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Subject: "POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #683
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Catherine

05-05-00, 10:52 AM (GMT)
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"POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
 
   Hello, I'm staying in Paris, I must go to Manchester and I can't could people who gets to Manchester give their impression about POB' Bayadère and say which dancer they saw.
Thanks of your feelings.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Theresa 06-05-00 1
     RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Marie 06-05-00 2
  RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Catherine 06-05-00 3
     RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Terry 06-05-00 4
         RE: POB 26 - Eleonora Abbagnato Kevin Ng 07-05-00 5
  RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Bruce Madmin 07-05-00 6
  RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Helen 07-05-00 7
     RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Catherine 07-05-00 8
         RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Helen 07-05-00 9
             RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Tomoko.A 07-05-00 10
                 RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Ann Williams 08-05-00 11
                     RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Eugene 08-05-00 12
                     RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Catherine 08-05-00 13
                     RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Catherine 08-05-00 14
                         RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Ann Williams 08-05-00 18
  RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Marie 08-05-00 15
  RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Trog Woolley 08-05-00 16
     RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Catherine 08-05-00 17
  Review: POB on Friday night... Bruceadmin 08-05-00 19
     RE: Review: POB on Friday night... Michael Montgomery 09-05-00 20
         RE: Review: POB on Friday night... Bruce Madmin 10-05-00 23
     RE: Review: POB on Friday night... Simone 09-05-00 21
         RE: Review: POB on Friday night... Bruce Madmin 10-05-00 22
             RE: Review: POB on Friday night... Michael Montgomery 10-05-00 24
                 Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best? Eugene Merrett 10-05-00 25
                     RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best? Michael Montgomery 10-05-00 26
                     RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best? Catherine 10-05-00 27
                         RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best? Michael Montgomery 10-05-00 28
                             RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best? Catherine 10-05-00 29
                             RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best? Michael Montgomery 10-05-00 30
                             RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best? Kate R 10-05-00 33
     RE: Review: POB on Friday night... Ann Williams 10-05-00 31
     RE: Review: POB on Friday night... Ann Williams 10-05-00 32
         RE: Review: POB on Friday night... Helen 11-05-00 34
             RE: Review: POB on Friday night... Stuart Sweeney 11-05-00 35
  RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester Sergei 11-05-00 36

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Theresa

06-05-00, 03:31 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #0
 
   I, too, would like your opinions on POB, especially regarding the infamous Eleonora Abbagnato. There seem to exist only extreme opinions on her. Michael Montgomery, for instance, says on his website: "Abbagnato, a blonde Sicilian, in my opinion has the potential to be one of the greatest French ballerinas of the next century. I know this is a very strong statement to make, but honestly, when I watched her dance – I fell completely in love with her. A rare talent indeed." (Incidentally, I did not know of M.M. until today.) René Sirvin is equally enchanted with her.

On the basis of three live performances (Passeport pour Roland Petit where she danced La mort, Spring in Cinderella, and Florine in Sleeping Beauty), I tend to agree with Marie and Catherine: she seems to be more eager to pose than dance. I see no abandon or passion, and she does not seem to "need" to dance. (As for her technique, I have not seen anything diabolically hard and cannot comment.) It is as though she is constantly looking at herself through the eyes of others and trying to be a "ballerina".


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Marie

06-05-00, 03:53 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #1
 
   Well said,Theresa!


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Catherine

06-05-00, 07:06 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #0
 
   Hello english fans, How you can see Abbagnato is not really love by french amators what do you think about her. How she must dance Gamzatti. I'm worrying because she's not really technically strong especially for all fouettés, tour à l'italienne, regarding as Gamzatti's coda.
Could someone answer and put in critics about every casts of Bayadère. What do you think about your new étoile Jean-Guillaume Bart, do you love Gaïda, Is Aurélie Dupont or MArie-Agnès Gillot who dance Gamzatti. What do you think about these dancers. I'm waiting for your feelings


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Terry

06-05-00, 09:08 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #3
 
   From what I've been hearing through the media, Abbagnato seems to be a somewhat overrated as a dancer. This does not mean that she doesn't have nice qualities in her dancing. When I saw her in her school performance of Daphnis et Chloe, I saw some nice feminine aspects of her. But aren't there other dancers in the POB who deserve to be equally promoted as she is being done....this is how I feel. Although I have not seen her performances recently, I never got the thought that she would be the next French ballerina of the century, although dancers do continue to develop. Still, I didn't see a kind of sparkle in her like I saw with other dancers of her generation (when they were still in their teens) including Tan Yuan Yuan and Diana Vishneva. But she seems to have a very nice personality as a person, and that is very important in a dancer. I would also love to hear some reviews about her Gamzatti role.


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Kevin Ng

07-05-00, 00:51 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: POB 26 - Eleonora Abbagnato"
In response to message #4
 
   LAST EDITED ON 07-May-00 AT 12:06 PM (GMT)

Eleonora Abbagnato actually danced Gamzatti in Manchester on Saturday afternoon, according to Michael Montgomery, as a last-minute change of cast. Did anyone see her?
This 21-year-old dancer certainly has a lovely physique - long limbs, high extension. I only saw her last year in the Forsythe ballet "Pas/parts", and in the Spring divertissement in "Cinderella" last month, and haven't seen her yet in a major role. She also demonstrated the role of one of the two ugly stepsisters of Cinderella in the "Passeport" on 15 April at Opera Bastille.


