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 Post subject: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 2:45 am 
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Here is the link to the 'Onegin' preview material and readers' comments from our 'londondance news and views' forum.

<img src="http://www.royalopera.org/Custom/Icon/Main/Onefma01.jpg" alt="" />
<small> John Cranko, an untitled photo from the Royal Opera House page on 'Onegin'</small>

Demonic elegance
by Luke Jennings in The Evening Standard

In John Cranko's 1965 ballet version of Pushkin's verse-novel, the curtain rises on Madame Lerina's garden, where preparations are in hand for her daughter Tatiana's birthday celebrations. Lensky, a young poet, dances with his fiancée Olga, Tatiana's sister. The mood is one of summery expectation.

Into this provincial scene steps Lensky's friend Onegin, a socialite from St Petersburg. As interpreted by Adam Cooper, Onegin is an almost demonic figure. Black-clad and icy of gaze, he takes possession of the stage. His dancing, when he happens on the bookish Tatiana, is calculated and languorous.

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<small>[ 08-11-2002, 04:59: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 4:28 am 
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I was lucky enough to attend the rehearsal that afternoon too. First cast is a dream cast for me so I foolishly expected that the rehearsal wouldn’t be as good as First Night. Well what surprised me was how Galeazzi, Tewsley, Nunez and Persson more than matched their counterparts. <P>Tewsley's a revelation. He was absolutely outstanding. His brilliant portrayal of Onegin was polished, cold, full of disdain and expressed through his exacting leaps and pirouettes. In Act III he was a man transformed, broken by guilt and by love. Galeazzi’s Tatiana is every bit as tragic as Rojo’s - achingly sad, beautifully danced and weightless in her lifts. <P>I've seen Nunez and Persson in lead roles before and haven't been very impressed. But the roles of Olga and Lensky brought out a sensitivity I'd never seen before in these two. They are very fine actors and were believably in love.<P>This cast is very memorable and highly recommended. After yesterday afternoon I’m tempted to watch the other casts and see what they make of the ballet. <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 4:29 am 
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After the flamboyance and pyrotechnics of Don Quixote, Onegin felt wonderfully fresh and even airy in spite of the tragic storyline. <P>It’s fantastic to see Adam Cooper back with the Royal Ballet in a role that he is eminently suited to and Tamara Rojo in a role that splendidly highlights her dramatic gifts. Rojo was so convincing in her mannerisms as a young girl. Rojo’s adolescent infatuation and Cooper’s disdain and cruelty made for some exciting chemistry – theirs is a partnership I’d never dreamed of seeing. The mirror scene was to say the least, emotionally draining. And I just loved how when Onegin came away from the duel the way Tatiana seemed to age years as she stood over condemning him. <P>I was delighted at the portrayals of Olga and Lensky which I thought were well fleshed out by Alina Cojocaru and Ethan Stiefel. Cojocaru dances with youthful sweetness, the spirited girl so well I’m more than curious to see her approach to Tatiana later on. Ethan Stiefel’s innocent sunny blonde looks and superb dancing made it easy to see why Olga loves him so. I keep seeing the word ‘clarity’ used to describe their dancing and it does make their partnership an ideal one. Their first pas de deux was extraordinarily romantic, a dance of youthful, unsullied love. Stiefel’s solo before the duel was beautiful to watch in his despair at what he saw to be his end and his parting kiss to Olga just about broke my heart.<P>Cranko’s choreography: his pdd are fascinating, the acrobatic lifts and innovative positioning of the arms in particular. And although there were a few dull moments I thought the choreography for the corps was very eye-catching and fun to watch. I can’t accept this ballet belonging just to the title role. The four roles have such extensive and gorgeous steps and were danced with such verve by Cooper, Rojo, Stiefel and Cojocaru that I feel the night belongs to all of them. I did feel that the their extended solos and pdd interspersed with the corps wasn’t enough – it left me wanting more. <P>As for the production, the sets are very simple, in most cases just a beautifully detailed backcloth and a few pieces of furniture. I think they catch the atmosphere perfectly and its simplicity allows the dancers to shine. The muted costumes especially those of the corps are indescribably lovely.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2001 5:37 am 
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Many thanks Sylvia for all your comments. A successful new production is just what the RB and Ross Stretton need at the moment. Jolly good! I can understand your desire aire to see other dancers in the roles, as a dramatic work like 'Onegin' will look very different from cast to cast. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited November 23, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2001 12:01 am 
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<B>Heartbreak at Covent Garden</B><BR>Rating: *** (out of 5)<BR>By Judith Mackrell in The Guardian <P><BR>In the 1950s John Cranko was one of Ninette de Valois's most prized proteges - the choreographic link between Ashton and MacMillan. But despite his subsequent rise to international ranking, Cranko's works have long been neglected by the Royal Ballet. It has taken outsider Ross Stretton to bring Cranko's celebrated romantic tragedy Onegin into Covent Garden. <BR>Many fans at Thursday's opening performance will remember Onegin as one of the old mainstays of English National Ballet's repertory. But it does make sense for the Royal to have got its hands on the work. It may have flaws: rented-by-the-yard choral dances, trite minor characters and a cobbled-together Tchaikovsky score. But successful story ballets are a rare commodity, and the central pas de deux for its four principals plumb real intensities of emotion.<P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/reviews/0,6957,179380,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2001 2:33 pm 
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Thank you for your insights, Sylvia. I am seeing Galeazzi and Tewsley and was wondering about him - having never seen him dance before. I will not be seeing Nunez and Persson as Olga and Lensky. However hearing your views on Galeazzi and Tewsley was most encouraging. (oh the perils of having to book blind)


