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New mixed bill


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 07 March 2002 - 01:03 AM

Effy, Alexander, reports?

I couldn't find anything in Politiken, but here's the review from Berlingske. (Caroline Cavallo and Andrew Bowman dancing Le Corsaire pas de deux must have been, well, at least a curiosity.)

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BALLET: Tim Rushton præsenterede sig til Det Kongelige Teaters balletaften endnu en gang som en overraskende koreograf på højt niveau.

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#2 Effy

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Posted 14 March 2002 - 02:11 AM

Calling the programme new mixed bill is not quite legit marketing, as the major parts is merely recircled goods from the few last seasons, and works that do not really merit a second outing.
But Alexei Ratmansky and Tim Rushton are probably as good young choreographers as you will see in any major company, but what makes a good starter is not suffficient for a main course and particulary in the case of Rushton, creating more than 5 ballets this year is bordering on spreading the strong talent to thinly. Bela to (surprise) Bela Bartok music seems a mere repetitions of ground already covered in Nomades and other recent Rushton work.Ratmansky and Rushton shares a passion for darkly lit stages, modernistic costumes, unclear narrative and heavy neo-classical music. Both makes original steps and both, like other choreographers has preferences for certain dancers, whom they tend to use and reuse in all their works. The favour type over talent and as a result as Rushton and Ratmansky are the current mainstay of new works in the company, the most talented and deserving dancers are not given the opportunity to have works created on them. Instead in order to use the recognised talent, we get a Corsaire pas de Trois instead of a Pas de deux with 3 - 4 different cast and voila, now 12 classical dancers gets on stage. However a third of a Corsaire is not really that good a deal for dancers like Silja Schandorff, Thomas Lund and Mads Blangstrup. When Silja S. danced Duo Concertante this summer at a galla, she outshone the crop of leading British and European ballerinas present. One would think that any Ballet master on seing that perfomance would move earth and heaven to get the piece included in his repetoire, but instead she is left with a piece she cannot really make an impact in. She needs something meatier and more mature. And she needs to be on stage more. Rumours has it that she will not be part of the Onegin revival next month, which sort of makes the revival irrelevant. Another great talent also in limbo is Thomas Lund. He is as good as ever, but he is also misused in doing works he has done for years or cameos. Any ballet master should make an effort to find works that could really challenge his talent or find choreographers that would create for him.
Peter Martins fearfull symmetries seemed the stronger Martins work when we got the first crop of Martins four year ago. However, having served a full Martins menu regulary since, it may still be the strongest but it appear more and more like run-of-the-mill Martins. Yes Thomas Lund and Claire Still vere very good, but they were as good four years ago. The other soloists Gitte Lindstrøm, Fransico Nappa, Caroline Cavallo and Jean Lucien Massot vere capable, but did not show anything we havent seen bfore and in the case of Gitte Lindstrøm, allthough she is a stong dancer, she has not been able to fullfill her potential, and looks more and more stereotype without any other facial expression than that of a smiling cat face. She needs coaching and attention, which she is not getting. I did not catch Gudrun Bojesen, whom unlike Lindstøm can build a connection with the audience and infuse any work with her personality and charm. I did not catch Mads Blangstrup either, bot allthough he has three different parts in the programme, neither I fear is using his specific talents very well.
For the nth time in the last ten years the Royal Danish Ballet is again in the unproductive periodeof a ballet master finishing his last season and it looks like the only artistic ambition is to make the clock move

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 14 March 2002 - 10:03 AM

Thank you for that, Effy. Dispiriting as it may be smile.gif It is hard when a ballet master is what we call a "lame duck" -- everyone knows he's finishing his term and so he has little real power.

I'd also certainly wonder why Silja Schandorff and Thomas Lund aren't used more!

#4 Effy

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Posted 14 March 2002 - 12:55 PM

Yes it has certainly been characteristic of Aage Thordals short reign that he had never been very good at casting or building repetoire that suited the available talent. The result is that you can now devide the leading Danish dancers into four categories; they are either injured, pregnent, leaving the company or misused.

The trouble is you cannot really blame Aage. The blame should rightfully rest with the powers who chosed him for the job. I think Arlene Croce once wrote that Peter Martins only got casting right 50% of the time. But I have seen many performance where I would have been pleased if aage could get as high a as 50% hit rate.

I do not thik he dislike Thomas Lund or Silja. He just does now have any understanding on how to build a dancer or repetoire, and he is somehow saved by the fact that dancers like Thomas Lund is able to grow even though he does not have the right part to develop in. And he is dancing, but he is not getting the parts that would really suit him. He more or less have the same repetoire as when he was 20. Silja is down to black leotard or white tutu. Yes she is dancing, but mainly in parts that only shows a bit of her talent. Caoline Cavollo is far the most used dancer in the company, but she is also misused because she is placed in part that do not suit her and which demands styles and personality that is beyond her command

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 14 March 2002 - 01:41 PM

I agree with you about Cavallo, yet she is the one dancer whom all the past directors -- Andersen I, Schaufuss, Eliason, Gielgud, Christensen and now Andersen II -- put in leading rolls. (To be fair, Schaufuss also used Rose Gad quite a bit.)


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