Posted 29 February 2004 - 12:42 PM
Ofcourse you should go and see it ! For once we have a classic that's not totally ruined. Keep in mind that you have more chance in a fairly good seat and MUCH more affordable than anywhere else !
Herman, is Rietstap from another planet ?
Posted 21 March 2004 - 04:50 AM
The corps was far from "exemplary". I'm not a stickler for everybody being 100% in line, but there comes a point when even my eyes can't gloss over a badly uneven ensemble. At some point I wished Solor would've handed me the opium pipe.
It must have been a very bad night. I talked to Denvers during a break, the artistic director (he and Sunal do make a gorgeous couple!), and he said six soloists were down with injuries.
Last minute changes can affect the entire company performance. Still I can't help but wonder how they got those injuries. Apart from a Solor variation or two (Howard Quintero) most of the dancing was taken in a rather unchallenging way. First I thought the legs didn't go up much because of some notion of stylistic accuracy. But gradually I got the feeling the dancers just weren't pushing themselves. They're apparently used to audiences who'll accept this anyway.
You will be pleased, Viviane, our Nikiya was Aki Saito. However I was not impressed. She was fine, in that she made no mistakes, and in the Shades act things started revving up a bit. However in the 2nd Act pointy-finger dance at the engagement ceremony Nothing Happened. So based on my memory Saito really doesn't top Sunal. I'm truly sorry to be so harsh (that's why I don't write reviews, profesionally) but in Amsterdam this risk-avoiding dancing of Saito's would not have gotten her beyond demi-soloist (Grand Sujet) rank. And even then it wasn't like we were looking at an good company with the upper half of the troupe lopped off. When you're dancing Petipa a good show starts from the corps, rather than from the top.
Just a question. Does the Flanders never ever dance with an orchestra? I mean, added to the constant touring that could be part of the problem too. Dancing to canned music is a rather dispiriting affair, because you can't go anywhere without parting from the music.
Denvers told me they'll doing a Giselle next year, hopefully they'll be in better shape then. (Though again, you'd have to wonder, if that's going to be Denvers' and Sunal's last season.)
Posted 22 March 2004 - 02:30 PM
I will try to see her somewhere in this role though to make up my own point of view and will report
They rarely perform with an orchestra and I agree : that's killing !
Posted 22 March 2004 - 02:58 PM
Thing is, Viviane, Saito may be an agreeable soloist in smaller parts, but Nikiya is altogether a different kettle of fish. But then again, that goes a bit for the whole company when tackling these great Petipa ballets, starting with Sunal. I'm sure both would be fine in the manu dance. That said, it's a shame the corps didn't make much of an impression, because that was by far the best part of the evening I attended.
They hardly ever perform with an orchestra. Some years ago they used to dance premieres of new productions with orchestra, and at the same time recorded a tape which was used for the rest of the run. But even that doesn't seem to happen anymore. It's a shame because the few times I heard them play (the Orchestra of the Flemish Opera), it was excellent, and we have an able conductor in Koen Kessels.
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