Giannina

Californian at Royal Ballet

16 posts in this topic

Ballet review while it’s hot in my mind.

However it should be hot in my mind for quite a while. I was IM-ing a ballet guru friend of mine the day before I left and she said SB was a ballerina’s toughest ballet; no place to hide mistakes. We agreed that it’s a long boring ballet. Well, since it’s long and boring you have to glean what you can from what’s offered. Unless, of course, you get Marianela Nunez; then there’s no gleaning necessary; you just have to wait a heck of a long time for her to materialize. She is one of my favorite ballerinas, and is quickly becoming one of my favorites ever. I see her so rarely that I forget how wonderful she is. And I totally forget her blazing smile that lights up the theater; with that smile she includes everyone on stage and all the audience in her joy of dancing. Her entrance in Act II begins with (I don’t know ballet terms!) what might be a pas de chat (?); whatever it was she hung in the air as she performed it, making it known that the audience was going to see something special. She was virtually perfect; it was an honor to watch her. She pulled every step and phrase to its fullest, a sweep of dancing. I remember saying this about Wendy Whelan; they both do it but Whelan does it with a strength while Nunez is classical and soft. Soares was very good, and a wonderful partner for her (I’m assuming they’re still engaged). Ok, so what else was there to enjoy? I liked Carabosse being a young, beautiful woman, and I thought Genesia Rosato did a very good job. I thought Martin Harvey was a principal but he appeared only as one of the Prince's in Act 1 and is not listed in the booklet at all.

I’m seeing SB again tomorrow night with Sarah Lamb; I look forward to the comparisons.

Giannina

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Thanks Gianna I wish I was there I LOVE Marianella Nunez. I have seen her live once and bits on video and youtube but she is really captivating. I hope to see her dance a full ballet one day. I will be in London in July for the RBS graduation performance but unfortunately there are no company performances when I am there. :bow:

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Correction; that was Jose Martin as the Prince, not Martin Harvey. So what happened to Martin Harvey?

Giannina

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Tues.

I saw my 2nd Sleeping Beauty tonight and I thought of all of you thru the whole performance. So many little things we see in ballets that matter to us but no one else; if you’d been there we’d have been nudging each other throughout the whole ballet. Like at the final fish-dive in Act III’s pas de deux: as Putrov dropped Lamb on his knee and the orchestra hit their chord you could see Putrov’s lips mouth “boom!”. I laugh every time I think of it!

It was Sarah Lamb and Ivan Putrov tonight. I preferred last night’s cast of Nunez and Soares by miles. That doesn’t mean Lamb didn’t do a beautiful job; it’s just that Nunez was “beautifuller”! Anthony Dowell sat right in front of me and I could see him reacting to certain things, like 2 double tours that Putrov landed in perfect 5th positions; very impressive. Somewhere along the way Carabosse is attacked by swordsmen and evades death by disappearing via a trap door. There’s supposed to be a puff of smoke to hide the fact that there’s a trap door there, but both last night and tonight the smoke machine failed and you just saw Rosato ride a “down elevator”. Kenta Kura was one of the most exotic looking Bluebirds I’ve ever seen, and not all that bad a dancer. Yuhui Choe was his partner and they did a very good job. Last night’s Bluebird, Yohei Sasaki, was tonight’s Florestan; he did a good job both nights. Guess who was a no-show? Yup, Martin Harvey. He does exist, and he’s listed as a Soloist on the casting sheet.

50 years ago tonight ballerina Anya Sainsbury danced the roll of Aurora at the Royal Opera House. Tonight's ballet was dedicated to her; there was a blurb and a pix of her on the casting sheet. After the performance Monica Mason came on stage, introduced Ms. Sainsbury (in one of the boxes) and thanked her for all she’d done for Royal Ballet.

The audience has behaved beautifully about applauding at proper times. Such a treat. Monday night they were perfect; tonight they were a bit less perfect but still good.

The gift shop is full of items from past years. Precious little about NOW, i.e. I couldn’t find a thing on Nunez, Lamb, etc. Not even postcards. I realize the stars of the past are icons, but it’s the past and we now have the current dancers who are extraordinary and deserve at least a postcard forcryingoutloud. Ok, they have some on Kobborg, Benjamin, and then 15 on Nureyev.

Even with long/boring Sleeping Beauty I'm having a great time.

Giannina

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The audience has behaved beautifully about applauding at proper times. Such a treat. Monday night they were perfect; tonight they were a bit less perfect but still good.

:tiphat: Love it -- reviewing the audience: anybody who misbehaves doesn't get their subscription renewed!

