EvilNinjaX

Beauty in San Antonio

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Is anyone else here? I made the trip from Phoenix area to see the Royal Ballet's SLEEPING BEAUTY. Since i was making the long trip, i decided that i might as well gets tickets to all the shows. At the time, i saw the cast list and wanted to see Tamara Rojo, Alina Cojocaru, and Sarah Lamb and then got the Roberta Marquez to finish it all off. With the Cojocaru's injury, they shuffled the lineup but it still looks wonderful, though i will be forever saddened that i didn't get to see Kobborg/Cojocaru .

Thursday Nite:

Tamara Rojo and Frederico Bonelli

Isabel McMeekan as Lilac Fairy

Sarah Lamb and Yohei Sasaki in Bluebird PDD

Friday Nite:

Roberta Marquez and Johan Kobborg

Marianella Nunez as Lilac

Laura Morera and Jose Martin in Bluebird

Found Rojo to be wonderful. She seemed so strong, her balances were rock solid, as were he 4 pirouettes in the act1 variation. But preferred Nunez for her expressiveness and performance. I lost myself in her 16yo-ness, so coy, flirty, playfull. Her chemistry on stage with Kobborg was excellent also, lots of eye contact and she just exuded confidence in the GPDD.

Sarah Lamb was sublime in bluebird and was the highlight of thursday evening, evne with a big problem during the finger pirouettes (she went way to her right and back, to the point i thought she might fall. And whenshe came off pointe, i was afraid she broke her shoe, but she finished off just fine). She commanded the stage and the energy was electric, which was good b/c her partner Yohei Sasaki was a personality vacuum on stage. Great technique and nice jumps, but nearly unwatchable. He also lacked that "lightness" for the bird quality. Though his jumps were nice, he didn't seem to hang in the air as you might expect/want.

Laura Morera and Jose Martin were excellent in Bluebird. Martin made me very happy; he seemed to be verymuch a bird in his performance and he looked to be an excellent partner as Morera was always right on her leg and just always so stable (much props to her as well). There was a nice chemistry here as well with nice eye contact.

There was also a Pas de Trois in the 3rd act labelled "Florestan and his Sisters" which was very SWAN LAKE-ish. Or at least the opening moments felt that way. I wasn't very fond of it, which wasn't helped by the male dancers who were not so strong (friday better than thursday, natch).

Th: Bennett Gartside, Deirdre Chapman, Laura Morera

Fr: Martin Harvey, Lauren Cuthbertson, Samantha Raine

Morera was the standout and i just now realized that she was the Florine in Bluebird.

I didn't like the costumes for Puss In Boots nor the Wolf as they were so big and seemingly cumbersome. I prefer a bit more slimmer, trimmer look. The Wolf on Thursday was a bit on the spastic side for my taste. The cats were nice though and more feline and fun, playful.

Loved the sets and the costumes. So beautiful and elegant, but the stage seemed a bit small for it. At times in act1, it felt VERY cramped.

The corps seemed a bit off on Thursday, most noticeably the men during prologue. In act 2, it seemed much better. Friday night was much better though there were still little bits off, including a girl who inexplicably dropped her arabesque leg and a girl who rose from her penchee well before everyone else. But still, overall the dancing was so beautiful and enjoyable.

Had a great time and am looking forward to today's performances.

Ansanelli this afternoon and Sarah Lamb tonite.

-goro-

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Thanks so much, goro! Great report.

New Yorkers will look forward to your review of Ansanelli, and Bostonians to Lamb.

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In re: The Florestan pas de trois -

It was put together by Bronislava Nijinska, most of the entree being lifted in whole cloth from Swan Lake, up to the point where the man segues directly into a variation. The women's variations are the time-honored and well-remembered Silver and Diamond fairy variations. The beginning of the coda used to be highly explosive, with the man doing grands jetés en avant elancés across the stage which made the use of a better-than-average soloist with a split jeté obligatory. The brevity of this coda made much lifting from the other ballet impossible.

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In re: The Florestan pas de trois -

It was put together by Bronislava Nijinska, most of the entree being lifted in whole cloth from Swan Lake, up to the point where the man segues directly into a variation. The women's variations are the time-honored and well-remembered Silver and Diamond fairy variations. The beginning of the coda used to be highly explosive, with the man doing grands jetés en avant elancés across the stage which made the use of a better-than-average soloist with a split jeté obligatory. The brevity of this coda made much lifting from the other ballet impossible.

thanks for the info. The jetees in the coda were wonderful and i really did enjoy the coda, with the intricate steps by the 2nd woman. Is this typically in BEAUTY as i don't ever recall seeing it. The beginnign that was so much like SWAN LAKE just put me off. Now i'm off to the last show and i'll pay closer attention to it.

