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 Post subject: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:58 pm 
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Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
A consolidation of the year's many many NBoC topics...

Topic: NewsFlash! Karen Kain comes out of Retirement!

Michael Goldbarth posted 01-22-2002 18:17


While Karen Kain will not be squeezing her 50 year-old dogs into pointe shoes-she will be on stage in the role of Lady Capulet, February 15th at the Hummingbird Centre. Okay, so I fibbed…kind of. She also played the character role of Lady Capulet when the NBoC visited Vancouver back in the fall. Karen Kain officially retired from the NBoC back in 1997. Also returning will be Gizella Witkowsky in the role of Lady Capulet.

If you’re a dreamy-eyed ballerina-struck balletomane like myself you’ll attend more than one performance. Sonia Rodriguez and Greta Hodgkinson are must-sees as Juliet. Another can’t miss as Juliet is the lovely Heather Ogden who is a star very fast on the rise at the NBoC. For the entire cast and performance dates please visit the National Ballet of Canada’s website: http://www.national.ballet.ca/productions/casting.shtml

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Michael Goldbarth


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:02 pm 
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Topic: National Ballet of Canada - Romeo and Juliet

Michael Goldbarth posted 02-10-2002 12:40


Below is my quickie review of the National Ballet of Canada’s opening performance of Romeo and Juliet this past Saturday night:

I was enthralled from start to finish. The National’s adaptation of John Cranko’s version of Shakespeare’s classic was definitely a crowd pleaser. There was much to like: the setting, the costumes, the music, the acting, and the choreography.

William Marrié as Mercutio was a comic delight! His duel with Etienne Lavigne (Tybalt), who likewise gave an Oscar winning performance, was breathtaking. This was also an opportunity for the corps de ballet to shine. The Carnival Dance reminded me very much of Cirque Du Soleil. Kudos galore to the Gypsy dancers as well.

Romeo (Aleksandar Antonijevic) and Juliet (Sonia Rodriguez) were almost too beautiful to behold. My only criticism of their performance was an almost total absence of chemistry. Also conspicuously absent was Artistic Director James Kudelka. Mr. K. doesn’t appear to believe in two dancers establishing rapport. It took years for Kimberly Glasco and Aleksandar Antonijevic to develop chemistry on stage. I don’t understand why Kudelka does not allow his dancers to develop some cohesion.

Romeo and Juliet should go together like champagne and truffles-not Antonijevic and Rodriguez. Not for one millisecond did I believe these two fell for each other at first sight. I have no complaint with their dancing. It was flawless. It’s a hard thing to put into words but they just didn’t spark any magic for me. They both seemed far more in love with themselves than each other.

Do go, but don’t go to see this duet.
Performance of Dancers: 21/25. Choreography: 24/25. Ballet Magic: 17/25. Costumes, Sets, Lighting & Music: 23/25. Rating: 85/100.
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Michael Goldbarth

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Stuart Sweeney posted 02-11-2002 00:49

Many thanks Michael. I'd love to see the Cranko version having seen how well he tackled the love duets in 'Onegin'.
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Noreen Arnold posted 02-11-2002 10:48

Have to disagree Michael about the lack of chemistry between Antonijevic and Rodriguez. Goodness knows how many pairs of R & J's I've seen in the last 30 odd years and very few dancers in their debut roles impressed me as much as these two. Now of course this isn't Aleksandar's debut - but considering the lack of emotional involvement in his previous performances, this was very much a new dancer in a new role - "just born" as Balanchine once said! In the past I liked him paired with Glasco because they were both so visually beautiful to watch but never did get a real "man/women" connection between them until close to the last performances she did with the company. During a performance of what I call the "foot fetish" pas de deux in Desire there was a sensuousness between them that I'd never felt before. After she left he seemed again to be merely gorgeous to watch but kind of bland. When I saw him dance Butterfly with Sonia last season I had a feeling their R & J might be special. Rodriguez is a dancer finally coming into her own - astounding technique, engaging soubrette and now evidently a dramatic actress to boot. I often wondered why she didn't get the push that the Tapper's, Yu's et al were getting but now that she has the opportunity she's grabbing it with both hands! What was needed was a partner she could play against - as technically accomplished as she and with the ability to go head to head dramatically. She's been paired with a number of young dancers, none of whom really measured up - and goodness knows I never suspected Antonijevic would be the guy she was waiting for. This could be a great pair if given the time and opportunity to develop. We shall see. (I think I'll write to Kudelka with casting suggestions ....I'm sure he's just waiting for my input!) As for William Marrie as Mercutio I agree that he was an absolute delight. My standard for the role was set by Lawrence Adams and then Tomas Schramek (the greatest of them all). No one since then has measured up to those two but, you know, I think Marrie is going to be one of the great ones. He actually brings something new to his interpretation...loved him. I'm seeing all casts during the next week and especially looking forward to the debuts of young Guillaume Cote and Heather Ogden.

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Marie posted 02-11-2002 12:21

Have you seen our first thread on this topic Noreen? Francis Timlin's review of the show in Vancouver is in that thread : National Ballet of Canada - Romeo and Juliet, as well as the Toronto critic's reviews.
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Michael Goldbarth posted 02-11-2002 19:07

Thank you for your feedback. Watching a dancer’s performance is a very personal experience. Watching Sonia Rodriguez and Aleksandar Antonijevic gave me flashbacks from a favorite movie of mine: the original black and white version of the Body Snatchers. Aliens emerged from giant sea pods to assume the identity of their human counterparts. It sure looked like Sonia and Aleksandar on stage. It just didn’t seem like the real Sonia and Aleksandar-Certainly not like Romeo and Juliet.

Once again, their dancing was flawless. They just didn’t look like they were in love at first sight. All they did for me was execute the steps. Separated I thought they interacted quite well with the rest of the cast. But together, it just didn’t work.

It may very well be a personal prejudice of mine that has blinded me of their mime being so used to seeing Kimberly Glasco and Aleksandar Antonijevic as a duet. For me there was definitely an absence of emotional depth to the duet of Sonia and Aleksandar. Not for one moment did I suddenly lose sight of the fact I was sitting in seat 51, row C, at the Hummingbird Centre. They did not draw me emotionally into the story. It was nothing more than a dazzling exhibition of dancing skills.

As for Aleksandar’s silent acting: Yes he has come a long way! He is still far too effeminate on stage. This Romeo needs a huge shot of testosterone. He did pair well with Greta Hodgkinson in Swan Lake. I was kind of disappointed that duet was not given the chance to flourish. Sonia and Greta have had more partners than soap opera characters the past few seasons. It did take time for Kimberly and Aleksandar to develop stage chemistry but I think it was well worth the wait for their audience. It was exciting to see that duet leave their mark.
Obviously, many do not share my viewpoint of Sonia and Aleksandar as Romeo and Juliet. Grizzled veteran ballet critic of the Globe & Mail, Paula Citron, bestowed the title of actor-dancer upon the above duet. She even went as far to pen this rather hyperbolic prose:
Quote:
“Theirs is a dance partnership that could well be the stuff of legends.”
I will bestow upon them the title of dancer. They have yet to achieve the actor part to my satisfaction. I did not see Romeo and Juliet, all I saw was Sonia and Aleksandar, which is kind of sad. And with Aleksandar as Romeo the ballet should really be renamed Juliet and Romeo!

