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 Post subject: Re: Royal Danish Ballet: 2004-2005
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:31 am 
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Posts: 3375
Location: Canada
Greetings
Unfortunately, I'm not going to have a chance to see "The Little Mermaid", at least not this season. Judging from brief glimpses of rehearsals, the cast and Neumeier's previous works, it should be excellent.
If anyone does go to any of the performances, please do fill us in on the details!

I will however be in Copenhagen next month for a couple of weeks, and look forward to seeing the new productions of 'Kermesse in Bruge' and 'La Ventana' as well as getting to see 'Abdallah' for the first time. I hope to post impressions here as time and internet access allow!

kate


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:53 pm 
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Location: Canada
The 'Little Mermaid' cast has been changed - specifically Yao Wei is no longer scheduled to dance the lead and Morten Eggert is not debuting as the Sea Witch until April 28.

The ballet seems to be getting good, if not spectacular reviews- 5 out of 6 stars from the Berlinske and 5 stars from the Politiken

April 15, 16,18, 27
Mermaid: Marie-Pierre Greve
Prince Edward: Kenneth Greve
Mermaid's sisters: Cecilie Lassen, Susanne Grinder, Femke Mølbach Slot, Mie Fjelstrup and Yao Wei
Sea Witch: Jean-Lucien Massot
Princess Henriette: Gudrun Bojesen
Hans Christian Andersen: Mogens Boesen

April 20,23, 28 and May 6
Susanne Grinder
Mads Blangstrup
Cecilie Lassen,Yao Wei, Femke Mølbach Slot, Mie Fjelstrup og Izabela Sokolowska
Jean Lucien Massot (Morten Eggert on April 28 and May 6)
Amy Watson
Erling Eliasson


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:28 am 
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Posts: 3375
Location: Canada
Casting for the rest of April and May:

Napoli
April 21
Jette Buchwald
Tina Højlund
Thomas Lund
Niels Balle
Poul Erik Hesselkilde
Alexander Sukonnik
Flemming Ryberg
Lesley Culver
Mogens Boesen
Kenn Hauge
Ib Jeppesen
Cecilie Lassen
Diana Cuni
Susanne Grinder, Cecilie Lassen,
Femke Mølbach Slot, Amy Watson
Nicolai Hansen, Kristoffer Sakurai
Tim Matiakis
Cecilie Lassen
Nicolai Hansen
Amy Watson
Femke Mølbach Slot
Esther L.Wilkinson, Morten Eggert
Josee Howard, Christina L.Olsen,
Ellen Green

May 13
Jette Buchwald
Tina Højlund
Thomas Lund
Niels Balle
Poul Erik Hesselkilde
Alexander Sukonnik
Flemming Ryberg
Lesley Culver
Mogens Boesen
Kenn Hauge
Ib Jeppesen
Lesley Culver
Susanne Grinder
Susanne Grinder, Cecilie Lassen,
Femke Mølbach Slot, Amy Watson
Nicolai Hansen, Kristoffer Sakurai
Tim Matiakis
Cecilie Lassen
Nicolai Hansen
Amy Watson
Femke Mølbach Slot
Esther L.Wilkinson, Morten Eggert
Josee Howard, Christina L.Olsen,
Ellen Green

May 28
Jette Buchwald
Tina Højlund
Thomas Lund
Niels Balle
Poul Erik Hesselkilde
Alexander Sukonnik
Flemming Ryberg
Louise Midjord
Mogens Boesen
Kenn Hauge
Ib Jeppesen
Lesley Culver
Susanne Grinder
Caroline Cavallo, Yao Wei, Gitte Lindstrøm, Silja Schandorff, Andrew Bowman og Mads Blangstrup
Tim Matiakis
Caroline Cavallo
Andrew Bowman
Gitte Lindstrøm
Silja Schandorff
Izabela Sokolowska og Morten Eggert
Femke Mølbach Slot, Cecilie Lassen og Susanne Grinder


Abdallah

May 10
Morten Eggert
Izabella Sokolowska
Jette Buchwald
Haley Henderson
Esther I. Wilkinsson og Julie Valentin
Gàbor Baunoch
Niels Balle
Andrew Bowman
Alexander Sukonnik
Tobias Praetorius
Susanne Grinder
Camilla R. Holst
Elisabeth Dam
Cédric Lambrette og Vincent van Webber

