Martins Balanchine programNew programme
Posted 02 December 2003 - 04:32 PM
Posted 02 December 2003 - 09:27 PM
I don't have anything against Ms. Cavallo either, but she's not the company's prima ballerina assoluta, and I think her career should be looked at in perspective. Anna, yes, she did dance the leading roles in the ballets that you list, but she was not first cast in most of them, either at premieres or repremieres. As Jorgen points out, one could compile the same list for several others. To be fair to all the RDB dancers, though, they've had so many directors in the past decade, each with a different aesthetic, that making a list of who danced what doesn't say as much about the dancers as it does about the directors, in some cases. (Michelle Larsen was the Sylph and Juliet of choice a few years back.) There were dancers who were benched by Schaufuss who resurfaced under Gielgud, only to disappear again with Eliason, etc. Or the other way 'round.
There are directors who like to use Cavallo, yes, but I've also interviewed directors who did not, for some of the same reasons expressed here. As for the critics, I don't have the impression that Cavallo is universally acclaimed (I don't read all the reviews, but I do get regular reports, as several of my friends are critics there.) She gets mixed reviews -- perhaps less so from one critic than the others -- as do the other dancers.
I also think it should be said that the "Bournonville Award" is not the Oscars. I hope my Danish friends will forgive me for saying that there seem to be a lot of odd little awards that pop up there from time to time -- I remember a Hans Christian Andersen award that disappeared as suddenly as it appeared a few years back, for example (and that had nothing to do with H.C. Andersen), and various Scandinavian Friendship and Cooperation Prizes. It's not that there's a venerable Bournonville Trust that's been protecting his works all these years and gives out awards to the greatest exemplar of his style, voted on by all the members of an Academy.
Effy, I don't think comparing dancers is wrong at all! I think most people do it, and I thought the way you laid out your comparisons was very useful and very interesting. We all have measuring sticks, and it's interesting to read when someone can set out why so clearly.
Posted 02 December 2003 - 10:06 PM
Posted 03 December 2003 - 02:50 AM
Posted 03 December 2003 - 05:09 AM
I do not question that Cavallo is a dancer of a high caliber and a strong and steady performer. I have rooted for her when she got her first opportunities in Serenade many years ago and I have rooted a lot since. Yes she has been in a lot of productions but the RDB usually over the period of approx. 3 years each production are kept in repetoire allows 3 -5 dancers for each part. For Martins Swan Lake the premiere was danced by Silja Schandorf with Kenneth Greve, Heidi Ryom as a farewell performance with Hubbe, Cavallo with Massot and Gitte Lindstrom with Mads Blangstrup (then very young and the cast I was told was Martins "invention" and favorate cast). ForSleeping beauty some years back four casts was scheduled Gad/possorov, Cavallo,Riggins, Schandorff.Greve (who later got the television version) and Olsson/Thordahl Christensen). Re. that production I was told that Helgi Tomasson wanted Cavallo for the premiere, but this not get his wish fullfilled. Why? I have always believed that it was consided a bad political move for the RDB at that time to give the premiere to a totally foreign cast of a very expensive production. It would be like admitting publically that the RDB school was not doing it job. So some you loose and some you win. I have no problem with accepting Helgi Tomassons choice because he was the author of this performance, but I sometimes as in the case of Manon find myself that a certain casts would not really be McMillans choice and in experience I can tell that there is often a great difference between the casting done by the choreographer and by apoointed dicertors and caretakers. Often a choreographer will make a bolder choice and often a choice based on dramatic abilities or personality. Cavallo is in my view a dancer who may have benefitted by the fact that we get very few original choreographers visiting RDB today, but a lot of appointed directors. When John Neumeier is working himself with the company, he casts Kenneth Greve/Martin James, Silha Schandorff/Rose Gad as well as very young dancers like Sarah van Patten and second tier dancers like Francisco Nappa and Marie Pierre Greve in leading roles. As I accept his freedom as choreographer I may also accept his choices,even though they may not be in tune with my own viewpoints.
