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English National Ballet - Le Corsaire, 2013/14


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The long awaited new production of Le Corsaire opens today at the Milton Keynes Theatre with Alina Cojocaru sparkling as Medora. Here are a few pictures of the first night cast from yesterday's photo call.

 

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Lankedem - Dmitri Gruzdyev, Medora - Alina Cojocaru the Pasha and Pasha's Assistant - Juan Rodriguez 
 
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Vadim Muntagirov - Conrad and Alina Cojocaru - Medora 

 

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Yonah Acosta, Erina Takahashi, Alina Cojocaru and Vadim Muntagirov 
 
More pictures from the rehearsal on www.johnrossballetgallery.co.uk
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John:  Excellent!  All very colourful, with no sign of their having stinted on the costumes - and with Miss Cojocaru in the middle, somewhat elevated at 5 from the end, every bit as high as Miss Osipova, I'd say.  The Pasha is not named, I see - could he be Michael Coleman, who has appeared in lots of character roles for ENB these last years?  I think a trip to Oxford may be needed at the end of the month.

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A couple more photos to brighten up an autumnal day!  :-)

 

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Villagers and Pirates - led by Yonah Acosta and Crystal Costa
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr


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Medora & Conrad (Alina Cojocaru & Vadim Muntagirov)
© Dave Morgan. Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr



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Set from DanceTabs: Corsaire - English National Ballet
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr
 

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We loved so much that going to see it again. Anyway yesterday we wanted to see Alina Cojucaru and she was fantastic and now we know why some of this forum members admire her so much. I could take my eyes off her with those fantastic pirouettes. The boy who played Ali (Junor Souza) was genial and in one of his high jump we nearly caught him and we were sitting in the circle. Today is Miss Rojo and can't wait.

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I’d been looking forward to seeing this very much because at last I’d get a chance to see Miss Rojo perform live, often when you go in with high expectations you come out disappointed (and vice versa) but not this time. With the exception of two or three minutes of sheer horror (I’ll come back to this!) I was grinning throughout the performance. Sometimes at the end of a ballet performance I have to ask myself ‘did I really enjoy that?’, no question this time, no doubts in my mind  :).

 

I’ve not seen a Le Corsaire before, either live or recorded, so I don’t know how much is new or the same as all the other versions (and excuse me if I get some of the character names wrong).

 

Act one has lots of great ensemble and individual dancing. Lovely individual and trio dances by the Odalisques (that’s a new word for me) and fun dances from Birbanto, though it must be hard dancing with a sword tucked down your waistband :o .

The Pasha was played very amusingly and great cheeky dances from Gulnare (Lauretta Summerscales) and Medora (Tamara Rojo). These two teased the Pasha the whole way through.

 

Act two – what can I say other than wow! Beautiful, simple set, lovely Pas de Trois with some great solos, and for me (and Mrs Timmy) the stand out was Joan Zamora as Ali. Miss Rojo was superb as expected and did not disappoint my very high expectations for her.

 

Act three, now for the moment of my personal horror, opened with the net curtain / scrim curtain down (I hate these things :angry:) and I had the nightmare that it would stay down for the whole of the drug induced vision scene, but, thankfully, after two or three minutes of nice projections on the screen and one simple dance behind the screen it lifted to reveal my favourite thing in ballet, a stage full of brightly lit, tutu clad, carefully posed dancers ready to go! And go they did, this was the best part for me, I won’t try and describe it because words fail me. It made very good use of small children (cute!), flowered hoops (as in The Sleeping Beauty) and Miss Rojo still dancing pretty well (read superbly (again)). The final rescue involved a dropped and quickly recovered sword, I hope nobody cut their toes!

 

The last few minutes on the ship was nice but could probably do with some improved lighting as it was behind the scrim and not as clear as it could be, and the final 30 seconds could do with something added as it was not clear that the ballet had actually ended. These very minor observations aside I enjoyed the ENB Le Corsair immensely (still grinning this morning).