May 26
Kristoffer Sakurai
Amy Watson
Kirsten Simone
Gitte Lindstrøm
Diana Cuni og Cecilie Lassen
Asger Schlichtkrull
Mogens Boesen
Peter Bo Bendixen
Alexander Sukonnik
Oscar Nilsson
Yao Wei
Femke Mølbach Slot
Camilla R. Holst
Nicolai Hansen og Cèdric Lambrette

La Sylphide

April 26, May 25
Caroline Cavallo
Christina Nilsson (Kirsten Simone on May 25)
Mads Blangstrup
Diana Cuni
Femke Mølbach Slot
Morten Eggert
Jette Buchwald
Vincent Van Webber
Fernando Mora
Marie-Pierre Greve

May 11
Gudrun Bojesen
Eva Kloborg
Thomas Lund
Tina Højlund
Cecilie Lassen
Nicolai Hansen
Lis Jeppesen
Vincent van Webber
Fernando Mora
Christina L. Olsen


Far From Denmark

May 5
Marie-Pierre Greve
Mads Blangstrup
Jean-Lucien Massot
Peter Bo Bendixen
Diana Cuni
Izabela Sokolowska
Kenn Hauge
Cecilie Lassen
Susanne Grinder
Femke Mølbach Slot
Alba Nadal
Morten Eggert
Marcin Kupinski
Ellen Green
Kristoffer Sakurai

King's Guard in Amager

April 30
Jean-Lucien Massot
Silja Schandorff
Tim Matiakis
Morten eggert
Diana Cuni
Susanne Grinder
Christina L. Olsen
Maria Stokholm
Nicolai Hansen
Constantine Baecher

May 11, 25
Peter Bo Bendixen
Silja Schandorff
Kristoffer Sakurai
Thomas Flindt Jeppesen
Amy Watson
Diana Cuni
Elisabeth Dam
Izabela Sokolowska
Nicolai Hansen
Dawid Kupinski

Konservatoriet

April 30
Flemming Ryberg
Kirsten Simone
Gudrun Bojesen
Gitte Lindstrøm
Thomas Lund
Morten Eggert

May 5
Poul-Erik Hesselkilde
Jette Buchwald
Yao Wei
Amy Watson
Jean-Lucien Massot
Dawid Kupinski


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:07 pm 
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Location: Canada
News from the RDB

Corps member Celilie Lassen has received one of the Reumert Talent Awards. More information can be found at the Årets Reumert webiste.
No other dance prizes were awarded - I believe the awards rotate between theatre and dance focus, with dance awards given in even years.

Kate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 4:04 am 
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Location: Canada
News via the Royal Ballet

Kenneth Greve will be making another trip to London come Novemeber. This time he will be partnering Zenaida Yanowsky in MacMillan's "Manon" on November 5 and 10.

It's good timing for Greve, as there are no RDB performances on these dates and the only performances he would be likely to miss are the last couple "La Ventana"/"Kermesse in Bruges" double bills and the last performances of the Nordic choreographers mixed rep. In both cases, I suspect he will either not be cast or another cast will be dancing by the end of the run.

Since the RDB will be performing Manon in February-March of 2006, it will be a good chance for Greve to get extra rehearsal & performance time in the ballet and one wonders if Yanowsky might possibly be headed to Copenhagen in exchange for Greve's time in London.
Kate


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 3:43 am 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
From ksneds:

"Some brief notes on tonight's performance of "Napoli"...Friday 13th May 2005

There are certain experiences that balletomanes should experience, and one
of those is seeing the Royal Danish Ballet's production of "Napoli" with
Thomas Lund as Gennaro.

This probably wasn't Lund's best ever performance in the role, but it was
still a masterful display of technique, both in dancing and mime. His third
act solo was powerful, yet maintained that elegant control that defines the
Bournonville style. The legs may be beating quickly or in a soaring jete
but the arms are relaxed and quiet.

But what really struck me tonight was the depth Lund brought to his
character, a poor fisherman in the town of Naples. He takes the time to
integrate all the little details into a believable and human whole. For
instance, in Golfo's grotto when he's about to leave, but senses something
and turns around to see Teresina, his beloved,turned into a sea-nymph. Lund
doesn't just swivel around and react, he slowly turns, taking his time so
you can see the development of his emotions - from sensing something behind
him, to a certain sense of dread, to a mixture of relief at seeing Teresing
and surprise and horror at her appearance. It's as if you can literally see
Gennaro's thoughts playing out in Lund's body language. It's a mastery of
mime that I'm not sure can necessarily be attained purely by learning - Lund
clearly has a special gift.

