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Subject: "MacMillan's " Anastasia" " Archived thread - Read only
 
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Viviane

30-03-02, 09:01 PM (GMT)
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"MacMillan's " Anastasia" "
 
   While in bed for a couple of days , I had lots of time to read and came somewhere across a MacMillan-ballet called "Anastasia"...Well, shame on me...I had never heard of it before !
Is it still performed ?


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" Steven 30-03-02 1
     RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" AEHandley 30-03-02 2
  RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" Tomoko.A 31-03-02 3
  RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" Bruceadmin 31-03-02 4
     RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" Viviane 31-03-02 5
         RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" AEHandley 31-03-02 6
             RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" Paul A 05-04-02 7
                 RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" sylvia 06-04-02 8
                     RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" felursus 06-04-02 9

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Steven

30-03-02, 09:49 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" "
In response to message #0
 
   Here in London we're not sure which ballets are still performed and which aren't Viviane - however, Anastasia was performed by the Royal Ballet during the 90s in a new production of the three-act version.


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AEHandley

30-03-02, 10:59 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" "
In response to message #1
 
   And those who have read their Seymour autobiography will remember that the ballet grew out of a one-acter about Anna Anderson. I think this was something like MacMillan's second work, following hot on the heels of The Burrow?

(not a total MacMillan anorak, or even a huge fan, but the autobiog made a BIG impression on me!)


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Tomoko.A

31-03-02, 00:05 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" "
In response to message #0
 
   Viviane, ABT did it for their Met season a couple years ago with Durante. I think that was the last time this ballet was performed.


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Bruceadmin

31-03-02, 06:37 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" "
In response to message #0
 
   We have some reviews...
http://www.ballet.co.uk/cgi/reviews_database_search/db_search.cgi?production=Anastasia


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Viviane

31-03-02, 09:10 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" "
In response to message #4
 
   Thanks everyone
I even didn't know this has been re-worked into a 3-act ballet !
Of what I learned out of the reviews, it seems one isn't totally convinced about it ?
Anneliese, you made me curious to read the Seymour-autobiography...I still have soooo much to read !


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AEHandley

31-03-02, 06:33 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" "
In response to message #5
 
   Sadly, even Dance Books don't have it! Our library had a really good ballet section and I read it when I was about 23 I think. I'd never been a big fan of her dancing but was totally captivated by the person I discovered in the book and really wanted to know her. An amazing woman.


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Paul A

05-04-02, 02:27 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" "
In response to message #6
 
   The mice that infested the old scenery store ate the original sets - by Barry Kay, a great twisted cyclorama that stayed constant for all three acts, suggesting a canopy of silver birch in act 1, chandeliers for the ball and for the projections in the hospital. A really great bit of design - costumes too. Much more convincing in act 1 than the current yatch - how do the soldiers manage to march off to war from that?

Act 2 is the weakest - agree with Lynette's comments in her review about waiting for the revolutionaries to arrive. I wonder whether the ballet would work better run in this order - act 3, 1, 2. Would this preserve the ambiguity better contained in act the current act 3. Seem to remember Rosato do the one-act version back in 1986 - impressive.

Would love for this ballet to work more fully - it's a great idea but does seem too long and creaky in the theatre.


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sylvia

06-04-02, 06:01 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" "
In response to message #7
 
   An ROH tour took me into the costume department a couple weeks ago and they had some Anastasia costume designs plastered on the walls where they seem to put whatever is going on at the moment. I thought briefly that they were planning to revive Anastasia for the MacMillan year but the repertory for next year came out that same day, so no. Wonder what they have planned though.


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felursus

06-04-02, 09:22 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: MacMillan's " Anastasia" "
In response to message #8
 
   "Anastasia" was first done by MacMillan in Berlin and, yes, it is about Anna Anderson. ENB, then Festival Ballet, brought that version to NYC in the 80s - with Seymour in the title role which she created. It was set to music by Martinu, a Romanian composer, and was principally set in the insane asylum in which Anderson was incarcerated. It featured "flashbacks" of her life in the Russian Royal Family, the Revolution, and life with her rescuer and husband. It has been preserved not only on film but in a Benesh notation score done by MacMillan's chief choreologist, Monica Parker. She recounts that certain movements were deliberately put into the ballet because at the time no means to record such movements had been devised - of course a system of notating those movement was soon in effect.

The first two acts, to music by Tchaikovsky, were added in the 70s during the MacMillan "reign" at the ROH. In Act I, Anastasia first appears on roller skates - in a scene meant to depict a Royal family picnic in the country. "Events" portrayed included a "healing" of the Tsarevich by Rasputin, a dance of the army officers (all in "summer uniform" of white jackets - leading it to be labled the "dance of the waiters"), the officers enjoying a dip in the "lake" (they took turns jumping off a "diving board"), and the arrival of a telegramme announcing the commencement of WWI.

Act II took place in the Royal Palace and concerned a Royal Ball. (Remember, this was supposed to be during WWI). In the course of the party Mathilde Kschessinskaya and partner (originally Sibley and Dowell) perform. Meanwhile, outside the palace the revolutionaries are grouping. Anastasia is somewhat disturbed by Rasputin. The act ends with the revolutionaries breaking into the palace.

The original cast included Svetlana Beriosova as the Tsarina, Derek Rencher as the Tsar, and Seymour as Anastasia. I now forget who were the originators of the other sisters or Rasputin. Wayne Sleep was the leader of the revolutionaries. I have a copy of the Seymour autobiography, but I can't seem to find it just now.


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