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  1. Just when I wasn’t going to post about all the performances I am seeing abroad … the list of dance links on Friday included a review of the mixed programme in Nice that finished yesterday (thank you, Ian Macmillan). The review on DanceTabs is very detailed, and I am thus keeping it to some comments about the performance that I saw last night. Le grand pas classique from Raymonda. Compared to the version in the ROH repertoire, Vu-An’s version is a little shorter, adjusted in the number of variations to the much smaller company, and equally adapted to the smaller stage in Nice. This is a wedding of pride, prestige and honour - love didn’t seem to feature, not for the bride and groom (Gaëla Pujol and Théodore Nelson, as on the opening night) nor for any of the wedding guests. Dance wise not really my style as too classical and inviting applause after every solo. I preferred most a male quartet with double tours en l’air followed by entrechats followed by double tours en l’air and entrechats and … Gnawa. This was hypnotising in music and movement. Two group sections with a long sensual PDD in between. The music included drums and the sounds of birds, and invited moving to the rhythm of the music in one’s seat. Veronica Colombo and Mikhail Soloviev in the lead roles were superb. The review on DanceTabs mentions that Mikhail Soloviev is new to the company in Nice. This may be relatively new as he was already there when I first saw the company in April, and a search for his name on the web also shows him with the company in 2013. L’Arlésienne. This is new to the company in Nice. Wow. Fabulous. Magnificient. Splendid. I was watching in utter disbelief at how marvellous the performance by the lead couple - Zaloa Fabbrini and Alessio Passaquindici - was; both in acting and dancing. They made the story to truly believable. I sat there open mouthed and with baited breath, and I felt so incredibly sorry for the two of them. Eric Vu-An has published extracts from a general rehearsal on his public facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Eric-Vu-An-383731904998106/?fref=nf Last night confirmed that this is one of my favourite companies in France. I really like how Vu-An expands the repertoire and develops dancers from within the company, and how much he is able to achieve with a company of just 26 dancers. The new soloists were all promoted from within the company at the end of last season, and the new dancers all joined at corps de ballet level. I do hope that the success that he is able to generate will allow him to grow the company in size at some stage in the future and in doing so, add a few more performances across the year. I can’t wait to be back in April for the next mixed programme, which will include Jiri Kylian’s Sinfonietta and Liam Scarlett’s Vespertine.
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