I was also pleasantly surprised by Niels Balle's Golfo. Prior to tonight,
I'd seen Ballet as the gentle Fra Ambrosio, and it was quite a change of
character to see him as the imposing, evil Golfo.

The set for Golfo's grotto is one of the more amazing pieces for the Royal
Theatre stage. Through an ingenious set and low, foggy lighting, the stage
is transformed into a huge, soaring rock cave, with a real feeling of depth
and curve.

The opening scene also amazes me, both for the color and the hustle and
bustle that the company is able to create so naturally. The mix of dancers,
ballet students, character dancers and extras makes the seaside town come to
life, each character natural and enjoyable.

And, there's no doubt that the 3rd act finale is one of the best in the
ballet. We were treated to an all-start Pas de Six, including Mads
Blangstrup, Amy Watson, Andrew Bowman and Tim Matiakis. Kudos also to
Morten Eggert and Esther Lee Wilkinson for starting out what is the
tarantella of all tarantellas. It grows to involve everyone from those in
the pas de six to those in the crowd - I've heard it described as
infectious, and that's a perfect word.

All in all, a lovely evening - it's one of the Royal Danish Ballet's
signature productions and the dancers gave it energy and enthusiasm it
deserves.

As a side note, interestingly enough, this was the 810th performance of
"Napoli" by the RDB, yet just 26 men have ever performed the role of
"Gennaro". Five are in the company (four who still do the role), another
dances with the Royal ballet, one is a NYCB principal and yet another is
back with RDB setting "Kermessen in Bruges".


In company news, the 2005-06 schedule has been printed, and with it the news
that there will be one new aspirant (a woman) and two dancers are making
the shift to character dancer - Peter Bo
Bendixen, and one corps dancer, Mette Bodtcher."


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 Post subject: Napoli and Gennaro and the socio realistic Kermesse
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 1:10 pm 
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Posts: 4
Location: Copenhagen
When I first saw Thomas Lund as Gennaro several years back I too was stuck by how well he understood the part, and he still does. Still I would rather have seen Mads Blangstrup as Gennaro in the upcoming festival. And that has to do with the fact that allthough Thomas Lund understands
the part well he is not really the type for Gennaro, the true macho guy.Mads Blangstrup fits the parts much better and acts and dances it as well as Thomas Lund.

Re. the list of in house Gennaros of which I have seen all . I even remember seeing the 600th performance of Napoli. However I must regret that the greatest gennaro of them all Arne Villumsen no longer is involved with the Royal ballet. His experience as a dancer dancing all major Bournonvilles roles and his gift as a coach is sadly missed.

I attended the introduction matinee on Kermesse in Brugge.with Lloyd Riggins, apperantly instead of doing what Bournonville did, putting life in to the Flemish masters, Loyud Riggings is going all John Neumeier on the ballet, including a week long study trip to Brugge. He is hellbent on doing something different than the latest productions (the great 1978 production by Hans Brenaa and the not so great Dinna Bjørn production) that it looks like he is trowing the baby out with the bathwater. Whether the ballet surveives his treatment will be seen on Saturday


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 8:06 am 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Hi Effy and welcome to CriticalDance. We're very pleased to have your comments about the various performances, especially as we are keen to build up our feedback on Royal Danish Ballet.

So, we look forward to more of your postings and if you have some friends who are also fans, please tell them about the site.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 9:33 am 
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Posts: 3375
Location: Canada
I've been having problems accessing the site from my computer here in Copenhagen, so apologies for not posting very often.

I'm not overwhelmed by the sets for "Kermessen in Brugge", but they've really grown on me over a week of rehearsals. The set pieces provide shape and location to the action, and let the dancing, costumes and mime bring the rest to life. Which is really what should count, and is what the RDB does so very well.

As to the Gennaros, I've only seen Thomas Lund and Kristoffer Sakurai in the role, thus can't compare Lund to Mads Blangstrup. But thus far with the RDB, I've found that every dancer brings something different to the role that is intriguing or interesting (and sometimes the same dancer in different performances), so it's worth seeing different casts.

