CriticalDance Forum

National Ballet of Canada - Winter 2008
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Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:48 pm ]
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Keira it is then! I thought perhaps it may be a pseudonym for the famous actress Keira Knightley, who by the way always wanted to be a ballerina. I wasn’t going to bring this up but while we’re all talking about the price of a ticket, that very topic came up during the Ballet Talk I attended. Not to pick on Michael Crabb…but he did casually mention if you don’t like a mixed program you can either sit through it or leave and then all you’re out is the price of a ticket! For many of us, we’re going to be sitting through the program, like it or not!

Often, the mixed programs are poorly attended even though it may be a spectacular plus bargain evening of ballet. The problem here is the casual ticket buyers who the NBoC needs to help fill the 4 Seasons are afraid of investing in something they’re not familiar with opting instead to go with safe choices like Swan Lake, R & J, Sleeping Beauty, etc. There is also the investment of time to consider for us poor folk who are forced to contribute to society by working for a living! I can also recollect many a mixed program which was filled with artsy-fartsy ballet created solely for the purpose of fulfilling the choreographer’s ego.

Hence, the National tends not to program as many days for mixed fare. Even if it is good, attendance will likely not be that good. They could do a better job promoting it. For example, Elite Syncopations is a fantastic ballet always performed at world class quality by the NBoC but the artsy name may scare off casual ballet fans. As regular ballet fans are fully aware there is nothing elitist about this ballet.

If more people attended and gave, I’m sure prices would at least stabilize and may even drop a little. I highly recommend you subscribe as you will definitely save over buying individual tickets. The National probably doesn’t want me promoting this but there is nothing stopping you from teaming up with a friend/family member to purchase a subscription and then taking advantage of the half off offer for Subscriber Rush!

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:01 am ]
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Jason Reilly is getting a lot of press! Check out this article in the Globe & Mail.

Romeo is a particularly auspicious return role for Reilly. He first appeared as a guest with the National Ballet of Canada back in 2006 in a production of Romeo and Juliet. And as he says of the show, created by John Cranko for Stuttgart Ballet in 1962, then given to the National in 1964: "It's a ballet that is a joy to dance because of its freedom. Cranko has told the story so well that everything falls into place and you can't go wrong. It's easy to get into the character, and the music is wonderful."

Author:  Keira99 [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:57 am ]
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Nope, Keira Knightley stole my thunder and my name! ;)

he did casually mention if you don’t like a mixed program you can either sit through it or leave and then all you’re out is the price of a ticket!

Yeah, easy for him to say! But it's another reason I like the rush tickets -- when I'm only spending $30, if a ballet isn't quite up to snuff it's not a big deal. But I can't imagine leaving -- something would have to be *really* bad for me to do that. At the very least I always enjoy watching pretty people on stage. If that makes me shallow, I'm okay with that.

The National probably doesn’t want me promoting this but there is nothing stopping you from teaming up with a friend/family member to purchase a subscription and then taking advantage of the half off offer for Subscriber Rush!

Hmm, that's true. Definitely something to consider!

Wow, Jason is indeed getting a ton of press. That's great, and I really look forward to seeing him next season.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:18 pm ]
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At the very least I always enjoy watching pretty people on stage. If that makes me shallow, I'm okay with that.

I too must confess to gazing at the beauty of many of the NBoC ballerinas! I couldn’t help but notice, and of course wholly approve, of some rather sultry poses in this year’s yearbook! :wink:

Author:  ksneds [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:20 am ]
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As a preamble .... I am fast becoming a fan of the NBoC and its talented dancers. And it may be unfair for me to be comparing this production to the much larger cast and more intricate Neumeier and MacMillan versions. But - at least in its current form - this Cranko production was uninspiring. It seems to lack pathos (has there ever been a more rushed last scene!), and the lighting and the costumes contributed to a feeling of sameness and drabness. And heck, if I can't see the dancers, how can I feel their emotion?! So three cheers for the dancers who dance their hearts out, even when the production fails them.

BTW, it should be noted that a program insert announced that Richard Landry will be replacing Keichi Hirano for all his performances as Benvolio. One assumes future casting updates will be announced since some of Landry's now additional performances as Benvolio clash with his scheduled performances as Mercutio. Additionally, Hirano is scheduled to dance Mercutio on four occasions - and it's not clear whether he will be dancing on those occasions. (No reason was given for his absence). This being almost the one year anniversary of his injury at the Erik Bruhn awards, I hope his absence is not due to injury!).