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Bruce Madmin

07-05-00, 08:32 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #0
 
   Well I got there on Friday and will be putting my thoughts down... but later I'm afraid.

Lots of us have seen them - just trying to find time and space to record it properly. There seems so much to say!


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Helen

07-05-00, 11:32 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #0
 
   I saw Bayadere on Saturday afternoon at the Lowry, and was enchanted! I have never seen the full length Bayadere before, except on video - only the Shades scene when Nureyev brought it to London in 1963. (Ah, memories!)

Le Riche danced Solor; very good technically, with excellent elevation, but in my eyes he somehow lacks elegance. Apologies to his many fans, but I thought the same when he danced Armand. Eleanora Abbnagato - very interesting to see this beautiful young girl in her debut as Gamzatti. She looks almost too sweet and innocent. At first she seemed to be dancing well, but, as predicted, she was not really able to cope with the technical demands of the coda. Inexperience showed, but nevertheless I felt she had a style that may develop well.

Elisabeth Platel was Nikiya - ah! I had long wanted to see her, and she did not disappoint me. What elegance, what style, what beauty! To me, a perfect ballerina, the best I have seen for a very long time. I feel ballerinas are sometimes at their best at this age (about 40), when they no longer need to prove themselves, and have refined their personal style.

I was also very impressed by a young sujet, Miteki Kudo, in the "Danse Manu" (with the water pitcher).She performed this solo with great charm, strong personality and good timing.

The corps de ballet was exquisite in the Shades scene, scenery and costumes throughout superb. A wonderful afternoon.


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Catherine

07-05-00, 11:45 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #7
 
   Thanks Ellen for your comments. I want just to precise that Miteki Kudo is not a young sujet for our companie because, she is thirty years old, and she entered in the company in 1986. But I agree completely with you to say it's a beautiful ballerina. And at the Opera's annual concours, she could became première danseuse instead of Laetitia Pujol who danced very well, but she'sn't the beautiful artist who is Kudo. She never could became premiere danseuse because for POB direction she is too old.
Which dancer makes three shades, the Gold Idol, the fakir and the indian soloists.
Platel for me was a superb ballerina, she has what belongs just to this kind of "old" ballerina, something other.


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Helen

07-05-00, 07:29 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #8
 
   I'm Helen, not Ellen!

Perhaps the fact that Kudo is not so very young explains her assurance and aplomb. It seems a shame not to promote her because of her age. Other parts were: Shades - Nathalie Aubin, Pujol, Muriel Halle; Golden Idol - Gil Isoart; Fakir - Bertrand Belem; Indian soloists - Cardinale, Elizabe. I felt all of them were acceptable but none outstanding, except perhaps Belem. The tempo of Aubin's variation was excessively slow, which made it seem a bit jerky. Isoart slipped at the end of the Golden Idol variation, but disguised it quite well. In spite of these mild criticisms, I enjoyed every minute.


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Tomoko.A

07-05-00, 11:55 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #9
 
   I saw the Saturday evening performance. I got back from Manchester this evening. So no time to write a review as I'm tired now. But with regard to Kudo, I was pleased to see her for the first time. Catherine, sorry to hear that she won't be promoted further. She must have been under pressure through her career, being a daughter of Pointois.


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Ann Williams

08-05-00, 00:55 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #10
 
  
I was in the lucky position of being able to see the matinee and the evening performances of POB's Bayadere yesterday, and both were superb.

Nicholas Le Rich danced Solor in place of Laurent Hilaire at the matinee, and I felt privileged to have seen him. I don't think I've seen a better Solor; he danced smoothly and powerfully with seemingly effortless, soaring jumps (there were gasps in the audience during his first solo) and, furthermore, he paid the audience the ultimate compliment of appearing to be enjoying himself. I loved him. As his Nikiya, Elizabeth Platel almost made me cry; she was heartbreaking. Here, you felt, was a real woman suffering real pain at the loss of her lover, and when she pointed her finger accusingly at him before she died, I felt shivers going down my spine. Platel has a kind of beauty and dignity that, for me, typifies perfection in a ballerina. I started out loving Eleonora Abbagnato's Gamzatti but as the performance went on my ardour cooled. Technically, she seemed proficient - to me at least, but I'm no expert - and her acting was decent enough, but there was a lack of flow in her movements and her steps failed to 'melt' into each other, which gave an impression almost of stiffness. As I see from the above postings, she is very young and it could be that she just lacks experience. But one mustn't forget that it is quite an achievement for such a young woman to hold a stage as large as the Lowry's in a debut performance, so there is obviously much promise there.

The evening brought Jean-Guillaume Bart as Solor, and I would have thought he was perfection if I hadn't seen Le Riche in the afternoon. It was a very assured performance and I thought he had the acting edge - just - over Le Riche. Agnes Letestu was a lovely and touching Nikiya, but again it was difficult to blot out the memory of Platel in the role. This was not a question of technique, I think. Letestu is a wonderful dancer, but she didn't have quite the same imperious authority as Platel (or does not yet have; this may be another question of experience). Aurelie Dupont, as Gamzatti, however, was simply dazzling on all counts. A star was born before my eyes. She seems to have it all - technique, beauty and dramatic intelligence. In her second act solo she all but brought the house down with one unsupported pirouette where she seemed to think 'oh, I'll go a bit slower here just for fun because I'm quite enjoying myself...' The audience started to clap while she was still turning, something I normally consider vulgar but I very nearly joined in this time. I'm a Dupont fan now, and will watch her career with eagerness.