I suspect the casting of Lund in "Napoli" during the Festival had more to do with spacing out the dancers between performances. No small challenge when doing 8 performances in 9 nights and having to account for potential injuries or cast changes.

I add my welcome to Effy as well! It's great to have input from Copenhagen, as I can only get here once in a while and miss so many good performances. I look forward to reading your posts!

Cheers
Kate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 4:56 am 
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Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
PRESS RELEASE

La Ventana and The Kermesse in Bruges

Image
Bournonville's "La Ventana", Royal Danish Ballet

Lloyd Riggins celebrates his debut as Bournonville stage director. New set design featured by the two young designers Rikke Juellund and Christian Friedländer.

Premiere | Old Stage, Saturday 21 May at 8 pm
Also performed 24 | 30 May and 3 June 2005

As a prelude to the 3rd Bournonville Festival in just a few weeks time, the Royal Danish Theatre stages two of August Bournonville’s masterpieces in an entirely new set design. Lloyd Riggins has returned to Copenhagen from Hamburg to take on the challenge of Bournonville’s choreography.

Riggins was solo dancer at the Royal Danish Ballet from 1989-95 and now celebrates his debut as Bournonville stage director with the merry ballet The Kermesse in Bruges. Riggens states on his assignment:
“I’m not here to teach the Royal Danish Ballet to dance Bournonville. They already master that. I’m here to help them rediscover or revisit Bournonville from a new angle. To rediscover what I discovered when I arrived at the theatre at the age of 17 and which I now – following intense collaboration with John Neumeier – hope to help keep alive.”

Riggins is not the only debutant. Set designer Rikke Juellund also celebrates her debut at ballet set designer with this performance. She states on her collaboration with Lloyd Riggins:
“I have asked him very basic questions. You see, my approach isn’t weighed down by a lot of historical ballet references. Naturally, I have researched and listened to Lloyds’ amazing expertise, but basically I have approached this assignment like any other – it’s a story which is to be told.”

The evening’s second Bournonville ballet, La Ventana, will also be staged with new set design. Christian Friedländer, who has created several designs for the drama department at the Royal Danish Theatre, celebrates his debut as ballet set designer. Friedländer often adopts a very raw and modern approach in his designs. He states on his work with the ballet:
”When I was given the assignment to create the set design for La Ventana, I immediately had a lot of ideas on revolutionising the ballet and creating wild and crazy things; huge rotating mirror rooms, etc. But I soon realised that it would be a greater challenge for me to create something quite traditional.”

Several dancers will hold their debut in principal parts in both ballets. Since La Ventana has not been staged since 1983, the cast is entirely new. On the premiere evening, Gitte Lindstrøm will perform the part as the señorita for the first time while Jean-Lucien Massot holds his debut as the señor. In The Kermesse in Bruges, which was last performed in 2000, Susanne Grinder will debut as Eleonore.


The Kermesse in Bruges or the three gifts
Choreography: August Bournonville
Music: H.S. Paulli
Set and costume design: Rikke Juellund
Lighting design: Jesper Kongshaug
Stage direction: Lloyd Riggins
Conductor: Graham Bond

The Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Theatre Ballet School
The Danish Radio Sinfonietta

CASTING
Premiere, Saturday 21 May at 8 pm
Carelis Kristoffer Sakurai
Eleonore Susanne Grinder
Adrian Martin James
Geert Thomas Lund
Marchen Tina Højlund
Johanna Marie-Pierre Greve
Psyche, soloists Silja Schandorff and Andrew Bowman

Tuesday 24 May at 8 pm
Carelis Dawid Kupinski
Eleonore Yao Wei
Adrian Peter Bo Brendixen
Geert Tim Matiakis
Marchen Cecilie Lassen
Johanna Diana Cuni
Psyche, soloists Gitte Lindstrøm and Jean-Lucien Massot


La Ventana
Choreography: August Bournonville
Music: H.C. Lumbye and V.C. Holm
Set design: Christian Friedländer
Costumes: Kirsten Lund Nielsen
Lighting design: Jesper Kongshaug
Choreographic adaptation
and stage direction: Frank Andersen and Eva Kloborg
Conductor: Graham Bond

The Royal Danish Ballet
The Danish Radio Sinfonietta

CASTING
Premiere, Saturday 21 May at 8 pm
Senorita Gitte Lindstrøm
Senor Jean-Lucien Massot
Pas de Trois Caroline Cavallo, Gundrun Bojesen and
Tim Matiakis
Mirror dance Camilla R. Holst

Tuesday 24 May at 8 pm
Senorita Silja Schandorff
Senor Mads Blangstrup
Pas de Trois Diana Cuni, Femke Mølbach Sloth and
Andrew Bowman
Mirror dance: Haley Henderson

For more information about these performances and the rest of the RDB season, click here


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 5:04 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
From ksneds:

Some notes from the premiere of "La Ventana" and "Kermessen in Brügge"....

