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  1. ABT 2017 Onegin

    There is no reason for Onegin to be unpleasant to Tatiana before the letter, he is after conventionally polite if quick to anger. In the book he is surprised that Lensky, the poet, chooses the pretty and shallow Olga. Oniegin sees Tatiana a fit object for a poet's passion. He he feels sorry seeing her suffering pangs of love and smiles at her tenderly- only to lectures her sternly later in response to her love letter. Were he looking for a wife she would be perfection for a happy bucolic ever after - but it would just not work given his character. He acts like a decent guy after all he could easily seduce her or compromise her by not keeping the letter secret. Bolle errs on the boorish pompous side. When Stearns goes into reverie and becomes distant it is completely credible. Bolle in the same instance is a posseur - he affects a pose. Stearns characterization means he either took the trouble to read Oniegin, or has been coached. Oniegin does not translate into English successfully - only Slavic languages, perhaps French. Pushkin is a master of the "mot juste" - using exactly the right word, and anyway, as Frost has said, "poetry is what is lost in translation". Onegin is 1/3 action the rest is musings on love, literature, commentary, descriptions, ironic, sardonic, witty, erudite. Some of the panorama of the Russian life he paints is transmitted in Act 1 and certainly the biirthday scene Act 2. In yesterday;s matinee I found these delightful because the characters were fleshed out - all 4 of them brought it higher than Bolle/Ferri and Vishneva/Gomez. and the corps wonderful - it all came together. So what if Vishneva jette from the ground up was more beautiful? After her over the top Manon devolving into a kitch finale I am no longer so enamored. Abrera's characterization was more complex, more sensitive, and her dancing beautiful. Disclaimer: I am not an Abrera follower - but this role fits better than Giselle. I love Ferri's lifts but there are to many moments where her movements remind me of her age - and that is a huge distraction. It is interesting to see her, and I am sure she sells a full house, but I like to see some new blood. As to guest artists - Why does it always has to revert to Russians? Are there no dancers in Northern Europe? Dutch? Hungarian? German? Danish?
  2. ABT 2017 Onegin

    Thank you California and Abbat for your earlier posts on Stearns/ Abrera. - I would have missed this memorable performance without them... Mr. McKenzie look no further - your Onegin cast is here, just needs a fraction of the marketing done for the Fluffed cream; amazingly the house was not sold out this PM! The 5 dancers, Abrera, Stearns, Trenary, Gorak, Hammoudi slipped into their characters seamlessly - the dancing was uniformly splendid throughout, any faults seemed minor when faced with such uniform excellence. Cory portrays Onegin extremely well - elegant self assurance, jaded beyond words at the tender age of twenty-something, when not studiously indifferent, vaguely amused as when he takes a look at Tatiana's book. He courts Olga with both mischief and a delicious maliciousness - as he impetuously shatters Lensky's naive belief in his uncomplicated love. Could he be jealous of such pure happiness? lovely jumps, elegant lines. Cassandra was eagerly complicit their dance together was outstanding. Great chemistry with Stella in the mirror PDD, a budding passion which finds its complement and culmination in the tormented final. Stella's Tatiana is masterful - she is Tatiana. A wonderful moment when the torn letter slips through her fingers. The scene where she and Onegin exit to the opposite sides of the scene at the end of Act 1, was truly poignant. The final PDD from the start is a struggle not to succumb to her love for Onegin. it was extremely touching and brought tears to my eyes. I found it appealing that she does not give back the letter to Oniegin as if it was revenge as it sometimes is portrayed. I think Onegin requires freshness, and this cast has it in spades. .
  3. ABT 2017 Onegin

    Oh Stella! Oh Cory! Oh Gorak! Oh Cassandra! Act 1 sheer delight
  4. ABT 2017 Onegin

    I wonder if Vishneva requested this for her farewell. Onegin is so special for the Russians.
  5. ABT 2017 Onegin

    Natalia, thank you for bringing up the original Jergen Rose production - it was wonderful to learn more about it. The original Oniegin production was a unified Cranko/Jurgen vision which should have been preserved. This is still the go to for Stuttgard Ballet , the Hungarian ballet and I am sure some other European houses that pay attention to period . It is not even the lavishness, but rather the connection with Romanticism - the sensibility, art and lets say zeitgeist of that period. Perhaps that is why Europeans do it better, though I think in the US it would be the Sarasota Ballet that would pull it off as their esthetic would be a good match and of course I think Ashton, whom they promote is part of that Romantic tradition and draws from it. The scenery of the original is sparse and lets the dancers almost be silhouetted against the background, as often in Empire painting. So help me the duel scene makes me think of Caspar David Friedrich. It takes a lot of knowledge and culture to pull this off. And the original does recreate the feel of country life sweetness as well as the high society in the Biedermeier period 10 years later . understanding this as a work of Romanticism also translates to how the characters are interpreted. Onegin is much to complex to be a "bad guy" etc. Onegin plays in Europe because people grow up with it and love it. Its like the "Little Prince" it just has a special place in the heart. Does this feel like the same ballet? Lensky can actually emanate simple happiness! The pas de deux is gorgeous.
  6. ABT 2017 Onegin

    There is a touching moment of tenderness as she approaches her husband in Ferri's portrayal. All those romantic books translate into a nobility of spirit and I like to think that it is not just duty but the nobility that makes it impossible for Tatiana to succumb to Onegin and betray her husband.
  7. ABT 2017 Onegin

