Jump to content


La Sylphide


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#16 leonid17

leonid17

    Platinum Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,413 posts

Posted 13 February 2009 - 07:59 AM

It's a wonderful article (by Sarah Kaufman) and there's a photo gallery of past Jameses on line.


Among the greats to have left Copenhagen for wider fame are ...."

Alexandra I noticed Peter Schaufuss is missing from the list. I believe that he and the Festival Ballet production was not so well received in the USA, but I personally admired Schaufuss and Evdokimova in London on a number of occasions in this ballet.

#17 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,394 posts

Posted 13 February 2009 - 08:10 AM

Natalia, please could you tell us what Englund did right at the end of La Sylphide, in the last second or two, after James has (probably) died? Was she exultant, or despairing? Did she do her 'I was a sylphide myself' bit, shown by lifting up her skirt to show a bedraggled sylphide skirt underneath?
...


Jane, it was very subtle but powerful. Englund left James and slowly crossed the stage to audience-left wing, with a smile...but the split-second before disappearing into the wing, the smile dissolves into a look of despair and a hand comes up to her face, as if to ask "Wait - What have I just done?" No lifting of the skirt, as in the current Bolshoi production.

I remember Englund's Madge from the most recent Bournonville Festival in Copenhagen. She was great there but, IMO, she has fine-tuned the characterization even more so here. Also, she probably does it slightly differently with different Jameses.

p.s. - A crazy aside: In America, casual (non-regular) ballet audiences tend to "boo" the villains of ballets when they come out for curtain calls. I was so very angry the other night when they began to do this to Englund. She seemed a bit startled and quickly took her place back in the line of soloists. My husband and I, on the other hand, were screaming our heads off with "Brava! Brava!" to try to counter the idiocy of the boos.

#18 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 13 February 2009 - 10:02 AM

Oh, for heaven's sake. I had hoped DC was beyond that sort of thing.

#19 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,394 posts

Posted 13 February 2009 - 10:12 AM

Oh, for heaven's sake. I had hoped DC was beyond that sort of thing.


It's what I term 'Nutcracker Syndrome" - they learn to boo the King of the Mice at NUTCRACKER. If they ever see another story-ballet in their lives, they think that they are supposed to boo the dancer who performs the role of any villain. Interestingly, some American companies are prepared for this, e.g., when ABT last performed its SWAN LAKE at the Kennedy Center, the guy who essayed Von Rothbart/Green-Monster-Thing (Isaac Stappas, I believe) played along with the boos. I still find it rude, though. The curtain calls are for the dancer-artists, not the characters portrayed, IMO. In the case or Sorella Englund's Madge, I thought that it was totally rude, as her portrayal was so subtle and not an uni-dimensional clown-villain.

The Kennedy Center needs to borrow the sign on top of the proscenium of the Royal Theater in Copenhagen: "Not Just for Entertainment" [or something akin to that translation]

#20 Mike Gunther

Mike Gunther

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 129 posts

Posted 14 February 2009 - 06:19 PM

I look forward to Maki Onuki's lone performance of the title role at the Saturday matinee. Judging by her performance in CELTS, below, she will have ballon to spare.


A prophecy fulfilled - Onuki at the Sat. mat. was indeed amazing. She was lighter than air, and her blissed-out "Happy Sylph" interpretation made the denouement all the more poignant. Then, after jumping for an hour in Sylphide, she still had energy to burn in the vigorous "Celts!"

#21 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 14 February 2009 - 06:38 PM

Also, she probably does it slightly differently with different Jameses.


This wouldn't surprise me in the least. The last time the RDB danced in New York (and we're talking ancient history here), we noticed that the "stage business" of senior artists Kirsten Simone and Neils Kehlet could bear little resemblance from one night to the next. Apparently one of the set-in-stone RDB traditions, where appropriate, is improvisation. :)

#22 kfw

kfw

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,270 posts

Posted 14 February 2009 - 06:59 PM

It's what I term 'Nutcracker Syndrome" - they learn to boo the King of the Mice at NUTCRACKER. If they ever see another story-ballet in their lives, they think that they are supposed to boo the dancer who performs the role of any villain. Interestingly, some American companies are prepared for this, e.g., when ABT last performed its SWAN LAKE at the Kennedy Center, the guy who essayed Von Rothbart/Green-Monster-Thing (Isaac Stappas, I believe) played along with the boos. I still find it rude, though. The curtain calls are for the dancer-artists, not the characters portrayed, IMO. In the case or Sorella Englund's Madge, I thought that it was totally rude, as her portrayal was so subtle and not an uni-dimensional clown-villain.

I see your point in regards to Englund's performance, but in general, would an audience boo after an indifferent performance of a villian's role, or at least boo as much? I'd rather cheer the performer than boo the character, but it seems to me that either response is a tribute to a role well done. I feel bad that Englund misunderstood, but I don't see anything rude in a little silliness.

Thanks for the review; I wish I'd seen this.

#23 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,239 posts

Posted 14 February 2009 - 11:34 PM

I don't see anything rude in a little silliness.

C'mon...what's next...? screaming "Go away!" to Myrtha... like the story of that little girl at the vision of the Mice King...? :)
It is time to start acting like a sophisticated audience, for God's sake, and if this is not the case, well, there is always that famous saying..."fake it 'till you make it", so let's start pretending that we are knowledgeable and reserve the booing for a bad performance-(I have a balletomane friend who actually LOVES to boo, specially choreographers that he dislike right when they are pulled out at curtain calls... :dunno: )

#24 kfw

kfw

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,270 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 06:47 AM

cubanmiamiboy, I think unsophisticated it a good way to describe it. I have to wonder if the booers were really moved by the ballet's story, or if they just perceived the whole performance, tragedy though it is, as light, pretty entertainment. But I don't think it's rude to be unsophisticated. And that was my point. :huh:

#25 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,437 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 08:48 AM

while i would not participate in 'booing the villian,' i find the urge/tradition somewhat amusing. it takes one back to reacting to the mustachioed villian in silent movies. as noted above, the character obviously made his or her point with the public and thus 'touched' them and touched the narratives intended nerves.
it might be wise to prepare foreign artists who are unaware of this 'idea' of the possibility of this reaction, so they don't take it personally.
most american dancers in this spot seem to be amused at it and even sneer back in witty reaction.

#26 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,246 posts

Posted 15 February 2009 - 09:15 AM

The audience lustily booed Niels Bjorn Larsen back in the 1990s and he was definitely taken aback -- he recoiled and left the stage immediately during his solo front-of-the-curtain call. I wanted to boo the audience. It's not intentionally rude, but it is inappropriate and unsophisticated, as has been said.

I don't think this was a mass booing. I was sitting in the front left orchestra and neither heard the boos nor saw any reaction from Englund. She is a very modest artist and her staying in the group during the calls is not out of character. Lund was there, but neither he nor Englund took a call as producers.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):