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English National Ballet, Swan Lake 2018-19

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You said it, Richard.  So did I.  So did quite a few other people.  Oh well, I guess the full houses will offset any loss they make on Manon anyway :( 

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In fact, I'm shocked: there have just been a significant number of Upper Circle seats released for tomorrow night, yet even the penultimate row is £45!!!  Whatever happened to the idea of prices being transitional from front to back?!  So there's more or less nothing between that and the top price in the Balcony?

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Oh yes, something else that I meant to mention about this Swan Lake performance...there was only a very brief curtain call session, no "calls" for any of the individual leads, and no flowers, not even for the splendid Cojocaru. So rather a flat feeling at the end!  Is that sort of ending typical for the ENB or the Coliseum?

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6 hours ago, Richard LH said:

I enjoyed Swan lake at the  ENB last night, particularly the exemplary dancing of Alina Cojocaru and the skills of Jeffrey Cirio (who, for example, runs on for his Act 4 

entrance with a breathtaking leap - I think the RB Siegfrieds just run on).

 

However overall the ENB version  does not match the new RB production, for me, and I thought I would try to identify a few of the reasons why (irrespective on the actual dancing performances of the main characters, or the corps, because I am probably unfairly biased in favour of the RB in that respect - if only due to greater familiarity, and having my favourites!)

 

ENB'S  Rothbart, with his huge wings,  is fun, but he comes across as rather  more of a caricature than a character, and his permitted entrance to the court  in Act 3 is less logical than for the RB's  Rothbart who is already part of the court.

 

I don’t like the concept  of the ugly, evil  Rothbart taking front centre stage and directing the swans – that seems effectively giving him the credit for their beautiful dancing. I like  to think of these girls forming their own sisterhood/swanhood and moving gracefully as one flock, as far as they can, as a sort of antidote to, and in resistance to, the evil spell they are under. 

 

In RB’s version the depiction of Rothbart’s  Act 3 triumph is filled out more, and  seems more logical and convincing.

 

The RB's staging and costumes are much better (no doubt helped by being “in house” rather than touring, and by having a larger budget).

 

I  prefer  RB’s  entrance of Odette on her own, and  seeing her, after crossing the stage, being surprised by encountering  Siegfried close by, rather than the ENB's version of her  appearing amidst a group of her swans and then seeing him at the other side of the stage.

 

There is a  rather excessive use of the "let's all dance" mime in the ENB version, which someone has pointed out previously. I am pleased, though, that  both versions retain the Act 2 Odette/Siegfried mime.

 

The ENB  have a strange 5 min gap, with house lights up,  between Act 1 and 2, where the audience are unprepared for the music recommencing half-way through,  and end up talking over it (the talking  just gets  louder as the music volume increases ! ) and/or checking their smart phones.

 

I do enjoy the ENB’s extra dance for Siegfried at the end of Act 1.

 

I prefer RB’s use of Benno as Siegfried’s friend/mentor, rather than ENB’s tubby tutor.

 

I prefer RB’s expanded roles for the Pas de Trois girls, as  Siegfried’s sisters.

 

I prefer the RB concept of 4 different  identifiable princesses in Act 3 rather than 6 indistinguishable ones.

 

The ENB's opening of Act 4 includes a long section of the music played pre-curtain up, thus missing out  some of the lovely swan dancing that is seen in the RB version.

 

ENB's  Act 4 seems a bit short, and I thought the ending rather too much of a  cliché  and a cop-out, with the recent departees conveniently  ascending heavenwards, as if on a fairground ride, whereas the RB has a  more poignant depiction of real sacrifice, as Siegfried is just left cradling the body of the restored, but drowned, Princess Odette.

 

 

But what did you think of the choreography?

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Lizbie1 said:

But what did you think of the choreography?