One final note - I am not categorically against longer hair for male dancers, but I think Jason Reilly needs to give in and get a shorter haircut when he is performing. He has long, slicked back hair which seems to beyond the control of gel, and it was distracting both to see him brushing it back and to see long strands slip in front of his face. I want to remember his dancing, not his hair!

Without further review:

National Ballet of Canada
Four Seasons Centre
March 11, 2009
“Romeo and Juliet”

In National Ballet of Canada’s first 2009 performance of Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet” had a just of bit of triumph mixed in with the tragedy. For, besides being the opening performance of the production, the evening marked a homecoming of sorts for soon to be principal dancer Jason Reilly. Trained at the National Ballet of Canada, Reilly has spent his entire ten-year professional career at the Stuttgart Ballet. A principal dancer there since 2007, he will be returning to Canada to join the NBoC as a principal starting in the 2009-2010 season. Reilly is a dancer of astounding technical capability, but this production of “Romeo and Juliet” was a disappointingly flat platform to introduce his talents to Canadian audiences.

John Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet”, which debuted back in 1962, was the first of the currently widely performed productions to be created. Widely cited (and pretty obviously) the foundation and inspiration for Kenneth MacMillan’s acclaimed production, Cranko’s created lacks the choreographic creativity and passion seen in his “Onegin”. On this evening, the National Ballet of Canada dancers put out a stellar performance, but they were failed by the production itself. Having only seen this ballet once before, and that more than two decades ago, it is hard to comment as to whether this may be due to the specifics of this production and/or the passage of more than 35 years since Cranko’s untimely death.

On the balletic stage “Romeo and Juliet” must be a masterpiece of emotion that draws the audience into the tragic story. Cranko’s choreography – especially to one raised on the MacMillan version - seems to be a unfinished sketch that perhaps would have been more completely realized if he’d had more years to keep playing with the ballet. This sense of being unfinished is reinforced by Susan Benson’s uninspired sets and costumes (not, I gather, the originals for this ballet). The main set piece is a series of arches that split the stage front to back, and become balcony, crypt wall, bedroom windows and ballroom arches – none particularly effectively. The splitting of the stage also creates a space between the set piece and the attractive backcloth of a city scene that is generally oddly empty. The NBoC is not a particularly large company, and this production generally eschews the use of extras. As a result, no matter how vibrant the dancing, the action on stage often seems to be in an oddly isolated island.

Compounding the problem are Benson’s washed out costumes and Robert Thomson’s ineffective lighting. Benson chooses to use very similar colours for most of the Capulets and Montagues, and in the dim lighting it’s nearly impossible to tell the families apart. The resulting confusion robs the fight scenes of some of there power. Worse, Juliet’s dress was a light pink which did little to make her stand out from other women in the ballroom scene. Thus, when Romeo and Juliet first meet in the ballroom scene, whilst Romeo’s snow-white tunic draws the eye, there’s nothing to make Juliet equally stand out. What should be powerful moments get lost in the swirl of similarly coloured costumes. Additionally, the early scene of Juliet’s transformation from girlhood to womanhood falls flat as there is little difference in her dresses before and after, and the tight, high bun of her opening scene is one of a mature woman, not a girl.

There seems to be an increasingly trend in ballet towards dim lighting, and it certainly was apparent in this production. Even when the front of the stage was relatively well lit, Thomson chose not to fully light the back third of the stage behind the arches. As a result, the ballet seems to exist in a perpetual twilight- even in the outside scenes that we want to see in all their bustle, joy, chaos, fun and tragedy. Worse, it served to hide some of the emotion in pivotal moments like the balcony scene and Juliet’s bedroom.