"La Ventana" is quite short, at just barely 30 minutes, but it provides a
delicately spicy opening to the program. The ballet, Bournonville's attempt
at mixing Spanish dance and classical ballet, was a perfect showcase for the
well-matched Gitte Lindstrom and Jean-Lucien Massot. They seemed to play
off each other, enjoying the increasing challenges of choreography. She
sparkled in the Senorita's solos, packed with tricky footwork and was
well-coordinated with Camilla Rukkelye Holst in the Mirror Dance. I was
also impressed by Massot's ballon and light landings.

One of the highlights of the piece is the exntended pas de trois, danced in
the re-premiere by Tim Matiakis, Gudrun Bojesen and Caroline Cavallo. The
female variations are characterized by extended balances and quicksilver
footwork, superbly performed by Bojesen and Cavallo. Matiakis, in his just
his first season with the company, has made huge strides in developing as a
Bournonville artist (admittedly he did dance for Frank Andersen at the Royal
Swedish Ballet, so this season is not his first meeting with Bournonville).
Elegantly controlled and phrased, his dancing is exciting without being
flashy.

The set for 'La Ventana' is simple, but impressive - an enormous painting of
a Spanish fiesta scene which rotates in the frame to reveal a wall covering
in smaller paintings. Together with the 'dusty' rays of light, the image
was that of a room deep in a museum or old house, where a painting comes to
life.

The new production of "Kermssen in Brugge" is former RDB principal Lloyd
Riggins' first attempt at setting a full length ballet. Despite a number of
last minute cast changes, it is a charming production and an impressive

"Kermessen in Brugge" tells the story of three Bruggling brothers, who after
rescuing the mysterious alchemist Mirewelt and his daughter Eleonore from
the hands of kidnappers, are presented with three magical gifts: a ring, a
sword and a lute. With these gifts in hand, the brothers set out to find
fame and fourtune. The heart of ballet is the innocent, youthful romance
between Eleonore and the youngest brother, Carelis, and it is Carelis who
rescues his older brothers when they are accused of witchcraft on their
return to Brugge.

The sets by ballet newcomer Rikke Juellund, which will probably raise
eyebrows in some circles, are inspired in their simplicity. Juellend's
Brugge emerges in a series of styllized white brick buildings, the tall
belfry always a visible presence. The costumes are also a step away from
the more intricate ones of the past, but are more historically accurate with
the brothers dressed in off-white loose shirts and pants, the villagers in
similar costumes of various shades. The simplicity of the sets and costumes
allows Bournonville's rich mime and dance and the talents of the dancers to
bring the story to life. The audience should not need hugely detailed sets
to understand the story - here the costumes deftly place the story in time
and place, and the dance and dancers conjure up the story.

Though many characters play vital roles in the story, it is love between
Carelis and Eleonore that provides the core to 'Kermessen in Brugge'. The
role of Carelis is usually given to a younger dancer at the cusp of
something big. Riggins himself debuted as Carelis not long before being
promoted to principal, and at this performance, a young corps dancer made a
sparkling debut. Dawid Kupinski, stepping in for soloist Kristoffer
Sakurai, brought an endearing youthfulness and sweet innocence to his
Carelis. Opposite him was Susanne Grinder as Eleonore, also a debut.

Though not initially cast together, they are well matched with their blond
hair, fair complexions and long limbs. Grinder is sweetly elegant, a tender
Eleonore, while Kupinski bubbles with innocent, earnest energy. The
showpiece pas de deux was full of promise, a few nervous moments smoothed
over by sparkling footwork, excellent timing and youthful joe d'vivre. It
is definitely a work in progress, as Kupinski for instance could pay more
attention to his epaulment at times, but the imperfections are perhaps
appropriate in this a dance of young lovers. First love is full of jitters,
and as the dancing is an expression of their love, perfection would seem out
of character.

