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Françoise

POB's DON QUIXOTE

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Some information are known for the cast of Don Quixote, two great hope of POB, Dorothée Gilbert and Mathieu Ganio will dance the parts of Kitri and Basilio, unfortunately, not together. Dorothée will be dancing with Emmanuel Thibault whose it will be the first great part at 30 years, andMathieu will replace injuried Jean-Guillaume Bart with Agnès Letestu.

Too many young dancers will be dancing other parts as Sabrina Mallem and Eve Grinsztajn who will dance Street Dancer, Mathilde Froustey will dance Cupid as well as Juliane Mathis, Julie Martel will dance Bride maids. Aurore Cordellier will dance Queen of Dryad as well as Laurence Laffon.

Acosta and Bolle are guest for five performance. Carlos Acosta will dance with Aurélie Dupont 29 may, 1st and 3 of june and Roberto Bolle will dance with Agnès Letestu 28 and 31 may.

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That makes quite a lot of roles for young dancers of the corps de ballet (more than in previous seasons). It's a pity Jean-Guillaume Bart is injured, but that will be a great day for Mathieu Ganio (and for Dorothée Gilbert and Emmanuel Thibault in the other cast).

But it's a bit worrying that there are so few POB principals able to perform such roles now: as far as I know, no male principal will dance (only premiers danseurs Pech and Paquette and sujets Thibault and Ganio), the male principals are either a bit too old for the role and don't dance it any longer (Belarbi, Hilaire, probably Legris) or prefer to be cast in Mats Ek's "Giselle" which will be performed in the same period (Le Riche, Martinez). While it can be interesting for the audience to see some guest dancers, I think that it's not really normal that a company as large as the POB doesn't have any available male principal to perform a classical role as Basilio :wink: That could be a great opportunity to promote Benjamin Pech, a very talented dancer who has already performed most classical roles of the repertory, but either the direction doesn't want to promote him, or they just stick to some figures (not wanting to have more than 6 male principals), which I would find a bit silly as some of the present principals are over 40 ans perform fewer and fewer classical roles (and fortunately Nureyev hadn't waited until the late 1980s to promote a younger generation of dancers...)

And even for Kitri, only three female principals are announced (Letestu, Dupont and Pujol), along with two premieres danseuses (Abbagnato, Moussin) and one sujet (Gilbert).

Among the other non-principal dancers, it would have been interesting to see some dancers like Alessio Carbone, Hervé Courtain or Christophe Duquenne.

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Thanks Françoise for the exciting news!

If only POB revealed more precise distribution on their website..... I may have to change the travel arrangement already made as I cannot miss the chance to see Mathieu's debut in the role!

Please keep us informed of the latest info. - thank you!

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Naoko, there appears to be detailed casting along with the dates on the French language forum Dansomanie.

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Theorically Mathieu Ganio must dance with Agnès Letestu 14 and 17 may, Dorothée Gilbert and Emmanuel Thibault 23.

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Mashinka & Françoise,

Many thanks for info. - I just spotted the official casting info. on POB's site (finally!) and have been thinking very *hard- if it's worthwhile to change the travel plan...... :wink:

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I travel to Paris sometimes to see ballets there but unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to see Thibault in leading roles. As a soloist he is amazing, just perfect. After I saw him dance I tried to know more about his repertoire but apparently he dances leading roles on very rare occasions.

A friend translated for me from French a recent article about him. Here are some extracts:

(Article in Danse Light, May 2004

by Bérengère Alfort)

EMMANUEL THIBAULT

“That rare pearl of art”

“… Why restate a manifest truth, one all balletomanes are aware of: whether it be technique, jump, petite batterie, ballon, impeccable cleanly finish – all that, and more, is Emmanuel Thibault. Above all, a potent and complex presence, that recalls what was said of Nureyev – neither man, nor woman, nor yet a divinity – although a divinity, perhaps. Emmanuel Thibault need only go down onto the stage, and it is transfigured. The painted backdrop becomes a fair landscape, the ladies walk on air, and music becomes unthinkable without the dance…”

“…His excellence is unanimously acknowledged…”

“ …And so, one gathers that Emmanuel Thibault is that rare pearl of art, on account of the intelligence of the considerations he devotes to the dance. Although he was given the role of Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the year 2001, or the apparition in the “Spectre de la Rose” in 1997, he is bent on serving every role with all his might…”

Dear Francoise, why do you think he is still ranked as a “sujet” since 1992?

I am so disappointed that I can not travel to see him on the 23rd of May. Will somebody be kind enough to write here about that performance? Please.

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We've had this discussion before and it led to blows -- I don't think it will help to bring it up again. Anyone is interested can search through the past threads and find those discussions.

We can't know the reasons for POB's decision. There are some dancers who, through no fault of their own, are "out of time." They have the wrong body, the wrong employ, for the time in which they're dancing. Some dancers can't partner. Some aren't suited to the repertory the company wants to do. Some can't act. Some can act, but don't have a solid technique. Also every company -- especially a great company -- has a standard that people have to meet that make sense to them.