Other dancers I loved were Miteki Kudo in 'Manu' in both performances; sweet, funny and technically superb, and in the variations in the 'Shades' scene at both performance, Nathalie Aubin (at least I think it was her; rather older than the other two dancers) was simply lovely. There wasn't much to choose between the two golden idols - Gil Isoart at the matinee and Emmanuel Thibault in the evening - because they were both technically thrilling but Thibault was so camp in his acknowledgment of the applause and so apparently reluctant to leave the stage that he made me laugh.

As for the corps in the Shades scene, I can hardly say more than I thought them at least the equal of the Kirov corps. They danced as one from the moment the first girl appeared on the ramp until their final encirclement of Solor and Nikiya, and considering the stamina and concentration required for this, I think POB should be very proud of them.

As regards Nureyev's lavish and detailed production, I am lukewarm about it. It may be a faithful reflection of the Kirov's version of his youth, but it seems to me to be too full of naive 'Russianisms' such as drum-banging red indians and chocolate-coloured kiddies to suit today's more sophisticated tastes. This does not, however, take a jot from the performances of POB's miraculous dancers. I salute them.


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Eugene

08-05-00, 09:35 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #11
 
   I cannot comment on the performance but in my view the best think about the production are the sets. In my view the best ever seen in ballet!

Nureyev choreography is fine but not as amazing as critics have led us to believe. See my reveiw of it - go to home page on this site and click on videos


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Catherine

08-05-00, 10:13 AM (GMT)
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13. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #11
 
   I'm happy of your comments. I think Aurelie Dupont is the best dancer of the POB. She's young, she has beauty, technic and musicality. The only thing what it missed to her was the play but now how she's an etoile, she could play. I think it's the future Loudières or Pontois. I think really it's the greatest ballerina of POB. Platel is genious too, Agnes Letestu was a few cold, she dance very well but she's not playing.
I prefer Bart but I understand that Le Riche must attract more than him. Please continue to give your comments Eugene you could say something too


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Catherine

08-05-00, 10:19 AM (GMT)
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14. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #11
 
   Some precisions
Aubin was older than Pujol but younger than Hallé. Did you see the three same shades matinee and evening ?
Pujol is the new premiere danseuse instead of Miteki Kudo you're enjoyed it as Manu.
She looks more and more to her mother, she has something of brigting in this moment and I'm very sad to think she never could be premiere danseuse because she must be it when we lool at her last concours where she dance with more sensuality Nikya's second act variation, variation with flower's basket


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Ann Williams

08-05-00, 11:05 PM (GMT)
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18. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #14
 
   Catherine

The casting of the three Shades was: Matinee - Aubin, Pujol, Halle: Evening - Aubin, Pujol, Fiat.

I definitely think the dancer I was referring to was Aubin. There is a posting over on Ballet Alert which also comments admiringly on her.


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Marie

08-05-00, 10:26 AM (GMT)
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15. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #0
 
   Michael Montgomery's website is very nice,you'll find for example a beautiful portrait of Aurélie Dupont.

http://perso.club-internet.fr/p5067/danceparis/


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Trog Woolley

08-05-00, 11:09 AM (GMT)
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16. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #0
 
   lots has been written about the dancers and I agree pretty much with what is written, so I'll put down my thoughts on the set.
The set and costumes are lovely, especially the scene in the Sultans palace. The illumination in
the domed ceiling works very well. The decoration looks as I imagine a genuine palace to be. I did expect to see much more of the elephant (especially as it features in just about every photo I've seen of the production). I'm not saying I wanted to see more of Nellie but I expected too. The front of the temple looks good to with fine attention to detail. Weathered and worn stonework, really added to the realism.
I especially liked the costumes for the fan and bird dancers; nice and bright and very festive. Some of the birds looked a bit limp (ie dead, esp the Norweigian Blue) but that is just a minor quibble.
I reckon the Bolshoi did a better job of the mountain scene (they had three ramps rather than just one). I imagine this is a very difficult set to build and I guess if they use one ramp it is much simpler. Looks far more spectacular on three though.
Nice production. Pity about £5 for the program though. Bit OTT I reckon.


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Catherine

08-05-00, 12:42 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #16
 
   Just two people say what they think about Bayadère's dancer could you say your mind about them because set and dress are the same in Paris and we know they are wonderful. The cast in Manchester is a few different of what we saw in PAris. The last time Aurélie Dupont made Gamzatti, she was première danseuse again, three day after she was étoile but I think she was different of now. Do Someone see Legris and Gaida, because we have just critics about Le Riche, Platel ?
I'm waiting others comments about all the cast and all the solists. Thanks


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Bruceadmin

08-05-00, 11:15 PM (GMT)
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19. "Review: POB on Friday night..."
In response to message #0
 
  
The Lowry:
If you have seen pictures of the Guggenheim in Bilbao then you get the idea of the architecture for the Lowry - anything but a rectangle. It's position is out of town, isolated, overlooking water: a very 21st century building.