-goro-

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The pas de trois used to be a standard whenever an Act III production was made using the 1921 Diaghilev revival as a wellspring, as did the Messel production from just barely post-WWII.

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I want to add my thanks to EvilNinjaX. I am no ballet critic, so I hesitated to post my thoughts and gush, as I no doubt would have. I also saw the Thursday performance and loved every moment.

Much to my shame and humiliation, I admit that this event passed largely unnoticed in the local media. I couldn't even find a review to attach without embarrassment. :cool:

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re: FLORESTAN AND HIS TWO SISTERS (a.k.a. FLORESTAN PAS DE TROIS), i've always understood, from reading, david vaughan mostly, that this was ashton's work, w/ ref. to earlier petipa versions.

vaughan makes no ref. to nijinska to whom he tends to mention where he finds her b/c of ashton's abiding admiration of her and her choreography.

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Funny, I've got a Royal program (Messel production) from the early sixties crediting Ashton with the garland dance and Aurora's Act II variation, and Nijinska with the pas de trois and the three Ivans.

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the mystery deepens; i'll ask david vaughan if he can sort things out to his current way of thinking.

just opened a.bland's THE ROYAL BALLET, THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS and his entry on THE SLEEPING BEAUTY, 20 feb 1946 ROH credits "Florestan and His Two Sisters" to ashton.

still i'll see if david v. can help clarify further.

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We may be seeing some RB politics in this. De Valois and Ashton were both doing some rather odd things to one another in the early 60s. One thing is for sure, though, the Florestan entree is really cribbed from the Swan Lake pas de trois, whoever put it together.

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A quick post as i've got to get to back to work soon :)

Ansanelli was a revelation. My favorite of the 4 Auroras. Her performance, her musicality, her beauty and charm. Wow. She had a couple of mishaps, though. On her entrance in Act1, she had to stop and ADJUST HER SHOE. *shudder* and then during the 4x pique arabesque with the princes, she inexplicably slipped while trying to pique. Her presence was so joyful and had that wonderful youthful sweetness that i was smiling the entire time i was watchign her (except during the aforementioned mishaps, natch).

Sarah Lamb was quite beautiful, dancing the role with quite a bit more confidence and refinement in act1 than the others; she gave the presentatoin of nobility more strongly than the others at the expense of a bit of that childish "giddiness". I found it quite wonderful, but on balance (and due to personal taste), preferred Ansanelli's take just a touch more. Was equally entranced by Lamb, though. She absolutley commanded the stage from the moment she stepped on it and it was difficult to ever take your eyes off her. But i did feel like she might have been just a touch "off" that night. Nothing major, nothing even substantial, but just that last bit that turns "Wonderful" into "Sublime." Her mishap was during the Act 3 fishes. These were very awkward (Putrov) and at times i was afeared of a face-plant.

Yuhui Choe (whom i had previously seen during the Erik Bruhn compeition doing BlueBird pdd) was splendid doing Bluebird pdd. She has a very palpable charm and lights the stage. Even in th ecorps, i was hard pressed to stop watching her.

I was afraid that 4 Beauties in 3 days might be a bit much and that i'd be "Beautied out" by sat eve, but i found that the OPPOSITE happened. Parts that i didn't particularly enjoy on Thursday night started to come alive more on Sat matinee. I fell into the story more as the days passed. I was able to be more at ease and take things in wihtout my eyes rushing to take everything in (especially as the set and costumes were so beautiful). The sat performances, in partiuclar, flew by and didnot feel like 3 1/2 hrs each.

(more later if i have time before my St Petersburg trip)

-goro-

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I wanted to also mention that the people in San Antonio (and the neighboring areas) were wonderful. Each night, one of the ladies next to me engaged me in conversation and was just so friendly and pleasant. I met people from Ft Worth, Austin, Kerrville, Houston, and a few other places that i can't remember, as well as many local residents. They were all just so nice and open that i definitley feel like i want to go back! Is this "Texan hospitality"? So for any Texans reading this, a big "Thank You" from a couple of guys from Arizona.

-goro-

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It's a delight to hear of your adventures, goro!

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CLEARING THE RECORD:

After a most useful exchange of information online and a charge back through "the books", I must confirm that I was in error, and the "Florestan pas de trois" was indeed the work of Ashton. Heaven only knows why I have this Old Met program showing Nijinska as choreographer. Correct information must be preserved; I don't care whether it proves me right or wrong, only that the correct information goes forward. So anyone googling "Florestan pas de trois" will eventually find this post.

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