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Dutch National Season 2003-2004


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#1 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 20 March 2003 - 01:57 PM

Het Nationale Ballet/The Dutch National Ballet presented its new season for 2003-2004. There are two great classics "Swan Lake" (Van Dantzig) and "Sleeping Beauty" (Wright); an homage to Balanchine (for his 100th birthday in 2004) with "Theme and Variations", "Agon" and a (yet unknown) addition to the company's repertory; a triple bill with Van Manens "Four Schumann Pieces", Brandsen's "Pulcinella" and a world premiere by David Dawson; and finally a new creation by Brandsen and Pastor centred round the theme "Body/Voice" for the Holland Festival.

More details on the company's homepage:
http://www.het-natio...k/index_uk.html

#2 Herman Stevens

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 06:32 AM

Hi,

as it happens this is my first post on this forum, and I'd like to supply the previously unknown third piece for the Balanchine Centenary come March: it's Who Cares?. It's going to have a specially designed set.

Agon hasn't been done for ages either. I'm looking forward to it.

Herman

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 10:24 AM

Welcome, Herman!! I hope we'll read much more of you in the future.

Thanks very much for the information -- as you can see, we have some posters who see the company occasionally (or at least write about it occasionally) but no regulars. We'd love to read more about it, and hope you'll keep us posted.

#4 Herman Stevens

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 03:33 PM

Thank you, Alexandra. You're very kind.

Tomorrow, btw, I'll be sitting in on rehearsals for Van Manen's Four Schumann Pieces. Can't wait.

Herman

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 03:50 PM

Ah, the one Van Manen made for Anthony Dowell. I saw that with Dowell, and with Nureyev, and liked it very much. I've liked a lot of Van Manen choreography, actually, and wish we saw more of it. He's one of the last classicists!

#6 Viviane

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 05:12 AM

Great to hear someone, based in Amsterdam !
Herman, please let's know all about what you're seeing at DNB :P

#7 Herman Stevens

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 01:09 PM

That's very kind of you, Viviane. I'll do what I can...

Alexandra - do you know what's so funny? The way I heard it Van Manen made Four Schumann Pieces for Dowell to make a point that he wasn't too hot about Nurejev's style wanting the Royal Ballet to focus more on Dowell. And then Nurejev got to dance the part anyway...

This time around however GaŽl Lambiotte is the first cast, 4SP being revived especially for him. Perhaps you've seen him; he danced in Boston for a couple of seasons, with his lovely wife Sabine Chaland.

Herman

#8 Alexandra

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 01:22 PM

I hadn't heard that story, Herman -- thank you. I first saw the ballet danced by Nureyev. It was early in my ballet-dancing days, and I knew nohting about it, but I'd seen Dowell (I loved both dancers) and it LOOKED like Dowell. I was very proud when I read afterwards that it had been made for him! He did exemplify the British style.

In its day, it was considered minor. I think today it might be taken more seriously!

#9 glebb

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 07:24 PM

Gail Lambiotte and Sabine Chaland are gorgeous dancers. :wub:
I worked with them at Boston Ballet and I'm glad to hear that Van Manen's FOUR SCHUMANN PIECES is being revived especially for Lambiotte.
I have a video of Royal Ballet performing this ballet with Dowell in the lead and I love it.

#10 Herman Stevens

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 03:17 AM

Hi Glebb,

Thanks for your response. I did get to see a lot of GaŽl and Sabine this December, when Sleeping Beauty (Peter Wright version) was on fourteen times - out of which GaŽl had to dance Desiree five times. (I saw four of 'em.) He was first cast, partnered with Sofiane Sylve who has now left the DNB for good for the NYCB, but also took on two other Auroras.

Sabine was a lovely Breadcrumb and a Florine with the kind of filigree point work dreams are made of.

So forgive me for being ignorant and curious at the same time, but did they achieve any popularity in the short time they were in Boston? What kind of stuff did they do?

I'm also asking because I am preparing a piece on GaŽl.

Herman

#11 glebb

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 05:34 AM

Sorry to not be of much help in this Herman. I was only with the company for a total of three weeks in all. I co-staged a ballet for BB, teaching and then putting it on the stage (two separate trips).

The dancers and artistic staff seemed quite supportive of each other but as far dancer popularity with audience I cannot say. I only saw the two performances of the ballet before I left.

I can tell you that Lambiotte and Chaland were cast in leading roles, first cast in the Arpino ballet and leading roles in Bruce Well's A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM.

If possible, please keep posting news of them and let us know how Jeanette Vondersaar is doing

#12 Herman Stevens

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 02:51 PM

thanks anyway, Glebb.

So you know Jeannette Vondersaar? That's funny. I have never talked with her, but I can tell you that she's had a busy Fall at the DNB - first she was the Queen in Swan Lake (Van Dantzig's version) and then she was the Queen in Beauty.

It was a monster season, but I have to confess it was like I lived in a dream from October through Xmas.

Herman

#13 Herman Stevens

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 10:15 AM

Yesterday was the opening night for the Dutch Nat B's Balanchine Centenary program.

Theme and Variations was beautifully danced by Larissa Lezhnina, who is obviously the best for this kind of material. She was partnered by Tamas Nagy, who seemed a little hampered by some kind of injury.

Agon should be getting better yet with tonight's and Sunday's performance. It was a thrill to see the lovely Igone de Jongh between Gael Lambiotte (wonderful jumps!) and Boris de Leeuw (Igone's partner in the pdd). De Jongh was replacing Anna Seidl at short notice ntw.

Who cares?. Great rŰle for Altin Kaftira, who partnered Igone de Jongh in the The Man I Love pdd. Am I the only one who feels in this pdd the music just doesn't hold up the choreography?

Great party afterwards. The schedule had been pretty tight, I believe, and so there's that relief of having come through.

#14 Herman Stevens

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 03:08 AM

Balanchine Centenary highlights for me after a couple of nights:

Larissa Lezhnina in Theme and Variations. This is the quintessence of the material she's made for.

Agon: Igone de Jongh and Boris de Leeuw in a breathtaking pdd. It was like watching Adam and Eve playing with each other in the dark.
The orchestra with Roy Goodman was great in this very tough piece of music.

Who Cares? 'The Man I Love' pdd wit Sabine Chaland and Gael Lambiotte. They are a real-life couple, too, and Gael had told me he was looking forward to doing this. I had to dry my eyes afterwards.

Marisa Lopez in the slinky steps solo (forget which song). Again she's just made for this; Larissa had this solo in the second cast, and her style is too step-defined for this juicy stuff.

Wonderful set by Paul Gallis with a slowly shifting Manhattan skyline, which got applauded every night the curtains opened.

#15 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 06:36 AM

Thank you for your reports, Herman!

Can you tell us a little more? (I'm coming to Rotterdam at the end of April and seeing The Dream along with Duo Concertant and Theme). I'm curious especially how Marisa Lopez took her solo in Who Cares. I'm used to it being sharp rather than slinky, but in San Francisco, Lorena Feijoo did "Fascinatin' Rhythm" (the solo by the woman who dances "The Man I Love") very slinky. Sabine Chaland would have done that, so Lopez' would have been either the "Jumping" solo (Stairway to Paradise - von Aroldingen) or the "turning" (My One and Only - Marnee Morris)


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