    Just read your post ord7916 and I could not help but laugh. . Beauty is in the eye... I agree with you about Whiteside. When he entered he had a presence and stature which made me wonder why would Tatiana pay attention at all to Oniegin... since Ferri's lifts were beautifull I suspect Bolle's partnering was flawless but I feel ambivalent about her dancing. In all a disappointing evening.
  8. ABT 2017 Onegin

    Tonight sadly the whole was not greater than the sum of the parts... Lane and Simkin were very nice but I wished for more lovebird connection. Simkin's solo before the duel was the emotional highlight for me ... Sarah was convincing and suitably charming, a lively foil to the introspective Tatiana. Bolle seems miscast as Onegin. Neither wordly, nor blase, not really a dandy and at times borederline rude where he should be portraying boredom, enui or condescention. I actually preferred when he danced with Sarah, as I did not feel real emotion with Tatiana The vignettes in front of the transparent screens were lovely as were the dances although the claustrophobic scenery cuts the amount of stage space and sometimes makes it feel cramped when the corps dances. The falling leaves throughout the duet scene were a particularly beautiful element of the scenography I am very curious after this performance how the two young casts will do.
  9. ABT 2017 Onegin

    Natalia if you google: google book Passion to Dance: The National Ballet of Canada and when it opens go to page 346, it speaks about the change to Santo Loquasto - basically to be free to reinterprete the ballet rather than be tied to the Stuttgard production. also I read that the materials were v. fragile. I am very curious how the two sets and costumes differ, although a scenery with birches always appeals to me.. I am especially curioous which costumes are more true to the period
  10. ABT 2017 Onegin

    Clive Barnes vintage 1973 review of Stuttgard Ballet's visit at the Met: http://www.nytimes.com/1973/05/20/archives/dance-eugene-onegin-as-spectacle-story-and-character-presented.html "Most characters depicted in ballet are fairly shallow. It is Cranko's particular skill here to make them totally and beautifully credible. Although‐Cranko never uses ‘ dancing for the sake of dancing — there is scarcely oi dance here that could be called merely decorative—he is a great master of the pas de deux, and here his duets of mystery, love and even rejection are consummately well done. Continue reading the main story He is much helped by his physical staging. This is ballet of operatic proportions, and. Cranko's court dances and more domestic ballroom scene are extraordinarily well clone. Then, of course, there is the grandeur and brilliance of Jurgen Rose's scenery and costumes, which sum up the provincial charms and ‘Czarist opulence of 19th‐century Russia. To an extent it is a literary ‐ballet, but the drama all comes through.the dancing, and there is surprisingly little mime. As a result, the work provides a quite exceptional chance for great dramatic dancers, and these the. Stuttgart company can provide. They have all grown up with Cranko and'this company, and most of them have been with Cranko from the beginning of the present troupe some 10 years ago. .. Heinz Clauss ..(as) ...Eugene Onegin is a finely drawn character study that seems to draw deeply from Pushkin. Egon Madsen as the vivacious, headstrong Lensky is also perfect, as is Birgit Kell as the charming and bubbling Olga.. In smaller roles, Jan Stripling is splendidly upright as Prince Gremin, and Ruth Papendick and Hella Heim add their own special authority to the roles of Madame Larina and the Nurse. ." " It is a very special kind of full’ evening ballet, for it is entirely narrative without a divertissement e.insight. In this sense, it has Something in common with the dramaturgy of Prokofiev's “Romeo and Juliet” ballet, and everything. in this Cranko “Eug,ene Onegm” proceeds naturally end, dramatically. "
  11. ABT 2017 Onegin

    The first ABT ballet I saw was Onegin with Gomez and Vishneva - I was cought in the spell of ABT forever - I was very lucky here is a nice trailer:
  12. ABT 2017 Onegin

    Onegin is very evocative of a certain time and place. Maybe hard to find a good translation, I would stick to the old one by Nabokov, with his adnotations. This is a beloved/iconic book that generations grow up with in that part of the world. "happiness was so near..." KBarber is right very important who dances the male lead.
  13. ABT 2017 Onegin

    I find it very apt on the part of the scenographer that the curtain opens on another transparent one with a facsimile of Pushkin's poem.
  14. ABT 2017 Onegin

    I would read Pushkin. If you love it you will love the ballet.
  15. ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    I am very curious about the reviews from tomortow's performance with Hee Seo. I was completely captivated to a degree that I could not take my eyes off her when Marcello was on stage- i did not think that was at all possible!!! it cannot be only a credit to his partnering... I used to avoid performances where she was cast but I will not do so in the future. i am a neophyte to ballet but her movements carried to what seemed to me perfect completion the extensions, and made time stand still. I finally understood the comments about the beuty of the back bends. It also seemed she was much better when Marcello was with her and so I wonder to what extent it is a cofidence problem. Perhaps she should star parachuting like downhill racers! Watching her gave at me such pleasure that I can live with the messed fouettes - and can only feel sorry that with this quality of dancing she cannot get a grasp. I also would like her to show a wider range of emotion in the final scene -. There should be some escalation whether it be anger or despondency before the suicide. But perhaps alter the missed fouettes she had no resources. Anyway from where I sat the scene seemed dominated by the corps. Or is it the choreography?