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"Jewels" at the POB, february-march 2003


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#46 Alexandra

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Posted 02 March 2003 - 03:47 PM

If I may intervene to prevent a misunderstanding -- yes, Francoise is Catherine, and we know this. The name "Catherine" was taken when she joined.

Francoise, I don't think Viviane was commenting on your English, but thought that you had must copied (and translated) someone else's post. To prevent misunderstandings, it's all right to say "This was also posted on Critical Dance" or whatever the site was. At least, it's all right to do that here.

While I'm being Solomon :), having read her posts for some time now, I don't think Francoise meant to be tendentious, just stating an opinion. Some of us say things in stronger ways than others, and I'm sorry if it sounded too strong, but I don't see anything out of line here. All of us read things differently, as well as see things differently, I think.

#47 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 02 March 2003 - 03:56 PM

[Board Host Beanie on]

Hi folks.

As long as a post doesn't contain a personal attack or is simply factually inaccurate, it's "within bounds". We don't ask that posters have the "right" opinions (OK, I'm lying. I like it MUCH better when someone agrees with me. This is because I am always right :) ) but we do ask that opinions and discussions happen in such a way that everyone can contribute to them. Don't cut off discussion, don't intimidate other posters.

I think there's plenty here to discuss, and I'm looking forward to hearing other views of the performance and those dancers. The Paris forum has really picked up speed, and that's a great thing. Was anyone else at the performance?

[Board Host Beanie off]

#48 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 02 March 2003 - 11:19 PM

Yes, thanks, Catherine-Françoise, I had asked about Thibault's performance in Jewels.

Of course, I didn't see this performance so I don't know what I am saying. But just this. Soloist makes unsuccessful debut in Rubies. That's a shame. Conclusion: 1) Balanchine is not for him, so 2) he is artistically limited, and so 3) he is not entitled to become premier danseur.

That's a lot of conclusions for one performance and I guess that's what bothered Viviane ;).

#49 Françoise

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 01:51 AM

Alexandra, thanks for your comment, but I don't make a translation of what I wrote on CD, I really wrote an original comments in english without using translation system. It's for that I couldn't note "write on CD". The comments are the same in their deep side, but not word for word. i don't know all the English equivalent of my French vocabulary and translates a general impression and some deeper comment, but not all the terms :( !

Yes Marc, I'm a few hard, but I know Emmanuel Thibaut since he is in School of ballet, as too many people I found him very promising when he was at School and when he enters in corps, I think he was premier danseur, or etoile, especially he raise very quickly the Sujet level in three years.
But I think and I'm not the lonely person, that he has not the required qualities to become premier danseur. As each year, too many people said that it's unfair that he is not premier danseur, I think it's normal with these kind of prestation. It's that what I wanted too say, perhaps a few hardly :( !
So my conclusions were not for ONE lonely performance of Rubies but for all I see of him (and Rubies it was not a single divertissement but a complete ballet), even it appears like that :( . I hope you could see him if you come to Paris to judge yourself his qualities ;) !

#50 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 02:32 AM

I know there is this whole argument pro and against Thibault and I don't want to raise it here, nor do I want to speak in his defence. But just this: on the occasions I saw him (most recently in the supporting cast of "Allegro brillante" and the pas de trois in "Paquita"), I always saw a dancer with a remarkable potential that needs to get cultivated and polished. Does it mean he has to be made premier danseur or even étoile? No, not necessarily, but like you say yourself, Catherine-Françoise, a dancer develops, and I'm quite sure that you too can think of a few less-talented colleagues who don't deserve those titles either ;).

#51 Françoise

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 03:25 AM

I completely agree with you some dancer doesn't merit their title :( ! But it's an other question !

I think that Emmanuel is good in supporting parts or in Paquita pas de trois, but I think he's a few old now to progress really, he is 28 years old and I saw a lot of defaults as partnership especially :( !

If you see Allegro Brillante, did you see Jewels, and what do you think about our dancers and what do you think about French interpretation of this ballet opposite to Russian Kirov interpretation.
For me in the first cast, I love Osta as sicilian, Moreau in pas de trois with Abbagnato and Daniel, Moussin/Legris and Gillot in Rubies a perfect cast and Letestu, Martinez in Diamonds, magic, even if saturday night I think I prefer Moussin interpretation more poetic, and pdd with Martinez was magic :( !

#52 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 04:20 AM

What I think about the Paris Opera Ballet has been amply covered in the last years in DanceView, where you will find several reviews and interviews with étoiles. I'm sure Alexandra will welcome your subscription :(

To answer your question, generally, I prefer the Paris Opera's take on "Jewels" to the Kirov's, at least when it comes to Emeralds en Rubies. Emeralds doesn't look like so much like a lesson learned off pat in Paris, and in Rubies we are mercifully spared of the coarseness that some of the Mariinsky soloists seem to associate with it. As for Diamonds, the Mariinsky reigns supreme (once again, depending of the leading cast).

#53 Françoise

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 04:28 AM

Thanks Marc for your comment :( !, did you enjoy some of our dancer or is it just a general impression ? Did you see Jewels by other troup than Kirov, did you see it by Nycb ?

For subscription, my english is too poor to subscribe to an english review, I take so many time to read some comments post on all BA website that read a complete review will take several month :( ! Against I know that your interview are very appreciated by Dancers and I think it sound great :( !

#54 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 11:36 AM

Catherine-Françoise, I didn’t see other companies in "Jewels". I understand the Miami Ballet is one of the best as well.

