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  2. MadameP

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    I agree. Actually, I wonder at much of Tereshkina's casting at MT. For me, she is no Aurora or Giselle or Odette (Odile MAYbe) and no Raymonda. The list goes on. Technically she is strong, but she doesn't represent Vaganova style to me, and maybe that is because she was not wholly Vaganova trained. I cannot remember now whether she had 4 or 5 years at Vaganova, but certainly not the full course. I find her often, as you say, ostentatious, and I also find her hard, She just doesn't have that somewhat rarified Vaganova refinement. Khoreva DOES in my opinion. Very talented girl.
  3. meunier fan

    National Ballet of Canada 2018-19 season

    So pleased to hear about Frola. Saw him as Nijinky in Paris and thought he was SPECTACULAR ...
  4. Today
  5. Drew

    Liam Scarlett's Queen of Spades for the RDB

    Thanks for this report...I thought Queen of Spades was a kind of intriguing and even slightly unexpected subject for this kind of full length ballet, so I was rather curious how it came off.
  6. Drew

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    People don't often mention her--at least not on the websites I read--but I had been assuming Ayupova must play an important role in the new leadership of the school too . . . no??
  7. Fleurdelis

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    I am not sure fuller-bodied and more muscular is something I would like to see more of, I would prefer more Lopatkinas, Zakharovas and Vishnevas, or am I advocating an unhealthy look? And what about the men?
  8. Quinten

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Here is a happy and healthy 2009 graduate two years before her graduation -- hardly a sullen stick insect!
  9. posted this afternoon on NBOC instagram: nationalballet2018/19 Promotions: Congratulations to Skylar Campbell and Francesco Gabriele Frola on being promoted to Principal Dancer. nationalballet2018/19 Promotions: Jack Bertinshaw will be promoted to First Soloist. nationalballet2018/19 Promotions: Congratulations to Christopher Gerty, Spencer Hack and Miyoko Koyasu who will be promoted to Second Soloist.
  10. Laurent

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Tereshkina observed every single accent, this alone is a rarity today; her exaggerated, ostentatious, manner, however, made her less appealing in my eyes than, for example, Khoreva, who was dancing one of the variations (said to be from the late 19th century ballet Gretna-Green (!?!) but, in reality, being the Dulcinea variation of Dudinskaya).
  11. Helene

    Is Bournonville Still Alive?

    Many thanks, Anne, for your analysis and point of view. I wish you had better news, but better to know what is happening.
  12. Yesterday
  13. Anne

    Liam Scarlett's Queen of Spades for the RDB

    Yes, the reviews were indeed very good, and of course it is some kind of event, when a wellknown choreographer creates a full-length ballet especially for our company. I saw it and was impressed but never moved by it. I liked the inventiveness of Liam Scarlett's choreography, though he couldn't keep up the steem all the time, especially the last scene where Hermann goes mad seemed to go on endlessly. I was surprised, that Scarlett in many ways was so conventional, especially in his pas de deux's: Very much of "man lifting and supporting woman". Most convincing actually was his ensembles and corps dances, for some choreographers, like Ashton and MacMillan, often the weakest parts. But Scarlett has an eye for creating surprising and "edgy" movements and patterns for a large group of dancers, and they are not only visually interesting but also creating meaning and telling stories. The decor was perhaps what made the experience such a cold one. A huge steel and glass construction lit up by harsh white or greyish light was moved up and down and around the stage to etablish different locations, but without ever looking like anything but a large steel and glass construcion. Andreas Kaas had the leading role as Hermann. He is a very able dancer but his acting still remains, to me at least, somewhat external. He is often pairing Ida Praetorius, and I hope her naturalness and expressiveness will rob off onto him with time. She was an endearing and very touching Liza. Kitty Mathiakis was an impressive Queen of Spades, but the role and the heavy mask-like make-up didn't give her much opportunity to act, neither did the costume leave her much space to dance. The music was by Tschaikovsky, or so the programme said... Well, in a way it was, it just didn't sound like him. Martin Yates has made a patchwork of mostly lesser known music by Tshcaikovsky, and he has orchestrated, recomposed and chained it together it in his own way, rather heavy handed and very far from the original. Being very familiar with Tschaikovkys music, I had sometimes problems recognizing his music. But as theatrical music it worked out fine. Like Lanchbery's adaptions of Massenet's music works well in MacMillan's Manon without ever sounding much like Massenet. Sometimes adaptions of this brutal kind work better on the stage, than more true- to the-original scores where the length of the individual sections of the music is often at odds with the dramatic flow.
  14. CharlieH

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Absolutely. Here is one Vaganova graduate of the past (2001) who turned out healthy & fabulous: Terioshkina, guest-starring as Paquita in one of this year’s graduation concerts. Courtesy of YT poster BalletOpera. Enjoy Terioshkina’s grand jetes. Whee!
  15. volcanohunter

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Objectively speaking, that would be an improvement.
  16. Anne

    Is Bournonville Still Alive?