Overall I prefer the RB's,  as you might deduce from the above! Beyond  that, whilst I know both productions have similarities, having only ever seen this one ENB performance  I can't justify my opinion with  the sort of detailed critical comparison of specific sections that maybe other posters could provide, Lizbie. 

Edited by Richard LH

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I am love love loving this run of Swan Lakes :) 

 

I think the production is sublime : from the score, to the absence of the annoying Benno and his annoying friends, to the ending as it should be, and to exquisite choreography, particularly in Act 4 - I am stunned by the beauty of the corps forming what looks like a giant flower petal before Siegfried runs on distraught. 

 

I saw two casts so far and there is plenty to admire at all levels of the company. 

 

I knew Cirio was an excellent dancer but given his height and having seen him recently as a very mean Lescaut I had wondered whether his Siegfried would be princely enough. I need not have worried, what he lacks in height he more than makes up for in everything else: beauty of line (funny how this isn't actually the preserve of the taller dancer), elegance, precise dancing, light landings, charm and tons of commitment. A terrific performance and his control in the Act 1 adagio solo sent me straight home to buy a ticket for his Des Grieux. I wasn't quite so bowled over by Cojocaru's Odette/Odile, there was nothing wrong, it was a lovely performance but I wasn't moved and I wanted to be but it didn't happen. Maybe it was me, maybe it was where I was sitting. Notable also in that performance was McCormick in the pd3, Arrieta in the Spanish, Costa & Drummond in the Neapolitan. The ensemble and corps dancing all looked well coached and tidy, and both nights the Cygnets were properly co-ordinated. I don't know if it's me but the orchestra does seem to take some sections at great pace which is a positive as far as I'm concerned. 

 

Yesterday evening saw the partnership of Hawes/Arrieta. I haven't seen her in principal role before and I was surprised how tall she was, although I think a taller dancer has an inherent majesty that works for me as a Swan Queen. I wasn't sure about Hawes in Act 2, nothing wrong just nothing outstanding either.  Her Odile though was terrific - okay she didn't quite make 32 fouettés but everything else was commendable. In Act 4 I found her incredibly moving with some moments of real poetry in her dancing. I always book for Arrieta's performances, for me he's one of those dancers who has everything: he's tall, elegant with a fine line, he dances beautifully, he partners well and he has a charming presence. He ticked all these boxes last night and his account of the black act variation with his tidily landed tours would put many more senior dancers to shame. Hawes/Arrieta had great chemistry, displaying heartfelt tenderness towards each other in Act 4 and Arrieta rivals my memories of Bonelli, the absolute master, in the last desperate run of Siegfried on stage in Act 4 (although sadly the new RB version has toned that down). The pd3 was beautifully danced with great charm by Kanehara, Khaniukova and Woolhouse, never stepping over into unnecessary showiness. 

 

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Thanks for your detailed review Annamk. Talking of fouettes, did Cojocaru get through hers? The few times I have seen her, she petered out, although I haven't seen her fouetteing recently. 

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8 hours ago, Darlex said:

Thanks for your detailed review Annamk. Talking of fouettes, did Cojocaru get through hers? The few times I have seen her, she petered out, although I haven't seen her fouetteing recently. 

 

Cojocaru delivered 32 neat singles, no problem. I assume it was 32 although I don't actually count but she finished on the music so I kind of presumed it was. 

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9 hours ago, Darlex said:

Thanks for your detailed review Annamk. Talking of fouettes, did Cojocaru get through hers? The few times I have seen her, she petered out, although I haven't seen her fouetteing recently. 

 

I've written here before about seeing some of her last Royal Ballet O/Os (having never seen her in earlier runs with the company) and being disappointed.  I vividly recall in particular the conductor being made to speed up the coda music enormously for her, with her fouettes looking like she would rather have been doing practically anything else.

 

The next time I saw her dance the role, at ENB in the last Coliseum run, there was nothing wrong with them whatsoever.

