Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Following the Schaufuss version last week, ENB bring their "proper" version of Swan Lake to the Coliseum as from tomorrow (and perhaps by then we'll have confirmation of who the first-night cast will be). I gather the corps de ballet have just been performing some of it at the Olympic gymnastics this afternoon.

 

The casting we currently have is discussed here: http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/1465-enb-swan-lake-casting/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was a large and youngish crowd at opening night last night. It was a good but not outstanding performance. It was interesting to see Zdenek Konvalina's debut in this production. I assume that he has danced Swan Lake before with National Ballet of Canada. I felt that the dancing generally was not always perfectly in time with the orchestra (I don't know whose 'fault' that was) and the Neapolitan Dance was spoiled by some poor trumpet playing which was a shame for Barry Drummond who was I think making his debut in the role, dancing with Crystal Costa. I had a shock when Zdenek came on in Act 3. I thought for a moment that it was Vadim; for some reason I really associate him with that black outfit. I must say that I really like Vadim's height in this type of role (and his extreme youth which seems so appropriate for the character). I managed to exchange tonight's tickets for this afternoon's performance when I will be seeing Fernanda, whom I have never seen before, dancing with Dimitri whose son was a little pageboy last night.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw, the ENB dancers can't be getting much of a Summer break this year. They finish SW on the 11th and open with Sleeping Beauty (at Milton Keynes) on the 17th of September. Surely they normally break mid-July and open the new season in October.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Bruce. I've now merged the two threads. Been a bit otherwise occupied today ...

 

Good. Don't know how to do clever stuff like merging! But do know its good to only have one thread and the one that goes first is the one to build on!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has Tamara R actuallly started in her new role at ENB yet ?

I ask because for last night's Swan Lake in the programme and evening cast list sheet Wayne Eagling is still listed as artistic director.

Obviously programmes have to be printed some time in advance...but I would have thought there had been plenty of time to update their programmes.

Even on the ENB website Wayne Eagling is still listed as artisitc director and not a mention of Tamara.

Am I missiing something here ??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fernanda was a beautiful Swan Queen yesterday afternoon. I felt that both the company and the orchestra were more comfortable than they were on Friday evening. James Streeter really got into his role as Rothbart. The swan core was a marvel: it was on fire (if that does not sound strange) in the last Act. Showing my ignorance here, I am curious about the difficult looking jumping on pointe steps in the pas de quatre, yesterday performed by young Shiori Kase. I thought that there was something similar in Ballo della Regina. Does anyone know anything about these steps? Are they an established part of the SL choreography and are they as difficult as they look?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aileen,I believe the choreography for the pas de quatre is the work of Ashton.I have never seen it used in Swan Lake by anyone other than ENB.No doubt one of the many ballet historians on the forum will know a whole lot more than me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The pas de quatre was created by Ashton in 1963 for the Robert Helpmann/Carl Toms production of Swan Lake for the RB.If I remember correctly it was danced originally by Antoinette Sibley,Merle Park,Brian Shaw and Graham Usher.Ashton also choreographed a prologue for that production showing Odile before her transformation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think (unless it's changed in the last couple of years) that this production has both the Ashton pdq and Neapolitan - both of which are exquisite. Derek Deane would have known this choreography since his time with RB and very sensibly used it. (I had a video of the RB production - I think it was Makarova/Dowell and, if memory serves, Derek Deane was performing in the pdq.)

 

These were also included in the Makarova production that the company had in the late 80s. I was at the premiere of that production in Bradford (1988?) and Ashton came on for some of the curtain calls. The audience went absolutely doolally!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a DVD of the Natalia Makarova Swan Lake for ENB which also includes the Ashton pas de quatre, one of the girls is Leanne Benjamin.

 

I like the prologue of Odette's transformation into swan, I have seen an epilogue when all the swans and Odette turn back into girls in long dresses, think it was Bouremeister's version for the Stanislavsky, makes sense!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The waltz in Act 1 is also Ashton's - he was annoyed that Dowell dropped all his additions when he staged the current RB Swan Lake in 1987, and so let Makarova have them for her production for this company.

