Talisman Pas De Deux…

Talisman? It seems that this is the year that everyone and their mom is competing and or working on the variation from The Talisman. But, the reality is, and I hate to be the one to pop the bubble, no one is doing the variation the variation from the Talisman. Originally the Talisman 1889, and was presented as a 4 act ballet. Thank goodness that it didn’t survive. In 1895 Petipa revived the the Talisman as a 3 act ballet and had two male principal roles, one of which was created by Enrico Cecchetti. Then in 1909 it was revived by Legat, who asked Drigo to add new orchestrations to the original score, and the role that was once Cecchetti’s was danced by Nijinsky.

Anyways, this goes back to what I was saying in the beginning, Talisman Pas De Deux has nothing to do with the Talisman. in 1955, Pyotr Gusev constructed together a  pas de deux. The musical score to the pas de deux is broken up into the following:

  • Entrée- the Valse des spirits from the Prologue of The Talisman
  • Adage- an adagio from the final act of the Talisman
  • Male Variation – Variation of Ta-Hor from Act 2 of the Pas d’action from the Pharaoh’s Daughter (And if you ask me… the Pharaoh’s daughter’s variation is much harder than the jazzerina tricks used today… but that’s neither here nor there)
  • Female Variation – the Pizzicato of the Black Pearls from the Pearl
  • Coda – a waltz coda from the first act of The Talisman

Then more recently, Kremlin Ballet condensed the The Talisman with Talisman Pas De Deux to create Vasily Madvedev’s The Talisman Grand Pas D’ensemble.

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(http://www.jackdevant.com/iana-salenko-ivan-vasiliev-and-troupe-of-kremlin-ballet-in-the-talisman/)

Okay, so what is this post really about? Okay, truthfully it is about the costuming and the choreography.

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Cropped photographic postcard of the danseur Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) costumed as the God Vayou in the dancer/choreographer/teacher Nikolai Legat’s (1869-1937) revival of the choreographer Marius Petipa (1818-1910) and the composer Riccardo Drigo’s (1846-1930) ballet Le Talisman.

But wait… The male variation’s costume actually comes from the Legat staging from the Principal’s Character is titled Hurricane… And then some how we have taken Indian Maharajah and turned it into some sexy little greek number… And then instead of doing his actualy variation, we are going to borrow the Pharoah’s daughter (another “ethnic” ballet) and still white wash it?

Originally the costuming for the female in The Talisman was harem pants and then for the pas de fleurs: a tutu; which transferred from shorter romantic to platter. Some still use this idea for the costuming.

BUUUUT….

So somehow, we decided to strip the Talisman of all it’s Indian culture and just turn it into a “less ethnic” ballet and make it Greek or Roman?

Buuuuuut…. So, the choreography/music we see today is actually from Petipa/Drigo’s the Pearl and because that’s the case, the variation should be performed in an oyster shell? White Perle is done in a white tutu, black pearls are not done in black tutus…

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Just some food for thought…

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English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer 2016

A social commentary on ENB’s Emerging dance program… So I am watching ENB’s Emerging Dance LIVE… and I am not trying to say I told you so again, but I am totally saying I told you so again… Rina and Cesar killed that sh!t…

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Okay, so the live streaming worked great for me, no problems, but I know whenever I am going to live stream I plug in my ethernet able and don’t rely on wifi… Mmmm so six talented dancers selected by their colleagues competed this year: Isabelle Brouwers, Cesar Corrales, Rina Kanehara, Jeanette Kakareka, Daniele Silingardi, and Erik Woolhouse.
Three grand pas de deuxs were selected: Talisman, Black Swan and Diane and Acteon. Then it began…

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Isabelle Brouwers and Erik Whoolhouse took on Talisman…
It is hard going first in a competition, no one wants to but someone has to do it. Unfortunately for these young two dancers, nerves got the best of them in the pas, and caused the variations to be safe and complacent. And by the end of the coda, he was tired and couldn’t do the full press lift… Which I totally get… It is exhausting, and you probably didn’t sleep well the night before… Nerves. Pacing yourself… it all plays into a factor.

Then Jeanette Kakareka and Daniele Silingardi took on Black Swan…
The pas de deux was gorgeous. Jeanette’s body makes some of the most beautiful lines I have ever seen. Her body makes lines that rival Svetlana Zakarhova’s. No joke. The pas de deux was enticing, and sensual. Then I think nerves got to Mr. Silingardi in his variation causing his turns to be off, and a lot of falling out. Her variation was gorgeous, and luscious but lacked a lot of audience connection. The coda, he became more unstable, but she rocked it out. I don’t know how she turns with those feet, that hyperextension and hypermobility… she must do some serious pilates or something.

