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Subject: "Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec." Archived thread - Read only
 
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Kevin Ng

07-01-01, 05:05 PM (GMT)
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"Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
 
   After seeing the Kirov Ballet resplendent in Balanchine's "Jewels" last summer, it was a pleasure to see this Balanchine triptych again danced by the Paris Opera Ballet which had only danced "Rubies" on its own previously. This new Parisian production was staged by Karin von Aroldingen and Sara Leland from the Balanchine Trust who were both responsible for the Kirov's production seen at Covent Garden, as well as Malin Thoors.

And more newsworthy were the gorgeous sets and costumes designed by the renowned Paris couturier Christian Lacroix. Lacroix's simple sets are effective, while his elaborately embroidered costumes are a visual treat.

The opening "Emeralds" set to a selection from Faure's music was Balanchine's tribute to France, the cradle of classical ballet. The whole piece was lushly danced by the Paris Opera company, exuding the fragrance of a rich perfume. Isabelle Guerin, the etoile who was off last season and who will be retiring later this year, was splendid as the first ballerina in both performances. Guerin has guested before with New York City Ballet and is of course attuned to Balanchine's style. She danced stylishly the first solo (La Fileuse) which was full of epaulement and upper body flourishes. In the first pas de deux Guerin was splendidly partnered by Jean Guillaume Bart on 30 December and by Nicolas Le Riche on the following night. Bart's clean dancing contrasted with Le Riche's more charismatic presence.

No less fine as the second ballerina was etoile Fanny Gaida who had an irresistible charm. In the second solo (Sicilienne), Faida's quick footwork had wit, and her dancing captured the romantic yearning of the music. In the pas de trois, sujet Christophe Duquenne excelled in the intricate series of jumps, which he danced with legato.

In the main ballerina role of "Rubies", Delphine Moussin lacked the flair and brilliance shown by Kirov star Diana Vishneva in London last summer. However, Manuel Legris who danced with an easy throwaway charm as the gang-leader, was superior to the Kirov danseurs (Vyacheslav Samodurov and Andrian Fadeyev), and dazzled in the virtuosic fireworks. The corps de ballet was delightful and caught the wit of the hip-thrusts in Balanchine's off-balance choreography. Delphine Baey and Marie-Agnes Gillot alternated as the second ballerina who was manipulated like a puppet by four cavaliers.

In "Diamonds" I saw two casts - Marie-Agnes Gillot and Nicolas Le Riche on 30 December, and Agnes Letestu and Jose Martinez on New Year's Eve. Gillot's dancing was slightly light-weight, and her limbs could not sharply etch the shape of the phrases in the choreography, though she had a warm purity in the pas de deux with Le Riche. Le Riche was crisp and sharp in his solos, and his brises were impressive.

More satisfying was the other cast. Agnes Letestu's legs had more power in adagio. Jose Martinez was breathtaking in the series of multiple pirouettes which he executed 'sur place' without budging a little. And they brought out more poetry in the pas de deux.

The Paris corps de ballet danced magnificently, but somehow there was more resonance in the Kirov's rendition of "Diamonds", Balanchine's tribute to Imperial Russia.

There will be further opportunities to see "Jewels" during the Kirov's Covent Garden season next summer. And the next programme to be performed by the Paris Opera Ballet will be Pierre Lacotte's reconstruction of the entire ballet "Paquita" in late January.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Catherine 07-01-01 1
     RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Kevin Ng 08-01-01 2
         RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Naoko S 08-01-01 3
             RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Catherine 08-01-01 4
                 Paquita Kevin Ng 08-01-01 5
                     RE: Paquita Catherine 09-01-01 6
                         Jewels- John Percival Estelle 09-01-01 7
                             RE: Jewels- John Percival Sue 09-01-01 8
     RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Larry M. 09-01-01 9
         RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Catherine 09-01-01 10
             RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Larry M. 09-01-01 11
                 RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Sue 10-01-01 12
                     RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Catherine 10-01-01 13
                         RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Larry M. 10-01-01 14
                             RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Kevin Ng 11-01-01 15
                             RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Catherine 11-01-01 16
                             RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Sue 11-01-01 17
                             RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Catherine 11-01-01 18
                             RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Larry M. 11-01-01 19
                             RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Catherine 11-01-01 20
                             RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec. Catherine 11-01-01 21

