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R.B. Wed 6/6, Mixed Bill

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I thought "Symphonic Variations" was better tonight than last night, softer, the dancers more into the ballet, inside the music. It wasn't very cleanly danced (Yoshita-Casidy, Hatley, Kobborg, Tapper, Essakow) but if I have to choose, I'd pick this night. I thought the ballet looked more like itself. (I would point out that several people I know have commented that the current RB production isn't as well-danced as the one ABT did, with Michael Somes' guidance, not quite a decade ago.)

I also thought "Les Rendezvous" looked a bit less rushed. Whether I'd gotten used to the designs, or they're not as obtrusive seen very close, I don't know. Actually, I think I blocked them out :) I thought Gillian Revie did a very nice job with the leading role and liked the pas de trois girl (Laura Morera) as well. Yohei Sasaki had some problems, but overall I thought did quite well in the leading man's role.

The audience seemed to love "Thais," and, again, I did not. It's not that Benjamin isn't Sibley; no one would expect her to be Sibley. It's that Sibley (or the role) is of a dream, of someone who's not concrete, perhaps even an idea or ideal. To me, Benjamin is very concrete, very much a dancer, and that's the "perfume" that's missing.

Others? I know there were a few who said they'd go (and I hope you know you're encouraged to disagree :) )

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Once again, THAIS PDD drove the audience in the 'cheap seats' crazy...and Leanne Benjamin has definitely gained a fan in me. Wow!

I have problems with Revie's lead in RENDEZVOUS...not bad but, to me, she's no Miyako Yoshida! A bit of a 'sap' in comparison. Yes, Laura Morera was wonderful in the galloping Pas de Trois. The corps were even better than on opening night, more crisp & precise. Even that eccentric 'Toreador Dance' by the corps men was cleaner.

I agree with Alexandra that, on the whole, the SYMPHONIC VARIATIONS was better. Miyako Yoshida has been dancing the lead female role since at least the Spring 1996 season...and the experience shows. On the other hand, I prefered the two "side girls" on opening night (Rojo-Wildor) to those last night.

Guillem & LeRiche once again delivered powerful performances. But I felt like I was "doing time in purgatory" by sitting through the ballet again. If it were not for tonight's cast change (Jonathan Cope replacing LeRiche as Armand), I would skip it altogether and go home during the second intermission. I'm curious to see how Guillem reacts to Cope; I can't imagine a sultrier pairing than Guillem/LeRiche...so we shall see.

[ 06-07-2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

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Put away the darts, please.

I think the decor and costumes in Rendezvous are cheerful and wonderful and effective and NOT neon or day-glo, or anything other than bright. The colour interplay is very well thought out and I thought they were most flattering. The changing colour of the sun was clever, and after that horrible rising sun in ABT Swan Lake, any Big Disc in the middle of the stage is going to be viewed with trepidation by me......

I thought Thais was superb. I thought the interplay of Cooper and Benjamin was sensitive--not sweaty and rapturous, just dramatic and expansive (well, as expansive as Ashton gets.)

Costumes and lighting were beautiful and I really, really enjoyed it.

I am not knowledgeable about Ashton, so I won't prose on about this and that....I have tried for years, through watching his ballets and reading about him, to gain a little knowledge, but evidently, I Don't Get It.

I am very happy to see the company again and I thought the dancing was wonderful--light and beautifully articulated footwork, no flash and dash just for theatricality, just beautiful dancing.

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Here - here! And I'll "third" it! We've been a bit hard on those new designs, haven't we? As I mentioned in my original review (yesterday's), I was pleasantly surprised that the RENDEZVOUS designs were not nearly as bad as the reviews from England made them out to be. Just not the 1937 gates...but big deal. Sometimes it's the shock of the new that turns-off the public. The new designs are quite different but suited to the piece, IMO.

[ 06-07-2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

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