dwil

Manon

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Saw Alina C & kobburg in Manon at ROH on Saturday. Knew it would be magical - and it was.

She has flawless technique & her interpretation of the role puts her in a special class. The chemistry with Johann puts the icing on the cake.

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Having just seen Manon in Paris at the Opera Garnier, with Aurelie Dupont and Josua Hoffalt, Lescaut Jeremie Belingard (Aurelies partner in life) Muriel Zusperreguy was Lescauts mistress (also Josua's life partner) so there was a lot of chemistry. I am waiting to see Alina Cojocaru dance it in London, will be very interesting to make a comparison.

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Oh that must have been wonderful - I think Cojocaru is gorgeous - I'd love to see her in Manon. Still I have to say that I have a very soft spot for the recording of Dowell with Jenny Penney in the leading roles with lovely ginger haired David Wall. Fantastic cast. That bedroom pas de deux ranks up there with R & J's balcony pas de deux as something I can watch over and over again and not tire of it.......

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I really love that Ballet, I now have bought the DVD of the Royal Ballet, as well sd having the Australian Ballet production..

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Hamorah, I agree with you 100 percent about the Dowell/Penny Manon. And how about Monica Mason?

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Monica Mason is hard to beat as Lescaults mistress, she portrayed all the gustsy bawldy characteristics of the role, as well as a deep ly sensitive side as well, just look at her reaction when her lover shows her the cart of aristocrats on their way to the guillatine in the opening scene, and the solo at madam's party. .

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Another very goood version is the Australian Ballet with Justine Summers, Steven Heathcote,

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Yes esperanto I agree, I have got it on DVD, I actually prefer Justine Summers portrayel rather than Jennifer Penny, at times she just

sems to be a touch "pathetic" and I do not like her facial expressions. the way she uses her eye's. I think Antoinette Sibley was the original cast, with Tony Dowell. David Wall and Monica Mason. But there does not seem to be any recordings of it. I loved Aurelie Dupont in the role when I saw it in 2012 at the Opera Garmier.

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Nanarina,

Doesn't Summers seem more conniving than Penny? As I recall she wasn't so innocent-looking as Penny.

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Nanarina,

Doesn't Summers seem more conniving than Penny? As I recall she wasn't so innocent-looking as Penny.

Yes, most defiantly, she does not over act, as Penney does, nor use those simplistic doe eyed faces. Manon was not so innocent when we first see her, she has already charmed the elderly gentleman on the coach journey. Rejecting him to his annoyance when she runs off with De Grieux at the end of the scene. It appears the reason she is being sent to the convent, is that she is already too wordly wise. No doubt encouraged by her wayward brother.

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Well two more performances of Manon to look forward to the first in October this year at the ROH, when I am introducing my friend who is just beginning to enjoy Ballet, and the second 2015 in Paris for Aurelie Dupont's retirement performance. This is going to be very imotive full of tears and cheers as Aurelie herself has said. Cant wait to see them. Have been watching the DVD;s recently. As soion as the port scene starts I get a lump in my throat. It will bde very emotional with Sir Kenny and now David Wall gone, as well as Aurelie retiring, at least she can pass on er performance skills now she is to be Ballet Mistress at the POB in the future.

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I attended the September 26 performance of Manon with Marianela Nunez and Frederico Bonelli. It was great! Only my second time seeing Manon and my first seeing the Royal Ballet!! (I live in NYC). I was beyond excited to see Marianela and she definitely did not disappoint. She is just sort of perfect - so graceful, musical and strong. I went with someone who generally dislikes any ballet and even he said she was leagues above the other dancers.

Bonelli was ok - he is very handsome and has beautiful lines. He was a bit shaky in the act one solo, which is all about control. Their chemistry, however, was not 100% - I didn't feel totally detached, but I was not overly emotionally engaged either.

I really thought all of the supporting characters were very good. James Hay who I have seen in a few of the ROH YouTube videos was notable as the beggar chief. Ricardo Cervera was also excellent as Lescaut and his mistress was Laura Morera. I have not been excited by the role of the mistress in either production I have seen but she definitely executed it very well. Yuhui Choe really stood out to me as one of the courtesans (I thought she was more engaging than Morera). The character actors - Christopher Saunders as Monsieur G.M. and Gary Davis as the jailor - were also very impressive.

The ROH is so beautiful. Both the actual theater and the surrounding buildings. We also did a tour a few days later and got to see a bit more behind the scenes. We were able to watch about 5 minutes of Carlos Acosta and Natalia Osipova rehearsing Manon in one of the studios, which was very neat.

I feel like this is a very inadequate review... I just wanted to say something since there wasn't anything posted yet. I don't feel like I know the ballet well enough to be able to pinpoint certain moments that really stood out like I would be able to with R+J or Don Q or something like that. Anyways.. I'll leave it there for now and come back if I think of anything else to add.

