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Nureyev: Legend and Legacy, September 2022 - and stream on Marquee TV


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As this starts at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane this evening, I thought it was probably time we had a "performance" thread for it, so here you are.  I'm very much looking forward to it.

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20 minutes ago, art_enthusiast said:

Is anyone able to put some of the updated cast changes here?

I only know of these ones- 

 

Sleeping Beauty Florimund solo- Guillaume Cote (replacing Marchand, then Louvet)

 

Flower Festival in Genzano pas de deux - Ida Praetorius (replacing Emma Hawes), Francesco Gabriele Frola

 

Laurencia pas de six - Cesar Corrales (replacing Marcelino Sambe)

 

(If there are any other last minute cast changes, I haven’t been told yet.  Hopefully no more....)

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Some initial thoughts 

 

Corrales was spectacular in both Le Corsaire and Laurencia. I find him best in these bravado type, high energy, lots of “showing off” (no bad thing!) jumping type roles. He made the Corsaire glittery pants look very fabulous and his hair did a lot of dramatic movement too! 
 

Frola was spectacular in his piece - beautiful pure technique. I wish he had danced a bit more or maybe in a slightly different piece as he was spectacular but I felt he was maybe underused? A shame Emma Hawes couldn’t make it but her replacement (sorry I don’t have the name to hand) was delightful and I would be impressed if she had minimal rehearsal time as you wouldn’t know it. 
 

Bracewell stunning as Albrecht, will certainly expect hm to be cast in this when the Royal bring back Giselle in the (hopefully not too distant) future. A real “danseur noble” in my eyes but with the sensitive dramatic side to match. But he can jump!!! Enjoyed his partnership with Hayward who was the perfect ethereal sad ghostly Giselle. Technique was a little shaky to start with, but she settled in very well and brought a nice bit of pathos to the show-off pieces of the evening. 
 

It was interesting to see Laurencia; I think Ospiova staged this and she did a fine job so can see her maybe moving more into choreography and staging? I found the costumes a bit garish, but not as bad as the pink lighting, but it was a fun piece and good to see something I’ve not seen before. The dancers really coalesced nicely as a group - I have marked out Daichi Ikarashi as one to watch at the Royal in future, incredibly pure and elegant technique and someone I expect will rise up the ranks quickly. 
 

Naghdi was stunning, as to be expected. What I always like about her is her smile is always so big and genuine, even in technically difficult bits she glows and looks so happy despite the concentration required. She didn’t do the Italian fouettés which was a bit of a shame as I remembered she did these for this piece in the Fonteyn gala and I was absolutely blown away by it. But a minor point and this was a fantastic finish to the evening. 
 

I wasn’t a huge fan of the choreography of Don Juan but I did find some of the lifts absolutely stunning (one where Alina looks like she is genuinely floating was breathtaking), and Alina was absolutely brilliant on top form - she just moves in a certain way that is so full of meaning. I was reminded a bit of Onegin and thought she would make (or was, sadly before my time) a fantastic Tatiana. Her partner was solid but this piece was all about Alina, sorry. 
 

Muntagirov and Mair did fine work in the Sleeping Beauty grand pas, the choreography was a little different to the Royal’s and it may just be because I’m familiar with the Royal’s but I did miss some bits - but very minor and overall well done. The orchestra was played brilliantly throughout I should add, but I always love the music for this piece. 
 

Gayane I found interesting but I admit I’m a fan of the fizzier pieces, but it was very well danced and there was one lift where Makhateli was lifted up with Oleg only holding her one leg (I don’t know if this makes sense, think a cheerleading lift on pointe maybe) which was very well executed and nice to see. A charming piece overall.

 

I’m sorry to say I was underwhelmed with Cote in the solo - I don’t think this is part of the Royal’s production as it didn’t feel familiar to me? In any case I’m sure if Nureyev was dancing it there would have been more, but it felt a bit underwhelming (generally but particularly as an opener) and I’m no expert but I found Cote a bit lacking in delivery.

 

I was really looking forward to seeing Parish and Salenko, and I like this pas de deux choreography (although maybe unlike the other pas de deux excerpts it works less well as a standalone piece without the wider plot context?) but I’m sorry to say this was probably the most disappointing piece of the night. I know sometimes for galas there isn’t a huge amount of rehearsal time. I have no idea how often this was rehearsed but the partnership didn’t work for me - there was zero chemistry or romance. Salenko was technically good but I found her a bit stiff and didn’t bring the soul of Nikiya and the lyricism that I saw from Nunez for example. Parish seemed a bit underwhelming to me, I don’t wish to be harsh but it felt a little sloppy and his jumps didn’t have the elegance or power of either Corrales, Frola, or Bracewell in the other pieces. All my opinion I do not have a technical eye…maybe their later performances will be better after more rehearsals/performances under the belt. 
 

