Posted 23 April 2004 - 04:23 AM
Friday May 7
Abdallah: Thomas Lund
Irma: Gudrun Bojesen
Hassan: Gábor Baunoch
Palmyra: Gitte Lindstrøm
Saturday May 8
Abdallah: Morten Eggert
Irma: Amy Watson
Hassan: Asger Schlichtkrull
Palmyra: Haley Henderson
Posted 23 April 2004 - 04:29 AM
Flirting with the exotic
The story of the poor shoemaker Abdallah and the nimble Irma from Basra is a charming and magical tale about the invincible power of love. When presented with a magical five-branched candelabrum, which can make wishes come true, Abdallah is tempted by dreams of beautiful harem girls and ostentatious riches. But when Abdallah falls from the pinnacle of fortune, his beloved Irma forgives him for his sins nonetheless.
Jens-Jakob Worsaae’s golden oriental design is a delight to behold. Bournonvilles ballet from 1855 was revived by Bruce Marks, Toni Lander Marks and Flemming Ryberg after more than 100 years absence from the stage. The ballet was met with enthusiasm from both audience and press at the revival in Copenhagen in 1986.
Choreographer: August Bournonville
Composer: H.S. Paulli
Set designer: Jens-Jacob Worsaae
Staging: Sorella Englund, Flemming Ryberg and Bruce Marks
Posted 15 May 2004 - 06:19 AM
I've got to go again to figure this one out. An interesting time to be doing this ballet, given the world events.
Posted 15 May 2004 - 07:00 AM
He had just returned to the office to write his review of a revival of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, when a city desk news-type inquired what he was doing. When Barnes told him, he asked, "Isn't that a little dated?"
Barnes replied, "Dated, yes. Like Mozart."
Posted 15 May 2004 - 08:50 AM
I have to say, even by current standards, I am absolutely stunned by the casting. Irma is a demicaractere role (and Gudrun Bojesen is the least demicaractere young dancer in the company) and Palmyra is the classical role (Mette-Ida Kirk, Silja Schandorff).
Aspirant, re world events, I spoke with Flemming Ryberg about this ballet once in the early '90s and he said the company often invited Turkish school children (there's a large Turkish emigre population in Copenhagen) "so that they would see they have a place in our society too," or words to that effect. A very different attitude towards the American one, which would find the ballet not PC and probably try to keep Turkish children from seeing it, so as not to insult them. (I actually like the Danish attitude...)
Posted 15 May 2004 - 03:30 PM
Posted 19 May 2004 - 04:32 AM
Re. the type of the part. Irma is not a Demicaractere dancer. The first Danish Irma was Juliette Price, the creator of Eleonora and Hilda, so Bojesen is probably better casted than demicaracter-dancers like Heidi Ryom and Henriette Muus. What Irma needs and Bojesen delivers is the lightness and beautifull high jumbs. She is really a national treasure and the main reason to see Abdallah.
Abdallah is well designed, carefully reconstructed by people who really knows their Bournonville. Yet it is a bit boring, as the dancing and the drama never really comes together. But we must greatfull for what we get, including Kenneth Greve in a non-dancing role
Posted 19 May 2004 - 07:46 AM
On the employ question, my comment was based on discussions I've had with Bournonville stagers and older dancers that Irma is a comic role; by that, and by the class of the character, it's demicaractere (as is Eleanora). It's demi-classique, not coarse and not character, but demi. (That's by Hans Brenaa's way of casting, which I'll take over that of the current direction. But there are several viewpoints of employ and proper casting even among the Bournonville specialists.) I was told that the only truly "classique" ballerina roles (of ballets still in repertory) were the Sylph and Hilda (others had been Astrid in "Valdemar" and the ballerina roles in the mythological and historical ballets). But my main point was that I think the ballet needs a contrast between the two ballerinas, and if you're going to put Bojesen in as Irma, then you need someone other than Gitte Lindstrom as Palmyra. But I would be curious to see Irma well danced by a jumper
There are a lot of good mime roles in that ballet, and I've wondered how it would look without Tommy Frishoi and Niels Kehlet. Kehlet's part was tiny, but he made so much of it.
Edited by Alexandra, 19 May 2004 - 09:42 PM.
Posted 19 May 2004 - 10:10 AM
Abdallah wasn't part of the 1992 Bournonville Festival. The reason, if I remember correctly, was that it was so much a reconstruction that it couldn't really be said to be a Bournonville ballet, at least when put side by side with, say, A Folk Tale and Far From Denmark.
I haven't seen "Abdallah" in a long time, though, and I will say that even by the 1992 Festival, the dancers were beginning to add character to it
Posted 19 May 2004 - 10:31 AM
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