Dutch National Season 2003-2004
Posted 26 March 2004 - 03:48 PM
Marisa Lopez did Stairway (and I saw her twice, plus Larissa once). The fouettée &c solo was done by Yumiko Takeshima in the first cast, Enrichetta Cavalotti in the second, and by French demi soloist Charlotte Chapellier in the dress rehearsal (I believe she's 3d cast). I liked Charlotte the best; she's kind of small and lightning fast, while the other two are rather big dancers.* (Also: I really like her as a person.)
Back to Marisa. With slinky I guess I mean that with Marisa 'Stairway' came in one long juicy flow from the hips. Both times she brought down the house. Perhaps you know Marisa from San Francisco? She's whippet thin and ultra-flexible and she's got this great big smile. It was fast, it was happy and it came completely natural (it didn’t with Larissa IMO), even though those steps are all over the place.
So you’re going to the first night in Rotterdam? My guess is Larissa will do Theme again on that night.
*BTW I'm probbly being completely inauthentic here. One and Only was originally by Patricia McBride, wasn't it - and she isn't smallish, is she?
Posted 26 March 2004 - 06:39 PM
I don't know SFB well, this last visit (see www.danceviewtimes.com for my article this week) was my first time seeing them on their home turf.
Marnee Morris originated the solo to My One and Only. McBride's was Fascinatin' Rhythm and McBride was in fact small-ish (but was that a typo?). Morris was before my viewing, so I don't know more about her than that she was a natural turner. Nowadays at NYCB the McBride role is danced by either Jenifer Ringer, who does it sort of like a daffy cheerleader (it's wonderful) or Miranda Weese, who has razor sharp musical timing and wit and can stop or change direction on a dime. So it's been well cast here for a bit.
Posted 29 March 2004 - 03:59 AM
Leigh, I am hoping you will post extensively about the shows you're going to see in Holland (the NDT, too, obviously). Of course the Rotterdam Schouwburg is not the DNB's home theater. The good thing is it's a little more intimate. The bad thing is it's a plug ugly early eighties structure.
Interesting that McBride looks bigger in the pictures than she apparently is (maybe because Villella whom she's often pictured with is no giant either). IMO she is one of Balanchine's most photogenic dancers. She always looks like having tons of fun.
Posted 06 May 2004 - 02:53 AM
Leigh Witchel, on Mar 27 2004, 02:39 AM, said:
I went to the first DNB night, and enjoyed Theme & Vars immensily. Cedric Ygnace is my favorite DNB dancer for this piece. He gels with his partner (Yumiko Takeshima) in a way that pretty much blurs the he - she roles, particularly during the violin solo, with the his and hers pirouettes.
I recall Susan Hendl, who came over for the rehearsals, was very much taken with Ygnace, too.
I'll be going to another performance come Saturday - same couple.
Posted 06 May 2004 - 03:35 AM
I also liked Ygnace; he has an interesting body - a bit more sensual than the standard Balanchine look. The company tried fielding two casts in Theme for both corps and soloists. I thought that was a mistake - they didn't have them from what I saw.
Duo doesn't look like it does in NYC! Same steps, completely different feeling. And that was different from both casts. Igone de Jongh and Gael Lambiotte were more small-scale, almost cozy and Enrichetta Cavalotti was almost stereotypically Italian with Jahn Magnus Johansen (I loved her though).
The Dream looked in decent shape. I got Larissa Lezhnina with Boris de Leeuw. I liked him a lot - I wished I could have translated more clearly the interview posted about him in the theater - my Dutch is only what I can decode. I would have liked to see Lezhnina in Theme. In the second cast I found Ruta Jezerskyte very interesting - she's a "hot" Titania for a cooler Nagy - in the other pairing de Leeuw was warmer.
The Rotterdamse Schouwberg is a very dry house! All resonance gets sucked out of the music, the violinist in Duo practically had to saw her instrument in half to get sound from the stage.
Posted 07 May 2004 - 02:35 AM
Boris de Leeuw's story is he quit dancing for a couple of years, just like that. I believe this is his first season of his second life as a dancer, and it has been rather spotty. He is a very powerful stage personality, though. You just have to watch him. Even at the start of Agon, when you're looking at four identical guys' backs, you cannot help watching De Leeuw's back, and no one else's.
