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Onegin in Copenhagen

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As Onegin is one of the great hits in Danish ballet history it is with some trepadations that one attend a new staging, especially in a lack lustre season which has not shown the company as is strongest. You even have the alarming little signals, No marketing of the performance, no decision or publication of cast before the premiere date. Sign that normally tell you that all is not well with the performance. But look and behold, the casting vote falled on Gitte Lindstrøm and Kenneth Greve, who gave a mesmerising performance of such high caliber that we have not seen here in a very long time.

Lindstrøm in particular was a great surprise. For the last couple of seasons she has danced well, but have not made much impact in a mainstream semi-modern repetoire and she had not earlier been very convincing in dramatic roles. But this week she establish herself as a leading dramatic ballerina, creating a Tatjana you respect rather than pity a world afar from the door mate Poor little me we have seen from Heidi Ryom and Lis Jeppesen earlier. It is also a marvel to see the role danced by a ballerina in her technical prime. Ryom and Jeppesen got the part late and made their result on star quality and stong partnering. Lindstrøm and Greve are equally strong in the pas de deux with is breathtaking dramatic and dynamic, and which create an equality we have not seen in the ballet before. Gitte Lindstrøm is

a svelte stong dancer, not onlike Marcia Haydee in build, which might also be a factor in how well she does the part.

Greve has to work his way around the memory of Arne Villumsen in the part. One reviewer even suggested that he should dy his blond hair black, but he handled the inheritace very well. I do not know whether Villumsen has been involved in the coaching, but

Greve has borrowed a few element and makes a stong case as a ice prince finally melting and his dancing is at its prime. He is great and they dance wonderfull together,

Andrew Bowman an newcomer Cecilia Lassen was Lensky and Olga a she was struggling a bit in an otherwise fine performance.

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Thanks for posting that, Effy -- this is a hurried response, as I have to leave in a few minutes, but I wanted to note your post.

I'm glad to hear that Greve is not only dancing SOMETHING but actually seemed inspired by a role. I've only seen Lindstrom in two things (back in January 2000, Odette/Odile and Valencia in Merry Widow) and was not impressed at all with her dramatic ability, so I was interested in your comments and would like to have seen her. I'd seen both Jeppesen and Ryom several times in the early '90s and found their portrayals quite rich -- richer than Haydee's, actually. I didn't think them merely a one dimensional "poor little me."

I'm also glad that Lassen is getting a big role relatively young, and not waiting. She was one that showed promise literally from the age of 6.

It is good to read that the company can still pull off a dramatic ballet. I know the last time Onegin entered the repertory a friend called me, very excited, saying, "They were fighting for it."

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Yes I totally agree, Lindstrøm has never before seems like a dramatic dancer, but she was so nuanced and expressive. I would never have though that she could handle a role like Tatiana. Now I am hoping that she will get more dramatic roles. She should definately be in Manon next year. Yes Ryom and Jeppesen was problably more expressive than Haydee, both both dancers had a tendency to go for the Disney cute poor little me expression. They both portraied Tatiana as someone with little self esteem, playing for the audiences pity, Lindstrøm managed to make Tatiana tender and strong, she was dignified in the whole proces. And the dancing was so strong, Ryom and Jeppesen was past their prime and Jeppesen has never been a strong and bold technicican. It is so nice when the dancer do not have to consider the tecnical difficulties but can concentrate on putting the story on. It make me wish that I could have seen Arne Villumsen with an equally strong partner

Regarding Greve, he has so much talent and look and he is so great when he is on, but he has been so little on the stage this year.

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Linstrom was a very strong Waltz Girl in Serenade this past winter while guesting with NYCB. She had two or three performances, I think. The passage where the Waltz Girl is abandoned on the floor -- and then the conclusion with its epiphany and hint of a ressurection (of sorts), were particularly moving yet restrained. Some friends who attended thought she was Overly Dramatic, in fact, but I didn't find it that way. It was I believe just the fact that her dramatic qualities are so foreign to our stage here.

The dramatic quality was, perhaps, the only thing about her dancing from which you would have remarked her Danish training.

(She also performed in NY the role made on her in Martins' Hallelujan Junction but I didn't see her do it.)

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It is funny, because in Copenhagen she has been considered a very NYCB-type of dancer so far (read non-dramatic). Mai Britt Helmsbo in her review today states that Ryom and Villumsen has worked with the dancers on Onegin. If that is the case I can only

say work ahead because this is the area where the RDB Onegin is superior to Royal Ballets current Reid Andersson production, individuality and dramatic intensity. The London version seem a very "standard" franchise product and I was afraid that would be ecactly what we would have had here.

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On Saturday I managed to catch the third cast; Mads Blangstrup and Gudrun Bojesen in onegin. Blangstrup and Bojesen is the future of the RDB in a stange way, because no two dancers show so much link to the glorious period of the 50 and 60ties. They literally looks and projects like dancers of that period. Seing those two is like the Flindt æra never happened. Allthough they are in the same age group, they have not danced together frequently, and the first and most important conclusion is how well they match. One cannot help hoping that they could be paired in other works as well, Bournonville, Classics and Romeo and Juliet, actually anything else but Onegin, which they both appear to young and especially her, to innocent to do full credit. As types and ages they could more beneficially have done Olga and Lenski and been fantastic i those part before moving to the mature parts. When Onegin was first produced in Copenhagen, Nicolj Hubbe, then in his earlies twenties was second cast Onegin, where he should have been first cast Lenski. Lenski is such a great part for a young dancer. I think Mads Blangstrup may have danced it earlier, but he could have done the role credit a few years more before moving up. Bojesen is so young and innocent that tatiana appears to be the younger sister and the bedroom pas de deux becomes romantic but not erotic.

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hi there, i am a ballet goer and doer and i have moved to copenhagen just recently (2 weeks ago). I used to live in NY and frequented NYCB, obviously, and I am looking to get involved in the dance scene in copenhagen.

i found two schools for dancing, move and dance dk, but is there any community or forum or meeting place for ballet lovers?

also, how do you make friends with the danes :-)

generally it seems rather difficult, but i may just be on a NY tempo!!


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the onegin performance was the first i caught here in DK...and i was impressed with it. i was also impressed with the queen who happened to attend that afternoon. it took me a while to figure out why everyone is standing up and sitting down again.

After watching NYCB for years, european dance always appears less strong and confident to me - i can't help it. The dancing is frequently good, but i miss that sharp, self-confident flouting of strength and technique that you get at NYCB: I took a friend to see them in Athens last year, and she was mesmerized. she said she did not know ballet could be like that. it looks totally different, she said.

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You could join two associations Den Danske Ballet Klub or Den kongelige Ballets Venner. eventhough I am a keene balletomane, I am not a member of either but attends some functions as a guest.

Regarding the style change.YYou can get very good Balanchine in Denmark, Some of the dancers are very good in Balanchine, but the special strengh of the Danish style is in the dramatic ballets, which they do extreamly well.

To meet Danish ballet fans simply show up, primarily at first nights or galas. We are usually hanging around in the major downstairs foyer.

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