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Onegin (as a ballet) summer 2002


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#16 sylvia

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Posted 18 January 2002 - 09:00 AM

Last night a packed house saw another impeccable performance by both Robert Tewsley and Mara Galeazzi.

Tewsley dances more beautifully than anyone I've ever seen. He's incredibly lyrical and light on his feet, his jumps seem weightless and his pirouettes are so fast and don't move a millimetre off mark. His Onegin is so self-absorbed and condescending - in his first pdd with Tatiana it is clear who is dictating the dance. I really hope the RB has room for him to guest again in the near future.

Mara was wonderfully passionate from where I was sitting. Her final pdd with Tewlsey was beautifully detailed down to her trembling hands. I think I agree that she makes the transition from young girl to mature woman the best (though not necessarily the best Tatiana - I think it's pretty much even between Rojo, Cojocaru and Galeazzi).

I don't think anyone can match Alina Cojocaru in her portrayal of Olga. She's such an incredibly bright presence on stage and outshines nearly everyone in her wake. Her Olga is such an innocent, blissfully unaware of the damage her flirtations will wreak.

Ivan Putrov, a promising first soloist, was a fair Lensky. I thought his reactions to Olga's flirting were a little muted - not nearly as harsh as I thought the role called for. But his solo in the moonlight in Act II was still very moving. This solo along with the dancing leading up to the duel is my favourite of all.

I also thought the corps also looked in great form last night - some sections had noticeably improved from December.

I'd seen so many Onegins last year (I'm not saying how many - it's too embarassing!) I thought maybe I wouldn't be so taken by it all anymore, but no worries. It's still fresh and beautiful and I'm looking forward to Rojo and Cooper's final performance on Saturday, and Cojocaru and Kobborg next week.

#17 Lolly

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Posted 23 January 2002 - 08:17 PM

I just got back from Onegin tonight, after seeing Tapper/Coppen/Nunez/Stepanek for the second time, but with Christopher Saunders as Gremin this time. I had to see it again because of Johannes Stepanek - last time I was completely bowled over by him and he didn't let me down tonight! I just believed so much that he is impulsive enough and full of youthful passion to be so disturbed by Olga's flirting that he simply can't bear it.

The man next to me was surprised I was there to see the same cast twice, but as the curtain fell on Act II, I turned to him and said "THAT'S why I had to come again!" He did agree!

There are so many parts of this ballet that I love, and was very glad I went twice because I was reminded of them all. I love the parts where the characters walk in front of the curtain, and the grand jetes diagonally across the stage, then back again from the other wing. And the front cloth with "EO" on it.

I hope RB do Onegin again soon. (There are only two more performances now) And I hope Johannes is given more opportunities in the company... gosh to think what he could do with Romeo or Des Grieux... I can't wait. smile.gif

Also, I was "upstairs" tonight, as I had last minute tickets, and it is very different up there! The noise of applause was unbelievable during the curtain calls, and all the "Bravos"! I think you must be sheltered from it a bit "downstairs", because all the tiers are in between.

A lady told me at interval that Ross Stretton, Monica Mason, Donald MacLeary and Antoinette Sibley were in the audience. And I saw Zenaida Yanowsky too. smile.gif

#18 sylvia

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Posted 27 January 2002 - 12:15 AM

Lolly you're making me wish I'd gone to see Stepanek again too! He seems to be taking on more roles this season - he features in at least 2 ballets in the triple bill. I did catch Cojocaru-Kobborg-Persson-Bond last week. Alina and the two Johans were exceptional, but I have some reservations about Gemma. I think the disparity between her and the others is too huge and is actually a little distracting.

Onegin is returning at the end of July - just 6 performances!

#19 Giannina

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Posted 28 January 2002 - 11:29 AM

I was there the 23rd and 24th (had a wonderful trip, thank you!) I agree with the raves of both casts so will add just a few thoughts. Of Coppen and Kobborg (couldn't they make these names just a bit dissimilar while I get to know these dancers?!): Kobborg was the stronger dancer, bordering on perfection in his control. I had forgotten about those rapid pirouettes; his were truly impressive! I found his interpretation of Onegin's character detrimental to the story. He made Onegin seem demented; he'd suddenly get this wild look in his eye and look off in the distance as if he heard voices. As a result the final pdd seemed less plausible since I found it hard to believe Titiana would fall in love with someone so wierd. Coppen's Onegin was much more socially acceptable (and he's so darn cute!) Of the women: After seeing Tapper Wed. I thought nothing could top it, but Cojocaru did. Like Kobborg she was as close to perfect as you could hope. Tapper was wonderful but Cojocaru added just a bit more expansion, control, development to what she did. For me the final pdd's passion belonged to Tapper and Coppen, mostly because of Coppen's carefully developed characterization of Onegin (OK, the cuteness didn't hurt). Two great performances back to back; who could ask for more.