Peggy

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Peggy, the stories of USA audiences are legend. I've been to several performances when the audience applauded the house lights dimming! A while ago we had a forum about misbehavin' audiences; added to that was how "behavin" audience members got even. It was a riot!

ami1436: all those postcards were not available. I meant to mention that Yanowsky was available but I was posting late at night and couldn't remember how to spell her name. The problem also applies to the subject matter of posters.

Giannina

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May 17 performance of Dances at a Gathering and The Dream by Royal Ballet

I’ve seen “Dances…” only a few times so I’m not very familiar with it. It’s a lovely ballet but for the first time I saw the choreography as Robbins/Broadway. Kobborg's opening solo set a standard that the rest of the ballet found hard to equal. Cojocaru was the girl in Pink but another girl shared the role; both were ushered in by Kobborg for their bows after the rest of the cast had bowed. Cojocaru was wonderful in her pdd with Martin Harvey (yes, he’s alive and looking great). Also of note was Cuthbertson. I took my daughter and she loved Rojo. Equal to the dancers was the pianist who has a monumental job in not only playing Chopin but adjusting his tempo to the dancers’ tempo.

I first saw The Dream with Royal Ballet and I still think they have the best presentation. Leanne Benjamin and Edward Watson starred. I love the opening 45 seconds of this ballet, and it sets the tone of the evening. This is such a lush ballet: from the Fairies to the swooning lovers to the sublime final pdd. Benjamin danced beautifully but I don’t find this role perfectly suited to her. Watson is gifted but I found him lacking tonight. Nevertheless, they, and the rest of the cast, gave us a wonderful evening of ballet.

Saw a familiar face as we exited. Leigh!!!

Giannina

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Royal Ballet May 23

Dances at a Gathering featured NYCB's Yvonne Borree as the girl in pink. I thought she was wonderful. Her final pdd (with Martin Harvey, bless his soul) was achingly beautiful. Leanne Benjamin is a marvel of a dancer; she never disappoints me. She was the girl in green, the role Cuthbertson danced Friday. Each danced it entirely differently, and each was superb. Acosta was the boy in brown, and looked better than I've seen him in years. Obviously I don't see him much but ......

Cojocaru was supposed to star with Kobborg in The Dream. She danced only half of "Gathering" last Fri, and now she's listed as injured. Marquez substituted for her. Benjamin starred last Fri. and tho her technique was perfect, as always, I didn't find her the perfect Ashton dancer. Marquez was more "Ashtonian" and it was a lovely performance. That final pdd is so beautiful and so lush; the ballerina really has to melt as she dances it. The best Titania I've ever seen is Sarah Wildor; I've yet to see one who matches her. Paul Kay was Puck ... the tallest Puck I've ever seen. Most of the Pucks I've seen are smaller men and I've gotten used to seeing him as a pixie; Kay was very good and proved to me that the role is open to everyone.

I love this company. I wish I knew the dancers better, but it's always a pleasure to "mind the gap" (the Atlantic!) and come to see them.

Giannina

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Leanne Benjamin is a marvel of a dancer; she never disappoints me.
A favorite of mine, as well, of whom I've seen far too little. Thanks for your reviews!
Cojocaru was supposed to star with Kobborg in The Dream. She danced only half of "Gathering" last Fri, and now she's listed as injured.
She seems to be a fragile dancer. I hope she's able to keep her date for Other Dances at NYCB. :)

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I guess with a name like Yvonne Borree "Ye Van (to) Bouree", there are only so many career options open. . . :-)

Like she hasn't heard that joke since she was 12. . .

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Are you sure it was Paul Kay? He's actually quite short!

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Yes, Paul Kay. He was almost as tall as Kobborg. Had I never seen this ballet before it wouldn't have been an issue; he was very good. I'm comparing to Grant and Sleep (with Royal) and some of the shorter dancers with ABT whose names escape me at the moment (it's 12:15 a.m. forcryingoutloud).

Giannina

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Kobborg is actually short as well - but I think you are speaking more of the difference between the heights of Kobborg and Kay?

I remember seeing Kobborg at the Wells last year. I'm 5'1 and was wearing mega-heels, and he didn't seem that much taller...

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[
Cojocaru was supposed to star with Kobborg in The Dream. She danced only half of "Gathering" last Fri, and now she's listed as injured.
She seems to be a fragile dancer. I hope she's able to keep her date for Other Dances at NYCB. :beg:

Sorry, Carbro - they've pulled out. Inevitable, I'm afraid, given that she's cancelled all her London performances till the end of the season.

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Thank you, Jane. NYCB has already announced the cast change (to Kent and Woetzel).

I hope Alina and Johan have a strong, healthy season for 2008-09. They have been forced to withdraw from a number of NYC appearances over the years, which is so frustrating to us here.

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