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  1. Late as usual, but still : A most wonderful evening last Saturday for the premiere of la Sylphide at the Royal Theatre. The lanterns were red, the house well sold out and the feeling of anticipation rather palpable with all the expectancies borne on this production (« one of the classic ballet’s most captivating characters – an innocent soul and femme fatale all rolled into one. See the premiere directed by NH , one of the greatest Danish dancers ever… » read the blurb in the papers) which in many ways acted as a pre-pre opener to the festival in two years time. Bojesen was an ethereal sylph of great beauty (and a wonderful dancer, confirmed by her remarkable performance in Etudes the following night), but while her playfulness and that incredible lightness were utterly disarming – the man sitting next to me was falling in love by the minute- I too somehow regret the choice of naïve innocence she embodied and was therefore all the more very sensitive to the Rose Gad’s interpretation on the following matinée, which seemed to convey a slight sense of doom ; surely the sorceress can’t be the only one “aware”. Or is it that « lurve » transforms one into a butterfly (all the more when you are a spirit to start with?) Perhaps… Lund’s James screamed escapism, (though his affection for his Scottish bride came across as utterly genuine) and the décors suggested the sort of « doll house à l’envers” (sheltered/pampered existence, Anna’s power, arranged wedding…). Lund was a rather boyish James, chasing after the object of affection/illusion that forever eludes his grasp with frantic gestures, and can he dance! In the first act, after Eggert’s very laudible solo (a wicked man that Gurn of his), James storms out center stage, beats and open arm jétés like none, erasing all we have seen just before and leaving an ever lasting impression. Lund, and the following day Blangstrup, both manage to pinpoint their focus and have the audience questing after their reverie, so much so that when the sylph is dying you want to protest and beg to be allowed to paste her wings back for the sake of a happy ending. Lund’s intensity of distress, his broken James who dares not behold what he has done is haunting. Tina Holjund was a charming earthly bride-to be all wrapped in her tartans and woollies, in great contrast to the diaphanous spirit of the woods; Lis Jeppesen, a witch who spits with force and eloquence…and how that hex downs her whiskey! Her threats - eyes gleaming eerily as she lays her curses- resembles at times those street characters prophesying the end of the world. An ultimate spit after James lies prostrate with grief and collapses, brings the story to the end. Rapturous applause, flowers for everyone, bows, curtseys and reverences to the Queen ended this performance which paid an exquisite tribute to Bournonville's work.
  2. the casts : Sylfiden Gudrun Bojesen (20/9, 3/10, 16/10, 11/11) Rose Gad (21/9, 2/10, 4/10) Silja Schandorff (27/9, 7/10, 22/10, 6/11) Caroline Cavallo (24/10, 4/11, 7/11) James Thomas Lund (20/9, 3/10, 16/10, 11/11) Mads Blangstrup (21/9, 27/9, 2/10, 4/10, 22/10, 24/10, 4/11, 7/11) Kenneth Greve (7/10, 6/11) Madge Lis Jeppesen (20/9, 3/10, 16/10, 24/10, 11/11) Jette Buchwald (21/9, 2/10, 4/10, 4/11, 7/11) Mette Bødtcher (27/9, 7/10, 22/10, 6/11)
  3. ...and the second link doesn't seem to work
  4. from the Royal Theatre: Bournonville news: New La Sylphide James has lost his beloved Sylph 755 times at the Royal Theatre Old Stage in Copenhagen. But with the 756th performance, curtains will be drawn on a reinterpretation by the Danish dancer Nikolaj Hübbe. As a brilliant interpreter of James on stage, Nikolaj Hübbe - principal dancer at the New York City Ballet since 1992 - has always had a passion for La Sylphide. Now he debuts as director of his own rendition of this Bournonville classic in close collaboration with the Danish set designer Mikael Melbye. Nikolaj Hübbe was trained at the Royal Danish Ballet School in Copenhagen and his experience with La Sylphide - from children's parts to that of James - spans a full dancing career. In his new staging he emphasises the living continuity of the unique Royal Danish Ballet tradition. "La Sylphide is one of the principal works of the Bournonville repertoire. An ingenious story that is emblematic of the Romantic epoch yet timeless. It is no coincidence that La Sylphide is among the most performed ballets the world over. As a prelude to the 3rd Bournonville Festival in 2005 we present a reinterpretation of La Sylphide complete with new sets. I find it vital that the younger generation of dancers contribute to maintaining the Bournonville heritage - his style and expression. I have therefore invited Nikolaj Hübbe to stage La Sylphide according to his own heart." Artistic Director Frank Andersen La Sylphide is sponsored by Danisco Danish Premiere | Old Stage 20 September 2003 Performances: 20 | 21 | 27 September 2 | 3 | 4 | 7 | 16 | 22 | 24 October 2003 with Etudes 4 | 6 | 7 | 11 November 2003 with Napoli III act. More about La Sylphide: http://www.kgl-teater.dk/dkt2002uk/ballet0...e/Bsylfiden.htm http://www.kgl-teater.dk/dkt2002/bournonvi...for_festivalen/ balletterne/sylfiden/sylfiden.htm
  5. There are a few rehearsal pictures on http://www.balet.cz/nd_praha.htm that were taken in 2001 before the première of Raymonda, (scroll down till the end, last three black and white pictures, they are hi-res if you click on them :sweating: ), otherwise the site of Narodni Divadlo, i.e. the National Theater http://www.narodni-divadlo.cz/B_Zaklad.aspx?jz=en has three photos of the production & the cast list, all in English. Unfortunately I am no longer very “au point” with the company, but I do recall as a child that Harapes- was a bit of a national hero/pride in Prague, receiving fair amounts of media coverage (between two programs on tractors and other agricultural/ industrial reports) so it was with great fondness that I saw them a couple of years ago in Paris. They are a came across as very committed and interesting troupe. A suivre...definetly. Most of the dancers used to come from the Prague Conservatory of dance or the theater’s ballet school. Lukas Slavicky, Barbara Kohoutkova (1996 NYICB gold medal) Ivan Liska (all @ the Munich Ballet) trained there and so did the Bubenicek twins http://www.bubenicek.net/ who now dance in Hamburg, Jirí Kylián...
