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Larissa Lezhnina farewell

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I am going to attend and will report back. :)

Paquita casting for the other evenings is listed on the website, but not for the 20th. Will it be Lezhnina? We'll have to wait and see...

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On the Dutch version the casting for Paquita is listed: Anna Tsygankova - Jozef Varga. I went Friday, it is a lovely programme and the pas de dix with Lezhnina is beautiful!! Have fun! Love to here how it was...

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Apparently the cast will stay the same as the premiere.

Paquita Tsygankova Varga

R and J De Jongh Herd

Duet Tsygankova Varga

Manon Jurgita Dronina Isaac Hernandez

Raymonda Lezhinina Shesterikov

Tchaikovsky pas de deuz Makhateli Remi Wortmeier

Replay Igone de Jongh Vito Mazzeo

Old Man and me Lezhinina

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I am going to attend and will report back. smile.png

Paquita casting for the other evenings is listed on the website, but not for the 20th. Will it be Lezhnina? We'll have to wait and see...

As luck would have it, I am going to be at this performance with my visiting group of balletomanes. It would be great to meet you at the intermission.

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I would love to meet up. Unfortunately I'm not familiar enough with the theatre to suggest a place to meet.

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I would love to meet up. Unfortunately I'm not familiar enough with the theatre to suggest a place to meet.

how about in front of the place selling DVDs and ballet trinkets on the "Zaal" level.

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Sounds great! You will recognise me as a young lady in black trousers, dark green top and a black blazer; I'll be there on my own. My usual ballet buddy couldn't make it on a weekday, but I just didn't want to miss this!

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Sounds great! You will recognise me as a young lady in black trousers, dark green top and a black blazer; I'll be there on my own. My usual ballet buddy couldn't make it on a weekday, but I just didn't want to miss this!

great. I'm a not-so-young lady (50s) with short hair. I will be wearing either a very conspicuous dress with broad horizontal white and navy stripes or a bright turquoise dress.

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kbarber, I did not read your post until after I got home from the theatre..

The programme ('Ballerina') started with Paquita, which was mediocre at best. I found the orchestration of the music awful. Actually I really like Paquita, but since it has no content at all, it's just boring when not executed (near-)perfectly like the Mariinsky does. The leads (Anna Tsygankova and Jozef Varga) were decent, but they did not blow me away. His variation started out quite spectacular, but he couldn't keep it up until the end. Corps de ballet was lovely.

Also, the children's Polonaise/Mazurka was included, and they did really well. There were only 16 of them however, and ranged from very short to very tall which looked a bit strange at certain points in the dance. (e.g. the shortest dancing with the tallest one)

Next up was the balcony pdd from Romeo & Juliet (choreography by Rudi van Dantzig), danced by Igone de Jongh and Casey Herd. It was fine, but not very memorable. Can't tell you much about it now (6 days later)

Duet by Christopher Wheeldon suits Anna Tsygankova and Jozef Varga much better than Paquita did. I am not really familiar with this piece (or even the choreographer), so I can't say much about it, other than I liked it.

The bedroom pas de deux from Manon was danced by Jurgita Dronina and Isaac Hernandez. They made a wonderful couple, and the choreography suited them well. Of course, for this programme, the female leads could choose what they wanted to dance, and they probably picked something that would show off their strengths.

And then, just before the second intermission, we finally got to see Larissa: Raymonda Grand Pas Hongrois, danced by Larissa Lezhnina and Artur Shesterikov. This was the last great classic she wanted to add to her repertoire, as she told in the personal video that was shown before each piece. I wasn't sure she was the type for this role, with her doll-like face and petite body. But she pulled it off very well and filled the stage on her own easily during her variation. It's very clear that even after 20 years away from St Petersburg, she still has the Vaganova classicism in her. From her dancing, and from her choice for this Pas. Unfortunately, the corps de ballet was cut in half, and therefore the music for the entree also had to be cut a little. Also the girls variation was cut. The piece for 4 men was included, and was done very nicely. (I can look up who danced if you wish)

The final part of the programme started out with Tchaikovsky pas de deux. I love this piece, as well as its music (there was live music! Yay!) and Maia Makhateli and Remi W├Ârtmeyer did a wonderful job. They showed the most ease in their dancing of the entire evening, even though their piece was one of the most technically challenging. Also, this was my first time of seeing this performed live.

After that we saw Replay, a new piece by Ted Brandsen, danced by Igone de Jongh and Vito Mazzeo. He really impressed me, she just can't seem to catch my interest. The choreography also wasn't very captivating in my opinion, reminded me a little of things like In the Middle Somewhat Elevated.

The programme ended with The Old Man and Me, by Hans van Manen, which includes 3 very different kinds of music (John Cale, Stravinsky and Mozart). Dancers were Larissa Lezhnina and Alexander Zhembrovskyy. I did not know what to expect, but I really liked it. As was said in the introduction by AD Ted Brandsen, Larissa is an excellent comedienne, and this piece was ideal to show off that part of her. Nothing in it came anywhere near classical dancing, which is what I associate her most with. But her range is so much wider, and that became clear through this piece.

Before every piece (except Paquita), a video of the ballerina dancing was shown, in which she told her thoughts or feelings about the piece/choreographer, or why she chose it. The videos were very well made (mostly voice-overs on top of rehearsal footage) and it was interesting to hear what the dancers had to say.

After Larissa Lezhnina ended her final piece, her partner quickly left her alone on stage. She's a very humble woman, and it was clear she doesn't like to be in the spotlight as herself. Even though she was completely at ease as Raymonda. And then, Alexander Zhembrovskyy appeared again, to offer her a lovely bouquet. After that, Vito Mazzeo did the same. All of the male leads of the evening came on stage one by one to give her flowers, it was really sweet. After that she received even more flowers, the whole company came on stage and lots of gold confetti was released on the stage. However, at this point, what we call 'Hollandse nuchterheid' set in. She had to give two curtain calls, after that everybody seemed to think: "Ah well, she's had her goodbye, let's go home.", while I felt she deserved at least 16. Applause continued behind the curtain as the auditorium emptied. I quickly left as I had to drive all the way back to Belgium.

Overall, I really enjoyed the night. I had expected Paquita to be one of the highlights, as it is a wonderful ballet to show off your talented soloists, but they seemed to have an off-day and it was actually my least favourite. Well-worth the drive (145 km), but in my opinion the audience should have been a little warmer on a farewell performance of a loved principal of 20 (!) years.

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here's a highlight reel from the program:

and a lovely montage of Lezhnina in various roles, which was shown at the performance:

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I agree with Lidewij about the orchestration of Paquita (by John Lanchbery); it was tasteless verging on vulgar. Minkus wasn't a genius, but he should have been left alone in my opinion. Tchai Pas was indeed brilliant, one of the best I've seen.

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Thanks for the review!

Last time I saw Lezhnina was last year in Giselle in Spain, and she was beautiful.

Glad you liked Maia Makhateli Remi W├Ârtmeyer and Vito Mazzeo.

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Thanks for reports and videos.

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