Having just returned from my travels, my brain is still too foggy to deal with choreography.
Sticking for now with the Royal Ballet's Sleeping Beauty, I generally liked the production, though I still think it's a mistake to combine the sixth fairy and the Lilac Fairy. IMO Rudolf Nureyev and Peter Wright were correct in keeping them separate. I disliked Christopher Wheeldon's Garland Dance intensely. In my head I could hear my non-dancer mother expressing her frequent frustration with choreographic treatments of 3/4 time: "Why can't they just waltz?" Wheeldon's choreography is too clever by half, and his attempts at maneuvering dancers into complex floor patterns struck me as extremely laboured. I'm also not sure what to do about Ashton's Act 2 solo for the Prince. I've now seen a number of dancers attempt it, and no one's come remotely close to matching the phenomenal control, line and phrasing of Anthony Dowell, captured on film some 40 years ago. Comparing that film with performances of the solo nowadays, I question the standard belief in ever-rising technical standards among male dancers.
On the performance side, the dancers who most impressed me were Yuhui Choe, Gillian Revie, Myriam Ould-Braham, Alessio Carbone, Wilfried Romoli, Delphine Moussin, Stéphane Phavorin, Hélène Bouchet, Alexandre Riabko and Ivan Urban.
Most disappointing: Alexandra Ansanelli and Emilie Cozette.
Ballet Talk on Tour!A trip to Paris and London in April '08
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