Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Alexandra

Dupont and Legris in "Sonatine"

7 posts in this topic

For those who don't check our Links forum:

Review of NYCB's opening night by Mary Cargill is up on DanceView Times. Photos of Kyra Nichols in "Walpurgisnacht," and Dupont and Legris in "Sonatine."

Étoiles, imported and homegrown

French night opened the New York City Ballet’s Spring Season, with French music, French guests, a welcoming speech by the French cultural attaché, and Balanchine choreography. There was a gala air for the whole evening, with warm and welcoming applause for all the dancers.

The guest stars, Aurélie Dupont and Manuel Legris from the Paris Opera Ballet, danced Balanchine’s 1975 piano ballet Sonatine, to Ravel. The piece (made for Violette Verdy and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux) is all perfume—a couple stands listening to the music and then begin to dance, seemingly improvising, stopping and starting, playing with various movements, repeating them, leaving the stage, returning, and then finally just spinning off. In lesser hands it could look under-choreographed, and, with its occasional mazurka outbursts, it did look a bit like pieces left over from Dances at a Gathering, but the dancers made it a private, spontaneous reverie, with random thoughts and feelings the audience was privileged to share.

Share this post


Link to post

Dupont and Legris were indeed extraordinary. Her proportions are those of a type we do not often see here, the waist dividing the body almost exactly in half, the center of gravity residing in the body proper. Her speed, or rather instantaneously quick response, was amazing, as is the radical turn out and line she presents. In a series of quick jetees/developpees to the front, I do not remember ever seeing a danceuse present a more gorgeously rotated out to the point of perfection line of the inner thigh, calf and foot, with the foot pointed yet relaxed and as it were presented ... the entire step accomplished in a flick of an eye, effortlessly. Just an example and hard to explain. Another apercu, showing the different center of gravity involved in the training, was the beautiful arched camber in her back in a series of turns in attitude rear. Now attitude can be thought of as leg and knee and arm on the opposite side -- but it is the cambered back which brings this together and I do not ever remember being shown this before quite to that degree by a ballerina. Dupont and Legris were not something I can see here every day and I do not think anyone in NYC could have given the performance of Sonnatine we saw. Brilliant programming with this cast. And, as Mary said, the best Robbins ballet Balanchine ever choreographed.

Share this post


Link to post

I agree with Michael totally. The opening night performance of Sonatine by Legris and Dupont was outstanding. Although I can't begin to have any of the technical knowledge and understanding of the performance that Michael exhibits, I know that I LOVED what I saw. It was such clean and lovely dancing. And it was the best piece of the evening.

Share this post


Link to post

All those reviews made me wish the POB would bring back "Sonatine" soon- unfortunately, it hasn't been danced since, I think,1995, and next season there won't be any Balanchine :D I only saw it once, in 1995, with Legris and Platel, and it was quite lovely.

Share this post


Link to post

I think Estelle that we should see this cast on the next season Premiere where Sonatine must be danced.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh yes, thanks Françoise, I had forgotten there would be a special program for the first performance of the season. But it' s a pity that it will be performed only once...

Share this post


Link to post
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0