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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    ballet hooligan! :)
  • City**
    The Netherlands
  1. Hi Estelle, Maybe I can help; when I first discovered the ballet I used to go to the MuziekTheater nearly every week, so I think I've actually sat on pretty much all available seats! There is a seating plan of the theatre here: http://www.het-ballet.nl/index.php?m=main_...p;ssm=info_plan They have this plan at the MuziekTheater box office as well, so if your husband will get his tickets when he is already in Amsterdam, he can ask the lady or gentleman there to point out the available seats before he buys them. The only ones I'd really recommend AGAINST are the 4th rank seats at the sides of the balconies: because of their extreme position to the side not everything on stage might be visible. Apart from that the first rank seats are of course the best, but second rank seats are still wonderful. The third rank seats are quite okay; however, considering the relative ticket prices (for the Footprints of Balanchine programme they are respectively €16,-, €24,- , €32,- and €39,- for 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st rank - so relative to the 2nd rank, the 3rd rank is only 25% off) I'd suggest getting a second- or first rank seat if possible. I hope your husband will have a great time!
  2. That's awesome! Thank you, CarolinaM!
  3. The magazine of the 'friends' organisation arrived last week, and it says she is joining Staatstheater Nürnberg ('Nuremberg State Theatre' in English) in Germany! Mystery solved then.
  4. Thanks for checking it out Carbro - at least one possibilty is eliminated!
  5. Hi all, Dutch National sent out a newsletter last week with the names of dancers that will not return to the company after the summer, and among them is my current favourite, Jaione Zabala! Does anyone know what she's up to? Whether she's transferring to another company (and if so of course: which company?), or changing careers?
  6. Hey everyone, This weekend I finally watched Dutch National Ballet's "The Sleeping Beauty" registration with Sofiane Sylve, that I had taped when it was aired on Dutch television December 31st (or 25th or something). Before the first act Ted Brandsen, artistic director of Dutch National Ballet, was interviewed about the ballet, the company, and the principals in the registration. He said that, as of that moment, Sofiane 'removed herself' from NYCB and will now be a full time "free-lance international guest-artiste"! So I guess this is good news for everyone (even those in NY I think): she'll probably be guesting everywhere and much more often now!
  7. Welcome welcome!!! Edit: I see mr. Stevens has given much more useful advice than I did, so I'll just delete mine. I hope you'll have a good time at Dutch National Ballet!
  8. I think there are plans for a re-take of Coppelia in the 07/08 season, but the 07/08 performances won't be officially presented to the audience until March 16th. So until that time we're in unknowing anticipation! If it's true though, I hope they will agree with your idea of casting ms. Gardette in the title role!
  9. Drb, I saw this performance yesterday, Friday March the 2nd. I had a great time, but I deliberately went on a day that some of my preferred dancers were scheduled, so I could not be disappointed! The lovely Ji-Young Kim makes a truly enchanting Nikiya, she's beautifully delicate with an exceptionally graceful upper body + arms. And Tamás Nagy was of course a perfect Solor, combining the strength and pride of a warrior with his typical gentlemanly elegance. Gamzatti was danced by Julie Gardette, to whom I had not really paid much attention in previous performances, but obviously I've been missing out: she succeeded very well in making Gamzatti stunningly beautiful and emotionally understandable, but still rather reserved. It was not at all hard to believe that this cute and frail Gamzatti was also cold enough to actually have her rival in love killed... Also worth mentioning was Nicholas Mishoe as the Bronze Idol. At the beginning of the 3rd act, this statue on the stairs of the temple comes to life to dance. I guess the role doesn't bear any relevance to the storyline itself, but it was one of my highlights for the evening! Judging by the enthusiasm of the rest of the audience, I was not alone. Another unexpected highlight for me was the Pas d'Action in the Palace Garden in the last scene of Act 1. I guess I'm a bit of a drama-junkie, so in fairytale ballets I usually feel like I am just "waiting for the lyrical bits" during things like national dances or dancing beverages of any kind. But I thought this Pas d'Action was absolutely delightful, the dancing was so fresh and pretty! Oh, and for the clip with ms. Makarova from the Dutch news: perhaps it's easier to just go directly here: http://media.het-ballet.nl/video/bayadere.php
