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Everything posted by hydraulix

  1. I absolutely like her style. It's elegant, sophisticated and at the same time a bit flirtatious. It's still beyond me why she wasn't nominated as an étoile in Paris, so I think she made a wise decision to go to another company abroad. Luckily her bond with POB is alright, as she otherwise wouldn't be dancing for them in Japan.
  2. I don't like it, it looks distracting and very inappropriate. For ballet, the body is a piece of art. Ulyana Lopatkina would't be the same as she danced the dying swan with a tattoo on her shoulder. I don't care if they have it, but they definitely should conceal it.
  3. There was such a terrific interview with her for College Tour on the Dutch public television: video link. What an inspiring young lady!
  4. Any retirements for this season? Although I'm not a big Swan Lake fan, the Nureyev production is simply breathtaking with the white acts. I suppose it will be performed in L'Opéra Bastille (haven't been there before). Perhaps I will give it a go
  5. I've seen the video where she dances in the corps during the Kingdom of the Shades. I wouldn't say she outclassed the entire corps, but there just was something special about her.
  6. Have a look at this video, where Darcey Bussell explains more about the pas de deux from the 2nd act in Swan Lake: video. It starts at the right moment, where she talks about the famous 'falling backwards'. For many, it seems easy to do, but it's very difficult for the ballerina and her partner.
  7. For me the most important part of SL is portraying the difference in character between Odette and Odile. Many ballerina's unfortuantely go overboard with a much to 'evil' and attacking Odile. I rather prefer a more subtle approach. Ofcourse Odile is very flirtuous, sensual and boosting confidence; for a ballerina these aspects are important to give us a showcase of her technique. The 32 fouettes are therefore (unfortunately) a part of it. Another big aspect of SL is the corps de ballet. The 2nd and 4th act have to show us what the company has to offer; the unison of movements, the synchronization and the entire stage filled with dancers as a living scenery. I've seen quite a lot of productions (unfortunately only on film) and the Nureyev version is one of my favourite; especially in the 4th act, truly poetry in motion. Have a look at this video: POB - Swan Lake (it already starts at the beginning of act 4). The variety and great changes in formations must be quite some work for the corps de ballet to study, but if they master it, it's simply breathtaking.
  8. Indeed a well-deserved nomination. I was especially rooting for her as I thought she would be a terrific asset to the list of étoiles. To me, she definitely has that 'special aura' which truly defines an étoile. She's very elegant and next to that a classical, 'mysterious' beauty. I think she will be a breathtaking Nikiya.
  9. Gala (September 7, 2013) Festive opening of the new season. Surprise programme Corps (September 11-29, 2013) Les Sylphides choreography: Michel Fokine music: Frédéric Chopin Corps choreography: Hans van Manen music: Alban Berg Le Corps DU BALLET – Dutch premiere choreography: Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten music and sound design: Sébastien Gaxie and Pieter C. Scholten musical accompaniment: Holland Symfonia, conducted by Matthew Rowe Stars/Corps (September 18-25, 2013) Theatre tour in The Netherlands, with: Les Sylphides (Michel Fokine) Corps (Hans van Manen) Variations for two couples (Hans van Manen) Tchaikovsky pas de deux (George Balanchine) Don Quixote (October 12 - 3 November 2013) choreography: Alexei Ratmansky Sleeping Beauty (December 12, 2013 - Januari 1, 2014) choreography: Marius Petipa producer and director: Sir Peter Wright New Moves (Februari 7-8, 2014) Showcase by young choreographers from Dutch National Ballet Fairytales (March 1-16, 2014) Firebird choreography: Alexei Ratmansky music: Igor Stravinsky The Dream choreography: Sir Frederick Ashton music: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Dutch Doubles (April 16 - May 7, 2014) Four world premieres by: choreographer