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  1. Hi a few comments on Hübbes Giselle. Hübbe version is not that close to the Kronstam version, but Kronstams versions was to much a patch on Bruhns in major areas, like the Bathilde/Myrtha doubling. In comparison Hübbe's is a much more original work, though staying within the limits of tradition. Yao Wei and Ulrik Birkkjær did dance as well as could be expected and acted with substantiaily less conviction, but what can you expects from a dancer who had never had a dramatic role? I will write another review for Danceviewtimes, where I will discus the dilemma of creating the best performances and try to develop company and dancers at the same time, which is Hübbe's major challenge. I will post tomorrow. Effy (Eva Kistrup)
  2. Probably just the two, but you must remember that the conservatorie is a reconstruction and it therefore is very likely that this jockey is a paraphase of the other. The other is also reconstructed but is based on the 1890ties Elfelt films
  3. I have seen it danced once before by women, Eva Kloborg and Linda Hindberg. If my memorie is correct they were not as charming as Bojesen and Lindstrøm in the piece. They tried a more masculin approach
  4. Dear autodidicte, When I review Caroline Cavallo as the sylph I view her on the basic of having seen allmost all interpreters of the parts since 1978. and a few earlier Sylphs on video, It is natural that my response will differ from a viewer, who do not have the same experience. Your German balletomane may rightly feel that Cavallo is better than Bojesen or the other Sylphs he has seen. I am certain that I did not write that Cavallo is a bad Sylph. What I write is that I wish that she would try a more definitive interpretation rather than staying in the middle of the spectre and that she could consider more variation in the phrasing (the same way Nicolaj Hubbe suggested to Gudrun Bojesen to receive a more dramatic impact) . When I am sorry that Schandorffs Sylph is not included in the festival, it had to do with the quality of her Sylph and the good dramatic match with Blangstrups James, not with the fact that she is Danish. The question is not whether a dancer is Danish or Foreign but whether the dancer understands and can convey the style and acting needed for Bournonville. Sorella Englund, Lloyd Riggins and indeed Caroline Cavallo are prime examples of foreign dancers who are great Bournonville dancers. I myself loves Caroline Cavallos take on her Napoli 3 act variation. I expects great things from Dawid Kapinsky and others of the never intake. You see Marie Pierre Greve doing the most touching Rosita I have ever seen. But RDB is build on a model where dancers spend the whole career span from child to charecter dancer in the company. Making the company more foreign it can change the company into a more traditional company with lot of staff turnover and it is equally important that the dancers have the same schooling. ABT is to me the bad epytome of a company where no two dancers seems to be from the same scholl. The truly great companies like Kirov, Paris Opera Ballet, RDB and NYCB have this close school/company link and I would be sorry to see that go. On the other hand it looks likes RDB has cracked the code of integrating the foreign dancers, but stability is needed staffwise . Living in Copenhagen present the priviledge of seing all casts and it is clear that casting the festival has been a series of difficult choices. It looks like that Frank Andersen has opted for the democratic solution and giving everybody (save Kenneth Greve) at least one meaty part. The flipsite is of course that certain ballets are not performed by the strongest casts. La Conservatorie misses the Lund/Bojesen magic. I could have wished for everyone to see Mads Blangstrups Gennaro.The Hesselkilde celebration meant no Ryberg in two parts and so on. Maybe people take the roles as Bournonville ambassadors too seriusly if they tell a guest that there are other great interpretations not shown this week, but I think if it is done it is done from love of the company. It may also be need to clarify certain aspects for our guests. Looking at the festival, Kenneth Greve comes up as the servant to Thomas Lunds master. That is certainly not the picture of the last seasons. You are perfectly right. No one should obstain from their own view and differ to any reviewer. Unlike the audience the reviewer should be able to analyse and argument their conclusions. It is not a question whether you like so and so dancer, but why you like them. How does their interpretation and skills influence the ballet. One thing I have learn during my tenure as a balletomane is that casting is one of th key - if not the key - ingridience in making a ballet work and shine. Therefore casting is an important issue to follow and discus. And yes the Queen was absolutely right Nina A is a great sylph and likewise have other foreign dancers shown talents for Bournonville. But as this week has shown us Bournonville is a long commitment
  5. According to the press office the Volkava dedication happened in May
  6. So far Volkovas has only been mentioned once or twice when suurering the rDB story. I will check today with the press office