Edited by Jane S
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Janet, you have a terrific memory, and you don't half get around! Anton Lukovkin, who is apparently dancing the Neapolitan today with Nancy, refers to it as Ashton's Neapolitan.

 

Beryl, they must have had a very large cast to do that. How did that work story-wise? Was Rothbart defeated (killed) and the spell on the swans and Odette broken? The Mariinsky production which I saw last Summer ended with Rothbart's death but I don't remember the swans turning back into girls - but then I don't have Janet's brilliant memory!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Beryl, they must have had a very large cast to do that. How did that work story-wise? Was Rothbart defeated (killed) and the spell on the swans and Odette broken? The Mariinsky production which I saw last Summer ended with Rothbart's death but I don't remember the swans turning back into girls - but then I don't have Janet's brilliant memory!

 

 

I wish I had Janet's memory too :) it was a long time ago and I've seen so many Swan Lakes, I've seen several productions with the prologue but only one with an epilogue!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I almost think the credits for ENB's "Swan Lake" should be: Production by Derek Deane and Choreography by Ashton and Ivanov, not forgetting the Act I solo for Siegfried which was created by Nureyev for himself! Aileen, I am so glad you enjoyed the matinee. I was there as well and I quite agree that Act IV was superb (I believe this is also Ashton's version for the corps de ballet) and I cannot think of a better leaving present for Rosalyn Whitten than seeing the girls dance so beautifully and so soulfully! This is doubly impressive as most of the girlts will be dancing in every single Act in every single performance because so many of their colleagues are off injured. Although Dima Gruzdyev doesn't have the sense of line needed for the Act I solo, I thought he really came alive in the Black Swan pas de deux, showing off his panther-like jump with wonderful soft landing, and he is also the most marvellous, unobtrusive partner. Fernanda Oliveira always impresses me with the passion she brings to her roles and I loved the way she changed from the timid, soulful Odette to an Odile sizzling with sensuality and imperiousness, then back to the despairing Odette (when she went down into the 'Dying Swan' pose before Siegfried arrived in Act IV, every part of her body, including her fingertips conveyed her utter despair at being betrayed). I prefer Petipa's pas de trois (which is done in the "in-the-round" production) to Ashton's pas de quatre but it was danced extremely well by Shiori Kase, Laurretta Summerscales and the Menezes twins (I think all making their debut although there are no indications of this on the cast list). Overall it was a thrilling performance and the audience gave them a very loud ovation.

For transport reasons, I could only stay for Acts 1-3 of the evening performance to see Erina Takahashi and Zdenek Konvalina. Erina gave a very moving Act II and was on fire in Act III, whipping off several doubles in her fouette sequence, and looking every inch the seductress. What most people would not have known is that she was suffering from a very bad headcold and high temperature, as she was on opening night, which makes her perfectly placed turns even more remarkable! Konvalina danced very well but seemed rather subdued and it would have been nice to have a bit more passion from him. Again the pas de quatre was superbly danced, this time by Crystal Costa, Adela Ramirez, Ken Saruhashi and Junor Souza (the night before his debut as Siegfried!). Crystal Costa then delighted the audience with her Neapolitan Dance in Act III along with Barry Drummond who has a very charming stage personality and oodles of technique. All in all, an extremely enjoyable day at the ballet!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, Erina danced extremely well on Friday evening in view of her ill health. She nailed those fouettes in Act 3. I sometimes wish that the ballerina didn't have to do them. I feel nervous for them and can't relax until they are over. I was more impressed with Konvalina in Apollo earlier this year. Perhaps he has not danced Siegfried much. It's surprising how some ballet companies rarely perform Swan Lake. I was surprised to read that Miriam Ould-Braham, who has recently become an etoile at POB, had not danced Odette/Odile in a full-length SL when she danced the White Swan pdd at the Pavlova gala in March. I will be seeing Anais and Junor next week. I would have liked to have seen Begona and Esteban. At Markova House there is a beautiful photograph of them as Romeo and Juliet. They look so convincing as the young lovers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to do my "olden days bit" but in the Swan Lake I first encountered and loved at the ROH, the pas de quatre took place in Act 3 pretty much at the beginning of the Act and so there was a nice balance (IMO) with the "black " pdd coming at the end - one of the most frequent male combinations in my early days for the boys was Wayne Eagling (manege of jumps) and David Ashmole (cabriole diagonal) - on the Makarova, Dowell dvd if my memory serves me right one of the boys is Derek Deane - he does the diagonal. On that dvd, Ros Whitten and Anthony Dowson also dance - it is still my favourite production of Swan Lake

