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American Masters, 1.4.02

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It's been more than two weeks now, but still I would like to post a few notes on this programme I saw in Stuttgart (matinee and evening performance).

The triple bill consists of following ballets:

1) Symphony in C (Balanchine)

2) Pierrot Lunaire (Tetley)

3) The Concert (Robbins)

I assume many professional critics have written about it, but most reviews I could find are in German only - and since it is such an American programme (and since I loved it...), here are my comments:

It is such a great mixture - the neoclassical "Symphony", then the "toughest bit" in the middle, and for the finale something to leave the theatre with a bright smile on everyone's faces.

Symphony in C

Guess I don't have to tell a lot about this ballet. My impression was (probably very biased!) that Munich dancers in general look more elegant (if only a bit), especially the corps de ballet - but it was nice to see some young faces tackling Balanchine!

Matinee showed an almost entire new cast - Diana Martinez Morales and Friedeman Vogel lead the first movement, Alicia Amatriain ventured the second (she looks beautiful, a true Balanchine ballerina - only towards the end she became visibly tired), supported by very attentive Douglas Lee (at the end, he only had eyes for her and how he could help her instead of smiling to the audience - I found this really nice!); third movement was lead by Sue Jin Kang and Jason Reilly who flew around the stage, and fourth movement's leads were Roberta Fernandes and Mikhail Kaniskin - the latter with amazing scissonnes a la seconde - he's quite tall, and it was unbelievable how quickly he fully stretched his legs to the sides, almost in a split - and got back to exact 5th position within no time!

Evening cast were Alicia Amatriain and Robert Tewsley, then Bridget Breiner (she was with Munich ballet before, is now first soloist in Stuttgart - and also had problems towards the end) and Roland Vogel, then again Sue Jin Kang/Jason Reilly and for the final movement we had Elena Tentschikowa and Ibrahim Oenal.

I was a bit surprised - from the names I would have expected that the evening cast outshines the matinee - but I would say both performances were almost equal level! Lucky Stuttgart to have that choice!

Pierrot Lunaire

Feeling lucky I had read whatever I could find before, as this ballet is so different. Well, it's not so much the ballet, for me the main "problem" is the music. It's a mixture of speach and singing, the texts are quite horrible at times, and it's sometimes really strange. Nevertheless I found it impressive how Tetley created movements to this score.

Matinee cast was lead by Alexander Zaitsev as Pierrot, Yseult Lendvai als Colombine and Jorge Nozal as Brighella - a good performance, but I understood the ballet only in the evening performance!

The evening was lead by Robert Tewsley - and he WAS Pierrot from the first moment he was on stage. He was so touching, his movements came from within - and although we felt sorry for him as he was cheated so much, at the same time HE was the one who remained "sane". Lucky Londoners!

The Concert

Some may call it old-fashioned - but I had a good laugh at this ballet. I am no fan of slapstick comedy - and still, I almost feel tears of laughter in my eyes in some scenes. Plus I find it amazing how a dramatic ballerina like Sue Jin Kang suddenly becomes such a terrific comedienne! Watch her sitting on that chair, trying hats on, see this face that is almost bored to death - and compare this to her Marguerite, then you'll know what I mean.

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