CriticalDance Forum
http://www.ballet-dance.com/forum/

National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
http://www.ballet-dance.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=34525
Page 1 of 2

Author:  ksneds [ Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:18 pm ]
Post subject:  National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

A few thoughts...

Kudelka's "Nutcracker" is gorgeous, but like his other full lengths, the plot gets the short end of the stick. In particular, the Nutcracker makes what could be generously called a guest appearance. But, instead, we do get a full evening of Zdenek Konvalina, which is a very nice Christmas gift indeed.

After seeing the ballet a second time, I realized that this production seems to be the least Christmasy Nutcracker out there. It has a wonderfully cozy, special feel, but aside from a partial Christmas tree, this could be any wintery celebration. Not a criticism, but a thought...

Zdenek Konvalina is perfect for the Nutcracker/Peter, but Bridgett Zehr seemed - at least in the first act - a very brittle Sugar Plum Fairy. Her performance was spot on technically, but it didn't have the lushness or the warmth that I've seen from other dancers. Her movements were crisp - getting each limb from point to point - rather than flowing with the music. She did, however, warm up in Act 2, despite some of Kudelka's least inspired choreography. He utterly fails to utilize the glorious crescendos of Tchaikovsky's score.

I find Kudelka exasperating in that way - he has some clever ideas (the bee, the sheep shephardess with her little sheep), and can whip up some spectacular choreography. Yet, there are times when he seems to have stopped listening to the music - like in the Sugar Plum Fairy's pas de deux and the bee solo.

The children were delightful, but the grown up corps, particularly in the spanish/coffee section, needed more rehearsal. The Snow Queen (Xiao Nan Yu?) was impressive, but her two cavaliers seemed to be just barely keeping up with the tricky choreography. There was also a slightly off-kilter partnering moment when Konvalina appeared to pull Zehr off her center in some supported pirouettes. To Konvalina's credit, it's a tricky section of the pas de deux because he has to come in to support Zehr after she starts a series of fouettes on her own. If he's too far away, he risks pulling her off her centre, if he gets in to close it could be painful. Think of it as being between a rock and a knee in the groin.

Author:  sailingship [ Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker 2010

Hi Kate!
I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed Konvalina. He is a wonderful dancer with charisma technique and a very genuine quality that is very special. Although I didn't see tonight's performance ( my tix are for later in the run) I seem to remember that the Sugar Plum fairy doesn't actually appear until act 2. Don't know if that was an error in your critique or if you were in fact speaking of someone else. I've never thought of Zehr to be someone who is not warm in her stage presence but more that she offers something different from the rest. I'm always interested in her interpretation because it tends to make me see things differently. I agree with what you say about Kudelka's choreography and the lack of crescendo's. In the effort of trying to be musical he loses the natural flow of what the score offers. In my opinion I find Xiao Nan Yu to be quite cold and very surface level in her dancing. I guess it's ultimately a matter of taste but I have never found myself drawn into her performances. To each there own I suppose. Happy to hear you review though...

Author:  ksneds [ Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker 2010

Oops - you are right that the Sugar Plum Fairy doesn't appear until Act 2. It was a very long day...

I was referring to the difference between the SPF's initial solo, and the later pdd. I certainly like Zehr's dancing (and she has a perfect tutu body), but she did not look inspired yesterday. Frankly, I can't imagine that doing your umpteenth SPF is particularly artistically fulfilling, but she didn't look like she'd really gotten into the role yet. I suspect things will work themselves out as the run continues... Unlike a lot of companies, NBoC does other productions just prior to the Nutcracker, so they've not had much time to prepare or rest their bodies.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker 2010

Paula Citron reviews the Friday, December 10, 2010 performance of "The Nutcracker" in the Globe and Mail.

Globe and Mail

Dana Glassman reviews the Saturday, December 11, 2010 performance in the National Post.

National Post

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

In the Toronto Star, Michael Crabb profiles Elena Lobsanova, who will be NBoC's first dancer to perform as both Marie and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Toronto Star

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

Dana Glassman reviews the Saturday, December 10, 2011 matinee performance of James Kudelka's "The Nutcracker" for the National Post.

National Post

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

A two minute behind-the-scenes video of "Nutcracker" rehearsals, forwarded by the National Post.

National Post

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

In the Toronto Star, Michael Crabb previews the December 19, 2012 - January 5, 2013 production of James Kudelka's "The Nutcracker."

Toronto Star

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

Paula Citron reviews the 2012 edition of James Kudelka's "Nutcracker" for the Globe and Mail.

Globe and Mail

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

Dana Glassman reviews the Wednesday, December 19, 2012 performance of "The Nutcracker" for the National Post.

National Post

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

NBoC artistic director Karen Kain offers tips for success in the Globe and Mail.

Globe and Mail

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

The Saturday, December 14, 2013 performance of James Kudelka's "The Nutcracker" at Toronto's Four Seasons Centre is reviewed by the National Post.

National Post

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

Paula Citron reviews the Sunday, December 15, 2013 matinee performance for the Globe and Mail.

Globe and Mail

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

Michael Crabb reviews the December 14-15, 2013 opening weekend performances of "The Nutcracker" for the Toronto Star.

Toronto Star

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker

In the Toronto Star, Michael Crabb's preview of James Kudelka's "The Nutcracker" goes backstage and focuses on technical challenges of running the show. Performances run December 13, 2014 through January 3, 2015 at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto.

Toronto Star

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
http://www.phpbb.com/