What was not lacking was the quality of the dance. Reilly and his Juliet, Greta Hodgkinson were an elegant match, though – at least from the third ring – one never felt a real emotional connection (as much a fault of the choreography as anything). Though the pair has not likely danced together before, they moved fluently and easily together. Their balcony scene pas de deux moved beyond steps into one long breath of choreography – it’s just that the choreography doesn’t quite achieve the emotion it needs to. Hodgkinson is probably pushing the limits of Juliet believability, but has the experience to make the emotional transitions subtly and poignantly. For his part, Reilly was less the boyish Romeo than some, but dropped jaws with his stunning technical abilities. Some male dancers are flexible, some are powerful, but rarely do you see flexibility, power and control in one complete package. Reilly is one of the rare ones. In the balcony scene he threw off some double tours with his hands in high fifth that were jaw-droppingly high, unforced, fully rotated and gently landed. He followed these with a double tour that landed without the slightest wobble in a beautifully stretched, high arabasque. By far the most perfect example I’ve ever seen… The term “technique to spare” must have been coined with Reilly in mind. I am already excited to see him in Onegin in 2010 – that wil be a performance not to miss!!

The partnership has much to recommend it, but Cranko’s rush through the third act hardly gives them time to build up the emotion. The bedroom scene seems oddly rushed, with a lack of care to the details that create the intimacy of emotion – the sheets completely unmussed, the bed draped so to reveal that is was also the stone in the crypt, and Romeo exiting by drawing aside a curtain in one of the arches-doubling-as-windows that sounded like nothing so much as a shower curtain. Talk about a mood killer.

More fatally - to use an appropriate word – Cranko seems to have taken his time to get through almost three acts only to go helter skelter through the penultimate final scene. After Juliet is somewhat awkwardly lowered into the crypt, Romeo barely gets a minute to stab the also-visiting Paris and only a very, very short time to dance with Juliet’s seemingly lifeless body. One of the most effective parts of MacMillan’s production is the extended pas de deux between Romeo and the unconscious Juliet. This is a scene that should be heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching, tear-jerking – Prokofiev’s music cries out for the silent screams of eternal agony, and here there are none. Here it seems rushed, and a shame because Reilly and Hodgkinson have the experience and technique for such an emotional pas de deux. I’ve seen dancers finish the ballet sobbing, but here I’d have trouble believing they have time to work up that level of emotion.

Much should be said about the other dancers. Richard Landry – who from my perch reminded me of a tall Billy Boyd – was a genial Benvolio to Piotr Stanczyk’s good-natured ruffian of a Mercutio. There seems to be a universal tendency for choreographers to milk Mercutio’s death, well, to death, but Stanczyk managed to keep the extended death scene from dipping into farce. His technique is not quite so unforced as Reilly’s, but he deftly combines mime and dancing to create a character. Landry, Stanczyk and Reilly were also a well-matched trio, especially impressive in the spot on synchronization during the series of side by side double tours and turns. At one point, Reilly started doing different port de bras, and it was unclear whether this was intentionally choreography for the centrally situated Romeo or an unintentional reversion by Reilly to choreography from another version.

Etienne Lavigne as Tybalt and Brett van Sickle as Paris were solid in roles that can often get lost in the shuffle. Both are tall, elegant and solid partners when called upon – valuable traits for male dancers. Cranko doesn’t fully flesh out the role of the nurse, but Victoria Bertram created a character both jolly and caring. Friar Lawrence is equally as undefined a character here, but Kevin Bowles brough an air of benevolent mystery to the role. Incidentally he was eerily reminiscent in looks and manner to Royal Danish Ballet character dancer Erling Eliason who has performed the same role in the Neumeier version of “Romeo and Juliet”. There were disappointments in other character roles – a surprise given that the NBoC is one of a very few North American companies to employ dedicated character dancers. Hazaros Surmeyan lacked gravitas as the Duke of Verona – in breaking up the fight between the Montagues and the Capulets, his mime seemed limp and it was not until the final clenched fist that he seemed to command power. As Lord Capulet, Tomas Schramek was also lacking in force – it is the power of his demand that Juliet must marry Paris that should in part make us believe she has no choice but to fake death to be with Romeo. Here it was not so easy to believe.

It was hardly a tear-jerking end, but a performance that again demonstrates the depth of the NBoC roster. The company is welcoming a fabulous dancer, and has talent to spare. Yet, while one can understand the appeal of the Cranko production to a medium sized company, the dancers offer so much more than this production can give. Let’s hope that there’s a ‘ballet fairy godmother’ out there who can help match the company with a better “Romeo and Juliet”, or at the very least get the lights turned up for this one!!

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:15 am ]
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Kudos to Kate for the most detailed review! The keys on your keyboard must still be smoking from the veracity and velocity upon which you whipped up the above prose!

