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Anna C

Is there a DVD of Cranko's "Onegin" anywhere?

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Onegin is still working today - I expect it will work until midnight tonight. 

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Now that my excitement over the new Onegin dvd after upteen barren years has subsided, I thought that I could jot down my impression.

I’ll not pretend to be objective, being an unashamed fan of Friedemann Vogel and Elisa Badenes. Olga was the perfect role for latter, with her soubrette personality; brimming with life in the earlier scenes and dancing with a hitherto unknown enjoyment in the flirt with the man about town, effortless dancing that made us forget technique.

The same cannot be said of her Lensky, David Moore. His Act I solo/pdd I find lacking in exuberance, with feeble leaps and arabesques. Seemed to be struggling with a stiff back (as an aside: also seen in big names like Carlos Acosta as Albrecht in the Giselle dvd with Osipova). To his credit he acted well and with commitment and was, all in all, a convincing Lensky with his fresh-faced looks.  Dance-wise he  improved after the less-than- perfect start to give a moving solo under the moon. Or maybe he just has the hard luck to be in the same company with  the definitive Lensky, Friedemann Vogel, so comparisions are bound to arise.

The supporting characters enjoyed themselves, dancing or acting their roles to the hilt, whether it be Marcia Haydee as the bumbling, indulgent nurse, the corps showing scandalised faces at the open breach of etiquette at the ball, the joie de vivre in the diagonal jetes, ……… though here the cameraman unfortunately zoomed in at the 2nd diagonal, thus spoiling the whole impression of boundless energy.

Onegin stands or falls with the 2 main protaganists and in this Alicia Amatriain and Friedemann Vogel did not let the company down. Alicia was Tatiana to her finger tips, in awe of her new love, an expressive upper body and so absorbed in her role that she seemed to have aged 10 years in the space of the last pdd, when she banned Onegin from her life.

I contend that there are 2 types of Onegins: The darker characters, haughty from the start, whom we love to hate. And those who are actually normal characters driven to mischief, first by boredom with the rustics and then by sheer exasperation at the wretched girl, who refused to just disappear from his life after the rejection. And Friedemann Vogel’s Onegin is of the latter category. I’ve seen performances when the air between him and Tatiana practically crackled with tension. Whilst not quite the case here, still, Amatriain/Vogel are see-worthy anytime. Thanks to camera close-ups, the play of eyebrows, eyes and mouth were vivdly captured, culminating in a heart-rending moment after the dual, when Onegin realised the enormity of what he’d done. The dancing, fluid as usual with almost feminine grace of the arms and with total immersion in the character. And the contrast between the Mirror pdd and final one was marvellously highlighted by both: the airy abandonment of the former, with her twirled in the air like a feather and the heavy, weighted-down despair at the end.

The Staatsorchester played Tchaikowsky with spirit; bonus was a heart-warming scene at the curtain-calls when Marcia Haydee, the original Tatiana, got a well-deserved round of affectionate applause.

I’m really pleased I got the dvd and hope it’ll give me pleasure for years to come. Coming Friday, 1st March, I’ll be heading for Munich for Shklyarov as Onegin (I’ve seen him before) and Lauretta Summerscales as Olga (1st time for me). Looking forward to that.

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On 27/11/2017 at 18:25, now voyager said:

  I deeply regret never having seen Vogel's Lensky , as the video of his first act variation stuns me everytime I watch it.

Where can I find the video now? I saw it in YouTube some time ago, but it appears to have been taken off now. A crying shame, as it's one I'd like to see over and over again.

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Posted (edited)
On 01/12/2017 at 19:38, Jan McNulty said:

I first saw Onegin at the London Coliseum on 26 May 1984.  It was the performance that converted me to watching ballet and I have never forgotten it.  It was years later when I found the programme and realised who I had seen - Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun!!  No wonder I was converted.

This must have been the year I saw it too. LFB at the Palace Theatre, Manchester. My French teacher bought tickets for us both as she knew I danced. Interestingly, she had no idea until I told her during the interval of the origins of Ballet and didn't even know the steps were in French ! Sadly have no idea who was dancing that night. A few years later my mum threw out all my old Ballet programmes ( along with my Ballet books, dolls, teddy bears and practically everything else I had from my childhood). Parents, eh? Who'd have them?!