 

I’ll quality my final comment by saying I’m very far from appreciating or recognising the finer technical points of ballet but I do know what I like and this performance has gone into my top three of most enjoyed performances so far this year – right after ‘The Flames of Paris’ with Vasiliev and Osipova.

 

That was supposed to be my final comment, but I’ve just remembered the costumes. Literally and figuratively brilliant! The Pasha’s outfit and those of his entourage were dazzling, when they settled down on the right of the stage in the first act that whole corner glowed! The Odalisques’ tutus were beautiful and the little children’s costumes in act three, so cute!

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It is rare to read comments on here which exude such pure joy. Thank you, Timmie.

 

Let's hope that people's undoubted pleasure at seeing Le Corsaire translates into good, full audiences throughout the tour. The critical reviews which are starting to come through look like they might help also.

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With the exception of The Nutcracker and schools matinees, I have seen very few children at *any* performance of *any* ballet. However, at Sadler's Wells on Wednesday evening there were several groups of teenagers who had clearly been brought by teachers (and dance teachers?). I was intrigued to see so many groups. Can they all have been there for the GCSE dance syllabus which, Spanner has told us, features Still Life? One large group of over 20 teenagers in smart school uniforms was half boys and half girls. I wonder how the schools (and dance schools?) found out about the programme. Did Sadler's Wells or BRB mailshot them?

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Where were the children indeed. My granddaughter who is 11 loved very much. The Friday night was as delightful as the night before and whenever I thought I could attend ballet 2 nights consecutives!!!. I did very much so. The music was not for a minute boring and the costumes beautiful. Well done and congratulations ENB. The choreography must be seen. Can't find more praise, maybe one more. Joan Ramoza delightful and pure, wish to see him again.

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Am so pleased Joan Zamora has been noticed.

This young man had to study ballet a long way from home in another country and eventually won a scholarship to the senior Royal Ballet school. He has only recently started his career with ENB so to hear that people have already picked him out is a lovely end to his story. I bet his parents who live in Columbia would have loved to have seen him!!!

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It is rare to read comments on here which exude such pure joy. Thank you, Timmie.

 

Let's hope that people's undoubted pleasure at seeing Le Corsaire translates into good, full audiences throughout the tour. The critical reviews which are starting to come through look like they might help also.

 

Thanks Capybara, pure joy probably does capture how I felt, I'm pleased my words could convey that.

 

Am so pleased Joan Zamora has been noticed.

This young man had to study ballet a long way from home in another country and eventually won a scholarship to the senior Royal Ballet school. He has only recently started his career with ENB so to hear that people have already picked him out is a lovely end to his story. I bet his parents who live in Columbia would have loved to have seen him!!!

 

I thought "surely if his parents live in Cumbria they could go and see him?" Then I read your post again... :)

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With Michaela DePrince, originally from Sierra Leone and now, after Dance Theater of Harlem, dancing in Amsterdam, Joan Zamora from Colombia was one of the youngsters featured in the "First Position" documentary about the YAGP competition of 2010, from which he won his RBS scholarship:

 

http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/3516-first-position-ballet-documentary/

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With the exception of The Nutcracker and schools matinees, I have seen very few children at *any* performance of *any* ballet. However, at Sadler's Wells on Wednesday evening there were several groups of teenagers who had clearly been brought by teachers (and dance teachers?). I was intrigued to see so many groups. Can they all have been there for the GCSE dance syllabus which, Spanner has told us, features Still Life? One large group of over 20 teenagers in smart school uniforms was half boys and half girls. I wonder how the schools (and dance schools?) found out about the programme. Did Sadler's Wells or BRB mailshot them?

I was surprised by the number of children on Wednesday - I'm in my early 30s and seemed to be one of the younger people in the 2nd circle, very different to the previous 2 ballets I'd been to at SW. What was really lovely was to hear how enthusiastic many of them were in the intervals.

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Superb dancing, beautiful costumes, phenomenal sets - all in all Le Corsaire at Milton Keynes [saw it Fri evening with Alina] was just amazing. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Timmie has described it really well. We're still grinning and happy here too!

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