By the way, I still recommend this ballet. John Cranko’s choreography continues to live up to the most demanding critic of all: Time. Paula Citron and I disagree here too:
Quote:
“Perhaps this performance was all the more remarkable because, truth be said, Cranko’s choreography is showing signs of age. In the cold light of the 21st century, much of the movement is simplistic and predictable. But in the hands of a company that understands the concept of dance-theatre, a triumph of storytelling can emerge from banality.”
Egad, if that doesn’t scare potential ballet fans away…I don’t know what will!

Many critics seem to take delight in remakes of classics. I’m sure Paul Citron is itching to wax poetic of a James Kudelka remake of Romeo and Juliet. Other than some cartoonish “Uh you got me!” death scenes in the fencing duets, I was quite pleased with the choreography. It has a light touch which is a trademark of Cranko (The Taming of the Shrew, Pineapple Poll are two examples that spring to mind). Cranko also excelled at creating ballets for a budget that could hold the attention of an audience. His works were almost guaranteed to put the bums in the seats. Such is not always the case with Kudelka.

So there, I’ve had my say. Every time I visit Criticaldance I am confronted with “the cold light” of how little of the ballet world I have seen only seeing the National Ballet of Canada. If I win the lottery I will see the Royal Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, etc. Oh the simplistic, predictable, banality of it all! You got me Paula Citron! I can write no more… I bid you all good night. Oh perchance to dream…..…………………………...
……………………………………………………………………………………………of Michael Goldbarth and Kimberly Glasco as Romeo and Juliet!

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Michael Goldbarth posted 02-12-2002 13:49

I poured my heart out and nobody is responding! Egad…I just realized how small the National Ballet of Canada is in the world of ballet. All the other postings are so much longer. We probably only have a dozen fans of NBoC visiting this site.
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Michael Goldbarth
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mom2 posted 02-13-2002 14:26

I saw the performance on Sunday, with a different cast.

Rex Harrington was Romeo (one of my personal favourites), and Chan Hon Goh was Juliet. Now I don't know that I'd call it chemistry, but it was a wonderful performance. However, something odd happened in the second act and all of a sudden there was a new Romeo (Patrick Lavoie). We were slightly confused for a moment until we realized what was going on - I hadn't noticed RH leaving the stage in the first place.

My daughter went again yesterday to a student matinee, and saw Nan Yu (who she reported to be absolutely amazing) and Ryan Boorne. She thought that Ryan Boorne did a good job, but that was about all I got out of her! Nan Yu also danced in a special performance on Friday night, with Patrick Lavoie. I understand that it was one of those once-in-a lifetime performances. I've talked to several who attended, and they all reported the same thing..almost verbatim. Certainly high praise for Lavoie who is still in corps.
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Michael Goldbarth posted 02-16-2002 11:54

Kudos galore to Rebecca Todd of Eye Weekly! We share the same viewpointe for John Cranko’s choreography!!! Take that grizzled veteran ballet critic of the Globe & Mail, Paula Citron!
Quote:

ROMEO AND JULIET

If you're under the impression that the three-act story ballet is an outmoded form of expression, go and see the National Ballet's Romeo and Juliet. Though it was choreographed in 1958 by John Cranko (the late director of the Stuttgart Ballet), it could have been created last week. Carried by a great story, gorgeous music, spectacular costumes and sets, brilliant choreography and excellent performances, this ballet reminds us that a classic is a perfectly built mechanism of communication, drawing on centuries of accumulated artistic experience to speak to each new generation.
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Nikiya posted 02-20-2002 19:47

Below is my post from balletalert about NBoC's Romeo and Juliet:
I attend the performance last saturday, Feb.16 in the evening. Though I am writing about my impressions 4 days later, it was a very memorable performance and is still very fresh in my mind!

ROMEO and JULIET

Choreography: John Cranko
Staged by: Reid Anderson
Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Sets/Costumes: Susan Benson

I was glad to have a chance to see this ballet in it's entirety for the first time. I think it is a marvellous piece for the company and it certainly has a lot of history! In 1973, all the sets and costumes were burnt in a fire and R&J left the repetoire for a while. R&J is most deffinately the highlight of the 50th anniversary season, and I doubt any audience member was dissapointed (it was a full house too). Stylistically, I find it suits the NBoC dancers perfectly. I've come to really enjoy Cranko's choreography. At first, it was strange to see the famous balcony pdd with different steps from the MacMillan version that I was familiar with. His balcony pdd is still my favorite (I've also seen the Bolshoi version), the lifts are just gorgeous and go so well with the music. But Cranko's interpretation certainly has it's moments too!

The costumes were lovely. Very lavish, plush, and elegant. I loved all of Juliet's costumes, especially her nightgown from Act 3. The bridesmaids costumes were white with many sheer layers and very beautiful.

And of course, another thing that made this ballet-going experience so enjoyable was the music. I've been listening to Prokofiev's score before and after the performance. It's even better listening to it now because I can picture the steps in my mind. The score never fails to stir emotions in me!

Richard Landry danced Mercutio and this is the first performance where I was truly impressed by his dancing. I admit, I never thought very highly of his technique or partnering skills- but he has improved drastically since I last saw him. His pirouettes a la seconde were excellent and fast- better than Romeo's (Geon van der Wyst, his knee was not straight). He played the role with great comic wit, though there is still something about his facial expression when dancing that distracts me. This is hard to describe, but it seems his mouth is always open! I suppose it was especially noticable as I was sitting in the 5th row ( great seats, I could really appreciate the dancers fine attention to detail and their acting skills).
Geon van der Wyst is a handsome Romeo, and his white costume and blond hair were a perfect contrast to Rex Harrington's (Tybalt) black costume and brown hair. Geon looks and plays the role of a "golden boy"- nice, well-liked, but a bit naive. He danced well, with plenty of heartfelt emotion especially in the pdd segments. For the trio dance with Mercutio and Benvolio however, I saw him single the last few double tours. He did double tours fine else where but I think it was hard for him to turn as fast as the other 2 dancers, maybe because of his height? Somehow his lack of polish in certain parts did not bother me as much as it usually does, maybe because he compensated with emotion. This to me, is a "real" ballet about real people and I suppose if Romeo was so much in love with Juliet he might not be concentrating on his entrechats! But imagine a performance with both technique and acting! I heard Aleksandar's opening night Romeo was "to die for".

Rex Harrington was also cast as Romeo but was injured in the middle of his first performance. I hope he is recovering well, and he was excellent as Tybalt with not too much dancing (mostly sword fights). He is getting exceptionally good at playing the bad guy and it's lots of fun to watch. He is such an unforgettable presence! Such temperment. I saw the performance with a younger cousin who could only articulate, "he looks so meeean!"

The Gypsy girls- Tanya Howard, Stephanie Hutchison, and Tanya Evidente, were the ones having the most fun, hands-down. In the folk dance in Act 2 they danced with character and attitude. Stephanie Hutchison especially stood out. Tanya Evidente dealt very well when one of the corps men dropped her.

Juliet was danced by Greta Hodgkinson and she was sublime. The audience could really see Juliet's character gradually growing and maturing from start to finish. She was sweet and innocent, playing with the Nurse in Act 1- but a completely different woman at the end of Act 3. Her pain and struggle near the end were moving but never overdone. You could feel her anguish and the full impact of the tragic story. On top of everything, her dancing was flawless. It's a treat to watch her perform knowing that every step is right on. Every arabesque was fully extended, beautiful grand pirouettes and delicate pointework.
Benvolio was danced by Maxim Vaitsiul, whom I call the "mystery dancer" because he is wonderful and I saw him in the Merry Widdow in the fall. But he does not appear in the souvenir program, so I don't know where he is from and when he officially joined NBoC! He's one to watch though, with clean technique and a youthful vitality to all his roles. He reminds me of Angel Corella in how he is always smiling, but not a glued-on smile. You can tell that he relishes every moment on stage.