  7. the royal theatre has done what tey usually do, ask a wellknown modern painter to design a poster and as usully it ends up neither being art nor being a good marketing tool that can draw people in. I have seen so often that I am almost going blind to the whole issue
  8. In Natalia and several other reviews Thomas Lund is rightly praised and the reviewers assume that he is the dominent male dancer in RDB. This is I have to say far from the truth. Save the Bournonville repetoire, Thomas Lund is underutilised in the repetoire. Save Bournonville this year has seen him in the second s casts of In the Night and Fancy Free and the not very advanced Nutcracker (for the fourth year running). Next year will show a predominately modern reportoire, with the big ballets being the two Neumeier ballet Mermaid and Romeo& Juliet and Manon, in which he has a small role. Kernneth Greve on the the other hand has been busy and brilliant in everything but Bournonville. In the festival he will only do Junker Ove. Greve is a tall handsome dancer with lot of charisma, who could have been used in works like the Lifeguards and others. It is unfair that he is not featured more in the festival, but it is of even greater consequence that Lund (and Eggert) is underused in the general repetoire. I Mads Blangstrup is rightly cast as the second most important dancer both in the general repetoire (alternating mosts parts with Greve) and in Bournonville (aleernating with Lund) and is the "winner" on average. At least he gets to be used the whole season.
  9. It is the Carey back in use, but ohh those costumes
  10. The changes of Riggins include new modern coreography for the circus troupe, not including a clown, the jester is gone. The lead slowanka dancers does his functions. There is one nobleman less in the fighting scene, the monks are gone from last scene and the black diva has lost her color. The housekeeper has been glorified as Vermers girl with the pearl earring
  11. As promised by Lloyd Riggins at the introduction matinee, his take on The Kermesse in Brugge has passed through the John Neumeier grinder for updating a balllet. And indeed the first act especially was full of Neumeierisque effect like turning the slovanka dancers into a band of jesters, but still using a verfremdung technique - we re all dancers in modern time, eg the women keeping their modern haistyles. As preparation Riggins has spend time in Brugge trying to capture the feeling of the ciy to bring into his version, but apperantly no one had explained to him, that Bounonville had no relation to Brügge, neither had he any intention of creating a piece about Brügge. What Bournonville wanted was to use the scenery of Flemish paintings as backdrop for a light comedy. Riggins is wery well aware of the great 1978 version by Hans Brenaa with costumes by Lars Juhl, He had danced the role of Carelis as a hand me down from Ib Andersen, Brenaas original Carelis. The Brenaa version was the toast of the first Bournonville festival,an elegant, vitty and extreamly wellcast ballet with Ib Andersen, Mette-Ida Kirk, Niels Kehlet and Kirsten Simone leading a perfect cast. It maybe matched but it could not be bettered. But after the original cast outgrow their parts it became difficult for the company to maintain the high level and suddenly the ballet lost its sparcle. An attempt to change the ballet but keep the costumes failed. It was build on an effort to bring out the darker and deeper content of the work. So enter Riggins and Rikke Juhllund. Like the last attemp he tries to downplay the comedy. He tries to simplify the glamour, a fine teory but seems to forget that Kermesse do not deliver substance, but style and details, and when you cut down on those, there is little left. It may be that research showns that velvet was not worn by the middle class in 16th century Brügge, but chosing wollen beige, crimpy textiles do not really help present classical dancing and the pale colours makes it difficuly for the main caracters to register, especially in contract to the noicy red slovanka dancers. Neither does pale dressed noblemen register when hidding in the back wings. From the best intentions Riggins deals his cast a very difficult hand. In the catalog to the current exhibiton on Bournonville costumes, Anne Marie Vessel is likewise critical on the opulence of the 978 Brenaa/Juul production, but the steps demands volume, like when Trutje parades her daughters down stage. You need three full skirts to build the figure, but now you have a small long shirt and two 1950 styles suits and it does not register, neither helps the dancer to make standout characters. I cannot help compare Riggins strategy to Nicolaij Hubbes. Hubbe respects the tradition and builds on tradition, Riggins want to challenge the tradition, but has little to offer, rather than turning the ballet into a copycat Neumeier approach. La Ventana was well danced, but allthough the decor was striking I could not help noticing that the title prop of the ballet La Ventana (the Window) was strangely missing. In short I must conclude that Bournonville made two ballet inspired by respectively Spanish dancing and Flemish painting - RDB has just presented the two pieces as inspired by Spanish painting and Flemish dancing.
