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    fan, former dancer, self-loathing (ex-)New Yorker
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  1. The gala was great fun and, I think, a great success. Its artistic aims were substantial, too, excepting the Don Quixote pas de deux, which was a circus, but that's the nature of the beast. Otherwise it was an evening of serious artists performing their choreography seriously. The capacity crowd--the Sony Centre can accommodate 3,200 spectators--was extremely partial to the hometown team from the National Ballet of Canada. A gala of contemporary ballet is promised in the autumn. The somewhat less serious bows:
  2. When it comes to PBS I'm constantly having to play with the aspect ratio to get a decent picture. However, I've also found that while this can be done with my west-coast station, the east-coast station I get simply has a picture that's zoomed in too closely, and there's nothing I can do about recovering the bits around the edge of the frame. I suspect you're in the same predicament. (I tend to sound like a broken record on this, but I recommend investing in a good VPN subscription. The geo-blocks will fall away.)
  3. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal has announced the first season programmed by incoming artistic director Ivan Cavallari. October 11-28 Clug/Pergolesi: Stabat Mater Scholz/Beethoven: Symphony no. 7 December 14-30 Nault/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker February 21-25 Eifman Ballet Eifman/Shostakovich: Requiem Eifman/Mozart: Requiem March 15-24 Breiner/Stravinsky: The Firebird Béchard/Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring May 2-6 National Ballet of Ukraine Lytvynov/Prokofiev: Cinderella May 24-June 2 Lopez Ochoa/various: Vendetta - Storie di Mafia June 7-9 Gala https://grandsballets.com/en/seasons/season-2017-2018/
  4. The only choreographic difference is that the NBoC Princes perform the choreography originally danced by Nureyev, which you can see on the DVD. At the POB he later jacked up the difficulty level even more. And there aren't quite as many fairy attendants in the prologue, which is understandable given that the NBoC is half the size of the POB. I remember one performance during the last run in Toronto when Tanya Howard had a different role in each act. She danced the first fairy, one of Aurora's friends, a countess and then one of the jewel fairies. Presumably this is seldom necessary in Paris.
  5. Thank you for the link, California. Just for the sake of having the complete rep here on the board: Nov 10-12, 15-19 Wheeldon/Talbot: The Winter's Tale Nov 22-25 Neumeier/Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich: Nijinsky Dec 9-10, 13-17, 19-24, 27-30 Kudelka/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Feb 28-Mar 4 Binet/Melnyk: The Dreamers Ever Leave You Kudelka/Vivaldi: The Four Seasons Pite/Beauchesne: Emergence Mar 8-11, 13-18 Petipa (Nureyev)/Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty June 1-3, 6-10 Lepage, Côté: Frame by Frame June 13 Gala June 16, 17, 20-22 Peck/Martinů: Paz de la Jolla Côté/Lau: Dark Angels Ekman/various: Cacti Tours: Oct 3-8 Nijinsky Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris Jan 25-27 Nijinsky National Arts Centre, Ottawa
  6. The digital program is available from of charge with the promo code FREEWOOLF http://www.roh.org.uk/publications/woolf-works-digital-programme
  7. Big news. The Teatro Colón has a ballet company of about 100 dancers, although I recall from some of Herrera's interviews that there was a lot of "dead wood" in its ranks because Argentinean labor legislation did not take into account that dancers' careers were necessarily much shorter than attorneys' or engineers'. Is that still the case?