Ryan Boorne danced Paris. There isn't much to say about him, it's not a major dancing role and most of the time he keeps a very serious face.
Lady Capulet was Gizella Witkowsky, an old principal who retired a while ago. Her Lady Capulet was elegant while being haughty and cold.
The corps were excellent, and well-rehearsed. Except for the occasional break in unison, they looked great. There were some comic numbers and some other, very beautiful ones. The dance of the bridesmaids, for example. Rebekah Rimsay was a bridesmaid too. I was surprised, since she is a first soloist. Maybe the corps needed someone to follow? They all looked so pretty holding the white lillies.

Finally, I think Greta and Geon had a lot of chemistry. Even after final bows, they perpetuated the audiences idea that they are really in love when Geon pulled Greta in for a kiss (in reality though, Greta is supposedly dating first soloist William Marrie). They danced very well together. Both the balcony and bedroom pdd were breathtaking. All those lifts came across completely effortlessly, and they looked very much in love.

As you can tell, I absolutely loved the ballet and it really stayed with me when I left the theatre ( which is what a good ballet should do!).

I'm looking forward to seeing the triple bill: Paquita, Monotones I and II, and Nureyev's Sleeping Beauty act 3 this friday! ( Anyone else going?)
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Marie posted 08-03-2002 08:35

VICTOR SWOBODA - Montreal Gazette, August 03, 2002:
Quote:
Sweet birds of youth
Promising National Ballet dancers fly at Saint-Sauveur


Throwing traditional programming to the wind, the show opened recklessly with 21-year-olds Heather Ogden and Lac St-Jean native Guillaume Côté performing the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.

Clearly this is a couple that the National would like to develop. Both were chosen to compete in this year's Erik Bruhn competition in Toronto.
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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:03 pm 
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Posts: 4753
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Topic: National Ballet of Canada - Mixed Program

Marie posted 02-22-2002 09:04

I guess we'll see if this topic on the NBoC can be contained to one thread, lol... <img src="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/wink.gif" alt="" />

Paquita
Sleeping Beauty
Monotones I & II

Paula Citron - Globe & Mail, 02.22.02:
Quote:
Kudelka sends ballet's corps to the fore

The National Ballet of Canada's winter-season mixed program is a tutu lover's dream as two virtuoso Russian warhorses are the bookends that enclose an acclaimed contemporary ballet classic.
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Marie posted 02-22-2002 09:06

JOHN COULBOURN - Toronto Sun, 02.22.02:
Quote:
Ballet gold
NBOC continues 50th anniversary samplings

The happiest anniversary celebrations are those that look back on the past with fondness and into the future with hope. Happily, that is precisely what the artists of the National Ballet of Canada accomplish in an evening of mixed programming that opened Wednesday at the Hummingbird Centre.
[dead link]

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Marie posted 02-23-2002 08:08

Michael Crabb - National Post, 02.22.02:
Quote:
Ballet and jazz as they should be
NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA (HUMMINGBIRD CENTRE) AND LES BALLETS JAZZ DE MONTREAL (HARBOURFRONT)

The ensuing performance, despite flashes of brilliance -- such as a buoyant "Bluebird" pas de deux from Keiichi Hirano and Stacey Minagawa -- lacked both focus and coherence.
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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:07 pm 
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Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Topic: National Ballet of Canada - The Contract

Marie posted 04-18-2002 08:37


<img src="http://www.criticaldance.com/images/nboc-contract2.jpg" alt="" />

Canadian Press - Toronto Star, Apr. 17, 2002:
Quote:
Kudelka ballet to debut in Toronto
National Ballet will take The Contract to Ottawa after Hummingbird run


Robert Sirman, administrative director of the National Ballet School, created a libretto that combines Robert Browning's poem The Pied Piper of Hamelin with the story of legendary Canadian preacher-faith healer Aimee Semple McPherson.
[dead link]

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Marie posted 04-26-2002 04:31

JOHN COULBOURN - TORONTO SUN, April 26, 2002:

Quote:
Dancer Cote on his toes


The National Ballet of Canada's Guillaume Cote is sleeping soundly despite the fact that opening night of The Contract is just over a week away.
[dead link]

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Marie posted 04-27-2002 11:08

ROBERT EVERETT-GREEN - Globe & Mail, April 27, 2002:
Quote:
Dancing with the piper

James Kudelka is leading his National Ballet stars toward uncharted territory: the premiere next week of his ambitious new work reimagining the Hamelin legend. ROBERT EVERETT-GREEN watched the production take shape

The big room was full of dancers, and completely silent. Six women stood waiting, and about 30 more from the National Ballet of Canada sat or slouched by the walls, while James Kudelka frowned at a patch of empty floor. He was trying to locate or invent the link between one batch of steps and another. Watching him was like waiting to hear the beat of invisible wings.
[dead link]

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Marie posted 05-02-2002 09:43

REBECCA TODD - The Eye, 05.02.02:
Quote:
Morality dance
Kudelka takes a fresh look at sex


In the story of The Contract, created with librettist Robert Sirman, a young man named Will returns to a small community after an absence. It soon becomes apparent he's infected with a "movement disorder" which begins to spread among the young people. Eva, a stranger, appears, claiming that she can heal the young people. The town makes a contract with Eva, who removes their affliction with a laying-on of hands. Later, she seduces Will, who is considerably her junior. To make matters worse, a child witnesses the seduction. The outraged town elders break the contract and, in retaliation, Eva uses her charismatic pull to lure the children away.
more...

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Marie posted 05-03-2002 09:26

JOHN COULBOURN - Toronto Sun, May 3, 2002:
Quote:
Kudelka's Contract
National Ballet premieres first original program tomorrow


"I always put The Pied Piper as the primary source," he says of the genesis of the work. "But when one was looking at characterization, that's when Aimee Semple McPherson was laid on."

In McPherson, the international faith-healer whose sexual escapades led to her fall from grace, Kudelka suddenly had the answer to the question that had plagued him since childhood -- an answer that goes far beyond the realm of Hamelin to permeate much of modern life. In politics, in sports, in so many areas, he says, "The reason they didn't pay the piper is because they had sex -- or they are sexual."
[dead link]

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Malcolm Tay posted 05-05-2002 21:53

The National Ballet of Canada
The Contract
Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, ON.
May 4, 2002

James Kudelka's latest full-length ballet for The National Ballet of Canada, The Contract, doesn't milk, drag out the narrative for all its worth. In two acts, it tells a compelling, if somewhat eccentric, story solely in terms of movement, with a libretto by Robert Sirman; and yet, its larger implications hint at some deep-seated fear, even revulsion, of humankind's primal passions. That's possibly why the ballet isn't recommended for children under the age of 14.
Like Bronislava Nijinska's Les Noces of 1923, The Contract captures a community at an important moment in its existence. And the people who constitute this particular community aren't the most exciting people around. In plain dresses and suits of white and deep green, they sway from side to side in circles and lines, the torso rarely deviating from its frontal, upright position, their half-extended arms mostly plastered to their sides. They hardly touch. It's all about the collective conscience - not even the Elder, played by Rex Harrington, stands out too much. Not surprisingly, men and women don't dance in intimate pairs; later, it's shown that they sleep separately. I imagine the Shakers were probably like this, staid and efficient, in their routine tasks (although worship is another matter altogether).