Inside it becomes a little more normal and there are good amounts of circulation space for everybody. Beware the marble floors on the inclines if you are wearing leather soled shoes though - potentially very slippery. Inside the theatre it becomes even more 'normal' and less obviously modernist. The seats are comfortable but I'm not sure if the rake in the stalls is at all sufficient - worrying in a new theatre. I was also about 8 or 9 rows back in the stalls and could only just see the dancers' feet - there seems to be some lighting or something else that sticks up a little above the stage. So don't sit in the first few rows if seeing pointe shoes in contact with the floor is important to you.


La Bayadere Design:
Quite simply the most sumptuous, rich and gorgeous designs I've ever seen. Awe inspiring and generate a sense of occasion in their own right. The fabrics, the Moorish painting on the set - all reek of quality. Brilliant.


La Bayadere Production:
In its Kirov roots this differs a fair bit from the RB La Bayadere by Makarova. The main difference is that The Kingdom of the Shades act is the last with the wedding coming before hand in Act 2. And because it's Nureyev there seems to be more work for the boys than 'normal'. Personally I think the Makarova production works better in a dramatic sense but I'm not going to get up-tight about it. And I do like having the Red Indians in and the little black/chocolate children. Although heavily politically incorrect the fact that they wear such obvious chocolate costumes make it almost fancy dress. I suppose this does not mean it's OK politically, but my conscience was clear in enjoying it.


Paris as a company
Wow! Like the Kirov and Bolshoi the joy of a large company is that there is a tremendous feeling of strength in depth and that nobody has to be pressed into service because the numbers aren't there. What this means is that any group of dancers are the same height and are so well drilled it all goes off as I believe it should. It's a whole new level of group perfection.

Another thing I noticed was what long necks they have! Paris heads seem much higher and the neck muscles/tendons are much more clearly defined. It's a strange look, but I guess if you saw them regularly you would get used to it.

Technically Paris are indeed a jump ahead of RB and the British companies. But there is more to dance than that and their dramatic skills are not so well honed at all. More in the next section


Paris Principals
First I have to say I have only seen POB twice, plus the occasional guest appearance of some principals in the UK, so feel free to discount my response...

With the exception of Sylvie Guillem I have yet to see a Paris Ballerina I really warm to and who thrills me. Elisabeth Maurin, Agnes Letestu and now Fanny Gaida and Aurelie Dupont all leave me with a feeling of amazing technique but little ability to grab me and *move* me.

There is an aloofness and almost a feeling that the ballerina is there to show her technical accomplishments foremost and the story is there as a little light relief and to support the better showing of such technique. Now this might well be not what's intended but it is the way that it comes over to me I'm afraid. I long to see a Paris ballerina really get inside a role and just let go, and *act*, and let the limbs do what they know how to do anyway. I can certainly see why Guillem enjoys working with RB given her devotion to the dramatic side. I'd be interested to hear from our POB friends if, extensions aside, they notice Guillem has a different approach to her roles when she dances in Paris. Perhaps the feeling in Paris might be that she grossly overacts now!

Dupont, as Gamzatti, was the best actress on the night and very stately in her technique - there was an unforced roundedness in her precision and she used her face much more than the others. Gaida just seemed to look sullen, although she cheered up in her final dance before the snake gets her. I assume she is supposed to look happier because she is privately recalling the good times with Solor, but it has much more the look of a dancing girl trying to please any Rajah the way dancing girls do. Somehow it looked so inappropriate.

Solor was danced by Manuel Legris. He still covers the ground incredibly well - in a technically sharp company he still looked above it all. However he and Gaida seemed not to be comfortable together and one early swallow lift whet horrible wrong when Gaida, far from being held horizontally above him, ended up vertically upside down, her underwear all on show and her skirts covering both their heads. It's been a few years since I saw principals get a lift so wrong.

The Grand Brahmin was Laurent Queval - he seemed to do all his acting with his eyes. This is not a good idea.

Conclusion
In view of the above you might be surprised to hear that I was so glad I caught POB and would like to see much more of them. As a company they are an amazing spectacle and with their different traditions show other ways of putting on a show. Well done to the Lowry for bringing them over - I think it ought to be a regular fixture...


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Michael Montgomery

09-05-00, 02:07 AM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Review: POB on Friday night..."
In response to message #19
 
   Dear Bruce,
Thanks for your review, I read it with great interest.
It's funny, I had the same reaction as you the first time I saw the company - cold!
But I must say I've noticed a gradual thawing over the past 5 years(on occasion reaching boiling point), especially in the younger generation; perhaps the increased contemporary rep. is responsible for this.
I seem to remember Sylvie being bagged as cold when she arrived in London, but her subsequent artistic development is not at all deemed over the top by Parisian audiences - rather more as the pinnacle. Perhaps Marie-Claude Pietragalla would get under your skin too.
And as for the cast you saw - she's consistently like that,(I didn't say the name, but I think you know who I mean)sorry to say.
I couldn't agree with you more concerning more regular cross-channel performances.

It sounds like you really enjoyed it, I'm glad.

Regards - M.M.


