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"Jewels" at the POB, february-march 2003


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I completely agree with you some dancer doesn't merit their title :( ! But it's an other question !

I think that Emmanuel is good in supporting parts or in Paquita pas de trois, but I think he's a few old now to progress really, he is 28 years old and I saw a lot of defaults as partnership especially :( !

If you see Allegro Brillante, did you see Jewels, and what do you think about our dancers and what do you think about French interpretation of this ballet opposite to Russian Kirov interpretation.

For me in the first cast, I love Osta as sicilian, Moreau in pas de trois with Abbagnato and Daniel, Moussin/Legris and Gillot in Rubies a perfect cast and Letestu, Martinez in Diamonds, magic, even if saturday night I think I prefer Moussin interpretation more poetic, and pdd with Martinez was magic :( !

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What I think about the Paris Opera Ballet has been amply covered in the last years in DanceView, where you will find several reviews and interviews with étoiles. I'm sure Alexandra will welcome your subscription :(

To answer your question, generally, I prefer the Paris Opera's take on "Jewels" to the Kirov's, at least when it comes to Emeralds en Rubies. Emeralds doesn't look like so much like a lesson learned off pat in Paris, and in Rubies we are mercifully spared of the coarseness that some of the Mariinsky soloists seem to associate with it. As for Diamonds, the Mariinsky reigns supreme (once again, depending of the leading cast).

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Thanks Marc for your comment :( !, did you enjoy some of our dancer or is it just a general impression ? Did you see Jewels by other troup than Kirov, did you see it by Nycb ?

For subscription, my english is too poor to subscribe to an english review, I take so many time to read some comments post on all BA website that read a complete review will take several month :( ! Against I know that your interview are very appreciated by Dancers and I think it sound great :( !

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Catherine-Françoise, I didn’t see other companies in "Jewels". I understand the Miami Ballet is one of the best as well.

Limiting myself to this particular evening with the défilé and "Allegro brillante" preceding "Jewels", I particularly enjoyed Elisabeth Maurin in "Allegro brillante". This is a great ballerina with a superb quality of plastique and an uncanny sense of style. In Emeralds I thought Osta and Belarbi were outstanding, although the ensemble in general was very strong on atmosphere. In Rubies Moussin and Legris were close to ideal and without any excesses. On the other hand, Letestu and Martinez in Diamonds, seemed totally outside of this ballet, with no connection whatsoever to it spirit, and no matter how well danced as a purely technical exercise.

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I liked too many Maurin in Allegro, she has torso movement, and arms movement who are completely in spirit of Balanchine I think. She is a surprising ballerina, she never is as we wait for, when I think she will not be good, she is extraordinary, when I think a part is for her she is not good. She was also wonderful in Emeralds "Fileuse", she is really a balanchinian ballerina.

I found Moussin and Legris absolutely sensationnal. I love Letestu and Martinez, they are perhaps not in the spirit of the ballet, but I love too many them :( ! For me the best couple was Moussin and Martinez, Moussin is really like the swan, and Martinez is not the same than with Agnès.

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I went to see one of the final performances of "Jewels" at the POB (on the 5th). Above all, I would like to mention the quality of the Parisian corps de ballet, which was in all three sections in a class of its own, the ideal support for the soloists and quite elementary in the creation of the overall feel of the work.

On the other hand, the soloist-parts weren’t all that brilliant this time. Laëtitia Pujol and Karl Paquette were the somewhat pale leads in 'Emeralds', yet totally disappointing (or simply miscast) was Eleonora Abbagnato in the second solo and duet (her partner Bullion wasn’t much to write home about either).

Things improved with 'Rubies' thanks to Nolwenn Daniel and Hervé Courtain as the leading couple, doing rather well, although nowhere near as good as for instance Delphine Moussin and Manuel Legris. Another serious miscast and a cruel example of an artist who should be dancing in the corps instead of being thrown in a solo role was Emilie Cozette as the second girl.

'Diamonds' was probably most agreeable overall with Moussin and Bart. Moussin definitely found more in the role than Letestu, even if (like I often felt with Moussin) she lacked again that last bit of sparkle or inspiration or personality that could make it a truly great performance.

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I'm glad to read your comment about Hervé Courtain, it was one of the POB sujet I like too many, he is not too many cast, he makes one year as soloist in Boston Ballet and I completely agree about Emilie Cozette, It's a pure miscast :) .

Stéphane Bullion is a very young sujet, he came to be promoted, and it's his first true part as classical soloist, his other leading part was in AndreAuria (Lock's creation).

I'm sorry you not see Delphine Moussin partnered by José Martinez, they was an unique couple, and she has something more than with Jean-Guillaume Bart.

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On March 6th, I attended the last performance of this series, and the cast was partly similar to that of March 5th.

In "Emeralds", Pujol was indeed a bit pale, and Karl Paquette lacked stage presence and had somewhat stiff arms, and I was disappointed by the rather unmusical "sicilienne" solo by Eleonora Abbagnato (replacing Nolwenn Daniel who was supposed to dance on that evening- I hope that she's not injured). Things improved a tiny little bit during her duo scenes with Yann Bridard- but, even though I was happy to see the rarely cast Bridard, I wondered why cast him in such a role, while he generally is at his best in roles with a lot of acting like "Le jeune homme et la mort". In the Pas de trois, I liked very much Christophe Duquenne clean style and joy of dancing (he also danced one of the four demi-soloists in "Diamonds", and it was a pleasure to see him lead the polonaise).

In "Rubies", Clairemarie Osta was dancing this time with Alessio Carbone and Emilie Cozette. I agree with Marc and Francoise about Cozette being miscast in that role, she looked a bit weak and bland, especially when compared with former performances by dancers such as Marie-Agnès Gillot or Delphine Baey. But as the main couple Osta and Carbone both were very good; it was the first time I saw Carbone in a big role (he was promoted to premier danseur at the last competition) and he danced it very well, with a lot of charm.

In "Diamonds", the main roles were danced by José Martinez and Delphine Moussin. Moussin was not as technically secure as Agnès Letestu, but she was more expressive and moving, and her partnership with Martinez (very elegant, and doesn't he look great in that silver costume? :P ) worked very well. By the way, Marc, could you explain why you think Letestu and Martinez are not well suited to those roles? I realize that I have seen very few casts in it (Martinez, Le Riche, Bart in the male role and Letestu, Gillot, Moussin in the female one) so am lacking elements of comparison...

Also the whole corps de ballet deserved to be thanked, as they were excellent during the whole ballet, and especially the impressive finale of "Diamonds".

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Estelle, Letestu and Martinez seem completely outside of this ballet. They execute it as a technical exercise (excellent it may be and with some fine partnering), but they don't seem to find any rapport with the music or the choreography. It looks extremely boring this way. When I saw Letestu in the first run of Jewels in 2000, she seemed a bit lost and thought she was having a difficult time with the changing rhythm of the polonaise. It looked much better this season, but it's still unrelated.

Agree about Abbagnato, fearful in the sicilienne (it's a bit cynical, I know :P), completely outside of it as well and moreover sloppily danced and with the kind of artificial expressivity that I've seen in other performances as well.

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