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 Post subject: Royal Ballet: Manon (2005)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:19 pm 
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Zoe Anderson reviews Sylvie Guillem's performance in The Independent:

http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/reviews/story.jsp?story=607604


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet: Manon (2005)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:22 am 
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Quote:
Manon

by JUDITH MACKRELL
the Guardian

But the key to Guillem's Manon is her horror of being shackled. When she's falling in love with Des Grieux she and the wonderful Jonathan Cope are so perfectly attuned to each other that they appear to be plunging down a helpless, headlong descent into desire.
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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet: Manon (2005)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:19 am 
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Here's one I did earlier

by JANN PARRY
the Observer

This is why he joined the Royal Ballet in 2002 - to have the chance of dancing meaty roles with exceptional artists who never stop developing. A principal dancer in Rio, Soares accepted a low-ranking contract in order to gain experience in the Royal's rich repertoire. He's just won the critics' award for outstanding male dancer in 2004, so he's hardly gone unnoticed.
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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet: Manon (2005)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:19 am 
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Manon
By Debra Crane for The Times

IT’S love at first sight and there’s no turning back. Not just for Sylvie Guillem and Jonathan Cope as the doomed lovers in Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, but for the audience. The thrill of anticipation rippled through the auditorium as the curtain rose on the return of this great partnership.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet: Manon (2005)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 2:50 am 
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Risky, sexy – and afraid

by ISMENE BROWN
the Daily Telegraph

That matchless physical aplomb is still there, the ballerina's androgynous, whip-thin body somehow contriving to promise inexhaustible sensual delights, and her pas de deux with Jonathan Cope are transports of rapt love. After 15 years, their partnership has become amazing to watch, her Manon a flying arrow of risk and daring, his gentle Des Grieux catching her with safe hands but desperate for a quieter life.
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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet: Manon (2005)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 3:00 am 
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Quote:
Manon, Royal Opera House, London

by ZOE ANDERSON
the Independent

Jonathan Cope is a quiet, meek Des Grieux. His modesty suits the early scenes, the hero bewildered by a dangerous world. He's been more outgoing, more involved with the drama, in other MacMillan roles: I miss the attack he found in Mayerling.
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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet: Manon (2005)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:21 am 
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Manon
By Gavin roebuck for The Stage


In the story of Manon choreographer Kenneth MacMillan found the sordid seam of a corrupt, debauched and decadent society, which he loved to mine. Created in the mid 1970s, this revival was turned by the Royal Ballet’s stellar French ballerina Sylvie Guillem into a star vehicle, resulting in a loss of the sense of work as a whole and at times a selfish disengagement between her and the other characters.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet: Manon (2005)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 4:32 am 
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Yes, I know it's a terrible pun, but let's not automatically blame David Dougill, as it is probably the work of a sub-editor.

To the Manon born
Coruscating performances from Cope and Guillem make Royal Ballet’s revival of the MacMillan classic a tour de force, says David Dougill for The Sunday Times.


Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon has proved one of the Royal Ballet’s most reliably crowd-pulling attractions over the decades since its creation in 1974, never out of the repertory for long and a vehicle for countless star performances. The latest revival of the three-act dramatic ballet is a short run in Covent Garden’s densely packed season, with the leading roles of the tragic heroine and her lover, Des Grieux, shared between three top-notch casts.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet: Manon (2005)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 12:54 pm 
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Quote:
Manon, Covent Garden, London

by CLEMENT CRISP
the Financial Times

Of course the Royal Ballet plays Manon too often - it is a ballet that sells itself, and the public is greedy for its cunning combination of luxe, depravity and remorse in the swamps of Louisiana.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:40 pm 
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Quote:
Manon
by JUDITH MACKRELL for the Guardian

If there is one weak note in Yanowsky's interpretation, it's in the second act when her veiled gaze and exaggerated flounces fail to identify whether Manon is sleepwalking into corruption or actively embracing it. But if this uncertainty makes her temporarily something of a cipher, it works brilliantly for the act as a whole, ...

published: November 7, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:44 pm 
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Real-life love sets the stage crackling with sexual excitement
by MARK MONAHAN for the Daily Telegraph