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Bruce Madmin

10-05-00, 00:29 AM (GMT)
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23. "RE: Review: POB on Friday night..."
In response to message #20
 
   >Dear Bruce, Thanks for your review, I
>read it with great interest. It's
>funny, I had the same reaction
>as you the first time I
>saw the company - cold!

Interesting! - I wish I had expressed it like that in my words.

Also interested that the company has got 'hotter', though I also suspect your eyes have got used to them as well.

I always remeber everybody talking about Mark Morris and saying how uterly marvellous his company was... while I really thought it all rather poor. I just could not see what others saw. And then a penny dropped and suddenly I saw much more. It may be the same with Paris - though I would never, ever, say they were a poor company! They are a marvellous company - just need to read "An Actor Prepares" a bit more!!!! (a joke in rather poor taste I know)



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Simone

09-05-00, 11:33 PM (GMT)
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21. "RE: Review: POB on Friday night..."
In response to message #19
 
   I feel you went to see Paris Opera Ballet, looking for faults, P.O are the greatest company in the world at this moment in time. I have seen Bayadere danced by P.O on numerous occasions, Fanny Gaida is a wonderfull dancer and a very good actress, Dupont is not the best etoile as she has'ent matured yet, but in time I believe she will become a star in the true sense.
Legris, yes maybe his face is a little deadpan, but he is a true classical dancer, oh''' for dancers like him in the Royal.
Long necks what are you talking about, the correct proportion of a classical dancer---
small round head-- LONG NECK short body long legs good arms, not too long, the P.O dancers without the correct physic will never make it into the school and unfortuantly for many youg dancers although they make it through the school, on graduation they are not the perfect shape, they are not invited into the company.
hopefully one day in the near future Paris will be invited to London, with ballets both classical and modern, maybe they could bring over Le Parc, Romeo and Giselle then you will be bewitched by the company, and spend time in Paris, seeing the marvellous repertoire, they have, which includes marvellous acting skills and the dance all one can say PURE MAGIC.


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Bruce Madmin

10-05-00, 00:17 AM (GMT)
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22. "RE: Review: POB on Friday night..."
In response to message #21
 
   >I feel you went to see Paris
>Opera Ballet, looking for faults,

Not so. I just report what I see and the effect it has on me. I have no wish to go to a performance and not enjoy it or just be there to pick faults.

> P.O
>are the greatest company in the
>world at this moment in time.

That's a point of view. How do you know this is true? I just don't think things are ever that simple.

I'm perplexed by the Paris Principals too - I have *never* seen another company where I saw 4 balerinas and not one really moved me. I didn't plan this - it's just the way it seems to have worked out. Now it may be that the next time I see Paris I will really be uterly captivated by those in the lead roles. And perhaps not....


>I have seen Bayadere danced by
>P.O on numerous occasions, Fanny Gaida
>is a wonderfull dancer and a
>very good actress,

Sorry but on Friday I didn't see a good actress - perhaps she was having not such a good night?

But its wider than one person. The company is rich in technique but does not seem so rich in dramtic ability I think. In the crowd scenes for example the dancers don't look so confortable just standing around acting and making the story come alive. The British companies do this well.... but are not so good technically. Acting is important to us I think and just as Paris seems to have such a great stress on technique we put more stress on telling the story with realism.

Now becuse you see Paris lots you are probably really happy with the balance of technique versus dramatic ability. I'm just saying my point of ballance is different.

>Dupont is not
>the best etoile as she has'ent
>matured yet, but in time I
>believe she will become a star
>in the true sense.

Strangely the critics here raved about her. Certainly on Friday she put on a good show.

>Legris, yes
>maybe his face is a little
>deadpan, but he is a true
>classical dancer, oh''' for dancers like
>him in the Royal.

Agreed. But oddly I never criticised him on his dramatic abilities - only praise from me, other than as a partner where things, for reasons I do not understand, were not as they should be.

>Long necks
>what are you talking about,

er.. I'm talking about long necks compared to others I see!

>the
>correct proportion of a classical dancer---
>small round head-- LONG NECK

One of the things I find fascinating is the different looks of companies - the Russians are often thin and pared down, NYCB's strong legs, NDT's strong torsos. Companies are different and I just noticed that Paris have strong and long necks. I'm sure you must see differences as well when you see other companies. There is no wrong or right, just what we are used to and have seen elsewhere. Ballet is about look and I reported on a different look.


>short
>body long legs good arms, not
>too long, the P.O dancers without
>the correct physic will never make
>it into the school and unfortuantly
>for many youg dancers although they
>make it through the school, on
>graduation they are not the perfect
>shape, they are not invited into
>the company. hopefully one day in
>the near future Paris will be
>invited to London, with ballets both
>classical and modern, maybe they could
>bring over Le Parc, Romeo and
>Giselle then you will be bewitched
>by the company, and spend time
>in Paris, seeing the marvellous repertoire,
>they have, which includes marvellous acting
>skills and the dance all one
>can say PURE MAGIC.

I'd love to see them in London. Love to see them in Paris too. I'm not saying they are not a great company - they clearly are, and I said that, but they are different to my essentially UK eyes. If RB danced in France I'm sure you would note lots of differences too, some postive and some negative. I'm also not saying that the Royal Ballet is better than Paris. They are different beasts.



