Posted 28 August 2003 - 11:33 AM
Manon- Silja Schandorff
Des Grieux - Nicolas Le Riche
Lescaut - Jean-Lucien Massot
I have to admit to being slightly disappointed by the 1st Act, it looked like the dancers were not fully warmed up (to the parts OR their bodies!!) Dancers were bumping in to each other, accidentaly grand battement-ing each other!!
Some of the dancers were off on the timing, though alot of the macmillan timing is difficult, however this really no excuse! I was dissappointed to see that Schandorff (whom i usually enjoy watching of all the RDB principles) giving what was a 'surface' performance of the 'nieve' and 'innocent' manon, however i think it might just have been nerves- i certainly hoped so!! I also noticed that schandorff what some figer twiching which i have never noticed before, how evr this is commonly (among dancers) known as a sign of nervousness!
By the end of Act One i was nearly ready to go home but stayed to give this usually lovely company another chance!! (Must say now that i have actually seen Manon by the Royal Ballet, London at least three times so am well aware of how it should be!?) In all honesty, Mogens Boesen (Monsieur G.M) saved the Act, he was so inside the charcter- you could really see it - esp. in his eyes (the most important place) The Pas de Trois with Manon, Lescaut ans Monsiour GM was so fab really smooth and this is when i saw Schandorff's Manon really come alive- she had just danced a fast paced but 'uncomfortable' pas be deux with Des Grieux and now faces the choice of love or money!!
When the curtain went up on Act Two i was not prepared for the Nutcracker style spectical that awaited me! The 'party' at Madam's house (gambling house and brothel) looked like a scene directly out of the xmas time ballet! If it hadn't had been for the choreograpthy i really would have left at that point! The female 'guests' at the party were dressed in net skirts some in a thinned out 'romantic' style ans others srunched up at the bact so some of the dancers looked like they had candy floss on their bottoms! Also for some reson the company have taken on a new corps dancer who, because of her height, sticks out like a sore thumb!!
Just after Manon and Des G run away from the party and collect their things, they performed a very passionate pas de deux, and although (in my eyes) Le Riche made no particular impact proir to this PdD, he really put his emotions on display and showed what he was made of! The PdD was well timed and Des Grieux really was mentally tormented by the glittering braclet Manon was wearing- he was bewitched by the power and symbolization of the braclet and was disturbing but enjoyable to watch. I was beginning to enjoy the ballet as w whole more by that point (must admit that it helped when those 'nutcraker' dresses left the stage- in away they were kind of offencive to macmillan's original costumes!)
Act 3, the costumes for the slave girls were different from those the public see at the Royal Ballet's production! In the RB version when the girls come of the ship they stand in rows heads bowed and hands seperating their hair as if to be checked for lice, but in this version the girls were wearing hats or hoods of sorts!! This gave a different feel to the entrace of these girls. The head of the pinal coloney was played by Peter Bo Bendixen, and although it was a small role, was rather good. I was particularly bemused by the very very very realistic enjoyment of stroking and Manon's leg (in the scene in his office where he 'advances' on Manon) while holding it between his legs. Very falic............
The final PdD was gorgeous, the timing was clear and concise and as far as my teaching eye would take me it looked fine. My only minor criticism is that they could have been more daring wiling to wait that extra second before catching her and being a little bit more violent with the catches in the air! I know that it takes a trusting relationship to take a PdD to that kind of height and difficult when Le Riche is only a guest dancer but it almost looked a bit too safe!
I'm sorry to say that i was disappointed but i was, and as a usually avid RDB fan i was upset!!
But hey, they've got another cahnce to impress me when i see the modern choregraphy triple bill tomorrow!! Good Luck to them!
Posted 28 August 2003 - 11:48 AM
I hope you see Schandorff at a second or third performance -- she often takes time to think through a role and make it work for her, but when it's inside her, she can be magnificent. (I don't think that she and LeRiche have a regular partnership, either.)
I'll be interested to see the reviews -- I'll check the Danish papers on line tomorrow.
And I look forward to reading more from you!
Posted 28 August 2003 - 11:59 AM
I think thats probably along the right lines!! I remember the RB version being very spacious with wide and broad movements, esp. party scene! But the stage at the royal opera house is huge!! esp. compaired to Gamle Scene!
She's too tall for him!! (as is often the problem with tall girls, eg. Darcy Bussel)
Posted 28 August 2003 - 12:01 PM
Posted 28 August 2003 - 12:11 PM
Posted 30 August 2003 - 11:27 AM
Posted 30 August 2003 - 11:59 AM
Posted 31 August 2003 - 08:28 AM
I've herd that said about LaRiche before, i have bot experienced enough of Paris opera etc to pass comment. :shrug: Though I must say he did give a good performance!
She was lovely, once she lost her nerves- but its only my (very personal) opinion! As i posted before, i have to write horrid things esp. about my favorite RDB dancer!!!!!!!! but i just didn't feel she was on top of it!!
Posted 10 September 2003 - 06:55 AM
Posted 10 September 2003 - 06:59 AM
Posted 10 September 2003 - 07:30 AM
Posted 11 September 2003 - 12:44 PM
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