I don't mean to defend or oppose the POB's decision, but just a caution that whether we agree with it or not, they have their reasons, and we don't know what they are.

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I am sorry Alexandra; I haven't seen your post while I'm writing. I hope mine won't mind.

(According to me, and I know it will sound unbelievable for some people, Thibault is a good "sujet" but he is far from being a "premier danseur" (a "premier danseur" has to be able to dance anything). Of course he's good when he's dancing alone and in brilliant variations , but I don't find him a good partner and he is not a good actor too (do you really see him in dramatic parts?). I am not sure Basil is the perfect part for him, but well, let's see!

And, according to me, the two main events during these performances of Don Quixote will be Gilbert as Kitri and Ganio as Basil.)

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Thanks Juliette, but I don't mind at all. I didn't close the thread. I just didn't want to get into a fight about it again. This is a cause for some people, including someone who can no longer post here, and I didn't want us to get dragged into a fight at one remove, as it were. (sorry, this is old history and will make sense to those who were here at the time. For others, not to worry! Feel free to discuss, and if I sense that things are going badly, I'll jump in.)

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It was only quite recently that I discovered what a controversial figure Emmanuel Thibault is, so I won't enlarge too much on the subject except to say that for anyone seeing this dancer for the first time it is only natural to react with surprise that he doesn't appear to be as well regarded as his abilities deserve. Outside of France his reputation, certainly among dance professionals, is easily equal to that of the POB etoiles.

It's fair to say that something of an embarrassment of riches exists in Paris and there are a number of dancers in the POB that in other companies would have risen to more prominent positions, though apart from Thibault, this exceptional talent is more noticeable on the female side.

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I think that the rules to be a premier danseur in POB changed since some years. Before we had premier danseur who wasn't partner and danced almost character parts !

Now the premier danseur dance as etoile (our etoiles get older and don't dance all the parts they dance before) and must be excellent partner, they dance all the great parts where partnership is very important. I think it's for this reason, that Emmanuel Thibault has never be promoted in superior level !

It's sure than when he dances romantic or academic solos, he is very good, against he is not good in modern dance, :shrug: and you must not ignore that POB repertory has too many contemporary works .

As Juliette said, Emmanuel is not an actor too, and I think he has not for POB direction a prince look, it's evident that for POB, look has a great importance :green: ! I think if POB direction wanted to rank him up, he will make :) . We must not forget that Emmanuel was sujet in 1992, after six years as School of Dance (one year by division) and three years in corps (one year by grade). It's 12 years he is sujet and all the different directions never promoted him :shrug: .

Only Yann Bridard and Jean-Guillaume Bart were in corps before his entry. All the new premier danseurs are all entered in the company after Thibault entry (Moreau, Carbone, Paquette, Pech). I think it exists also internal reason that we officially don't know :shhh: !

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Alexandra, I'm sure you don't want political speculation posted, but let's all simply agree that ballet like any other human activitiy is dependent on inter-personal relationships and factors having nothing to do with artistry, body type, technique that may influence a dancer's progress or lack thereof. That doesn't mean this is the case with Thibault per se, but I have seen at first hand dancers' careers stalled for supra-artistic reasons.

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Oh, absolutely. My comment above, Thalictum, was simply that this issue was raised by someone who was once kicked off the board - working through someone who posts here :lol: That's not something I want to encourage. Also, the discussion got quite nasty before and I didn't want to repeat it.

Re Thibault, though, the opinions written above are shared by many -- a pure stylist is not necessarily an etoile, or even a premier danseur.

The only politics we try to keep off the board are real politics, like someone's an idiot because he's voting for Kerry, or Artistic Director X is as dumb as Bush.

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Yesterday was the performance of Don Quixote everybody was expecting, since it was the debuts in the title roles of Dorothée Gilbert and Emmanuel Thibault.

First, congratulations to Dorothée Gilbert, who really led the performance! Her Kitri was amazing: great technique, great acting, nothing was missing. Since her entrance she is Kitri, with all the vivacity, piquancy, musical quality and humour required and she offered us great moments, such as her act I variation and above all her Dulcinée variation in act II, one of the most beautiful I've ever seen, with lyricism, poetry and something magic (and she made such beautiful balances!). Dorothée is for the moment the best Kitri I've seen this year and already an Etoile; I hope she will be promoted very soon.

I can't imagine what a great performance it would have been if she had had an other partner. Indeed and unfortunately, Emmanuel Thibault's Basilio was disappointing and not really interesting. Of course his technique was brilliant, but what a bad acting! He didn't care for her Kitri and there was no couple in act I, he was only dancing, that's all. The pdds, and especially the mill pdd and act III pdd, were really laborious and we have to congratulate Dorothée Gilbert to have do such a good job during them. Thibault is definitively a brilliant soloist and... a bad partner!

