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Sumptuous casting for Symphony in C


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#1 Jane Simpson

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 09:40 AM

The RB has just announced its casting for 6 performances of Symphony in C in May/June and it's quite something: Nunez and Cojocaru alternate in the 2nd movement, Benjamin and Sarah Lamb in the 1st, and Rojo is still doing the 4th, presumably because she really wants to. Almost everyone of the company's principals is in one of the two casts.

Wayne McGregor's Chroma and Christopher Wheeldon's Tryst are in the same programme - Eric Underwood and the rapidly rising Melissa Hamilton get the first go at the Jonathan Cope/Darcey Bussell roles in Tryst.

#2 ami1436

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 12:03 PM

Jane,

I hope you're well. Anything and everything I read about the RB makes me miss the UK more and more! Please keep us posted on how the performances are!

#3 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:50 PM

I hate to carp, (my apologies, Jane) but this looks like wonderful dancers miscast. Putting Cojocaru in 2nd movement Sym in C is like putting her in Diamonds - why? She's physically wrong for the part - and she did Diamonds well, but it doesn't serve the ballet. Nunez should be doing 1st movement, which requires a bright, elegant, authoritative ballerina, though Lamb and Benjamin are also suited. The closest thing the Royal has to a 2nd movement ballerina (tall, soulful) is Yanowsky. Possibly Cuthbertson. Morera is a logical 3rd movement choice (a jumper). It's interesting to see Rojo opt for fourth movement - in NYC it's an overlooked role. It takes a really good turner; which Rojo is.

Who is setting the ballet? The 2005 setting was done in-house and it was honestly the worst setting of it I have seen. The company can do Balanchine much better than that, and did subsequently in Jewels. I hope they ask Pat Neary or someone who can elicit the style to supervise.

#4 vipa

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:50 PM

I hate to carp, (my apologies, Jane) but this looks like wonderful dancers miscast. Putting Cojocaru in 2nd movement Sym in C is like putting her in Diamonds - why? She's physically wrong for the part - and she did Diamonds well, but it doesn't serve the ballet.


I respectfully disagree. Cojocaru could bring a special kind of beauty to the 2nd movement as did Allegra Kent. I don't really see how Cojocaru is physically wrong for it.

#5 Jane Simpson

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:30 AM

One of the reasons I posted this originally was to see if it raised any comments on Cojocaru - I was surprised to see her cast in 2nd movement but some private enquiries had also got the response 'Allegra Kent did it'. Leigh, of course you know the ballet far better than I do, but I thought it was her interpretation rather than her size which made her 'wrong' in Diamonds.

For myself I'm pleased to see the RB get away from casting the tallest available in it, regardless of suitablity or ability - I have painful memories of one soloist in the 1990s looking as if she would die of fright at any moment. Cuthbertson did the role as long ago as 2004, when she was years away from being ready for it - it would be interesting to see her get another try but she is off at the moment. Yanowsky is on maternity leave and I doubt she'll be back this season. Nunez is one of the few who can do 'weighted' adagio and if she's anywhere near as good as she was in Diamonds I will be very happy!

#6 Alymer

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 08:50 AM

I can only add that the best, the most magical and moving, cast I ever saw in 2nd movement Symphony in C (and yes, I did see Farrell on more than one occasion) was Trinidad Sevillano, who in no way could be described as tall.

#7 annamicro

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:48 AM

I thought it was her interpretation rather than her size which made her 'wrong' in Diamonds.


I don't think that the size could be a problem. I remember a boy, now a quite affirmed professional dancer, considering "Alina is not short, because she is soooo long": being the boy almost 2 meters tall (! :bow: ) this is an enlightening sentence and I agree.

And if "soulful" means exactly what it seems to mean, I couldn't think a better name than Cojocaru.

Cojocaru said in a recent interview that she never saw Diamonds (nor live nor in video, she confirmed later to have just a quite vague memory to have seen something of it danced in a gala by Malakhov and Vishneva), she just danced it.
So, we have probably seen her own idea of Diamonds.... and having her dared to change the final of Romeo and Juliet, I'd never expect to see from her a dutiful copy of something already done.
I'm biased for sure, but having a very talented and gifted Ballerina, I'd not be very strict about notes, but I'd rather let her free to put her own art and imagination in a work: having a true artist on stage, it would be a pity to waste what she could give to a great work.
Especially, having a Tchaikovsky music and a ballerina with such a unique, original and intense musicality and such a sensitivity as Cojocaru has, I'd always let her free to use Balanchine beautiful steps to paint the music in the way she want: we will not have a Ballerina serving a ballet and we would not have the Diamonds we are used to, but something of new as a result of the work of three great artists put together... something to treasure, in my opinion. :D

Now I'm looking forward to see what she will do with Bizet and Balanchine great tools put in her hands.

#8 CarmelaSMira

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 06:20 AM

One of the reasons I posted this originally was to see if it raised any comments on Cojocaru - I was surprised to see her cast in 2nd movement but some private enquiries had also got the response 'Allegra Kent did it'. Leigh, of course you know the ballet far better than I do, but I thought it was her interpretation rather than her size which made her 'wrong' in Diamonds.

For myself I'm pleased to see the RB get away from casting the tallest available in it, regardless of suitablity or ability - I have painful memories of one soloist in the 1990s looking as if she would die of fright at any moment. Cuthbertson did the role as long ago as 2004, when she was years away from being ready for it - it would be interesting to see her get another try but she is off at the moment. Yanowsky is on maternity leave and I doubt she'll be back this season. Nunez is one of the few who can do 'weighted' adagio and if she's anywhere near as good as she was in Diamonds I will be very happy!


Actually I notice now that Cuthbertson has hardly been cast in anything for Period 4 - I really hope that doesn't mean they are still not expecting her to be back then...

I thought Nunez was very convincing in Diamonds: she is not so-much the Farrell type, but she brought it off in a different way. Added to which, as well as being great in Adage she is actually fairly tall (she must be at least 5'6") so this casting makes sense in my opinion. Cojocaru is more against type, but I will also look forward to see what she does with it!


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