I once read an article by Arlene Croce re. NYCB ballerinas where she concluded that some dancers got more parts than what their talents deserved because any ballet master will eventually start to prefer the dancers who are good workers, who are reliable and less prune to injuries over the greater but more fragile talent . This may have been the reason that Heidi Ryom ended up with such a large repetoire ompared to her conteperaryes Mette-Ida Kirk, Lis Jeppesen and Linda Hindberg whos talents were recognised decades before Ryom and who had all ben made principal dances 5 -8 years before her. The reliability of Cavallo and her eagerness to put in the hours may be a factor. With Cavallo you know what you get, but it is somestimes more exiting to watch a dancer who can give you what you did not expect.
Posted 03 December 2003 - 10:23 AM
Personally, I agree with Effy's comment: "With Cavallo you know what you get, but it is sometimes more exiting to watch a dancer who can give you what you did not expect." But I think this thread has shown that she has her admirers and her detractors, and we're unlikely to come to a consensus. I would have been interested to see her do Piano Concerto. I didn't see these performances and so I'll defer to those who did
Posted 03 December 2003 - 10:52 AM
Posted 04 December 2003 - 12:46 AM
Posted 04 December 2003 - 03:22 AM
i ve returned to copenhagen again, after a year in china. missed NYCB in september (at tivoli), but did catch opening night of the balanchine martins programme. i ve only now looked at some of the posts here and am surprised at how lively the exchange is. i can't really add anything of substance, i ve gone almost 2 years without watching ballet, so this opening night was a thrill (except for martins). is there also an opportunity to meet other ballet fans who live in copenhagen, watch performances together and discuss them over hylleblomst? i have a very busy schedule, so i would appreciate keeping up with ballet or dance through an informal group -
anyone aware of good modern dance classes by the way?
Posted 04 December 2003 - 04:23 AM
Danseshus has rotating teachers every week or so for the morning ballet and modern classes (with names like Tim Rushton, Sorella Englund and Wally Cardona)
KKA is better for your wallet, and has some interesting folks but the facilities aren't great.
Sceneindgang is just opening (on Sunday actually, with a free performance and gratis classes all week--check out their schedule online for ballet and modern) and is replacing the old Dansverkstedet on Meinungsgade.
Posted 04 December 2003 - 06:13 AM
I was trying to come up with a list of Balanchine ballets danced by the RDB since the 1930s, and I'm sure this is incomplete, but it's a start:
Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Symphony in C, Serenade, Four Temperaments, Agon, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Tzigane, Theme and Variations, Tchaikovsky pas de deux.
Posted 04 December 2003 - 02:59 PM
Allegro Brilliante, Symphony in C, Divertimento nr 15, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, The Sonambule, Rubies, Bouree Fantastique, (1963), Donizetti Variantion (1968) , Duo Consertante (at gallas, never in repetoire) and off cause The Legend of Joseph and some earlier ballet in 1932 (?) when Balanchine spend one year as ballet master in Copenhagen
Posted 04 December 2003 - 03:12 PM
Posted 04 December 2003 - 03:20 PM
1) Among what's currently in the rep?
2) Among all ballets?
Posted 04 December 2003 - 03:57 PM
Mel, when Balanchine first came to Copenhagen, he was asked to stage certain ballets. According to Svend Kragh-Jacobsen, this was at the wish of the conductor, who also was directing the ballet company at the time. He wanted to conduct the scores. I'd writtten the 1930s above, but it must have been 1930, because Lander came in in '31 (and, of course, Balanchine had a job until Diaghilev's death in '29.
It was Massine's Joseph Legend (with Borge Ralov). Also Balanchine's Barabau. I'd have to look up the others. I think Spectre, which Balanchine danced, with Ulla Paulsen.
Thanks for your amendments, Effy -- I knew you'd know And I hope you and Jorgen, aspirant, kaydemark et al. will answer Helene's question.
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