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Grade the Bour'ville Ballets ('prep' for festival)


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#1 Natalia

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 09:22 AM

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest quality (best), how would you seasoned Royal Danish Ballet watchers grade the current productions of the following ballets? If you wish to take the time to explain 'why'...then all the better! I'm beginning my 'preparations' for attending the 2005 Bournonville Festimval and would appreciate a 'primer' beyond the wonderful detail that I've already gleaned from postings by Alexandra & others.

The List (grade on scale of 1 to 5):

La Sylphide

Napoli

A Folk Tale

Kermese in Bruges

Far From Denmark

Lifeguards on Amager

Konservatoriet (I'm assuming only the 1-act version is danced nowadays, right?)

***

A couple of qq's:

Abdallah is a relatively modern setting, right? Was it performed with any regularity before the Toni Lander staging for Ballet West, in the early 1980s (which was later transferred to RDB)?

Has the 'La Ventana' revival occurred yet...or will this be in the coming months?

Thanks, in advance!

- Natalia Nabatova
Washington, DC

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 09:56 AM

A couple of qq's:

Abdallah is a relatively modern setting, right? Was it performed with any regularity before the Toni Lander staging for Ballet West, in the early 1980s (which was later transferred to RDB)?

Has the 'La Ventana' revival occurred yet...or will this be in the coming months?


"Abdallah" is a modern staging. It was first done for Vienna and never danced in Copenhagen until the Toni Lander-Bruce Marks (with Sorella Englund and Flemming Ryberg) production. It's really a reconstruction, not a revival.

According to the RDB website, "La Ventana" will be back in repertory May 21. This ballet hasn't been danced since the 1980s.

I've opined about the RDB's productions enough, I think :) It's someone else's turn. I will say I admire, with one reservation (a small change in Gurn's mime in Act I), Nikolaj Hubbe's 2002 staging of "La Sylphide" immensely. The current productions of "Napoli" and "A Folk Tale" were danced at the 2000 "Bournonville Week", along with a disastrous new production of "Kermesse en Bruges." That latter will have a new staging this time, by Lloyd Riggins, and I await it with interest. My review of the Bournonville Week for Dance Magazine is here and Mary Cargill's, for DanceView, is here for those who might be curious.

#3 jorgen

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 10:22 AM

Natalia, a quick reply:

5 La Sylphide (simply the best)
5 Napoli (a must see)
4 Far From Denmark (beautiful)
4 Abdallah (lots of dancing)
3 Lifeguards on Amager (charming but new sets not to my liking)
2 A Folk Tale (hopeless production)

The others have not been up yet.

#4 Natalia

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 11:33 AM

Thanks for the 'grades' Jorgen! Effie? Others?

Alexandra - Thanks for posting the links. I wasn't expecting you to 'grade' because you've already done so in such in-depth fashion!!!! [I wasn't expecting your 'straight 5's' across the board....]

#5 Effy

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 02:25 AM

Sorry for a late entry. I have been abroad. My recommandations are:

5 La Sylphide In my view Schandorff and Blangstrup is the cast to go for. A true gem. Bojesen/Lund highly watchable also.

4 Napoli


4 Far from Denmark A charming production of one of Bournonvilles lesser work with strong dance acting from Blangstrup and Marie Pierre Greve and Gitte LindstrÝm in the second cast


4 Abdallah, beautifull scenery and a wonderful Irma in Gudrun Bojesen

3 Lifeguards of Amager improved with more performances. Go for Schandorff or LindstrÝm


1 A Folk Tales, Bournonvilles masterpece killed by a Royal and a Royal ballet master. Even thought it is cast with great dancers the ballet is killed by bad direction and scenery





I will grade the rest of the productions when they are in repetoire

#6 jorgen

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 03:32 PM

I agree totally with Effy on the casts. Those are the ones that must be chosen for the festival.

#7 fan

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Posted 25 December 2004 - 07:56 AM

Hello

I must agree with the the Sylphide castig of Schandorff and Blangstrup, they both have an artistic quality taht is rare within RDB these days, but on the otherhand not on Bojesen and Lund they simply do not in my opinion posses the dramatic flare and artistry to do these roles.

Abdallah: the cast of Sokolowska and Sakurai in the beginning of the season was very interesting to me ,she especially has whwt it takes do that role ,i dont know if anyone saw it but i must say that they both showed that mr Andersen has a good feeling of using new and younger dancers for leading parts .

I have been going to see the RDB for some time now and my opinion is that the company has a roster of very good principal dancers ,but also an amount of extremely talented young soloist and corps, sometime i feel taht people forget that there has been a lot of debuts since mr Andersen came back and that these debuts often are rightlly chosen and that they are worth to see.

We all have our favourites , so when i want to see Sylphide i go to see Schandorff and Blangstrup and so on , but i also try to see whomever new is on the parts and that is something that i can highly recommend to others ,among names there are : Wei, Sokolowska,Lassen,Olsen,,Sakurai and others.

#8 Natalia

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 07:26 AM

Thank you for the feedback..and do continue. Even though it's not for another five months, I'm looking forward to this festival.

#9 Effy

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 10:59 AM

Hello

I must agree with the the Sylphide castig of Schandorff and Blangstrup, they both have an artistic quality taht is rare within RDB these days, but on the otherhand not on Bojesen and Lund they simply do not in my opinion posses the dramatic flare and artistry to do these roles.

Abdallah: the cast of Sokolowska and Sakurai in the beginning of the season was very interesting to me ,she especially has whwt it takes do that role ,i dont know if anyone saw it but i must say that they both showed that mr Andersen has a good feeling of using new and younger dancers for leading parts .

I have been going to see the RDB for some time now and my opinion is that the company has a roster of very good principal dancers ,but also an amount of extremely talented young soloist and corps, sometime i feel taht people forget that there has been a lot of debuts since mr Andersen came back and that these debuts often are rightlly chosen and that they are worth to† see.

We all have our favourites , so when i want to see Sylphide i go to see Schandorff and Blangstrup and so on , but i also try to see whomever new is on the parts and that is something that i can highly recommend to others ,among names there are : Wei, Sokolowska,Lassen,Olsen,,Sakurai and others.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I will agree with Fan, that it is important to see new casts, and I do. But it is often quite difficult to catch new casts as cast list are not changed when an injury or other matter make a change necessary. I have tried three times to catch the second cast in Fancy Free, but each time, even though I bought ticket on the day of the performance still got first cast.


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