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Catherine

07-01-01, 07:37 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #0
 
   I have the luck to see Vishneva and I don't find her so amazing, she's terribly classical, her arms are too classical but she raise more legs than Arbo or Moussin. It's not by "Chauvinisme" but I prefer Moussin and Arbo. And Moussin was terrific on the evening of 30.
Against I prefer the old costum by Karinska and the sets of Kirov with this stared night.
I think Kirov dances faster than POB and it makes too many for Corps de ballet. I always find POB dance too slowly. Some etoile dance quickly as Dupont, Legris, Maurin, Loudières or Gaïda, but the most part of dancer dance more slowly.


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Kevin Ng

08-01-01, 11:30 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #1
 
   Interesting comment, Catherine. I didn't find however that the Kirov danced this Balanchine ballet any faster than POB, though the Kirov's tempo was noticeably slower than New York City Ballet's.


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Naoko S

08-01-01, 09:34 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #2
 
   Kevin & Catherine,

You guys were really lucky to have seen both productions by POB & Kirov! ... and your posting has almost made me decide I should go out & see Legris in whatever role he takes!

Honestly, Catherine, do you know when he is casted for Paquita? I seem to remember someone posted about it in a POB thread some time ago - according to the then available info. it was 25; 27; 29 & 31 Jan. Is this still relevant?


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Catherine

08-01-01, 10:02 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #3
 
   Theorically it's always his dates except he could change for some reason I don't know. But at the moment he dances it with Aurélie Dupont.


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Kevin Ng

08-01-01, 10:51 PM (GMT)
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5. "Paquita"
In response to message #4
 
   Catherine, but do you think it will be Aurelie Dupont? I heard in Paris last week that she was still injured.


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Catherine

09-01-01, 11:26 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Paquita"
In response to message #5
 
   Someone said that Aurelie prefered to create Paquita than dance Rubies because she was not completely fine after her injury. i don't know if she always dance but at the moment of Jewels she must it.


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Estelle

09-01-01, 02:11 PM (GMT)
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7. "Jewels- John Percival"
In response to message #6
 
   Perhaps it has already been posted elsewhere, but here is the URL of a review of "Jewels" by John Percival in "The Independent":

http://www.independent.co.uk/enjoyment/Theatre/Dance/Reviews/2001-01/dancejewels050101.shtml

Unlike most of the people who have posted here (and unlike myself), he seems to have preferred Le Riche and Gillot in "Diamonds" rather than Letestu and Martinez.


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Sue

09-01-01, 07:00 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Jewels- John Percival"
In response to message #7
 
   Dupont/Legris are listed to dance the premiere of PAQUITA on Thursday, Jan. 25, and again two nights later (Jan. 27). Letestu/Martinez dance the second night (Jan. 26). Marie-Agnes Gillot will also dance the leading role....and (I think) Clairemarie Osta too?


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Larry M.

09-01-01, 07:25 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #1
 
   The difference between Kirov and POB in Jewels is perhaps not so much the speed, but rather the phrasing and the accentuation of the movements. Many of the more gymnastic Kirov dancers, including Vishneva, are losing time and dynamic by their exaggerated positions, for instance raising their legs too high.

I understand what you mean, Catherine, but to call Vishneva "classical" is somewhat like considering Van Gogh an impressionist. I am with you, though, that she was seriously overrated in this ballet and did much to vulgarize it.


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Catherine

09-01-01, 09:59 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #9
 
   I'm agree with you. It's for me like Le Riche who jumps as russian dancer too high and lose rythm, and it's not really musical. Always russian dancer raised their legs and it was always sometime "vulgar". I prefer the dancer as Aioupova or Assylmouratova, even a Makhalina had other thing that all this young generation of Kirov Ballerinas who seems to think only technic and forget emotion.


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Larry M.

09-01-01, 10:43 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #10
 
   Absolutely Catherine, the ballerinas you rightly mention are luckily still around to remind us that the Kirov Ballet is more than just bland gymnastics and freakish extensions. And as the performances by Delphine Moussin, and before, Aurelie Dupont have amply shown, the ballerina's part in "Rubies" doesn't have to be cheap and vulgar. The role can be funny and dazzling, but remain stylish at the same time. Maybe the worst thing about these young Kirov dancers like Vishneva is that they lack personality.


