NABOKV-L post 0000253, Tue, 10 May 1994 14:07:04 -0700

Subject
"Camera Obscura", a ballet (fwd)
Date
Body
Christine Raguet-Bouvart, guest editor of the special Nabokov issue of
EUROPE (Spring 1995) and French translator of VN's LAUGHTER IN THE DARK,
provides the following account of a new Paris ballet based upon her
translation. For further information about either the ballet or the
Nabokov issue of Europe, she may be contacted at
ang@montaigne.u.bordeaux.fr. DBJ, Editor
---------------------------------


"Camera obscura", a ballet, premiered at the Opera de Paris March 9, 1994.

Musique: Arnold Schoenberg Concerto pour piano & orchestre op. 42 (1942); 3
pieces pour piano, op. 11 (1909); le no 1 & le no 3 des 5 pieces pour piano
op. 23 (1920); le no2 des 6 pieces pour piano op. 19 (1911).
Choregraphie: Roland Petit
Scenographie: Bernard Michel

The ballet lasts 41 minutes & is divided into 9 parts:
-a cinema in Berlin -Pas de 2 Margot/Albinus -Axel Rex arrives
-The apartment -Albinus on the road -Margot an attentive nurse
-Albinus thinks he is alone with his sweetheart
-Albinus discovers Rex is with them
-the murder

There are only 3 dancers (Fanny Gaida, Kader Belarbi, Lionel Delanoe), all
excellent on the night I attended. I enjoyed it but did not exactly
recognize the novel I translated. It was sketchier than the original
because the plot is reduced to the theme of unfaithfulness and I suppose
that those who have not read the novel could not understand what is
exactly going on. It all begins in the dark. There is a screen & we hear
the noise of the reel running. We can make out the shadow of a girl. By
the way, Margot is blonde in the ballet (she is not naturally blonde, but
wears a platinum blonde wig). If anyone can give me an explanation,
you're welcome. There is something bestial in AR & MP's relationship in
the ballet. It is also much more sensual, and even carnal than in the
novel. AA is a weak character, they make fun of. Altogether, I think it is
rather in the expressionist mode though the ballet does not reflect the
mood of the thirties. If you want to know more about it inquire via
NABOKV-L
Christine Raguet-Bouvart