Obviously Kate was not sitting with Toronto Star reviewer Susan Walker who gave R&J 4 stars!

“Hodgkinson, dancing a role as a 13-year-old that only a seasoned ballerina can manage, projects great innocence and playfulness. By the third act both seem to have aged into adulthood.”

Susan Walker

Hodgkinson is probably pushing the limits of Juliet believability, but has the experience to make the emotional transitions subtly and poignantly.

Kate Snedeker

:cry: I am saddened to read the lighting was so poor Kate could not feel the emotion from the 3rd Ring. I’m curious whether you brought along opera glasses? If so, then there was obviously a serious problem with the lighting.

* I also found an interview with Sonia Rodriguez talking about R&J.

“Just the emotional rollercoaster. Not that it’s difficult, but I think its more that…you don’t Just want to come in and out of character. You have to be Juliet from beginning to end, and tell the story. As a dancer you don’t have words. But we’re lucky that we have production that’s so ingeniously choreographed, that it tells the story so beautifully. And we can portray so much with our body movements.

Author:  ksneds [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:57 am ]
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I would probably have given the dancing 4 stars, but the rest of the production needs work badly.

From my seat, there was not much emotional connection. Now, Romeo and Juliet is often a ballet that needs to be seen from close up - and this pair may have been more convincing if you could see their faces. But I shouldn't have to be glued to my opera glasses to see the emotion - remember that the majority of the audience in a theatre the size of Four Seasons are above the orchestra level, so dancers really need to pay attention to projection and the designers to using sufficient and effective lighting/staging/sets.

Hodgkinson and Reilly will likely improve as this partnership grows (though, I think, quite unwisely, the company has decided to cast 6 sets of dancers in the roles so no one pairing has much of a chance to work with the roles). My feeling is that a lot of companies don't emphasis the idea of projection - it may look a bit overdone right up front, but then it reaches every nook and cranny in the highest ring. I think it would really help if each set of dancers were to observe a performance from way up and see what it looks like and so how much they have to project.

I was getting sucked in during the balcony scene, but I found Cranko's third act very rushed and, all prepared to bawl my eyes out in the final scene, Cranko has the dancers zoom through the act.

I am partisan to the MacMillan version (though I think he could use with some editing), but have seen other more successful versions, and think that the NBoC would be much better served by another version. I adore Cranko's "Onegin" and how Jane Bourne & Reid Anderson stage it, but don't think this is Cranko at his best, or at least Cranko re-produced at his best.

If I had to recommend three things for this production, it would be to 1) start with Juliet's hair in something other than a tight bun and have her ballroom dress 'virginal' white so she stands out clearly, 2) use much brighter light in the outside scenes especially at the rear of the stage and 3) change the corps costumes to both make the differences between the families clearer and give the trio of demi-soloist men costumes they can use to add to their characters.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:03 am ]
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I will definitely pay close attention to the lighting when I go tonight and tomorrow. I guess I’ve been spoiled enjoying R & J from the front row of Ring 3 with my high-powered opera glasses and sitting in ROW A for many performances at the Hummingbird Centre! Kate is right that the ballet should be presented to provide a good viewing experience from the choice seats in the Orchestra to Ring 5. Though, there is only so much you can do to reach the nosebleed seats in the rarified air of the upper Ring!

Thing is if you ask Mrs. K it is a great view from any seat at the 4 Seasons!!!! :lol:

Author:  Keira99 [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:16 am ]
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Thanks so much for the review, Kate. I look forward to seeing the production myself next weekend.

Thing is if you ask Mrs. K it is a great view from any seat at the 4 Seasons!!

Heh. I actually walked up to the fifth ring last weekend during one of the intermissions just to see what the view was like. I couldn't help myself from exclaiming "Holy ####!" when I walked out and saw how steep it was up there! I chatted with the usher, who tried to convince me that it was actually a great view from up there. Maybe with a telescope...

Author:  LMCtech [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:27 am ]
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Iv'e seen a lot of versions of R&J including the Cranko, and I also felt it lacked pathos. I don't think it is a problem with the dancers; the production is inherently flawed. There are leaps in the story that leave the audience grasping for clarity and explanation. I was mightily disappointed.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:50 am ]
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I chatted with the usher, who tried to convince me that it was actually a great view from up there. Maybe with a telescope...

