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mnacenani

Giselle RB Osipova Hallberg Thursday 1 March

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Posted (edited)

When I saw an insert sticking out from the castsheet I almost had a heart attack : if Osipova was "indisposed" this would have been the 4th time in as many years that I would have travelled in vain - luckily this wasn't the case this time. However, the evening wasn't lacking in shocking cast change : when Kevin O'Hare appeared in front of the curtain with mike in hand just before Act 2 was due to start it was quite obvious that we were in for unwelcome news : that Hallberg had been injured during the first act and had danced on despite it but would be unable to do the second act. Matthew Ball who had been cast with Naghdi for this run of Giselle had been found at home (standby duty ?) and brought in to partner Osipova for the second act. What a disappointment, a letdown it must have been for Hallberg.

This was the first time I saw Hallberg live, knew him from the Mezzo satcasts of SB and Marco Spada from the Bolshoi. Seeing him live, albeit for the first act only, was a revelation :  elegant, excellent dancer with excellent characterisation which depicted both regal aloofness and convincing remorse - no wonder Bolshoy took him on - heads on match for their finest. So unlucky to have suffered something like this so early in his comeback.

Who needs a description of Osipova ?? A gift of God to the art of ballet : technique, characterisation, and that extra edge of "quality" : I mean, there are balances and then there are "Osipova balances" - rock solid whatever the duration, freezing time and motion. Had last seen her as Giselle with Polunin in Munich last October, once again superlative in one of her signature roles and had paired sooo well with Hallberg - hope he is not seriously injured and will be able to do his other dates.

Matthew Ball : first saw his name when casting for the new production of Swan Lake was posted. Imho has great potential, has great presence, an air of Polunin at times. Tech wise has room for improvement : the second act entrechats started well but petered out too soon - once you have seen Polunin do it difficult to accept something less, but how many of them are there ?? Ball in my view has great potential and will probably be declared an "Etoile" sometime during the SL run.

Claire Calvert as Myrtha was imho OK but not "spellbinding". I will probably draw the ire of our British members by saying this, but so was the RB CdB. I mean, at the Bolshoy these white scenes are done to such perfection that after one sees them a few times it becomes difficult to fall for anything less. Witness to what I would like to believe ? Possible, but I don't think so.

Will post a picture, sorry for the bad quality, best of what I took tonight.

Natalia Osipova Giselle ROH 01MAR2018

 

Edited by mnacenani

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Thanks for your report. I saw on another thread that Hallberg had been injured. I really hope it's nothing serious. 

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Posted (edited)

Just devastated to read about Hallberg. I really hope it is just a very minor setback -- that he was wise to withdraw and will be returning to the stage shortly. I was particularly happy to think Osipova and he were resuming their much interrupted partnership as I always thought it had genuinely great potential. 

I also think Osipova is a gift to the art of ballet. I'm hoping to see her dance this June. 

Edited by Drew

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6 hours ago, mnacenani said:

Who needs a description of Osipova ?? A gift of God to the art of ballet : technique, characterisation, and that extra edge of "quality" : I mean, there are balances and then there are "Osipova balances" - rock solid whatever the duration, freezing time and motion.

Osipova is certainly unique. On the other hand, regarding her "characterization" -- this is more doubtful, she overacts and overdramatizes, likes to dance to her own tune, and what she did recently with the "Legend of Love" made me lose interest in chasing her performances in the future -- that was an atrocious failure and a great disappointment for me. Concerning "Osipova balances" -- the secret is she is small, compact, and look at her pointes! Her feet look as if she is dug several centimeters into the ground. Compare this with, for example, balances of Yana Salenko, they are not just remarkably solid but also exhibit beautiful, exquisite lines which is more important than the duration the dancer can stand still.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Laurent said:

what she did recently with the "Legend of Love" made me lose interest in chasing her performances in the future

Wonder whether you saw my report on Osipova's LoL : to my amateur eye her performance was not atrocious but it wasn't something unmissable. However I was told opinion on balletfriends.ru was split 50-50. Would I make a day trip again to see Natasha as Mehmene Banu ?? Highly unlikely.

Yana Salenko : have seen her live in Berlin a couple of times. Good solid dancer but not a showstopper like Osipova. I will be looking for Staatsballett castings for next season once Daniil Simkin joins them :  I thought I saw genuine chemistry between Yana and Daniil in more than one gala video I saw on YT and posted on the forum. I an very hopeful re this pairing if it happens.