There were strong performances in a number of major and minor roles. A real
standout was Thomas Lund, as the bumbling middle brother Geert, a role Lund
also danced in the previous production. Lund is a master of mime, his Geert
simple-mindly sweet and dense, but never to gauche or silly. He might bring
little in the way of table manners to the banquet with Christina Olsson's
Fru van Everdingen, but there was no doubt of his true affections for Tina
Højlund's Marchen. Højlund is Lund's equal in the art of Bournonville mime,
gifted with a wonderfully expressive face and her fiesty Marchen was a
perfect match for his Geert.

Peter Bo Bendixen, in his last new role as a principal dancer (newly turned
40, he moves to the character dancer ranks next season) as Adrian, the eldest brother. Bendixen brings to
Adrian the appropriate eldest brother wiseness and sense of adventure. His
Johanna, Marie-Pierre Greve is not as robust as Marchen. Greve is not known
as a Bournonville dancer, but her uses her slight build her advantage,
making Johanna a fretful, nervous but in the end, determined young woman.

Riggins has chosen to imagine Mirewelt more as mysterious, but elegant man
and less the caricture mad scientist, and the choice of Mogens Boesen for
the role reinforces this choice. Boesen, tall and graceful of movement,
gives the character an aura of mystery that rubs of on his daughter.

In other roles, Caroline Cavallo and Andrew Bowman were superb in the
'Psyche Divertissement', though the Greek costumed piece seems a bit out of
place in 16th C Brugge. The female corps, though pert, could be a bit more
in synch in places. Morten Eggert's Cikusmester was a infectiously
energetic whirlwind, with suitabley impressive high kicks and splits in the
Slovanka. Though in previous productions, a separate dance, here Riggins
has chosen to insert into the Kermesse, bringing a refreshing splash of
color and energy to the festive proceedings.

And finally, Maria Bernholdt's Contessa was a deliciously over the top
courtesan, stopping at nothing in her flirtations with the magic-ring
wearing Geert. Her little page boy deserves special note for keeping her
train safe and sound through all the dances. If anything though, Bernholdt
could perhaps tone her act down just a hair, so that she does not overwhelm
to the point of distracting attention from the central characters and the
myriad of things happening on the stage.

Kudos to the corps for a high level of energy and delightful
characterizations throughout the production. In so many story ballets, the
large scenes seem to be populated by clones of a few character, but here the
village was full of individuals, each forming part of a natural whole.

If the production has any weak points, it's in the changeovers between the
scenes. Two changeovers, one of which was formerly a full intermission,
involve long silent pauses during which the scrape and thumps of moving sets
are quite audible. The audience has to wait in uncertain silence for the
music to restart, and thus there's a uncomfortable gap that disturbs the
flow of the scenes. The final changeover with the extended procession of the
condemned brothers to the stake to the beat of black clad drummers, is much
more successful, as it covers up the backstage noise and provides a
connection between the onstage scenes. The antiqued curtain, also, didn't
always seem smooth in coming up into various arrangements and then down
again.


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 Post subject: Neumeier in Brugge
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 2:00 pm 
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Location: Copenhagen
As promised by Lloyd Riggins at the introduction matinee, his take on The Kermesse in Brugge has passed through the John Neumeier grinder for updating a balllet. And indeed the first act especially was full of Neumeierisque effect like turning the slovanka dancers into a band of jesters, but still using a verfremdung technique - we re all dancers in modern time, eg the women keeping their modern haistyles. As preparation Riggins has spend time in Brugge trying to capture the feeling of the ciy to bring into his version, but apperantly no one had explained to him, that Bounonville had no relation to Brügge, neither had he any intention of creating a piece about Brügge. What Bournonville wanted was to use the scenery of Flemish paintings as backdrop for a light comedy.

