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Subject: "ENB Triple Bill" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2421
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14-01-02, 11:07 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail PhilipB Click to send private message to PhilipB Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
"ENB Triple Bill"
   Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the ENB's Triple Bill tonight. A welcome change from the turgid weeks over the holiday season on the London ballet scene...

Having heard all these good things about Double Concerto I was pleasantly reassured to find it wasn't garish, but simply full of fun and joy. The audience were very appreciative. The male corps are a bit rough but the women were superb and those black outfits seemed to remind me of kinky rubber or leather outfits, but that may have just been me...

As usual, Edur and Oaks were exemplary in the undemanding Apollo; even in the pas de quatre sections where they are not focusing on being in step with each other, their synchronicity is remarkable to behold. As Graham Greene wrote - "the unassumed carelessness of familiarity".

The final piece, Who Cares?, didn't quite work as well for me; I found the piece a bit flat, surprising given the Gershwin music they had to work with. The orchestra seemed to leave some of the fizz in the bottle somehow. Having said that - Begona Cao, a mere Junior Soloist, was a revelation in her pas de deux and solo pieces - lively, light, exuberant and with fantastic feet - just what the piece, and the evening as a whole, required. Watch out for her in the future.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: ENB Triple Bill AnnWilliams 15-01-02 1
     RE: ENB Triple Bill PhilipBadmin 15-01-02 2
         RE: ENB Triple Bill- review Kevin Ng 26-01-02 3

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15-01-02, 10:03 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail AnnWilliams Click to send private message to AnnWilliams Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: ENB Triple Bill"
In response to message #0
   'Edur and Oaks were exemplary in the undemanding Apollo'

er...Apollo undemanding, Philip? The piece may be undemanding for the Apollo figure (Balanchine wrote the role for the then young and inexperienced Lifar) but for the three muses it is anything but undemanding! (Try doing a solo on pointe with your finger to you lips the entire time...)

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15-01-02, 10:53 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail PhilipB Click to send private message to PhilipB Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
2. "RE: ENB Triple Bill"
In response to message #1
   Fair enough, and I was duly impressed by them and enjoyed it all thoroughly, but I was actually commenting on the parts where Edur and Oaks need to be together (sometimes on their own, sometimes with the other muses), as distinct from any other aspect of the piece. This IMHO, is *relatively* undemanding, compared to, say, Onegin and Tatiana's dream pas de deux where their "one-ness" is key to convey the "true" love she feels. Already.

It's all relative - one can presume that nothing at this level is actually easy! I didn't have any other aspect of the dance in mind at all when writing this.


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Kevin Ng

26-01-02, 04:19 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Kevin%20Ng Click to send private message to Kevin%20Ng Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
3. "RE: ENB Triple Bill- review"
In response to message #2
   The English National Ballet ended the last week of its London Coliseum on a high note. The week began with a superb triple bill consisting of two Balanchine ballets "Apollo" and "Who Cares?"; and sandwiched in between was Christopher Hampson's "Double Concerto" which received its London premiere.

It is no mean tribute to Hampson's craftsmanship as a choreographer that his new ballet set to Poulenc's music held its own in the company of those two Balanchine masterpieces. Previously I had only seen one of Hampson's works for ENB - his "Country Garden" on one of the company's small-scale tours. This new ballet confirmed what I had admired in Hampson, who is one of the few young choreographers today who finds inspiration from the classical vocabulary. Hampson has an ease and fluency in deploying the classical steps to show off the soloists and corps de ballet at their best. It is rewarding to see a large part of the company being utilised in this ensemble piece.

This work has a solemn air in its formal structure, and exudes a classical grandeur. A recurring pattern are the diagonals in the processions for the corps which at times recall the grand pas from Petipa's "Paquita". In the slow movement the circular patterns traced by the female corps are pleasing.

The pas de deux was beautifully danced by Monica Perego and Jan-Erik Wikstrom. Hampson has deployed a lot of 'promenades' and lifts for the couple. In the final movement Perego dazzled in the pointe work in her solo which was full of 'echappees' and 'pique' turns.

Both the Balanchine ballets were staged for ENB by Nanette Glushak. "Apollo" follows the current New York City Ballet version without the prologue depicting Apollo's birth. Thomas Edur danced the young god with his usual nobility, but somehow it wasn't a particularly moving performance which lacked some poetry. I last saw Apollo danced by the Kirov Ballet at Covent Garden last summer, and Andrian Fadeyev's transcendant performance is still stuck in my memory. Agnes Oaks put in too many unnecessary facial expressions as Terpsichore. However Elisa Celis and Sarah McIlroy danced decently as Polyhymnia and Calliope respectively.

Fortunately ENB gave a glorious performance of Balanchine's "Who Cares?", illuminating Balanchine's masterly setting of the classical ballet steps to Gershwin's Broadway showbiz music. Dmitri Gruzdyev was outstanding as the principal man and shone in the three pas de deux and his solo. Monica Perego danced sharply the third solo full of 'fouette' turns. Sarah McIlroy and Begona Cao were radiant in the other two solos. It was a perfect ballet to send the audience home happy.

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