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Stuttgart Ballet in Hong Kong

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Friday night saw a welcome return to Hong Kong by the Stuttgart Ballet for four performances of John Cranko's two-act "The Taming of the Shrew". The opening night was led by Yseult Lendvai and Maximiliano Guerra. (Guerra produced a new version of Don Q for the Stuttgart company last December.) The first night audience clearly loved every minute of it, and it's a long time since I've heard so much laughter from a Hong Kong dance audience, as well as such loud ovations at the end. The last time there were such ovations was during the ABT tour last autumn after Angel Corella's performance in "Le Corsaire" pas de deux.

As Katherine, Yseult Lendvai was a sophisticated dance actress and extracted every emotional nuance from Cranko's choreography. Petruchio was danced by Maximiliano Guerra who was still in top form, and showed off his dazzling virtuosity. They were sublime in the several pas de deux, which contain lots of lifts as typical of Cranko's choreography. I was also impressed by the Kirov-trained Elena Tentschikowa who was totally ravishing as Bianca with her beautiful footwork.

The second cast this afternoon was led by Sue Jin Kang and Robert Conn. Particularly noteworthy was Lucentia (Bianca's lover) danced by a young demi-soloist Ivan Gil Ortega. This tall and handsome dancer has a long and beautiful line and all the makings of a danseur noble.

In the press conference on Thursday, artistic director Reid Anderson mentioned about the 40th anniversary celebration of the Stuttgart Ballet in early November. The full details will be announced in Stuttgart in early June. The programme for the 9-day celebration will consist of new choreography as well as Cranko's ballets. Reid Anderson also said he will be in New York in June to supervise the final rehearsals of ABT's "Onegin", as well as in London later to cast the Royal Ballet's production of "Onegin" next season.

[ 05-20-2001: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]

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I think Margart Illmann left the Stuttgart Ballet several years ago due to some disagreement. The Spanish demi-soloist Ivan Gil Ortega only joined the company in 1997.

By the way, Stuttgart Ballet will tour Japan and South Korea next Jan.

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Mr.Ng,thank you for your information.Elena Tentschkowa is a wonderful dancer.I did not know Gil-Ortega was spanish.Do you know where he trained? Hong Kong seems to have a very rich ballet scene.Have you seen Patricia Salgado dance?

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Lovebird, Ivan Gil Ortega was trained at the ballet school of the Gran Teatro de Liceo in Barcelona and then at the dance school of Carmen Roche in Madrid. I saw Patricia Salgado listed as a demi-soloist in the programme notes, but I don't recall seeing her in Shrew last week.

Yes, the ballet scene in Hong Kong has improved in recent years as we get more visiting companies, though it's still no comparison to Tokyo.

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Mr.Ng,how nice to hear of a fellow alumni in Gil-Ortega.I studied in the summer at the Liceo school.Ms. Salgado has danced a principal role in La Fille Mal Gardee but mostly does small roles.Another is Sebnem Gulseker.I think Lendvai is better suited as a dancer and actress in the role of Tatiana than Kate.As for Sue Jin Kang,she seems good in everything Cranko.

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Lovebird, how interesting to hear that you also studied at the Liceo School. You are obviously very familiar with the Stuttgart Ballet. Yes, I hope to see Yseult Lendvai do Tatiana in future, having seen her as Kate this time. As Kate, I found Lendvai's acting more subtle than Sue Jin Kang in the second cast.

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