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"Young dancers" program at the POB, May 2003

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The POB has finally announced the content of the "Young dancers" program which will be performed four times between May 21 and 25.

The casts haven't been announced officially yet.

So it will include:

-the pas de trois "La Sieste" from Lifar's "Suite en Blanc"

-Bournonville's "Flower Festival in Genzano"

-"Esmeralda" (I assume it's the pas de deux) after Marius Petipa

-a pas de trois from Nureyev's production of "Swan Lake"

-a pas de deux from Nureyev's production of "Cinderella"

-the rose Adagio from "The Sleeping Beauty"

(Nureyev's production)

-a world premiere by Jean-Guillaume Bart, "Javotte", on some music by Camille Saint-Saëns

-José Martinez's "Mi Favorita" (he had created it for some galas but it hadn't been danced at the Paris Opera yet), on some music by Gaetano Donizetti

-Balanchine's "Tchaikovsky pas de deux"

I'm quite happy to see that there will be some Lifar and some Bournonville at last, and also I'm looking forward to Jean-Guillaume Bart's new work . On the other hand, I rarely enjoy much the excerpts of ballets in such programs, and I think that choosing a young dancer to perform the Rose Adagio, for example, might be a poisoned gift.

Such "Young dancers" programs are performed every second year approximatively, and it's one of the only opportunities to see some dancers of the corps de ballet in big roles (but there aren't enough such programs to see everybody, unfortunately). For example, as far as I know, the last time "Tchaikovsky pas de deux" was performed in such a program, in 1993, it was danced by Aurélie Dupont and Nicolas Le Riche...

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The version of Mi Favorita will be a new version. For the gala where he showed it, it was for three couples, this time it will be for five couples.

Pas de deux from Cinderella is excerpt from the second act, it's the same than for the Tribute to Nureyev where Monique Loudieres danced it with Jean-Guillaume Bart.

Pas de trois from Swan Lake is not as indicated on POB website, Black swan pas de trois, but First act divertissement pas de trois.

To note that they organize also an evening dedicated to the Home choreographer and we must see first works of Yann Bridard, Hervé Courtain, Mallory Gaudion, Jean-Philippe Dury, Sébastien Bertaud, Bruno Bouché, and Nicolas Paul. This two last already had presented in gala their choreography as well Jean-Philippe Dury, but it will be the first work of Yann Bridard. It's very interesting and very strange to see that José Martinez, Jean-Guillaume Bart, Nicolas Le Riche and Yann Bridard were in the same division in the School of Ballet, and every one makes choreography.

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I think I just spent the most wonderful evening of my life!

It started with a pas de trois from Suite en Blanc by Lifar, danced by Gwenaelle Vauthier, Maud Rivière and Alice Renavand. Nothing much to say about it, except that the music was very repetitive and quite boring in the end. The nicest arms were Julie Martel's.

Then, there was the pas de deux from Fête des fleurs à Genzano, danced by Daphné Gestin and Adrien Bodet. She had very nice feet and arabesques, but her upper body was a bit stiff and her wrists "broken", as we say in french. He made a lot of noise while landing, but apart from that, there was nothing remarkable.

The pas de deux from Esmeralda followed, brilliantly danced by Sabrina Mallem and Julien Meyzindi. They were both very calm, she had a lot of style and he was very elegant. He also had a brilliant technique with wonderful jumps and turns. She also had very nice arabesques and balances.

Leila Dilhac, Gregory Gaillard and Julie Martel then danced the pas de trois from act I of Swan Lake. His manège wasn't very nice, it was too abrupt, one of the girls had a problem with her skirt which kept coming up and had also "broken" wrists.

The next piece was the pas de deux from Cinderella by Nureyev. Eve Grinstajn was magnificent in it, but badly partenered by Sébastien Bertaud. He dances well on his own, but there, he just seemed terrible, there were many problems in the portés, the promenades and the pirouettes. But she was very graceful and had an appropriate style.

Aurore Cordellier then had the difficult task of dancing the Rose Adagio, accompanied by Florian Magnenet, Audric Bezard, Gregory Dominiak and Vincent Chaillet. I normally like her, but there, I think it was a bit too much to ask her. Her développés seconde were very nice, but she had problems with the two sets of attitudes. And her arms were not very nice. Nothing much to say about the princes.

The second part started with a new pas de deux by Jean-Guillaume Bart, Javotte, and it was danced by Laura Hecquet and Josua Hoffalt. The choreography was quite nice, and the dancers were good.

Then, there was José Martinez's ballet Mi Favorita, which has been danced in Roissy by some dancers of the Opera, and this choreography has just entered the repertory. It is a very nice ballet, and it made many allusions to famous ballets, such as Giselle, Swan Lake, but also In the Middle...It was also funny. The only problem was that one of the dancers hurt her foot at the beginning. But it was one of the best pieces of the evening. The dancers were Séverine Westermann, Mathilde froustey, Miho Fujii, Charline Giezendanner, Pauline Verdusen, Charlotte Ranson, Florian magnenet, Simon Valastro, Martin Chaix, Aurélien Houette and Cyril Mitilian. Florian Magnenet did a wonderful sextuple (?) pirouette. The costumes were also nice and original. They were designed by Agnès Letestu.

It finally ended with Tchaikovski pas de deux, danced by Dorothée Gilbert and Audric Bezard. She was simply astonishing, marvellous technique, and the style was there too, at least I think. He was also very good.

It was very pleasant, and it was interesting to see different styles of choreography and dancing in the same evening. It was very good. There was also Laurent Hilaire, Jean-Yves Lormeau, Ghislaine Thesmar, Pierre Lacotte, Alessio Carbone, Delphine Moussin and Lionel Delanoe in the audience, amongst others.

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Thanks for your review, sulian. I'm going to see that show next Saturday in the afternoon, and I'm looking forward to seeing it! But it's a pity that Mathieu Ganio who was supposed to danced "Tchaikovsky pas de deux" got injured:

Audric Bezard is a good dancer too, but I have a great memory of Ganio in "La Fille mal gardée", and he always looks great in the corps de ballet, so I'd have liked to see him in that role...

About Aurore Cordellier, it seems that the direction is a bit too likely to give her some too hard roles: in the previous "young dancers" program, she had danced an excerpt from "Swan Lake" (and I hadn't liked it much), I think that in general such roles might be a bit too hard for such young dancers (and also lose some of their interest when taken out of their context...)

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Yes, I was a bit diasppointed too not to see Mathieu Ganio, and about Aurore Cordellier, I thought it was a bit strange to give the rose adagio, because this gives a lot of importance to the girl, and the boys are just there to accompany her, so it's a bit unfair for them. Especially for the ones who didn't dance again later. The roles are totally disproprotionate. I was straight away surprised that this adagio was programmed, I would have felt the same if it had been an normal gala. But, to show how good I found it, I'll say that I would have very much liked to see it again, but unfortunately, I'm not here this week-end.:D Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy it!

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