Mixed BillSong of the Earth and Symphony in C
Posted 26 November 2006 - 09:36 AM
Posted 26 November 2006 - 07:16 PM
Symphony in C was well done and looked very well rehearsed. The corps was nice as crisp and the principals were "on". Only Jennifer Fournier (substituting for Chan Hon Goh) in the third movement looked a little tense. Especially in the finale, she had difficulty keeping up with the tempo. In the 1st movement, Greta Hodgkinson and Aleksandar Antonijevic gave a confident and dazzling performance, which we have come to expect from them. I loved Sonia Rodriguez in the 4th movement. She was full of energy and her movements were clean and articulate. I was dissapointed about the last minute cast change. I heard great things about Goh and Konvalina's 3rd movement.
Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:49 AM
I would say in Europe, "Das Lied von der Erde" as in the MacMillan ballet is considered a masterwork. It does need the right cast and coaching. But as they say in Europe and some parts of Canada, "chacun à son goût".
Posted 27 November 2006 - 11:50 AM
Posted 27 November 2006 - 01:20 PM
This was my first time seeing "Song of the Earth" and I think a second (third, fourth...) viewing would be beneficial. It's hard to take it all in at once. Interestingly, a few parts of the choreography reminded me of different Balanchine ballets- Apollo, Prodigal Son, Rubies, and Serenade.
Posted 27 November 2006 - 01:42 PM
Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:31 PM
I saw “Gloria” many years ago when the Royal Ballet came to Toronto and was completely blown away by the ballet. I rushed out the next day to buy tickets for another performance. Jennifer Penny, Julian Hosking and Wayne Eagling were the dancers for those performances and I can remember all these years later just how wonderful they were. That last moment of the ballet when the lone soldier stands at the top of the trench and looks back at the audience and then drops out of sight was chilling....it made palpable the sense of loss, of countless young lives destroyed. A whole generation gone. When the National Ballet scheduled the ballet several years ago, I told all my friends they just had to see it because it was so great. But when the company performed it the ballet just didn’t have the same impact for me. I’m not sure if the coaching was faulty or if the dancers just didn’t get it. Perhaps the music and the history resonates more deeply with the British and the Royal Ballet dancers could feel a real emotional attachement to it. Who knows.
Posted 27 November 2006 - 03:02 PM
Posted 27 November 2006 - 03:46 PM
Although both Penney and Eagling are Canadian born their ballet influence as graduates of the Royal Ballet School from where they joined the Royal Ballet and had long careers with that company, makes them particularly British dancers by experience. Eagling I believe may in fact be American by nationality as that is certainly where his family lived. Both dancers had fairly wide associations with MacMillan's choreography.
I remember The Song of the Earth's first performance with the Royal Ballet and its impact on the audience
was extraordinary. Marcia Haydee danced the lead with Donald Macleary and Anthony Dowell and Jennifer Penney was in that cast. It is a difficult ballet to successfully stage, as the three leading roles need outstanding expressive dancers to make it work and the soloists and corp de ballet also need to expressive in a way that is not always easy to achieve.
Whilst Gloria for me in successive RB performances has never achieved the intensity of the first cast nor has
The Song of the Earth and I have seen a number of casts in these ballets. It is often the case that choreographers are naturally influenced by their original casts and tailor the roles (in part) to their particular gifts.
Posted 27 November 2006 - 04:14 PM
Posted 27 November 2006 - 04:27 PM
Perhaps I did not express myself clearly, but in fact I agree with you completely that the training and professional experience of Penney and Eagling, rather than their nationality, made then convincing interpreters of the Royal Ballet repertoire, particularly the ballets of MacMillan.
Posted 27 November 2006 - 05:02 PM
Regarding Eagling's citizenship, it may be possible that he became a dual citizen at birth or as a child -- unless he was born to foreign diplomats on Canadian soil, he should have been a Canadian citizen by birth -- and by the time he joined the Royal Ballet, the Justice Department had decided, based on a late 60's Supreme Court decision on dual citizenship, not to make him choose.
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