Limiting myself to this particular evening with the défilé and "Allegro brillante" preceding "Jewels", I particularly enjoyed Elisabeth Maurin in "Allegro brillante". This is a great ballerina with a superb quality of plastique and an uncanny sense of style. In Emeralds I thought Osta and Belarbi were outstanding, although the ensemble in general was very strong on atmosphere. In Rubies Moussin and Legris were close to ideal and without any excesses. On the other hand, Letestu and Martinez in Diamonds, seemed totally outside of this ballet, with no connection whatsoever to it spirit, and no matter how well danced as a purely technical exercise.

#55 Françoise

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Posted 03 March 2003 - 12:10 PM

I liked too many Maurin in Allegro, she has torso movement, and arms movement who are completely in spirit of Balanchine I think. She is a surprising ballerina, she never is as we wait for, when I think she will not be good, she is extraordinary, when I think a part is for her she is not good. She was also wonderful in Emeralds "Fileuse", she is really a balanchinian ballerina.

I found Moussin and Legris absolutely sensationnal. I love Letestu and Martinez, they are perhaps not in the spirit of the ballet, but I love too many them :( ! For me the best couple was Moussin and Martinez, Moussin is really like the swan, and Martinez is not the same than with Agnès.

#56 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 08 March 2003 - 02:07 AM

I went to see one of the final performances of "Jewels" at the POB (on the 5th). Above all, I would like to mention the quality of the Parisian corps de ballet, which was in all three sections in a class of its own, the ideal support for the soloists and quite elementary in the creation of the overall feel of the work.

On the other hand, the soloist-parts weren’t all that brilliant this time. Laëtitia Pujol and Karl Paquette were the somewhat pale leads in 'Emeralds', yet totally disappointing (or simply miscast) was Eleonora Abbagnato in the second solo and duet (her partner Bullion wasn’t much to write home about either).
Things improved with 'Rubies' thanks to Nolwenn Daniel and Hervé Courtain as the leading couple, doing rather well, although nowhere near as good as for instance Delphine Moussin and Manuel Legris. Another serious miscast and a cruel example of an artist who should be dancing in the corps instead of being thrown in a solo role was Emilie Cozette as the second girl.
'Diamonds' was probably most agreeable overall with Moussin and Bart. Moussin definitely found more in the role than Letestu, even if (like I often felt with Moussin) she lacked again that last bit of sparkle or inspiration or personality that could make it a truly great performance.

#57 Françoise

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Posted 08 March 2003 - 12:26 PM

I'm glad to read your comment about Hervé Courtain, it was one of the POB sujet I like too many, he is not too many cast, he makes one year as soloist in Boston Ballet and I completely agree about Emilie Cozette, It's a pure miscast :) .

Stéphane Bullion is a very young sujet, he came to be promoted, and it's his first true part as classical soloist, his other leading part was in AndreAuria (Lock's creation).

I'm sorry you not see Delphine Moussin partnered by José Martinez, they was an unique couple, and she has something more than with Jean-Guillaume Bart.

#58 Estelle

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 03:55 PM

On March 6th, I attended the last performance of this series, and the cast was partly similar to that of March 5th.

In "Emeralds", Pujol was indeed a bit pale, and Karl Paquette lacked stage presence and had somewhat stiff arms, and I was disappointed by the rather unmusical "sicilienne" solo by Eleonora Abbagnato (replacing Nolwenn Daniel who was supposed to dance on that evening- I hope that she's not injured). Things improved a tiny little bit during her duo scenes with Yann Bridard- but, even though I was happy to see the rarely cast Bridard, I wondered why cast him in such a role, while he generally is at his best in roles with a lot of acting like "Le jeune homme et la mort". In the Pas de trois, I liked very much Christophe Duquenne clean style and joy of dancing (he also danced one of the four demi-soloists in "Diamonds", and it was a pleasure to see him lead the polonaise).

In "Rubies", Clairemarie Osta was dancing this time with Alessio Carbone and Emilie Cozette. I agree with Marc and Francoise about Cozette being miscast in that role, she looked a bit weak and bland, especially when compared with former performances by dancers such as Marie-Agnès Gillot or Delphine Baey. But as the main couple Osta and Carbone both were very good; it was the first time I saw Carbone in a big role (he was promoted to premier danseur at the last competition) and he danced it very well, with a lot of charm.

In "Diamonds", the main roles were danced by José Martinez and Delphine Moussin. Moussin was not as technically secure as Agnès Letestu, but she was more expressive and moving, and her partnership with Martinez (very elegant, and doesn't he look great in that silver costume? :P ) worked very well. By the way, Marc, could you explain why you think Letestu and Martinez are not well suited to those roles? I realize that I have seen very few casts in it (Martinez, Le Riche, Bart in the male role and Letestu, Gillot, Moussin in the female one) so am lacking elements of comparison...

Also the whole corps de ballet deserved to be thanked, as they were excellent during the whole ballet, and especially the impressive finale of "Diamonds".

#59 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 11:20 PM

Estelle, Letestu and Martinez seem completely outside of this ballet. They execute it as a technical exercise (excellent it may be and with some fine partnering), but they don't seem to find any rapport with the music or the choreography. It looks extremely boring this way. When I saw Letestu in the first run of Jewels in 2000, she seemed a bit lost and thought she was having a difficult time with the changing rhythm of the polonaise. It looked much better this season, but it's still unrelated.

Agree about Abbagnato, fearful in the sicilienne (it's a bit cynical, I know :P), completely outside of it as well and moreover sloppily danced and with the kind of artificial expressivity that I've seen in other performances as well.


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