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"Jewels" at the POB, february-march 2003

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Su-lian, Francoise and others -

There's absolutely no need to apologize. I was not referring to you. A post by Katherine was deleted in this thread, and that's what prompted the above post.

Here's the deal for everyone from the Bad Cop of Ballet Alert.

We're a board for discussion about ballet. We don't mind any opinions posted (including ones we disagree with) as long as they bring the discussion forward - meaning that other people feel they can get involved in the discussion as well. The rule on "off-topic" posting is also simple. The more someone is on-topic, the more it's OK to be on occasion off-topic.

If I think someone is trying to squealch or derail discussion, that's when I become Board Ogre. It's not a pretty process (think Bill Bixby in the Incredible Hulk, only I turn purple instead of that nice green that Lou Ferrigno got. . .) but I promise you that it doesn't happen without warning.

Speaking of derailing a discussion, let's get back on topic and talk about Jewels some more. And just keep posting, you're fine.

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Today we don't have any changement indicated on the official website of POB, but Hervé Moreau doesn't dance in St Petersbourg and was replace by Yann Bridard, I hope he will dance Diamonds part with Delphine Moussin saturday and monday. Fanny Fiat had a foot problem and she didn't appear in corps during several performance, she is always cast for sunday afternoon. Laurent Novis is replaced by Stéphane Bullion as second soloist of Emeralds for one date but I think he will be replace for sunday afternoon too. It will be strange if Laurent Novis must just dance one day.

If I have some information, I will tell you !

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It seems like there are quite a few dancers injured, from what I've heard (Gillot, Legris, Dupont, Hilaire who isn't really injured but isn't in the best of health...and now Fiat also). It reminds me a bit of Paquita two years ago when Letestu, Bart, Dupont and Legris injured themselves and there was only Gillot and Martinez left to dance! At least, in Jewels, there are more roles which can be done by Sujets, and the roles are shorter, so I suppose it's easier to replace the injured (more dancers to choose from, the choreography isn't new and the ballet is not entirely based on a couple of dancers, I mean everybody dancing well in Jewels and maybe one not being quite ready is not like having an unprepared Lucien or Paquita for the whole ballet).


PS:Sorry to come back to this, but even though the warning wasn't for us, I prefered to apologise just in case I did it somewhere without noticing it.

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Gillot is not at all injuried, but she must dance Appartement every night.

How this production must be record for television and they have just one cast for the Mats Ek ballet, MA doesn't dance Diamonds to not injury her and be sure to have her for the movie.

Hilaire seems to have a different contrat and must dance only some performance during a season. He is not injuried as he danced Manon in London.

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Viviane cast are changing and we won't see Fanny Fiat in Rubies what is really a deception, she is a so wonderful dancer :) ! She is replace by Nolwenn Daniel and Emmanuel Thibault. Hervé Courtain initially previous on this date will dance now 5 march with Nolwenn Daniel instead of Fanny Fiat.

Against Hervé Moreau should appear in Diamonds the 1st and the 3 of march beside of Delphine Moussin as well Karin Averty and Christophe Duquenne 2 of march.

As I thank, Stéphane Bullion replace Laurent Novis 3 of march.

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Thanks for the information about the casts, Françoise! Once again, one never knows what to expect as there are so many changes... What a pity that Fanny Fiat won't dance "Rubies", she isn't cast very often in such big roles, what a bad luck!

About Marie-Agnès Gillot, I wonder why it hadn't occurred to the direction before that perhaps having her dance so many roles (Rubies, Diamonds, Appartement) at the same time might be a bit too much? It would have been simpler if they hadn't printed her names in the casts, because now probably there are some people who had hoped to see her in "Diamonds" and are disappointed... And having only one cast for "Appartement" is a bit dangerous anyway- there would be some problems if for example Jose Martinez or Clairemarie Osta got injured...

By the way, do you know for which channel "Appartement" will be filmed?

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The Programm Ek/Teshigawara is record for Mezzo, and I suppose France 3, it will replace Sylvia.

Yes they don't think before cast the dancer that they have two programm in same time. Moreover Marie-Agnes recovered from an injury, it's perhaps why they don't want she take more risk on stage.

The worst, she has rehearsals on stage with Jean-Guillaume Bart, she was ready to dance Diamonds when she was cast on the first date of february. I don't understand the programmation of POb and I think I never will understand :) !