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Michael Montgomery

10-05-00, 01:58 PM (GMT)
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24. "RE: Review: POB on Friday night..."
In response to message #22
 
   Very well rebutted Bruce, it seemed clear to me you loved the company.
As for "my eyes may have got used to them" I think this is unavoidable. But your "perhaps seeing different things" made me realise something, which I hadn't thought about in that way before - thank you.

You are right in your recommendation for literary research!


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Eugene Merrett

10-05-00, 03:59 PM (GMT)
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25. "Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best?"
In response to message #24
 
   I think that ones preference for or against Paris Opera Ballet dancers is really in the realms of personal taste!

The serene aloofness of Parsian dancers is not to everones taste. I suspect that for us who are brought up of English dancers and their great sense of theatricality and stage charisma, the Parisian dancers are hard to get use to. After seeing say Leslie Collier in say La Fille Mal Gardee then adjusting to the Paris style is even harder!!!!

Likewise I am sure that many French ballet goers find the English dancers acting style distracting and irritating. This can be evidence by the critiscm a French person (sorry but I cannto remember your name!) on this site made about Viviana Durante in her video performance of Sleeping Beauty. What I liked about her performance, the French person disliked. I wonder what the Parisian audience would make of Leslie Collier.

I personally do not like the French style that much but I do understand it. I think they are really good at Balanchine and Robbins but I prefer other company style for the classic.

Again I should strongly emphasize that this is a matter of personal taste and is a subjective as ones preference to a particular body type, or food, clothes etc.

I would like to think that our more gentle dance style is typical of our more restrain gentle culture which gave Jane Austin, Constable, Elgar and of course Ashton. And the more serious French is typical of French intellectual stengths which gave the world Flaubert, Balzac, Debussy, Monet etc. But I think I might be talking nonsense here!!


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Michael Montgomery

10-05-00, 05:41 PM (GMT)
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26. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best?"
In response to message #25
 
   Eugene, You are so right concerning personal taste.
Actually, I think the Parisian audience would have loved Collier; especially in Ashton's "Fille" which the majority of have never sadly, ever seen.
There exists a wide chasm of ignorance between the two traditions, that I would get great personal pleasure out of seeing disappear.
For example, I agree with your call that they are excellent exemplars of Balanchine/Robbins.
I don't think you are nesesarily talking nonsense concerning the stylistic differences. Of course the cultural instinct shapes the stylistic and intellectual expression; well, that's my opinion.

And in defence of Bruce - he never said one was better than the other, he concluded that they were both "great" but completely different "beasts", which I consider to be the case.


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Catherine

10-05-00, 06:42 PM (GMT)
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27. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best?"
In response to message #25
 
   I read your comment with many attention. For me a good dancer of which nationality is he is a good dancer.
The difference is a School difference, a different repertory and a different tradition. I just saw one time Leslie Collier on stage in LArish Comtess in Mayerling but I saw often in video and I find to her a charm, a kind of purity, I like. I'm french, and I don't know if the POB is the greatest company. For each nationality his ballet is the greatest especially for the english and the french school. When we love really dance you must love all style. It's this style which makes taste's difference. I think french dancers are technically strong more than other dancer but often they don't know to act and it's important also to act.
It's strange Eugene but I don't say that POB dancers have american style for Balanchine perhaps for Robbins because he made them so repeat, was so hard with them, they can dance all repertory.
Every ballerina is good, I think it's an education question. When you saw always the same ballet school, you swear only by it, when you try to compare, you love the other repertory. I'm happy to say I love Ashton repertory. I know when POB dancers danced Rhapsody, english people say they don't have style, no importance, the ballet is technically interesting and for us french balletomanes we saw french dancer in english piece.
I'd like to see a month in a country or Mc Millan ballet staged on POB stage but it's a fact that french balletomane don't love english style and repertory. I find it very sad, because, it's really intersting to see all ballet. One ballet which please to french people is the Mc Millan Manon. But it's an acting ballet, I think POB dancer could act when it's true act story not like Bayadère or Swan Lake. In Romeo and Juliet, they are wonderful especially Loudières some years ago. French dancer are going to act too like Queval in Brahmane, I have the feeling he acts as at the old good time of no sound picture, all in the eye, eyes wide shut. It seems to me ridiculous. It's sad you could'nt see a retired dancer which was just coryphee but named Francis Malovik he knew how act in this rule.

Simone are you french ?
Je ne suis pas du tout d'accord avec vous, j'ai vu moi aussi un certain nombre de fois la Bayadère et si Fanny Gaida est lyrique, ce n'est pas réellement une actrice, de plus elle a pu avoir le trac de débuter sur une scène aussi grande que celle du Loowry. Aurélie Dupont est à mes yeux la meilleure danseuse de l'Opéra et je pense que maintenant qu'elle est étoile elle va oublier sa technique pour jouer complètement. Et je dois dire que depuis le début de la saison elle a été bluffante tour à tour en Ada (Le Concours), Aurore, Capriccio, Carmen, Casanova, je n'ai pas vu cette saison sa Gamzatti mais ce qu'elle en faisait la saison passée était déjà formidable.


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Michael Montgomery

10-05-00, 07:47 PM (GMT)
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28. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best?"
In response to message #27
 
   Je suis totalement d'accord avec vous concernant Gaida, mais pas avec Dupont; c'est trop en avance.
J'ai un preference pour Gillot, Pietragalla, Letestu, Guerin & Guillem!