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2001 1:57 am 
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<B>Take one step back <P>Both Rambert and the Royal Ballet are trapped by history</B><P>Jann Parry<BR>Observer<BR>Sunday November 25, 2001<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>John Cranko's Onegin, which has finally entered the Royal Ballet's repertoire, 36 years after its creation, is full of mirror images. One of the views it reflects is that of the company's new director, Ross Stretton. To judge by this production and that of Don Quixote, he sees ballet as operetta, telling a simple story in an old-fashioned setting; audiences, he assumes, will put up with tat provided performances are fine. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4306780,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2001 2:18 am 
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Tamara Rojo is not getting the praise and adulation that mirror how she is clearly regarded by Stretton ie casting her for the opening nights of Onegin and Don Q. Cojocaru, au contraire, is by far the best loved by the newspaper critics. Most noticeably so. Views?


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2001 6:11 pm 
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The Daily Telegraph, Mail on Sunday and I simply adored Tamara Rojo. If you look carefully at the casting Emma, you will see Cojocaru getting more principal roles than all the others, including first cast Giselle, both main female roles in Onegin and Nutcracker, and Kitri and Amour in DQ. She is undoubtedly fabulous, but I worry that she is being overstretched and expected to do too much


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2001 12:40 am 
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Review in The Times.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It’s been more than 35 years since John Cranko choreographed Onegin in Germany and in the past four decades the ballet has been all around the world. But until last week it had never been danced by the Royal Ballet, a company ideally suited to its high theatricality. Now that’s it’s finally here, Onegin feels like a long-lost son come home. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001544553,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2001 11:34 pm 
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Review in the Financial Times<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> Our audiences are forgetting John Cranko. Our ballet companies have decided to ignore him. Honour, then, to the Royal Ballet which has made amends with a handsome staging of Onegin - for my money one of his two finest creations. (The other is Pineapple Poll, a comic masterpiece we ignore to our cost. But ballet has become so sober-sided - except in its risible new productions - that the idea of humour on stage does not accord with today's manufacture of glum dance for numbed viewers).<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=011127000897&query=ballet" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 2:15 am 
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<B>Onegin <P>Judith Mackrell <BR>Guardian<BR>Thursday November 29, 2001</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Tatiana, the near-tragic heroine of John Cranko's Onegin, is one of those rare classical roles that are specifically suited to older dancers. This isn't merely because, by act three, she is almost middle-aged; even when Tatiana is still a gauchely sentimental schoolgirl, the role calls for reckless, idiosyncratic acting that often develops only with age. The greatest Tatianas I have ever seen - Lynn Seymour, Natalia Makarova, Marcia Haydee - were all close to retirement, and were all capable of ripping the heart out of the role in magnificent bleeding chunks. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4309576,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P><BR><B>Onegin, Royal Opera House, London<BR>Belated triumph at Covent Garden<BR>Review by John Percival<BR>29 November 2001</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The dancers rightly received the cheers at the end of the Royal Ballet's new production, but the great thing about John Cranko's Onegin is the work itself, probably the best made of all three-act ballet dramas. The choreographer had great collaborators, although both were dead. Russia's finest poet, Pushkin, provided fascinating characters and a gripping story about the tragedy of unrequited love. Tchaikovsky not only suggested, through his opera on the same subject, a structure that works on stage, but wrote the music (not from the opera), which Kurt-Heinz Stolze adapted into a good ballet score<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR><A HREF="http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=107284" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 10:51 am 
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This sounds like an absolute triumph. It's thrilling to read such nearly universal approbation for a choreographer whose work is very much underexposed of late. Wish I could be there....<P>I'm also pleased to read that Mr. Percival has the courage to accurately portray some of his colleagues' negativism toward the recent Don Q. production as "churlish." A most apt characterization -- such an outpouring of vitriol could not have been justified by the production or casting alone. Clearly, there were numerous ulterior motives and agendas factored into the spin of those notices.


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2001 1:24 pm 
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<B>I'm also pleased to read that Mr. Percival has the courage to accurately portray some of his colleagues' negativism toward the recent Don Q. production as "churlish." A most apt characterization -- such an outpouring of vitriol could not have been justified by the production or casting alone. Clearly, there were numerous ulterior motives and agendas factored into the spin of those notices.</B><P>I'm sorry but I was at that first night and it was the worst show I have ever seen in 11 years of watching the RB. I actually thought some of the reviews I read were too generous. When I saw other casts it was as though I was watching a different company and different production.<P>Onegin though has been wonderful so far!


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 Post subject: Re: The Royal Ballet's 'Onegin'
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2001 6:07 am 
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<B>Rojo leads a five-star triumph</B><BR>Ismene Brown in The Daily Telegraph reviews Onegin performed by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden.<P><BR>HATS off to the neglected genius of Covent Garden, the late John Cranko. His magnificent ballet tragedy Onegin has at last - after 36 years -arrived in the theatre for which he conceived it, and its first night was aneck-pricking five-star triumph.<P>This ballet has the Royal Ballet written all over it, a rich-bloodedromantic tragedy with the fire and pathos of La Traviata and Romeo and Juliet combined. Cranko, one of Ninette de Valois's brightest sparks, originally fancied doing Onegin for Fonteyn, but made his career and his masterpiece at Stuttgart Ballet. Onegin was produced the same year that in London Kenneth MacMillan produced Romeo and Juliet, and I think Onegin has the edge, largely because Crankowas not tied to the prescriptions of an existing ballet score. <P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=005760794236107&rtmo=fVrMaoYs&atmo=rrrrrrrq&pg=/et/01/11/30/baib30.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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