The people have gathered for their children’s performance, as given by students of the National Ballet School, in Michael Levine's whitewashed community hall, where the stage wings have been blocked with large, grilled windows. They brilliantly enact an adaptation of Robert Browning’s poem, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, narrated by Tom McCamus. The story is famous enough – the colourfully-caped Piper rids a city of rats in return for a sum of money, but this promise is breached, and he consequently lures the people’s children away, except maybe the crippled boy who couldn’t follow fast enough. We will see, in the ballet, how life can cruelly imitate [amateur] art.

Amid the celebration that ensues, a young man named Will (Guillaume Côté), who has been absent for a while, returns, to the joy of everyone. From his gently undulating torso and big, boisterous leaps, it’s apparent that his experience sets him slightly apart from the others. Côté brings a youthful glee to the role. But a little differentiation turns into chaos when he suddenly manifests a “movement disorder” that is highly contagious. Those infected develop a nervous tic, struggling to keep their writhing bodies erect; previously orderly patterns are unravelled, mashed into heaps. Not even his fiancée, Dot (Rebekah Rimsay), and her mother (Xiao Nan Yu), who tries to intervene, are spared.

At this point, Eva, danced by Martine Lamy, appears. In a modest, flesh-coloured dress, she is obviously an outsider. Unlike the rest of then, her arms, her soft grasp, freely reach forward. It is these hands that will cure the community of their affliction, but not before they put aside their suspicions. The male seniors approach her cautiously in clumps, as if threatened by her very presence. They could be thinking, “Can we trust a lone woman who roams on her own, with no husband to discipline her?” Eventually, they strike a deal, though her reward is not known. Summoning her powers in an exhortative solo, she heals them one by one on a raised platform, laying her hands on each person’s chest and back. A tiring process. In a character based on evangelist cum faith healer Aimee Semple McPherson, Lamy cuts a subtly charming figure, despite a fall.

Sex soon comes next. That is, sex between Eva and Will after a heated duet. Which is fine by itself, except two children end up watching them get it on – he unbuckles his pants to expose his boxers; she helps him take them off, straddling him – until the Elder catches the couple. Perhaps he was attracted to her very different manners, while she opened up to his friendliness, acceptance. It wasn't an all-out slutty seduction on her part; it was more like a mutual understanding. In any case, society is appalled by their relationship. The people point accusingly at them, at what they see as a horrible transgression.

Recalling the Matriarch in Doris Humphrey’s With My Red Fires (1936), but with less kooky fanaticism, the Elder violently throws Will aside (thereby injuring him), instigating the community to turn against Eva and undo their contract. Only Dot’s mother supports her, but not that anyone would care – women in the community, even the seniors, hold little authority. The people, led by the Elder, form a long procession of bodies canonically turning away in shame; Eva is no match for them, and they cast her out. But the children don’t seem to agree. To them, she is their Piper, cheated of what she has duly earned. In a bizarre twist of fate, Eva dons the Piper’s gaudy cloak and pulls the children along with her, leaving a limping Will behind, like the lame boy in the story.

The National Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Ormsby Wilkins, rendered Michael Torke’s original score, which underpins the action without overwhelming it, incorporating Jennie Such's wordless soprano voice into its themes. On its world premiere, the audience gave the cast of The Contract a raucous standing ovation. Kudelka just might have added yet another masterpiece to his name.

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Marie posted 05-06-2002 07:31
PAULA CITRON - Globe & Mail, May 6, 2002:
Quote:
Pointing the way forward

In adapting the Pied Piper legend, James Kudelka has invented a daring choreographic language for the story ballet


The Contract, his first full-length, original story ballet, looks unlike anything he has created before. Replacing the hallmark Kudelka dense footwork and complicated, dangerous partnering is a straightforward choreographic language that at first seems shockingly retrograde. On reflection, however, Kudelka's deceptively simple movement can also be seen as back to the future in its daring, if not groundbreaking, conceit. Thus, The Contract is a conundrum -- the very new made to look like the very old.
[dead link]

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Marie posted 05-06-2002 07:33

JOHN COULBOURN - Toronto Sun, May 6, 2002:
Quote:
Contract ... signed, sealed & delivered

The Contract is stripped of balletic cliche. Gone are old world notions of courtly romance -- the royalty and castles, the enchanted princesses, the enchanting princes and all their magical friends -- replaced by a world every bit as magical but far more pragmatic.
[dead link]

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Marie posted 05-06-2002 07:37

Marsha Lederman - The Arts Report, CBC, 4 May 2002:
Quote:
New ballet debuts in Toronto

The production uses 54 performers, ranging in age from 11 to 59, and includes principal dancer Rex Harrington.
more...

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Marie posted 05-09-2002 05:47

EMMA McINTYRE - The Eye, 05.09.02:
Quote:
THE CONTRACT ****

In his unconventional new full-length ballet The Contract, James Kudelka visibly struggles with how far you can push the boundaries of ballet without making it modern dance. But he's up to the challenge.
more...
(Scroll to bottom of page)

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Marie posted 05-09-2002 06:03

GLENN SUMI - Now Magazine, May 9 - 15, 2002 :
Quote:
CONTRACT EXPIRES

NEW JAMES KUDELKA BALLET IS MARRED BY CLUMSY STORYTELLING AND DERIVATIVE SCORE


james kudelka's the contract needs a major overhaul before it ever gets renewed.The $1.2-million National Ballet of Canada premiere is the most confusing and dramatically empty narrative ballet I've ever seen.

Kudelka fails to establish character through movement, so we never know or care about Will, Dot or even Eva.
more...

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Marie posted 05-17-2002 09:14

For anyone who missed The Contract in Toronto:

Ottawa Citizen, April 17, 2002:
Quote:
National Ballet perfoms The Contract

The full-length ballet will play May 5 and May 14-18, then tour to Ottawa's National Arts Centre on May 23-25.
[dead link]

A side note, Robert Sirmin, who wrote the libretto, is the administrative director of the National Ballet School.

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Michael Goldbarth posted 05-20-2002 13:06

Kudelka Town’s in Hummingbird,
By famous Toronto city;
Where the River Dances, polluted and wide,
Take me for my word,
A more unpleasant ballet you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
This past Friday ago,
To see the balletomanes of Meltropolis suffer so
From Kudelka’s choreography, was a pity.

The Contract is not a full-length ballet. The puck dropped at 7:35 pm. Act one was over at 8:30. After a 20-minute intermission, the ballet resumed-mercifully ending at 9:25. I want a lot more ballet for my buck! With a top ticket price of 110 Canadian guilders, you better give me more than a one-act ballet stretched into 2 acts. Cut back the gratuitous epileptic scenes and cut out the seduction scene and you have a nice one-act ballet for a mixed program. If the National tours Canada with this adults’ only ballet, they could cause more harm to themselves than good.

The Contract should be about creativity and how education educates the creativity out of us. Think backwards to your public and high school daze: the uniformity; the bland white gymnasium walls; the brain draining florescent lighting; two times two must equal four, etc. etc. etc. We all had to think the same way, wear the same clothes, move exactly the same way. Creativity is bad for you. There is only one right answer to each question. Don’t think for yourself. Day after day after day-that’s what they massaged into our 56 ounces of mush!

In this ballet within a ballet, we along with the dancers of the National Ballet of Canada watch the dancers of the National Ballet School perform The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Like the Piper, Eva (a.k.a. the Goddess of Creativity) attempts to draw out the child (creativity) in all of us adults (puritanical conformists). Though pushing the big Four O and despite a fall, Martine Lamy treats us to a titillating performance as evangelist/faith healer/seductress Aimee Semple McPherson. Those of us well-healed enough to sit close to the stage sat eyeballs glued to Lamy-leaving very little to the imagination in a beige diaphanous dress.

