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Subject: "Guillem in Aus Ballet Manon.." Archived thread - Read only
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Valerie Lawson

02-11-01, 07:25 AM (GMT)
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"Guillem in Aus Ballet Manon.."
Just had the following come in from (the lovely!) Valerie Lawson...Ed

Tonight in Melbourne, Sylvie Guillem and Laurent Hilaire are to dance the fourth of four performances of Manon at the Melbourne Festival, as guests of the Australian Ballet. With tickets priced up to $A179, the program has been a winner for the festival and the company.

The season was a relatively late addition to the festival line up, as the Australian Ballet was supposed to be in London in late October with its production of Graeme Murphy's Tivoli, but the trip was cancelled for cost reasons.

Present at the opening night in Melbourne was Lady Deborah MacMillan, the widow of Manon's choreographer, Kenneth MacMillan. She told guests she was pleased with the energetic AB production which has sets by Peter Farmer, unlike the Royal Ballet's version designed by Nicholas Georgiadis.

MacMillan praised AB ballet mistress, Wendy Walker, for her coaching of the ballet which has been in the repertoire here since 1994. She told this writer that MacMillan had a cinematographer's eye - he liked the crowd scenes in the ballet to resemble a film, in which the audience focussed on one part of the action. Some Manon productions were distracting, with the dancers developing bits of business - attempting their own little versions of a three act ballet up the back.

Guillem, who earned a standing ovation on Tuesday night, is to return to Australia next June, when, with the Royal Ballet, she will dance Marguerite and Armand. Having seen Guillem in Manon, I feel disappointed for London audiences that they will not see her in Onegin, another ballet in which the heroine matures from girl to woman. Is there a possibility, though, that she will be cast as the dangerously sexy heroine in Mats Ek's Carmen at Covent Garden next April?

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  RE: Guillem in Aus Ballet Manon.. Ophelia 04-11-01 1

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04-11-01, 01:53 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Guillem in Aus Ballet Manon.."
In response to message #0
   I saw the 1st of Nov performance of Manon. It was a fine performance by the whole company, but I was a little disappointed. Having seen it performed by the AB a few years ago, I couldn't help but compare the individual performances. Guillem's dancing and acting brought so many subtleties to the role that I had not seen before. Hilaire really didn't live up to my expectations. I had not seem his dancing before, but his performances really wasn't anything to talk about.It was technically assured, but it lacked the drama and desperate emotions his role requires.

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