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 Post subject: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:09 pm 
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Boston Ballet will bring two programs to the London Coliseum, July 1-7, 2013. The first program includes Balanchine's "Serenade" and "Symphony in Three Movements," Nijinsky's "Afternoon of a Faun" and Jorma Elo's "Plan to B." The second program includes Kylian's "Bella Figura," Wheeldon's "Polyphonia" and Forsythe's "The Second Detail." Andrew Doerfler previews the performances for the Boston Globe.

Boston Globe


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:45 am 
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Nice to see them coming, but somewhat disappointing that 5 of the 7 works to be danced are hardly strangers here - and we are not exactly starved of Elo or Forsythe either.


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 11:43 am 
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In the Evening Standard, Josh Pettitt profiles Boston Ballet's Yuri Yanowsky and Royal Ballet's Zenaida Yanowsky, who are brother and sister. They hope to have the opportunity to perform together during Boston Ballet's tour to London.

Evening Standard


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:57 am 
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Serenade, Afternoon of a Faun, Plan to B, Symphony in Three Movements
Boston Ballet
London Coliseum; July 3, 2013

David Mead


Welcome back! In London for the first time in thirty years, and in their fiftieth anniversary season, Boston Ballet opened with a beautifully crafted programme that showed the company’s considerable talents well and challenged the dancers in different ways, giving the audience a good time to boot.

Balanchine’s “Serenade” is like an old friend. But like an old friend it can sometimes seem a bit crotchety, not that we ever really fall out of love with it. Right from the opening image (cue applause), it is beautiful picture after beautiful picture, beautiful pattern after beautiful pattern. The whole cast danced with great verve, looking completely at home in what is actually a very modern ballet. Of the soloists, the vivacious Misa Kuranaga was especially crisp and neat with footwork to die for. Lia Cirio was absorbing as the ‘dark angel’ while Ashley Ellis had a lyrical presence as the ‘heroine.’ A special mention too for Jonathan McPhee, who led the excellent Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and took the Tchaikovsky at a brisk pace without losing its romantic feel. The ballet always looks so much better when attacked in this way.

I’m not entirely convinced Nijinsky’s “Afternoon of a Faun” still cuts it these days, as important a historical piece as it is. Watching it is a bit like casting one’s eyes over a series of Grecian friezes. It’s as much about stylised position and shape as movement. But how you get to those positions and where the intention comes from is still very important. Maybe that’s why it is so difficult to get just right. Too often here there seemed little motivation for what we were seeing. It all just looked rather safe. I never really believed in Altan Dugaraa’s Faun, although I was rather taken by Lorna Feijóo’s delicate and wide-eyed Nymph.

Resident choreographer Jorma Elo’s “Plan to B” took things from one end of the energy scale to the other. Comprised essentially of a bracing series of solos and duets and with a hint of Forsythe about it, it is fifteen minutes of electric dance, jam packed with fast-wheeling arms and even speedier wheeling turns. It all compliments rather neatly with the strings of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber’s restless violin sonatas. Among the men in particular there is a sense of competition; “anything you can do…” The cast of six all looked completely at home with its athleticism, with Jeffrey Cirio in particular standing out. The audience loved every minute of it. It was easy to see why.

More Balanchine closed the evening, this time “Symphony in Three Movements” from the other end of his career. The opening is as striking as that in Serenade, but instead of romantic figures in the moonlight, read powerful Amazons. There followed a celebration of jazzy exuberance. Again, the whole company took to the ballet with ease, capturing its perkiness with aplomb, although some of the complex patterning was maybe not quite as tight as it could have been. Kuranaga was again extremely impressive, while in the central pas de deux, Kathleen Breen Combes was elegant opposite Paulo Arrais.

Despite the doubts over “Faun,” the company brought a breath of fresh air to the Coliseum stage. I, for one, am already looking forward to programme 2 with some anticipation.


Last edited by David on Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:38 pm 
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Ismene Brown reviews the Wednesday, July 3, 2013 performance of Balanchine's "Serenade" and "Symphony in Three Movements," Nijinsky's "L'apres-midi d'un faune" and Jorma Elo's "Plan to B" for the Arts Desk.

Arts Desk

Mark Monahan reviews the same program for the Telegraph.

Telegraph

Zoe Anderson reviews the same performance for the Independent.

Independent


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:22 am 
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Jeffrey Gantz reviews Programme 1 for the Boston Globe.

Boston Globe


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:09 pm 
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Luke Jennings reviews the Wednesday, July 3, 2013 performance for The Observer.

Observer


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:29 pm 
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Laura Dodge reviews the Wednesday, July 3, 2013 program in Londonist.

Londonist


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:48 pm 
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Lyndsey Winship reviews the Wednesday, July 3, 2013 performance for the Evening Standard.

Evening Standard


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:51 pm 
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Katie Colombus reviews the Wednesday, July 3, 2013 performance for The Stage.

The Stage


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Jeffrey Taylor reviews the Wednesday, July 3, 2013 performance for the Sunday Express.

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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:31 pm 
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In the Guardian, Judith Mackrell reviews Programme 2: Forsythe's "The Second Detail," Wheeldon's "Polyphonia" and Kylian's "Bella Figura."

