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A new étoile for the POB (W. Romoli)


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29 replies to this topic

#16 Naoko S

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Posted 05 February 2005 - 04:57 PM

Cygneblanc,

>>Gerard Mortier went the POB ballet school to speaking to the pupils about the production and invited them to a performance. From what she told me and what I read in newspapers, it is looking rather "trash", they're giving condoms to the audience!

It seems to me the idea of taking ballet kids to Opera performances itself is great. A pity your goddaughter didn't enjoy the production very much - she's certainly not among those who returned their impressions to M. Mortier, currently viewable on-line on l'Opera's website (under "À LIRE AUJOURD'HUI")! But giving away condoms??? How bizarre - is it aimed at advocating some sort of educations/enlightenments? (e.g. anti-HIV campaign etc?)

And thank you for the English translations for Mme Lefèvre's comments. Very interesting, and it does make sense to me what she tried to imply with those words, and what she actually did. I think your interpretaions are pretty accurate ("... it looks like this promotion is a personal thank you from Mrs Lefèvre"), and in my fantasy world I'm tempted to go on reading the last sentence like this: "He has come with me during my journey to modernity, he's a leader in the compagny","....and so will he be, for many years to come, in enhancing the endeavours made in the last decade or so". Ah... just a thought, but seriously - isn't it an idea to split the company into two - one doing classics and the other modern/contemporary, I wonder.....

Estelle, no you're not a cynic - ballet world too cannot escape "injustice", but I personally rate it's committed far lesser in ballet world than other fields of human activities. (After all when it happens in ballet world it's hard to disguise the misjudgements - it's so cruelly painful to see.....)

You wrote: "There are 7 premiers danseurs, and I don't think that any of them has the "star quality" you described... " Well I don't know - although any of them may not be the next Manuel Legris (who's a one-in-a-million dancer), some of them seem to have great prospects - I think the standards are kept pretty high. And also possibilities are always there that some new talent storms the scene out of nowhere - like Mathieu (ah... to be precise his case may not be quite out of "nowhere", but...).

#17 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 05 February 2005 - 05:07 PM

I don't have much as much experience with the machinations of the Opera as some of you, but I'm hoping the promotion is more benign that that, and even helpful. It's healthy for an institution to reward faithfulness and loyalty. Romoli is a fine dancer, and he truly put in his time. NYCB promotes like that all the time; the dancers who aren't the top principals, but buttress the company all the same. It helps morale at all levels when done correctly. Of course Romoli isn't Legris, but who is? He's been excellent in everything I've seen him in so far; I don't think the promotion is of a patently underqualified dancer.

#18 cygneblanc

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Posted 05 February 2005 - 05:21 PM

Naoko, yes I agree with you about the idea of bringing the ballet kids to Opera performances is very good indeed but why that production of the Flute and not another production ?

My goddaughter is 15 and was disturbed by the whole thing but she enjoyed Dialogue de Carmelites very much and we will attend Boris Goudounov later in the year. It's a pity Mr Mortier won't give us free tickets for that productions :rolleyes: I can tell you we would appreciate them very much. And for the condoms things, I'll have to interview her she was really annoyed by that and I didn't understand very well why they are giving them away !


"He has come with me during my journey to modernity, he's a leader in the compagny","....and so will he be, for many years to come, in enhancing the endeavours made in the last decade or so"

Thanks for the good laugh :wink: but seriously I think you're just right when you're writing that.

But our director is also very odd as Estelle said so I don't know what we can expect now, the worse or the best (I hope for the best :( )


Actually, a long time ago, there was a split in the compagny. Only a small group was dancing some modern works. Estelle, do you remember if BL was a member of that group ?

#19 Estelle

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Posted 05 February 2005 - 05:40 PM

cygneblanc: do you mean the GRTOP, later GRCOP ? I don't think Lefèvre was involved in that group, as she had left the company earlier with Jacques Garnier to created her own company (Théâtre du Silence, in La Rochelle). If I remember correctely, the GRTOP was first directed by Carolyn Carlson, and then later by Jacques Garnier (I don't know if the Théâtre du Silence had ceased existing yet or if B. Lefèvre was its only director then). The GRCOP lasted until the late 1980s, I think (perhaps until Garnier's death, around 1989 ?)

So, unless I'm mistaken in the dates, B. Lefèvre was not involved as a dancer in such a group. But having been a close collaborator of Jacques Garnier, she probably was well informed about it.

I think the GRCOP did an interesting job back then... But the situation of French dance was very very different from the present one: the number of modern dance performances was much lower, and so the audience had fewer opportunities to see it (and also the POB itself very rarely performed modern dance works). There would be far less motivation to have such a group now, as there are hundreds of theaters showing modern dance (and fewer and fewer showing ballet..)