Hans van Manen / harpist Remy van Kesteren choreographer Jorma Elo / fashion designers Viktor & Rolf choreographer Ton Simons / photographer Rineke Dijkstra choreographer Juanjo Arqués / visual artist Krijn de Koning Ballerina (May 14-20, 2014) Paquita choreography: Marius Petipa, in an adaptation by Rachel Beaujean music: Ludwig Minkus, Edouard Deldevez, Adolphe Adam, Riccardo Drigo, Nikolai Tcherepnin and Yuli Gerber, in an arrangement by John Lanchbery In collaboration with pupils of the National Ballet Academy (Paquita) Various pas de deux by: Marius Petipa, George Balanchine (Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux), Hans van Manen (Trois Gnossiennes, Without Words) and Christopher Wheeldon (Duet) Dreams (May 21-31, 2014) Second theatre tour in The Netherlands, with: The Dream (Sir Frederick Ashton Paquita (Marius Petipa, adaptation by Rachel Beaujean) The Tempest (June 18-29, 2014) World premiere by: choreography: Krzysztof Pastor music: Henry Purcell, Thomas Tallis and other composers, and traditional Iranian music musical accompaniment: Holland Symfonia, conducted by Matthew Rowe
  10. Great video of Novikova. She reminds me somewhat of Larissa Lezhnina; same beautiful doll face, bubbly/charming personality on stage as Aurora and a radiant smile.
  11. Yes, thank you again On June 24th the tickets can be reserved. I'll definitely try to get a hold on one
  12. Silvermash: thank you so much for posting the new season and especially the exact farewell dates. So October 10th it is to see Agnès Letestu for the final time. My goal is to score a ticket.
  13. Thank you very much Silvermash. I hope when the time comes, you could shed some light of the casting list and when they will perform. Especially for Agnès Letestu: my ultimate goal is to see her one more time during her farewell performance. Surprised about Ciaravola; I always thought she was somewhere in her early 30s. Her retirement happens so soon, to me it feels like she just got recently promoted to étoile (2009 doesn't sound so long ago).
  14. I think we can already include Manon and La Dame aux Camelias (farewell performance for Aurélie Dupont and Agnès Letestu)
  15. So that same year Agnès Letestu will also be retiring? I can't help but say it will definitely be a rough year for POB. These two dancers are in my opinion the ones that brought something special to POB, worthy of being called an étoile. With Marie-Agnes Gillot left, I don't think the other ballerinas have achieved that same level of quality (yet). When I see Aurelie, I really see a textbook example of a ballerina. Not only by her technique, but more about her 'air': the elegance, sophistication, grace, refineness. Agnes Letestu hits the nail in the interview with Marc Haegeman:
  16. Wouldn't it be even worse for both Hilaire and Legris that they are passed over by the younger Milliepied? Legris however is working in Vienna, but Hilaire is still in Paris. I can't imagine how it must feel for him: a younger man soon to be the artistic director, with little to no insight about the Paris school, the company, the classical works. Also the hierarchy, the beaurocracy. I'm holding my breath and share the same opinion with Nanarina. It's still one of my favorite companies, there is still something magical about them (indeed the long heritage, the unique style). No improvement without movement, but let's not forget what the POB is all about. Helene: you couldn't have said it better in post #82
  17. Sorry to bump this topic, but does anyone know when Agnès Letestu will retire (and perhaps what her final role will be)? It's been a while that I posted on this forum, but I wanted to share my second experience with this incredible artist. I visited the POB again last Friday, this time for Jiri Kylian's Kaguyahime. Déja vu: when I opened the paper with the cast of that evening, Agnès Letestu would be dancing the role of the heroine. Just like the last time, I was pleasantly surprised to read this. Wow did she deliver! To be honest, she impressed me even more this time. Leave it up to her when it comes to body control, elegance and sophistication. This was by far the most beautiful ballet experience I've ever had.
