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ENB's 'Swan Lake' - the pdd unexpectedly appeared in the Mixed Bill
The London critics were out in force on Monday night for the opening of the ENB mixed bill and the Critics' Circle awards. Debra Craine even mentions the results only 2 days after criticaldance! Smug, Moi?
'Birthday party poopers - Debra Craine is none too happy with ENB's anniversary show.' Debra Craine's review
'Divertissements mar an otherwise tasty sandwich.' Clement Crisp takes exactly the reverse view to Debra Caine. He points out that the Sylphides is true to Markova's conception. Clement Crisp's review
'An anniversary against the odds.' By Nadine Meisner Nadine Meisner's review
‘An excess of canapes - Ismene Brown reviews a mixed bill performed by the English National Ballet at the Coliseum.’ Of Lander’s ‘Etudes’ she says,
‘….it is the balletic equivalent of watching a car being built - no substitute for feeling the wind on your face and exhilaration in your lungs.’ Ismene Brown's review
I also went on Monday night. I enjoyed 'Les Sylphides' and felt that Erina Takahashi captured the atmosphere of the work delightfully. Her slow pirouettes were a wonder. Monica Perego and Yosvani Ramos also danced with much grace.
I was very disappointed that Glen Teley's 'Voluntaries', to Poulenc's organ Concerto, was pulled. The programme needed the contrast that this work would have provided. However, there was much fine dancing in the replacement divertissements. Takahashi and Ramos wre splendeid in the Corsaire pdd. Agnes Oakes and Thomas Edur in Deane's 'Impromptu' showed why they are one of the very best couples dancing in the UK and Perego and the ebullient Yat Sen Chang thrilled in the Don Q pdd.
This was my first and probably last time seeing 'Etudes'. This work seems to divide audiences like no other. Someone I know described it as '..like champagne...' For me it's more lke flat Cava. Its fragmented, episodic structure and lack of emotion or meaning left me wishing it would end. I suspect that not even a dancer like Viviana Durante could make it come alive for me. However, I don't think Dimitri Gruzdyev (who may have injured his ankle at the rehearsal that afternoon) and Patrick Armand were at their best. Monica Perego looked tired towards the end, but she had taken the lead in 'Sylphides' and danced the 'Don Q' pdd just before the 2nd interval - a very tough night. It reflects the fact that currently she is one of only 2 permanent Principal ballerinas available. Oakes is a guest and the wonderful Daria Klimentova is on maternity leave.
When a company is hit by injury, as ENB were, their options are restricted. However, compared with last year's Coli triple with Tetley's 'Sphinx' and 'MacMillan's 'Rite of Spring' this triple was disappointingly conventional and reflects the problem that ENB faces with programming more adventurous work.
[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited January 17, 2001).]
<small>[ 23 November 2003, 08:25 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>