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Speaking--to quote Leigh out of context-- of "umpty frillions"--my French friends, this is a made up silly phrase, but a "frill" is something you see a lot of in LaCroix--will some PLEASE describe and evaluate the LaCroix costumes for Jewels. I'm dying to hear about them. Here in the US, ABT did a version of Gaite Parisienne with his outfits a long while ago.It was one of those moment--at the opening, some of the audience wore LaCroix, too. (Peter Martins using Manolo Blahnik shoes in his "Thou Swell" is a version of the same thing: Show the patrons themselves, and they'll be happy, goes the thinking. )

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Françoise, thanks for the information. Pity it isn't on Arte, because I know nobody who receives Mezzo and could record it for me...


Well, actually there was much fuss about the Lacroix costumes when it was premiered two seasons ago (reading some articles in the French press, one would have believed that it was a fashion defile and not a ballet, Balanchine was hardly mentioned), but I thought it wasn't so exceptional. I haven't seen the costumes of the original production, so I can't compare, and in general I'm not a specialist of costumes at all... Well, those that I liked the least (I think I have already said it) were those of "Rubies", I didn't like much the color of the women's costumes (a bit too bright) and the men's costumes were a bit weird. Those of the other two movements were fine, in my opinion.

Here is a link to a page whch includes some photographs, it will be more precise than anything I could write about it:


And also a few ones of Sophia Parcen's page:


And one from "Diamonds" on José Martinez"s page:


(Oh, and also a silly detail: sometimes I found the "décolletés" of the female costumes in "Emeralds" a bit too low, it was not very flattering on some of the dancers...)

If I remember correctly, Christian Lacroix also made the costumes for Blanca Li's "Scheherazade" last season, and they were probably among the weirdest and ugliest costumes I've ever seen. :)

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Merci, dear Estelle, for the excellent links to the costumes! They are much more restrained that I expected from LaCroix's designs for ABT Gaite Pariesienne. Did you think that was a good shade of green? Emeralds is such a French variation, anyway==with the Faure, and remember, originally with Violette Verdy. It was so interesting to see the pictures. I wish I were in Paris (well, I always wish that) to see the dance itself.

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Oh yes, thank you, Estelle for the photo links!

I think they look lovely....the green has just the right amount of blue in it for emeralds....I cannnot tell enough about the Rubies ones, but the Diamonds are wonderful---the colour, in the photographs at least is dead right. Perfect, and I very much wish we could see this over here, so thank you for the visuals!

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Jewels - sunday 2 march

Principal interest of this matinee was to see, several sujets of the company in the leading part of Jewels.

Unfortunately, the cast was changed, Hervé Moreau is injuried, Nathalie Rique is ill and was replaced by Laetitia Pujol and Karl Paquette in first pdd of Emeralds. Laetitia Pujol dances very well but she is a few amusical, and she's too "appliquée". Karl Paquette is elegant partner. In second pdd, it was a confirmed sujet who dance Sicilian variation, Beatrice Martel was very lyrical and very well partnered by Yann Bridard in Sleepwalker pdd. In pas de trois, it was Christophe Duquenne with Alexandra Cardinale and Myriam Kamionka. They were brilliant all three.

In rubies, we must see Fanny Fiat, one of the best dancer of the troup unfortunately injuried and Hervé Courtain, if Hervé Courtain will dance wednesday with Nolwenn, the couple was replaced by Nolwenn Daniel and Emmanuel Thibault. They were very very dissapointing, especially Emmanuel Thibault. They dance "alone together" and never in couple, we don't feel nothing, they make too many beautiful things technically, but it was cold, and without this necessary "grain de folie" in Balanchine work. Emmanuel Thibault showed his artistics "limits" and shows that he can't become a premier danseur. Nolwenn Daniel, a lyrical ballerina, was in a "contre-emploi" and shows several beautiful technical things. Against Stéphanie Romberg as tall soloist was exactly what we wait for this part, "glamourous".

For Diamonds, it was Karin Averty with Christophe Duquenne, I don't understand why they don't cast someone else in Emeralds pas de trois, as Diamonds part is not so difficult. Karin Averty was really good in this part against she has not poetry and lyrism of Agnès Letestu or especially Delphine Moussin. Christophe Duquenne is an handsome partner, good technician even if it's hard to dance after José Martinez and Jean-Guillaume Bart. Against It's not normal that he is again sujet and not premier danseur, because when he dance, audience feel something.

Audience was more hot for Diamonds than for Rubies, what it's strange when we know Thibault popularity, but if this dancer is really brilliant in virtuoso academic solo, Balanchine is not really for him.

