PeggyR

SFB Nutcracker casting 2014

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Make that 2013.

SFB Nutcracker casting is starting to show up. Note production debuts of the Sugar Plum Fairy: Simone Messmer (12/13 matinee) and Mathilde Froustey (12/13 evening).

* Denotes premiere in role for current production.
All casting subject to change.

Wednesday, December 11, 7 pm (Opening Night)
Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Drosselmeyer: Damian Smith
Queen and King of the Snow: Frances Chung, Jaime Garcia Castilla
Sugar Plum Fairy: Vanessa Zahorian
Grand Pas de Deux: Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada

Thursday, December 12, 7 pm

Drosselmeyer: Val Caniparoli
Queen and King of the Snow: Vanessa Zahorian, Taras Domitro
Sugar Plum Fairy: Jennifer Stahl
Grand Pas de Deux: Lorena Feijoo, Vitor Luiz

Friday, December 13, 2pm

Drosselmeyer: Yuri Possokhov
Queen and King of the Snow: Koto Ishihara, Gennadi Nedvigin
Sugar Plum Fairy: Simone Messmer*
Grand Pas de Deux: Vanessa Zahorian, Taras Domitro

Friday, December 13, 7pm

Drosselmeyer: Yuri Possokhov
Queen and King of the Snow: Dores Andre, Hansuke Yamamoto
Sugar Plum Fairy: Mathilde Froustey*
Grand Pas de Deux: Yuan Yuan Tan, Davit Karapetyan

Sorry about the gray background; SFB is now only posting casts to their blog, and for some reason, the background turns out gray when I copy it.

ETA Sorry, cross posting with Quiggin, plus I got the year wrong and I can't fix it!

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SFB Nutcracker casting is starting to show up. Note production debuts of the Sugar Plum Fairy: Simone Messmer (12/13 matinee) and Mathilde Froustey (12/13 evening).

* Denotes premiere in role for current production.

All casting subject to change.

Wednesday, December 11, 7 pm (Opening Night)

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Drosselmeyer: Damian Smith

Queen and King of the Snow: Frances Chung, Jaime Garcia Castilla

Sugar Plum Fairy: Vanessa Zahorian

Grand Pas de Deux: Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada

Thursday, December 12, 7 pm

Drosselmeyer: Val Caniparoli

Queen and King of the Snow: Vanessa Zahorian, Taras Domitro

Sugar Plum Fairy: Jennifer Stahl

Grand Pas de Deux: Lorena Feijoo, Vitor Luiz

Friday, December 13, 2pm

Drosselmeyer: Yuri Possokhov

Queen and King of the Snow: Koto Ishihara, Gennadi Nedvigin

Sugar Plum Fairy: Simone Messmer*

Grand Pas de Deux: Vanessa Zahorian, Taras Domitro

Friday, December 13, 7pm

Drosselmeyer: Yuri Possokhov

Queen and King of the Snow: Dores Andre, Hansuke Yamamoto

Sugar Plum Fairy: Mathilde Froustey*

Grand Pas de Deux: Yuan Yuan Tan, Davit Karapetyan

Sorry about the gray background; SFB is now only posting casts to their blog, and for some reason, the background turns out gray when I copy it.

Koto Ishihara getting to be Queen of the Snow is an interesting development.

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The last few years I’ve avoided the Nutcracker and had intended to do the same this year. But the opportunity to see both Simone Messmer and Mathilde Froustey in the same program was too good to pass up on Saturday night.

In the Grand pas de deux, Messmer’s petit allegro in the Sugar Plum variation seemed a little fuzzy, but in the adagio she was truly lovely - big, expansive movements, although she may have been a bit majestic for someone who, supposedly, was a 12-year old girl 30 seconds before.

And now for Froustey. The Sugar Plum Fairy in this production is kind of a thankless role: she doesn’t even get to dance her own variation, and the rest of her choreography is pretty bland. Froustey’s jumps are nothing special: serviceable, but without a big, arching jete; basically just up and straight down. While she doesn’t ‘dance big’, Froustey’s attack, glittering batterie, beautifully centered turns, and rock-solid balances overrode those minor cavils and took everything up several notches.

But two things really stood out for me: her gorgeous arms and her musicality. She has that ability, like Fonteyn did, to send ripples along her arms without actually seeming to do anything - no flapping, no waiving, just the barest hint of movement, so subtle you wonder if you’ve actually seen it. And I like the way she plays with the tempo without distorting it: a hesitation here, an acceleration there; just enough to accent a move or create some tension.

I can see a lot of standing room in my future next season; Froustey is a dancer I don’t want to miss while the opportunity lasts.

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The Nutcracker seems to be treated as a live "warmup" for the company, but somehow, not quite 'the real thing' (except for the great stage production - although I'm hearing that the tree is no longer growing in Act I, which seems like sacrilege, if true).

The dancers don't take it too seriously, and Tomasson has definitely not taken the choreography too seriously. You use the term "bland", and I think that "bland" and "safe" would be pretty accurate. Maybe even dull. I wish Tomasson would take the ballet's choreography more seriously: there wouldn't be much lost by adding some intrigue and magic to the dances. He might even bring in a new audience (or get the balletomanes to return). It's time for an overhaul of the choreography.

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...although I'm hearing that the tree is no longer growing in Act I, which seems like sacrilege, if true).

It certainly grew last night.

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...although I'm hearing that the tree is no longer growing in Act I, which seems like sacrilege, if true).

It certainly grew last night.

Oh good, I was hoping I just misunderstood the statement. Must have growing tree. ;)

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