  10. I saw this show too, on september 18th. Sorry it took me so long to post, I have been busy getting things rolling again with my studies and the absurd amount of dance classes I'm trying to squeeze into my weekly schedule... All in all I thought it was a pretty good evening, while I wasn't really looking forward to it. I don't understand why they chose to add yet another Balanchine to the repertoire, and why this one. Dutch national is facing serious cut backs in the state-financing and this is a very expensive ballet, especially with the ridiculous demands the Balanchine Trust makes! To me it doesn't seem worth the investment. Particularly because they keep saying the Dutch National desperately needs a more mixed audience, and this really doesn't seem to be the way to get it! I talk to a lot of dance-lovers in their teens, twenties and thirties, of different backgrounds, and the consensus among them is that the Dutch National is too technical and it's repertoire not very exciting. Of course I beg to differ, but I can also see where they are coming from. I think their point was painfully proven when during this evening there was suddenly the distinct sound of snoring coming from someone a few rows in front of me...! :mellow: So I had (and have) my reservations about this ballet as a whole, but I nevertheless had a good time. About the performance itself I agree with Herman on many things -for as much as the casts were the same anyway- so I'll just mention the differences. For one thing, this night had a major display of DNB's new "acquisition" Michele Jimenez as she was the first couple with Andrew Crawford in Emeralds, and the soloist in Rubies. I thought she was great for Rubies, because she brings a very bright enthusiasm to the stage. Perfect for the spirit of Rubies! However, in Emeralds I would have preferred to see a more experienced dancer do the piece. I think it would have had more substance. Also a bit of a downer -though I realise that this kind of thing just happens, and it doesn't necessarily say anything about the dancer- was the part where she was to do an arabesque and let go of her partner's hand, rising up even further. This could have been a prime "Balanchine-ballerina"- moment: looking strong, poised, independent, yet graceful. Sadly she didn't manage to find her balance, so there were only some awkward wobbly moments, and a very short balance. Like I said I know this sort of thing just happens, but it felt like a missed chance. Anna Seidl danced the other couple with Nicolas Rapaic. I think she's a beautiful dancer, but I sort of have to agree with what Herman said about her. I think it wasn't as bad as in the His Master's Choice programme last season though. My main note on the performance back then was that if I was the dancer partnering her, I would have tickled her! Needless to say if I were a dancer I would be FIRED but my point is that I felt like she really needs to loosen up! Perhaps she needs to take a little break, to branch out a bit, to find new inspiration? The Pas de Trois was done by Charlotte Chapelier, Mathieu Gremillet and Ji-Young Kim. I loved them. Simple as that. Contrary to Herman (perhaps we have a little generation gap here on BalletTalk...? :foot: ) I was really happy with Rubies between Emeralds and Diamonds, because it's a little (seemingly) reckless fun to keep us awake amidst all the Balanchine-prettyism. Besides ms. Jimenez whom I very much liked for this piece, Marisa Lopez and Cedric Ygnace were dancing Rubies this night as well. Clearly they can be trusted with it! For Diamonds, Larissa Lezhnina was partnered by Tamás Nagy. I was rather surprised that Herman didn't like her for this piece, though I can see what he means as he is thinking of how the part should be. But I, just for me, thought it was lovely that in this pompous part of the ballet, there was such a small and delicate focal point. Also, I really like the combination of her and Tamás. I don't think I have seen them partner before, but I really love his softness combined with her "sophisticated perkiness". What a sweet harmony. --- Something else that I definitely want to make mention of, is the new stage design by Toer van Schayk. It was a construction of metal strips and elastics, that formed a crystalline shape suspended in the air. The construction changed for each of the pieces, to make different jewel-shapes. Ingenious, but even more so just beautiful! ---
  11. Hahaha, yes, reading back I also noticed I seem to have forgotten about the girls...! I think this is part coincidence (like I said Félipe Diaz' performance just "hit me" in the first show, and with the second show I more or less went there to see mr. Kaftira dance!), but I think I also have more trouble comparing the girls to eachother. I'm not really sure why, perhaps it's simply because there are more of them, or perhaps I'm just not paying enough attention because I'm a little too eager to tell the world that ballet is not just about "girls in tutus"... Actually, I think it's mainly the latter. This sounds like a very reasonable hypothesis, but I think you are forgetting that my way of watching and seeing a ballet is no where near as evolved as yours. Much more than comparing interpretations, I'm just trying to figure out what is going on on stage! For the second I was talking about, I just felt a feeling of nuisance with prince Siegfried: "Oh COME ON, WHAT are you POUTING about???!". It was not like "Hmmm, this prince appears to be more outspoken in his apprehension than the prince I saw some days ago.". I really don't think Tamás Nagy's performance had anything to with it. Well enough about this. Let's not forget it was just a nano-second of a full-length ballet, and probably nothing but a random thought of mine anyway! I believe you immediately! But is this to say she is sweeter than the other girls in the company? Because -from the dancers I have met so far- I think the company harbours a number of angels...!
