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Found 11 results

  1. I’d be interested in views of which cast to see in Onegin. I am interested in seeing Thiago Soares as I assume he is retiring from principal dancing soon ...
  2. I suspect the answer to this is going to be "no", but my daughter is reading Pushkin's "Eugene Onegin" and hasn't yet been able to see a performance of Cranko's ballet. She was away when RB last performed it in 2015 (?) and too young for it prior to that. I know the Tchaikovsky opera is widely available on DVD but apart from excerpts of and interviews about the ballet on Youtube, there doesn't seem to be a recording of the full ballet available anywhere. Nor does the RB or any other company seem likely to stage the ballet in the UK this year or next. Am I remembering correctly that there isn't a DVD of the full ballet in existence?
  3. 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.
  4. I was lucky to be able to do a short trip over to Berlin on 21st March to see the opening night of Onegin. Onegin is pretty much a staple for Berlin however this evening's show was to be the debut for 3 of the main characters namely Ksenia Ovsyanick as Tatiana, Daniel Norgren-Jensen as Lensky and Vahe Martirosyan as Gremin. Marian Walter played Onegin and Krasina Pavola was Olga, with Barabra Schroeder as Mme Larina. Ovsyanick played Tatiana very well, although I felt that as the ballet progressed she settled/grew into the role and she really owned the final Act. As the young Tatiana we see the young girl infatuated by the handsome and enigmatic Onegin culminating in the passionate bedroom pdd, only to see her infatuation brutally thrown back in her face when Onegin tears up her love letter later on in the ballroom scene. Earlier in Act 1 though, Olga and Lensky perform the wonderful double run across the stage closely followed by all the peasants with the girls all leaping - it's one of my favourite pieces in a ballet and SBB didn't disappoint. It was quite the spectacle and received huge applause. Moving on to the second Act, Onegin of course cruelly rebuffs Tatiana's attentions returning her letter by tearing it up into her hands leaving her distraught, however despite Tatiana's infatuation for Onegin, Prince Gremin arrives and is introduced to Tatiana. Onegin then proceeds to deliberately wind up Lensky by dancing with a rather willing Olga. Lensky eventually threw down the gauntlet (glove in this case) and the duel is accepted by Onegin. Norgren-Jensen was well partnered by Pavlova and he seemed to suit the role of the rather more gentle character of Lensky. Pavlova was a lovely Olga and played the part very well. In the Duel Scene I did find the actual gun shooting part of the duel a little lacking in drama as it was performed at the rear of the stage behind a scrim - not sure if I remember that in an Onegin before I seem to recall it is usually mid stage? Anyway Ovsyanick and Pavlova played the sisters begging Lensky not to go through with the duel so well and conveyed their desperation very clearly and of course their sorrow after the inevitable happens. Act 3 saw Tatiana happily married to Gremin and this is where I felt Ovsyanick came into her own. I could really feel her love for Gremin and when Onegin turns up you could feel her distress that Gremin was going away. The big pdd with Gremin was lovely and then this was followed by an equally good pdd with Onegin and Tatiana finally giving Onegin his comeuppance was rather satisfying. I liked Martirosyan very much as Gremin he was a good solid dancer and took to the part very well. I am not so sure I liked Walter as Onegin he was good don't get me wrong, I have admired him as a dancer for years, but I think I prefer Kaniskin (or Soares if in London) who has a bit more "bad boy" about him which is always good for Oengin! For a debut I thought Ovsyanick did really well. The corps de ballet were on good form and danced all the ballroom scenes beautifully with all the lovely formations which I could see so well from my lofty position on the 3rd tier. The orchestra and their music were great under the baton of Paul Connolley. I was just sorry I could not see the cast of 5th April as that is with Kaniskin as Onegin and I do have a soft spot for him as Onegin as I mentioned above! Overall a really solid performance and very enjoyable evening at the newly renovated Staatsoper Unter den Linden - do go if you get the chance -it's quality dancing at a very reasonable price in a beautifully renovated, and comfortable, theatre. Cast with Paul Connolley, Conductor Ksenia Ovsyanick and Marian Walter as Tatiana and Onegin Krasina Pavlova and Daniel Norgren-Jensen as Olga and Lensky Vahe Martirosyan as Gremin
  5. I've reached an age where I believe birthdays should be properly celebrated in this transient life. So when I saw via Marianela's social media posts that she was going to dance in Onegin with Roberto Bolle at La Scala Milan, then I knew, this was the special event I was looking for. What a pairing - a dream, as Marianela herself calls it. Setting about achieving this was actually much easier than I anticipated. I booked a ticket via La Scala's website which has an English portal, and it arrived miraculously, it seemed to me, by post, a few days later. Then flights and an hotel were easy to get. Once in Milan, I oriented myself and visiting the theatre early on the day of the performance, I was able to book an English tour of the theatre at 4pm. This proved to be a massive bonus. Not only was the tour extremely interesting in itself, but we also saw the state of the stage at 5pm - 3 hours before the performance, which looked a shambles (I'm sure they all knew what they were doing). As we left they were laying the blocks for the ballet stage and there was no scenery in place at all. When I saw the curtains open at 8pm the transformation was hard to believe. (they did know what they were doing) La Scala is a beautiful theatre and it was fascinating to compare it to the ROH. It's how the ROH used to be rather than it is now in terms of public areas and layout. The top tier is not connected to the lower tier and stalls - separate entrances as our guide told us rather grudgingly. All the Stalls Circle, Grand Tier and Balcony are boxes - nothing else. Good if you go as a group. Not so good if you want a single seat. There is price differential within the boxes unlike the ROH. The facilities are limited! It's an amazing aesthetic experience to go to a performance. I was in the Stalls at one side, and noticed how much