  8. It will be a while before it's screened in the U.S., but European cinemas will get a live transmission of Wayne McGregor's Woolf Works today. The screening search box should help you find dates and cinemas for your area. http://www.roh.org.uk/showings/woolf-works-live-2017 Direction and choreography Wayne McGregor Music Max Richter Designers Ciguë, We Not I and Wayne McGregor Costume designer Moritz Junge Lighting designer Lucy Carter Film designer Ravi Deepres Sound designer Chris Ekers Make-up designer Kabuki Dramaturg Uzma Hameed Dancers I now, I then (from Mrs Dalloway) Alessandra Ferri Federico Bonelli Gary Avis Francesca Hayward Beatriz Stix-Brunell Edward Watson Akane Takada Calvin Richardson Becomings (from Orlando) Gary Avis Matthew Ball Calvin Richardson Francesca Hayward Paul Kay Sarah Lamb Steven McRae Natalia Osipova Beatriz Stix-Brunell Akane Takada Eric Underwood Tuesday (from The Waves) Alessandra Ferri Federico Bonelli Sarah Lamb Luca Acri Camille Bracher Mica Bradbury Annette Buvoli Harry Churches David Donnelly Benjamin Ella Kevin Emerton Isabella Gasparini Solomon Golding Hannah Grennell Meaghan Grace Hinkis Tomas Mock Anna Rose O'Sullivan Marcelino Sambé Leticia Stock Gina Storm-Jensen David Yudes Madeline de Andrade Mia Bailey Sacha Barber George Cox Jarad Jackson Eve Simpson Soprano Anush Hovhannisyan Concert Master Vasko Vassilev Orchestra Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Conductor Koen Kessels
  9. I had intended to write about the November run of Onegin much sooner, but Nutcracker season came and went, and lo and behold, the next set of Onegins at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre arrived. So here are my impressions of both batches together. Tatiana – Sonia Rodriguez (Nov. 25), Xiao Nan Yu (Nov. 26m, Jan. 21), Svetlana Lunkina (Nov. 27), Greta Hodgkinson (Jan. 20) Onegin – Piotr Stanczyk (Nov. 25, Jan. 20), McGee Maddox (Nov. 26m, Jan 21), Evan McKie (Nov. 27) Lensky – Francesco Gabriele Frola (Nov. 25, 27, Jan 21), Harrison James (Nov. 26m), Naoya Ebe (Jan. 20) Olga – Miyoko Koyasu (Nov. 25, Jan 20), Jurgita Dronina (Nov. 26m), Elena Lobsanova (Nov. 27, Jan. 21) Gremin – Jonathan Renna (Nov. 25, Jan. 20), Ben Rudisin (Nov. 26m, Jan. 21), Nan Wang (Nov. 27) Larina – Lise-Marie Jourdain (Nov. 25, Jan. 20), Stephanie Hutchison (Nov. 26m, 27, Jan. 21) Nurse – Rebekah Rimsay (Nov. 25, Jan. 20), Lorna Geddes (Nov. 26m, 27, Jan. 21) Although Sonia Rodriguez is the oldest of the company’s ballerinas (she was playing Tatiana on the eve of her 44th birthday), she is small, slight and a fine actress, so I have never found her implausible in an ingénue role. I did catch myself thinking that what distinguishes Rodriguez’s Aurora, Tatiana and Hermione is more life circumstances than distinct personalities, but she invests these roles with a winning modesty and sincerity, and on this occasion she performed all the choreography with unforced ease. Piotr Stanczyk was making his debut as Onegin after many years of playing Lensky. His low center of gravity makes him good at turning, which was undoubtedly helpful for the role, although poetic longing is really not his element. For that matter, Stanczyk’s simmering intensity is not a particularly natural fit for Onegin’s ennui either, and his first performance was lacking in subtlety. When perusing Tatiana’s novel, he threw his head back so hard that even with his back turned to her she would have guessed that he was laughing at her. Not surprisingly Stanczyk did a good duel scene, but by the time Rodriguez finished her duet with Jonathan Renna’s warm and sympathetic Gremin, I would say the contest was over. Of all the company’s dancers, Xiao Nan Yu is the most like artistic director Karen Kain, and sometimes the reasoning seems to be that if Kain danced a particular role, there’s no reason for Yu not to do it either, even if neither is an especially obvious candidate to play dreamy-eyed teenagers. Yu never leaves an audience in doubt as to what her characters are thinking. Her acting is clear, perhaps even broad, although not especially layered. Like Rodriguez, Yu’s Tatiana glanced over her face-to-face encounter with Onegin at the ball much too quickly for the moment to register. For me what interfered most with my enjoyment of her performance was how much I feared for her partner, McGee Maddox, during the duets. (Indeed, during the performance I saw in Toronto, the extremely perilous feet-first slide in the mirror duet nearly went wrong.) Over time some of the lifts in the ballet have changed, and grips that were once waist-high and fairly vertical are now shoulder-high and horizontal. However, Yu is quite tall and a fairly robust dancer, so she and Maddox performed the lower versions of the lifts, and during the last scene, when Tatiana lies down on the ground before coming up for a big split leap, Yu did not actually lie down, but remained kneeling on her right shin. Those ABT fans who lament the absence of Tatiana from Veronika Part’s repertoire might want to take a look at Yu’s