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Thursday afternoon marked the London debut and only performance during the run of the partnership between Shiori Kase and Ken Saruhashi and it was a class act from start to finish.  Both of them are possessed of the most refined and elegant technique and musicality which always makes them a huge pleasure to watch and, together, something very special, as appreciated by the ecstatic applause they received from the capacity audience.  ENB has been very stingy for many years with the number of curtain calls their wonderful dancers and orchestra are accorded, bringing up the houselights far too early when it is evident, as it was yesterday afternoon, that the audience wanted more!

 

Saruhashi has an innate nobility, which makes him a natural for princely roles, while also making Siegfried a many-layered character, so gallant in partnering the ladies in the Pas de Douze, responding thoughtfully although negatively to the request of the lovely Queen of Sarah Kundi that he considers marriage, and being totally believable in his instant captivation by the exquisite Odette of Kase.  In Act III, he partners the prospective fiancées with care but it is clear his mind is elsewhere and then, being the consummate actor that he is, even imbues his walk upstage to start his solo with his innermost thoughts.   He makes the fiendish solo in Act I a soliloquy of the most heartfelt yearning with every arabesque and port de bras not only beautifully executed but an expression of his inner turmoil.  There is not much for Siegfried to do in Act II, apart from partner Odette, but Saruhashi continues his masterful portrayal through his wonderfully eloquent mime and his protective, tender and almost awestruck partnering of this fragile swan maiden.  As I reported from Bristol, Kase is the most regal of Odettes yet displays great vulnerability and once again I was struck by the delicacy and breathtaking grace of her dancing.  Her beautifully slow, controlled half-turns in attitude were an absolutely joy to behold and her face was so expressive, whether imploring Siegfried not to shoot her fellow swan-maidens or Von Rothbart (the regal but sinister Daniel Kraus) or continually searching Siegfried’s face to reassure herself of his love.  Her lovely solo was both limpid and soulful.  The Act III pas de deux can become just an exhibition of party tricks but this sublime couple made it a portrait of the most sensual of seductions, with Siegfried completely and utterly in thrall to Odile.  What I loved was the moment when Kase came out of her supported backbend when the audience could not see her face or Saruhashi’s but it was clear from the electricity of their body language, even in this static pose held for just long enough, that he was looking deep into her hypnotic eyes.  The talent Kase has for holding poses to the nth second of the music was also notable in the delicious series of échappé relevé in her solo, holding the last one ever so slightly longer in a moment of triumph. The Coda brought the house down and, if Kase did not give the phenomenal multiple turns to her final fouetté that she pulled off in Bristol, she still gave a spectacular display of rock solid singles and doubles.  Accompanied by the soulful dancing of the swan maidens, Act IV was heartbreaking, with Kase’s Odette remaining dignified and regal to the end and Saruhashi’s Siegfried broken by his inadvertent and devastating betrayal.  A totally engaging performance to introduce the many, mainly well-behaved, schoolchildren in the dress circle to the joy of ballet.

 

There were elements of yesterday’s performance which did not live up to the highest of standards set by the two stars but the exceptions included another sparking Neapolitan with exemplary footwork and joie de vivre from Katja Khaniukova and Joshua McSherry-Gray and another sublime Act IV from the corps de ballet of swans who seem to be going from strength to strength at each performance, despite their arduous performance schedule.

 

As per the query in a previous post, the Cast Sheet continues to perpetuate an error in assigning the Polonaise in Act I to the six couples who perform the Waltz (Pas de Douze) who exit hot on the heels of the Queen Mother.  It is the (very upmarket yet uncredited) fourteen peasants who perform the Polonaise which is the last ensemble dance in Act I, stylishly led at this matinee by Anjuli Hudson and Pedro Lapetra.

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Thank you, Irmgard.  I do so wish I'd been able to see this particular performance, but unfortunately I was unable to get a suitable ticket :( 

 

Never mind, I *am* pleased to report that I would never have guessed that the evening performance had involved a last-minute substitution from the way it was performed (by Rina Kanehara and Isaac Hernandez, substituting for Joseph Caley).  And I agree with others that Shale Wagman is someone to look out for.

