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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 119
Location: So. California
Hi Kate!
Yury was brought in to partner Julie Diana for Edinburgh. I have been told that he will also be dancing the run in Philadelphia as well.
( I did not realize that there were days when PAB was doing two shows!)

The original casting was Rio Lama Lorenzo with Zachery Hench and Arantxa Ochoa with James Ady. This is Julie's first time out and the first I know of that Yury has danced with PAB.

Just got a note from my DD and she says it is wonderful to feel such a receptive and enthusiastic audience as is here in Edinburgh.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:47 am 
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Location: Estonia
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Edinburgh reports: Degas's ballet girls brought to life
by ISMENE BROWN for the Daily Telegraph

Out of this duality emerges a focus on the principal dancer playing Siegfried. Wheeldon, a richly talented dancer himself, never performed this role, but here he spreads out his responsiveness to its deep conflicts, in the guise of the performer's gradual realisation of the gulf between paid-for jobbing dancing and the private mystery of true art.

published: August 17, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:39 am 
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Swan Lake, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
by CLEMENT CRISP for the Financial Times

The troupe is an American regional ensemble, and is – understandably – no box of classical delights. I suppose that its recent acquisition of a staging of Swan Lake may have been thought sufficient bait to lure audiences into the Festival Theatre, but this is the same old snare and delusion, re-thought by Christopher Wheeldon (ballet’s current darling), and it is singularly unpromising.

published: August 18, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:47 am 
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Dance: Swan Lake
by MARY BRENNAN for the Scotland Herald

"Dancers do lose themselves in roles," says Wheeldon. "They will come alive on stage, come alive for an audience – the applause, the success.
"But for a dancer, that's short-lived. It doesn't go on for ever. It can be a cruel awakening."

published: August 18, 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:20 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
It's a dying art
Moving Swan Lake into the rehearsal room produces a ballet-within-a-ballet filled with Degas's timeless pastel images of the dancers. By Jann Parry for The Observer


It is a testament to Degas's acute observation of ballet girls that dancers of today still resemble his paintings and pastels. Poses from his best-known studies of dancers in rehearsal were reproduced by the Pennsylvania Ballet in Christopher Wheeldon's version of Swan Lake, the opening ballet of the official Edinburgh Festival.

Wheeldon has succeeded Mark Morris as a festival favourite, a name guaranteed to attract dance-lovers, even those wary of revamped classics.

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Sudden impact
Wheeldon’s Swan Lake lacks resonance, says David Dougill for The Sunday Times.



The Edinburgh Festival’s opening classical ballet event, well displayed in the Festival Theatre, brought the international touring debut of the Pennsylvania Ballet in a lavish production of Swan Lake, created last year for this midscale company’s 40th anniversary. It is the brainchild of Christopher Wheeldon, the festival’s favourite choreographer of recent seasons, so it was sure to cause a splash.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:31 pm 
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Tragedy and fantasy from Japan to Zimbabwe
By ANNA MILLAR for Scotland on Sunday


FROM Matthew Bourne's all-male spectacular to Jan Fabre's owl-inspired mysticism, Swan Lake is a beloved pick for choreographers striving to make an impact. Like Bourne and Fabre before him, Christopher Wheeldon's awesome new production for Pennsylvania Ballet achieves just that, to stunning effect. Inspired by Degas's Impressionist paintings of Paris Opera Ballet, Wheeldon's overall vision affords a scintillating twist to Lev Ivanov's movement without sacrificing the ballet's original appeal.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:07 am 
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Location: Rugby, UK / Taipei
‘Swan Lake’ – Pennsylvania Ballet
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh; Monday 15th August 2005


George Balanchine once said that every ballet should be called ‘Swan Lake’ because “then people will come.” Well, there may be more than a grain of truth in that, but Wheeldon’s ‘re-imagining’ of the classic tale is one worth seeing.