In real life, Aimee Semple McPherson (1890 - 1944) captured the imagination of millions turning people on to Jesus Christ through methods considered very unique in her time. The blond bombshell’s sermons were often dished out with music and theatre. It was not unusual to see a short story from the bible acted out on her stage (the Angelus Temple which coincidentally cost the same to create as Kudelka’s Contract: $1.2 million)! The only thing that rivaled ASM’s appetite for religion was her appetite for men. She married thrice and her many lovers included Uncle Milty (Milton Berle)!

Back to our ballet… After saving the budding adults from the death of creativity, which comes in the form of the above mentioned far too long epileptic fits, The Goddess of Creativity looks for the prudish Dancers of Hamelin to fulfill their end of the contract. The denouement of the ballet comes when she mounts Will (Guillaume Côté) as wide-eyed children watch. (Despite the fairy tale theme, nobody in public school should view this X-rated ballet.) The Hamlet’s elders put a coitus interruptus to Kudelka’s Muse making out with young Will and in the end, it’s the elders who are revealed to be the true rats. Just like the rats of Hamelin, they too are expelled from their Hamlet. By the way, Stratford Actor Tom McCamus (recorded on LP not live) did a wonderful job narrating Robert Browning’s verse.
There is much to love about the Contract. The lighting was almost Da Vinci like. Unfortunately, I enjoyed watching the shadows dance more so than the dancers themselves. One to keep an eye on is the lovely Tanya Howard. She’s far too beautiful and far too talented to remain in the corps de ballet. Kudelka better create some soloist roles for her soon before she’s stolen by another company more appreciative of her beauty and dazzling dance technique.

This is a very painful ballet to watch. As mentioned, Kudelka devotes an inordinate amount of time showing us the death of creativity delivered to this reviewer’s eyes in the form of a virus attacking the body of humanity. Once again, Kudelka was masterful in utilizing the talents of the entire company: from the National Ballet School to the corps de ballet to the older character artists. To tell Kudelka’s story we needed 4 very distinct musical themes: classical, hymns on full pipe organ, swing, and hot provocative jazz. Michael Torke’s score, though very pleasing to the ear, was far too uniform.
Now if only Kudelka can edit this work down to one act he may have another masterpiece on his hands. Mr. K. tried to write too much into his Contract. It’s ridiculous to try and squeeze The Pied Piper of Hamelin plus the real life story of Aimee Semple McPherson into one ballet. Given McPherson’s Canadian roots (Salford, Ontario), does she not merit a ballet of her own? I know what you’re thinking! Who would we get to play Uncle Milty? Why…James Kudelka would be a perfect choice-in full drag of course! Unless you’re a diehard ballet/Kudelka fan, you’ll only sign on to this Contract one time.

Performance of Dancers: 17/20. Choreography: 12/20. Costumes, Sets & Lighting: 17/20. Story: 8/15. Music: 9/15. Ballet Magic: 6/10. Rating: 69/100.

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Marie posted 06-08-2002 19:36

Another quote from the Paula Citron article:

Globe & Mail, June 8, 2002:
Quote:
Weak ticket sales greet National Ballet's Contract

At 65 per cent, attendance for The Contract was just slightly better than the average attendance of 63 per cent for mixed repertoire programs during the season, which typically attract smaller audiences than the full-length ballets. The Contract was budgeted to sell 72 per cent.

Despite the disappointment over The Contract's box office, the company stands solidly behind the production. Says outgoing executive director Valerie Wilder: "The Contract was a splendid accomplishment by James, and was a wonderful conclusion to the National's 50th-anniversary year. . . It is exactly the kind of new creation this company should be doing."
[dead link]

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Michael Goldbarth posted 06-09-2002 07:38

Another interesting quote from the Paula Citron article:
Quote:
NBoC Director of Communications, Julia Drake, reports that the National is looking into touring The Contract, as well as bringing it back into the repertoire as soon as possible.
I find it quite difficult to understand the logic in this. If a ballet hotbed like Toronto did not warm up to the Contract how will Vancouver, Saskatoon or the Atlantic Provinces warm up to Kudelka’s newest creation? Most in the audience thought it was a bore. It may have appealed to half the audience and that’s only because that half are either volunteers for the National Ballet of Canada, friends or relatives of the dancers, former students or students of the National Ballet School, or ballet fanatics. Casual or 1st time ballet fans are not going to want to see a full diet of Contract like ballets. They want classics or something with entertainment value. Of course, that is only my opinion. I did overhear a few ballet fans in line at a restaurant across the street from the Hummingbird Centre and needless to say they were not overly impressed with the way they spent 2 hours of their evening. Bottom line: If the NBoC wishes to prosper they better start making ballet that will appeal to the casual or 1st time ballet fan.

------------------
Michael Goldbarth

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Marie posted 06-09-2002 07:54

But they do present classical works. I didn't read anything in that article that said they are only going to program contemporary ballets. The 2002/03 season consists of The Firebird, La Bayadere, A Delicate Battle, La Fille Mal Gardee, Nut, Swan Lake, Napoli, Spectre, Elite Syncopations, Tristan & Isolde and Jewels. That's a lot of classical stuff mixed with a good dose of "entertainment value" -- and dare I say there will also be some 'ballet magic' there too.
At any rate, I think it's great that a company like the NBoC is producing works like The Contract. Kudos for Kudelka for taking chances in an art form that tends to vere towards what will be safely received by the public as 'real art.' 'Art for artists' is not a bad thing once in a while, IMHO... but I guess that's just the artist in me talking.
________________________________

Michael Goldbarth posted 06-09-2002 09:35

Yes. The 2002/2003 season should be very appealing. Though I think they brought back the Firebird and Swan Lake a little too early.
------------------
Michael Goldbarth


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:08 pm 
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Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Topic: National Ballet of Canada's Guillaume Côté

Marie posted 05-11-2002 05:13

Gary Smith - Hamilton Spectator, May 11, 2002:
Quote:
Côté is a principal dancer in the making

He's young, very young. And at 20, already a principal dancer in the making.

"I never just mark time. I dance everything flat out, even if that means returning to my dressing room exhausted. Even if it means dunking my feet in cold water for an hour or so.

That's because I have eccentric blood in me I guess, Québécois blood."
[dead link]

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Marie posted 06-09-2002 07:54

<img src="http://www.national.ballet.ca/company/bios/images/img-guillaume.jpg" alt="" />

More on Guillaume Côté from the National Ballet of Canada website:
Quote:
Born in Lac St. Jean, Quebec, Guillaume Côté trained at the National Ballet School where he was awarded both the Peter Dwyer and the Erik Bruhn Awards. He joined the company in August 1999 and was promoted to Second Soloist in June 2000. A dancer of great promise, Côté is the company's youngest soloist. Last season made his debut as The Poet in Les Sylphides and understudied the lead roles of Albrecht in Giselle and Lensky in Onegin. His other roles include the Pas de Quatre in Giselle and the Dancing Master in Cinderella. Côté also danced in A Disembodied Voice, The Nutcracker, Onegin and Jewels.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:12 pm 
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Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Topic: National Ballet of Canada : Mixed Program: APOLLO, INTERMEZZO, VOLUNTARIES, MONOTONES II, SLEEPING BEAUTY PDD

Marie posted 05-11-2002 05:17

Michael Crabb - National Post, May 10, 2002:
Quote:
A National Ballet history in three not-so-easy pieces

It is too soon to say whether fortune will shine similarly on Heather Ogden and Nehemiah Kish, or Tiffany Knight and Patrick Lavoie, the young couples who joined seasoned NBC principals Rodriguez and Aleksandar Antonijevic on opening night. Certainly the younger dancers threw themselves into Feld's complex steps and exultant lifts with infectious panache.
[dead link]

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Marie posted 05-11-2002 05:21

PAULA CITRON - Globe & Mail, May 11, 2002:
Quote:
A dance of grief and hope


George Balanchine's Apollo, which opened the program, was created in 1928 to Stravinsky's Apollon musagète, and is a seminal work in the master's neoclassical revival. The piece could not have been better danced, with Rex Harrington in the lead role, and Hodgkinson, Rodriguez and Chan Hon Goh as his exquisite trio of muses.
[dead link]

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Nikiya posted 05-16-2002 15:23

My delayed review from BalletAlert:

I saw 2 performances of Apollo, Intermezzo, and Voluntaries. I rarely get to chance to see 2 different casts, and enjoyed both nights greatly!

