Josette

La Scala in Orange County in July 2017

16 posts in this topic

In the LA Times of March 12, 2017, it reports that La Scala is bringing Giselle to Segerstrom Hall in Orange County this July. 

 

Casting is as follows:

July 28: Misty Copeland, Roberto Bolle

July 29 matinee: Nicoletta Manni, Claudio Covielo

July 29 evening: Marianela Nunez, Roberto Bolle

July 30: Nunez, Bolle

 

MARIANELA NUNEZ!  

 

What is somewhat frustrating is that Tyler Peck and Robert Fairchild are bringing a group of dancers to Los Angeles Music Center on the same weekend including as yet unnamed dancers from New York City Ballet, ABT, Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, and Miami City Ballet, performing works by Balanchine, MacMillan, and Wheeldon. (All information from today's LA Times Calendar section. The Segerstrom website has not been updated.) 

 

i assume that Bigonzetti's departure as director of La Scala is the reason we are getting Giselle instead of the previously announced Bigonzetti Cinderella, which was supposed to feature Polina Semionova and Bolle. Perhaps Semionova wants some time with her newborn baby and to get into shape. 

 

 

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You are right - those productions shouldn't be set for the same dates. Considering the length of time that Southern Cal audiences have to wait to see some decent ballet, it just doesn't make sense. I also don't get "La Scala" opening with Copeland and Bolle dancing - it should be about their own current dancers.

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Copeland's presence is intended to boost ticket sales, presumably. I think Bolle still qualifies as a (more or less) full-time La Scala dancer. Dancing Giselle three nights in a row is a tall order. If he can pull that off at age 42, it will be an impressive achievement.

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I am thrilled to get to finally see Marianela Nunez live, twice. 

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1 hour ago, Josette said:

I am thrilled to get to finally see Marianela Nunez live, twice. 

 

I really enjoyed Nunez in the Royal Ballet's Jewels live rehearsal broadcast. I would like to see her dance. But I still don't get a foreign tour that barely features the company's own principal dancers. That's a "WTF?" moment for me.

There might be some feelings against inviting Carlo Di Lanno and Angelo Greco down from SFB to take part, as they formally left La Scala. OK, I can get that, but why depend upon guest artists? What exactly are they trying to show other countries?

 

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My impression is that La Scala Ballet relies a lot on guests, but another BalletAlert member probably knows more than I do on this topic.   I remember when La Scala brought Sylvie Guillem's Giselle and she danced all performances but a matinee, and they also brought a mixed bill including Roland Petit's Carmen, which should have featured Ferri, but due to her pregnancy, they had a miscast Viviana Durante in the role.  Zakharova guests often with La Scala  There is good reason why Angelo Greco and Carlo di Lanno left.  I am also looking forward to seeing Nicoletta Manni and Claudio Covielo.  

 

I need to check who Bolle's sponsor is at ABT. 

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Posted (edited)

'In the old days' -- I mean 40-50 years ago -- Australian ballet used to do long international tours that featured a major guest artist or artists often dancing almost every performance. I saw the company on tour both with Nureyev and with Fonteyn; the two were headlining different tours when I saw them, though I think they had appeared together on earlier ones. 

 

(Nureyev headlined other international tours with other companies and always dominated the casting and sometimes the choreography. I remember going to see him night after night with the Festival Ballet and every night was like having a different adventure--because you really never knew exactly what...uh..."mood" he would bring to the stage. Despite the adventure aspect, I was a bit of a Nureyev skeptic and then one night saw him dance an Albrecht of unbelievable dramatic and spiritual depth. It was worth sitting through--or, rather, worth standing through since I was usually standing--every crappy Nureyev performance I had experienced over the years to have seen that ONE Albrecht. Still have never seen it equaled.)

 

Historians of the Australian ballet (or other companies) could do better than I in explaining the motivation for their tours--and whatever benefits they may have generated for the company in terms of reputation, revenue, and experience. But this La Scala tour seems to me a little different, and not only because La Scala regularly brings guest artists, including Copeland and Nunez, to dance with them at home (as Jayne mentioned), but also because Bolle is now their biggest homegrown "star," and this tour seems organized around him more than anything else.  So perhaps they think of it as showing off their superstar before his career heads to its classical sunset. Hope he turns out not ONE but THREE great Albrecht performances. 