  18. Hello Nanarina, thanks for your review. Quite a pity to read the Corps de Ballet was not up to the usual POB standard and that you have some mixed feelings. I was quite curious as this would look like a very interesting ballet
  19. Thanks for the videos volcanohunter! Very interesting to watch
  20. It's really sad that SeejayLurtzmann's account is suspended. I owe him many thanks for his marvellous collection of movies of the Paris Opéra Ballet, as without him I wouldn't know anything about POB's étoiles or even be raving so madly about Agnès Letestu.
  21. Thank you for your replies Silvermash and bart (also thank you for the kind words about my photos, these really means a lot to me as I love to photograph). Indeed it would be amazing to have witnessed multiple performances of the Paris Opéra Ballet, something I can only dream of!
  22. I did attend and it was definitely a dream come true. After the first time I saw the renown video from 1992 with Isabelle Guérin and Laurent Hilaire, I was completely in love. In my first post on this board where I introduced myself I even stated it, that my biggest wish was to attend this ballet in Paris. Last year they announced the program for season 2009-2010 and my exciting grew when I saw La Bayadère included in the list. I waited untill March this year where I could buy my ticket and in a couple of hours everything was set: seat at catégorie 1, my train ticket and a hotel. I would spend a long weekend in the beautiful city of Paris and I would finish my trip with this ballet. In May it was finally time. I would be at the performance on May 17th. I was all alone in Paris and I definitely had the time of my life. This trip consisted mainly of highlights and the best was still bound to happen. The evening of Monday the 17th I made my way to Palais Garnier. I made my way to the left of the building where the temporary entrance was (they were renovating the building), but a security officer told me that I had to take the main entrance with the words: "c'est la grande spectacle." Well he couldn't have said it better! Indeed it felt amazing to enter this beautiful building through the main entrance, and inside it was a complete shock to me: such splendour, luxury and beautiful details. I was even impressed by the other spectators; they were elegantly dressed up and I saw a lot of ladies in complete evening gowns. Such a contrast to the Netherlands, where most of the people going to a happening dress up like they just came back from the local bar. I entered the auditorium and was escorted by a chic employee to my seat. I sure was in for a treat! I had a terrific seat and the auditorium was breathtaking! I was still in a state of excitement so I didn't pay any attention what the lady who escorted me to my seat gave to me (a paper). At home I didn't check the internet who the cast would be. Ofcourse I hoped to see my favorite ballerina, Agnès Letestu. I've seen plenty of footage of her and for me she has that certain charisma, style, classical elegance which reminds me of the ballerinas from the early days. Althoug I didn't really care who would perform this evening, I suddenly remembered that small paper. I checked the program book I just purchased and found it in between the pages. It was the list with the cast and when I opened it, I could almost cry: Agnès Letestu with José Martinez. Althoug the show wasn't even started, it couldn't get any better... The show started and I had the chills all over my body. Such beautiful stage setting and costumes. José Martinez was introduced, a couple of variations further and suddenly you could hear a slight change in music; through the door of the temple on stage you could see the shadow of someone who was bound to give an entrance. She stepped through the doors, light falling like a waterfall on the presence. There she was; Agnès Letestu as heroine Nikiya. It sure was a delight to see her dance. Although she is in the final years of her career (I believe the female dancers must retire at POB when they are 40), she still showed excellent control combined with elegance and subtle acting. She is such a technical gifted ballerina with beautiful lines. She indeed has a great flexibility, but knows how to dose it. Her movements are well thought and her extensions looks natural. I do had the feeling I was looking at a hurt Nikiya and the last variation (the one which is followed with the dance with the basquet) was the epitome of despair; it was convincing how Letestu showed her grief and it was truly heartbreaking. Somehow I do had the feeling José Martinez was showing his age. As the partner of Letestu, the lifts weren't really convincing and I had