Posted 18 November 2002 - 12:48 PM
I am going to both performances tomorrow so I'll report back then, but if anyone is there tonight, please do write about it!
Posted 18 November 2002 - 04:32 PM
Posted 18 November 2002 - 07:53 PM
I was there tonight (or last night now - it's 3am!). Cojocaru danced very beautifully I thought, and she's so tiny and her swan-like gestures so delicate, she seemed like a fragile white flower easily crushed by Rothbart (and Siegfried too). I thought dance-wise she made a good distinction between Odette and Odile, but it's hard to conceive her as malovelent, a little disappointing as she had no qualms about being cruel and manipulative in Mayerling a few weeks ago.(which I keep meaning to post about and I will!) She struggled with the fouettes in both the rehearsal and the performance so I worry a little if she is up to the technical demands. I have mixed feelings about Cojocaru - I feel like she's unable to project to the auditorium enough. I didn't see anything particularly interesting or unique about her performance from there. It wasn't until a friend gave me her seat in the front row of the stalls for the last act that I began to enjoy her a little more and the chemistry between her and Kobbog really became evident. I didn't have this problem with Tamara Rojo last year where I had terrible seats and still saw one of the greatest performances of my life. So I won't say anymore until I see her again next week and can be sure.
I did think that Kobborg's dancing was absolutely stunning. I was beginning to forget all the reasons why I thought he is a truely great dancer after a couple weeks without seeing him perform (he was injured before his last Mayerling and I've seen other 5 Mayerlings since then!). But with his first solo in Act I, all those reasons came rushing back FAST! It's hard to explain, but he just dances so beautifully! Everything is so precise, every movement gently stretched out. In his variation in Act III his tricks are so amazing, his pirouettes don't move an inch and slowly speed up as he brings his leg in, and yet he has none of that flashy 'look at me' personna that say Acosta has. I just could not stop smiling in his solos, they bring one so much pleasure to watch. I do wish there was more dancing for Siegfried in SL but I guess after Mayerling Kobborg may be happy not to have to throw anymore ballerinas about! And I do think he's a first class actor, though his pleas to his mother "I want to marry her, oh please let me!" felt a little wishy-washy. But I suppose you can't be half-hearted about the mime and if Kobborg's intent was to portray Siegfried as a needy boy without backbone then he succeeded. I think that his Siegfried isn't some big hero, but just that boy who eventually finds strength and redemption in Odette's love and forgiveness. But I'll have to go and see it again because it's 4am and I have 9 o'clock lectures and I'm definitely over-analysing.
The corps looked ok from where I sat, though I heard people on the side complaining how messy it looked. Marianela Nunez, Mara Galeazzi and Yohei Sasaki were very fresh and enjoyable in the pas de trois - it's so good to watch so much quality dancing outside the main roles. Towards the last dance in Act I my eye wasn't drawn so much to the corps dancing as it was to Ricardo Cervera as a soldier getting obnoxiously drunk on the sidelines - he does it very funnily! And of course he drunkenly goes on to spot Rothbart in the forest later on. He and Laura Morera were also really sparkly in the Neopolitan dance. I don't have a problem with this production though I can understand why people think the sets are too dark, cluttered and gaudy. I was straining to make out Kobborg's legs in his Act III variation. But I think the Faberge-egg inspired sets make the RB production very unique and I love the fluffy white swans - I guess the fluffy skirts must go some way to hide any mistakes by the corps as well!
Have had to give up my tickets for Bussell & Bolle and Tapper & Putrov Lolly. I'll keep trying for other dates. I'm looking forward to what you say about them.
Posted 19 November 2002 - 03:49 AM
Let us recall here that Lynn Seymour, who was right up there with Galina Ulanova in my little book, could not pull off the 32, and was wont to stumble towards the orchestra pit after 11 or 12. Did that stop her ? Well, it did stop her from turning the rest, because she'd just ditch'em - and then get on with the rest of the play.
Depending on your physical construction (e.g. very swaybacked), you may not be able to get through them properly no matter how many hours you put to the grindstone. Does it matter ? The girl is too fragile, and frankly, the choreography should be altered so she does not have to suffer through them. One can allow oneself do that, when faced with a woman of that calibre. She probably spends most of the ballet worrying that it will Shortly be Expected.
Swan Lake may, overall, be a little too technical for her. Moreover, it requires great stamina, and she does not have it.
Which brings us back to a point I have modestly tried to make elsewhere, that the things she was taught in Kiev are Not Good for the Body.
Anyway, asfor projection at a distance, let us bear in mind that we are dealing with a girl who is just over five foot tall. Very small dancers, like Elizabeth Maurin, Monique Loudières, or Laetitia Pujol, have all had difficulty, despite their great charisma, in projecting on the large Bastille stage. And, lastly but not leastly, Bournonville's own favourite dancer was Juliette Price, about whom he wrote something like "her refined style of dancing did not project well at a distance, and had to be viewed at close range to be properly appreciated".
Posted 20 November 2002 - 08:46 AM
Posted 22 November 2002 - 06:57 PM
Enjoyed the pas de trois a great deal. Jose Martin and Dierdre Chapman are really proving their worth here. Chapman in particular I'm really warming to. She has such a bright smile that always draws your attention. Recognised Lauren Cuthbertson as one of the two big swans - she's another, only recently out of the RBS, that draws the eye and she's been getting some big roles which is great and deserving I reckon.
