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  1. I may be a bit late to respond to this topic, but only was aware of this thread now. His Swan Lake has to be the top of my list for the simple reason that it's so seldom performed. To my knowledge it was only on in Hamburg and Munich. I've seen it in Munich several times and every time have enjoyed it esp with Lucia Lacarra as Odette. And was always overwhelmed by the end. My attempts to see it in Hamburg were thwarted by a municipal strike and then by Corona. Then followed by Lady of the C. and then Midsummer Night. I am not impressed by the later works which I've seen - Othello, Streetcar, Nijinsky and Beethoven
  2. The video showed was of the first night. I saw the same cast at their 2nd and 3rd performances and was overwhelmed by their wholeheartedness, more so in the 3rd than in the 2nd performance. So it seemed that it took a couple performances for them to get truely into their stride.
  3. Right! I'll be glued to the PC, come Saturday night. I've seen him 3 times as Rudolf and everytime, it was mind-blowing. The sets too are lovely.
  4. I've as yet to see a live Performance and have only watched the recorded one. I'm one of those who hate too drastic fiddling with our beloved classics, thus I approached the modernised Giselle with trepidation. Disiked it on my first viewing, but once I got onto the story, it somehow got under my skin with repeated viewing. I grew to like the myriads of gestures in the story-telling, e.g. how Hilarion stroked Giselle's belly tenderly in the mad scene, as though to say "I'll look after your baby, too", or Myrtha jerky movements resurrecting Giselle, as though giving birth, etc. - although I'm at a loss as to the significance of the bamboo borne between the bellies of Myrtha and Giselle. Also found it a stroke of genius to have the reconciliation Giselle/Albrecht danced to the music of Albrecht's entry in Act II in the original. The plaintive strains perfectly captures the underlying sadness of their finding each other again. I think if we can get away from the idea of an innocent maiden, it'd work better. Maybe the title should be "Dreams - like Giselle". Just like John Neumeier's take-off on Swan Lake is called "Illusions - like Swan Lake". By the way ,a truly marvellous and unfortunately relatively unknown work. But going back to Khan's Giselle - I found Hilarion the most interesting character. But all the others valid and real-life persons.
  5. I can only echo annamk's opinion. Having seen it twice the last Season and again on the 28th Sep opening the new Season, I thought the Company had time to Digest it and found the latest Performance intense and truly compelling. Not used to seeing Friedemann Vogel's perfect line dissolve into a drunken stagger, but the expressiveness from start to finish was Wonderful.
  6. I've only seen him once in Onegin in Munich with Osipova and, based on that, have joined the ranks of those thinking him overrated. Lifts not done well or changed to a lower technical Level(?), lack of expressiveness in dancing, moments of poor timing in pdd, esp. the Mirror pdd. Maybe I've been spoilt by the likes of Evan McKie, Jason Reilly, Friedemann Vogel and Shklyarov in this role. To be fair, I'll have to see him in other roles and fully recovered to form a well-rounded judgement.
  7. For those interested, here's a link to a detailed review of Stuttgart's Mayerling by Gerald Dowler: http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=16477
  8. I was at 4 ballets in the Ballet Week in Munich mid-April, 2 of them with prominent guest stars - “Lady of the Camellias” and “Onegin”, which turned out to be below my expectations. On the 12th April, Marguerite was danced by Anne Laudere, partnered by Edvin Revazov, both from the Hamburg Ballet. She was fine, but Revazov, coming from Neumeier’s emsemble, was disappointing. I thought him inadequate, both technically and dramatically. Especially in the final black pdd he could not match the intensity and urgency of the Chopin’s Ballade and seemed not to have the stamina to finish the pdd with the necessary flourish... and sporting a hairdo more suited to Dr. Coppelius. One huge blemish of this production, to me at least, is that the drama of money-filled envelope took place on the extreme right extension of the stage, not on the stage proper. So those seated on the right upper tiers were unable to see Marguerite being handed the envelope, opening it, slapping Olympia, etc. All others in the audience had to divide their attention between this and Armand’s anguish on the extreme left side of the stage and the corps de ballet dancing in the middle. Very frustrating. “Onegin” on the 13th saw David Hallberg in the title role and Natalia Osipova as Tatiana. A case of big names tossed together, but which somehow fell flat. Friends I was with and myself missed the harmony and understanding which probably could only be there with more rehearsal time. Somehow the timing in the lifts seemed awkward, which esp. dampened our enjoyment of the Mirror pdd and I noticed in the final pdd that the lifts, with his arms raised and she inbetween them, were wrong. He had to bring down one arm to clutch her torso. It’s a matter of personal taste, but we found Osipova not quite right for Tatiana. Not the introverted bookworm, experiencing love for the 1st time, she was all too ready with her bright smile ... as in the words of a friend, passionate about this ballet – “She’s Kitri pretending to be Tatiana”. And on that evening she was on the heavy side, especially in the lifts. The other 2 evenings with “Taming of the Shrew” and “Spartacus” with the BSB’s own stars went off fine. Jonah Acosta cut a maverick figure as Petruchio with Lauretta Summerscales stomping as the untamed Kate, but I prefer her dancing as the tamed wife. For me Marcia Haydee is still the one who set the standard as Kate. Perhaps it’s the fact that Haydee was not pretty in the conventional sense of the word, so that her “ugly sister“ ferocity was given a cutting edge. “Spartacus” too went off well. Compactly built Osiel Gouneo delivered the spins and jumps to the delight of the audience, but still could bring over the passion of Spartacus. Ksenia Ryzhkova danced Phrygia wonderfully, with the right mixture of longing, fear and despair. The male corps de ballet marched and stamped vigourously, though I’ve often wondered how they’d compare to the Bolshoi, which I only could catch on dvd.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Do try to make it. I love the original SL woven into Ludwig's story and ironical use of Petipa's choreography. E.g. when to the music/dance of the Black Swan in the 3rd act is used for a white swan to seduce the King,, but with good intentions behind it, plus myriads of references to the original bt in a different context. Next to the tormented Ludwig, I find Siegfried like an immature teenager.
