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Subject: "Ondine - First night" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #169
Reading Topic #169
Bruce Madmin

20-07-99, 12:16 PM (GMT)
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"Ondine - First night"
   Not a review - just some initial casual thoughts...

Good bits...
loved the story (it is of course totaly daft!) Quite fast moving. Easy to discern what is happening.
the sets and costumes are quite elaborate and glorious in a 1950's way. I assume they are either the 50's originals or close copies. Beware: I liked the Birthday Offering costumes, which everybody else hates...
choreography is inventive - should keep us all amused for hours. (Forgive me Sir Fred...)
rolling seas effects. Felt quite giddy in the front row.

Less good bits...
a bit under rehearsed
music is definitely not easy listening - probably the biggest drawback
shipwreck not as good as the Kirov Le Corsaire (a benchmark in this respect I think!)
long intervals and short acts (lots of scenery to move)
for a first night the audience seemed strangely underwhelmed

Viviana seemed to capture the strange nature of Ondine, but this is my first viewing, so only time will tell. Be interesting to hear from others how it compares with the last outing. Inaki did himself some good again.

I usually find that Ashton pieces grow on me and that first off I'm not sure about them. Rather worryingly I liked this and am looking forward to seeing more...

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Ondine - First night Stuart Sweeney 20-07-99 1
     RE: Ondine - First night penny jenkins 22-07-99 2
         RE: Ondine - First night Rachel 23-07-99 4
     RE: Ondine - First night Kevin Ng 23-07-99 3

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Stuart Sweeney

20-07-99, 01:19 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Ondine - First night"
In response to message #0
   I share Bruce's enthusiasm for 'Ondine' which I also saw last night. I loved it, although it's true that it is not without its quirks. I agree that the male 'lead', Urlezaga replacing Cope, does well, but it is almost a pure partner and mime role. Also, the short, second Act on the ship is interesting with good theatrical effects, but has little dance.

The rest is wonderful. Durante was superb and used her amazing hands and arms to great effect. Shi Ning Liu as the Underwater God gets far more dancing than Urlezaga and was terrific, bringing great technique, style and gravitas to bear on a very difficult part. But all the parts, including those for the corps, are difficult and someone was telling me that the dancers are finding it very tricky. It also calls for some of the fastest dancing I have ever seen in classical/neo-classical ballet.

I am strongly tempted to go and see Yoshida in the role, as I think that her technique and ability to project vulnerability and emotion could be extremely effective as well.

Have to say that I liked the music, but most of the serious music I listen to is from the 20th Century. So I am a bit peculiar in this respect, as well as many others.

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penny jenkins

22-07-99, 04:11 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Ondine - First night"
In response to message #1
   Saw Durante Wednesday. I thought she was magnificent the way she conveyed the strange quality of Ondine - both haunting and dramatic. She certainly brought the whole production and the role to life. She was so committed to the role and deserves high praise for her performance. Her technique was wonderful as well and on her Sadlers performances so far, seems to really be blossoming since her ABT guesting. She is a great artist. I am sure Wildor will be excellent as well.

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23-07-99, 12:04 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Ondine - First night"
In response to message #2
   I saw Sarah Wildor last night (Thursday), and thought she was excellent. It was great to see her dancing with Adam Cooper as well. Campbell McKenzie gave a strong performance as Tirreno, as did Belinda Hatley and Ricardo Cervera in the Act Three divertissement.

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Kevin Ng

23-07-99, 00:18 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Ondine - First night"
In response to message #1
   Since I cannot be in London to see it this time, I am interested to know how the revival this year compares to the last revival in 1988. I remember that Ashton himself revived it then, and the lead roles were taken by Maria Almeida and Dowell. (Gelsey Kirkland was injured at the last minute and didn't dance her scheduled performances.) I was very impressed.

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