I'm not surprised the NYCB Duo C is quite different from the ones out here; it's after all a piece for two soloists, so it's bound to take on the shape of the particular dancers more than, say, Theme. IMO the first De Jongh / Lambiotte performance wasn't quite on - and I like both dancers a lot (I've written interviews with both). Sometimes it seems like De Jongh is developing panda-like partnering problems. She went from Lambiotte to De Leeuw and now she's back to Lambiotte, but the combo didn't really sparkle that night.
Obviously Duo C a convenient piece between two biggish pieces like Theme and Dream but Duo C does perhaps err a little on Balanchine's "see the music" side, to my taste. Perhaps, however, I should see a NYCB perfomance, to get a better sense of the piece?
Posted 07 May 2004 - 03:51 AM
It's much, much more than music visualization. You don't put that last section into a ballet that's only the steps. My own prejudice, but the ballet needs to be cast with two very strong personalities; I'd say a muse and a poet, but were Mazzo and Martins those types? Not really, but I'm used to my generation's best in the part, and to me those were Boal and Kistler, though they rarely did it together (height mismatch).
You're kidding about De Leeuw! Please tell me you are. . . you've got to hate people who don't need to warm up. The interview in the theater lobby talked about his coaching with Anthony Dowell for the role (and a picture of him looking very handsome) - I wanted to know more about what he learned from Dowell and when and where he got the coaching.
I'm sorry we missed each other while I was there. It's always funny to realize you're in the same place with someone you know, but wouldn't know on sight!
Posted 07 May 2004 - 04:54 AM
Leigh Witchel, on May 7 2004, 11:51 AM, said:
I'm afraid I cannot tell you about the interview in the theatre. I believe Dowell was at the opening night, but I'm not sure, as I didn't go to the party afterwards.
We've been very busy lately after moving house. I would have tried to contact you before Rotterdam, to see if we could arrange something along the lines of "I'm the guy with the carnation in his fedora", but as it happened I was offline for a full four weeks because of the address change.
De Leeuw and Dowell have been swapping steps before. When Hans van Manen took his Four Schumann Pieces to the DNB, Boris took the man-in-the-middle role which was originally created for Dowell. Recently, though, Gael Lambiotte was first cast in this part.
Posted 09 May 2004 - 12:21 AM
Leigh Witchel, on May 6 2004, 11:35 AM, said:
The Dream looked in decent shape. I got Larissa Lezhnina with Boris de Leeuw. [...] I would have liked to see Lezhnina in Theme.
The musicians were better too.
And I got Ruta in the Dream. I liked her just as fine as I did Larissa. The big difference was Boris de Leeuw, who brought a real smouldering bad mood to Oberon, which I thought was rather hilarious. Even his make-up was a lot blue-and-greener than Nagy's, last night.
Leigh, Larissa in Theme is obviously great. It's just her kind of material. However, in that case you would not have gotten Cedric, but Tamas Nagy, who was a rather impassive partner, the night I saw them. Besides, I think Yumiko Takeshima is really good, too, in Theme.
Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:38 PM
Herman Stevens, on May 7 2004, 08:54 AM, said:
I reported this to a friend who responded that de Leeuw has a twin brother. Perhaps that is whom you saw?
Posted 12 May 2004 - 09:20 AM
Leigh Witchel, on May 12 2004, 05:38 AM, said:
excellent sleuth work! I called DNB staff and indeed Boris DL has a twin brother who happened to be at the Rotterdam opening night. (And I bet Boris pays him to stand in the lobby quaffing drinks, so that people like me think it's Boris. Just kiddink!)
You know, I have seen this a couple of times at this forum - people checking claims and getting closer to the truth. It's a very special thing on the internet, which, alas, thrives on rumor and hearsay.
BTW as I called DNB I also found out my favorite corps dancer, Rosi Soto, will be promoted as of August 1. It's like she's got three brains: one in the usual spot, and one in each foot. She's got the smartest feet in the entire company. I'm so happy for her.
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