APOLLO

On opening night (May 8), Rex Harrington danced Apollo. He gave a energetic and exciting performance, though he has lost a lot of his technique (line and turns), he still has that charisma and presence that audiences love. The choreography is not too gruelling, and it's a good role for him. The 3 muses were Chan Hon Goh, Greta Hodgkinson, and Sonia Rodriguez- one could not ask for a better cast. Each brought life and uniqueness to their variations, Hodgkinson was especially charming as Polyhymnia, nailing all the double pique turns while keeping the arms still and contrasting quick, sharp movements with smooth, flowing steps. As terpsichore, Goh was elegant and moving. Perhaps her working with Farrell's company has influenced her dancing of Balanchine? Her dancing was seamless and musical. The pdd was beautiful, actually, the entire ballet is really a masterpiece and has become a favourite of mine. I saw it 3 years ago in the All Stravinsky program, but on second and third viewing I really appreciate Balanchine's genius so much more. The music is both powerful and playful, and after seeing Apollo, I've decided I must find a recording of it! When the ballet ended, I was left wanting more! It seemed to go by too fast!

On the following evening, Geon Van der Wyst danced Apollo, and also looked great (and he's blond, which just seems fitting for the god of light). He really gave his all in the performance, even when the top part of the costume fell off near the end (it was hanging around his waist like an Egyptian skirt!). This time Hodgkinson danced Terpsichore, and also was exceptional in the role. However, overall, the muses were less in sync (Brenda Little and Rebekah Rimsay).

INTERMEZZO

This is a goregous, romantic ballet- with no real plot, but more focused on moods and relationship between 3 couples. Andrew Burashko should be applauded for his sensitive rendering of Bach's music (the familiar Intermezzi opus 117, No.2 and opus 118, and Waltzes opus 39). He paid a lot of attention to the dancers, especially in the final waltz, slowing down the tempo so the dancers weren't rushed ( there was a lot of intricate footwork, and lifts). Eliot Feld's choreography is delicate and at times imaginative, though I found the piece a bit long (watching it again though, I found it more enjoyable... is everything better the 2nd time around?!).
Still, as the leading couple, Aleksandar Antonijevic and Sonia Rodriguez were excellent interpreters of the steps and music, creating a warm and intimiate feeling, and moving with the greatest of ease. Stacey Shiori Minagawa and Piotr Stanczyk led the trio of couples on thursday. They did not seem to me to have the same level of comfort with each other, or the same understanding of the style, but they were nevertheless a pleasure to watch. The other two couples (on both nights) were Heather Odgen & Nehemiah Kish, and Tiffany Knight & Patrick Lavoie. I felt Ogden was most suited to the ballet. Her dancing was soft, never rushed or tense. The latter couple was enjoyable, yet not very memorable. Overall, a lovely ballet and performances (and very nice costumes!), but it looked a little bit dated.

VOLUNTARIES

This ballet was Glen Tetley's tribute to John Cranko for the Suttgart. The images and feelings of the ballet are those of grief, yearning, and loss. The mood is sombre, and the music (Poulenc's concerto in G minor for Organ, string, and timpani) is reverent and dark.
The leading couple was Geon van der Wyst and Greta Hodgkinson on opening night, and Aleksandar Antonijevic with Martine Lamy on May 9. Both men looked a bit tense in their partnering, granted though, the lifts are very difficult and demanding. Van der Wyst has become a very interesting dancer, and he is becoming a wonderful dramatic actor. Antonijevic seemed more secure in the attitude turns and jumps though, as always, a picture of technical perfection. I slightly prefered Hodgkinson, because she has a stronger attack and more pliant back (important in this ballet)- but Lamy also had a lot to offer, and has a beautiful upper-body that highlighted every sorrowful contraction and port de bras.

Both casts of the pas de trois were wonderful. Xiao Nan Yu, Patrick Lavoie, and Ryan Boorne were dramtic and conveyed a message of hope and release from pain. Both men partnered Yu very well. The other cast was Jennifer Fournier, back at NBoC after having a baby and touring with Suzanne Farrell's company, Etienne Lavigne and Piotr Stancyk. Fournier looked great, in better shape than I've ever seen her (before she left).
Finally, the corps were quite good. The men in particular were very together and completely threw themselves into the complex leaps and jumps. As the Globe and Mail stated, the ballet has a new relavence with it's themes of sadness and hope. While the trio embody hope, the couple personify enduring anguish and realism. The work is filled with many powerful enduring images, as the NBoC pays hommage to not only Cranko, but Tetley as well- two choreographers who had a enormous impact on the company.

This season was a real success for the NBoC, remembering their past and embracing the future (in the Contract, Kudelka's first original full-length... haven't seen it myself yet, but it did receive an excellent response from critics and balletgoers alike). The Erik Bruhn Competition coming up on monday should also be very exciting (anyone else going?)!

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Terry posted 05-17-2002 02:02

Nikiya, do you know the names of the dancers who will be representing their companies (ABT, RB, RDB, etc) at the competition?

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Azlan posted 05-17-2002 07:17

Quote:
Rex Harrington danced Apollo. ... The 3 muses were Chan Hon Goh, Greta Hodgkinson, and Sonia Rodriguez- one could not ask for a better cast.
Indeed! However, I have to say people who have danced "Apollo" have told me it is quite gruelling. Out of curiousity, they did perform the prologue and epilogue?
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Noreen Arnold posted 05-17-2002 12:14

Yes - they did both the prologue and epilogue - at least I think it was the epilogue as I've never really been clear on that. Is that the part where Apollo and the women climb up the stairs...or is there supposed to be another bit after that?

As for the role being "gruelling", in what way does that apply? Is it because Apollo is constantly on stage and the focus must remain constant or is it the solo choreography/partnering that makes it so. Has anyone out there danced the role and would care to comment? Hearing directly from dancers is one of the reasons I like coming to this list.

Other comments on the mixed program - well, I forgot how much I liked Intermezzo, but then it's been almost 30 years since it was last done! Gosh...that makes me feel so old. Very tricky to do.....the dancers have to maintain that feeling of dreamy romance while negotiating some very difficult chorography. There's one or two sections where the girls are being lifted in a kind of swinging over the head sort of thing...one of those movements that are hard to describe but luscious to watch...and they start to have a hypnotic effect as the movement is repeated over and over. Wonderful. Rodriguez and Antonijevic are developing a great partnership and I'm looking forward to more of their performances. She will be doing La Fille Mal Gardee next year and I wonder who will be her Colas....Antonijevic maybe? We'll see!

