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Bayadere premiere


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#16 Alexandra

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 01:57 PM

Herman, I mean no disrespect to DNB -- I know there are some fine dancers there, and there were in the 1970s (I remember Han Ebelaar and Alexandra Radius, and Clint Farha, especially), and they brought the Van Manen pieces you mentioned. They had a strong profile then -- new rep by "the 3 Vans" and a solid base repertory of the 19th century classics and, I believe, the largest Balanchine repertory in Europe. It's just that one shouldn't overstate -- I'm a decent writer, but I ain't Shakespeare! :-) I think today, though, companies (like everyone else, from muffins to football teams) have to overstate their charms. THE biggest, THE best, THE most daring, etc. Because simply saying, "This is our company and this is what we do; hope you like it" doesn't sell tickets.

I'd like to see more Van Manen; I wish more of his ballets had entered American repertories. Many are small-cast, so they'd be ideal for small or mid-sized companies.

With apologies to Begium for hijacking your thread to talk about international issues!!!

#17 Viviane

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 02:11 PM

Ah ! I was thinking I was on the wrong thread :grinning:
No, honnest, I find that DNB has really fine dancers. Must say I was surprised to see Sofiane Sylve in the broadcasted 'Sleeping Beauty' though !

Herman, I'm eager to hear you about our Bayadère :)

#18 Alexandra

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 02:16 PM

See, with two clicks of a mouse, your thread is an International Center! Viviane, I'm impressed that your company can do a good shades scene, considering that Swan Lake! (no, didn't see it, just read Marc's review and saw the photos)

We actually have five other people who've registered here listing Belgium as their location. If you're out there, please tell us what you thought of Bayadere!!

#19 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 02:39 PM

That's OK, Alexandra, we feel very much at ease within international company and chatting about international issues :grinning:

As far as I understand from the HNB booklets under Wayne Eagling the notion "international" had a lot to do with the fact that internationally renowned choreographers worked with and for the company and sort of created an "international" repertory. (Something which the POB also always takes great pride in.) They named first of all the famous Dutch choreographers (the Vans), followed by a whole group of big names from today's dance world - Carlson, Forsythe, Lock, Marin, among others.

I felt, too, that the favorable comparison with POB, Kirov, Bolshoi, RB, ABT was pushing it a bit too far, but yet, Herman, on the other hand it isn't that far-fetched when you realize the richness and diversity of the HNB's repertory - and what's more, they can give a more than decent (to put it this way) show of everything they have. Frankly, I never felt that way about the Royal Ballet of Flanders, even though that company, too, is of a pretty good level and is attempting the same things, but it's simply no comparison to what HNB can do - and the difference is not just by sheer number of dancers.

It will be interesting to hear your take on the Bayadère, Herman. :)

#20 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 02:47 PM

Ah, there's that blasted Swan Lake again :). Maybe this can explain the difference, Alexandra: the choreography of the Shades Act was pretty straightforward and what we usually see in this particular scene - let's call it Petipa choreography. Swan Lake wasn't - the choreography as we know it had been mistreated by incompetent hands and very hard to salvage from total disaster.

There was a funny documentary, sort of "The Making of" of "Swan Lake" (or rather in this case "The Unmaking of....") :grinning: In one scene we had Fabre supervising the rehearsals of the swans in act 2. It still looked like Ivanov. But then Fabre suggested to just drop those particular steps - they didn't make sense to him. And that's what they did.

#21 Herman Stevens

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 02:48 PM

Must say I was surprised to see Sofiane Sylve in the broadcasted 'Sleeping Beauty' though ! 

Herman, I'm eager to hear you about our Bayadère  :)

I will tell you, Viviane and Marc, in March!

So may I ask what you thought of Sofiane's Aurora, Viviane?

Perhaps we should go to the DNB room, but I thought her Act I was simply astounding (I saw it three times in a row). It was Beauty and Beast in one, emphasizing Aurora's birthday girl audacity. Sofiane may have wanted to show Amsterdam one last time what they are going to miss for quite a bunch of years.

I would love to hear how you felt about it.

Marc, I think it's perfectly OK to be not quite the Kirov (if only for not having trilions of principals) and yet be a wonderful company, like the DNB. I love 'em. On the other hand I think the Flanders Ballet, which is a notch down anyway, isn't helped by having to tour the relentless way they do (with a limited number of good dancers).

Herman

Edited by Herman Stevens, 23 February 2004 - 02:59 PM.


#22 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 02:56 PM

I'm dredging up an old thread that also became an article in Ballet Alert. Provincial Style, International Style A lot of the discussion is on point.

Note: Many old threads here have been scrambled out of choronogical order; I'm not sure why. The original post in this thread is mine, about three in.

#23 Alexandra

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 03:08 PM

Marc, what I meant by the "Swan Lake" comment (sorry, I wasn't clear) was that if a company dances a lot of non-classical choreography, sometimes this shows when they dance classical choreography.

#24 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 08:24 AM

OK, I see. The repertory of the RBof Flanders is still largely classical/neo-classical. The problems in performing the great 19th century ballet are to my mind more related to company-wide aesthetics and incomprehension of style (which can also be said for the DNB), as well as matters of scale, means and number. But they still look fine in classical choreography.

#25 Alexandra

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 08:48 AM

Cling to that straw, Marc :)

#26 Herman Stevens

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 03:43 AM

how about this?

I thought I'd treat you to a quote from today's Bayadère review in the NRC Handelsblad (more or less the paper of record in Holland).

After some remarks on the set and the awkward dresses it concludes:

"What makes this production successful [de kracht van deze voorstelling ligt in] is the dancers' high level [kwaliteit] and spontaneity. If you're looking for the pure beauty of classical dance there's a lot to enjoy in the exemplary corps and in ballerina Aysem Sunal, who gives the deceived Nikia stirring nobility, poetry and passion."

I should note the review is by Ine Rietstap (a dancer from the fifties) who cannot mention the DNB's Larissa Lezhnina without using the words "robotic smile".

Herman

#27 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 28 February 2004 - 05:14 AM

I should note the review is by Ine Rietstap (a dancer from the fifties) who cannot mention the DNB's Larissa Lezhnina without using the words "robotic smile".

LOL ! Thank you, Herman, you really made my day.
And then Sunal is described as a Nikiya full of nobility, poetry and passion.... :wink:.

#28 Marjolein

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 06:18 AM

Someone else from Belgium here! I haven't gone to La Bayadere yet. Is it good enough to spend money on going? I'm a student so I don't have a lot of money to spend on ballet performances, so I can only go if it's really worth it. I would love to see it though. I saw RBF in the Nutcracker, in Ghent, and i loved it.

#29 Herman Stevens

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 08:03 AM

Hi Marjolein,

Viviane and Marc will hopefully forgive me if I say there is only one way of finding out if the Bayadère is worth your time and money, and that's by going yourself. Who knows? Maybe you'll love it just like you did Nutcracker.

And if you do, don't forget to post.

I'm going in three weeks sharp.

Herman

#30 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 09:39 AM

Hi, Marjolein (we're with three now! :) ). Herman is right. You need to see it with your own eyes; so try to get a ticket and tell us all about it. B)


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