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22 hours ago, bridiem said:

Just seen on Twitter: due to injury, Jurgita Dronina will be replaced by Rina Kanehara in the role of Odette/Odile for tomorrow's matinee performance.

 

This is sad ... Dronia glittered on opening night .... but Kanehara was (from my perspective) totally magical on Thursday night.  She and Hernandez proved a very winning combination.  On the latter's score I watched him carefully to try to see where so many here have had a disconnect with him.  I think it may be - and it's but a fairly minor alteration in mindset - that he sometimes does not always follow his dramatic intent through to his arms and down to his hands.  That said his balletic placement - much like the entirely ELEGANT Daniel McCormick (who I now think is edging towards being my favourite dancer in the current company - one so very fine in its overall potential) - is supreme.  No question of that.  Hernandez' emblazoned dash to catch Kanehara's heart-breaking Odette in Ashton's Act IV was as piercing as it was zealous ... and he followed that through with an almost child-like innocence to the very end.  No matter who is dancing this IS an Act IV to savour.  What joy the Ashton brings. 

 

Of all the princes I've seen - and sadly I missed Caley as he was ill - I especially championed Cirio.  His was the total - and an entirely winning - package.  ABT's loss has definitely been ENB's gain in his regard.  Thrilling.  .....  Also just a note just to say that Velicu's piquant turn as the saucy village girl last night was particularly endearing ... as was Katja Khaniukova's build in the Neopolitan - again ripe with that Ashton turn of musical phrase - (how I wish we could have seen her as O/O) - and Shale Wagman was flamboyantly taut in the same enterprise the night before.  So love his feet ... almost as much as that smile .... Ah, that smile .... Enough, Bruce ... Must dash ... 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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I saw Rina Kanehara's debut in Liverpool and agree that she is a lovely Odette/Odile. But my choice for this week was Shiori Kase and Ken Saruhashi (Thursday matinee). I had seen both of them debut in Liverpool, over 4 years ago now (but not together), and neither of them was given a London performance back then, so I felt that this would be something special - and it was.

 

Ken is a fine actor who is able to establish his princely credentials from 'the off' but nevertheless relates with graciousness to everyone else on stage, and with great fondness for his tutor. Derek Deane's production does, of course, enable Siegfried to actually dance in Act 1 - a feature which I like (a lot). Deane also gives his Siegfried a yearning soliloquy, which needs heart almost more than steps. Some male leads (including some at ENB) miss the feelings almost completely, but not Ken.

 

Roll forward to Act 2 and enter Shiori, the very incarnation of a white swan, every gesture carrying meaning and every facial expression conveying her feelings. I was blown away by her technical facility in the very difficult Act 2 solo where, unusually for any ballerina, she completed every double developee on both sides. Amazing! 

 

The swan corps looked to me to be mainly composed of dancers new(ish) to ENB and very finely tuned they were too. I think that ENB has a distinct advantage in that the productions that they show every New Year at the Coliseum have always been aired on tour very recently and many times over. The corps should be good - and they were, in the other Acts as well.

 

Katya Kaniukova shone in the Neopolitan as did the other replacement (noted on the doors and by the Box Office), Francesca Velicu, in the Pas de Trois.

 

Both Ken and Shiori sparkled in the Act 3 'black swan' pas de deux. She enticed him deliciously and he showed us by his solo variation how excited and rapt (and maybe a little confused too) he felt in that moment. Great stuff!

 

Someone has mentioned above that the Act 4 in this version of Swan Lake is very moving and I agree - especially in the hands of this fantastic couple.

 

 

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Another outstanding Swan Lake last night. I don't know how the company can dance so many performances in a week and retain such freshness, commitment and energy. 