There was a nice video at the beginning of the second act featuring Tsemenbenhoi and Muntagirov talking about funding they had received from the Nureyev foundation (Muntagirov so delightful in saying dancing Nureyev’s Romeo was “agony” and how he gained in respect after feeling “dead” after two performances and having to give over 100%), Alina also featured praising Nureyev as did Mair. The video was a nice touch - wouldn’t have cost a huge amount but made the evening feel a bit more personal and nice to hear from some of the dancers. I wish that in the programme they had rehearsal photos and some of their words - from what I saw it was only pictures of Nureyev. 

 

The introduction from Fiennes focused more on Nureyev as an inspirational force rather than a dancer (Fiennes making the point he is an actor not a dancer but both have links to the dramatic or something along those lines…). Mason’s speech was a bit odd, talking about how Nureyev “poisoned” people with his passion, including her. Felt poison was a bit of an odd word choice (at least infected) and overall the words from both Fiennes and Mason were quite brief. I was hoping for something much more personal from Mason, perhaps a story of anecdote. Given they both heavily featured in some of the advertising for this programme I was a bit disappointed as it didn’t add much, I’d anything, to the evening. 
 

Overall good to see a bustling theatre and the theatre itself was quite nice inside, felt very plush. 
 

It was a well done evening but the interval was overly long and it felt sometimes the clapping was stretched out (multiple times throughout one piece) almost to fluff the time. It would have been nice to see some more work (what about Nureyev’s swan lake choreography, Don Quixote, Les Slyphides perhaps given it’s rarely shown so even an exercise would have been appreciated, or even La Slyphide, Raymonda I mean obviously I could go on and on but one or two more pieces would have been good). Or at least some archival footage of him dancing some of the works in the evening perhaps to compare (or would that be unfair? I think not, each dancer is different) but I’m not sure what licensing costs would be so maybe that was the issue. It was nice to see a live orchestra at least. 
 

Overall very enjoyable and good to see something like this on stage. Anyway perhaps the review would encourage you to go - I admit at the beginning I was a bit worried I had spent a bit on it as it felt a little hit and miss but by the time The flower festival in Genzano was on I felt a bit more reassured, really enjoyed Laurencia and all of the second half provided a good variety. 

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I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  Standouts for me were Makhateli/Ivenko in the Gayane pas de deux (please excuse lack of accents, I'm about to go to bed).  Both dancers absolutely oozed character and charm.  And Frola/Praetorius in Flower Festival in Genzano.  In fact, the substitutions were actually improvements IMO - this is not an insult to Emma Hawes, but Ida Praetorius had a near perfect Bournonville dancing style and both she and Frola were full of charm and beauty.  Cojocaru was exquisite as always - what a treat for me to be seeing her twice in one month!  And although in general I feel Sambe is a superior dancer to Corrales, Cesar's two appearances tonight (Laurencia pas de six/Corsaire pas de deux) suited him down to the ground and he outdid himself in bravura, I would say rather Bolshoi-like, style.  He is an absolute show-off and in roles such as these he is unbeatable.

So all in all a memorable gala, and I'm off to bed now with a happy smile on my face!

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I agree with JNC's perfect summary the introductory words were a little too brief..in particular, Monica Mason could have said something about what was so important about Nureyev as a dancer and what it was like to dance with him.

 

Great evening overall and Frola..what footwork... Muntagirov-divine elegance -  Corrales - raw excitement- exemplifed different aspects of Nureyev v beautifully.

 

There was a lively bustling atmosphere in the theatre- well managed by lots of well trained staf -  but a perfectly behaved audience too. 

 

It greatly cheered me up.

 

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8 hours ago, JNC said:

Mason’s speech was a bit odd, talking about how Nureyev “poisoned” people with his passion, including her. Felt poison was a bit of an odd word choice (at least infected) and overall the words from both Fiennes and Mason were quite brief. I was hoping for something much more personal from Mason, perhaps a story of anecdote. Given they both heavily featured in some of the advertising for this programme I was a bit disappointed as it didn’t add much, I’d anything, to the evening. 