  12. I saw Swan Lake twice: __________________ On Tuesday March 22, I saw the dress rehearsal, at which Yumiko Takeshima and Tamás Nagy were dancing Odette/Odile and Siegfried. It was the first time I saw Swan Lake (in any choreography or cast!) so I can't really say anything about their interpretations: I was still very much watching 'what was happening' rather than 'how they were doing it'. What did strike me anyway though, was the huge emotional weight Félipe Diaz managed to give to the role of Siegfried's best friend Alexander. (I understood that in other versions this friend is called Benno?) For those of you who are not familiar with the HNB version of Swan Lake: this version is not so much about Odette, but about Siegfried. About him eventually giving in to temptation, failing to be true to his ideals... In the end Siegfried drowns, and Alexander finds Siegfried's dead body. He carries him to the middle of the stage, lays him down there, and finally kneels by him, grieving... There was so much tenderness, so much care in the way Félipe Diaz' Alexander carried his deceased friend... Such intense sadness... It was instantly felt how incredibly dear Siegfried was to him, how pure his desolation was... Really powerful! __________________ The second time I saw Swan Lake was on Sunday March 26th. Ruta Jezerskyte and Altin Alexandros Kaftira were dancing Odette/Odile and Siegfried. I am SO thankful I got to see this cast, especially because I just love the way mr. Kaftira can really bring roles like Siegfried to life, and really makes you feel involved in the story! One minor point of criticism though: I think I would have preferred it if he would have held back *just a little bit* in the beginning. Of course he had to communicate that the empty pleasures of the court life couldn't fulfill Siegfried, but I guess the problem with that part of the choreography is that with even a slightly overdramatic approach, Siegfried easily turns from an idealistic young man searching for meaning, to merely a pouting boy. However the nano-second this bothered me was amply compensated for by the rest of the performance! Besides I am most likely the only person who has had this thought, so it's probably my bad, rather than mr. Kaftira's. I was also really happy to see Mathieu Gremillet as Alexander. I just always like to see him, because he makes such a direct connection with the audience. In the cast I saw with the dress rehearsal he was in the pas de six by the way. From what I understood, they employ nearly the entire company in each performance for shows like Swan Lake, making it really intense working for the dancers. Not to mention touring the Netherlands, and having to stay over in the remotest places! I hope their rehearsal schedule for the Van Manen show leaves them a little breathing space, to repair wrecked sleeping patterns and such! (Though of course some might argue a hotel accomodation actually provides better sleeping circumstances, depending on the normal situation...) __________________ I will later post my notes on the wonderful Swan Lake Masterclass Guillaume Graffin taught to Boris de Leeuw and Asta Bazeviciute. For now I have studying to do... But on a side note: I never really understood why Odette and Odile are both danced by one person, especially because it's said to be such a physically demanding role! Is this simply traditional, because some smaller companies would not have that many principals capable of performing the role, or is there another reason? Maybe a more experienced Ballet Talker can shed a light on this?
  13. ^^^ See, THIS is why I was waiting for regular Ballet Talkers to post first...! I am not that experienced in watching ballet, and therefore have less insight in everything. I still tend to experience a ballet as something magical... But I read this in one of the introductionary topics on the BT for D forum: So on that notion, here's my two cents...
  14. By the way, if no one else is posting here, is it okay if I post my notes on Swan Lake and the Masterclass?
  15. This afternoon the Friends of the Dutch National Ballet watched the film Ballet Russes in a cinema near Leidseplein, and as a lovely surprise it turned out several dancers and David Dawson were there too!
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