 

Cojocaru and Cirio told the narrative with more care and conviction than I've seen before, it was quite exceptional and very moving. I think Cojocaru has always had an aura about her: something poignant, fragile and vulnerable (perhaps why she's one of the best Giselle and Manon) , and my friend and I said we always thought of her as a more natural Odette but last night her Odile was playing so audaciously with Cirio I now think she is equally at ease in both roles. Cirio's dancing was again stunning, in the Act 3 scene where he dances with the 6 brides he threw off 3 such perfect tours (think Muntagirov or Semyon Chudin) I could have cried !  I really hope he stays at ENB for a long time.  Being picky, I would say that Cojocaru has to work against her size as a Swan Queen and that she is no longer possessed of quite the steely technique of the very top principal dancers. But frankly she has so much else to give that you realise it doesn't matter a jot. 

 

The ENB orchestra, when conducted by Gavin Sutherland as they were again last night, bring the score vividly to life they deserved the huge ovation. Yesterday the lights barely went up between Acts 1 & 2 and as a result there was far less talking when the orchestra starting playing again. 

 

All round a perfect evening. 

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A very early contender for outstanding performance of the year - Jeffrey Cirio as Siegfried. I will be amazed (and delighted, of course!)  if I see a more rounded, more technically accomplished performance this year in this role. He was excellent in every respect, and I especially appreciated his total commitment dramatically and as a partner. I fully agree with   all of annamk's comments above about Alina, the company and the orchestra; they mirror my own feelings about the performance. Well done ENB.

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2 minutes ago, BeauxArts said:

A very early contender for outstanding performance of the year - Jeffrey Cirio as Siegfried. I will be amazed (and delighted, of course!)  if I see a more rounded, more technically accomplished performance this year in this role. He was excellent in every respect, and I especially appreciated his total commitment dramatically and as a partner

 

I tend to disagree. I found Cirio energetic, committed and technically adept, yes, but the artistry was missing. Briefly, for me, he didn't establish himself as a prince, aspects of his acting appeared layered on and, apart from at the curtain calls, I didn't feel any chemistry between him and Cojocaru.

 

It's interesting how we all see things so differently.

 

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On 04/12/2018 at 22:43, Irmgard said:

Ashton’s exquisite choreography for Act IV (shrewdly acquired by Derek Deane for his proscenium production) was for me the highlight of the swans’ dancing at all the performances with its haunting melancholy as they all emerge from the swirling ‘mists’, and their uniformity of style and movement perfectly matched the music.  Cao and Arrieta were unforgettable here:  he all remorse and she summoning up supreme dignity as she forgives him.  This was an exceptional performance which I am sure will stay in the minds of the audience for a long time

 

I can't match your descriptive powers Irmgard, I can only say that I feel the performance today must have been as exceptional today as the one you saw.  

 

 

 

 

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I'd understood that the Ashton Act IV starts differently from ENB's current one: was I wrong?

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9 hours ago, alison said:

I'd understood that the Ashton Act IV starts differently from ENB's current one: was I wrong?

 

I was going to ask Irmgard that question because I thought ENB ACT IV was Ashton but  when I watched some of what I thought was the Aston Act IV (old RB Makhraova/Dowell recording) it looked a bit different from what I've seen at ENB - for example, the corps weren't in single large circular formation just before Siegfried's entrance) instead they're in those little circular groupings like the old Dowell version for the RB. 

 

Irmgard or anyone else ? 

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22 hours ago, BeauxArts said:

A very early contender for outstanding performance of the year - Jeffrey Cirio as Siegfried. I will be amazed (and delighted, of course!)  if I see a more rounded, more technically accomplished performance this year in this role. He was excellent in every respect, and I especially appreciated his total commitment dramatically and as a partner. I fully agree with   all of annamk's comments above about Alina, the company and the orchestra; they mirror my own feelings about the performance. Well done ENB.

I also loved his interpretation of Siegfried. I reported further up this thread how much of a revelation I thought he was.  

