Jane Simpson

Neumeier's Lady of the Camelias

15 posts in this topic

The RDB's first performance of Neumeier's Lady of the Camelias ('Kameliadamen' in Denmark) opens on Friday. Susanne Grinder and Alban Lendorf have the first night, alternating after that with Gudrun Bojesen and Ulrik Birkkjaer.

Nikolaj Hubbe returns to the stage to dance Armand's father in the Grinder cast, with Mads Blangstrup as Des Grieux; Jean-Lucien Massot and Gregory Dean take these roles in the Bojesen cast.

There's a nice video trailer too - it looks as if the ballet may fit the company very well.

Share this post


Link to post

Eva Kistrup's long and interesting review of the two casts is already up in her DanceViewTimes blog

It's sad though to read that for financial reasons this is a one-off run.

Share this post


Link to post

There's a nice video trailer too - it looks as if the ballet may fit the company very well.

A funny thing is, that the music used for this trailer, never appears in the ballet. I don't know what is is, but I'm sure it is not Chopin. Does anyone know the piece?

Share this post


Link to post

It's sad though to read that for financial reasons this is a one-off run.

I really hope this is not going to be true! I don't quite understand why it is so expensive to keep the ballet in the repertoire, one should think the worst was over when once the premiere was over? Eva Kistrup mentions in her blog that the sets and costumes are borrowed from Paris, but the printed programme says nothing about that. Maybe that is what makes it too expensive to take up again in later seasons?

Share this post


Link to post

Having just seen the Grinder/Lendorf/Hubbe cast, and happily joined in the standing ovation at the end, I have to agree that it will be very sad for both the company and the audience if these performances are the only ones there will be!.

Share this post


Link to post

Delighted to hear the positive responses to this. The "Paris" costumes -- beautifully captured in the trailer and in the photos that accompany Eva Kistrup's DanceViewTimes article, have great elegance. I hope money will be found to (at least) rent them again next time around.

I have strong memories of Stuttgart bringing this to New York a year or so after it premeired. Haydee danced the lead. The production was not as elegant as RDB's seems to be, and I suspect not as subtle. But it was full of energy, dramatic effects, pathos, and passion. The choreographic element seemed a little weak, or perhaps overwhelmed. Anyway, it was a great night for the audience and an unforgettable experience for me.

Anything recommended by Jane, Eva, and Anne is worth traveling to see, in my book. Anne's wonderful review of the RDB production is posted on another thread:

http://balletalert.i...980#entry300980

Anne, I can't place the music used in RDB's trailer. But I do recall having bee told that Neumeier used some of the same music that Jerome Robbins used in Dances at a Gathering.

Share this post


Link to post

Anne, I can't place the music used in RDB's trailer. But I do recall having bee told that Neumeier used some of the same music that Jerome Robbins used in Dances at a Gathering.

I have found out (by asking the Royal theatre itself) that the music used for the trailer is actually by the russian composer Alexander Scriabin and not by Chopin at all (I suppose it is some kind of mistake.) It is taken from Scriabin's Piano Concerto in F sharp minor opus 20, the first movement close after the beginning. Beautiful and very romantic music from 1896 - maybe an idea for a new ballet!

Share this post


Link to post

The new season's programme was announced today and Eva Kistrup, who attended, notes in her DVT Blog that it looks as if Kameliadamen may return in the season after that - the company has been approached by foundations keen to help!

Share this post


Link to post

These are certainly great news! It seemed such a waste of time and effort just to let the production pass through, never to come back.

There is one more good thing in it: The borrowed costumes from Paris were a bit on the heavy and glittery side. That might work well in a big house like the Palais Garnier, where they have to look gorgeous from a long distance, but on the initmate stage in Copenhagen some of them tended to look a bit cheap, and furthermore they often seemed to be in the dancers' way because of too many layers of clothing. The costume department in RDB has often demonstrated that they can create costume miracles, which are both beautiful to look at and nice to wear, and I therefore hope that the extra money will be used to create costumes of their own in stead of spending them on a new costume rental from Paris.

But anyhow: It is great that the production will return, no matter in what costumes!

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry to revive this old thread, but I found a beautiful clip of Alban Lendorf and Susanne Grinder in the first act purple PDD from the 2012 production of this ballet and really thought it was something people should have a look at, if they hadn't already stumbled upon it themselves. I'm not completely sure of the rules about sharing youtube videos, but since I've seen it done in other company threads, I thought I would try. If it's against the rules, please feel free to delete!

 

However, here it is:

 

 

I was so absolutely thrilled to find this clip, since these two have my favourite version of this particular PDD. I saw them dance a couple of shows in 2012 and later all three casts in 2014 and although both Praetorius and Bojesen were wonderful in the black PDD and Bojesen just so technically striking all over, it will probably take me a long time to encounter a ballerina who I personally feel embodies Marguerite Gautier as perfectly as Susanne Grinder does, especially here. Also, this costume is my all-time favourite. So beautiful.

Share this post


Link to post

This clip is absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much. 

Share this post


Link to post

It as a great joy to see this clip, especially as I have only seen Bojesen and Birkkjær performing the roles of Marguerite and Armand. Lendorf and Grinder are very different from the other two, Lendorf being very youthful and fiery in his passion, while Birkkjær was a more desperate character and less inexperienced in his approach to Marguerite. Grinder has less "grandeur" than Bojesen and it looks like her portrait is more of a very fragile and vulnerable woman, 

Thank you for posting it.

Share this post


Link to post

Oh god, that clip - I won't say thank you for posting it, because I found it first :P But it's so beautiful and honestly, I'm incredibly sad I didn't see Grinder's version of Marguerite back in 2014. I know we saw her in 2012, but it feels like such a long time ago. 

 

In 2014, I found Gudrun Bojeson completely amazing, technically, and I remember the black pas de deux in particular because her dancing just blew me away  - however, in terms of character interpretation, Grinder's version is much more my type of thing. As for Birkkjær and Lendorf, I think their Armands have different strengths and I like them both. This just happens to be the combi that touches me the most. 

Share this post


Link to post