Edited by mnacenani

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Yana Salenko "good solid"? Salenko is absolutely exquisite, she is currently a dream model for professors of dance of the strictest academic standards, her dancing is studied by many ambitious young dancers around the world as an example to follow.

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Is it customary at the Royal Ballet for the stand-by dancers to be waiting at home by the phone?? Shouldn't Ball, or someone else, have been at the theatre?  

Kudos to him for stepping in, and maybe he lives next door to the theatre. But, I can't imagine running down the street with tights in hand.....

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Oh dear. I wonder what this means for the ABT’s May 18 Osipova/Hallberg Giselle? I hope that he fully recovers in time for the Met season. 

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1 hour ago, CharlieH said:

Oh dear. I wonder what this means for the ABT’s May 18 Osipova/Hallberg Giselle? I hope that he fully recovers in time for the Met season. 

Yes, that's the big question.  I'm sure most of the audience would be pleased if Osipova came atnd performed with some other partner, even if Hallberg could not perform.  However, I have to wonder whether Osipova would bother to show  if Hallberg were injured. Keeping a close watch on  casting for Hallberg's remaining scheduled Giselle, and his upcoming Manon dates at RB. That will tell us a lot about the extent of his injury.  Even if ABT knows in advance that this Osipova Hallberg Giselle will not be happening, I'm sure they won't announce anything until May 17.  That's their MO.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Laurent said:

Yana Salenko "good solid"? Salenko is absolutely exquisite, she is currently a dream model for professors of dance of the strictest academic standards, her dancing is studied by many ambitious young dancers around the world as an example to follow.

Ballet would be so boring if audiences were homogeneous in their preferences for one particular style, technique, choreographer, etc.  

Viva la difference!  

I hope Hallberg makes a speedy recovery.  

 

Edited by Jayne
Damn the autocorrect!

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@abatt That’s the thing. At his recent book-signing event here in DC, Hallberg specifically mentioned the importance of his partnership with Osipova and, especially, how the two of them were looking forward to the upcoming “Joint Birthdays Giselle” at the Met, as both stars celebrate their b’days on May 18 (same day; different years).  I believe that Hallberg will move mountains and do whatever it takes to dance with Natasha at the Met on the 18th. 

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A correspondent on BalletcoForum is reporting as follows:  

[Dance Europe is saying that he [Hallberg] was anxious about aggravating a minor injury had he continued into Act 2].

I have tried to find this reference but sadly can't at the moment ... but wanted to drop this into the Ballet Alert mix in any event.
 
Let's pray - whatever it was - that it was relatively minor.  Hallberg is STILL listed for his 9.3.18 Giselle with Osipova on the ROH listings.  Fingers crossed :)   (He is also scheduled to speak to the London Ballet Circle on Monday at 7.30 pm ... and there too has - as yet - been no notification that this engagement was in any fashion not going forward.  
 
In short - ALL GOOD SIGNS.  

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When casting for this run of Giselle was posted I had written "two injury-prone dancers being cast together exponentially increases the chance of disappointment" or something to that effect, which some members had taken exception to. At the time I was alluding to my experience with Osipova, but there you are. Don't get me wrong : I am happy to have seen Hallberg live, even if for one act only.

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Posted (edited)

Hallberg himself explains here:  

Blessedly he himself suggests it is not a serious injury.  I look forward to hearing him speak tomorrow ... and towards the potential for the 9th March Giselle... and his RB Manons with Osipova beyond.  

Edited by meunier fan

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Sadly his appearance at the London Ballet Circle tomorrow evening has now been cancelled.  This is perhaps not surprising under the circumstances.  

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3 hours ago, Jane Simpson said:

Also he's being replaced by Ball as Albrecht on Friday.

(between you and me : I decided to book the first performance, thinking the second would carry a higher risk of cast change due to injury. Thrice bitten infinitely shy !  :))

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On 3/2/2018 at 12:37 PM, Laurent said:

Yana Salenko "good solid"? Salenko is absolutely exquisite, she is currently a dream model for professors of dance of the strictest academic standards, her dancing is studied by many ambitious young dancers around the world as an example to follow.

These standards? Hope not.

18_main.jpg

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Ouch!  Not how things are done at the RB, but I've seen her do great (toned down) things there.  Her partnership with Steven McRae is one to cherish.

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