cygneblanc

POB's Nutcracker

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This year, Paris isn’t the only Nutcracker-free area in Europe. I have to say I’m more than disappointed by tonight performance, the only one I have seen until now because of strickers.

Magic and sparkle weren’t there. Sceneries are desperately sad. The corps de ballet is terribly rough. A lot of dancers look demotivated and it’s more than conspicuous :( .

Nolwenn Daniel and Christophe Duquenne are two very good individual dancers and both are strong technicians but as a pair it just didn’t work although they tried their best. Miss Daniel’s Clara is very artificial and lacks innocence, freshness and youth. To my mind, she isn’t a good fit for Clara’s part and it’s not her fault. I guess she would better in Paquita. Christophe Duquenne was an honest prince but he had better days.

That being said, one can underline the excellent performance of Eve Grinsztain and Josua Hoffalt in the Arabian dance, the joy and professionalism of POB’s school pupils who were on stage (aged 9-14 years old), and the brilliant conductor Kevin Rhodes who’s doing a very, very nice work with our damned musicians each time he’s coming in. More over, he was the most acclaimed person with the kids and the Arabian dancers.

I think I’m now going to cry while watching my old Nutcracker’s tape with Elisabeth Maurin and Laurent Hilaire :wallbash:

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Thank you, cygneblanc, for reporting the Paris Nutcracker. (Another new, imported Parisian "tradition-in-the-making" like the recent popularity of Halloween?)

Would it be possible to give us your impressions of the way that Drosselmeyer was portrayed and danced, and how this character figures in the Paris version? We currently have another thread on Different Drosslemeyers, and we could copy your post to that thread as well.

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Well, I don't think one can say that Nutcracker in Paris is a tradition-in-the-making. We have it for Christmas about every six years.

I can't say tonight's Drosselmeyer was very memorable, so I will rather refer to my old tape, Laurent Hilaire being Drosselmayer.

Here, Drosselmeyer's part is a part involving a lot of pantomine.

He's quite mysterious but not sinister and definitively not at all spooky. He isn't a charlatan or a buffon either. I thin he's rather a caring uncle, but always distant and can have some fun but not on the buffon's mode. His mysterious temper is always there but he also seems very concerned about Clara when the Nutcracker is broken.

I believe this mysterious trait and this restrained attitude are linked with the fact that in Nureev's translation of the story Drosselmeyer and the prince are one. The prince is the opposite of Drosselmeyer in the sense he doesn't have a restrained attitude and isn't mysterious. He's a beautiful and loving prince !

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A Nutcracker without magic is a sorry sight indeed. The suggestion of magic and miracle around every corner is what drives the ballet. All the good things of the world are offered to Clara. And yes, the Prince and Drosselmeyer are the same, by way of the nutcracker itself, which often rather resembles Dr. Drosselmeyer. The Nureyev production relates rather well to the story as translated from German by Dumas pêre. Anyway, bless Grinzstain and Hoffalt, and Maestro Rhodes for creating art in difficult circumstances and also bless the petits rats of the school, who seem, on this occasion, to have been changed into chevaux d'or to deliver the Christmas presents to the audience!

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Wow. That's some lift the cavalier tosses the Sugarplum through! Is a dancer allowed to refuse to do choreography? I can't imagine that would be allowed... but that lift sure looks a bit rough on the danseur... Or is it easier than it appears?

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but that lift sure looks a bit rough on the danseur... Or is it easier than it appears?

I doubt it. This week I watched a film of the ballet from two years ago, and Jérémie Bélingard was undone by the same lift.

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I recently watched this version and could not believe how very difficult the grande pas and the variations are. Being a former dancer in a ballet company, as I recall, you had to do the steps as set. Sometimes if a choreagrapher is creating a new piece with you, if your are fortunate enough, he would work with your facility. In Nureyev's Nutcracker, the viewing audience really has no idea of the difficulties until you see the dancer struggling. This is one tough version but I think Rudi liked to stretch his dancers.

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:thumbsup: Just as a matter of interest in connection with Nureyevs version of The Nutcrqacker, here is a YouTube clip of him and Merle Park dancing the Grande Pas de deux from one of the first performances with The Royal Ballet when he created it. You can see clearly the attack that was used to axchieve the difficult lift that has been mentioned in this thread. This partnership makes it look so easy the style and grace they seem to produce is wonderful considering the date of the film. The technical abilities were not so prevaliant in those days. It would pprobably help todays dancers to witness how Nureyev adchieved the end results when dancing his own creation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI0m1JuQ-sg

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