariinksy has been, in my opinion, being VERY silly with regards to no filming anything and releasing it to DVD/video lately. Take the 1890 Sleeping Beauty or the 1900 Bayadere......these absolutely MAGNIFICENT reconstructions havnt even been released commercally...that is criminal as far as Im concerned! There is a small excerpt of the vision scene from SB on the film "Sacred Stage" as well as the few little snippets in the film itself, but thats all! Such a shame.

I have some bootleg films of both of these productions, and if it wasnt for them I would never have seen them...nor would any of my ballet students, who by the way were in awe of Petipa's original SB!!

I myself would rather see the Mariinsky releasing DVDs than the Paris Opera, who have putting out quite a few films lately. Also there is a whole generation of young dancers and dancers-to-be who probably will never get to see the artistry of, for example, Lopatkina except for these bootlegged films on the net.....I known of no commercially available film with the great Ballerina.

When I think of the Mariinksy and not having filmed anything lately for commercial release, I think of how we have no films of Nijinsky, and barely anything of Pavlova or Karsavina, etc.....now we live in an age of media, and we arent getting hardly anything lately on DVD/video from the Mariinsky! :(


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:24 am 
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Quote:
I myself would rather see the Mariinsky releasing DVDs than the Paris Opera, who have putting out quite a few films lately.


Can't agree with that, as all round standards are currently higher at the Paris Opera than the present day Kirov and on the whole they have a better repertoire too.

Quote:
Also there is a whole generation of young dancers and dancers-to-be who probably will never get to see the artistry of, for example, Lopatkina except for these bootlegged films on the net.....I known of no commercially available film with the great Ballerina.


I agree about Lopatkina, but if you follow the ongoing debates on this forum you will know that there is serious disquiet concerning the current casting policies at the Kirov. To put it in a nutshell, inferior dancers are constantly fobbed off on the public on major tours while dancers of real excellence languish at home. I have a horrible feeling that if the Kirov started putting out a series of DVD's they would feature these usual untalented current favourites rather than the few dancers of quality that still remain.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:03 am 
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Location: NYC
But there are two DVDs on their way: Don Quixote and Jewels.
Perhaps also the Swan Lake that the BBC filmed with Lopatkina.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:09 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
ripowam, hi

I of course remember the Jewels filming...but the Don Q only vaguely rings a bell. Do you recall if that featured Novikova or Noriadze?

I will be curious if these DVDs will be sold locally (in St. P) after they come out, or only abroad.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:13 pm 
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There is a great deal of the Kirov on video, and I think it's irresponsible to compare 1890/1900 to 1990/2000 because the times were very different as far as video/film technologies and copyright. It's not really a shocker that there's little of Nijinsky on film because people weren't making videos back then and video technology was very primitive.

There's really no such thing as 'pirate' or 'bootleg' films from the early part of the 20th C because such restrictions didn't exist as no-one was making videos for commercial release back then. I wouldn't consider those clips to be illegal unless specifically covered under a more recent copyright declaration.

Kulture has a wide range of Kirov DVDs and videos: http://www.kultur.com/page/Kultur/CTGY/dvd_ballet

And a very long list here at Amazon.co.uk

Kate


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:09 am 
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I don't remember who danced Don Quixote, but it was around the time of Jewels, maybe even the same week.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:17 am 
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Thanks ripowam. That is ringing a bell now, and I think you're right, I think they filmed Don Q right after Jewels. I know I didn't attend those..which is why I don't recall details or casting. Well, it will be interesting to see them on DVD. I can't say I have seen any recent Kirov videos!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:38 pm 
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Catherine & Ripowam, I was in St P around the time of these filmings. Indeed, Olesya Novikova and Leonid Sarafanov were the stars.

It's wonderful to read that a few Mariinsky ballet DVDs are in the works, at long last.

Regarding the Vikharev-Petipa reconstructions & 'Ondine,' my understanding is that the Mariinsky Theater management jealously guards its unique (unfilmed) productions and prefers to keep them unfilmed, to (a) maximize audiences who will buy tickets to see the live presentations and (b) ensure that the only method of passing-on choreography is from 'live' ballet masters, rather than from films...even though a ballet master or two has been known to 'refresh' his memory by looking at old tapes prior to teaching a ballet. :)