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Finally, Rina Kanehara and Cesar Corrales performed Diane and Acteon…
And they freakin slayed. From her opening emboîtés… to his extremely sound partnering skills… She was 10 times better than at the prix (2015), and 1000 times more than at the YAGP… Like no joke, stunning. She is also the youngest member at ENB. HE freaking nailed the variation to a point that was insane. His turns are super powerful, and clean… It was insane. His performance quality, and bravura really did outshow the other to male competitors…
She became a little off in the turns but covered it so well, and was so precise with EVERYTHING! Like she no joke had the best audience connection and playfulness, her dynamic is just so incredible. LIKE everything….. Her fouettés on the diagonal… with that crazy arm change… fierce. His turns and jumps… baby daddy status… okay he is also extremely handsome. His variation was insane with the series of jumps he did, but his coda was EVERYTHING.

Then the contemporary solos started for the night:
Mr. Whoolhouse performed Eros Redux by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa- danced so much better… soooooo nice and relaxed, his body is really interesting when moving contemporary… his arms and legs are so long and fluid. I’ve noticed a lot of the men of ENB have these extremely elongated bodies that are really interesting to watch.
Isabelle Brouwers took on a new work by Charlotte Edmonds- did not like this piece what so ever… and the unitard was … yucky
Daniele Silingardi took on Spring and Fall by John Neumeier, he danced so lovely… so pleasant and carefree it was nice. A really nice redeeming moment.
Jeanette Kakareka took on Requiem for a Rose by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.This is a very hard variation/solo for anyone, so I don’t know how smart it was for a young dancer to take it on… She did a great job though… really interesting take on it.
Cesar Corrales took on Congrabajo para Hombre by Julio Lopez with music by Astor Piazzolla (one of my favorite composers) danced gorgeously, manly, body for days, and I think he connected to it well.
Rina Kanehara took on Les Ballet’s de Monte-Carlo’s Black Swan by Jean-Christophe Maillot. It is to the black swan music but contemporary… it was definitely cute and dynamic buuuuut she could have taken on something with more depth like the others…

It is now intermission while the judges decide… and now I am going to talk about what happened in the chat room, that corresponded with it… SanFranBallet made a comment about it being a sporting event and that we shouldn’t critique dancers blow by blow and enjoy them… Which is totally fair…. but this is a competition streamed worldwide, and everyone is looking at these dancers for principal potential, dynamic dancing and a source of inspiration… So, when it comes to competitions, if there are technical flaws…. yes, they are easy to point out and spectators, myself included, come down hard on the dancer… Ironically, being inconsistent as a performer causes a company to not renew a contract… so… I dunno…  Other power players showed up to online chat, USC’s new Kaufman dance program showed up. — Daria Klimentova, former principal at ENB showed up, which she retired to the same Romeo and Juliet PDD performed below. Sara Murawski from Slovak National Ballet showed up online among others.

Then the program concluded with Laurretta Summerscales* and Max Westwell , people’s favorite* from last year who is now a Principal… They danced Romeo and Juliet PDD which was gorgeous, and refreshing because they don’t do the MacMillan version they do Nureyev’s… And I am just gunna say, that she didn’t win the competition but is now a Principal dancer… It isn’t always about winning, but experience and consistency and it showed here tonight… how much a dancer grows… changes… and can accomplish in a year. Her performance tonight was stunning and breathtaking and her dancing has changed drastically. A good Juliet dances as if she is in love, reckless and all consumed at the same time…
Then Jinhao Zhang** performed Corsaire’s Pas D’esclave who won last year’s emerging artist** with Shiori Kase. The partnering was gorgeous, and he has grown a lot as a dancer and a partner as well…. and he’s a freakin tall Asian…. 🙂 Ummm the costuming was kind of ugly but the choreo was great, and they danced so beautifully together… it was just distracting to see that ugliness… but the dancing is sooo stunning, I guess it doesn’t matter.

The Corps de Ballet Award went to: Jennie Harrington
People’s Choice Award: Cesar Corrales
And the Emerging Dancer Award 2016 went to Cesar Corrales
So, the super fierce Cesar won, which means he will be either promoted very soon, or he will change companies… Who knows… Just another star to follow in the universe of ballet… We shall see…