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katharine kanter

Paquita - a frigid pastiche of Auguste B

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Estelle, I didn't meant 'restrained' applause (maybe I've put it wrong ?). On the contrary the audience was very enthusiastic, as most of the times I've been in Paris (always a lot of tourists too !).

I'm not so happy about the fact that someone backstage decides -often too soon- to close the curtains and turn-on the lights as if one is limited in the allowed applause-time !?

Most artists 'lives' from the applause too, don't they ? Although Letestu and Martinez didn't seem to care much about it, one should allow the public to express their enthusiasm.

The picture -with the man in black :)- recalled me of one of the topics of my 'post-performance talk' : some members of the orchestra were talking and laughing the whole way through the performance... I'm not used to sitting so close !

I saw it as a lack of respect for the conductor ! :(

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I think what Viviane means is that the curtain calls at the POB are far too orchestrated. I often felt like in a shop where it is near closing time: when a certain amount of bows have been done, the curtain stays closed and there are the houselights - the hint is clear, it's time to go home, no matter the enthusiastic response of the audience.

There is indeed quite a difference in the way Legris and Martinez acknowledge the ovations, undoubtedly related to personality. With Legris it's obvious that he stays in the role and enjoys the curtain calls as much as the act of performing itself - for him they are part of the performance. Martinez is well in the role during performance, but at the curtain calls he seems a totally different character: polite, but distant and cool.

That said, I thought that Martinez and Letestu (both very tall dancers) gave a marvelous example of partnership in the "Paquita" I saw. Their duets had (except maybe for a slight misunderstanding during the final shoulder lift) a fluency, a common sense of purpose, an innate rapport in movement not seen with Legris-Pujol.

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Thanks Marc and Viviane for the explanation! I had misunderstood Viviane's initial comment, and I agree that often the management "stops" the applause too soon (but it seems to vary a little bit depending on the performances), and it's a pity. I wonder why they do that- "Paquita" isn't even a very long ballet?

Marc, perhaps Pujol and Legris need more time: Letestu and Martinez have been dancing together for many years (and they are a couple in real life- it doesn't always make great partners on stage, but probably it means at least that they work a lot together), while the partnership between Pujol and Legris is more recent (ah, to see him again with Monique Loudières...)

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Indeed, it seems that the length of the curtain calls are a bit short, although they do vary, and the ones after the Hommage to Nureyev were very long. It seemed that the audience and the dancers wanted it to continue. Concerning Paquita, I have seen the same cast two years ago, and nearly the same on the 1st of february this year, the only difference was in the pas de trois which was danced by Miteki Kudo, Alessio Carboneand Muriel Zusperreguy. I know one shouldn't only look at the technique, but I was really impressed by Laetitia Pujol's triple fouettés in the Coda of the Grand Pas. One of my favourite Sujets were nearly all dancing that evening: Isabelle Ciaravola, Guillaume Charlot, Nicolas Paul. I had good seats, in the 1st loge, just next to the stage, so it was very interesting to ba able to see everything from so close. My only regret was to arrive late because of the RER strike, but I only missed about ten minutes, and the rest was so enjoyable that even without the begiining, it was probably one of my best evenings at the opera (even if I got back home at two in the morning because of the same problem), the cast was a very good one. The Grand Pas was certainly very entertaining,but I found the polonaise preceding it a bit too long, but it is only my opinion.

Su-lian

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Welcome, su-lian! Your opinions are most welcome and I hope we shall be reading more of them :(

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