As Espada, Christophe Duquenne made a very good job (the best I've seen this year), in spite of some little mistakes. Eve Grinsztajn was a beautiful street dancer, although she lacked some vulgarity (Nathalie Riqué remains the best in this role this year). Juliane Mathis' Cupidon was really cute and Laurence Laffon's Queen of the Dryads was a little disappointing; her entrance was good, but she made mistakes in her variation.

Anyway, it was really an interesting performance and I hope Dorothée Gilbert will dance a lot of big roles very soon; she is really the most promising young ballerina of the POB at the moment! And a complete artist!

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Thanks Juliette for the thoughts. I'm so glad to hear Dorothée's debut in the role was such a huge success. It's not difficult to imagine how good she would have been as last week I saw her dancing the role of la premiere demoiselle d'honneur and was quite impressed with her charms; she was full of youthfulness and a sunny personality shone through from inside. Also technically she was very secure.

Someone said that Dorothée reminded her of Monique Loudières - have you seen resemblances between the two?

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Unfortunately I've only seen Monique Loudières once on stage (it was for the Nureyev gala and she made a big impression on me) and therefore I can't really compare.

It's true that Dorothée looks like Monique Loudières (she has the same physical features), but that's all I can say.

But all the people who have seen Monique Loudières are saying that Dorothée makes them think of her.

I think Françoise could tell you more about it.

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I've just returned from Paris this morning and was delighted to read Clement Crisp's review of the Sunday matinee of Don Q.

http://search.ft.com/search/article.html?i...arch&state=Form

This was a very special performance indeed, with the European ballet world converging on the Opera Bastille for one of the most eagerly awaited debuts in years: Emmanuel Thibault's long over due first performance in a leading role.

Quite simply, he was superb. Lets hope this performance indicates a change of heart in the POB management and that his career is set to belatedly Blossom. Other companies would have planned their entire repertoire around this astonishingly gifted dancer.

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At first, concerning the matinee, I agreed completely with Juliet.

I must say that the problem of Thibault is not really a problem of Dancer, but a problem of the kind of Dancer we must see at POB and Thibault is not of this kind, it's certainly for that he never has be promoted :shrug: ! He has not French and Nureyev style. It's really viewable when we saw in the same week the young Mathieu Ganio who has just 20 years but dance with all the French and Nureyev style (thanks M. Hilaire :wub: !) and Emmanuel Thibault.

Certainly he is a magnificent technician, and his variation are well danced, despite some faults. He is not an actor, and it has no alchimy between the two partners, especially in first ac.

Dorothée Gilbert is as said Clement Crisp a marvel, he compares him to the young Plissetskaia, waouh :D ! I didn't saw her young, but Dorothée should make a beautiful career as Maia. She is absolutely wonderful, she played, she is a technical dancer, but she is in the pure Nureyev style of this ballet. And what a vision scene, I never saw one of this kind since I go to POB, even Loudières was not so moving, so flying in the entry, it was magical :thumbsup: !

Concerning the comparison between Monique Loudières and Dorothée Gilbert, it's the same kind of dancer they have the same kind of look, they present some similar form of face :rolleyes:

http://www.imagidanse.com/graphismes/press...chaikovski2.jpg - Dorothée Gilbert

http://www.imagidanse.com/graphismes/artistes/loudieres.jpg - Monique Loudières

they present also some way to move which are the same, they don't make 6'o clock, they have the style of the ballets. It's very hard to explain in word, what is so viewable :rolleyes: !

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Allow me to shed a more balanced light on Thibault's performance and read Clement Crisps comments :

A marvel. No less so Emmanuel Thibault. Over the past eight years I have reported on his astonishing technical purity, his vividly communicative delight in what he does - the dance shining. And yet, for reasons inexplicable, he is not promoted (in this hierarchic troupe) beyond sujet, when everything he does speaks of his being a premier danseur.

...........

Thibault polishes every step, every phrase with what seems angelic ease, and an extra joy was to see fifth positions that are tight, clean, teacher's-pet-ish.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?p...p=1016625900929

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One can almost imagine that Françoise and Juliette attended a different performance from myself and Clement Crisp.

He is not an actor, and it has no alchimy between the two partners, especially in first act

I'm sorry but I really don't think this was the case at all. Thibault was to me very clearly an actor of the first rank and his interplay with Gilbert was highly amusing especially in the first act.

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I agree Mashinka. Unfortunately I couldn't attend the performance myself, but I heard enthusiastic reviews from friends who were there and don't have biased views on dancers.

Clement Crisp's article is only an aproval of what I've heard.

As for Mathieu Ganio and Dorothée Gilbert I prefer that one gave them the TIME to grow and become even more intriguing dancers...and by doing so maybe they can skip all the rubbish that's announced in next year's programme ! :blushing:

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I guess there are certain dancers about whom there will be no consensus, and alas, M. Thibault is obviously one of them. I haven't seen him for several years; when I did, I was impressed but thought he would have a limited repertory.

In any case, please keep arguing pro and con, but if we could avoid escalating to Thibault War II, it would be appreciated! :blushing:

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