Jump to content


Life Guards at amager/Etudes


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Effy

Effy

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 171 posts

Posted 27 September 2004 - 06:25 AM

At Yesterdays intro-matine we got a lot of talk and very little dancing. As Anne Marie Vesel think the ballet needs spiking she had done one (or several) insert one focusing on the Don Juan caracter of Eduard du Puy and choreographed a dream scenario of him and four ladies in pink. Is that what we expects of a revival of the Life Guards? I would rather see the ballet produced by someone who has confidence in the material rather than someone who is working out from a theory that the ballet needs to be saved.

#2 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,246 posts

Posted 27 September 2004 - 06:26 AM

Ouch! Lifeguards was once a perfect ballet.

#3 Mary J

Mary J

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 139 posts

Posted 28 September 2004 - 11:12 AM

Well, so much for Life Guards subtle charm!

#4 Effy

Effy

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 171 posts

Posted 03 October 2004 - 11:48 AM

An odd choice.

If I should sum up the new production of Lifeguards.. it would call it an odd choice. Odd choice of director, designer, musical director, interpolations and ballerina.

Firstly Wessel is as mentieoned before not enchanted by the ballet. She considers it dull and in need of a lift up. This she tries to achiwe by giving it the usual Wessel treatment Waving and chldren cinstantly imitating the grown ups. unlike Brenaa she cannot time the actions and maximize effect. Brenaa did ofter cast and direct the twosets of city girls, farmer girls and farmer boys as opposites. One girl would be forceful - the other timid. creating a dynamic in the pair. Wessels lacks the flair and it look like the city girls and farmerer girls could easily change parts. In order to jazz up the performance she had made some new dances including a long dreamy sequence for Eduard with four girls. What is the point of showing that Eduard is a Don Juan, just before a scene showing him as a Don Juan (actually nothing in the ballet presents him as anything other than a Don Juan) . The interpolation is therefore totally uncalled for. Lifeguard is a charming pastice with an interessting mature first couple (the plot is almost the same as the Fledermaus, but a few years earlier). It is a true gem, with a lovely pas de trois and great folk dances. I love the Tøndebåndsdance (three generations dance).

Because it is a pastice it is necessary that the decor and costumes set the tone, and karin Betz a fine designer with a long track record in drama is not the right choice. The audience had grown tired of the old Winnblad decor, but it did pocess some qoualities in mixing the indoor and outdoor very well and some awfull costumes. But Betz goes oversize and grotesque which almost killed the ballet.

Finally casting Caroline Cavallo in a part with little dancing and where much of the acting is done behind a mask is not using her strenghs well. THe trio in suprisingly spanish costumes was led by a hardworking Thomas Lund. Much of the solo depends on pirouettes, which is not his strongest fat and Amy Watson and Susanne Grinder, The latter more elegant and controlled than the first.

Lifeguards was followed by Etudes, finally presenting Gitte Lindstrøm as the ballerina (fine except a major fall out in the solo), Kenneth Greve (strong but a bit saggy in the landings), Massot (dull) and Blangstrup in the part that suits him best the cavalier. The corps was better thanoften (Greve and the six girls in perfect sync in the fouettes) and reserver a large applause. But the applause was driven by a group of darcers in the crowd who functions as a claque. I wish they would stop that practise. Bournonville hated it and so do I. They may follow the applause but they should not lead it.

#5 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,246 posts

Posted 04 October 2004 - 05:50 AM

Thanks for that, Effy. The '92 production did need some livening up, but not, IMO, by adding anything to it, but just by bringing out what was already there.

#6 jorgen

jorgen

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 149 posts

Posted 08 October 2004 - 06:01 AM

I don't like the set of Life Guards. I find it too simplified and oversized. So very far from the pictoresque decor I have seen in photos from 1903. I would have preferred something like that, but maybe it's me that's too romantic. I didn't see the premiere but the second performance on October 3rd. Silja Schandorff with her carriage and expressiveness was a fine Louise. Peter Bo Bendixen substituted a supposedly injured J-L Massot. The new scene inserted by Vessel was so accurately described by Erik Aschengreen in his review as freely borrowed from the dream scene in Cranko's Onegin. Only this time we see four Tatianas, I would add! Cecilie Lassen and Christina L. Olsen was good, especially the mime, as Sophie and Andrea. Thomas Lund a sparkling Otto.

Etudes looked very good all the way. Caroline Cavallo is well suited for role of the ballerina where she can show her fine technique. Mads Blangstrup, Kenneth Greve and Kristoffer Sakuari danced the solo men.

#7 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,246 posts

Posted 08 October 2004 - 11:47 AM

Thank you for that, Jorgen. Please calm my pounding heart -- when you say it's like the dream scene from "Onegin," do you mean that they have Edouard running around throwing the Pink Dream Girls into the air?

Thanks, too, for mentioning Aschengreen's review. If you have the time, could you give us a brief summary of what the Danish critics wrote of this one? (Or Effy, or anyone.)

#8 jorgen

jorgen

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 149 posts

Posted 09 October 2004 - 07:08 AM

No throwing around but in Cranko erotic style I think. The reviews in short: Aschengreen was overall enthusiastic. Praise for dancing, dancers, sets, costumes. In no other place in the ballet world you can see such joy and happiness coming from the stage, he says. Henrik Lyding (Jyllands-Posten) is also positive. Says the main characters are solid but he lacks expressiveness and detail in the small sidestories. Lyding thinks the new dream scene adds nothing and seems superfluous.

#9 Effy

Effy

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 171 posts

Posted 10 October 2004 - 02:25 AM

Monna Dittmer and Majbrit Hjelmsbo was less than entuiastic about the performance. They note the fine dancing in Etudes and ask for more work on the miming section. They praised individual dancers. I must say that by second viewing much more was in place in Lifeguards. The young dancers are growing into their roles and started performing. Dramatically Gitte Lindstrøm (I have not seen Silja yet save a few bits on the intro matinee) was a great bonus for the performance, Dancing and acting likewise. When she makes the entrance with the two friends she stays the focal point and the difference between the young married woman and the two unmarried is clear, Wheresas Cavallo did not command the stage, nor is visible when dancing with thee other girls, all wearing same costumes and masks.

In Etudes I saw Sakurai dancing not one of the male soloist but part of the soloist role (Mads Blangstrup filled out the remaining entrees as well as being the prince in the Sylph interlude). I have seen Etudes done in various different combinations, sometimes with a prince, sometimes with one of the soloists doing the Sylph pas de deux. I have seen the solos shared in different combinations. I have even seen the ballerina do the fouttes section (Mette Hønningen) I have seen several lopsided performances. When Arne Villumsen danced the mazurka, the Sylph pas de deux and most of the difficult pieces, little was left to the other soloist, but I have never seen a solost doing as little as Sakurai. I do not know whether that was also the case in his first performance.

And a personal note. I think Etudes look bests if the two soloist is comparatively the same size. Sakurai is not on the same scale as Kenneth Greve (few are). I remember once the trio was, Greve, Schandorff and Kobborg and it looked so odd that my sister asked: Why did not kiss the other frog as well?

#10 Effy

Effy

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 171 posts

Posted 18 October 2004 - 09:17 AM

Matthiau Ganio of the Paris Opera Ballet was guest star in Etudes for two performances, filling out for Sakurai (but doing the whole solo (as Sakurai also did on his first appeance (I have been told)). He is a light and pleasing dancer but he finest contribution was really to get Kenneth Greve up to the mark and show how well he can dance when motivated.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):