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Mathieu Ganio's debut in Don Q


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#1 Naoko S

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 12:37 PM

Just back from Paris - yes, I saw Mathieu's debut performance on Friday. My verdict was; he passed the test successfully, but by a narrow margin. Much praise should go to his approach to the role; he was absolutely charming and irresistible lover (he was a born-actor I thought). What also caught my eyes was his exquisite line - very elegant and princely. But I was a bit dissappointed that an explosion of youthful energy and passion, which I expected most in a young dancer like Ganio, was sadly absent. It was particularly apparent in the solo variation of gpdd in Act 3, which was done rather in a solemn mood – Ganio looked pale and rather lost confidence, as if Opera’s glorious traditions descended upon him to merely give an enormous pressure; he seemed to miss the chance to enjoy every minute of it and to show off what he possessed to full. He also seemed to struggle a bit with the devilishly demanding choreography, although surviving this without apparent mistakes in a debut performance should be worth a praise. (Well, for his honour - who doesn't look struggling or making efforts with the choreography, after having seen Legris' more-than-perfect performance which was immortarised in the DVD - he looks utterly effortless, and any dancer dancing the role cannot escape a comparison.....)

The combination with Agnes Letestu wasn't particularly convincing; the partnership required much work to do, it seemed. Letestu as Kitri - I had a slight shock by her approach to the role; to me she was way too street-wise, intimidating and lacked charms and (certain) innocence desired for the role. Technically she was as formidable as steel - very strong, and she never let us get away unaware of it. As much I adored her spirit (a magnitude of the tensions she brought to the stage was really something!), personally it was far from the Kitri I dream of.... On the other hand, Aurore Cordellier, a young Corps dancer, presented a magnificent examplar of classical beauty as Queen of Dryads. A classically-correct dancer, her movements are precise yet subtle, never over-exaggerated - and above all she brought a warmth and grace to the stage. She has a wonderful prospect before her - I only wish she could grow into a great ballerina without needing to change her style.

That said, I already yearn for another chance to see Mathieu in lead roles - he has this tremendous magnetism or a star quality any young dancer would die for. I wish Opera's directions will cast him in lead roles as many as possible - for a talented and gifted dancer like Ganio, a longer apprenticeship as a Corps dancer will do no good, I think.

I bet all our Parisian friends were there on Friday - what did you think? Also please do let us know how things pick up in upcoming performances. (I'm pretty sure second or third time round he will have gained confidence and shine like the most brilliant diamond!)

#2 Juliette

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 12:19 AM

Unfortunately I couldn't see Mathieu last Friday, but will see him tonight. All the people I spoke to told me he was wonderful.
And, Naoko, Mathieu will dance another lead part next July; he will dance James.

#3 Françoise

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 01:48 AM

Naoko, for Parisian and usual French ballet lovers, Mathieu Ganio made beautiful debuts in this part. He is a future etoile :) .

It's sure that he made some mistakes in variations, and Agnes is a few tall for him. But he has something I don't see since long time, and it's the great and pure Style asked by this ballet and Nureyev he has also this youth, this magnetism on the audience :thumbsup: .
He works with Laurent Hilaire and we saw all the details. It's sure that variation of third act lacks of something but his manege of Coupés jetés was one of the most wonderful I never saw in Paris. For me Mathieu Ganio is the same kind of dancer than Manuel Legris at the same age :wub: :thumbsup: .

Mathieu will dance two times again this evening and next thursday instead of Eleonora Abbagnato and Karl Paquette (they must dance 22 and 29 in matiny and the 26 instead of injuried Delphine Moussin) :rolleyes:. I think all these little mistakes were not important because he must not dance this part at the beginning, learnt it very quickly and was wonderful despite some little faults not important ! And very strangely, the pdd with Agnès Letestu at second act and the adagio of Grand Pas de deux were models of handsome and style :P .

Mathieu will dance James in La Sylphide, in next june-july serial with Isabelle Ciaravola :lol: .

#4 Naoko S

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 11:28 AM

Juliette, I thought you were also there that night - please do post a report on tonight's performance!

Françoise, thanks for the feedback. One thing I'd like to stress is that it was not a (possible) few minor mistakes by Mathieu which was rather dissapointing; it was actually a lack of little bit of boldness only young dancers could dare...... as a matter of fact I wouldn't have cared even if he had made a fatal mistake as a consequence of such bold attempts. But I'm sure it's only a matter of time - as I write, he may get better & better and be more at ease on the stage tonight......

>>He works with Laurent Hilaire

Wow! How fortunate he is to have such a *super* dancer as a teacher!

It's my bad luck that his next appearance will fall on Thursday. If it were weekend I'd be able to return to Paris......

>>Mathieu will dance James in La Sylphide, in next june-july serial with Isabelle Ciaravola

Is it definite?? No official info. is available yet on Opera's website. If it's true I'd surely come - I can't afford to miss the chance!

#5 Françoise

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 03:31 PM

Mathieu Ganio was absolutely wonderful tonight, :wink: he didn't make the little faults he made friday night. All the reception were Ok and he tried to make the portés with one hand at the end of the first act, the second is missing, but the first was short but it passed. It's really a future etoile that we see grow under our eyes.

Mathieu is able to correct his fauts without make other fault. His acting is always interesting and Agnes seems to be happy to dance with him and change her play :P

#6 Naoko S

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 03:36 AM

Françoise, thanks for your follow-up report. I'm so glad to hear that Mathieu has impressed you even more last night - one more go scheduled for Thursday should get even better!

Also I'm interested to hear more about Agnes - how did she changed her acting?

#7 Juliette

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 12:52 PM

I saw Mathieu in Basilio yesterday and he was really great! I expected him to be very good, but his Basilio was just wonderful. Of course, not everything was perfect (especially the portés), but his acting really impressed me and all his variations were good (I particularly liked his entrance). He has the perfect style, a lot of humour and is very charismatic. As everybody says, a future Etoile is born!
Like Naoko, I didn't find the couple was working, except in the mill pdd. Although Agnès Letestu was very good in Kitri, with great acting (she was really funny, whereas she wasn't two years ago) and beautiful technique, she is not the Kitri I dream of (despite her efforts, she remains too "royal" for me) and she was, as it was said before, too tall for him. I would have liked to see Mathieu with somebody else (and especially with Dorothée Gilbert); I'm sure it would have been better.
But it was a great night and I was very happy to see a young dancer making his debuts in such a role and with such brio!

#8 Naoko S

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 04:29 PM

Juliette, thanks for the thoughts.

>>I would have liked to see Mathieu with somebody else (and especially with Dorothée Gilbert); I'm sure it would have been better.

That's exactly what I had thought! Well let's hope the dream-cast will soon be a reality.

I bet you have seen other casts as well - please continue to post your impressions/thoughts when you feel like it.....


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