Giannina

#20 Lolly

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Posted 29 January 2002 - 05:17 PM

Yes Sylvia, I just can't say enough about Johannes Stepanek! I wanted to see Ivan Putrov as Lensky too, but in the end I chose to see Johannes again. They are both dancers who I hope get a lot of notices this season. I'm sure I have a ticket to see something else Johannes is cast in this season - could be Remanso? so I'll be sure to post my opinions! Can you belive he's in the corps?

Gianinna, I'm glad you had a good time at ROH - don't we have a great company at the moment? smile.gif

#21 Giannina

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Posted 29 January 2002 - 09:48 PM

Lolly...
Lordy, do you ever!

Giannina

#22 Giannina

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Posted 30 January 2002 - 12:08 PM

I can't seem to shut up here.

On neither the program for the given performance nor in the 4 pound (price) booklet sold in the lobby is there mention of any dancer other than those dancing the leads. It's like the corps didn't exist. Somewhat insulting to them, and not very informative to the public.

Giannina

[ January 30, 2002: Message edited by: Giannina Mooney ]



#23 Lolly

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Posted 30 January 2002 - 02:26 PM

If you want to know about anybody in particular, I can try to help! There are biographies on different dancers in other programmes so I'll hunt out others if you would like to know about them. There are a few on dancers from the corps who are getting breaks - like Johannes (can't stop talking about him either!).

I agree there should be pictures of all the dancers, not just a list of who is ranked where in the company. The only place I can think of that has pictures of them all is in Sir Anthony's Gala programme from last May - the company is standing in rows, like a school picture! smile.gif

#24 sylvia

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Posted 30 January 2002 - 09:44 PM

I asked the RB about this only last week and they said they'd be putting up dancer biographies and photos on the ROH website soon. The site's really nice - has expanded quite a bit if you haven't been recently. I think both Stepanek and Putrov danced as boys in the corps in the first act and I can name a few others.

I went to see Cojocaru and Kobborg on Tuesday, Onegin's Last Night <sniff, sniff> until July. I think they were the best I've ever seen them. The two give such intelligent, well thought-out and yet such passionate readings of Onegin and Tatiana. I think they are less overtly emotional than Adam Cooper and Tamara Rojo, much more subtle and nuanced. And they are the most brilliant dancers. Their partnership reminds me a little of what people say about Guillem and Cope -that the strength of their partnering allows them to take bigger risks. I swear I heard the whole theatre collectively suck in it's breath when they did those huge lighting-fast flying lifts in the mirror pdd. And I don't think there's any question in my mind now that Alina is of the finest dance-actresses in the RB - the range of expressions on her face in any one scene was amazing. I also thought Johan danced the best Act I and II. I don't think anyone else conveyed such self-absorption as he did through his dancing. Everytime he simply extended a leg, he just reeked of it.

He really piled it on with the make-up in Act III though - his hair was so grey and he has such huge shadows under his eyes he looked like he'd aged 40 years between acts!

Johan Persson was a fabulous Lensky as usual. Gemma Bond has grown on me a little but I still have the same reservations as last time. She's a lovely dancer but looks a little out-classed next to Alina.

Lolly, are you going to see Memories? Stepanek dances in Leaves and I think Beyond Bach as well.

[ January 30, 2002: Message edited by: sylvia ]



#25 sylvia

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Posted 30 January 2002 - 09:45 PM

BTW Giannina I'm glad you had a good time here too!

I sorta liked Coppen's interpretation but I didn't think it was as powerful as the others. I agree, he's very cute! But I thought he looked too sweet to be mean when he first stepped out in act I. Still that was 2 months ago so he's probably improved - wish I'd seen him again last week. I wonder why he and Tapper were pulled from their performances as Lensky and Tatiana because that would have been really interesting.

[ January 30, 2002: Message edited by: sylvia ]



#26 rg

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Posted 31 January 2002 - 01:02 AM

can someone explain who this 'coppen' is?
is it a ref. to adam cooper?

#27 Kevin Ng

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Posted 31 January 2002 - 03:04 AM

Nathan Coppen is an Australian dancer who just joined the Royal Ballet this season, after dancing with the English National Ballet for several years.

#28 Lolly

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Posted 31 January 2002 - 10:42 AM

Sylvia, yes I'm going to see Memories tomorrow so i'll report back. It seems to have had mixed reviews so I'm looking forward to making up my own mind! I don't think I have a great seat for it, so I'll be willing them all to dance downstage a lot!

I'll also look forward to seeing who is cast for the summer Onegins... smile.gif

#29 sylvia

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Posted 31 January 2002 - 12:47 PM

Hope you have a good time Lolly! About summer casting I've heard rumours that Alina's doing 2 (presumably with Kobborg) and Adam Cooper is in talks to return for Onegin as well. Makes me wonder though...if he doesn't who's going to dance with Tamara? I can't think of anyone who could step in and partner her as well as Adam did.

#30 Lolly

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Posted 31 January 2002 - 03:59 PM

You sound like you have inside information! Well, keep us posted if your hear anything definite (actually, even rumours are exciting!). It would be lovely to have Adam back a bit more, I hope he is offered other things too, not just Onegin. smile.gif


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