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Lander's Etudes


Anne

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Bournonville's La Sylphide was coupled with Lander's Etudes, a revival of Thomas Lund's staging from last year. Coming from the sinister, claustrophibic world of La Sylphide where the walls are closing in on the protagonists, it was like entering a completely different world, full of life, brilliance and open space.

The corps did a brilliant job all way through, but especially the opening sequenses with all the exercises at the barre were performed with an impressive amount of precision,

The soloists where J'aime Crandall as the ballerina, partnered nobly by Gregory Dean in the romantic, 19th century pas de deux, and by Jon Axel Fransson and Alban Lendorf as the cavalliers in the bravoura parts.

I was deeply impressed by Crandall. She mastered fully the romantic style as well as the glittering classical style, and she had all the radiance required to be the natural center of it all. She has the most beautiful arms and makes perfect use of her pliant upper body. Her two cavalliers were a fine match to her, though I think they should cast two dancers of more different stature and style. Fransson and Lendorf are too much alike, which makes it hard for Fransson to stand comparition with Lendorf, and that is not fair. A tall lean dancer would have been more able to "combat" on his own premisses - or a short quick one, but that wouldn't do with a tall ballerina like Crandall.

Everybody danced with a sunny playfulness, which is so important to this ballet if it shall not be just a showcase of virtuoso steps. I couldn't help smiling all the time and I felt refreshed afterwards like after a champagne shower (I haven't tried it, I must admit, but I imagine the feeling must be somewhat like it...). Last time I saw Etudes I held my breath all the time, but this time it was a more relaxed experience, not for the dancers I am sure, but for the audience, and this approach towards a more smiling and human attitude must be a credit to Thomas Lund's direction.

All in all a performance that made one very confident, that the RDB is a ressourceful and technically well trimmed company.

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Everybody danced with a sunny playfulness, which is so important to this ballet if it shall not be just a showcase of virtuoso steps. I couldn't help smiling all the time and I felt refreshed afterwards like after a champagne shower (I haven't tried it, I must admit, but I imagine the feeling must be somewhat like it...). Last time I saw it I held my breath all the time, but this time it was a more relaxed experience, not for the dancers I am sure, but for the audience, and this approach towards a more smiling and human attitude must be a credit to Thomas Lund's direction.

As a dancer Lund had all of the virtuosity, albeit a quiet and understated one, and all of the technique, but this was his genius, and I'm so glad he inspired the company to imbue the ballet with the same.

Thank you so much for the vivid description, Anne!

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