Posted 02 April 2004 - 04:35 PM
i believe there are three more performances...saturday matinee, saturday night, and sunday matinee
going to see it on saturday night
what are your opinions of it?
Posted 02 April 2004 - 05:18 PM
I thought it was great. I always think Mr. Webre can tell a story very well even if some wouldn't consider the choreography complex (I hear this opinion by many). Normally what I am more interested in are the three act bills with a mix of Balanchine, and newer pieces, but I am glad to see Washington Ballet do more classical productions and this one proved to be done well. I was also happy to watch one of my old classmates up on the stage!
I will wait for other comments and then rechime in!
Posted 03 April 2004 - 04:49 PM
This afternoon's leads, Jonathan Jordan and Elizabeth Gaither, were very well-matched, both technically and artistically. Jordan gave us a "Romeo" take on Franz. Swanilda was obviously his lady, Coppelia barely even a casual flirtation. Elizabeth's feisty Swanilda played really jealous in Act I, but turned on a dime (I love these dance metaphors!) in Act II, as soon as she discovered that Coppelia wasn't exactly a "living doll." Guess she didn't mind that her Romeo was dumb enough to stray with a dummy! Act III is, as you all know, the technical showcase, and here too the leads did themselves proud, although it seemed to me that Gaither stepped out of character in order to concentrate on her superb execution, while Jordan executed well and also managed to stay in character.
As always, the post-performance discussion brought out some very interesting comments. Gaither mentioned that she went through three pairs of shoes - medium for Act I, soft for Act II, hard for Act III - very much in keeping with the distinct characterizations that she brought to each act. She brought down the house when responding to a comment about Coppelia as "eye candy." "Hey," she said winningly, "I'm eye candy too." Which brings me around to my earlier comment that in this performance, poor Coppelia never had a chance!
Stepping back to the staging and production, it is clear that this kind of dance, and this quality of dancing, really needs a live orchestra, a point which was also made in the post-performance discussion. The Act I and III set backdrop was charming - rather like Hobbiton, if you will - and the interior of Coppelius' workshop, in Act II, got ooh's and aah's from the audience - deservedly so, in spite of (or perhaps because of?) the basic simplicity of its design. I loved the costumes, which were borrowed (if memory serves me correctly from the post-performance discussion) from Pennsylvania Ballet.
In Act I's great pas de 6, the men had to practice collision avoidance because the stage of the Eisenhower Theater was too small for Septime's and Charla Genn's exuberant choreography. Plus, almost all rehearsal time was in the company studio without sets, leaving only a day or two to adjust to the sets and Eisenhower stage (this, again, from post-performance discussion). Guess we should add a bigger stage and more on-stage rehearsal time to our wish list.
In the past year or so, we have heard a lot about the future direction of the company - more classical, and not just that, but more *everything*. In my own mind, this production was the first demonstration of what the future has in store... an exciting topic that deserves a whole new thread, so I'm going to sign off now and start one, unless somebody else gets there first!
Posted 03 April 2004 - 08:35 PM
it was wonderful...great choreography...music....sets were amazing
wish their had been a live orhcestra....guess they couldnt afford it
michelle jimenez amazed me....she did a balance in arabesque for very long time before beginning a PERFECT round of fuette turns
jared nelson did well as franz
elizabeth gaither and her leg lifts in her variation of prayer was great
brianne bland made a wonderful dawn
michelle jimenez, as swanild, was at her best that i have ever seen her
quite an enjoyable night
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