A ballet-free weekend for once! Nothing until Alina again on Wednesday. I liked the review in the Daily Telegraph said exactly what I couldn't seem to articulate about her performance. Did anyone see Rojo and Acosta?
Posted 23 November 2002 - 08:32 PM
Posted 24 November 2002 - 10:50 AM
Tuesday was a very long but exciting day for me, I went to work in the morning then excused myself for the afternoon (hoorah, I managed it!!) then saw Ivan Putrov and Jaimie Tapper in the matinee, went to ballet class and dashed in just in time for the 3rd act of Darcey and Roberto! (You will all think I am mad again, but it was an important class, and I will see Darcey and Roberto in it again next week.) There were a lot of names on the injury slips for both performances, so I hope everyone is all right.
Ivan suited the dark blue and silver costume down to the ground, so I was impressed before he even danced a step!;) He was stunning to watch, he is such a beautiful dancer. Jaimie was quite good, but my impression of her was spoiled by seeing Darcey in the same role on the same day - there is just no comparison. There wasn't a spark between Ivan and Jaimie, and I wasn't entirely sure why he wanted her instead of another swan, like Christina Arestis for example, who was gorgeous as one of the two swans. (Emily Low was the other, she was lovely too.) Tom Whitehead as Benno was brilliant, I got the feeling he was holding everything together, he was fantastic!
The national dances were great, I really enjoy seeing how the character dancing I do in class is shown on stage, it is very inspiring! I wasn't keen on the black wigs for the poor Spanish dancers though!
In the evening performance when the curtain went up on Act III I expected it to be Ivan again, but was entirely consoled by it being Roberto instead! He was superb, I am so pleased he is dancing so much with Darcey at the moment. Darcey was wonderful, and was perfectly mean as Odile, she gave some delicious little smiles and smirks as she was tricking poor Roberto. (I whispered to my friend as the curtain came down on Act III, "OOH! She's so MEAN!!") Marianela Nunez was lovely as one of the two swans, I do like seeing her on stage with Darcey. I did wish she had got her own Swan Lake though - maybe next time. Ricardo Cervera and Laura Morera were astonishing in the Neapolitan - they were so vibrant, I couldn't stop smiling! They look so good together.
So standout performances for me were Tom as Benno and Ricardo and Laura in the Neapolitan - I do hope I see them again in those roles. I am excited to see Darcey and Roberto again too, after being given a taster! And VERY much looking forward to seeing Zenaida later on. And of course I wish it had been me in the Czardas...;)
I was surprised to see the boys stealing the guards' crossbows for the hunt - I had thought Siegfried had a crossbow for his birthday so that was why they had to go on the hunt, rather than seeing the swans and having an impromptu hunt. I suppose it is just two different interpretations.:confused: And I think, if I was paying attention properly, that Ivan and Roberto were wearing different costumes for the last two acts - Ivan had grey tights and shoes, but Roberto was in black. The costumes were gorgeous, and I really love the gold spiral staircases at the side of the stage in the palace. There are lots of good pictures and interesting stuff in the programme, including a beautiful picture of Anthony Dowell and Antoinette Sibley.
Posted 24 November 2002 - 12:10 PM
Posted 24 November 2002 - 12:20 PM
Posted 24 November 2002 - 02:05 PM
Your Tuesday doesn't sound so mad. :-) I went into Tewsley's Mayerling knowing I'd only be able to see Act I, leave for a meeting in Act II and hopefully rush back for Act III. As it was my meeting over-ran and I missed both Act II and III, but I got lucky and got tickets for his subsequent performnces!
And yep, Ivan was wearing grey tights as opposed to Kobborg's (and everyone else I've ever seen) black. Someone told me that he requested to wear grey to show off his legs better! I have to agree! I was really squinting to make out Kobborg's legs against the black floor. And the light in the black pdd gets so dark for some reason.
Fabiana, look forward to hearing about Darcey and Roberto when they dance in Verona!
Posted 25 November 2002 - 01:48 PM
Interesting about Ivan's costume - I wouldn't have thought the dancers had a say in what they wore. I agree that black makes it hard to see the legs and feet - and if I had beats like Ivan I would certainly want to make sure the audience saw them!
It's peculiar about Brian. I hope he is back this week.
Posted 26 November 2002 - 03:41 AM
Anyway, speaking of the tights, the person sitting behind me (who incidentally kept pronouncing it "ballut" rather than "ballay", I hope ironically) was complaining they couldn't see Seigfried's legs in the third act. He said it was all very well for the youngsters (me, presumably, after I moved his coat because it was poking me in the neck during the second act) but older folks wouldn't have been able to see, and he was going to write to the director about it (!). His companion said "do you think it will make a difference?" and he said "Oh I expect so" with complete confidence. Hilarious.
Posted 26 November 2002 - 03:59 AM
Posted 26 November 2002 - 05:51 AM
I'm glad I'm not the only one who squeezes as much ballet into the day as she can! And in the Royal Box, hey? Very swanky!
The people in the box didn't think so - they were giving my bootleg jeans and doc martins the evil eye. I wouldn't pay full price (£73) to sit there though - I stood in the returns queue and bargained it down to £15! It's good for an alternative view if you're seeing the umpteenth Swan Lake.
I think Ivan would have had to have asked Dowell for permission to change the costume. But I like black tights better so I think they should just change the floor!
I really can't wait to see Tamara and Carlos after their wonderful reviews. Saturday is too far away!!!
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