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Alina Cojocaru's Gala, May 2013


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Now....I know many of you went to this, but no postings yet, so.....for those of us who couldn't be there, what did you think?  What were the high points for you?  I've just seen some photos of Andre Uspenski's on Facebook and it looks like it was a great evening.

 

Over to you!

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James Hay and Francesca Hayward gave a very good account of Flower Festival.  Clean, ebullient with excellent partnering by Mr. H.  Looked as if it was very well coached by a certain Mr. Koburg.  This for me was a (if not 'the') definite highlight.

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 J. Hay and F. Hayward competed in the 2012 Erik Bruhn Competition dancing "Flower Festival" (they were coached by Johan Kobborg) &  so he invited them to perform this piece at the Alina Gala.

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This was such a fantastic evening from start to finish.  I was thrilled that Alina was able to open the show with the Rose Adage with Johan, Steven, Xander and Matthew Golding as her admiring princes.  I hadn’t really expected her to be able to dance much in light of her injury, so this was an unexpected bonus.  As always, she filled every step with feeling and her own special artistry which never fails to bring a lump to my throat.  James Hay and Francesca Hayward were terrific - James seems to have a very buoyant Bournonville jump, and they make a lovely partnership (can’t wait for their Nutcrackers together!).  I loved Xander Parish in 101 – a really excellent choice for a gala (and a piece I personally had never seen), and of course it was wonderful to see him back on home soil.  I also really enjoyed the “Love Songs” excerpt by Tim Rushton danced by Ana Sendas and by Stefanos Bizas from Danish Dance Theatre which had a beautifully mellow, “liquid chocolate” feel to it!   A particular highlight for me was to see the marvellous Les Lutins again (we don’t see it often enough!!), which has so much amazing dancing (and music played by the fabulous Charlie Siem) and such a playful, joyous quality (and even a story!) all packed into about 8 mins!  The same quality was evident in the excerpt from Johan’s Salute danced by three young Romanian students, Andreea, Maria and Cosmin, who danced well and acted the roles with enthusiasm!  Lauren, I think, has found another a talent as a (very amusing) presenter!!  It was, of course, a real treat to have Sergei dancing the pdd from Don Quixote with Akane, and a great way to round off the evening (Sergei – please don’t be a stranger to London!).   As I said, the whole evening was a delight.  It was so easy for us to buy tickets and go along and be thoroughly entertained but I’m sure it involved a huge amount of work by all to organise, and for such a good cause.  Massive thanks to all. 

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First of all, congratulations to Alina for organising such a successful evening. If you read the Arts Desk interview with her you will get some idea of what a huge amount of organisation it involved and it must have been such a worry when she and Johan and later Vadim (and, I assume, Daria) all sustained injuries. The Rose Adagio did not appear in the programme and I suspect that the decision to dance it was only made at the last minute. Not surprisingly, in view of Alina's injury, it wasn't quite as good as we have come to expect of her (and was it altered slightly?). The "classical" pdds (Beauty, Cinderella and DQ) all felt a little flat. I found the duet from Danish Dance Theatre mesmerizing. It was so liquid and flowing, and the man lifted his partner as if she were no heavier than a doll. Incredible. Les Lutins, with some stunning dancing from Steven McRae, and Xander Parish's comic but exhausting solo probably garnered the most applause. I loved Isabelle C's classy Dying Swan solo as well.

 

I snapped up a couple of signed photographs of Alina - a bargain at £10 each.

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Pleased to say that Dave Morgan snuck in yesterday afternoon to take pictures of the preparations and practise runs for the Gala. Many thanks to Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg for allowing us access. Here are 4 pictures from a gallery of 27...

 

 

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Alina Cojocaru

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

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Andreea Barzescu, Maria Mamara, Cosmin Marinescu

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

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Erina Takahashi

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

 

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Sergei Polunin, Akane Takada

© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

 

See more...

Alina Cojocaru Gala - Pictures of preparations & rehearsals by Dave Morgan

Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr

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It was overall an amazing evening, everything was close to perfect; the only piece I could criticise would be the Don Q pas de deux by Akane and Sergei, and really only because the Mikhailovsky performances are fairly fresh in my memory.

The Rose adage in the beginning was indeed a very nice bonus, I have never seen Alina dance Sleeping Beauty, but if it's not quite as good as usual, I really hope she will be cast in the next run (although I think Johan had said she wouldn't dance it with the Royal anymore :().

My highlights were Ballet 101 and Les Lutins, which are more or less the best you can expect in an evening of this format, short fun displays of virtuosity which you would pretty much never see anywhere else. I also loved the Dying Swan by Isabelle Ciaravola.

 

I was also very surprised that the evening wasn't full, I wonder if all the injuries the dancers sustained before have something to do with it.

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A frog, I agree with you about the Don Q pdd. Sergei is a wonderful dancer with a beautiful physique but he couldn't match the passion, verve and excitement of the less aesthetically pleasing Ivan. Similarly, Akane couldn't match Natalia (can anyone?). It's unfortunate for S&A that I&N's performance is so freshly burned into our memories. I was a little disappointed with Vadim and Erina's Beauty pdd, as they had both really impressed at their Coliseum performances. There was a lack of chemistry and their performance was a little subdued. I don't know whether they have danced together before. Obviously Vadim was supposed to have danced with Daria. It just shows what a difference it makes if dancers have a regular partner. It was interesting to see the pdd from Wheeldon's new Cinderella. The choreography was attractive but not stunning IMO. Despite Matthew Golding's height (he looks to me to be 6 foot tall at least) I felt that his partner was too tall for him and that his partnering was not as smooth as it should have been. I know that some nationalities prefer their ballerinas to be tall but I feel that it is difficult for even the tall men to partner ballerinas 5 foot 8 plus tall and that it is less aesthetically pleasing in the pdds.

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There's not much left to add really. As usual we all have our different favourites - mine were Flower Festival, Ballet 101 and Les Lutins, especially Steven McRae. Whilst the pdds were not all tip top I still enjoyed them in their different ways. I was disappointed with Isabelle Ciaravola's Dying Swan - memories of Marianela's version are still fresh in my mind. The children from Bucharest were delightful and 11 year old Cosmin Marinescu is a someone to watch out for in the future I feel.

 

I hope that Alina's wish of raising lots of money for the Hospices of Hope is fulfilled. She organised a lovely evening.

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  • 6 years later...

Hello! After six years, Cosmin Marinescu has selected to participate at Prix de Lausanne 2020!  :)At present, Cosmin is student at Ballettakademie der Wiener Staatsoper. The news, here: https://www.prixdelausanne.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Selected-candidates-list-PDL2020_31.10.2019.pdf Best regards, Alex Marinescu

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