  6. It is quite strange Estelle, but I have never ever actually seen a Guédiguian, even stranger since I am quite fond of his actors : Daroussin, Ascaride etc… Hopefully I shall repair this “oversight” soon, I actually seem to remember that he’s got 2 films to be released shortly, well before end 2003 if all goes to plan : one on the final years of Mitterrand (with Michel Bouquet) and another one called Mon père est ingénieur. I was wondering, does Guédiguian have a following abroad ? I suppose it’s very “art housy”, but wondering is his work is fairly known …
  7. Regarding Tewsley : I saw a three of the performances (Thursday, Friday and Sat matinée) during which he did not dance. Just checked : he was actually due to do Herman Scherman with Whelan on the matinée, but it was Evans -correctly listed on the day's cast list- who did the part. I was however given a cast sheet of the Wednesday evening performance and can see him put down for Jeu de Cartes (though so is Millepied, and from what I have read here he wasn't on on Tuesday, so whether he/ they danced I don't know.) Hope this is not more confusing than clear. Having missed the Spring season this year, it was all the more thrilling to see the NYCB again (combined with the pleasure of being in CPH), highlights of which were chronologically- ou presque- Hubbe in Square Dance on that first night (fantastic stage presence-stature, beautiful carriage/dancing), Hubbe and Borrée, both wonderful on the matinee, again in Sq. Dance, slightly more daring with some wicked twirling going on, Janie Taylor –fluidly neurotic- in the Infernal Machine, Wheelan’s incredible body speaking Forsythe in H.S. (& the laughter of surprise brought by Evans’ apparition in the yellow mini-skirt), a chirpy Carmena, an enchanting Koroswski and a ever so solid Somogyi in Piano Pieces… the pleasure of discovering Glass Pieces… I could go on, but have a deadline.
  8. Yes, this might have sadly been the Manon during which I spent the least time watching the central character... Nonetheless there was a rapturous applause-curtain call session (the last time I saw such a one was for the Cojocaru/Kobborg/ Lund... Onegin, which certainly had a very different calibre of dancing! :yes: )
  9. Yes indeed, danciegirlmaria, …. fluffy dresses, candy tutus whatever you will… I had to pinch myself on Saturday evening when I realized that these pink, green, yellow-clad women with tulle galore were actually les “filles “de Madame ! During the interval, my neighbour, a charming elderly man asked me if I was enjoying the performance. Could not help mentioning my surprise at the choice of costumes compared to the one’s I saw last June at the Paris Opera. He said , “Oh I see, in Paris they were surely wearing less…” . No, not necessarily less clothes, just not candy-fairy like…after all, it IS a brothel ! At this he laughed and he said, Yes you see that is typical of us in our strange little country !”All in all, a very enjoyable evening (with a wonderful orchestra conducted by Graham Bond) though I must say I was not very carried away by Caroline Cavallo’s performance, which I found rather bland…Not exactly moved by the way she explored the plight of the heroine; Andrew Bowman’s Des Grieux certainly seemed more heartfelt... And Peter Bo Bendixen was a downright evil Monsieur GM, little nuance, but tremendous effect. The corps de ballet (one can get a booklet with the headshots of the dancers : corps de ballet, aspiranter & all at the boutique) convincingly create the various atmospheres the ballet requires (could not keep my eyes off the exquisite Flemming Ryberg in the first act, where he plays the lusty old man … ) and it was an extreme pleasure to see such harmony.