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If you don't know, but Alexandra knows it, I'm Catherine and I don't make a translation. I write with my "bad" english, but it's not at all a translation, It's what I thank about the performance of today and it seems normal that the cummentaries are the same. It will be a pity if they were not the same.

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I write what I feel after the performance of this afternoon. I don't really enjoy this performance and I explain why. I don't criticize any dancer badly. And concerning rubies, we are too many ballet lovers this afternoon to have exactly the same opinion about the couple Emmanuel Thibault and Nolwenn Daniel.

I insist about Thibault because Marc of Kirov topic wanted to know how he was after some polemics discussion. Perhaps my purpose could seem more tendancious or hard because I write with the vocabulary I know and it's not always the true word to explain something good. I could use an hardest word than wanted.

I'm sorry if my purpose seem tendancious, it's really what I feel and nothing all !:)

I want add something about Emmanuel Thibault, he technically danced very well this afternoon, he is musical, he was a good partner technically speaking, but I'm sorry to not have feel something, and I was surprised that audience who always love Emmanuel and hard clap his performance, don't applause too many. I was very surprised about it especially that in France since the beginning of Jewels performance it's always the part the most applaused. Today it was Diamonds who have several curtain and was the most applaused :) !

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If I may intervene to prevent a misunderstanding -- yes, Francoise is Catherine, and we know this. The name "Catherine" was taken when she joined.

Francoise, I don't think Viviane was commenting on your English, but thought that you had must copied (and translated) someone else's post. To prevent misunderstandings, it's all right to say "This was also posted on Critical Dance" or whatever the site was. At least, it's all right to do that here.

While I'm being Solomon :), having read her posts for some time now, I don't think Francoise meant to be tendentious, just stating an opinion. Some of us say things in stronger ways than others, and I'm sorry if it sounded too strong, but I don't see anything out of line here. All of us read things differently, as well as see things differently, I think.

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[board Host Beanie on]

Hi folks.

As long as a post doesn't contain a personal attack or is simply factually inaccurate, it's "within bounds". We don't ask that posters have the "right" opinions (OK, I'm lying. I like it MUCH better when someone agrees with me. This is because I am always right :) ) but we do ask that opinions and discussions happen in such a way that everyone can contribute to them. Don't cut off discussion, don't intimidate other posters.

I think there's plenty here to discuss, and I'm looking forward to hearing other views of the performance and those dancers. The Paris forum has really picked up speed, and that's a great thing. Was anyone else at the performance?

[board Host Beanie off]

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Yes, thanks, Catherine-Françoise, I had asked about Thibault's performance in Jewels.

Of course, I didn't see this performance so I don't know what I am saying. But just this. Soloist makes unsuccessful debut in Rubies. That's a shame. Conclusion: 1) Balanchine is not for him, so 2) he is artistically limited, and so 3) he is not entitled to become premier danseur.

That's a lot of conclusions for one performance and I guess that's what bothered Viviane ;).

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Alexandra, thanks for your comment, but I don't make a translation of what I wrote on CD, I really wrote an original comments in english without using translation system. It's for that I couldn't note "write on CD". The comments are the same in their deep side, but not word for word. i don't know all the English equivalent of my French vocabulary and translates a general impression and some deeper comment, but not all the terms :( !

Yes Marc, I'm a few hard, but I know Emmanuel Thibaut since he is in School of ballet, as too many people I found him very promising when he was at School and when he enters in corps, I think he was premier danseur, or etoile, especially he raise very quickly the Sujet level in three years.

But I think and I'm not the lonely person, that he has not the required qualities to become premier danseur. As each year, too many people said that it's unfair that he is not premier danseur, I think it's normal with these kind of prestation. It's that what I wanted too say, perhaps a few hardly :( !

So my conclusions were not for ONE lonely performance of Rubies but for all I see of him (and Rubies it was not a single divertissement but a complete ballet), even it appears like that :( . I hope you could see him if you come to Paris to judge yourself his qualities ;) !

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I know there is this whole argument pro and against Thibault and I don't want to raise it here, nor do I want to speak in his defence. But just this: on the occasions I saw him (most recently in the supporting cast of "Allegro brillante" and the pas de trois in "Paquita"), I always saw a dancer with a remarkable potential that needs to get cultivated and polished. Does it mean he has to be made premier danseur or even étoile? No, not necessarily, but like you say yourself, Catherine-Françoise, a dancer develops, and I'm quite sure that you too can think of a few less-talented colleagues who don't deserve those titles either ;).

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