the feeling he was quite struggling with them. Although he is an accomplished technical dancer, I have to say his acting was a little 'bland'. When I watched him, it was more that I was looking at a dancer dancing Solor's part, instead of seeing the 'real' Solor. His part lacked emotion, depth and Letestu was emotionally overpowering him on stage. Audric Bezard danced with Letestu in the pas de deux with the esclave and you could notice the difference between him and Martinez; this young dancer had power and freshness in his dancing. Emilie Cozette was Gamzatti and she brought her role with verve. I really liked her dancing; she did lack some refinement, but she was definitely going for it and didn't held herself back. Through her movements and raw uncompromising style of dancing, Emilie Cozette portraited an excellent Gamzatti; desperate, trying to win Solor's heart, emotional and full of passion. Technically she was extraordinary and she flawlessly performed the variation and coda in the second act. The fight at the final of act I didn't convince me though. You can have two great actresses but there have to be a connection between these two which was unfortunately lacking. Act III, the Kingdom of Shades was ofcourse the act I was looking for. The showcase of the corps the ballet, which in my opinion is one of the best in the world. Nureyev asked a lot from his dancers; not only from the soloists, but also of the corps the ballet. The entrance of the shades was beautiful, but I couldn't help to have some mixed feelings afterwards. It had more to do with the stage and lighting. I expected to be the stage of Opéra Garnier a lot bigger. It wasn't bad, but with so much dancers on one stage it has the tendency to feel too 'compact'. I think I agree with Silvermash here, and although I've never been to Opéra Bastille, I understand what Silvermash says. Next to that was the harsh lighting. You could see everything on stage during the entrance of the shades and it lacked intimacy and mystery. The Three Shades (Ludmila Pagliero, Mélanie Hurel and Marie-Solène Boulet) were good; excellent coöperation and fluidity. Ludmila Pagliero danced the first variation and she was struggling a bit with it. Ofcourse it's a difficult variation with the combination of balance and strenght, but I think the music was a tad too slow. Kevin Rhodes was the conductor and he could have paced the tempo a bit more up. This Nureyev production definitely requires a slow tempo (you can see/hear that clearly during the entrance of the shades), but there were moments that it was too slow and demanded a bit too much of the dancers. One of the examples was the first shade variation, but this was also noticable during the Gamzatti variation and the pas de deux with the veil. In this third act Agnès Letestu was beautiful. The first pas de deux, where Nikiya comes to Solor was even too much to handle; the beautiful violin solo in combination with the breathtaking adagio was my highlight of the evening. Agnès Letestu really shines when it comes to the more adagio parts. I held my breath during the pas de deux with the veil, because the pirouettes at the end are always a part where the fluidity of the dance is being tested. Unfortunately Letestu was struggling with it a bit, but composed herself instantly. José Martinez still didn't impress me as Solor, but technically he was good and his variation was flawless. After some hours the performance was at its final stage, the coda started and it was time for the curtain calls. It was a beautiful evening, everything I hoped for. I fully agree a 100% with Silvermash about Letestu and Martinez; their dancing wasn't on top form and I didn't feel much emotion on stage, particulary from Martinez. Letestu was impeccable, so was Cozette, but the cooperation between all the main characters weren't on the same level. Other than that it truly was a spectacle and even with these minor 'observations', Paris Opéra Ballet gave me a magical evening. Curtain Call - Agnès Letestu with José Martinez Curtain Call - Trois Ombres (Ludmila Pagliero, Mélanie Hurel, Marie-Solène Boulet) Curtain Call - Le Rajah (Stéphane Phavorin), l'Idole dorée (Mathias Heymann), le Fakir (Allister Madin) and le Grand Brahmane (Yann Saïz) Curtain Call - Gamzatti (Emilie Cozette) Curtain Call - Everyone Curtain Call - Conductor Kevin Rhodes My photos from Palais Garnier
  23. Wow! Congratulations to Mr. Bullion!
  24. Too funny! (But the truth, alas.) Mr. Preljocaj wears a scarf very nicely, though. I agree ;) I read some great stories about this ballet though and Preljocaj's with POB are a great combination.
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