  10. A lot of Forsythe will be going on during the second “Nuit Blanche” in Paris (4th October), a night when cultural places stay open to the public for free and one-off events are held from dusk till dawn. Three interactive installations (Scattered Crowd, Instructions and City of Abstracts), all involving the public in various ways will allow sleepless Parisians to catch a glimpse of this intricate mind… http://www.entrainements.net
  11. Sorry about not answering earlier Estelle, I was travelling … Yes I did see it : did a mega-“La meglio gioventu-thon” on the Saturday following your post; first part in the early afternoon and the second one in the evening, in another cinema. The performances are outstanding, the characters subtle and the story both incredibly moving and compelling… Nicola, Carlo, Giorgia, Matteo, the parents… everybody just grows on you….And despite the unfavourable conditions in which I saw the second part (no AC in cinéma in the middle of our summer heatwave and full theatre) I indeed do not want the film to end… The audience was really in sync, something I hadn’t witnessed in a movie theatre for some time, and a fair sharing of packs of Kleenex was going on…The film has enjoyed a fair “bouche à oreille” success … The other day I was at a dinner party where somebody mentioned the film and actually all of the people at the table -save 3 (of a party of 12) had seen it…and had enjoyed it much … Happy viewings to those who will have the opportunity to see La meglio gioventu (do not be put off by the “family saga”/tv series aspect –I was weary off that- there is so much more to this movie.
  12. Oh I am so glad you mentioned this film, I 've been wanting to see it for a while but my motivation factor has been deeply increased by your post. I am now quite decided to spend my Saturday between the Champs Elysées and St Germain (with a 2 hur break in between) in order to catch the 2 parts on the same day ! Thanks Estelle.
  13. Mayerling has scenes from Giselle when Omar Shariff and Catherine Deneuve meet at the opera. No idea about who is performing though ... There has been a new movie release this week in France, a film called "Il est plus facile pour un chameau..." where the main character takes adult ballet classes. Jose Martinez and Marie Agnes Gillot (from the Paris Opera) have a a "blinK and you miss it" apprearance during a tango scene.
  14. Having seen both the tribute at the Paris Opera and at the Royal Ballet, my preference will not sway to the latter. Not exactly fair to compare though : one was a one-off with nearly-impossible-to-get-overpriced-seats/overpriced programs with a certain amount of pomp and circumstance whereas the other is a triple bill evening staged several nights on … I was quite distracted by the divertissements (or was it "diverted by the distractions" ? )as well. I was dying to see In the middle performed by Guillem and Hilaire after so many years and managed only to catch split images with my focus going all over the scene/screen, avid not to let anything go by. Rapidly I then chose to focus only on the dancers (reassured by the fact that most of the archives were taken from the INA and therefore accessible) but whatever the degree of concentration (mine was seriously put to test during the Sylphide as I did NOT wish to miss a single beat) things did get lost and onstage movements were eaten up by the giant–like Rudi reigning from the screen. The working title of the Forsythe morceau kept ringing in my ears : Impressing the Czar… Screening the video installation during the interval would have certainly made it so much more “tangible”, were it an option. I remember a Sylvie Guillem evening at the Theatre des Champs Elysées some years ago where films were projected while she proceeded to change costumes and that made up nicely for the time. I had been actually looking forward to Françoise Ha Van Kern's footage, whose documentary on Guillem (incidentally on French telly next week) is wonderful. Pity too for the closing item, Surge, (urgh ! and say no more) as opportunities are getting more and more rare to see Hilaire dance in Paris. Interesting evening nonetheless which also gave us offerings such as Apollo (birth and all), the 3rd act of Raymonda with a beaming Guillem, Kobborg’s exquisite James and that fleeting Kumakawa moment (was he there or on the other side and is he already gone ??? ) of sheer beauty…
  15. I have just discovered the enchanting pas de six from Markitenka (a.k.a. known as La Vivandière, or so have I learnt through a rapid search on this board )on the “ballet du Kirov” video. The booklet states the following : Chor : St Léon Musique : Pugni Première : Paris 1847 “pitch”: sculptor falls in love with statue, asks the devil to give her life, wish fulfilled under the condition that the young girl herself does not fall in love, or else shall be transformed back into statue. A google search mad me stumble across the Thessalian Ballet website (http://www.thessalyballet.gr/main1/en/repe...nka_history.htm) which provides another story : one act ballet set in a little village of Hungary. It tells the story of Kathy and Hans, two youngsters, who in order of them to get married, they had to escape from the plans of the Mayor, the Baron of the region, who both of which wanted Kathy for themselves! First performed in 1844 in London, choreography by A. Saint Leon and music by C. Pugni with C.Grisi and the choreographer himself in the leading roles. Today it is performed as a "pas de six" of the wedding. Elsewhere, one can read that the divertissement on the le ballet du Kirov video is a “ Pierre LaCotte restoration of the choreography of Perrot: the pas de six from "Markitenka" or "La Vivandare".((http://hallvideo.com/index.php/Mode/produc...33/page/Unknown)) I am confused here and beg for enlightment. :confused:
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