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Subject: "ENB's Swan Lake" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #70
Reading Topic #70
Stuart Sweeney

18-06-99, 01:32 PM (GMT)
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"ENB's Swan Lake"
   So, don't keep us in suspense. Some brief (or longer) thoughts about the RAH production would be very welcome. In her review in the Evening Standard, Anne Sacks enjoyed it, but not as much as last time.

How was it for you?

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: ENB's Swan Lake Eugene Merrett 18-06-99 1
  RE: ENB's Swan Lake Bruce Madmin 19-06-99 2
     RE: ENB's Swan Lake Kevin Ng 19-06-99 3
     RE: ENB's Swan Lake Rachel Holland 19-06-99 4
         RE: ENB's Swan Lake Juliet Shore 20-06-99 5
  RE: ENB's Swan Lake Stuart Sweeney 24-06-99 6

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Eugene Merrett

18-06-99, 03:17 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: ENB's Swan Lake"
In response to message #0
   I think I might go again to it - the NYCB production has re-vitalized my interest in this work! But given that I may have said some things that may be considered less then praisworthy about Derek Deane I will have to book under an assumed name!

There is a picture of Derek Deane in the Evening Standard where he is lying between the legs of a standing ballerina. In the best jouralistic tradition the picture is titled "Thight Art". Another well though out pose by the ENB publicity department?

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Bruce Madmin

19-06-99, 07:31 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: ENB's Swan Lake"
In response to message #0
   The reason that reviews in the papers are slow was that there were two press nights (Weds and Thursday) and many journalists chose to go to the second or some both. I'll be doing a full review, but in a nutshell I still like the production, Tom Edur was what you would expect (brill prince), Margaret Illmann did not do so much for me (I think she had probs with the floor as well), but Tamara Rojo sparkled (in both roles). Her prince, Patrick Armand, did not - he must injured in some way (surely!).

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Kevin Ng

19-06-99, 12:30 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: ENB's Swan Lake"
In response to message #2
   Bruce, I so envy you being able to watch the second cast of Rojo and Armand on Thursday, while I had to fly back to Hong Kong that afternoon. Still I did watch Rojo in Hong Kong last month, and am impressed by her expressiveness and iron-clad technique in the double role. Rojo is my favourite Odette-Odile in this ENB production, and I prefer her to Illmann and Klimentova.

As for the opening night on Wed., I agree about your opinion on Illmann. Actually she was better in Hong Kong. By the way, the Royal Albert Hall is a much better setting to see this Swan Lake than the huge Hong Kong Convention Centre. There is more intimacy and cosiness in the Royal Albert Hall setting.

The highlight on Wed. was Thomas Edur's noble performance as Prince Siegfried. I think he even surpassed on that night the very high standard (both technically and artistically) of his two performances in Hong Kong last month, which I still remember fondly.

Edur's performance on Wed. in the final act especially was most heart-touching. What grandeur he had even in his stillness. And earlier in his Black Swan solo, he did 3 pairs of double tours en l'air immaculately - not often attempted by other danseurs.

I note from the casting info. in your website that Edur will for a change partner Rojo in Swan Lake in Manchester and Birmingham next month. This will be something to watch out for, and I wish I can be there!

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Rachel Holland

19-06-99, 02:26 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: ENB's Swan Lake"
In response to message #2
   Tamara Rojo and Patrick Armaund did the rehearsal as well. She was brill, and he got better as the rehearsal went on.

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Juliet Shore

20-06-99, 07:24 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: ENB's Swan Lake"
In response to message #4
   LAST EDITED ON 20-Jun-99 AT 07:25 PM (GMT)

I saw this production after two straight weeks of NYCB and ABT productions in NY, not to mention the new NYCB Swan Lake earlier in the month. Had very mixed feelings as to how they were going to pull off 70 swans running off stage relatively quietly, not to mention the movement of many bodies off and on stage in this particular venue.

I was most pleasantly surprised. The swan corps work was solid and individual placement good, although I felt very badly about the toll on their knees...

The men in the ensemble pieces frequently looked as if they thought they were supposed to be at a soccer match and somehow had mistakenly ended up in a ballet. Occasionally I would see one who had had good character dance training, but the majority need to go back to the basic "this is how you hold your head, this is how you present your arm to your partner..." And why did I see so many male faces with minimal or no makeup, when the women all looked beautifully done?

Thomas Edur was a delight--it was my first time seeing him dance and he amply deserves all the encomiums which have been bestowed on him. Unfortunately, it did not make his partner look any better when she completely muffed her Black Swan coda...I am sure she was utterly disgusted and it was a good thing that it did not happen in the USA or they would be going on about it for years...

I confess to being underwhelmed by Margaret Illman. Dramatically, she was exceedingly effective, although not in the least hopeless or cowed as Odette. I have never seen anyone freeze/be transfixed the first time she sees/is touched by him as well as she did it. I thought her fourth act interplay with him especially affecting...the acting in this production was so well done and a welcome change from much I have seen.

Delighted to see John Pryce-Jones directing and I thought the orchestra (brasses especially) sounded wonderful--I was a little concerned when I saw the orchestra placement, but then figured that they knew what they were doing far better than I...

The only thing I really did not enjoy about this production was the third act interplay of Von Rothbart, Odile and Siegfried. Perhaps it was the individual dancer (although I doubt it) but I found him so intrusive and distracting. I have seen many productions where VR is an integral part of this scene, but I kept wanting to get this guy off the stage...perhaps the director wanted him in her face and everywhere else, but thematically and visually it was distracting and annoying.

What an interesting evening, however...I have not seen ENB since the days of London Festival Ballet and have never been to Royal Albert Hall for ballet. It was a great cap to my trip...now back to NY for the Kirov...and then to eat bread and water for the next six months!

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Stuart Sweeney

24-06-99, 05:44 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: ENB's Swan Lake"
In response to message #0
   Ismene Brown reviews Swan Lake in Thursday's Telegraph:


She remains unconvinced about the concept, but is totally convinced about the merits of Tamara Rojo and describes her as a 'great' dancer.

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