How blazingly different things were the following night, from the couple's very first meeting, in Act 1. Kobborg's pivotal, extremely difficult adagio courtship solo saw the Dane glow with authority, constancy and delight, and Cojocaru looked like a woman both bewitching and bewitched, radiating irresistible beauty and amorous interest with every beat of her perfect feet.

published: November 9, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:07 pm 
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Quote:
Manon, Royal Opera House, London
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent

This revival has been cast from strength - and how strong the Royal Ballet is this season. As Lescaut, Manon's brother and pimp, Thiago Soares dances with a pugnacious edge, ready to take on the world. Marianela Nuñez is splendidly flighty as his mistress. The only drawback is Graham Bond's sluggish conducting of the pretty Massenet score.

published: November 8, 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:14 am 
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Feats of passion
MacMillan would have been proud — in the Sunday Times David Dougill marvels at a devastatingly emotional Manon

Over the 30 years since Kenneth MacMillan created his modern classic Manon for the Royal Ballet, one of the mainstays of the repertory, the list of dancers who have starred in its marvellous leading roles is long and luminous. Seven casts as Manon and her lover, Des Grieux, have been fielded for the Opera House’s latest revival, all today’s top names, half of whom MacMillan, who died in 1992, never knew.

One of them is Zenaida Yanowsky, who made her sensational debut as Manon last weekend...

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**************************************

Manon with plenty of sauce
Yanowsky is a sensuous revelation says Luke Jennings for The Observer

Emotions ran high at Covent Garden last week as Zenaida Yanowsky made her debut as Manon. The role, with its dark glamour and lavish dramatic arc, is one of the Royal Ballet's most coveted prizes, and Yanowsky's supporters have waited a long time to see her dance it.

The problem has been finding her a tall enough partner, but that has been solved - temporarily, at least - by the arrival from Denmark of guest principal Kenneth Greve. The static crackled between them from the start.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:42 am 
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As part of their current season, the Royal Ballet presented several performances of Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon at the Royal Opera House. I attended the one on the 14th November. The cast included Leanne Benjamin as Manon, Federico Bonelli as Des Grieux, Martin Harvey as Lescaut and Laura Morera as his Mistress.

Manon was created in 1974 and has obviously had many different interpretations in their leading roles since then. It is to MacMillan’s credit to have created a ballet that, though choreographically challenging and well structured, especially in the development of the main pas de deux, leaves plenty of room for personal interpretation for its leading roles. Manon is a role that is multifaceted at its very core and ballerinas covet this role as it offers them the possibility to explore aspects of the heroine’s psyche that, even in the book, remain puzzling to this day.

Benjamin offered a good reading of these aspects, though her interpretation improved as the ballet progressed. Most interpretations I have seen, fail in the transition from innocent girl to courtesan. It is a very subtle transition that requires minimal means of expression and yet convincing resonance.

Bonelli’s interpretation was not mature enough both in his characterisation and, most importantly, in his rendering of the choreography. Bonelli is a very academic dancer, who seems to be at a loss whenever he is required to be off centre. Unfortunately for him, MacMillan’s choreography for Des Grieux requires exactly that.

Harvey and Morera gave good accounts of their roles, but I much preferred the multi layered interpretation that Thiago Soares and Marianela Núñez had given just a couple of days before. Harvey approached Lescaut from its darkest side, while Morera was feisty all along. Soares and Núñez gave more dimension to their characters and managed to change their responses to each other in all the different scenes.

Worth noting was Steven McRae’s debut as the Chief Beggar. He not only has an incredible technique, but he also managed to stay within character in his given number.

Overall, the company looked good and the level of the corps seemed to have improved since the last time I had seen the ballet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:40 am 
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Quote:
Worth noting was Steven McRae’s debut as the Chief Beggar. He not only has an incredible technique, but he also managed to stay within character in his given number.


I find Steven McRae quite extraordinary; apart from his admirable technique he has the ability to immerse himself in every role he dances. I consider him the most important new talent that the Royal Ballet has discovered in years.


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