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Subject: "Modernised Classics Quiz" Archived thread - Read only
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18-01-02, 02:13 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Caitlyn Click to send private message to Caitlyn Click to add this user to your buddy list  
"Modernised Classics Quiz"
   This is something I've been meaning to do for ages. I'm trying to come up with a list of ballets which are essentially updated, reworked, personalised, freudianised or otherwise ‘fiddled' versions of classics like Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, etc. In recent times I've been getting increasingly sick of modernised productions, especially since there still some classics of which I've never seen the traditional version. Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are all works I've frequently seen on video - but never seen live (at least not wholly and completely).

However, rather than just launch into a pro-traditionist diatribe, I thought it'd be fun to put together a list of all the modernised productions which people can remember from the past few decades. In particular, I'm interested in hearing about productions which changed the storyline, character, setting, etc. of the original and which may (possibly) have had less appeal to children and first-time ballet-goers as a result. Admittedly, we can go into endless debates about what constitutes a ‘new' version of a classic and what even constitutes a classic in the first place. But based on the ones I've come up with so far, I hope people will get the idea and enjoy racking their brains!!!!

NUTCRACKER, Bejart, c.2000 - a semi-autobiographical work with psycho-sexual overtones and no similarities to the original.
NUTCRACKER, Roland Petit, 1976 - "an adolescent's awakening to love"
NUTCRACKER, John Neumier, 1974 - changed to a ballet about ballet.
SWAN LAKE, Yuri Grigorovich, 1969 - focus shifted onto Siegfried with Rothbart as his fate.
SWAN LAKE, Matthew Bourne, c.1996 - I think we all know this one!
SWAN LAKE, Mat Eks, early 1990s? - focus on Siegfried with bald females and themes of sexual repression.
SWAN LAKE, Peter Darrell, 1977 - Siegfried gets high and imagines scene with swans. Odile is a demi-mondaine.
COPPELIA, Roland Petit, 1975 - set around army barracks. "...narrative about the affections of the heart rather than a story about an old alchemist."
COPPELIA, Chrissie Parrott, 1998 - set in an Americanised Australia of the late 1950s. Swanhilda became Hilda Swan.
COPPELIA, Harold Collins, 1997 - set in a Queensland country town of the 1950s. A send-up of the original.
COPPELIA, Peter Clegg, 1977, set in Lancashire with Coppelius as a travelling entertainer.
SLEEPING BEAUTY, John Neumier, 1978 - Desire (as in the Prince) is an outsider in jeans and tee-shirt.
SLEEPING BEAUTY, Mat Eks, c.2001 - Aurora becomes a heroin addict.

(Obviously I haven't seen all these works myself, so apologies for any grossly inaccurate descriptions)

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Modernised Classics Quiz jhanner 18-01-02 1
     RE: Modernised Classics Quiz alison 18-01-02 2
         RE: Modernised Classics Quiz jhanner 18-01-02 3

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18-01-02, 08:47 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail jhanner Click to send private message to jhanner Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: Modernised Classics Quiz"
In response to message #0
   Didnt the ENB do a version of Giselle a couple of years back that was based on Austria/the Jewish persection in the 30s. I think Mat Eks or someone also reworked Giselle

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18-01-02, 01:01 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail alison Click to send private message to alison Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
2. "RE: Modernised Classics Quiz"
In response to message #1
   That's the NBT version of Giselle that you're thinking of. (They've also done a couple of revisions of Swan Lake). ENB's version (Deane) is relatively traditional apart from being set in the 1920's outside an Austrian hotel. Ek's version has Giselle committed to an asylum in the second act, but I can't remember full details.

There's also the Nureyev Nutcracker he did for the RB (way before my time), and AMP did La Sylphide updating it to the drugged-out inhabitants of a Glasgow tenement block (a real goody). Come to think of it, they also did an update of Nutcracker (which again I can't remember well enough to write about, except that the dancers in the first act were in an orphanage - more like Oliver Twist). Oh, and their Swan Lake was 1995.

Then there's the Lyon Opera Ballet's version of Coppelia, which I've never seen ...

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18-01-02, 01:59 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail jhanner Click to send private message to jhanner Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
3. "RE: Modernised Classics Quiz"
In response to message #2
   thanks alison - arent AMP reviving their version of the nutcracker or am I just imagining I read that?

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