 

I had Alice Cooper's Poison running through my veins mind at that point. She really should've mentioned what it was like dancing with him, given Ralph said she did

Edited by Rob S
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2 minutes ago, Rob S said:

 

She really should've mentioned what it was like dancing with him, give Ralph said she did

 

I don't know why she (Dame Monica) didn't as I have heard her tell stories before which are both fond and entertaining.

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I really enjoyed this last night, and I will post more when I get the time.  However, I will say that I was very disappointed with Monica Mason's contribution.  Very short, and nothing about her personal involvement with the great man himself.  I wanted to know what he was like to work with.  In fact, I could have told a better tale about Nureyev with regard to my own interaction with him, both on stage and in the rehearsal room. 🙂

 

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13 hours ago, oncnp said:

@Rob S has some great pictures on his IG stories (as always)

 

When I asked the FOH staff I was told that curtain call photos weren't allowed, so of course I didn't take any. I now feel rather cheated if people were allowed to take photos who were sat elsewhere in the theatre. They should be consistent as to allowed or not allowed. And I can't even see Rob's photos, since Instagram kicked me off earlier this year.

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1 hour ago, Dawnstar said:

 

When I asked the FOH staff I was told that curtain call photos weren't allowed, so of course I didn't take any. I now feel rather cheated if people were allowed to take photos who were sat elsewhere in the theatre. They should be consistent as to allowed or not allowed. And I can't even see Rob's photos, since Instagram kicked me off earlier this year.

How did you manage to get kicked off Instagram?!

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Poor Monica Mason!!    I’ve got the mother of all colds currently very unusual for me ….so far its not Covid but hope the cough clears up by next Wednesday 😱

 

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45 minutes ago, Sim said:

How did you manage to get kicked off Instagram?!

 

I don't know what happened with Dawnstar's IG account but mine got so comprehensively hacked that I completely lost control of it.  The bar steward who perpetrated this sin subtly changed my username and also the password and then made the account private.  The individual then DM'd all my followers about bitcoin deals.  I complained and reported and got precisely nowhere!

 

As they had apparently also changed the email address I was able to start again from scratch but it was annoying and upsetting.

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1 hour ago, Sim said:

How did you manage to get kicked off Instagram?!

 

I have no idea. My account was suddenly locked & I was told I'd violated something in their user policies. I re-read those carefully & couldn't find anything I had done wrong. All I used to post were flower photos & curtain call photos, all taken by me so there couldn't have been any copyright issues. I tried appealing but never got a reply. A couple of weeks later I created another account. Within a few days that got closed due to unusual usage. Since I hadn't had it long enough to establish a usual usage pattern I don't know how they decided that. After that I gave up & stuck to Twitter, which I've used for years with no such issues, but it's a pain for ballet as most dancers are only on Instagram.

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The Nureyev Gala brought back memories of the different facets of Rudolf the performer.
 
The repertoire was very relevant to Rudolf's career in London and well curated.  Most of the dancers were excellent.  Cesar brought out the cheeky humour of Rudolf in Laurencia and Corsaire, Vadim was virtuoso and elegant in The Sleeping Beauty, Alexandr Trusch was intense and dramatic as Neumeier's Don Juan with a meltingly fragile Alina as the Lady in White, Gabriele displayed fast and precise footwork in Flower Festival.
 
The big drawback was the stage.  The current production at Drury Lane has moved the wings towards the centre stage, making a fairly narrow performing area.   Worse still, instead of placing the orchestra in the pit, they were behind the dancers, providing constant visual distraction from the dancers and compelling them forward into an even smaller performing area.  This was a mad decision.  It forced the men to make compromises with their manège, reducing three leaps to two, or in the case of Vadim circling the stage three times instead of once!
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I agree with you on the visible orchestra behind the dancers being distracting. For the first couple of items I found it very difficult to concentrate on the dancers at all, before I eventually managed to somewhat get used to it. Given the orchestra were behind a scrim, I don't know why they couldn't light it so they weren't visible. As for the lack of space, Corrales looked like he was almost going to jump right off the stage at a couple of points when he was right in the front corners of the stage.

 

ETA Oh and if you're someone who cares about seeing the dancers' feet don't sit in the front row of the stalls. I could see them from the ankles upwards & didn't find that too bad, as I'm not so bothered about seeing feet, but a lady who spoke to me in the interval (I think she might be someone who's on here) said that she could only see them from the knees upwards.

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  • alison changed the title to Nureyev: Legend and Legacy, September 2022 - and stream on Marquee TV

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