LMAO! :lol: That usher must have graduated from the (INSERT YOUR FAVORITE IDIOT DICTATOR) Grade School of Propaganda! Indeed, I too have suffered from this view! Please see the below review from the Mad Hot Gala when I hiked all the up to RING 5! The ticket was free for subscribing early and I was curious… Opera Glasses are a must unless you possess owl vision!

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:57 pm Post subject:


Mad HOTT Gala II!!

As if...there was any doubt that Heather Ogden was H-O-Double-T HOTT, the Mad Hot Gala II program featured this ballerina hottie blonde bombshell all ablaze-A fireball engulfing the cover from her pointe shoes! The above fiery image was also featured on the southwest corner of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts courtesy of some lovestruck sidewalk chalk artist. Too bad Mother Nature will eventually wash away his artwork homage to the priceless beauty of Heather Ogden.

Never before had I climbed to the dizzying heights of Ring 5, and yet, somehow, I made it to my seat sans oxygen mask and hiking boots. The Mönch like climb to my balletic Mount Eiger was well worth it to feast tired orbs upon this hot Jungfrau! Fortunately, I didn’t forget my opera glasses, suffer any nose bleeds, and found my way to the special post-performance reception to quaff down cocktails and gobble up hors d’oeuvres without the aid of a Saint Bernard! How I suffer for my art! Okay, I had a Frasier Crane moment.

It was most apropos we uncorked our evening of champagne dance with the exercise at the barre ballet, Etudes. Nehemiah Kish did not perform here but he certainly will have ample opportunity to practice this 1948 Harald Lander work, now that he has defected to the Royal Danish Ballet. We’re treated to the classic piano by Karl Czerny arranged for orchestra by Knudåge Riisager. Slowly building in sophistication, the choreography squeezes in almost every step in the ballet canon from pliés to fouettés to jetés to spinning tops galore. This is a must see ballet for fans of the tutu, shadow lighting, and classical technique. Of course, Heather Ogden was hott but I preferred her performance in the Friday mixed program, which also featured Etudes. Despite seeing Etudes for a 2nd time within a span of 4 days, it was still very fresh and most entertaining.

Next up, we have the much storied delay for the world premiere of Veer with muscular dance moves courtesy of former National Ballet School of Canada student and dancer for Alberta Ballet, Sabrina Matthews. It was a little too abstract, modern, and dark for my tastes but I certainly did appreciate all the different moves showing off the human body. Veer would have made its debut during the Erik Bruhn Competition last year had Keiichi Hirano not blown out his Achilles tendon dancing in Le Corsaire. His partner, Tina Pereira, a replacement for the injured Bridgett Zehr, danced on, creating her own ending (Ballet Improv) and performed an unrehearsed Balcony Pas de Deux from Romeo and Juliet in place of Veer with a fan who volunteered to partner her from the audience-Guillaume Côté! Tina Pereira must believe in making lemonade when life gives you lemons, as she faced the music and danced winning the Erik Bruhn Competition to a teary-eyed thunderous standing O! Both Hirano and Pereira have a bright future with the National and both received much heartfelt applause for their Gala performance.

Nehemiah Kish revealed to all why Copenhagen opened up the vault to sign him as a free agent from the National Ballet of Canada with a show stopping performance in the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. Air Kish defied gravity with his leaps and spins all the while being a prefect partner for Heather Ogden. Both sparkled on stage and danced the emotion of Tchaikovsky’s music to life!

This was all-you-can-see ballet with an all-you-can-eat buffet after the show. To top it all off Karen Kain also served up Rubies from Jewels. I must admit my review is clouded by my memories of a 2003 matinée performance.

“Of all the glittering jewels gracing the stage for Thursday’s afternoon delight one sparkled more than any emerald, ruby, or even diamond could ever hope to sparkle. Call me another (happy) victim of ballerina magnetism but this precious gem boasts the glowing face and beaming body of which National Ballet of Canada dreams are made on! Mere prose cannot do justice to the delicious images she created on stage. This is one ballerina who knows how to shine and isn’t afraid to face the music and dance: Every step was imbued with spontaneity; every moment on stage was danced as if it was her last; every eye in the house was glued to her as the come-hither ruby in Jewels. She danced en pointe as if Sir Isaac Newton’s silly theories of gravity applied to her-NOT!