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For the last “Swan Lake” of the season, the dancers and musicians pulled out all the stops to give a performance that was almost as flawless and certainly as sublime as the miraculous partnership of Begoña Cao and Aitor Arrieta.  Conductor Gerry Cornelius understands dancers and the support they need and he drew from the orchestra the most exquisite sounds, especially from the violin and cello soloists in the Act II pas de deux, which was ravishing, and the hauntingly beautiful Act IV.  From the moment the delightful, nimble-footed Adriana Lizardi and Barry Drummond led on the very spirited group of villagers, it was clear this was going to be a performance to treasure.  While I would have liked more Ashton style from most of the ladies in the Pas de Douze, there was the lovely lyricism of Emily Suzuki’s dancing and some very stylish partnering and dancing from the gentlemen.  There followed an absolutely delicious pas de trois with beautiful style and joie de vivre from dream team Crystal Costa, Adela Ramirez and Ken Saruhashi. These are quality dancers who imbue even the smallest step with artistry and musicality, as per the very first temps levé in which they all stretched the left foot exquisitely to the nth degree which, for me, was one of the many moments when I inwardly gasped at the sheer beauty of their technique.  All three solos were shot full of character and style, leading to a most joyous and thrilling coda.  Ramirez also shone in the sparkling Neapolitan in Act III, along with Rhys Antoni Yeomans, with Ramirez especially demonstrating the original Ashton ports de bras and both of them dazzling with their beautifully executed intricate footwork and sunny smiles.  Ramirez was also on the cast sheet as a cygnet but she was replaced by Francesca Velicu, joining an outstanding cast of Crystal Costa, Jung ah Choi and Rina Kanehara in a seemingly effortless and perfectly synchronised performance of this fiendishly difficult choreography.

 

And so to the glorious Prince Siegfried of Aitor Arrieta, who has added even more characterisation and detail to the already finely nuanced performance I saw in Bristol.  Arrieta is himself still so young that his bewilderment, beautifully portrayed, over his mother’s wish for him to marry is totally believable.  His elegant dancing is so effortless, with the silken sheen of his beautiful arabesque line and the oh so soft landing of his jumps into melting pliés, that it is easy to forget how difficult the Act I solo really is.

 

There was the usual problem of audience chatter and lights from mobile phones spoiling the beginning of Act II but the magnificent Von Rothbart of Fabian Reimair rising majestically and sinisterly from the swirling mists brought the audience to a stunned silence as he skillfully manipulated his huge wings.  In fact, there was such power and authority to the way he did this that I wondered if it had been the inspiration for the opening section of Khan’s “Dust” in which Reimair manipulated the arms of the dancers on either side of him as if they were wings and he was trying to take flight.

 

Like Dronina, Cao’s Odette/Odile has reached stratospheric heights and everything I wrote about her enchanting Odette in Bristol and the breathtaking beauty and delicacy of her dancing applied even more at this performance. The electrifying chemistry with Arrieta was even more evident than in Bristol, when he replaced Souza as Cao’s prince only a few hours before curtain-up, and led to new levels of tenderness in the flawless Act II pas de deux which was of such moving intensity that I was brought to tears for the second Sunday in a row.  Just before the pas de deux, when Arrieta returned to the stage in search of her, I loved the way he actually looked at the other swans and showed his disappointment each time he could not find his Odette (something he repeated in Act III when the exceptionally lovely line-up of princesses did not include her).  Then there was a moment of pure magic as he raised his arms as if in despair and Cao gently placed her hands on his right arm in that perfect Cao arabesque. This was so much more moving than those Siegfrieds who just stick their arms out so that Odette can balance.  There followed the most limpid of solos from Cao in which Tchaikovsky’s haunting music flowed throughout her entire body and then the most gorgeous ports de bras I have ever seen as she joins in the balancé steps with her wonderful corps de ballet of swans at the end of the coda.