performance to get a sense of why it may not be a good idea for Part to dance it, bearing in mind that Yu is not quite as tall as Part, while Maddox (6’2” and I don’t know how many pounds) is bigger and burlier than any of ABT’s principal men. Maddox is a dancer I almost invariably enjoy more than I would have expected, although I immediately feel the caveats and back-handed compliments creeping up. Maddox, to quote Alexei Ratmansky, does not look like a ballet dancer. Nature endowed him with neither aristocratic face, nor anything like an ideal body, which is big all over and particularly thick through the pelvis and thighs. But no one is more aware of these shortcomings than Maddox himself, and he works hard on elements such as port de bras and épaulement, which some of his more obviously gifted colleagues neglect. The role of Onegin is kind to Maddox both in that it dresses him entirely in black and that it is relatively light on his greatest technical weakness, which is jumps. On stage Maddox comes across as immensely likable and sympathetic, and indeed his Onegin was about as personable as the character could plausibly be. What drew Tatiana to him was, believe it or not, his charm. His momentary fit of pique in Act 2 was caused by Tatiana’s letter and especially her reaction to his attempt at a polite refusal. Among of the company’s Onegins, Maddox was the one who tried hardest to avert the duel. His was the most poignant rendition of the “Onegin’s dreams” section, and for better or worse, he distracted me from the ending of Tatiana’s duet with Gremin, such was the force of his newly awakened desire for her. Unfortunately, I got the impression that he and Yu were dancing in different ballets. Although they have the longest track record of performing the ballet together, I got no sense of a joint approach to the piece, unlike Rodriguez and Stanczyk or especially Svetlana Lunkina and Evan McKie. While he poured out everything he had into the final scene, she remained largely stoic and unresponsive. Maddox is paired with Yu because she needs a big, strong dancer to partner her, and that he is, but I would rather see him dance the ballet with someone else. “And tell me, which was Tatiana?” “The one who sat by the window, sad as [Zhukovsky’s] Svetlana, as though she had a private sorrow.” Tatiana is a role Lunkina was born to play, not because of temperamental similarity or even nationality, but because of her ability of inhabit a character completely. Suddenly what would normally seem like good ballet acting comes across as two-dimensional by comparison. Lissome, soulful and luminous, as though glowing from within, her body was like a finely tuned string, acutely responsive to the subtlest musical, physical and emotional vibration. As soon as McKie came onto the stage—extremely tall and elongated, with his imposing profile and exquisite manners—it was immediately apparent why Lunkina’s Tatiana would be deeply stirred, for he was entirely different from anyone else in her world. Above all the soul of her character was reflected in her enormous, liquid eyes, which are of a pale hazel color and have a particularly unearthly luster under lighting that simulates moonlight. As she sat on her bed at the beginning of the mirror scene, all the conflicting emotions of her letter were written on her face. The dancing of the duet that followed was breathtakingly free and rapturous. The multilayered quality of Lunkina’s acting was just as apparent in her soul-crushing humiliation at Onegin’s indurate rejection—and a particularly striking moment was seeing how hurt she looked when she saw Onegin socializing with Olga rather than her—and later in her profound disillusionment when she sees the fatal extent of his pride and arrogance. In the first act McKie’s Onegin was defined by impeccable cultivation, which he conveyed through immaculately refined dancing. What was shocking, then, was how quickly this veneer came off in the second act. Onegin may be vain, but there is no hint of vanity in McKie’s performance, no attempt to soften the character’s edges, to make him more sympathetic or to justify his actions. It is a masterful performance from top to bottom, and my sole criticism would be directed against the quadruple pirouette he performed just before the duel, because it ran over the music and did not take advantage of the cymbal effect at the end of the phrase. For a moment I was pulled out of the drama and distracted by a feat of virtuosity. Lunkina’s duet with Nan Wang’s Gremin had one sticky partnering moment, although when the sequence was repeated a second time it was performed perfectly smoothly. Her dancing in the ballroom was decorous, regal and restrained, while the second rendition of the duet in her boudoir was far more ardent. When McKie’s Onegin returned and desperately, passionately and relentlessly pursued her, one could feel her soul being torn to shreds as she fought to resist him. Cranko and Kurt-Heinz Stolze had been canny to choose Francesca da Rimini for the scene, because