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a DVD of the Natalia Makarova Swan Lake for ENB which also includes the Ashton pas de quatre, one of the girls is Leanne Benjamin.

 

I was looking at the cast for this on Friday night, and thinking of the days when it used to be cast largely from principals (I don't think it was simply done for the TV broadcast).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite my frustration at the original cast being replaced for Sunday's matinee I was not disappointed in the replacements. Anais was a lovely Odette/Odile and congrats to her on her debut - I noted in her bio on the web that she really wanted to dance this role. Her arms were great! She travelled quite a bit on her fouettes I counted 30 full fouettes but it was 32 if you counted the 2 pirouettes that got her going! No mean feat anyway. Junor was good too - very elegant I found and landed very softly on his jumps. They made a nice pair. The swans were very good -nice and tidy and thankfully ENB have proper tutus not floppy ones. It makes such a difference. I would have liked brighter colours for ACT3 costumes especially for the Spanish Dance which was a very dull black, old gold and green?!

Edited by Don Q Fan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night was my third and final visit to ENB’s “Swan Lake” at the Coliseum to see Begona Cao and Esteban Berlanga in the leading roles, who were granted an extra performance due to Elena Glurdjidze’s foot injury. This couple have only clocked up a handful of performances in this ballet since their single debut performance at the Coliseum in 2008, yet they must be the most charismatic partnership in the company and I hope Tamaro Rojo will develop and promote this. Although not possessed of Muntagirov’s fearsome technical virtuosity, Berlanga impresses with his easy elegance, fine sense of line and emotional depths and he must be every little, and not so little, girl’s dream of the handsome prince. Cao’s hugely expressive eyes could tell us all we need to know about her Odette/Odile but this is matched with a formidable technique that is all delicacy as Odette and searing sexuality as Odile. Together she and Berlanga are dynamite in the Black Swan pas de deux and I have to say their beautiful mime scene in Act II was exemplary in its clarity. They have one more performance on Thursday 9 August and I would urge you to grab a ticket if you can!

 

Sandwiched between her Cygnet in Acts II and IV, was Anjuli Hudson’s charming debut in the Act III Neapolitan Dance, ably partnered by Van Le Ngoc. He also appeared in the Act I pas de quatre and, although his pairing with Guillerme Menezes did not have quite the panache as when the Menezes twins dance this together, the duet for the two boys was nevertheless stylishly danced. Nancy Osbaldeston made a poised and sparkling debut in the first solo. Kei Akahoshi can always be relied upon to bring finesse to whatever she dances and this was especially true of the second solo. Along with Anjuli Hudson, Jennie Harrington and Desiree Ballantyne, she is also part of the quartet of Cygnets who will be dancing every performance during the run. I would also like to give special mention to Jenna Lee and Laurretta Summerscales who are perfectly matched and perfectly synchronised as the Lead Swans. The Act IV swans are simply sublime. In fact, halfway through the run and at the end of a 13 month season, the whole company appears fresh and totally committed - an outstanding tribute to the outgoing Artistic team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night was my third and final visit to ENB’s “Swan Lake” at the Coliseum to see Begona Cao and Esteban Berlanga in the leading roles, They have one more performance on Thursday 9 August and I would urge you to grab a ticket if you can!

 

 

I'd second that - and I would if I wasn't working late. They were utterly delicious last night, as I managed to do a late swap at work and get myself a ticket. Phew - Begona as Odile scorched up the stage - they must have had the fire extinguishers out in the interval! :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...