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Catherine

10-05-00, 07:55 PM (GMT)
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29. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best?"
In response to message #28
 
   Il y a quelques mois je ne vous aurai pas dit cela, même si j'ai toujours beaucoup aimé Aurélie Dupont que j'appréciais essentiellement en tant que technicienne, mais comme je vous l'ai dit au vue de l'ensemble des prestations de cette saison elle est en train de devenir la meilleure danseuse de l'Opéra, elle ne l'est pas encore, mais ne va pas tarder à le devenir car je pense qu'elle a l'intelligence de la scène et sais travailler ce qui lui manquait anciennement, l'an passé elle m'a souvent déçue, cette année elle m'a littéralement emballée. Mais je dois dire que j'adore également Marie-Agnès Gillot qui est pour moi l'étoile de demain si elle trouve le partenaire idéal car elle est quand même un peu grande, Letestu danse très bien mais est souvent froide, je dois dire que je suis insensible à Guérin qui danse certes très bien mais ne m'émeut pas, quant à Guillem, elle est inclassable, tantôt je l'admire, tantôt je l'execre même si c'est certainement la meilleure danseuse du monde.
Aurélie Dupont devra faire ses preuves complètement sur les grands rôles tels Giselle mais l'Opéra ne lui a pas confié cette saison, j'espère que la direction lui permettra la saison prochaine d'incarner Juliette qu'elle meurt d'envie de danser comme toute ballerine. Mais techniquement parlant, c'est la meilleure de l'Opéra sans problème surtout lorsqu'on compare son Aurore avec celle de Letestu.


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Michael Montgomery

10-05-00, 08:36 PM (GMT)
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30. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best?"
In response to message #29
 
   J'espére!


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Kate R

10-05-00, 11:46 PM (GMT)
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33. "RE: Paris Opera Ballet - the worlds best?"
In response to message #30
 
   I am with you Michael, particularly on the "wide chasm of ignorance".


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Ann Williams

10-05-00, 11:02 PM (GMT)
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31. "RE: Review: POB on Friday night..."
In response to message #19
 
   > The Lowry: If you have seen
>pictures of the Guggenheim in Bilbao
>then you get the idea of
>the architecture for the Lowry -
>anything but a rectangle. It's position
>is out of town, isolated, overlooking
>water: a very 21st century building.
>
>Inside it becomes a little more normal
>and there are good amounts of
>circulation space for everybody. Beware the
>marble floors on the inclines if
>you are wearing leather soled shoes
>though - potentially very slippery. Inside
>the theatre it becomes even more
>'normal' and less obviously modernist. The
>seats are comfortable but I'm not
>sure if the rake in the
>stalls is at all sufficient -
>worrying in a new theatre. I
>was also about 8 or 9
>rows back in the stalls and
>could only just see the dancers'
>feet - there seems to be
>some lighting or something else that
>sticks up a little above the
>stage. So don't sit in the
>first few rows if seeing pointe
>shoes in contact with the floor
>is important to you.
> La Bayadere Design: Quite simply the
>most sumptuous, rich and gorgeous designs
>I've ever seen. Awe inspiring and
>generate a sense of occasion in
>their own right. The fabrics, the
>Moorish painting on the set -
>all reek of quality. Brilliant.
> La Bayadere Production: In its Kirov
>roots this differs a fair bit
>from the RB La Bayadere by
>Makarova. The main difference is that
>The Kingdom of the Shades act
>is the last with the wedding
>coming before hand in Act 2.
>And because it's Nureyev there seems
>to be more work for the
>boys than 'normal'. Personally I think
>the Makarova production works better in
>a dramatic sense but I'm not
>going to get up-tight about it.
>And I do like having the
>Red Indians in and the little
>black/chocolate children. Although heavily politically incorrect
>the fact that they wear such
>obvious chocolate costumes make it almost
>fancy dress. I suppose this does
>not mean it's OK politically, but
>my conscience was clear in enjoying
>it.
> Paris as a company Wow! Like
>the Kirov and Bolshoi the joy
>of a large company is that
>there is a tremendous feeling of
>strength in depth and that nobody
>has to be pressed into service
>because the numbers aren't there. What
>this means is that any group
>of dancers are the same height
>and are so well drilled it
>all goes off as I believe
>it should. It's a whole new
>level of group perfection.
>Another thing I noticed was what long
>necks they have! Paris heads seem
>much higher and the neck muscles/tendons
>are much more clearly defined. It's
>a strange look, but I guess
>if you saw them regularly you
>would get used to it.
>Technically Paris are indeed a jump ahead
>of RB and the British companies.
>But there is more to dance
>than that and their dramatic skills
>are not so well honed at
>all. More in the next section
>
> Paris Principals First I have to
>say I have only seen POB
>twice, plus the occasional guest appearance
>of some principals in the UK,
>so feel free to discount my
>response...
>With the exception of Sylvie Guillem I
>have yet to see a Paris
>Ballerina I really warm to and
>who thrills me. Elisabeth Maurin, Agnes
>Letestu and now Fanny Gaida and
>Aurelie Dupont all leave me with
>a feeling of amazing technique but
>little ability to grab me and
>*move* me.
>There is an aloofness and almost a
>feeling that the ballerina is there
>to show her technical accomplishments foremost
>and the story is there as
>a little light relief and to
>support the better showing of such
>technique. Now this might well be
>not what's intended but it is
>the way that it comes over
>to me I'm afraid. I long
>to see a Paris ballerina really
>get inside a role and just
>let go, and *act*, and let
>the limbs do what they know
>how to do anyway. I can
>certainly see why Guillem enjoys working
>with RB given her devotion to
>the dramatic side. I'd be interested
>to hear from our POB friends
>if, extensions aside, they notice Guillem
>has a different approach to her
>roles when she dances in Paris.
>Perhaps the feeling in Paris might
>be that she grossly overacts now!
>
>Dupont, as Gamzatti, was the best actress
>on the night and very stately
>in her technique - there was
>an unforced roundedness in her precision
>and she used her face much
>more than the others. Gaida just
>seemed to look sullen, although she
>cheered up in her final dance
>before the snake gets her. I
>assume she is supposed to look
>happier because she is privately recalling
>the good times with Solor, but
>it has much more the look
>of a dancing girl trying to
>please any Rajah the way dancing
>girls do. Somehow it looked so
>inappropriate.
>Solor was danced by Manuel Legris. He
>still covers the ground incredibly well
>- in a technically sharp company
>he still looked above it all.
>However he and Gaida seemed not
>to be comfortable together and one
>early swallow lift whet horrible wrong
>when Gaida, far from being held
>horizontally above him, ended up vertically
>upside down, her underwear all on
>show and her skirts covering both
>their heads. It's been a few
>years since I saw principals get
>a lift so wrong.
>The Grand Brahmin was Laurent Queval -
>he seemed to do all his
>acting with his eyes. This is
>not a good idea.
>Conclusion In view of the above you
>might be surprised to hear that
>I was so glad I caught
>POB and would like to see
>much more of them. As a
>company they are an amazing spectacle
>and with their different traditions show
>other ways of putting on a
>show. Well done to the Lowry
>for bringing them over - I
>think it ought to be a
>regular fixture...


