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Subject: "Le Corsaire" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1818
Reading Topic #1818
Eugene Merrett

27-06-01, 00:00 AM (GMT)
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"Le Corsaire"
 
   I am sorry but Le Corsaire (esp the Kirov version) makes me cringe in embarrassment at being a ballet fan. This is a work which is hoplessly dated and with no redeeming artistic merit in either music or choreography. It is at best a spectacle but should not to be taken any more seriously then say an ice skating spectacle.

There is enough junk on TV without having to go and see more junk on the stage.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  Kill off Corsaire! Gerald Dowler 27-06-01 1
     RE: Kill off Corsaire! Odile 27-06-01 2
         RE: Kill off Corsaire! Viviane 27-06-01 3
             RE: Kill off Corsaire! Susan 27-06-01 4
                 RE: Kill off Corsaire! jhanner 28-06-01 8
         RE: Kill off Corsaire! Gerald 28-06-01 6
             RE: Kill off Corsaire! Odile 28-06-01 9
  Kill off Corsaire David 27-06-01 5
     RE: Kill off Corsaire Amy 28-06-01 7
         RE: Kill off Corsaire Gerald 29-06-01 10
  RE: Le Corsaire Jonathan 02-07-01 11

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Gerald Dowler

27-06-01, 08:53 AM (GMT)
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1. "Kill off Corsaire!"
In response to message #0
 
   Good heavens. I agree with Eugene!
Corsaire is hopeless pap with next to no dancing of worth. To ascribe it to Petipa should get the Trades Descriptions people in - there is precious little of the master in this trite, overblown piece of schlock. Just look closely at the last act divertissement - the writing for the corps is repetitive and devoid of expression.
Maybe the pantomime aspect pleases the Russians, but silent film mugging and unabashed scenery chewing would be greeted by howls of protest if any of our native companies presented the piece.
The character dances are embarassing and seem to consist of those perilous back-bends so favoured by the Russians.
Individual performances don't matter (the corps though looks particularly lethargic at present) - they would be pearls set on a tawdry plastic mounting.

My vote would be for Corsaire and the Kirov Scheherazade to be consigned to the rubbish bin of ballet.


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Odile

27-06-01, 06:15 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Kill off Corsaire!"
In response to message #1
 
  

>
>My vote would be for Corsaire
>and the Kirov Scheherazade to
>be consigned to the rubbish
>bin of ballet.

Nobody forces you or anyone to go and spend money to see it. As long as Ruzimatov is in reasonable shape I for one want to see Scheherazade.


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Viviane

27-06-01, 06:26 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Kill off Corsaire!"
In response to message #2
 
   "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other" J.A.


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Susan

27-06-01, 08:00 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Kill off Corsaire!"
In response to message #3
 
   Sounds like a case for ballet's equivalent of Room 101.... what else should be banished there with Corsaire?


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jhanner

28-06-01, 09:33 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Kill off Corsaire!"
In response to message #4
 
   what a great idea - room 101 of ballet?

Can I vote for most of the new Ashley Page works esp the Crucible (and apologies if he didn't choreograph this horror piece).

Also would willingly vote in any ensemble pieces that involve men dancing with tankards/swords or "peasant dancing" (excl la fille mal gardee). The "comedy pieces" in Sleeping Beauty/Swan Lake that involve teasing the tutors could also go down to room 101


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Gerald

28-06-01, 08:55 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Kill off Corsaire!"
In response to message #2
 
   Don't be so serious, Odile. No, I don't like Corsaire, but surely you can detect a certain amount of tongue in cheek hyperbole?...


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Odile

28-06-01, 05:32 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Kill off Corsaire!"
In response to message #6
 
   >Don't be so serious, Odile.
>No, I don't like Corsaire,
>but surely you can detect
>a certain amount of tongue
>in cheek hyperbole?...

Of course I did. It would be really scary to think that you were dead serious about what you said.


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David

27-06-01, 11:54 PM (GMT)
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5. "Kill off Corsaire"
In response to message #0
 
   Perhaps killing off Eugene might be a better idea?


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Amy

28-06-01, 09:01 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Kill off Corsaire"
In response to message #5
 
   >Perhaps killing off Eugene might be
>a better idea?

We Corsaire lovers are vicious when roused. Just don't smell any flowers in the near future, Eugene!


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Gerald

29-06-01, 09:40 AM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Kill off Corsaire"
In response to message #7
 
   ...We Corsaire lovers are vicious when roused. Just don't smell any flowers in the near future, Eugene!

Particularly when handed to your loved one by the very man who tried to sell her off at a decidedly cheesy tarts market, Amy !


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Jonathan

02-07-01, 09:30 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Le Corsaire"
In response to message #0
 
   >This (Corsaire)is a work which
>is hoplessly dated and with
>no redeeming artistic merit in
>either music or choreography.

It's that time of year again when I feel I have to defend 19th century ballet composers against charges of having no "artistic merit". 19th century ballet composers were not aiming to achieve immortality through monumental works; they also serve who can write music whose appeal is immediate and does not conceal it's meaning and purpose from the listener.

Leaving semiotic "gaps" in music which can be filled with dance is an art which requires exemplary self-restraint towards one's own work as a composer, and respect for dance as an art form. Some of these composers were extraordinarily prolific, popular composers. I could happily live in a world without Vivaldi, Telemann and Donizetti, but I do not deny their ability to produce page after page of palatable music for consumption rather than reflection. I would live even happier in a world with no Wagner, whose music screams artistic merit, meaning and worthiness from every turgid bar, but that's another matter.

I thought I was the only one who championed these composers' cause, until I noticed an article by Ivor Guest called "Cesare Pugni: a plea for justice" in Dance Research , Vol. 1 No. 1 (Spring 1983).

Someone has to do it. Musicians such as Bernd Feuchtner (Ballet and Music, a Diatribe, Ballett International, Vol. 14 No 12 (1993), chuck Delibes and Tchaikovsky in with the rest. They think it's all trash.

Le Corsaire and its composers and other similar works are part of a heritage which we should try to respect and understand from a musical point of view, in the same way that similarly unobtrusive composers such as Donizetti or Meyerbeer are respected within operatic circles.



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