 

The Act III pas de deux became truly dramatic with Reimair wielding a hypnotic power over the whole court and conspiring with the incandescent, sensual Odile to totally bewitch the already beguiled Siegfried.  And I doubt there are many Odiles who can toss off a perfect set of thirty-two fouettés while maintaining a dazzling and triumphant smile throughout!

 

As to Act IV, I can pay no higher compliment to the immaculate ensemble of swans, and to ballet mistress Hua Fang Zhang who no doubt was responsible for meticulously maintaining the standard, that when I am asked for my five best performances of 2019, ENB’s corps de ballet of swans in Act IV will be amongst them, as no doubt will be this performance by Cao and Arrieta, whose Act IV was heartbreaking in its dignity and despair.  An honourable mention as well for the fabulous death throes (something I don’t usually notice) of Reimair’s mesmerising Von Rothbart.  I can only reiterate what I said after their performance in Bristol, that I cannot comprehend why such a world-class partnership as Cao and Arrieta have proved to be were only granted one out of ENB’s thirteen performances at the Coliseum.  For those unlucky enough not to be part of the capacity audience yesterday, I would recommend grabbing any unsold tickets for their “Manon” on Thursday evening as fast as you can!

 

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1 hour ago, annamk said:

 

I was going to ask Irmgard that question because I thought ENB ACT IV was Ashton but  when I watched some of what I thought was the Aston Act IV (old RB Makhraova/Dowell recording) it looked a bit different from what I've seen at ENB - for example, the corps weren't in single large circular formation just before Siegfried's entrance) instead they're in those little circular groupings like the old Dowell version for the RB. 

 

Irmgard or anyone else ? 

I, too, would have to watch that DVD again as I really can't remember all the details from so long ago!  However, it would not surprise me if there were slight differences in the staging although in the main it is definitely Ashton's.

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First, I want to thank Irmgard for her truly mesmerising reviews - so brilliantly recording for posterity the mesh of moments she has observed on behalf of our oh, so lucky world.  Bless you. 

 

Secondly, I wanted to say how wonderful it has been to be able to witness these performances drawn entirely from the heady ranks of the current ENB Company.  There was no need to jet in international guests 'just for this production'.  None at all.  Surely this is a testament to Rojo's strength of purpose.  Brava!  

 

Thirdly, I just want to mention the truly extraordinary PDT on Saturday afternoon - but a small part of a performance which was itself hugely memorable and in places utterly indelible.  The concerted and illustrious throng on this occasion was made up of a jubilant Costa making rapturous putty out of her every tempi; an - as ever - irresistible Velicu bewitching the very air about her and the world class whirlwind that is most definitely Wagman, replete it seems with balletic wings and Zelinsky-like feathered landings.  Nothing taciturn about this grouping certainly.  It was - both in part as much as in whole - a privilege just to be there - and the music as overseen by that genius mastermind Gavin Sutherland sang out with ever refreshed hues.  These artisans hadn't just enabled the choreography, they had enhanced it.  Bravi. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Irmgard said:

For those unlucky enough not to be part of the capacity audience yesterday, I would recommend grabbing any unsold tickets for their “Manon” on Thursday evening as fast as you can!

 

If I'd known that this would be the ONLY Manon cast I would end up being unavailable to see, I'd have arranged to do so at one of the earlier tour venues :(

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23 hours ago, Irmgard said:

I can only reiterate what I said after their performance in Bristol, that I cannot comprehend why such a world-class partnership as Cao and Arrieta have proved to be were only granted one out of ENB’s thirteen performances at the Coliseum.  For those unlucky enough not to be part of the capacity audience yesterday, I would recommend grabbing any unsold tickets for their “Manon” on Thursday evening as fast as you can!

 

 

Thank you again for another interesting review Irmgard, I agree with all your words about Sunday. This was my favourite performance of the 5 I saw and If I had realised what a superb partnership this would be I would certainly have gone to Bristol too ! 

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