CriticalDance Forum

English National Ballet 2011
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Author:  David [ Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2011

Promotions and New Dancers at English National Ballet


Vadim Muntagirov has been promoted from First Soloist to Principal dancer. Although only joining the company after graduating from The Royal Ballet School in 2009, he has already danced many principal roles on opening nights including in “The Nutcracker”, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Swan Lake”.

Yonah Acosta, Junor Souza, Max Westwell and James Streeter are all promoted to Junior Soloist.

New Dancers

Zdenek Konvalina joins as a Senior Principal, with his wife Bridgett Zehr as Principal, both arriving from the National Ballet of Canada.

Joining from the English National Ballet School as Artists are twin brothers Vitor and Guilherme Menezes.

Also joining for a year is Vito Conversano, after winning Italian talent show “Amici 10” on which Wayne Eagling was a judge.

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2011

Clement Crisp reviews the Roland Petit programme: ... abdc0.html

Crisp knew Petit well and always admired his work - so did I, the only ballet of his that I was less than impressed with was Camera Obscura, the rest of his output I loved: even the critically drubbed Pelleas and Melisande that he created for Fonteyn and Nureyev that was quickly dropped. In fact I have a photograph on my living room wall of Fonteyn as Melisande with her hair filling the stage. I'm indebted to Wayne Eagling for presenting these Petit ballets, after the wonderful revival of Lifar's Suite en Blanc earlier this year it seems ENB under Eagling is going from strength to strength especially in terms of repertoire, he seems to have an instinct for presenting past masterworks that can still enthuse audiences of today.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2011

Clifford Bishop reviews the Roland Petit program for The Independent.

The Independent

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2011

Luke Jennings reviews Ivan Vasiliev's performance in "Le jeune homme et la mort" on Friday, July 22 for The Guardian.

The Guardian

Zoe Anderson reviews the Petit program for The Independent.

The Independent

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2011

Petit Triple Bill
English National Ballet
London Coliseum
21st & 23rd (mat)

Roland Petit’s works have a chequered history of performance in Britain and when English National Ballet announced plans for an evening of his works it caused a ripple of excitement amongst the London ballet goers. I heard from one of ENB’s dancers that the great man himself would come over for the occasion but sadly it wasn’t to be and tragically Petit died shortly before the opening. ENB’s director, Wayne Eagling, made a speech in front of the curtain on the first night that reflected everyone’s sorrow at the choreographer’s demise and it was also sad to hear that Petit’s widow, Zizi Jeanmaire, was too ill to attend.

The opening work was L’Arlésienne a tale of unrequited love and a wedding day that goes disastrously wrong when the groom is overcome by his obsession with the girl from Arles. The corps de ballet is a vital component to the ballet, Provençal peasants supporting the disintegrating couple and taking on the role of a Greek chorus, the choreography for them is a delight – especially the cheeky quote from Balanchine’s Serenade. On the opening night the leading couple, Erina Takahashi and Estaban Berlanga were both very good, but a couple of days later their respective performances had really developed with Berlanga full of explosive anguish, tormented by a memory that was eating into his very soul leaving Takahashi helpless in her feeble efforts to try to restore his sanity.

I remember watching a video of Le Jeune Homme et La Mort over and over again in the Musée Carnavalet in Paris when it was a centrepiece of an exhibition about the life of Rudolf Nureyev. La Mort in that film was an enigmatic Zizi Jeanmaire, with neither dancer in the original costumes and with the final rooftop scene omitted, I still regard it as something of a benchmark performance of the work as no one I’d seen since matched the intensity of their interpretations even though I harboured a suspicion that Nureyev’s glamour in his role might not have been in tune with the original intentions. Thursday night’s Jeune Homme was the very youthful looking Yonah Acosta bringing a highly individual approach to the role that bowled me over eclipsing anything I’d seen before. Acosta gave a performance and a half of raw physicality and strength hurling himself across the stage with reckless passion and abandon. His nemesis was Anaïs Chalendard, so ultra chic and thoroughly wicked that it was hardly a surprise to discover she was death in human form. She taunted and bewitched whilst her poor victim suffered and finally surrendered to her will: an amazing pairing of opposites that really brought what is after all a work very much of its time to vibrant life.

At the Saturday matinee the title role was entrusted to Anton Lukovkin who gave a more conventional reading to the Young Man and indeed bears a slight resemblance to the role’s creator, Jean Babilee. Here the balance between the couple was quite different with Jia Zhang less an otherworldly La Mort, more a regular feminine temptress and whereas fear and anger permeated the first night coupling, there was more of a sexual frisson with these two, though ultimately Jia Zhang seemed much too nice a girl for the role: a tease perhaps but not a killer.

Carmen is too gimmicky for my taste (how I wish they had danced Le Loup instead) but it is an audience pleaser. The first night Carmen, Begoña Cao made a good stab at the part but her partner Fabian Reimair was too cold a fish to convince us he would ever be foolish enough to fall for Carmen’s wild charms. The second cast pairing of Anaïs Chalendard and Daniel Kraus was the opposite: a chilly Carmen and a far more passionate Don Jose.

Although the three ballets featured two suicides, two murders and simulated sex, the shock value of the works today revolved around so many in the cast smoking on stage, just about everyone seemed to comment on it particularly over whether it is legal to smoke in the workplace if the workplace is a stage and wasn’t it a fire hazard? Seems ENB applied and got a special dispensation, but how attitudes change. I doubt if anyone batted an eyelid over the odd cigarette when these works were created.

Author:  David [ Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: English National Ballet 2011

Max Westwell is leaving the comapny this summer to join Birmingham Royal Ballet as a soloist.

His roles with ENB include Romeo in Nureyev's version of Romeo and Juliet and Lescaut in MacMillan's Manon

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