The company would be taking 34 dancers, including Chinese-born principal male dancer Qi Huan, who graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy in 2000 and joined the RNZB in 2005.
In 2003 and 2004, Qi taught at the academy alongside former RNZB principal dancer Ou Lu.
Wednesday, April 3
Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:47 AM
Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:57 AM
The Mikhailovsky's revival of Laurencia goes all out to honour the spirit of the original even while indulging its more hokey theatrics. Ballet master Mikhail Messerer has coaxed full musical and choreographic value out of its ensemble dances and given naturalistic life to its mime. Some of the action is sweetly vernacular, such as Laurencia's wriggling protest when her lover, Frondoso, sweeps her into a vertiginous high lift. Some has intimations of brutality, like the scene in which Laurencia emerges from captivity, filthy, stumbling and clearly traumatised.
However glistening they are, Osipova and Vasiliev can’t make much sense of it, though they do what they can. He has a pencilled moustache, a nice line in stamping and the ability to throw off jumps that scissor across the stage, pause mid-air, slow down and then land very neatly.
The choreography shows off her gorgeous, bounding jump. Osipova’s split jetés are spectacular, but I almost prefer the soaring skips she does as a run-up: she has energy to burn. She leads the rebellion with furious commitment, limbs braced and strong.
Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:01 PM
Here is an intriguing artefact from Soviet times – a brave showcase for an entire troupe – which the present luminaries transform into something powerful. Osipova can express every feeling with a vivid honesty and win our hearts, while our eyes dazzle at the clarity and radiant assurance of each step. Vasiliev, quaintly undervalued by some local commentators, has both astonishing and soaring brilliancy of technique (a double pirouette atop a massive leap? Impossible!) and a commanding sincerity of temperament. The roles live, thanks to blissful skills, communicative grace.
The Arts Desk
The revolutionary townswomen are therefore not terribly far off from the Wilis of Giselle: spirits of revenge. (And when one remembers that, historically, the corps de ballet was a post-French Revolutionary depiction of virtuous, classical-inspired women, Laurencia’s female mob becomes even more closely linked.)
This makes the evening sound like a history lesson, but far from it.
Fortunately, Osiliev save this ballet. Osipova pirouettes at the speed of light only to stop suddenly into an extended balance and Vasiliev jumps miles off the ground, creating all manner of airborne poses. It is just a shame that at 80 minutes in length, Laurencia doesn’t give its star couple more time to show off their skills.
Posted 04 April 2013 - 10:35 AM
“Jiri Kylián is one of the geniuses of our day,” said Artistic Director Tracey Alvey. “This is a different technique entirely for the company. It has a lot of facial interpretation and there are loads of jokes.”
To convey the work, Nederlands Dans Theater and Kylián Foundation sent repetiteur Shirley Esseboom to work with Alabama Ballet. Van Fleteren, who worked with Kylián in New York, said Esseboom's manner is similar to Kylián's.
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