Lunkina’s Tatiana really did seem to be experiencing a particularly searing temptation and even a personal sort of hell. It was a devastating finale. This may have been Lunkina’s debut, but surely the performance must rank among the finest the ballet has seen. During the first two acts I was not entirely convinced by Greta Hodgkinson’s Tatiana. She was not persuasively young (it probably didn’t help that I was sitting in the second row) and her flourishes in the mirror duet came across as a little forced. However, her third act was simply stupendous: a performance of rare beauty and emotional truth. Her duet with Renna’s Gremin was simultaneously elegant and gracious, poised and radiantly happy. When she and Onegin met in the ballroom she managed to convey both outward calm and inner turmoil. Then there were her own very remarkable eyes: huge, dark and melancholy. When she sat at her desk looking into the mirror and contemplating Onegin’s letter, they projected her swelling disquiet and anxiety. Her final duet was arrestingly dramatic, desperate and fearless, both physically and emotionally. Stanczyk’s second crack at Onegin was subtler and more successful. If it was not yet complete or especially complex, it did not matter. His force, intensity and Clark Gablesque sex appeal gave Hodgkinson what she needed to produce an emotional wallop, and together they blew the roof off the performance. In the other roles Jurgita Dronina as Olga achieved the same level of excellence. Dronina is a dramatic dancer of remarkable ability and skill. With her perfect execution and acting come together seamlessly. She invests her characters with rich detail and luminous presence, and every movement is infused with full emotional life. Dronina and Stephanie Hutchison’s Larina had a remarkable affinity: really two birds of a feather. She was so charming it was not difficult to understand why Lensky would be smitten, even if a flighty extrovert may seem like a strange choice of girlfriend for a poet. But there was nothing shallow about her grief at Lensky’s death. She stirred my only tears at that performance. In making her debut as Olga, Miyoko Koyasu was dancing her first leading role. She appeared nervous during the first act, but looked much more comfortable by the time the second began. By her second performance she looked secure in the choreography, and undoubtedly felt secure in the hands of her experienced partner. Her interpretation is not yet particularly individual, which is hardly surprising at this point. By nature Koyasu is probably not much like Olga, and as yet she has little first-hand experience that would help her portray an unlike character. Hopefully that will come with more opportunities. By nature Elena Lobsanova is clearly more Tatiana than Olga: wistful, reserved and attuned to the melancholy undercurrents of Tchaikovsky’s music, which are nearly omnipresent. No doubt Olga was an important stepping stone in her development as a dancer, but today she continues to dance the part largely by virtue of her age. In effect she is waiting in line to dance Tatiana. I was very sorry to have missed Jillian Vanstone’s Olga, since she is a dancer I particularly admire and the company’s best exponent of radiant youth. My first Lensky was the National Ballet of Canada’s Jeremy Ransom, whose performance, happily, was preserved on film, although, unhappily, it is not currently available. Ransom was an ideal Lensky, right down to his bushy black hair, and his performance was a jewel of British-school dramatic dancing, whereby technical perfection served emotional truth, musicality and naturalism merged, and his acting was always profoundly felt, but never melodramatic. He was airborne, as befitted Lensky’s youthful ardor, he was sensitive and lyrical, as befitted a poet, and he was obviously doomed. Amid all that he could reel off perfect triple, quadruple and quintuple pirouettes one after another and then transition with breathtaking fluidity and control into gorgeous, wobble-free arabesques without every seeming to make a show of this astonishing virtuosity. I consider having seen his Lensky as one of the greatest gifts of my ballet-going life, but for me he probably wrecked it for everyone who followed. I have been bothered in recent years by what seems to me to be the “prissification” of Lensky’s choreography, as though fifth positions and poses became more important than naturalness and dramatic verity. I do not remember this self-conscious emphasis being there thirty years ago, so I am inclined to regard it as a wrongheaded shift introduced long after Cranko’s death. And amid the many misguided elements of Santo Loquasto’s unfortunate and wholly unnecessary redesign (the sisters’ quasi-peasant garb, the horrid velour tights worn by the young men at the birthday party, Tatiana’s ostentatious ball gown, even the fact that she wears blue during the duel scene, which is confusing given that Olga wore blue in Jürgen Rose’s original), Lensky may get the worst of it. Not only do the yellowy-orangey colors