  12. I've seen him in Giselle and Spartacus in Munich and found him as a dancer and artist totally overrated. But since the Zelensky takeover the Munich audience seem to cheer everything and everyone indiscriminately. I'll be attending Spartacus in April and hope fervently not to see him there. I won't know how to boo him and cheer for the rest. Just sorry that he's getting such a lot of attention and other dancers deserving more don't get it.
  13. I have to disagree on one small point. Alexei Popov, I thought, was dance-wise slightly disappointing, with some trouble in partnering and lifts, though he acted convincingly, displaying passion in the duel challenge. For me, the Lensky to top all is Friedemann Vogel in Stuttgart, though now having been given the Onegin role, will alas be scarcely called on to dance Lensky.
  14. Though it may be not of immediate interest to most members of the forum, I do want to share my views on Cranko’s Swan Lake, which I saw in Stuttgart in Dec. Saw 3 casts: On the opening evening Alicia Amatriain/Friedemann Vogel, both under par that evening, Ami Morita/Alex McGowan, making commendable debuts, , Elisa Badenes/David Moore, the best Odette/Odile of the 3 and David Moore convincing, though not an outstanding bravura dancer. An unusual version with a focus on Siegfried as a lonely soul. In the 1st act happier with the ordinary folk, but not being truly part of them, utterly devoid of contact with the court and with a nasty, domineering mother. The 3rd act was for me a hugh disappointment, lacking in charm, character, the waltz and dance of the prospective brides. The court consisted of non-participating extras standing idly on an upper balcony. The brides-to-be from 4 countries dived into the national dances without much ado, giving the activities the flavour of a meat parade. Also some staging inconsistencies, with the Queen Mother and Sigfried being seated at the back of the stage and the dances facing the audience. The Neapolitan princess had a less spectacular part than her partner, who was throwing out turns and spins ad infinitum. The Queen Mother here was a totally wooden figure. And the smallish stage does not lend itself well to the pyrotechnics required of Siegfried. That being said, the rapport between Odile and her father was prominent, interestingly emphasising her as his instrument. The limitations however were compensated for by a compellingly tragic 4th act, where he drowned and she continued her existence as swan/human. Unlke the ROH version, where a feisty Odette found the strength to kill herself, Odette here could not climb out of her despair and the choreography reflected this. The last pdd was heart-breakingly beautiful, with Odette collapsing over and over again, images of a ragdoll with the stuffing beaten out of her. But one last irritation: the strips of material brought on to simulate waves were so skimpy that the stage boards were barely covered. I’m thinking at this point of the Nureyev version with similar end, but where generous, billowing waves of material and, of late dry ice too, made a convincing watery grave. I suppose that Cranko back in 1963 had few resources, Stuttgart then being a small, almost unknown ensemble, with only a world-class success (Romeo and Juliet) to its books. But surely now, I would venture to guess, a refurbishing is called for.
  15. Yes, an intriging topic. I'm not a teary person, but there were memorable moments which brought a lump to my throat. Being non-U.K. -based my choices are quite different: Lucia Lacarra as Marguerite in "Lady of the Camellias", the whole of Neumeier's "Illusions - like Swan Lake", a stupendous re-make of "Swan Lake" by Neumeier, which touched me much deeper than the original, esp. the end when the king gives way to his fate accompanied by waves of Tchaikowsky's music - spine-tingling. Also Alicia Amatrian as Tatiana, Friedemann Vogel as Lensky and again in Bejart's "Bolero". I could go on ad nauseam, but will stop here.
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