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Sue

10-01-01, 03:15 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #11
 
   Thanks to Kevin Ng for another thorough and well-thought-out review. It is the next-best-thing to being in there myself. Bravo!

Catherine & Larry - I'm not sure that it is right to categorize Diana Vishneva as 'vulgar' or 'lacking in personality.' To me, Ms Vishneva is personality-personified among the Kirov ballerinas. She is not old-fashioned, cold and academic, but neither is she a technician-for-technique's-sake, a-la Zakharova, Volochkova & a few others. Anybody who has been privileged, as I have, to see Vishneva's Giselle will never-ever lump her in the same category as "The Gymnasts."

To me, Diana Vishneva is to the Kirov what the fabulous Agnes Letestu is to POB - a true artiste who is also a sassy modern woman, not ashamed to flaunt her extraodinary beauty (long legs and all) or personality. Agnes & Diana make balletgoing a joy in the 21st century!


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Catherine

10-01-01, 03:48 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #12
 
   I'm not agree with you about Vishneva for me even she belongs to the Kirov, she has more Bolchoi style. For me Kirov ballerina are not at all this kind of dancer. Kirov style is nearest POB style than Bolchoi and before, even ballerina always raise legs, she doesn't all raise legs at the same level than Guillem. They want all dance as Sylvie but she's the one and only like that. And other are pale comparison.
I don't see unfortunately Vishneva in other rules than Rubies but for me she didn't understand Balanchine, it remains a french critic who said about POB dancers some years ago for a Balanchine programm "Balanchine au pays du sourire", "Balanchine at the smile land". Balanchine is not just smile. It's to be also sexy girl especially in Rubies. I find the pdd a few erotic. It's not just a serial of raise of legs and "poses". Aurelie Dupont as Delphine Moussin or Carole Arbo this year understood very well what Balanchine wanted in this ballet.
Letestu has other thing than Vishneva and I can't compare the technical and alife Vishneva to Letestu especially in Balanchine Ballets and when I saw her performance in Diamonds no comparison are possible for me naturly.


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Larry M.

10-01-01, 08:02 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #13
 
   I quite understand your admiration for Diana Vishneva, Sue, but with all respect, I really don't see any similarity between Vishneva and Agnès Letestu. Sorry, that's a bit comparing cider with vintage champagne. Besides, when it comes to "flaunting" their legs, Letestu only does it when it's required or apt, Vishneva does it all the time (Not to mention the difference in manner in which it's done.)

I would rather agree with Catherine when she says that Vishneva's style is untypical for the Kirov. When Vishneva danced her Giselle some commentators stated it was a performance more fitting for Mats Ek. You may have liked it very much, but it has very little to do with the Kirov.


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Kevin Ng

11-01-01, 11:24 AM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #14
 
   Catherine, I don't understand why you think Diana Vishneva is unsuited to Rubies. After all, she was picked by the Balanchine Trust to be in the first cast when the ballet was premiered in St. Petersburg, and I read in a piece in the Daily Telegraph by Ismene Brown that Barbara Horgan of the Balanchine Trust was well pleased with the Kirov's London performances of Jewels last summer.


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Catherine

11-01-01, 03:01 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #15
 
   Perhaps Vishneva was agreed by Balanchine Trust but it's not because she was choosed, she was absolutely Balanchinian dancer. She can dance the choreography with a certain style but not the balanchinian one. Balanchine trust agreed always dancers, I never heard at POB that a dancer was refused by the Trust contrary at the dancers choosed for Robbins Ballets. Robbins choosed the dancer and at the end didn't want them in their ballet for example Letestu, Martinez or Quilleré. It's strange now he is dead, they give rules to dancers who never was choosed by him.
And the complete Jewels by Kirov were fine and could pleased to Balanchine Trust.