of his costumes conspire to make him fade into the yellowy-orangey backdrops, the wide lapels and collars of his tailcoats—presumably a stab at greater authenticity—almost guarantee that he acquires a turtle-like posture as soon as he lifts his arms above his shoulders. (Although it’s harder to see in black, presumably Onegin’s lapels are just as wide and the collar rises up just as high at the back, but since these dancers tend to be taller, their necks do not seem to suffer as badly.) Add to this the poor playing in Toronto of the viola soloist during Lensky’s solo (although things were better when the NAC Orchestra took over in Ottawa), and all this contributed to Lensky being my biggest disappointment at every performance I saw. Here I run into the problem of trying to write honestly about Francesco Gabriele Frola without seeming overly critical or cruel. Frola is a dancer in his mid-twenties, being pushed hard by the company, but still very raw, despite having danced a significant number of leading roles. My previous experiences of his performances in Toronto were, to put it mildly, not positive, but I enjoyed him very much last summer in New York in Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale, so I had hoped he had turned a corner in his development. Well, not yet. As Lensky his acting was stilted and incomplete, particularly awkward at his entrance when miming requests for silence from Olga’s friends as he prepared to sneak up on her. His gestures in his main solo were big and dramatic, but with little relationship to the tone of the music. Frola’s approach to his roles seems to be to jump as high as possible (no matter how noisy the landing), to turn as much as possible (even if it means running over the music) and to kick as high as possible. At his debut he not only had difficultly connecting the steps meaningfully, he had trouble connecting them, period. His second performance was already better, so I had hoped that most of the kinks would be worked out by the time he performed in Ottawa, but this was not yet the case. I do not know whether Frola gets too little rehearsal time or whether he needs more of it than others. (The nadir came during his debut as Albrecht last June when he came running out of Loys’ hut still wearing his sword, only he neglected to hold on to its hilt, so the blade went bouncing chaotically against his left leg, and I could only wonder: did he never rehearse with the actual prop?!!) Perhaps he needs multiple performances to settle into a role, in which case he is fortunate that the company is being patient and indulgent. But for me I suspect it would be better to avoid him in tights roles, or at least his debuts. Harrison James danced the role cleanly but a tad stodgily, and in particular he lacked épaulement. (Of course Loquasto’s d****d coat didn’t help.) His acting was natural and convincing throughout, although I did not sense much of a poetic spirit in his Lensky. Naoye Ebe danced beautifully during the first scene. He had easy technique, soaring jumps and silent landings. He looked less comfortable with the folksy element of the last dance in scene one—there I had to give the edge of James—but I was ready to declare Ebe by far the best of the company’s Lenskys. Unfortunately, in Ottawa he struggled mightily with his solo in Act 2. Perhaps he became overly emotional and lost physical control as a result, but I am sure it was a performance he would rather forget. Lorna Geddes has been performing the Nurse for more than 30 years, and hers is a very fine, warmhearted characterization. In the birthday party I particularly enjoyed Tomas Schramek’s and Hazaros Surmeyan’s geezers. Both had been Gremins once upon a time, and while gravity and probably arthritis have taken their toll, it was still peculiar to see Surmeyan dancing a mazurka directly in front of Wang and looking so small in comparison. It was almost strange to remember that he had been hired by the company 50 years ago to partner Martine van Hamel. The women’s corps was a somewhat ragged bunch, with the exception, perhaps, of Soo Ah Kang. I have never liked the diagonals of supported split leaps since it strikes me as a trick, but it can be effective. However, during these performances I was particularly bothered by one of the women who did not stretch her left foot during the second diagonal. At first I thought she might have stubbed her toe backstage and was continuing on despite the injury, but at all five performances I saw I was confronted with the same dangling foot. She happens to be one of those bulging-instep types, but if she cannot stretch her left foot quickly enough, I wish the company would bury her further back in the line where this might be less obvious. The men were a much stronger bunch. Russian audiences always object, justifiably, to the “peasant” choreography as completely inauthentic, but when performed by the likes of Laurynas Vejalis, Jack Bertinshaw, Dylan Tedaldi, Donald Thom, Giorgio Galli and especially Kota Sato, who danced with completely