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Found 3 results

  1. They just started their joint direction in August 219, and now both Sasha Waltz and Johannes Öhman will leave Berlin State Ballet at the end of 2020, as they just announced. Öhman has accepted the position of Artistic and Managing Director at the Dansenhus in his hometown Stockholm. Sasha Waltz then decided to leave also and concentrate fully on her artistic work as a choreographer. Öhman started as director in 2018, after Nacho Duato had left prematurely, Waltz joined him in 2019 as co-director. At the moment, Berlin is shocked. The list of possible successors might include Manuel Legris, who leaves Vienna in summer, or Adolphe Binder, who already directed the Ballet of the Komische Oper Berlin some decades ago. German Press release here
  2. I was just in Berlin to see the performance of Jewels on 31st October. Hmm not sure what to make of it. Overall I felt rather disappointed with Emeralds and Rubies. Emeralds was nice but the second lady Weronika Frodyma did not manage the first set of clock movements which was a pity and I sensed that her partnership with Arshak Ghalumyan was not that great. For the clock moves my benchmark is the unforgettable performance I saw of this section by Leanne Benjamin at ROH years ago when they premiered Jewels. The lead couple was Aya Okumura, recently transferred from Dutch NB, with Cameron Hunter (below) and they were very nice. I felt Hunter was a very elegant dancer, so well suited to Emeralds. I enjoyed the pas de trois team of Iana Balova, Danielle Muir and Ulian Topor, whom I really liked watching. However I do wonder if this performance of Emeralds lacked the presence of a principal dancer? Just to raise it up a level? Rubies was a bit flat for me it lacked the excitement and fizz I witnessed when I have seen when McRae/Osipova with tall girls Yanowsky/Lamb dance and when I saw Nancy Osbaldeston and Osiel Guneo in Munich last year. Dinu Tamazlacaru is a favourite dancer of mine and the only principal dancer fielded in this piece, but I felt he needed a bit more speed in places. The 2 ladies were both performing their debuts and I thought Sarah Brodeck did a nice performance of Tall Girl/Solo and Yolanda Correa with Tamazlacaru did well but lacked the sass I have seen displayed by so many other dancers. I also felt the footwork which is quite "square" in Rubies could have been sharper. Correa/Tamazlacaru/Brodbeck I was also disappointed with the Rubies costumes because, as you can see, the pleats on the dresses have no big gems on them and therefore did not make the click clack noise you get with the original Karinska versions as the dresses move. That is somewhat a part of Rubies for me so I missed that. The set was quite striking for Rubies. For me the whole show was saved by Iana Salenko and Marian Walter who gave a good strong performance in Diamonds, and especially the Grand PDD. I thought Salenko looks on great form after her maternity leave and it was so nice to see her on stage again. The costumes worn by the corps and 4 couples did not quite do it for me again either. I did not see Walter kiss Salenko's hand at the very end though, as it usually ends with the lady being surprised by this? However, Salenko always does the most steady en pointe balances and great fouettes and pirouettes so It was lovely to see these and Walter did his circles of jetes really well with very quiet landings! This couple are just very good together and the partnering is spot on in my opinion. As you can see I had a stalls seat so the choreography does not show "quite" as well as when you sit higher up for Balanchine, but it was still OK. The music was very nice and I think played at the correct speed but there was one horn in Diamonds which seemed to totally dominate the whole sound! As I say I was not over enamoured by the overall performance which was a shame given the effort to get there to see it! At least I have now seen Berlin do Jewels, but really I think their Bayadere is much better and perhaps more them.
  3. La Bayadère Berliner Staatsballett. Ratmanksy - amazing production! Seminova as Nikiya, Virelles as Solor, Correa as Gamzatti. I love the way Ratmansky does Grand Ballet Kitsch with total seriousness and commitment. It was on the one hand watching the 19th. Century come alive, but with Bakst’s spirit hovering throughout, and a witty, knowing but academically informed 21st century approach. His use of mime is perfect - no other does it as well. It was truly a language in itself. The dancing first rate throughout (....although first night wobbles visible amongst the Shades, when they were on solid ground not the slope), Polina and Yolanda totally nailed it. Alejandro’s solo a little underpowered, but still a great performance. Loved the sets - the Himalayas in the background, great palace destruction, and fabulous costumes. Riotous applause!
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