This is similar to NYCB's guarding of the Balanchine repertoire. Complete Balanchine ballets are no longer aired on American public broadcasting stations, as they were in the '70s and '80s. You may recall how the recent 'NYCB Balanchine 100' live telecast included only a mish-mash of excerpts and not one complete ballet. Even the relatively-brief 'Duo Concertante' was not given in-full; cameras purposely focused on instrumentalists for several seconds at a time so that large chunks of the choreography would not be aired. The POB's recent 'Jewels' DVD is a minor miracle, although, if you recall, those ballets had been filmed in the 1970s (complete 'Rubies' for an Edward Villela documentary and substantial parts of 'Emeralds' and 'Diamonds' for PBS Dance in America). While we're grateful to have yet another 'Jewels' -- this time from the Mariinsky -- it may have been more satisfying to ballet film collectors to finally have a complete, commercially-available 'Ballet Imperial' or 'Scotch Symphony,' both of which are in the Mariinsky rep, though not very often performed.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:00 pm 
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There's no huge consiracy to keep films from the public, just a lot of issues of copyright, unions, privacy and money that make commerical tapes a difficult prospect.

In fact, most companies film a great deal of rehearsal and dress rehearsal to use for future teaching and reference. NYCB films almost all first nights and debuts every season. RDB also tapes and photographs a lot, especially the newer stuff. It's just not publically released, for all the reasons having been touched on above.

For the NYCB and others, you can watch a lot of non-commercially released film, older and recent, simply by going to the NYC Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. About 6-7 years ago they were actually going to film "Jewels" for a PBS viewing - it was listed on the website/performances listings. But then never happened. Don't know whether it was filmed & not released or whether the filming fell through for any number of issues including casting, injuries, union request, PBS doing something else that night etc. It's too bad.

I can well believe companies don't want complete versions of ballets to be broadcast. But unfortunately, it is we as an audience who are probably responsible for that caution. If people respected copyright and didn't illegal post video clips or use videos to illegally set ballets (don't know how much this happens), then organizations like the Balanchine Trust would have much less to worry about.

But, I look forward to the Kirov DVDs as well - I know many of the dancers only from image and your words, so it will be delight to see them in DVD action. We also will have two Kirov performances at the Mariinsky broadcast on BBC next February!

Kate


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:07 pm 
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Kate, it's not a 'huge conspirary' but it's a rather commonly-known fact that, even if all of the interest groups (unions, etc.) demands were met, the Balanchine Trust would prefer to restrict public access to films of complete Balanchine ballets for fear of losing the 'live audience.' People who view the tapes at the NY Public Library are most likely the same people who see those ballets 'live' on the stage...not too many ballet lovers from outside the Big Apple ever have a chance to visit the library.

Of course, I am aware of NYCB (and the Kirov and many other troupes) filming key performances for internal use. That's what I meant by the repetiteurs not working totally 'from memory.' Most stagers review those internal films prior to teaching the ballets to the companies who contract their services, to refresh their memories. There's nothing wrong with that...but a few folks probably think that the stagers work totally from memory, which is not true. Even the gentleman who staged the Ashton 'Sylvia' for the Royal Ballet in 2004 had access to a full-length b&w film from the mid-1960s, even though the piano accompaniment was a bit rusty & not totally synchronized with the steps.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:24 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The range of views on video recordings is fascinating. David Bintley has written that he supports people home recording TV presentations of BRB performances as he looks upon it as excellent publicity for the art form.

I heard an interesting perspective at a talk by film-maker peter Greenaway. One of his recent projects was a new opera in Amsterdam where he came up with the idea and was also the Director. The work was a critical success and was revived the next season. But he realised that whereas even one of his moderately successful films might be seen by 20 million people, his opera was seen by about 10,000. Thus he was delighted when Dutch TV made a film version of the opera with Greenaway directing.

The sad thing is that it appears to be one of the best things he has done over the past decade, but for copyright reasons it cannot be shown anywhere except Dutch TV. I leave it to you to decide whether Mr Greenaway broke copyright to show us an excerpt.


Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:38 pm 
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Stuart Sweeney wrote:
... David Bintley has written that supports people home recording TV presentations of BRB performances as he looks upon it as excellent publicity for the art form....


Stuart, that's exactly the philosophy that I would have were I a company director. It's a shame that not all companies take that approach. European companies seem to subscribe to Bintley's philosophy. Russian companies still telecast a lot, although not complete NEW-ish choreography, such as the Balanchines, Forsythes, Lacotte's 'Ondine.' [Yet, Lacotte's 'Pharaoh's Daughter' was telecast and commercialized.] I suspect that all of this has to do with the relative degree of public funding afforded a ballet troupe. State-funded giants (such as POB or RDB) must be 'seen' by the tax-paying citizens of the country, whereas privately-funded organizations (such as the USA or, I'd guess, Japan) are seen less often. If it were totally up to 'market economics,' not one step of ballet would be aired on USA television. A shame.


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