Unlike Tristan and Isolde, Jewels lives up to the National Ballet of Canada’s cheeky tagline, ‘Come to the Ballet!’ Those fortunate enough to be retired, playing hooky from work or school were treated to undulating hips, dizzying pirouettes, bedroom eyes glancing skywards, sassy high kicks, flirtatious skipping with imaginary rope, and jazzy moves galore. These goo-goo eyes were glued from seat A 28. Sneaking a close up glance with opera glasses is one of my many, many guilty pleasures. What my mind’s eye witnessed was poetry in motion, a ballerina siren putting it all together: theatrical persona, dance technique, plus musicality. Triple wow!!! This ruby absolutely glowed surrendering body and spirit to the choreography of Mr. B as she danced the music of Stravinsky to life! Not even Aurora Borealis could match the steps of this dancing delight! The jewel of my eye was a ballerina goddess with the very poetic name of Heather Ogden.”

Greta Hodgkinson was a technical marvel but she couldn’t imbue her performance with the carefree spirit of youth essential for Rubies. The corps de ballet, costumes, and orchestra all dazzled. It was a delicious evening of dance and hors d’oeuvres FREE to smart dance fans who renewed their subscription before April 18th! Sadly, the 2008/2009 season is 127 days away as of the date I post this review….
The world revolves around the beauty of the ballerina.

Author:  Keira99 [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:03 am ]
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Yes, opera glasses would be a must up there! Glad you were still able to ogle Heather from such great heights. ;) I have to say, she really is lovely.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:41 pm ]
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Another glowing review has trickled in for R&J, courtesy of Eye Weekly! This is a MUST read just to see a lovely photo of Jason Reilly all goo-goo eyed over Greta Hodgkinson!

Author:  ksneds [ Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:21 pm ]
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LMCTech - I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who isn't charmed by Cranko. After adoring Cranko's Onegin, I was wondering if I might just have been too wedded to MacMillan's version of Romeo & Juliet to appreciate this one. I just couldn't get into the ballet, despite the dancers' best efforts.

I was amazed by the similarities between Cranko and MacMillan's versions - clearly MacMillan started with this version, playing with and adding to the choreography to create - what I think - is a much more emotionally effective ballet. I wonder if the outcomes might have been different had Cranko not died so suddenly - would he have continued to tinker with "Romeo and Juliet", or had he more or less considered it finished, especially with MacMillan's version following so quickly afterwords (1962 and 1965)??

Does anyone know more about the history of the two versions?

Interestingly, I was looking at the pictures from "Romeo and Juliet" on the Stuttgart Ballet website. Stuttgart still uses costume and set designs credited to Jurgen Rose, who did the originals. Romeo is in much more vibrant colours with the other guests at the opening ball/party in darker colours so Romeo and Juliet really stick out.

From my view, NBoC certainly didn't gain anything by using new designs, and I can't imagine they would have been forbidden from using Rose's designs. It also worries me because NBoC has announced that they are commissioning new sets and costumes for Onegin, which were also originally designed by Rose.

RDB brought back the Rose designs for their most recent production (they share the sets & costumes with the Royal Swedish Ballet), and it's hard to believe someone improve on them. It's one thing if the costumes and sets need to be rebuilt or replaced due to long use, but especially in this financial reality, is it really the time to be getting new designs? Certainly Santo Loquasto has done some nice designs (and some questionable ones), but does it take away from a choreographer's concept to keep his costumes and staging, but completely redesign the costumes and sets?

Anyway, I am still picking up my jaw from the floor after seeing Jason Reilly's solos. Wow. My 2009-2010 wish list is to see Reilly in West Side Story, Onegin and A Suite of Dances. I'd also be fascinated to see what he could do with the Bluebird solo in "Sleeping Beauty". He's doesn't have the longest lines, but he moves through the air with such ease.


Author:  Keira99 [ Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:14 am ]
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Veer would have made its debut during the Erik Bruhn Competition last year had Keiichi Hirano not blown out his Achilles tendon dancing in Le Corsaire. His partner, Tina Pereira, a replacement for the injured Bridgett Zehr, danced on, creating her own ending (Ballet Improv) and performed an unrehearsed Balcony Pas de Deux from Romeo and Juliet in place of Veer with a fan who volunteered to partner her from the audience-Guillaume Côté!

Just curious: are there any pictures from this competition?

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