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Leigh Witchel

Brief notes on the POB Balanchine program

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Hi folks - my access is limited in Europe, and I'm writing on these performances for Dance Now, so I can only be brief. POB's Balanchine is delightful; apples to NYCB's oranges, and I'm quite happy to have both. The Parisians are more detailed than the New Yorkers, but also dance a bit more under themselves.

Other good points - VERY strong casting all the way down the line from soloists to corps de ballet. Very clear performances, and they act (even in roles like Melancholic).

Watch for Herve Moreau and Alessio Carbone among the men (both are the newest premieres danseurs) Moreau is more princely, Carbone has clean, clear technique and a wonderful sunny disposition on stage. Moreau did an affecting, young melancholic; Laurent Hilaire did an affecting mature one.

Among the women, Marie-Agnes Gillot (along with Jose Martinez, also distinguished) did a very fine, very tall Third Movement of Symphony in C, which was enjoyable to see cast that way for a change. Clairemarie Osta has a natural sympathy for Balanchine as well (she was Sanguinic with either Wilfried Romoli or Karl Paquette)

Add baguettes and pain au chocolat and a splendid time was had by all.

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Thank you for that, Leigh. I'm not a fan of tall third movements, but I'll take your word on it!

I'm curious how the evening went over? (Leigh, or anyone) And if there was any comment about the Symphony in C switch?

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(In an Internet Cafe in London. . . )

In all honesty I'm not a fan of tall 3rd movements either - Gillot and Martinez are not the model, but they made a case for themselves.

I haven't seen Palais, so I can't honestly compare the versions, but even though it isn't Palais de Cristal it looks like it's their ballet. The style is strong enough that changing the steps doesn't make it look un-Parisian.

Bayadere tonight with Pavlenko at the ROH.

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