Edited by Lisa O`Brien
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On 27/11/2017 at 16:40, Angela said:

 

Stuttgart Ballet has done Onegin more than 600 times, they should know how to dance it - the roles and portraits were passed on from the original cast, Marcia Haydée still comes here often to work with the dancers on her former roles. Everybody who learns Onegin has seen it at least 20, 30 times before, dancing in the corps or watching from the wings. They saw the great performances of their predecessors, saw different interpretations and learned from ballet masters who know everything about the steps and their motivation.

Vogel was superb, Badenes was superb, I'll keep my opinion about Amatriain to myself, but there are lots of people who admire her in the role. Alas, you're right, there were some (few) better performances at Stuttgart in the past - Sue Jin Kang and Jiri Jelinek for example, but compared to many other companies I saw, Stuttgart still has so many small details you don't see anywhere else. I never was a fan ob Kobborg's Onegin, by the way - Adam Cooper couldn't dance it technically, but he blew me away, I saw things like never before and never again. Wow, he was great.

 

I've finally watched this online and gosh it is absolutely superb :) you can tell that this ballet is part of the company's DNA. Not only the characterisations that are so good. It's a dream to see all the tricky partnering executed so masterfully, (seamless mirror and final pdd) rather than a series of individual steps and lifts, all without breaking sweat !  Really have to try to see Vogel live in this. 

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1 hour ago, annamk said:

 

 It's a dream to see all the tricky partnering executed so masterfully,

 

That's what I thought when I saw Osipova/Hallberg in Munich last week: passionate, intelligent portraits from both, great dancing and great solos (can't remember when I saw such a good Tatiana solo in act II!) - but so little flow in the pdds. Which is absolutely not their fault, you only get it from experience, when you dance the roles together many, many times. This is a ballet where you should keep the couples together all the time, it helps the interpretation.

Great to hear that you like it, Anna!

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Oh, Angela - I wish I'd known you were there it would have been lovely to meet.

 

I agree with what you say entirely.  Osipova's Act II solo was indeed ravishing and I liked her too in the Gemin PDD where she was I thought gloriously partnered by Catazaro - one of the NYCB disgraced.  That said the Hallberg/Osipova PDDs had too much - as you suggest - of a 'dropped in' feel.  I so hope IF the RB does do Oneign next season - only a few more weeks until we find out - I very much hope that Osipova is partnered with an established RB principal.  Last time it was with Matthew Golding who I thought was a fine Oneign and together they were very much a fabric of the whole aside the revelation that was the Naghdi/Ball combination as Olga/Lensky.  After seeing the BSB production I very much hope that that the RB might NOT witness a 'fly in' visit by Mr. Hallberg.  IF they MUST have a guest - and surely - except in the case of extreme injury as has been the case in the past - that should be ENTIRELY unnecessary - I would love to see the Canadian principal with the Stuttgart Ballet Jason Reilly return.  He was - if memory serves - supreme in the role aside the stunning Cojocaru.  

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Oh, please, not another guest for Onegin here as it would deprive an RB company dancer of the opportunity and do so quite unnecessarily.

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Although the temptation to see Jason Reilly in the role again is hard to resist....as is the temptation to see Friedemann Vogel dance it!   

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Absolutely, Sim  - and yes, Bruce - that performance of Reilly and Cojocaru in London was certainly stunning  - it was one of those 'I was there' nights. I can still remember the Mirror Pas de Deux - so emotional and 'dangerous' too.  I like Vogel as Lensky - but that's just me ...... for me Reilly is a superb Onegin who really inhabits the role.He brings an edge to it that I really like.

Edited by J_New
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But Reilly has had his turn (many, many times in at least 4 locations!), so have Vogel and, I think, Hallberg. Of course, they are artists one would like to see, but..................!!!

It's interesting, when one thinks about it, that the role of Onegin demands strong acting and partnering, with that of Lensky carrying much of the dancing.

 

[Apologies for continuing to divert this thread.]

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It's always seemed to.me that Onegin needs to be pLayed by an older man, either in the opera,or the ballet. Not sure if that was the intention in Pushkin's poem - it's many years since I read it. Obviously in the opera the baritone voice sounds older than Lensky and the music has a darker tone. Richard Cragun of course was the ultimate Onegin. But it does seem to me to demand a more mature dancer.

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