    I have followed this thread from the sideline, not sure whether I could add anything new after having read the interviews with and the articles by Alexander Meinertz. I think his views are absolutely to the point regarding the state of the RDB under Hübbe's reign, and especially Hübbe's handling of the Bournonville heritage. Meinertz' statement at the end of his article "Hübbe's Company" could have been mine, only better worded: I went to only one performance during the festival and I had chosen the "Bornonvilleana" which was the second night of the festival. The festival programme as a whole was extremely thin, embarrassing so. Unfortunately the Bournonvilleana was a rather tame affair, too, reducing Bournonville to a series of solos and ensembles taken out of their context, with only the finale of Napoli in a staged version. The rest was danced on a bare stage with an oldfashioned onesided theatre curtain as the only backdrop. After the overture from La Sylphide the curtain rose to reveal the corps clad in the plain gray costumes from Hübbe's version of the very same ballet, dancing the reel. In Hübbe's version the happy scotsmen are replaced by unhappy scotsmen, afraid of both love and life. The contrast between the festive music and the gloomy visual impression was even more shocking and absurd here, seen as it was out of context. The story was left out and the reel thus turned into pure dance. This turned out to be symptomatic of the evening: An hommage to Bournonville, the step-maker. After "Pas de Vestale", an extremely difficult pas de deux preserved in one of the Bournonville Schools, a series of male variations from famous pas de deux's took place, probably in order to demonstrate the versatility of male dance in Bournonville's oeuvre. But you couldn't help feeling fobbed off when offered only a single male variation from "The Flowerfest of Genzano" at a Bournonville Gala! The programme went on in this manner for a long time, a lot of steps without a story, until suddenly, before the second and last intermission, we had the finale of La Sylphide, with witch, assisting sylphs and everything, but still no props. These finally came on for the last act of Napoli. The pas de six and the following solos were danced with much youthful temperament and charm but not with much individuality. I miss the changing tempi and free phrasing which characterized the generation of dancers from the last festival 13 years ago. Now it is all very quick and efficient, no sophistications, like dragging time by lying behind the beat or otherwise play with our expectations. The tarantella was initiated by a couple of young dancers with an almost aggressive energy, and that laid the style for rest, the ballet ending in total hip-swaying abandon. Never has Act III looked more like rock'n roll. It was on purpose when above I said "step-maker" and not choreographer, because that is what Hübbe reduced Bournonville to on that occasion. And unfortunately not only on this occasion. Alexander Meinertz brings it to the point, what is wrong with the way the Bournonville legacy is handled today. I highly recommend reading the interview and the article in their full length. I totally agree with his point of view, and it actually makes me very sad to admit it, because, like others, I had great hopes when Hübbe took over the company a decade ago. Especially after having seen his production of La Sylphide in 2003, where he really brought life from within to this classic, without killing it first, like he did in his second and disastrous production in 2015 which I have written about earlier on this site. Hübbe's productions are more Hübbe than they are Bournonville. He keeps saying that he shows Bournonville respect by challenging him and "wrestling" with him, but when asked what exactly it is he values so highly, it always boils down to the steps. Hübbe adores the musicality of Bournonvilles choreography, and I believe him, when he says so, but the romantic and dramatic spirit in which the ballets - and the steps - are conceived seems to be indigestable to him. And in stead of leaving the job of directing them to someone else, who doesn't have these reservations, he just peals off the layers he doesn't like and adds some he personally thinks is more interesting. The problem is that what he removes is not the outer layers but actually the very core of the ballets. Meinertz puts it this way:
  17. Inge

    2018 Romeo & Juliet

    From what I've seen and gathered, the Mercutios and Tybalts have done a lot of heavy lifting this week (notably during sluggish town scenes). I keep forgetting that Cirio is only 27, which makes me excited for his character development in the coming years. Wish I could have seen Forster in this role. Would have loved to see him hurl himself at Hallberg. This season I've only seen him as very charming, slightly simple good guys. He's not in any of my Swan Lakes next week so I'll miss his Purple Rothbart as well.
  18. Mashinka

    Is Bournonville Still Alive?

    Holten's tenure at the Royal Opera in London was controversial because of the unpopular, inappropriate productions he commissioned, paradoxically his own productions (my favourite was King Roger) were nowhere near as bad. I personally feel there is far too much MacMillan in London, his 'overwrought' melodramas become tedious and we are force fed them at the expense of Ashton's inventive classicism.
  19. Mashinka

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Quite possibly, but of late I've not seen the dull parade of sullen stick insects the Vaganova used to produce pre-Tsiskaridze
  20. ABT Fan

