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Subject: "Mara Geleazzi's Firebird" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1640
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Jim

09-05-01, 09:33 AM (GMT)
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"Mara Geleazzi's Firebird"
 
   LAST EDITED ON 09-05-01 AT 09:34 AM (GMT)

Royal Ballet Stravinsky programme 8 May 2001

Booked at the last minute without checking the cast, I was slightly disappointed when I discovered Leanne wasn't the Firebird, but I was excited to discover it was Mara Galeazzi. She is the one lasting memory I have of This House Will Burn . I thought she was amazing. The opening scene never seems long enough - it is magical. The moment when Ivan Tsarevich offers the Firebird her freedom and she looks back and up at him from the ground, scarcely believing she has been set free, and then returns to him to present him with the feather, is spine-tingling. But I have a problem here. When I read the programme notes it says: "Ivan seizes her and will not release her until she gives him one of her feathers as a pledge of help should he ever need it". My 'take' of that was the opposite - it seemed to me that he released her voluntarily and the feather was a 'reward'. Any comment? Jonathan Cope was an excellent Ivan - danced with confidence and panache.

'Agon' is surely short for the 'agony' of enduring it? Not my sort of thing really. If they'd dressed the girls in tutus rather than those awful black swimming costumes it might have been more attractive. Jaimie Tapper helped me through it. 'Les Noces' is weirdly mesmerising, no doubt partly due to the hypnotic beat of Stravinsky's choral score. Wonderful dancing.

Eugene - I tried the sandwiches, first time ever. Yes, really good, and quite reasonable value, in my opinion. I also discovered another facility in the new Royal Opera House. There is a longitudinal projecting brush running the length of each side of the escalator to the Amphitheatre. I think its primary function is to stop loose clothing from getting caught in the mechanism. However, if you stick your shoe under it during the ascent, it makes a wonderful polisher. The ascent lasts just long enough to shine both shoes.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird Pete 09-05-01 1
  RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird alison 09-05-01 2
     RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird Jim 09-05-01 3
         RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird Helen 09-05-01 4
             RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird Jim 10-05-01 5
  RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird Robert 10-05-01 6

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Pete

09-05-01, 11:19 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird"
In response to message #0
 
   >The opening
>scene never seems long enough
>- it is magical.

I quite agree Jim , astounding stuff.

>and then returns
>to him to present him
>with the feather is spine-tingling.
>But I have a problem
>here. When I read the
>programme notes it says: "Ivan
>seizes her and will not
>release her until she gives
>him one of her feathers
>as a pledge of help
>should he ever need it".

You're probably right Jim but my recollection is that she is only released after parting with the feather as her bargaining chip for freedom -this would certainly be true to the original choreography and therefore the programme notes. It would be a great shame if this has been 'tweaked' in the latest RB production as it does put a whole new slant on the ballet.


>I also
>discovered another facility in the
>new Royal Opera House. There
>is a longitudinal projecting brush
>running the length of each
>side of the escalator to
>the Amphitheatre. I think its
>primary function is to stop
>loose clothing from getting caught
>in the mechanism. However, if
>you stick your shoe under
>it during the ascent, it
>makes a wonderful polisher. The
>ascent lasts just long enough
>to shine both shoes.

Great! Perhaps I could suggest black on one side and oxblood on the other.....



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alison

09-05-01, 01:11 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird"
In response to message #0
 
   Darn, missed you again, Jim! I thought the other Firebirds I'd seen in this production gave him the feather, then asked twice to be released, but I'm sure Mara only did it once last night.


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Jim

09-05-01, 01:56 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird"
In response to message #2
 
   I had a quick look at my Fonteyn / Somes video version at lunch time. It is definitely different, but interpretation is more subjective, of course. In the Fonteyn version, when she goes to the floor at the front right of the stage, Ivan is standing over her, she is still very much captive. They dance a bit more, then the feather is brought out as if to say: "Let me go and you can have this". Last night when Mara went to ground, Ivan was well back - he had clearly relinquished control, as if saying: "Off you go - you're free! YES, you're FREE - fly away!". Firebird looked nervous and incredulous "Surely he has hasn't really released me, there must be a trick"! When she accepted that he had indeed released her, she returned to him, did a couple of twizzles and then produced the feather, as if to say "Thanks". I actually found this more touching as it suggested that a degree of rapport and trust had developed, and the freedom, and the feather, has been given freely, rather than as a bribe. But that is just how I saw it at the time.


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Helen

09-05-01, 03:34 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird"
In response to message #3
 
   As you probably know, Fonteyn was coached by Karsavina, the original Firebird, so you can be sure hers is the "authentic" version. If I remember rightly, Karsavina said to her "Here is no human emotion" - the Firebird is a bird, not a person. She also said that "she gives the feather only to buy her freedom, not to help the prince."

I haven't seen Firebird this time round, but just thought I would throw that in, in case it happened to be relevant.


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Jim

10-05-01, 08:33 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird"
In response to message #4
 
   Thanks, Helen, that is relevant! I don't think there was any suggestion of 'helping' the prince, but it did seem to me at the time to be more of a reward than a bribe. But it is hard to be looking at everything at once. I look forward to seeing this production on TV if/when it's shown. I agree with comment about birds: I have released thousands in my time after ringing them, and I'm more likely to get a bite or scratch as they go, rather than a gift of a magic feather


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Robert

10-05-01, 11:52 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Mara Geleazzi's Firebird"
In response to message #0
 
   I agree with your views on this programme, particularly your remarks about Agon. I wondered if there was something wrong with me finding it so clever but dreary, It is certainly not helped by the bathing costumes, almost any thing would have been an improvement, perhaps it would be best danced nude! I found Les Noce mesmerising and very exciting.
Did you know that you can ask for a half helping of sandwiches? They are quite enough for one or possibly two and not too expensive. I will try the shoe polisher, do they have a wire brush for suede?


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