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That must have been a very special 5 minutes, Rose1186! Thanks for your review!

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Thank you for the report, Rose1186. A much bigger audience will soon get to see this cast thanks to the cinema broadcast on October 16, so your preview is much appreciated.

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I was fortunate indeed to see Francesca Hayward as Manon last week, her Des Grieux was Edward Watson and Lescaut was Alexander Campbell. From the second she appeared on stage I felt I was watching Manon rather than Francesca Hayward dancing Manon. This performance was a joy to watch with Watson and Campbell as her perfect foils. The interaction between the 3 leads was a joy to behold.

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Just like the Spring 2011 run of Manon the Autumn Manon marathon gave the audience several new casts in this ballet which at forty is still going strong. Both Nunez and Lamb made their debuts in 2011 but how very different their impact in this role has been. In 2011 Nunez had Kish as her De Grieux this season it was Bonelli. On both occasions some critics have tried to explain her lack of impact by saying that she is a Manon in search of a De Grieux. When the current pairing appeared in Moscow at least one critic commented on the lack of chemistry between them but I don't think that is the problem. Bonelli is good in pricely roles and made a fine Daphnis but he is not a dramatic dancer, someone described his Romeo as the sort of young man who was clearly going to be a good husband and father, not exactly what you look for in a portrayal of Romeo. I am not convinced that the problem with Nunez's Manon is the partners that she has danced with I think that the role is not naturally hers; she is at her best in the bright sunny roles that used to be described as soubrette roles.It is not a question of technique but of personality. I can't fault Nunez as far as the steps are concerned but for me she is always Nunez dancing Manon rather than Manon and that has nothing to do with who she is dancing with but almost everything to do with her inability or unwillingness to let go, forget the steps and dance the ballet.L P .

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Lamb and Pennefather also made their debuts in 2011 but the impact that they made in their first performance was so very different from that made by Nunez and Kish.They grabbed their chance and turned in performances that were outstanding both technically and emotionally. They have continued to build on their initial performances and are currently the best cast that the company can offer in this ballet, Unlike Nunez, Lamb does not seem to move as she does because she is reproducing what she has been taught but because that is what Manon is compelled to do. There is no gap between the performer and the character portrayed.The role of DeGrieux poses technical problems for most dancers but Pennefather has mastery of the role and like Lamb has subsumed himself in the role,There are quite a few people here who can only explain the decision to stream the Nunez cast in terms of name recognition and following.

Francesca Hayward's debut brought another fine and convincing portrayal of Manon; again there was no gap between the dancer and the character that she was performing. Like Lamb every movement told you about the character rather than being a mere repetition of what had been taught in the rehearsal room. .At some points she reminded me of Sibley as she seemed to call attention to her arms at the same points that Sibley did, for example at her entrance and first pas in the brothel scene. Watson, her De Grieux, seemed to have more difficulty with his first solo than I recall from past performances, but once he was past that solo, the years rolled away and he was the young ardent student priest of the novel and MacMillan's ballet. Some people have described Hayward's success as surprising but I don't think that it came as a surprise to many people here. She was an excellent Sophie in Mayerling and made a stunning debut in the ballerina role in Rhapsody in February.Like Nagdhi she has beautiful arms and knows how to use them.She reminded me that when Manon was created there was not the division that you often see now between Ashton dancers who are precise and musical and MacMillan dancers who sometimes perform as if his ballets were all about emoting and sprawling; at the time of its creation the company was still essentially Ashton's epaulement, musicality and all.

Muntagirov's debut as De Grieux was, as result of Cuthbertson's injury, with Lamb. Muntagirov was born to dance this role the choreography fits him like a glove.His first solo was danced with consummate ease and elegance, the first bedroom pas saw the restoration of details that I had started to think that I had imagined, and so it continued. But their performances were not merely the efficient reproduction of steps; they both used the choreography to create compelling characters .

I also managed to see Yanowsky's second performance of Manon in this run. Her DeGrieux was Bolle who danced impeccably and seemed more involved with the role and character than before.This was a compelling performance by both dancers and if it turns out to be Yanowsky's last performance in this role it is one that she should be very pleased with;as pleased as the audience clearly was. Their Lescaut was Acosta, his Lescaut was much better than his DeGrieux, in large part because he does not bring the burden of past performances to the role. His DeGrieux is still a safe pair of hands but he has never been much of an actor and so can't fall back on characterisation to bolster his waning skills as a dancer. As to Osipova only time will tell whether Manon is really her role or not. She did not do anything wrong but for me she was a dancer reproducing steps rather than Manon, But then no dancer is equally good in every role even if die hard fans may , to the amusement of friends, insist their supremacy in every role.

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