Edited by Drew

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Bolle's performances at ABT are sponsored by William J. Gillespie, whose name adorns the ABT dance academy affiliated with Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts in Orange County.  I have also seen Bolle dance twice with the LA Philharmonic over the past four years as well and no other featured male dancer aside from Bolle has had that honor.  So we are likely getting La Scala to get Bolle. Does Bolle ever dance with any of the La Scala female principals? Anyone know? 

 

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Posted (edited)

Bolle has an impressive, rock-solid classical technique aside from his personal charisma.   I saw him dance Apollo a year or so ago with LA Philharmonic and Hee Seo (floundering in her solo), Devon Teuscher, and Stella Abrera (came off best of the ladies).  The tempi were slow and oddly phrased for the sake of effect as conducted by Dudamel and pulled on the choreography, especially Apollo's opening solo and the one before the pas de deux. My legs were aching in sympathy as I watched.  I don't know how Bolle got through it, but he did and he was amazing. 

Edited by Josette

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32 minutes ago, Josette said:

Does Bolle ever dance with any of the La Scala female principals? Anyone know? 

 

La Scala has a (not so handy) online archive, so I checked. Generally speaking, the answer is no, except for Svetlana Zakharova, who is technically a member of the company, but who typically appears in one, maybe two, productions a season. Bolle, it has to be said, does appear more often. Back in May 2014 he danced Petit's Jeune homme with Marta Romagna. In December 2013 he danced in Ratmansky's Opera with Beatrice Carbone. For the most part his partners have been visiting dancers,

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I agree with what everyone is saying - it does look to be as much about Bolle as his "backup", La Scalla Ballet. Perhaps the idea is to create an ABT-style company at La Scala, and they just want foreign artists to feel they would always be welcomed there.  ;)

I'm not such a fan of the ABT company style, but many people love thinking they are going to see international "stars" of the ballet. I know La Scala has been struggling, but I don't know the details of what they are up against in Italy.

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Interesting that at ABT's 8 week season this spring Bolle is only scheduled to do 2 Onegins and nothing else.  Yet he can dance 3 Giselles in 4 days?

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Even better, he can dance Albrecht two nights in a row and the following day's matinee.

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It goes to show you that Bolle regards La Scala as his primary employer, and ABT is just a guest gig, albeit an annual one. But Drew jogged my memory about Nureyev. There was indeed a time when there were many tours along the lines of Nureyev+London Festival Ballet, or Nureyev+the National Ballet of Canada, or Nureyev+Australian Ballet. It could be that both company and presenter believe tickets won't sell if Bolle isn't starring in as many performances as humanly possible.

 

I have seen dancers perform Giselle two days in a row with no drop in virtuosity. I've seen dancers do an evening followed by a matinee of Swan Lake with no perceptible drop-off. I remember seeing a dancer give three brilliant performances in two days of a major role, though it was not as big as Albrecht. For that matter I've seen dancers switch between Myrtha and the corps for show after show. But doing Albrecht for two evenings followed by a matinee will be an impressive demonstration of stamina. I give Bolle credit for not slowing down.

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Posted (edited)

If anyone can do it, I think that Bolle can:  after all, he handled both Kent and Herrera's last ABT Giselles with only a day's break in-between and looked world-class. (In comparison to that 2015 gig, the partnering for this engagement seems easier from a physical, mental, and prep time standpoint.)

 

I think his light schedule with ABT this season is actually more happenstance:  the two classics that he always dances--Giselle and Swan Lake--are actually a bit oversubscribed with debuts this year (the men cast all need an appearance to keep their rep in tune; the debuting women need an in-house partner to work out kinks). Otherwise, the spring rep is dominated by unfamiliar Ratmansky pieces that he'd have to spend time acquiring.

 

(It feels weird to find myself defending Bolle...but the respect he showed during those 2015 ABT retirement gigs made me view him in a new light.)

Edited by choriamb

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I saw Nicoletta Manni as the Queen of the Dryads in La Scala's tour last year and she is a very very beautiful dancer with good technique.  

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