Riggins is wery well aware of the great 1978 version by Hans Brenaa with costumes by Lars Juhl, He had danced the role of Carelis as a hand me down from Ib Andersen, Brenaas original Carelis. The Brenaa version was the toast of the first Bournonville festival,an elegant, vitty and extreamly wellcast ballet with Ib Andersen, Mette-Ida Kirk, Niels Kehlet and Kirsten Simone leading a perfect cast. It maybe matched but it could not be bettered. But after the original cast outgrow their parts it became difficult for the company to maintain the high level and suddenly the ballet lost its sparcle. An attempt to change the ballet but keep the costumes failed. It was build on an effort to bring out the darker and deeper content of the work. So enter Riggins and Rikke Juhllund. Like the last attemp he tries to downplay the comedy. He tries to simplify the glamour, a fine teory but seems to forget that Kermesse do not deliver substance, but style and details, and when you cut down on those, there is little left. It may be that research showns that velvet was not worn by the middle class in 16th century Brügge, but chosing wollen beige, crimpy textiles do not really help present classical dancing and the pale colours makes it difficuly for the main caracters to register, especially in contract to the noicy red slovanka dancers. Neither does pale dressed noblemen register when hidding in the back wings. From the best intentions Riggins deals his cast a very difficult hand. In the catalog to the current exhibiton on Bournonville costumes, Anne Marie Vessel is likewise critical on the opulence of the 978 Brenaa/Juul production, but the steps demands volume, like when Trutje parades her daughters down stage. You need three full skirts to build the figure, but now you have a small long shirt and two 1950 styles suits and it does not register, neither helps the dancer to make standout characters.

I cannot help compare Riggins strategy to Nicolaij Hubbes. Hubbe respects the tradition and builds on tradition, Riggins want to challenge the tradition, but has little to offer, rather than turning the ballet into a copycat Neumeier approach.

La Ventana was well danced, but allthough the decor was striking I could not help noticing that the title prop of the ballet La Ventana (the Window) was strangely missing. In short I must conclude that Bournonville made two ballet inspired by respectively Spanish dancing and Flemish painting - RDB has just presented the two pieces as inspired by Spanish painting and Flemish dancing.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Ksneds reports on the Tuesday, 24th May performance:

Tonight was the second performance of "La Ventana" and "Kermessen i
Brugges"
, which was also the debut of the second cast (except Dawid Kupinski
and Peter Bo Bendixen). With a number of little mistakes adding up, the
evening, though pleasant, lacked the spark and energy of Saturday's
re-premiere.

"La Ventana", with debuts all around, was led by the charming Izabela
Sokolowska and the dashing Mads Blangstrup, with Andrew Bowman, Femke
Mølbach Slot and Diana Cuni in the pas de trois. Sokolowska's debut was
promising, her dancing tinged with youth boldness and passion. With time,
one hopes she will be able to bring to the role the spicy mystery that makes
the Senora so desirable. Nonetheless, Sokolowska coped admirabley well with
a curtain that would not completely close and a mantilla that slipped from
her head too early. Though displaying high, airy jumps and stretched jumps,
Blangstrup lacked a spark in his chemistry with Sokolowska.

Like "La Ventana", "Kermessen I Brugge" featured several excellent debuts,
but was lacking in overall energy. Dawid Kupinski, the nerves of opening
night gone, seems to have settled into the role of Carelis. Despite
apparently starting his big solo a beat too early, he quickly slipped back
into time, and again displayed a wonderful mix of control, youthful energy
and crispness. Opposite him, Yao Wei was a sweet Eleonore, delicate and
precise in her dancing.

Tim Matiakis had the biggest shoes to fill, following Thomas Lund's standout
performance on Saturday, but succeeded in making the character his own.
Despite having been with the company for under a year, he emerged as a
talented mime, and also is no slouch technically, whipping off impressive
pirouettes right into a realistic pratfall. A few rough moments emerged,
but these should smooth out with more performances.

Diana Cuni and Lesley Culver made fine debuts as the two sisters, Marchen
and Joanna.

A genial and elegant Mirewelt, Erling Eliasson could perhaps have been, at
times, a bit more forceful with his mime as to make it as clear from way up
in the balconies as from the orchestra section.

In the end, it was a good performance with excellent performances in the
lead roles. Yao Wei is wonderful and Dawid Kupinksi is really coming into
his own as Carelis. It was therefore a shame, that a number of small
mistakes and a slight lack of energy detracted from the overall impact of
the performance.


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 12:01 am
Posts: 134
Hej,

I'm fond of ballet, French and came in Denmark 3 years ago. I've been in Copenhaguen to enjoy the wonderfull dancers of the Royal ballet and I tried to enter in contact with the Balletsvenner but I still never had any answer from them. Do you know something about this association?

Serenade


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 6:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Sweden
Serenade, I am a member of "Balletens Venner". You find their e-mail address and other contact info here:

http://www.kgl-teater.dk/dkt2002/ballet ... venner.htm

I hope you succeed in contacting them!


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