Life Guards at amager/Etudes
Posted 27 September 2004 - 06:25 AM
Posted 03 October 2004 - 11:48 AM
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.
Posted 04 October 2004 - 05:50 AM
Posted 08 October 2004 - 06:01 AM
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.
Posted 08 October 2004 - 11:47 AM
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.)
Posted 09 October 2004 - 07:08 AM
Posted 10 October 2004 - 02:25 AM
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?
Posted 18 October 2004 - 09:17 AM
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