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The Royal Ballet, Manon, Autumn 2014


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Incidentally, unless I'm miscounting, Yanowsky was wrong when she said in that YouTube clip that she didn't dance Manon until she was 32 - if she was born in 1975 and first performed it in 2005 she'd have been 29 or 30. Which is still pretty late for someone who had been a principal for several years already and was known as a strong dramatic ballerina, but not quite as bad as 32.

 

I am assuming that Yanowsky's height has a lot to do with this, and the difficulty of finding a partner?  I think she is nearly 2 inches taller than Bussell.

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According to the ROH database, Yanowsky and Bolle danced Swan Lake in 2005 and 2009 and La Bayadère in 2007. I wonder if Bussell was supposed to do the pas de deux at the Jubilee performance and had to be replaced, because it seems a bit weird to have had a Spaniard and an Italian dancing for the jubilee when there was a home-grown British ballerina available.

 

No Zenaida didn't replace Bussell in the Jubilee performance  - The RB were about to start a tour in Australia a day or two after Jubilee and the company were already in Australia.

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And yes, I'm sure Yanowsky and Bolle have danced together before.  Didn't they do Sylvia together?  Actually, that may have been him and Bussell.  Or both.

I think she was partnered by David Makhatelli?  There were only 3 couples cast initially: Darcey & Jonny Cope, Marianella and Rupert Pennefather and Zen and David.  I'm pretty certain that Bolle didn't dance in Sylvia until the second run of performances when he replaced the newly-retired Cope.  Prior to Sylvia in 2004, she did get cast as Odette for several performances and was partnered by Cope.  I think Darcey was on maternity leave at the time and Guillem had given up Swan Lake by then. 

 

But until that chance she had been playing roles like Carabosse and the Empress Elizabeth presumably because she was/is such a good actress and the powers that be didn't see her in the classic tragic heroine roles.  Thank goodness she finally got her opportunity to do Manon.  I'd like to see her as Larisch next.

 

Linda

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Yup it was with Makhatelli all the times she did Sylvia

 

I am assuming that Yanowsky's height has a lot to do with this, and the difficulty of finding a partner?  I think she is nearly 2 inches taller than Bussell.

 

Gosh what a shame. But seeing what a tall and expressive partner could do for her, I suppose I see the value in waiting. Then again Cope could have easily been her DG too, no? Is there traditionally a size bias for Manon herself? I guess I can see the bias against her doing a diminutive teenage Aurora or Juliet (which I would still die for her to do anyway), but Manon doesn't come across as a 'small' woman on paper.

 

For the record, I'd also love to see her do Hermione!

 

The fact that she hates/is scared of rats, I think :)

 

Haha! I should've been more perceptive!

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I hadn't noticed that at all, thank you for pointing it out!! MacMillan truly was genius. So much of the last act echoes the first that I really wish I had the chance to see it a few more times. If I'm not wrong the music in the Gaoler scene copies that of the bedroom pas de deux (at least it sounded very familiar), and even the quill has an intentional repeat appearance? Also I don't know the symbolism of having the ballet start with a seated Lescaut, but it seems poignant indeed. Then there's the ratcatcher who Manon recoils away from both at beginning and the end, who symbolizes... ?

 

As Jenny mentioned it's a delight to relive the night through others' takeaways! Many random but amazing little touches are coming back to mind, even as the raw emotion of it fades all too quickly... Yanowsky cheekily tugging on Bolle's coat tails for one last kiss, him scoping out the port in a surprising ac of chivalry before letting her descend the gangway. And he particularly impressed me with this one gesture in the bedroom pdd where he gives her a double take. The choreo is such that he looks at her, then away, then at her again in the space of a few seconds, and in the first look Bolle is beaming, and in the next, his face is suddenly completely serious as if he's so passionate for her it hurts. I know it sounds like the smallest thing but the fact that he bothered to tweak and interpret this.. 3 second choreography for his head, well it's pretty awesome.

 

Was the Queen's Jubilee black swan pdd the only other time Yanowsky and Bolle danced together..?

Lyn, if you look higher up on this thread somewhere I posted up an interview I did with the wonderful David Wall (creator of the role of Lescaut) who had some very interesting things to say about the making of Manon, including why they started the ballet with him sitting silent and still in the middle of the stage!

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Gosh what a shame. But seeing what a tall and expressive partner could do for her, I suppose I see the value in waiting. Then again Cope could have easily been her DG too, no? 

 

I don't think so.  I'm not sure he did any Des Grieux once Guillem had left.  He was down to dance it with Benjamin in the autumn 2005 revival, IIRC, but then pulled out.  Not sure that he was injured, and it was before his motorbike accident, I think.

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