前两天因为采访马伯的那本书关注了马伯的舞蹈史老师、前NYT舞剧评论家Alastair Macaulay的Ins，昨天在随手刷Ins时惊恐地看到了一篇长篇舞评小论文，所评内容是Liam Scarlett2018年开始的新编排版《天鹅湖》，Matthew Ball在演男鹅之前也出演过这一版的王子（2018官摄里他是群演），这一版今年4月1日也将推出新官摄。仔细看了一下，AM的吐槽真的很有意思，特此复制粘贴如下。（没有版权，AM恕罪。）
The problems of “Swan Lake” grow rather than diminish. Tchaikovsky’s famous, often beautiful, score (1877) has several coarse patches and many bizarreries of construction. The classic revisionist version choreographed by Petipa and Ivanov (1895) did much to iron out Tchaikovsky’s infelicities – not all – but added some sequences that left both scenario and stage action unclear. Yet since the 1960s directors, producers, choreographers, and designers have all piled in to add further clichés to “Swan Lake”, turning it from a singular drama into an unoriginal ritual. Tonight was the first time I’d seen Liam Scarlett’s 2018 production: it’s not the worst “Swan Lake” of the last forty years, but it’s probably the campest.
Let’s begin by listing the worst clichés that have been added to “Swan Lake” since 1960; Scarlett employs them all:
A. Setting it in the nineteenth century as if Tchaikovsky thought it was about his own era rather than the “Lohengrin” Age of Chivalry (these photos show John Macfarlane’s set model for the first main scene – men in army uniform and women in bustles);
B. Turning the overture unmusically into a prologue depicting Odette’s pre-history precisely as Tchaikovsky never envisaged (Dale Harris, speaking thirty years ago on opera and ballet: “If they stage the overture, leave”);【可是男鹅序曲也走情节啊哈哈，可能是觉得这段情节加不加都不影响理解吧。】
C. Making Benno (the prince’s friend) a virtuoso dance role;
D. Having the Princess Mother give her son a crossbow (she wants him to be good at government not at sport);【我相信AM是清楚编舞试图让弩箭变成权力的象征的，这版也出现了猫头鹰/秘书试图抢夺弩箭的动作。不过放在英皇版里，弩箭怎么就变成了权力，而王子为什么字面意义地拿着弩箭出去打猎射鹅，这和权力争夺又有什么关系，这确实是不清不楚的。我个人觉得努版就讲得更明确一点。】
E. Bleeding the the first appearance of the swan theme (at the end of the first scene – the greatest moment in the entire score) without break into the second one (the start of the lakeside scene);【这点看了下18版，大概是觉得Swan theme第一次出现的时候只有王子独舞+与秘书对峙，而根本没出现湖边？这点我不得不cue一下努里耶夫版，Swan Theme不仅没在湖边，甚至让猫头鹰和王子来了个duet——但其实努里耶夫版压根就没有出现“湖边”，整个湖边scene都发生在宫殿……】
F. Depriving Benno of the function planned for him by Ivanov as co-partner to Odette;
G. At the start of the famous adagio, having Odette look straight into Siegfried’s eyes before she has even stepped on point (“Don’t look at him!” said Alicia Markova, coaching, at that point on TV in 1980) as if she had trust in him from the first (the opposite of what the choreography tells us).
H. Slowing Odette’s variation to complete torpor;【这个18版确实慢得要命……别说马林斯基了，英皇自家88年也没这么慢的……】
I. Turning the ballroom’s various female candidates for Siegfried’s hand into representatives of different countries (you’d think the Princess Mother has sent invitations to all the foreign courts saying “Your chance to win my son! Bring own national dance team”)
J. Worse, turning the princesses into tutu-clad virtuoso competitors (same unlikely invitation: “Do remember to show off – we royals do so admire that in our own caste”);【上面两条太毒舌了笑死我。AM一说，公主穿各色tutu出场确实有点囧哈哈。】
K. Changing most of Odile’s steps, including the fouetté turns【挥鞭转】 (where singles fit the music but doubles don’t) and the subsequent steps (the backward-hopping arabesques voyagées【就是18版里用arabesque姿势往后小跳的那个动作】 are a cheap Soviet simplification for ballerinas who can’t cope with the original échappés up the centreline of the stage);【看了马林斯基和88英皇我大概知道为啥要这么气了。】
L. Slowing Odile’s variation so that it loses all sparkle;
M. Making the story include a political coup d’état, so that Rothbart’s malice against Odette becomes secondary to his ambitions for Siegfried’s throne;【哈哈哈哈我第一次看到猫头鹰以女王秘书身份出现并与女王过从甚密的时候我都惊呆了，后来看到秘书阴谋得逞之后直接夺走了女王头顶的王冠我更是……很想问问Scarlett他有没有看过96男鹅啊哈哈哈】
N. Interpolating the astounding andante con moto from Tchaikovsky’s ballroom pas de six (it’s Odile-Rothbart music) into the final lakeside scene.【这我觉得所有英皇版仿佛都把这首放在了第四幕……马伯把这段放在了第一幕王子房间内。】
O. Changing the end from the astounding Petipa-Ivanov liebestod whereby, when Odette takes her life in despair, the desolate Siegfried immediately follows suit, a double suicide that breaks Rothbart’s spell (instead Siegfried here lets her commit suicide by herself without being inspired to join her in death – he’s a real sweetheart).【sweetheart哈哈哈哈哈渣男！渣男！】
Scarlett, apparently quite incapable of original thought, plunges eagerly into all these. He also retains the usual pre-1960 clichés – Petipa’s tiresome fouetté turns (which carry on regardless of a drastic change in the music after the first sixteen bars), and Odile’s black tutu (something never intended by Petipa and only introduced in the 1940s). He adds a few further blunders of his own. When Siegfried declares love for Odile, the stage floods with a corps of black swan-maidens (never seen before, never seen again). The most idiotic moment occurs at the end: while Siegfried carries the body of a dead Odette, the actual Odette appears in the sky doing swan gestures, apparently still stuck in swan form despite having killed herself to defeat Rothbart.【说实话这一幕我也想到男鹅来着，同样是上下结构，上面是鹅下面是王子……当然男鹅的小情侣都死了，王子也获得了解脱。】
There’s no depth here: everything is glamorous surface.【不是，传统鹅里为啥要找深度……】 Connoisseurs of camp are especially recommended to observe the Spanish dance, for which John Macfarlane dresses the men in fluffy red bolero jackets that take “Swan Lake” into a whole new floorshow. The capacious fur hats worn by the Polish cortège are also not to be missed. Siegfried’s mother wears so absurdly many pearl ropes that they seem a full-length bib. Scarlett’s dances for the final lakeside act are a dreary rearrangement of steps and ideas from Ashton’s 1963 one, here (especially the interpolated andante con moto) robbed of all their effectiveness. With this production, the Royal takes one more decided step to cast off its reputation as the main exponent of the nineteenth-century classics.
Tuesday 10 March.
底下评论里有人问AM推荐版本，AM的评价也非常毒舌：David Vaughan used to say “The worst ‘Swan Lake’ is the one you are watching”, and yet he, who began watching it c.1940, saw a Royal Ballet performance in 1974 he immediately and lastingly recalled as the greatest “Swan Lake” he had ever seen. That production as it was up to 1978 was the best. Otherwise the current Mariinsky production would be largely wonderful except that they all now perform it as if it were a museum piece. If you can find a pre-1990 DVD of it, that might be best. Several current productions are as bad as Scarlett’s or worse. None are good enough.