I've now seen two performances of Neumeier's Lady of the Camellias with Lucia Laccara and Roman Lazik in the leads - and this is the first time I was convinced and really moved.
Lucia Laccara IS Marguerite - one point I had always felt as weak in the recent past was that she was always Laccara, the star, for me - but in this role she is as vulnerable as I haven't seen her before. At the beginning, she's already sick, but still pretending to be the glamourous girl - then she's loving woman - very strong the scene when Armand's father (Ivan Liska) asks her to leave his son, and broken and dying at the end.
Her partner was supposed to be Lucas Slavicky, also winner of the prix Benois de la danse - but unfortunately he's injured, so Roman Lazik stepped in, also as a debut.
Roman Lazik has made an incredibly quick rise through the ranks - but justified! His Armand matches Laccara's Marguerite so well - not just physically, but also how he treats her, it's a joy to watch. This Armand falls in love so deeply that it's a very narrow gauge between caressing and being almost violent - but always in a convincing way and also very touching.
Lots of "Bravo" and applause for this couple plus also for the rest of the cast for memorable performances.
On 7 March, Alen Bottaini will partner Lisa-Maree Cullum's debut as Marguerite (she danced a lovely Manon last night) - another cast I am looking forward to, and probably an entirely different performance!
Her first real triumph?!
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