About the premier danseurs: well, doing any kind of prediction would be difficult to do, as there have been so many surprises in recent months... Among them, Benjamin Pech probably is the one who has danced most major roles, but I wonder if he'll ever get promoted. Hervé Moreau sometimes has been considered as a potential principal, but he's been absent lately because of an injury, let's hope he'll be back in good shape.

#20 cygneblanc

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Posted 05 February 2005 - 06:05 PM

Yes, Estelle thanks I mean the GRTOP. Yes, it was firstly directed by Carolyn Carlson, who was an "etoile-choregraphe", they etasblished that title just for her.

I can't tell like that until when the GRTOP lasted, but I'm almost sure it was around 1985. Someone knows ? I must have the infos somewhere but where, here's the question lol :D

#21 Estelle

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 04:15 AM

That website
http://www.noureev.o...graphes_inv.php
mentions some choreographers working with the GRCOP until the 1986-87 season.

But I also found a site mentioning a work by Stéphanie Aubin, "Passage de l'heure bleue", created for the GRCOP in 1989:

http://www.preljocaj...in/biokurod.htm

Garnier died in 1989, and I think his group was disbanded only after his death (but probably it was not very active in the last years- especially as, from what I've read, Nureyev never was really interested in its activities).

#22 Naoko S

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 11:20 AM

Leigh wrote:

>>NYCB promotes like that all the time; the dancers who aren't the top principals, but buttress the company all the same. It helps morale at all levels when done correctly.

Now this is a revelation to me.... but come to think of it, it doesn't sound too unreasonable, as different companies with different repertoire can have different policies for promotions. It's just that I myself cannot remember witnessing this type of promotions "to show a gratefulness from a company" at major ballet companies with classical repertoire at their core - e.g. POB or RB or Kirov - at least in the last decade or so, the idea looked too alien to me. It may not be a bad idea (it could benefit HR management to certain extent!), as long as it doesn't risk degrading standards of a company, at all levels.

>>I don't think the promotion is of a patently underqualified dancer.

I'm sure none of us thinks that way too and wish to think that this promotion was of a benign nature as you wrote. What drove me rather wild was not at the event itself, but at what this could possibly lead to......

Cygneblanc, perhaps the reasons M. Mortier chose Magic Flute particularly could have been an accessibility and the heavenly music of the opera, a combination not bad for kids to follow..... but then as you suspected there might have been the intentions to show them the ultra avant-garde production in order for them to get prepared for the future!

Estelle, thanks for the links. Re: Split of the company - if it happened in the past, it could happen again? Well we'll see.........

#23 Estelle

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Posted 09 February 2005 - 09:51 AM

A review by Gérard Mannoni:

http://www.altamusic...DossierRef=2099

#24 Daniil

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 02:19 AM

Maybe I missed something, but it seems somehow strange, that Romoli is not listed as an etoile on the website of POB. I'm not sure, but I can remember that almost immediatly after changes of the "roster" they appeared on the website.

Here is the site:
Dancers of the POB

#25 atm711

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 03:51 AM

After reading through all the comments, and given the dancer's age, I am left wondering if this 'promotion' has anything to do with retirement benefits......

#26 Ari

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 04:48 AM

I just watched the DVD "Dancer's Dream: Raymonda" (which was wonderful, btw), and Romoli was one of the three Abderamans. I thought he was the best -- he had a wonderfully sensuous, pantherine way of moving that contrasted nicely with the upright classical Jeans de Brienne.

But from what I gather from this thread, étoiles are traditionally the Jeans of the ballet world -- that is, danseurs nobles. Is that the case?

#27 sophia

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 05:21 AM

Mr Romoli is not of course the archetype of the "danseur noble", but at the same time he is absolutely not a "danseur de demi-caractère". Anyway, this traditional classification no longer exists at the POB. The "étoiles" are supposed to dance anything, contemporary or classical works. As far as I am concerned, I think it is an an illusion and it is the best way to have dancers without a real artistic personality. Mr Romoli has found his way because he is a very intelligent person, he can't be confounded with anyone else, and he is the best in what he does, really a major artist. That's why, although he is not a prince Siegfried, I think he deserves more than others his title.

#28 Alexandra

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 05:34 AM

Not too long ago, etoiles were danseurs nobles AND demi-caractere AND caractere. And I think that's the way things should be. When only the Prince gets to be an etoile, then the tendency is to cast everyone as the Prince, for one thing. And more importantly, in classical ballet, each genre has a place and an importance and I think that should be recognized. Chauvire, one of the greatest of the etoiles, was demicaractere.

#29 cygneblanc

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 06:42 AM

Atm711,

No, I don't think that discutable promotion has something to do with retirement benefits...

And Daniil, you didn't miss anything, he's an Etoile.

#30 Estelle

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Posted 15 April 2005 - 08:10 AM

Daniil: indeed, this times it seems that the POB's web site would need some updating ! However, Romoli's promotion had been announced on the web site when it happened.


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