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Ballet Nacional de Cuba Kennedy Center May 29-June 3, 2018

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3 hours ago, theo said:

I attended the Saturday Matinee performance of Giselle.  My review is short, but suffice it to say that that the Ballet Nacional De Cuba did not disappoint!   Sadaise Arencibia danced Giselle, Raul Abreu danced Albrecht and Ely Regina danced Myrtha.  Everybody was excellent and the audience was appreciative.  Sadly no flowers or special curtain calls for anybody.  I never understand this. Is it a Saturday Matinee thing, a Kennedy Center Crowd thing, or is it just a sign of the times?  I find it unconscionable that neither Ms. Arencibia nor Ms. Regina got so much as a daisy.    About Ms. Arencibia, she was a lovely, soulful and moving Giselle.  I found her to be totally believable.  About Ms. Regina, in a word, chilling. I was sitting in the second row.  Terrible if you want to see feet, but great if you want to see face, and hers was really something else.  Every move she made was chilling and I loved her performance.   I would not want to meet her in a dark alley, but on the stage, anytime.   I thought the corps did a great job.  No dropping arabesques during the chugs for this company.  I hope they come back to KC sometime in the near future.   The last time I saw them before this was in NY in 1998. They danced Cinderella. Way too much time between performances.

Theo - I attended the Saturday night performance, and noticed the same thing. The bows were done "opera style" - all the cast on stage, no special curtain calls and no flowers for the principals. 

The cast was Grettel Morejon as Giselle, Rafael Quenedit as Albrecht and Ginett Moncho as Myrta. Morejon was spectacular, especially in the second act. Quenedit was OK - I didn't find the Albrecht variations as satisfying as the ones I'm used to in Paris or NYC, so maybe that was part of it. Sorry to report I never as stiff a dancer as Moncho as Myrta. I know the arm positions are different in this version, but the corps and Morejon didn't look as tense! The corps was very nice in Act II - a welcome palate cleanser after the mess that was ABT a few weeks ago!

It was nice to see Alicia Alonso in person, although it felt a little forced to have to clap on command... I do hope NBC comes back to the US more often, and would agree that other ballets would be nice to see too. 

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In Europe audience members bring flowers, and the prima ballerina on some nights gets nothing while a soloist from the corps can get a huge bouquet because someone is a fan. It is up to the audience.

I think some American companies buy their own ballerinas bouquets (equal size and for each soloist) for Opening Night.....

But I think it tends to mainly be up to audience members.

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Posted (edited)

For all we know, flowers may have been delivered to the stage door, but the company elected to deliver them straight to a dressing room rather than presenting them on stage. (It's happened to my bouquets--in Washington, in New York, in San Francisco, and in Europe, too--though ultimately they reached their intended recipients.)

Curtain calls do happen at the Kennedy Center, but the audience has to be pretty insistent.

Edited by volcanohunter

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Flowers for the leading ladies and Ms. Alonso were brought out during the curtain call on the opening night performances, May 29 (DQ) and May 31 (Giselle). 

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2 hours ago, lacdescygnes said:

. Sorry to report I never as stiff a dancer as Moncho as Myrta. I know the arm positions are different in this version, but the corps and Morejon didn't look as tense! 

I understand what you mean, and I knew someone would notice-(I referred to the issue in a post above). This has to do with the way Alonso and her regisseurs want the ballet, which is essentially the way she remembers it, and the stiffness that you notice is exactly the opposite as the certain freedom of movement and interpretation you are used to see in modern ballerinas , particularly in performers like Osipova. The performances of CNB, particularly Giselle, are plagued by the most fierce ostracism you can imagine. Not one gesture can be added..not one different arm position can be attempted. Alicia wants a carbon copy of a 1948 performance, and that's how Giselle has come. Now... for some, this could pose an interesting, curious point of comparison. 

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