    2018 Romeo & Juliet

    I had quite a different take on last night's show. I bought a last minute ticket mainly to see Hallberg and Cirio, but I was curious to see Boylston's interpretation and how she and Hallberg faired together. Though much of their dancing and technical elements were very good to incredible at times, I thought these two had no passion. And for R&J of all ballets, without passion it just doesn't fulfill. They liked each other, a lot, but I saw no burning love that bordered on dangerous; it made no sense that they were willing to die for each other and I was left empty. However, strictly dancing-wise they worked well together, had no partnering issues and had some really beautiful moments. They had better chemistry than I was expecting. But, throughout the balcony and bedroom pas I kept picturing Lane/Cornejo and how their intense partnership would have torn up the stage leaving me in tears. Individually, Boylston's acting has definitely improved and her dancing was incredible. She played the part of a naïve young girl rather convincingly. But, when she met Paris she was just blank - did she like him, hate him, was she considering it? Who knew? When she was crying in Act I, I think it was, it looked fake and silly. Yet, in Act III when she gives in to her parents demands, she was quite heart-breaking in her pas with Paris and in her resolve. In the crypt when she wakes up and sees Romeo on the floor, there was no reaction. Did she think he was sleeping? Dead? Her "scream" was canned and not convincing. Boylston's dancing was better than her acting. She jumps and flies across the stage like a colt (no, I'm not calling her a horse...). She is incredibly strong yet more and more tempers that with an increasing lyricism. She was confident and at ease with all of the partnering, and she took impressively huge leaps into Hallberg's arms several times. Hallberg, the quintessential prince, was in full prince mode from the beginning to the end, and that's not a good thing. It bordered on posturing. He had no youthful impulse, no boyishness. He was Siegfried and Albrecht. Every reaction he had seemed studied, rehearsed. I have been a huge fan of his for years, but I did not like him as Romeo. He did this weird thing in Act I when he sat upstage facing the audience and stared out with ridiculously wide eyes, like he was trying to show the folks in the balcony the whites of his eyes. He danced really well, and his gorgeous lines were all there, and there seemed to be no hint of a recent injury; though he did have some trouble with some pirouettes early on. Hallberg does know how to work a cape and he used that to great effect in the balcony pas. The stars of the evening, for me, were the supporting cast. Cirio was an incredible Mercutio. What a strong, secure technique he has and his stamina was such that I think he could dance this part 8x a week. He was charming and full of personality, though I agree that his death scene should look more organic. The biggest surprise was Forster as Tybalt. Wow. He stole every scene he was in. A fully committed, evil, menacing, commanding performance. Royal was a terrific Benvolio. Teuscher was also surprising as Lady Capulet. Beautiful, natural acting though I thought her reaction to Juliet's "death" didn't register fully enough. Hurlin and McBride stood out amongst Juliet's friends, as did Paulina Waski who is now back fully dancing. She wasn't listed in the program for this role, so she must have been a last minute replacement for someone. Added: I can never watch ABT in R&J without thinking of dear Freddie Franklin as Friar Lawrence. He would always get a huge welcoming applause when he appeared. He was such a gem.
  21. CharlieH

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Thanks for this heads up, Quinten! I’ve alerted a fellow ballet lover in Moscow with DVR at-the-ready!
  22. Helene

    Is Bournonville Still Alive?

    As an aside, Kasper Holten was the director of the brilliant Copenhagen Ring, and in the DVD extras, there's a discussion between him and the Queen. As an aside, Kasper Holten was the director of the brilliant Copenhagen Ring, and in the DVD extras, there's a discussion between him and the Queen.
  23. volcanohunter

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    That's not an objective measure of anything. A dancer can appear happy and really be miserable. A dancer can project joy in dancing despite a horrible teacher or boss because they love doing it regardless. I am not addressing Tsiskaridze and the Vaganova Academy per se. I know nothing about the reality of situation and cannot comment on it. But I do know dancers who hate their bosses and smile radiantly on stage nonetheless because they love performing, and because it's their job.
  24. The RDB dancers’ appearances at Jacob’s Pillow begin this Wednesday. https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/love-affair-between-dance-royal-danish-ballet-and-jacobs-pillow,542329
  25. Mashinka

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    Not just healthier but happier too, look at the videos, there's real joy in their dancing.
  26. canbelto

    Vaganova Academy Graduation, 2018

    I do know this: the Vaganova grads since he took over have looked healthier, fuller-bodied, more muscular even, with toned calves and thighs, and stronger feet.
  27. sandik

    Is Bournonville Still Alive?

    I'm wondering if the question isn't so much "Is Bournonville alive?" as "Is Bournonville an active influence on the Danish company/school?" Balanchine is alive because the repertory is still performed, yes, but even more so because it matters to the company, and to many other parts of the ballet world. I'd argue that Macmillan, as overwrought as I personally find many of his works, is alive because his work and his choices still influence a significant part of the community. Cunningham is still alive, even though he decided before his death to disband the company -- I see his hand in a multitude of artists.
  28. I'm sorry to have missed the school show this year (too much other dance happening in town in June), and especially sorry to have missed Ross's work -- he's really developing skills at showing young dancers to their best advantage. Like you, I'm mulling over Next Step. My first response is that it was just too much stuff -- between the outdoor works, and the multiple works in the theater, it's hard to keep things sorted out in my head. But there was some wonderful stuff going on in all these places, and I can't tell you what I would be willing to lose, so there it is. In the post-show Q/A, Ross was asked the inevitable question about what's next for the program. He said that he'd like to extend the project to a two-evening run, but I'm wondering if it would be possible to create two different evenings, rather than one marathon program.
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