Guardian


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Sarah Frater reviews Programme 2 for The Stage.

The Stage

Jeffrey Gantz reviews the Friday, July 5, 2013 performance of Programme 2 for the Boston Globe.

Boston Globe


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 Post subject: Re: Boston Ballet in London (July 2013)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:56 am 
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The Second Detail, Polyphonia, Bella Figura
Boston Ballet
London Coliseum; July 5, 2013

David Mead

Attachment:
Altan Dugaraa, Sarah Wroth, and Yury Yanowsky in Bella Figura. Photo Gene Schiavone.jpg
Altan Dugaraa, Sarah Wroth, and Yury Yanowsky in Bella Figura. Photo Gene Schiavone.jpg [ 59.99 KiB | Viewed 1791 times ]

Boston Ballet’s first London programme may have been hugely enjoyable and well-received, but their second offering outdid it on just about every count.

William Forsythe’s “The Second Detail” is typical of his work from the late 1980s and early 1990s. He assaults and manipulates the language of classical ballet, never losing its beauty, but causing us to see it in new ways.

The stage is bare save for a row of chairs that sit upstage against the grey background and on which the dancers, all dressed in an icy blue, rest from time to time. The white light adds to the starkness. What transpires is anything but colourless. From the opening duet by Dusty Button and Patrick Yocum, the whole cast looked liberated. These were dancers with attitude and dancers who were having a good time. They were musical, alert, fluid and precise, but best of all, playful. Their bodies cut through the space with razor sharpness. Limbs snapped between positions and jumps exploded from nothing. The abiding feeling was of watching urban youth, and just like them there were plenty of occasional glances that said “now watch this,” or “follow that!”

Forsythe’s choreography is incredibly complex. There is always something happening. Eyes switch constantly around the mostly busy stage. Groups splinter into lines, couples meet for a brief pas de deux before diving off to find new partners, and there are some astounding solos. It is a tidal wave of exuberance. Dancers frequently enter and leave seemingly at will, sometimes in waves, sometimes individually. It all looked so spontaneous and was tremendous stuff.

Thom Willem’s score may be a tad industrial, certainly pounding, but is quite rhythmic and far from brutal. A pat on the back here for the sound people too. For once it was played at just the right volume.

“Polyphonia” is one of Christopher Wheeldon’s finest works and a child of the Balanchine tradition. In it, he translates ten piano pieces by Ligeti into a range of moods that run from strict to tender, from playful to serious. After an opening section that sets out the movement vocabulary, Wheeldon moves on to a pleasing series of duets, trios and small ensemble dances.

Particularly enjoyable were two duets: a compelling and mesmerising number by Bradley Schlagheck and Ashley Ellis, and a rather zippier affair with Adiarys Almeida and Jeffrey Cirio. Elsewhere, Lasha Khozashvili showed a nice line and approach that contrasted well with the sassier Lia Cirio. Yet, and although everyone produced all the precise and intricate work the choreography demands, somehow, the ballet never got close to matching the Forsythe that had gone before.

‘Bella figura’ literally translates as “beautiful figure,” but is actually rather more a philosophy that emphasises making the best possible impression in all things including image, aesthetics and particularly proper behaviour and how to interact graciously with others, with tact and gentility, which brings us to Jiri Kylian’s ballet of the same name, and the best performed piece of the week.

Usually, the audience would return from the intermission to find the dancers warming up and generally milling around on stage. For some reason here, the curtain wasn’t raised until everyone was settled, which took something away from the beginning, and certainly left no time to contemplate the meaning of the two nude mannequins in transparent coffins hanging overhead.

When the dance starts, it and the staging are so beautiful and mysterious that it’s impossible to tear your eyes away, even for a second. The music, largely Baroque snippets from Pergolesi, Marcello, Vivaldi and Torelli give it a quite penitent and sometimes sorrowful air, although there are moments of Kylian’s humour too, for example when one dancer drops to the floor with a resounding thud. Black curtains rise and fall, creating windows that confine the dancers, create different focuses, and draw the eyes to detail.

Kylian’s genius in “Bella Figura” is making us see dancers as bodies, not specifically male or female. The dancers looked completely at home with the choreography and the mood. Among the more striking moments were a topless Rie Ichikawa being enveloped in the folds of a black curtain, and the sight of nine dancers, male and female, all topless in bright red panniered skirts dancing sensuously to a Torelli siciliana. The partial nudity adds to the beauty, but seems so unforced and natural, it passes almost without thought. Best of all, though, was the central duet. To the Grave from Torelli's “Concerto Grosso,” Ichikawa and Kathleen Breen Combes each pull a curtain from the side, meeting in the middle where they kneel, before reaching out to each other tenderly and almost spiritually. Finally the curtains all rise to reveal two fires burning upstage. The dancers seem as if they are trying to get each other to relax. Couple by couple they exit, until just one pair is left. The music stops. They stop and walk off.

And so it was goodbye to Boston Ballet too. “Bella Figura” was not only the final work, but an attitude that summed up their visit. They may only have been in town for five days, but they have surely left a lasting impression. They are highly engaging and highly talented company with bags of personality. Just one plea: don’t leave it thirty years until the next visit.


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