Posted 20 September 2013 - 06:22 AM
2) Anyone else note that the NYCB orchestra seems to play much better when Clotilde Otranto is conducting (e.g., this past Wednesday night)than when other conductors are leading?
Posted 20 September 2013 - 08:53 AM
Cobweb, I agree pretty much with your opinion except that I thought Bouder was lovely in the actual White Swan pas de deux and the 4th act (or scene in this case). I also didn't have a real problem with her Odile, though its not my favorite interpretation
Thanks for your report Cobweb. I have to say that I hated Bouder's interpretation of SL during the last revival. It was the worst performance of Odette I had ever seen, anywhere. All the problems you mention above were the same issues I saw in her last attempt at the role. Based on what you say, it appears that despite her efforts to improve, it has not occurred. Choppy phrasing, blasting out the steps with no hint of musicality. So sad she is so wonderful in so many things, but not this balllet. I was actually pretty surprised that she was cast in the role again this year after the scathing NY Times review from her last performance in the role (where A. Macauley referred to her as a hornet!).
I completely forgot about that Macauley review where he referred to her as a hornet but it perfectly described what I saw from the moment her Odette took the stage until she exited and the swan corps came on. She reminded me of that annoying modern dancer in Barber Violin Concerto. And she kept flapping those arms! But then she came back on for the pas de deux with Veyette and I thought she was lovely in it. When the pas de deux ended and her solo & coda started she was back to dancing Odette as if it was an allegro role. This made for a totally disjointed interpretation, I flet like her Odette had a triple split personality (and thats not even counting Odile!)
I wouldn't consider it a total disaster but it certainly wasn't a great performance. Then again, I was chatting with 3 of my friends at intermission and they all loved her. In fact they had all seen Mearns on Tuesday and they preferred Ashley. I think one of them said her simple, hearfelt approach rang true and was very affecting.
Belatedly, I also saw mearns on Tuesday and thought she was absolutely ravishing. I love the way she uses her back and arms and expresses her emotion through the actual steps. Her plunges into arabesque penchee were thrilling and she brought me to tears.
Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:52 PM
Well, I really should know by now. If Bouder is doing something twice in a run, especially something outside of her comfort zone, go see the second performance. Tonight she was wonderful. Much calmer in the opening and those emphatic accents were nowhere to be seen in the white acts, she saved them for the black swan.
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