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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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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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