convincing bravado, it was impressive nevertheless. In the final act the women’s corps fared much better, once it had been supplemented with soloists such as Hannah Fischer, Alexandra MacDonald, Kathryn Hosier and Tanya Howard. Each time I was struck by how sensationally beautiful Hosier looked in her 19th-century garb. If ever the dancing thing doesn’t work out, I would hope she would take a stab at period drama. Finally, a few niggling things that bother me. Russian audiences object to the presence of the women during the duel scene as simply inconceivable. I can understand why Cranko thought it necessary that Tatiana be there to see Onegin for what he really is, although it perhaps gives an inaccurate impression of Olga’s ultimate destiny. Pushkin lets us know that she got over Lensky pretty quickly. I have more difficulties with Gremin’s presence in Act 2. Again, I can understand why Cranko did not want Tatiana’s future husband to come from nowhere, but I think having him on stage at the end of the first scene is a mistake. Had someone like Gremin been there, he would have told Lensky and Onegin to stop behaving like children, and the duel would never have taken place. One more little barb at Loquasto. The signature on the front cloth uses contemporary Russian orthography, not the orthography of Pushkin’s day. Since the ballet clearly aims to create a period atmosphere, I do not understand why this would not extend to spelling. Why not reproduce the handwriting from Pushkin’s manuscript? It can be a bit of a mess, with a striking number of doodles, but this could be done, and it isn’t as though Russian audiences wouldn’t be able to read it. (Taking off my philologist beanie now.)
  10. You can watch a kind of lecture-demo here:
  11. I regard it as an outrage. Careers have ups and downs, and dancers will fare better or less well under different directors, but in the case of Bolshoi dancers for the past 20 or so years, they could generally count on outlasting the current boss. Enduring certain indignities is easier with the reassurance that they won’t last forever. Alexandrova would have joined the company under acting director Bogatyrev and subsequently worked under A. Fadeyechev, Akimov, Ratmansky, Burlaka, Filin and Vaziev. We know from the press interviews she gave for Bolshoi Babylon that her relationship with Filin was not good, or more precisely, “non-existent.” Apparently working under Vaziev proved to be that much worse. I shudder to think what was said or done to push her to leave the company to which she had dedicated her entire adult life and to leave it so abruptly. What is Vaziev to the Bolshoi and what is Alexandrova? His net contribution to the company isn’t even a fraction of hers.
  12. The TASS agency reports that the Bolshoi has confirmed Alexandrova's resignation. She gave her two-weeks' notice on January 19. After that she danced the Lilac Fairy on January 21 and Gamzatti on January 28. According to the Bolshoi, management met with Alexandrova several times to persuade her to change her mind. Incidentally, the casting for Giselle on February 19 which included Alexandrova as Myrtha was posted after she gave notice. She's since been replaced by another dancer. Her resignation became official today. http://tass.ru/kultura/3992994 She is scheduled to perform at the annual Russian Ballet Icons Gala in London on March 12. The casting and programming announcements for these galas are notoriously unreliable, but Alexandrova has performed in them before, and since she now has no commitments at the Bolshoi, there's no reason to assume she won't be participating. https://londoncoliseum.org/whats-on/the-russian-ballet-icons-gala-2017-in-the-steps-of-the-ballet-russes/ I don't know how soon we'll hear Alexandrova's version of events. Her boyfriend still works at the Bolshoi, so I wouldn't be surprised if she were circumspect about it.
  13. Maria Alexandrova has made an Instagram post which implies that she has left the company. She was to have danced Myrtha on February 19, but has now been replaced.
  14. Thank you for the link. I'm very glad Culturebox posted this on YouTube, since the original stream was geo-blocked. It's "legal" Balanchine, and we should grab it while we can. I remember admiring Heymann's performance very much. Unlike most performances of Opus 19 I've seen, it didn’t come across as Baryshnikov-lite, which is no mean feat.
  15. That's such a pity. I love everything about Coppélia. After Erik Bruhn's production premiered in the mid 1970s, it went to the Met, it toured western Canada, and it was performed fairly regularly in Toronto. Less happily, I seem to recall that Vanessa Harwood gave her last performance in the ballet when she was put out to pasture against her will. Likewise for Kim Lightheart, when she was sacrificed in the prime of her career to balance the company budget. Perhaps Dronina and Frola went digging in the wardrobe department and found that the costumes were too fragile to be used. Time for a new production, then. Want to start a petition?