As for Voluntaries - My God, I love that Ballet! There is such passion in the choreography - I was right down front in row "KK" and I seemed to be right on the stage with the dancers. Yu was glorious and so was Greta. I'm less and less impressed by Van Der Wyst each time I see him - he's such a gorgeous man to look at on stage and some of his partnering is better, but he just doesn't have the technique that I expect from a Principal dancer. But I'll try to keep an open mind and maybe someday he'll win me over - goodness knows he has many enthusiastic fans who obviously see something I'm missing!

I wanted to see every cast in the mixed program but work (drat) didn't permit the time. Isn't it a pity that the means of affording the luxury of theatre tickets (work!) often is the very thing that prevents one getting there! One of life's conundrums.
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Azlan posted 05-17-2002 12:20

Yes, Noreen, that is the epilogue. The prologue features the birth.

I've forwarded this thread to a few people. Hopefully, one of the Apollo dancers will respond.
________________________________

Nikiya posted 05-17-2002 12:52

Terry, all I know is that ABT will send Michele Wiles. I know some of the program:

NBoC-black swan and Dominique Dumais new work
ABT- Grand Pas Classique and Manon
RDB- black swan (again?!) and a Neumier ballet
SFB- not sure of classical pdd, a Wheeldon ballet
Stuttgart- Sleeping Beauty Act 3 pdd and In the Middle Somewhat Elevated

I can imagine Apollo is quite gruelling. I remember sitting in the very front when Johan Persson danced Apollo and I could see all the sweat and hear him panting! And for the muses, all those penches aren't exactly easy!
Noreen, yes that part in Intermezzo when the men 'rock' the women higher and higher is gorgeous, and the waltz too.

As for Geon, yes, his technique always leaves something to be desired. In fact, other that Aleksandar and Guillaume there are few men in the company with a pure classical line, and good turns. A shame too. At first, I thought of Geon as just a "pretty boy", but now I'm coming to appreciate his dancing more. Now, if only he'd work on those pirouettes. I attended an on-stage class last week, and he appeared to be marking a lot of the barre excersizes and didn't stick around for centre.

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NikolaiK posted 05-21-2002 17:12

I find "Apollo" challenging not for its physicality or difficult choreography. The biggest challenge for me was not to imitate Peter Martins whom I admire in this role. It took a few performances before I felt that I found my own connection with the character and truly realized the greatness of Balanchine's choreography and Stravinsky's score. The biggest compliment is when people tell me after the performance that they saw a different "Apollo" and that they felt something they never felt before.
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Francis Timlin posted 05-24-2002 15:28

Francia Russell offers the following on the question of why the role of Apollo might be considered "grueling":

"...[T]he weight of history makes dancers nervous about the role. It is challenging physically, if performed with the intensity and energy Mr. B. asked for, but not one of the real 'killers.' Balanchine really cared about this male role -- more than any other -- as you may know, and there have been many great interpreters for dancers to follow."
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Marie posted 06-04-2002 09:15

MARILYN SMULDERS - Halifax Daily News, June 04, 2002:
Quote:
From classic to abstract, ballet sampler exquisite

Quadruple bill: Apollo, Monotones II, The Sleeping Beauty pas de deux, and Intermezzo

Less remarkable for the movement than for the moments it provides, Apollo dazzles with its images: Terpsichore (Chan Han Goh), her hands cupped tenderly to hold Apollo’s head, then balanced like a boat upon his outstretched neck and head. Goh embodies her muse fully; she dances to her very fingertips, her hands fluttering like butterflies.
[dead link]
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trina posted 06-04-2002 11:44

Yes, following in the footsteps of Peter Martins in this role (Apollo) would be difficult, as it appears he was literally BORN to play that role. Physically, he is the quintessential "Greek God"...blond hair, perfect proportions, cool demeanor. It would be intimidating to have to follow in those footsteps. As far as "Intermezzo", I LOVE that piece. I think no less than Anthony Tudor mentioned that as being a ballet he admired...quite a compliment, as that fellow rarely/never gave compliments. "Intermezzo" is in that same genre as "La Valse", and "Vienna Waltzes" gorgeous, moody, heady, intoxicating dancing, not much plot, but memorable and gorgeous.
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Stuart Sweeney posted 06-04-2002 12:09

"Apollo" is one of my favourite Balanchine ballets both for its innovative small ensemble choreography and its wonderful sculptural images. It was good to read the descriptions of the NBoC performances and in return I offer some reports of English National Ballet's production at The Coliseum with Thomas Edur in the lead. Edur, from Estonia, is one of the leading male dancers currently performing in the UK and is as God-like as you could wish.

Here is the link to the <a href=”http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=16&t=000188&p=”>ENB topic</a>

<small>[ 11-21-2002, 22:12: Message edited by: Marie ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:13 pm 
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Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Topic: Magdalena Popa - Ballet Mistress, National Ballet of Canada

Marie posted 06-22-2002 08:37

William Littler - Toronto Star, Jun. 22, 2002:
Quote:
Ballet star honoured by Romania 20 years after defecting

An outstanding student who had made her debut in a principal role at the age of 17 in The Nutcracker, she surprised her teachers by deciding not to enter the Kirov Ballet, returning home instead to the ballet in Bucharest, then regarded as the finest in the Soviet Bloc outside Russia.

"I arrived in the United States speaking no English. I could have phoned Natasha (Makarova), Misha (Baryshnikov) or Rudy (Nureyev), but I felt too humiliated to ask for help. Fortunately, my hosts in Jackson were very kind, and I learned that I could immigrate to Canada without asking for political asylum. I didn't want to ask for asylum anyway because of the trouble it would cause my family.

"I never wanted to hurt my country. I was a principal dancer for 22 years and wouldn't have left if my passport hadn't been taken away.
[dead link]


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:14 pm 
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Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Topic: Kevin Garland - National Ballet of Canada's New Executive Director

Marie posted 07-04-2002 12:24

Benjamin Errett - National Post, July 4 » 2002:
Quote:
Head of opera moves to National Ballet
Kevin Garland leaves post; new opera house now 'unstoppable'


Garland has been on the board of directors at the National Ballet since 1992, and was initially part of the committee to choose a new director.

Garland replaces Valerie Wilder, who will join the Boston Ballet as executive director in September.
[dead link]
________________________________

Marie posted 07-05-2002 12:53

JOHN COULBOURN - TORONTO SUN, July 5, 2002:
Quote:
Garland leaps to National Ballet

Sue Matthews, chair of the NBOC, announced earlier this week that Garland will replace Valerie Wilder as the ballet's new executive director, effective Sept. 3.
[dead link]
________________________________

Marie posted 07-13-2002 08:53

SARAH HAMPSON - Globe & Mail, July 13, 2002:
Quote:
Bricks, mortar and tutus


'Yes, I'm sure," says Kevin Garland in calm acknowledgment of the surprise her recent appointment as executive director of the National Ballet of Canada provoked in the arts world. For four years, she has been the name behind the Canadian Opera Company's pursuit of a home. As executive director of Canadian Opera House Corp., she drew upon her background in urban planning and commercial real-estate development. But that's not the typical résumé for someone stepping into such an important -- and salaried -- arts administrative role. She has been an involved patron in the arts and other organizations; a committed volunteer, having served on the board of the National Ballet for 10 years. Still, the big question on everyone's mind is simply this: What qualifies her?
[dead link]

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dirk posted 07-13-2002 15:15

Sorta dull article in the Globe and Mail...but with this quote to make it all worthwhile:
"Garland is a big Kudelka fan. following the public relations fiasco [well, I suppose that might be one way to put it] a few years ago -- the legal wrangling over whether ballerina Kimberly Glasco was dismissed because she questioned the allocation of funds to Kudelka's new Swan Lake -- such loyallty is clearly imperative."