  12. Seeing the Greves in this work it was difficult to imagine anyone else, but someone had to do it and it became Susanne Grinder and Mads Blangstrups lot to dances parts that were so tailormade ffor someone else. Blangstrup is actually quite good in the part. Grinder almost a debut is in much deeper water. She is not really suited to the part - but definately to other lead roles - she dances the steps but you see the mechanics in them, whereas MP Greve conveyed the feeling and wonder. In the last scene the decoration did not come down and the mermaid and HC Andersen lost the starry light for their immortality sccene. It was a poignent metaphor. With this cast mortality is never left.
  13. Izabela Sokolowska is born in 1984 and educated in her nativ Gdansk. You can read biografies with pictures in Danish on www.kgl-teater.dk click ballet click cvs, Here you can choose solodansere (principal) karakterdanser (mimes), soloists, Korps damer (corps ladies) Corps Herrer (corps men) aspirants
  14. Isabella Sokolowska has been with the company for a nuber of years. Hailed originally as a great talent and a great beauty in The Lesson (doubling Bojesen), but have been away much, premumed injured. This season she has gotten a number of roles, mainly Bournonville, including the dominant farming girl and Eliza in La Conservatorie and one of the girls in Fancy Free. I myself is not too impressed, she seems to have gone a bit stale and she did not look like ballerina material as eliza. You could not tell the soloist apar from the corps. Maybe it is a similar case to dancers like Niels Balle and Sasha Haugland, talented youth who because of injuries never catches the train. One of the reason for my admiration of the great Mette-Ida Kirk, an immense talented but often injured dancer was her ability to come back after each injury on top of her game. But few seems to have that ability
  15. The Little Mermaid is not the worst ballet John Neumeier has made - nor is it his masterpiece. It has the distinct characteristics of being a commisioned work rather than a labour of love and commitment. But cut down approx. 30 minutes and you would have a ballet with some lasting qualities. John Neumeier based the ballet on the now famous "gay" interpretation of the fairytale by Danish literate Johan de Mylius,which sees the story as an allergy of Andersen unrequitted love for Edward Collin, the son of his benefactor, but Neumeiers nevertheless managed some original touches, especially at the end where the immortality of the Mermaid and the immortality of the poet are woven together - one would not be immortal without the other. The ballet really uses and overuses the qualities of Marie Pierre Greve and Kenneth Greve - to the result that it is difficult to imagine other dancers in the parts. MPG is very flexible and this is used to form the key movements of the mermaid. and Kenneth Greve lines and even his abilities as a golfer (his father is a golf pro) is put into play. I am certain that someone will pronounce it the part of a lifetime of MPG who really dominated the scene, even though in heavy "japanese" makeup. The strong part is the mermaids dancing under vater and the saving of the prince. At lot is done dramatically with Verfremdung effects and you cannot help feeling that there are cut a few corners here and there to make the story fit. Never the less he uses the material well and it is amazing how well dancers, who in the younger years was known as non-acting dancers like Kenneth Greve and Mogens Boesen has matured into fine dance actors. Espicially Greve, although it is a difficult role as the prince who never discovers the true love of his life. Gudrun Bojesen as the princess is so well cast dramatically but is subject to the same unfortunate destiny as in Anna Karenina, where she was ideally cast in a secondary role of not much stagetime. But she will get her dues during the Bournonville week. The stage functions well but it is really really big and therefore diffucult to fill out with corps.
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