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Sue

11-01-01, 04:10 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #16
 
   With regard to Diana Vishneva's Balanchinean style, she was hailed by many New Yorker critics & fans as the "next Patricia McBride" after her TCHAIKOVSKY PDD with V. Samodurov, at the November 1997 gala at New York State Theater. The same words were heard after she danced SYMPHONY IN C - 3rd movement, at the Met in June 1999. It is little wonder that, when the Balanchine Trust set about to cast the Kirov's 'Rubies,' they chose Vishneva to dance the role that was created by McBride.

You must remember that there was no one style of Balanchine Ballerina - McBride (cute & perky; sunny; shorter) and Farrell (very tall & mysterious; melancholic; aloof) were very different dancers. Vishneva is the perfect McBride Type.


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Catherine

11-01-01, 06:07 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #17
 
   It's not the same between Tchaikovsky pdd and Rubies, anybody dancer can dance it very fine and Palais de Cristal third movement seemt to be not gift to the same kind of ballerina, when you compare Letestu and Vishneva which make both this movement. The first time I saw Palais de Cristal it was Loudières as third mvt near of Mc Bride physical or Gaïda too.
For me it exist two balanchine style of ballerina the little technical speed as Mc Bride and the tall and large dancer as Farrell, Kistler and so on.
She could dance other ballet better than Rubies, but I don't love at all in Rubies, how I see above it's not because Balanchine trust gift to someone able to make the pas. At the Opera all the etoile dance Balanchine and they are not all Balanchinian.


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Larry M.

11-01-01, 06:30 PM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #18
 
   I agree with Catherine, it's an illusion to consider everyone who appears in a Balanchine ballet to be really suited for Balanchine. When one objectively considers the performances of Zakharova, Vishneva, Ayupova, Platel, or Maurin in the Tchaikovsky Pas de deux, the differences are enormous, and yet they were all approved by the Trust. What makes the fundamental difference here is that some of these dancers have a sense of style, a quality of movement, while others just turn the pas deux into a cheap circus piece. Yet, they were all accepted by the Balanchine Trust. Strange isn't it?

Kevin, talking about the Maryinsky, do you believe that the Trust picks out the artists who will dance first night, or is it rather the company who makes the first selection?


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Catherine

11-01-01, 06:56 PM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #19
 
   I completely agree with you Larry

I don't know how it's at Kirov but at POB, it's Dance direction who choose dancers and after they rehearse with the dancer sent by Balanchine trust. And How I say no dancer was refused by Balanchine trust what is not the case with Robbins at POB. Now he's dead, they put in cast all the dancer even if they are not for the rule. How I say, Letestu was never choose by Robbins and now she must appears in except one time for Glass pieces creation but it's a modern piece of Robbins.

I have the feeling Balanchine Trust looks if the ensemble is correct and if the choreography is respected (no changing of steps, addition of variation) but they don't seem to judge the soloists.
It seems they judge if all the dancers have the look for a rule, they choose the same kind of dancers for Rubies, for Theme and variation, for Serenade or other ballet. If you look at the POB, they don't give Rubies to Maurin who can raise leg, or to Gillot or Letestu who are to tall, they give it to Guérin (some years ago), Moussin, Dupont, Arbo or Fiat. They are effectivly the Mc Bride fast technic style. (But to compare Mc Bride and Vishneva, Mc Bride have something who has not at all Vishneva). For Tchaikovsky pdd they give it to the two styles of Balanchinian ballerinas.


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Catherine

11-01-01, 07:08 PM (GMT)
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21. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet's Jewels- 30,31 Dec."
In response to message #20
 
   LAST EDITED ON 11-01-01 AT 07:12 PM (GMT)

Some POB dancers says to me that to have Balanchine ballet it's just necessary to pay Balanchine Trust to have a ballet. And some dancers choosed by Balanchine trust doesn't dance it because POB Dance direction doesn't want they appear in this ballet.

I think Balanchine Trust look just if ballet is as at the creation and look at ballerina bodies look same at the creation. When you see a Balanchine pieces by POB, NYCB, ROH, without compare interpretation or style, dancer has exactly the same look. They don't cast a little "fat" dancer in the rule of a tall and thin dancer and it's the same for ballerina. After they have style or not.
Rubies is not a circus pdd, it's not just raise legs and smile, it's to be sexy. It's always a little technical dancer as principal and a tall and large dancer for the solist girl. The man is general a little dancer speed dancing.


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