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:14 pm 
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Topic: National Ballet of Canada 'La Fille Mal Gardée'

Marie posted 09-27-2002 13:27

Globe and Mail, September 26, 2002 :
Quote:
Performing Arts Dancing in the light of a classic
The lighthearted La Fille mal Gardée is a timely selection for the National's new season


"It must be the happiest ballet that exists," says Karen Kain, artistic associate for the company and the Canadian ballerina who positively owned the lead in La Fille.

"I had the advantage of being in the studio with Sir Frederick Ashton for a month," she recounts. "He was already in his seventies but was just tireless with us on every detail. In the ideal situation you learn from the person who dreamed the work up in the first place."
[dead link]
________________________________

Marie posted 11-17-2002 17:39

Toronto Star, Nov. 14, 2002:
Quote:
Hand-me-down pearls of wisdom
National Ballet revisits 1960 work Alexander Grant danced in original


Grant is in Toronto, rehearsing La Fille, assisted by Joanne Nisbet and David Scott, two English dancers who joined the National Ballet in its early years. In the studio, Scott walks in with a videotape, apparently to clear up a question of the precise gesture called for in a pas de deux between Martine Lamy and Piotr Stancyk, who dance the lead roles of Lise and Colas in the first cast.
To read more go to the A&E section of the Toronto Star
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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:15 pm 
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Topic: National Ballet of Canada's Xiao Nan Yu

Marie posted 11-03-2002 23:08

<img src="http://www.national.ballet.ca/company/bios/images/img-xiaonanyu.jpg" alt="" />
<font size=1>Photo: Richard Lautens</font>

Gary Smith - Hamilton Spectator, Nov. 2, 2002:
Quote:
Xiao Nan Yu: Ballet's 'hot new thing'

Yu came to the National Ballet School at the behest of artistic director Mavis Staines. Born in Dalian on China's northeast coast, Yu discovered ballet watching Russia's Kirov Company dance Swan Lake.

. . .Yu's debut here helped define a bold new face of excellence at the National Ballet.
[url=http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=hamilton/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1036191711274&call_pageid=1014656509285&col=101465 6512015">more ...</a>

<a href="http://www.national.ballet.ca/company/bios/xiaonanyu.shtml]Xiao Nan Yu's Biography[/url] on the National Ballet of Canada website
________________________________

Kevin Ng posted 11-03-2002 23:25

I met Yu this summer when she was in Hong Kong briefly, at a function organised by the Canadian Consulate. I haven't seen her dance yet.

<small>[ 11-21-2002, 22:16: Message edited by: Marie ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:17 pm 
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Topic: National Ballet of Canada - Mixed Program: Firebird, La Bayadère, A Delicate Battle

Marie posted 11-18-2002 13:32

PAULA CITRON - Globe and Mail, November 18, 2002:
Quote:
National rises to challenge of Russian classic

If there was a particularly poignancy in the first pas de deux between Nikiya and Solor in La Bayadère, Act II,there was good reason. Solar (Aleksandar Antonijevic) dreams he is visiting the Kingdom of the Shades in an afterlife meeting with his late, beloved Nikiya (Greta Hodgkinson). The company members of the National Ballet had just learned that William Marrié was dead. The former principal dancer, who left the company to join the Broadway musical Movin' Out,had died following a motorcycle accident in New York. This performance, which opened the season, was dedicated to his memory.
To read more search PAULA CITRON on the Globe and Mail 7 Day Search
________________________________

Marie posted 11-18-2002 13:33

Michael Crabb - National Post, November 18, 2002:
Quote:
From tutus to cutting-edge ballet

NBC's current staging, from 1984, by the former superstar ballerina Natalia Makarova, is based on Petipa.

La Bayadère Act II is one of the great showpieces for a female corps de ballet, whose members, 24 of them in NBC's case, enter processionally down a switchback ramp before assembling in neat geometric formation on stage.
[url=http://www.nationalpost.com/artslife/story.html?id={56438E55-85C0-49B8-8E96-F10472334898}]more...[/url]

________________________________

Marie posted 11-18-2002 13:33

JOHN COULBOURN - Toronto Sun, November 18, 2002:
Quote:
A moving tribute
Mixed program celebrates the life of the late William Marrie


Carried aloft by the determination of an entire company, The Firebird took wing in a way that did Marrie proud.

In fact, the entire evening was, in its way, a moving tribute.

It began with Greta Hodgkinson and Aleksandar Antonijevic leading a score and more ballerinas through the ghostly classical artistry of Natalia Makarova's evocation of Marius Petipa's La Bayadere, Act II, a work that also gave Heather Ogden, Xiao Nan Yu and particularly Jennifer Fournier a chance to shine.
more...
________________________________

Marie posted 11-21-2002 13:24
More on "A Delicate Battle" choreographer <a href="http://forum.criticaldance.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=11;t=001230">Choreographer Matjash Mrozewski </a>


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:18 pm 
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TRALEE PEARCE - Globe and Mail, November 16, 2002:
Quote:
SHOPPING WITH: SONIA RODRIGUEZ

"My husband and I did this for a show last year," she says as we take a cab to Bloor Street in Toronto. The husband is figure skater Kurt Browning and they've just collaborating on Gotta Skate, a television special that airs later this month and in December. "We like to give a little token."

That means a little something for Lu Chen, Josée Chouinard, Isabelle Brasseur and Elena Berezhnaya. On the ballet front, Aleksandar Antonijevic and Keiichi Hirano are in line.
To read more search TRALEE PEARCE on the Globe and Mail 7 Day Search


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:20 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
WILLIAM LITTLER - Toronto Star, Nov. 21, 2002:
Quote:
A night off for the cynical

Martine Lamy looked delightful as Lise, the "badly guarded girl" of the title, dancing impeccably and exhibiting a talent for comedy that probably surprised some of her viewers.

An even greater surprise was Piotr Stanczyk. Colas has turned out to be a breakthrough role for this fast-rising second soloist, whose buoyant personality and precise technique blossomed in country livery.
To read more go to the Toronto Star


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 10:06 am 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Paula Citron - Globe and Mail, November 22, 2002:
Quote:
Playful partnering

How delightful it is to have Sir Frederick Ashton's adorable La Fille mal gardée back in the repertoire again after a decade's absence -- a ballet, one might add, that fits the National Ballet of Canada like a glove.

The company's senior ballerina looked positively ageless with her feathery light turns and jumps, layered by consummate acting flair that made every moment real. Second soloist Stanczyk is getting a well-deserved push up the ranks. He is a strong partner, with a vigorous attack that slices cleanly through the air.
To read more search PAULA CITRON on the Globe and Mail 7 Day Search


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada 2002
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 10:13 am 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Michael Crabb - National Post, November 22, 2002:
Quote:
Dazzling achievement for the National Ballet
NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA: LA FILLE MAL GARDEE

It takes a company of artistic depth to make Fille effective, but without a sparkling lead couple it will remain dull stuff indeed. Fortunately, in Martine Lamy and Piotr Stanczyk, NBC had the perfect opening partnership.

Wednesday's opening was further enlivened by Philip Lau's heartful portrayal of Alain and by the seasoned contributions of NBC princes-turned-character dancers Tomas Schramek and Hazaros Surmeyan as Widow Simone and Farmer Thomas, respectively.
[url=http://www.nationalpost.com/artslife/story.html?id={66BCE41E-B41E-49A0-93C8-57D018A5B205}]more...[/url]


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