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 Post subject: Northern Ballet Theatre's 'Carmen'
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2000 12:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A review of Northern Ballet Theatre's 'Carmen', choreographed by the very talented Didy Veldman from Rambert Dance Company. I'm loking forward to seeing it next week.<BR> <A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000148269364269&rtmo=02JKNGbq&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/3/23/btisme23.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000148269364269<BR>&rtmo=02JKNGbq&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/00/3/23/btisme23.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-24-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's 'Carmen'
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2000 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Have you seen the "Carmen" by Mats Ek? I think he's a Swedish choreographer-I believe Birgit Culberg's son or son-in-law? Anyway, it combines ballet and modern dance together; I've only seen it on video, but was very impressed with it!


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's 'Carmen'
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2000 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Image <P>This image requires Flash to view it.<P>As chance would have it I was in Central London today and decided to drop in to see the Friday night performance of NBTs 'Carmen'. It's an entertaining evening, with NBT off-point for the first time, but choreographer Didy Veldman really plays things for laughs a lot of the time, which means that the tragic side of the story does not really flow through until the very end. In some ways it is like an AMP production, but without the emotional punch that AMP often delivers. We will see their 'Carmen' later this year so it will be fascinating to make comparisons. <P>The NBT 'Carmen' has a present day setting in an industrial part of Rio and this transposition works well, helped by some great sets by Lez Brotherston, who is one of the best around at this job. The Toreador is replaced by a pop-star and Micaela, Jose's fiancee is portrayed as a mousey nonentity, which I found less effective than the characterisation in Rosi's filmed version of the opera, where she is a nice, beautiful girl, but, as is well known, men prefer the wild ones. <P>This was an evening with a young cast with no Principals in the four leading roles. I had been hoping to see Charlotte Broom, the original lead, as Carmen, but instead there was an excellent performance by a young soloist, Fiona Wallis, who brought a lot of sizzle, passion and good acting to the role. Luc Jacobs has the unenviable job of playing Jose, one of life's natural misery-guts. I don't know if he could have done more with the role, but he comes into his own in the final scene where he gets the best solo of the evening and really makes the most of it. A lot of the work for the corps is derived from everyday movement and it is usually effective, without ever attaining the precision or fluid character of the dancers of DV8. <P>Three or four years ago we saw the Antonio Gades Company perform a Flamenco version which took London by storm. Gades, at that time in his late 50s played Jose and brilliantly captured the tragedy of this moth caught in the candle flame that is Carmen. The NBT production is too light to have the resonance of the Gades version or, I suspect the Roland Petit production, which I only saw once a long time ago on TV. I will go again next week and hope to see Didy Veldman herself in the lead. It will be interesting to see what more experienced dancers do with it.<P>Trina, I didn't know that Ek's had done a 'Carmen'. I'll look out for it. Culberg don't come to London, but they did go to the Edinburgh Festival last year.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 03-26-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's 'Carmen'
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2000 7:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Stuart, wow what a sexy ad...<P>Is this production available on video? Image


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's 'Carmen'
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2000 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
As far as I know it's not, Azlan. It has only been in existence for a year or so. But actually, I'm not sure if any of the NBT rep is available on video.


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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's 'Carmen'
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2000 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I saw 'Carmen' again last week and it was much stronger the second time round. Didy Veldman, the choreographer and a Rambert stalwart, was guesting with NBT and was wonderful in the lead. She is a fine dancer and tackled the steps in a fluid style and with great precision. Her Carmen is a passionate, smiling woman who falls in love with Jose only to find out that he's not what she had been hoping for. By playing the role in a more naturalistic style then Fiona Wallis, the first of the NBT Carmens I saw, she brings out the tragic elements more clearly. <P>It was interesting to see Fiona Wallis as the fiance and she again was less of a charicature than the first I saw and she made the most of her sections with with Jose played by Daniel de Andrade who was also an improvement. Didy and Daniel certainly raised the temperature more than somewhat in their pdds. I went with a friend who knows a bit about choreography who told me that she thought that both sets of pdds were really good stuff.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited 04-05-2000).]


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