further back I was compared to the ROH. The orchestra pit extends much further back. The theatre is so beautiful, just being there is a joy - and then there is the ballet. To the performance - did it live up to expectations - well a resounding YES. Do go and look at Marianela and Roberto's social media sites - loads of photos and video clips which I will treasure a memories of a glorious evening. Comparisons with the ROH production: Ballet itself was the same in terms of choreography Different scenery - which made no difference at all Different costumes - prettier dresses for the girls Corps de ballet - I think the ROH had the edge though not much to choose between them Programme 10 euros but much better Marianela and Roberto were a dream pairing. I've seen Marianela dance Tatiana on many occasions and she grows into the role more every time. I was curious to see how Roberto addressed a more unsympathetic role - I've always seen him in the romantic ballet roles - and melted - but could he do nasty? The answer is - yes he can. The scenes in Act 11 where he gives the letter back to Tatiana were almost the most fascinating for me. He played cards with himself with multiple expressions of boredom, don't care, disdain passing through his face. Then after he had returned the letter and Tatiana cried - his expression and gestures for - "for goodness sake little girl, get over it" was perfect. The dancing was peerless. I suspect Roberto has lost a little speed in delivery - thought that when he came to partner Zenaida in Marguerite and Armand- but frankly, I don't care. The 2 major pdds (end of Act 1 and final Act 3) sent shivers down my spine and made every £ I had spent in getting to Milan worthwhile. The audience obviously agreed with me - after the "standard" curtain calls came further appearances, the final one with the house lights up. The cheering and clapping demanded this and the dancers obliged and also seemed overwhelmed. I was so happy to be able to manoeuvre my way to the front of the stalls and show my appreciation along with everyone else. .... I have never experienced anything like this - except for dancers' final performances, which of course, can't compare. Lenski was danced by Timofej Andrijashenko and Larina by Beatrice Carbone. They were at their best in the ball scene in Act 11 but they didn't leave me with an overwhelming impression. Perhaps it was just difficult to look at anyone else than the 2 principals. Marianela is proliferating posts on social media about this ballet #dream everything. It is - but of course, she is #dream herself as a dancer, which is what's making the experience. If she wasn't such a wonderful dancer, none of this would have happened.
  6. To get the ball rolling on this production, the cast for the General Rehearsal today was: Osipova; Golding; Naghdi; Ball and Gartside. Their first of three shows is, of course, next Friday (30th).
  7. I thought I'd start a thread for this as I'll be making the pilgrimage over to Ghent on 11th October to watch Nancy Osbaldeston performing as Olga. I'm making a bit of a holiday out of it, seeing Ghent for two days and Bruges for two. Very exciting! If anyone is also thinking of making the trip (or is already in Belgium), let me know if you fancy meeting up for a Kwak! Otherwise, I'll be back in a couple of weeks with my thoughts.
  8. I'm starting a different thread for this question, since I want to take it beyond the Royal Ballet's dancers, but I'm getting quite curious about Onegin's Act I, Scene 1 solo (the one where he spends much of it with the back of one hand to his forehead) - and maybe the action that surrounds it - and differing interpretations. My original impression of it was that Onegin was just very much self-absorbed, and enmired (is that a word?) in his own ennui, but some recent dancers seem to have expanded it rather beyond that - or was I wrong in the first place? I haven't seen many casts in the current RB revival yet, so may expand on this later when I've had a chance to think it over more. What's your take on the solo, and what do you think it's expressing? *Does* it vary significantly between dancers?
  9. The Royal Ballet's latest run of Onegin began tonight, with Alina Cojocaru as Tatiana and Jason Reilly from Stuttgart replacing an injured Johan Kobborg as Onegin. Thoughts here, please.
  10. I've been having a look at some older recordings of Onegin over the last week or two, and have been surprised to note that various sections of modern-day performances of the ballet "feel" faster, regardless of whether they actually take less time or not. A prime example would be the mirror pas de deux in Act I: nowadays it often seems quite breathtakingly fast and athletic, especially in the "flips", whereas a few decades ago it looks as though it was more romantic, almost languid in places, maybe. I don't know whether this change is international - I haven't seen anyone but the Royal Ballet dance it this century - or local, and whether it has in fact changed over time, perhaps with increasing technical ability, or whether it's my imagination. Certainly I noticed that in later Royal Ballet casts in this run it appeared to be taken more slowly, but I wasn't sure how much of that could be down to Nuñez and Soares both recovering from injury, or (I think Lamb and Hristov were also slower) lesser familiarity with the choreography/partnership. I'd be interested to hear points of view in particular from those who've seen more of this ballet than I have, and/or have a longer and/or more international perspective than I do.
  11. Starting a different thread for this one, as I'm hoping for a more international overview. When looking back at my cast sheets for Onegin at the Royal Ballet at the weekend, I was surprised to note just how many recent Tatianas started off as Olgas and then have "graduated" to Tatiana (apart from Cojocaru, who actually danced both in the same run, which turned out to be rather unfortunate and hasn't been repeated since). It's happened too, to a slight extent, with the RB's Onegins: Bonelli started off as Lensky, and now Hristov is to make his debut as Onegin after several seasons as Lensky. I don't remember the same thing happening with London Festival Ballet's admittedly rather more restricted runs, so I'm wondering, is this actually common too with the other companies which perform Onegin, or is it more Royal Ballet-specific? I suppose it must help what you might call "remote casting" if you're already familiar with the dancers.
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