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New York Masters in Amsterdam

Marc Haegeman

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Yes, Alexandra. Lezhnina is still there, thankfully, and doing fine :D. She is cast for both "Serenade" and "The Concert".

Earlier this season I saw her in Van Dantzig's "Romeo and Juliet" and she really swept me away with that performance.

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Grace, no I haven't, unfortunately, but hope to do so in the near future. We are also bound to get more work by Krysztof Pastor who is resident choreographer since January 1.

Maybe someone else saw anything from Brandsen - Viviane?

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I must disappoint you Marc !

So far I haven't seen much of DNB :)

A shame, I know, because travelling to A'dam is easy.

When I had to make a choice I prefered Paris and London !

But the whole company has conquered me with their R&J : the best production I've ever seen :) and Larissa Lezhnina is a real 'ballerina' in every sense of the word. Another point : I just discovered that topseats are about half the price of POB...and I won't mention RB !

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thanks to both of you for responding. i haven't been online for a few days, or more.

brandsen also brought pastor's work to western australia, in his previous directorship.

in the future, if anyone DOES see any of brandsen's choreographies (especially the one's he has premiered in australia) i would be very interested to hear your views.


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Viviane, I thought much about you when I was at the desk buying a ticket last week for the same evening performance of NY Masters. Thought it would be possible to have the casting there and then, but oh no… the otherwise very helpful person replied “you will get a piece of paper with the names prior to the performance, it will be like a surprise.” Humbly I then proceeded to inquire if the cast would be likely to be the same the following night, yet again to no avail. So I bought a ticket for both the Thursday and the Friday night and waited to be surprised.

The program is delightful. After the immediate “shock” of realizing that Serenade was opening the triple bill (after so many years of seeing it close the evening that it almost seemed like a crime lèse majesté…:) ), I had the pleasure of discovering Larissa Lezhnina, Anna Seidl, Tamas Nagy and Sofiane Sylve (who had so delighted back in NY in Western Symphony) on both nights.

Acts of Light will be forever marked by the extraordinary intense performance of Yumiko Takeshima as the figure of mourning in Lament. This was Graham as I had always imagined it. Conversation of Lovers were interpreted both evenings by Sarah Fontaine & Jahn Magnus Johansen, idem no cast change for Helios on Friday, whereas Kumiko Hayakawa was the one doing Lament .

The cherry on the cake was The Concert that ended the evenings. New to Het Nationale Ballet's repertoire, this Robbins –unsurprisingly- brought the house down on both nights. And casting was a real treat here : Lezhnina on the first night as the ballerina and Sylve on the second. The two interpreted this wacky role in very different manners : Lezhnina was an absolute scream, divine : all delicate and loopy eccentricity, where Sylve was more of a sophisticated figure. I’m sure the interpretations will evolve (after all this was the second and third nights of the run) and would love to see how. Everybody on that stage seemed to be having a wild time, camping it up (both pianists, Michael Mouratch and Olga Khozianinova were outrageous) and the audience loved it. Absolutely irresistible. Was swept away by both evenings, a very good company/ orchestra, lovely theatre and should I mention the awesome patisseries and choccies they sell during the intervals ?

The following night I went a few yards down the canal to Theatre Carré to catch a glimpse of Ballet Nacional de Cuba ‘s Don Quichotte -it was like galaxies apart. Minkus came out of a can but the dancers managed to carry the production over the top. The leads were stunning (their names were tannoyed through at the beginning of the performance, in Dutch and before I realized what was going on it was already to late) : effortless dancing, impeccable technique (such balances) and passion galore. Wish there had been an orchestra, these dancers would have showed us more !

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