Jan. 14th: Cinderella with Bussell and Cope. For some reason I thought I was seeing Cojocaru and Kobborg and was surprised to find Bussell and Cope. I was not too happy, but was I ever wrong; it was one of those evenings of ballet when you sail out of the theater in a blissful reverie. Bussell immediately showed that she’s in superb shape. Her balances were especially strong; her arabesques perfectly sustained, her pirouettes centered and smooth as silk. I’ve never seen her dance better. The step-sisters were most enjoyable. Philip Mosley did a good job of being Ashton-esque. No one matches Helpmann’s interpretation and Alastair Marriott was no exception; he was OK, and less broad than others I’ve seen (no pun intended). Vanessa Palmer was the Fairy Godmother; except for a strange working leg in her arabesques she was lovely in Ashton’s gorgeous choreography and Prokofiev’s sublime music for her. Winter stood out; again great choreography, and maybe that helps make all the Winters look good. The "gallumping" step-sisters interlude and exit was terrific; that bit is so funny and it actually brings a tear to my eye as I thoroughly enjoy their silliness. The 2nd Act pdd was simply sublime. The supported pirouettes were perfect (except for one); Cope is such a good partner. There was the dreaded piece of debris on stage; so distracting, especially during the pdd. The switching-personality scene at midnight is a PUZZLE; how did they do that? One moment you see the princess; the next moment the servant appears from nowhere and the princess is gone! Wonderful sets and a wonderful night.
Jan. 21: La Fille Mal Gardee. I going to hide behind the doting mothers amendment. Still enjoyable: after all it was Ashton!
Jan. 25: Yanowsky and Bolle in Swan lake. Great sets for Act I and II. Martin Harvey danced the pas de trois and looked like a doofus in that beret. Gillian Revie was excellent in pas de trois; her pirouettes were wonderful. There are baby swans!: students dressed like the older dancers. They looked just like them except smaller and not on pointe. I loved them, and what a wonderful opportunity for them. They were very good, as were the 2 girls/students who danced with drunken tutor in Act I. Yanowsky makes a great Act II entrance with a grand jete that lasts forever. She’s a wonderful technician and a beautiful woman, but she’s a bit steely, almost a Myrtha with feathers. Not much of a sign of surrender to Sigfried. Being so tall she makes a strong statement. The Act III castle set looks like it would belong to Rothbart rather than Sigfried: eerie. There's a distracting mirror that reflects the dancers, and there are changing colors in the background as dictated by mood and costumes. The 6 Princess’s aren’t on pointe and have boring dresses; I wouldn't marry them either. Rothbart and Odile arrive with 2 dwarves who are dressed in frilly black costumes and masked as skeletons. Little boys! They are absolute darlings and steal every scene. Yanowsky was shaky as Odile. Wobbly on an unsupported arabesque pose, and seemingly dizzy after her circular pirouettes around stage (she stumbled to one side at her final pose). I therefore feared for her fouettes and had my hand over my mouth because I tend to gasp loudly at errors. She made it. Odile’s reliance on Rothbart for advice during the pdd made her less a siren and more a puppet. I didn’t pay too much attention to the ethnic dances because I was watching Rothbart and the Munchkins! The black swans’ costumes in Act IV muddied up the waters; again, no pun intended. It was one of the better Act IV’s I’ve seen. Palmer’s arabesques were much better than in Cinderella. A beautiful boat at the end as Odette and Sigfried sail off in heavenly peace. 3 hours long; my husband was actually getting worried about me.
Well behaved audiences at all the ballets: they applauded only at the appropriate times, tho they did cave during the fouettes and started applauding at around #27. I'm so used to the constant clamor that it almost seemed rudely silent.
An American in London
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