Ann Williams


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Ann Williams

10-05-00, 11:24 PM (GMT)
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32. "RE: Review: POB on Friday night..."
In response to message #19
 
   I
>was also about 8 or 9
>rows back in the stalls and
>could only just see the dancers'
>feet

Bruce

I met Tomoko and her husband David at Saturday's evening performance and they were sitting at the front of the stalls and couldn't see the dancers' feet at all! A cruel disappointment, and one that surely could have been avoided if the Lowry staff had pointed this out at the time of booking.

And that's not my only grouse with the Lowry - there was no food at all available on Saturday, and many of us had travelled long distances and were hungry. Some packaged sandwiches were delivered mid-afternoon, but those of us who had looked forward to dining in the Lowry's boasted 'many bars and restaurants' were disappointed. The fact was that none of them were ready. The overwhelming impression was that the Lowry were quite taken by surprise by the numbers of people travelling long distances to see such a distinguished company as POB and it is difficult to avoid to avoid the suspicion that they hadn't a clue who the POB were in the first place. Sad.


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Helen

11-05-00, 08:17 AM (GMT)
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34. "RE: Review: POB on Friday night..."
In response to message #32
 
   Absolutely true about the lack of food. The leaflet that came with the tickets advertised at least two restaurants, with prices in one case, and they were even advertised in the programme. But they weren't there! It seems extraordinary that nobody let us know - they do, after all, have addresses for all postal or phone bookings. Virtually everyone I met had come from a distance, and everyone was hungry. I think they had plenty of complaints.


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Stuart Sweeney

11-05-00, 09:10 AM (GMT)
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35. "RE: Review: POB on Friday night..."
In response to message #34
 
   I would expect a few teething problems in a new venue and let's remeber that, unlike the ROH and Sadler's Wells, there was no existing organisation.

I did get the impression that the Lowry team are working hard to sort out these inevitable problems. On Sunday afternoon, there were plenty of sandwiches available when I arrived from London. Ahead of me in the ticket queue, was a man who had been unable to get through on the phone. He received an apology and a complementary ticket. Good PR! The cloakroom was closed, so the box office manager looked after my bag.

Very sorry to hear about the problems in te first few rows. My seat in the front of the Circle was the best I have ever had for a major dance event - high enogh to see the shape of the choreography and about half the distance from the stage compared with the Grand Tier at the ROH. A quick look round the Upper Circle and a chat with two, not very tall ladies at the back of the stalls, suggests to me that there is a high percentage of very good seats at The Lowry.


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Sergei

11-05-00, 02:32 PM (GMT)
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36. "RE: POB 26 - POB' s tour in Manchester"
In response to message #0
 
   I must have to admit that POB is the greatest company in the world at the moment.The Kirov and the Bolshoi are shades of what they used to be some decades ago.With the end of sovietism they have too much financial problems,the dancers are exploited and not motivated,they have lost the russian soul.Paris has the greatest school which produces the finest dancers so they have the greatest company.RB dancers are too heterogenous.RB is a shakespearian company which does Ashton and MacMillan but they don't know what is true classicism.It seems that they do classical repertory like it was Ashton or MacMillan.


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