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CBT Nutcracker - Dec 20, 2003


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Okay, my dears (I’m learning Torontian, you see, and I’m loving it ), it took me longer than I hoped to get back with the review of the Canadian Ballet Theater Nutcracker that I attended on Dec. 20, 2003 in Toronto Leah Posluns Theater.

Since then I have attended another Nutcracker performance by Xing Ballet in Toronto on Dec. 21 and one more Nutcracker (by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal – WHY there has to be a muted -S after every word in French??!!) in Montreal on Dec. 26 . Now that I am two more Nutcrackers older and hopefully wiser , I am happy to share what I’ve seen with you, my dears.

The main attraction of the December 20, 2003 day-time performance were two principals from Bolshoy Ballet – Elena Andrienko and Dmitriy Gudanov . I have mentioned and confessed earlier the absence of professional education in my approach towards ballet, so I am going to leave the pleasure of writing about them to professionals, and will talk about my deeply amateur and personal opinion of that performance.

For me personally one of the greatest highlights of that event was meeting the most amazing person – Marga (the lady who has so thoughtfully posted an announcement on this board) in person. I am hoping that Marga will take a few minutes from her very busy schedule and would share with us her impressions from the Saturday evening and Sunday performances. It was expected, by the way, that Karin Kain was attending the Saturday evening performance ! Marga, we cannot wait to hear from you!!

When I [used to]attend any performance I [used to] bring FOUR BOUQUETS of flowers :):wink::flowers: :flowers: with me - as this number usually seemed to cover all my favorites of a performance. So, my FIRST BOUQUET goes to Leanne Chiavoroli – for that this young ballerina has successfully performed en-pointe Harlequin’s part, which has traditionally been performed back home (and my guess would be – the same for St. Pete’s) by a male dancer naturally on demi-pointe (and that was the one possessing the superb technique and strength). BRAVISSIMO LEANNE! At first I almost had a heart attack that the girl would kill herself, but she’s done it great!

The SECOND BOUQUET goes to the Spanish dance performers Melissa and Jessica Panetta – they’re sisters, so they can share :D . Another nice little surprise for me – I am so used to this dance as to a boy & girl dance. There’s no limit to the flight of artistic imagination – here the boy was eliminated and the girl’s party was doubled. Performed en-pointe (BRAVO!). And the sweet topping of this dance were FOUETTES performed by one of the sisters – so confidently that even my non-ballet-goer companion gasped in delight. BRAVISSIMO! Where else can you see fouettes in a Spanish dance! I DID! There! B)

The THIRD BOUQUET goes to an absolutely gorgeous young male dancer who is about 2.0 m tall. I believe his name is Ian Szkolak (Marga, correct me if I’m wrong, please! :unsure: ). He was dancing in a Christmas party scene in the first act and in the Waltz of Flowers as a Cavalier to two most graceful ballerinas. This dancer is blessed with a body of such perfect proportions that trick your eyes so much that they do not make him seem huge on stage – compare to traditionally miniature ballerinas and not-so-tall male dancers. He manages his body while moving on stage so gracefully that you won’t realize that he’s that tall unless he’s off stage standing next to you. What I was impressed the most with (and so was my virgin-ballet-goer friend) were his pirouettes – performed so clean, accurate, with such perfect aplomb that it would make anyone look impressive. The taller the dancer is the more difficult it is for him or her to manage his/her body. This young dancer is truly blessed with natural inborn sense of aplomb, grace and taste. BRRRAVO! (psst! :secret: - his legs were so beautiful – lean and so perfectly shaped!).

And the FOURTH BOUQUET goes to Mr. Davidson Jackonello, who was the most wanted dancer of that day – as he performed a Nutcracker-Doll part, Arab Doll part, and a male part in the Pas de Trois. Not bad for a dancer of a delicate teen-age, eh? B) I have to mention that I always leave this last forth bouquet for a ballerina or a dancer who seemed to try their hardest on stage but seemed to be a bit unconfident about their performance. Davidson is a fairly tall dancer, beautifully built, clearly trying to be perfect so hard, that he forgot one thing – to lure us, the audience, into the illusion that what he is doing on stage is really a pleasure - not a hard work, and that he is enjoying it so much – he could’ve danced and danced no matter what. I would like to express my best wishes to this young dancer and wish him to find his confidence in his own capabilities, and he has all the reasons to be confident! He has everything for it – he is extremely dedicated, hard working, he has a body and grace with it. There is one more thing that I am wishing him - with all my heart - to find in himself: to let his joie de la danse out when he’s performing on stage, I am sure it is there, otherwise he wouldn’t have taken so much on! (do not laugh at my “French”, please :D )

I would also like to mention the lead ballerina in the Arabic dance, Ursula Szkolak. When I was watching her dance – so beautiful and tall - I caught myself thinking that I was actually watching La Bayadere with Nikia dancing in her temple (overqualified!). This young dancer has a lot of spirit and “drama emotions” in her interpretation of this dance, which I used to enjoy watching more like a dance performed FOR some Arabic Sheikh by a dancer willing 'to please a man'. I am wishing her all the best in her professional future!

As usual - lack of bouquets! I just realized that i have forgotten about the Dancing Doll part (some times referred to as Colombina) in the first act. This is a VERY CUTE LITTLE PART, which is traditionally given to a petite and cute ballerina who has reached the necessary level of technique to allow this part shine like a little diamond. My dance teacher used to perform this role - a ballerina in her 30's (that is about experience not about "being old"). In CBT version this cute little role was given to a cute young ballerina Nadia Maiolino. Oh my God! Her legs and arms are mile-long, she has most impressive lines and a good potential. So I fell in love with the Dancing Doll just for her mile-long legs, inspite of the fact that this baby-ballerina is still too young to handle this role with necessary ease (she got "carried off" during pirouettes en-pointe). But she tried really hard, she did her best and so, the FIFTH BOUQUET goes to Nadia - along with the wishes to keep working hard and move towards gaining enough strength and stamina to reach full control over her most beautiful mile-long legs and arms! A really promising young ballerina!

My notes on the Nutcrackers by Xing Theater (Toronto) and Les Grands Ballets De Montreal are to follow soon.

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Dear Marianna,

What a pleasant surprise it was to read your post today! I am sorry for the almost month-late response on my part, but I have not been on the computer since Christmas.

You are a real dear :( to write such a detailed review of the Canadian Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker. I was not able to do so because of family commitments that took me away from my cyberlife. You write so entertainingly!

On February 13th and 14th, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Canadian Ballet Theatre will present Giselle (a true love story for Valentine's Day!) with Laura Hormigon and Oscar Torrado of the National Ballet of Cuba as Giselle and Albrecht and Jared Matthews from American Ballet Theatre as Hilarion.

Those interested can get tickets from Ticketmaster at 416-872-1111. The ballet will be performed at the Leah Poslun's Theatre, 4588 Bathurst Street, (between Sheppard and Finch Avenues).

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I will be there!!! :) :huepfen: :wacko: :huepfen:

Although I would rather think of a happy-ending in a Don Quixote story as of more appropriate for St. Val's (the girl ends up finding herself in a wedding vs. Giselle finding herself dancing on own her grave) - Giselle with its tragic finale would be still a great treat for me!

THANK YOU MARGA - you've just returned poor little sleepy me BACK TO LIFE!!

I can't wait until Feb 14! :wub::wub::wub:

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