Although keeping the essence of the story, Wheeldon has re-situated it in a ballet company rehearsal studio in the 1870s, when Degas paintings of ballet dancers were creating such interest. In keeping with the period, Jean-Marc Puissant’s costumes make the piece look like one of those art works come to life.

The weakest part of Wheeldon’s choreography comes right at the beginning as the dancers walk into the studio. It is rather predictable but it does set the scene. Where he scores well is in his use of the corps. If you only have eighteen swans to play instead of the huge herd available to some other companies you have to creative. There were times when I could have done with a little less use of canon though. The ballroom scene, here the gentlemen patron’s party, is also excellent, especially his brilliant, alluring striptease (aka the Russian Dance), superbly danced by Amy Aldridge, who is groped and slowly undressed by the gentlemen patrons who seem to be after that little bit extra for their money. However, while he may have changed some things, he has been astute enough to know what he has to leave alone, including all those spine-tingly moments everyone loves so much.

Riolama Lorenzo, partnered by Zachary Hench as Siegfried, was assured and showed some nice lines as Odette-Odile. Hench’s grand allegro was especially strong and he is amazingly light on his feet, although perhaps a little lacking in characterisation. In fact ‘light on their feet’ applied to the whole company. What a joy not to hear a visiting troupe clomping around the stage. These swans were so quiet they really could have been in the air.

There are of course reasons for not liking it. It could be argued that the production is not historically accurate. After all, ‘Swan Lake’ was not seen in Paris until 1896, two decades after Dégas’ paintings had created such a storm, but he was still producing such works. And what is historically accurate? Those idealised images of ballrooms, castles and forest lakes that we see all too often? I think not. Given that, does it matter anyway? You could also be upset about new choreography being added and some of the musical sections being moved. Again, providing it is not masquerading as the original, does it matter? If we are saying that nothing can be changed or new influences brought in then we might as well lock many ballets in some museum.

The bottom line is that it works and audiences like it. In the traditions of De Valois, Ashton and Balanchine, Wheeldon has not been afraid to try his skills away from the ballet studio, in musical theatre and on Broadway. He also knows the importance of design and here the sets, costumes and lighting are all top-notch in stark contrast to what we sometimes see elsewhere. He has developed his skills and taken on board some new ideas while at the same time continuing to respect the theatrical traditions and production values of English ballet. And while this may be an American production it very much has English values.

The music was provided by Moscow Radio’s Russian Tschaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, who gave it their all, perhaps a little too much at times, and kept things going at a cracking pace. Conductor Vladimir Fedoseyev certainly seemed to be enjoying himself, beaming from ear to ear and applauding everyone in sight at the curtain call. Mind you, it could have been relief as the orchestra had never previously played for a ballet company, let alone in a pit.

In Edinburgh people certainly did come. Proof of that the Festival organisers had a hit on their hands was there for all to see, the ‘sold out’ notices being posted for every performance. A feature of Festival ticketing is that fifty ‘try it’ tickets are sold an hour before every curtain up, price just £6. The demand was incredible. Thursday was cool and rainy but by 3.00pm there was already quite a queue on the pavement and the following day there was people there by 12 noon. I’m not sure that Edinburgh has ever seen anything like it for ballet.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:12 am 
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Quote:
Swan Lake
by THOM DIBDIN for the Edinburgh Evevning News

Not only does this make sense of the story, it actually improves it. The dancers are not just technically perfect, Riolama Lorenzo as Odette is almost superhuman in the pace and number of her jumps. But they are human characters, too. Siegfried is often little more than a prop to Odette, but here Zachary Hench makes him a passionate, tortured character.

published: August 17, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:20 am 
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Swan Lake
by KELLY APTER for the Scotsman

Rather than detracting from Ivanov's original, if anything Wheeldon has made it better. Tiny embellishments, even down to the way the dancers stand, make it visually stunning. Setting the dance in a rehearsal studio, inspired by Degas's Impressionist paintings of Paris Opera Ballet, Wheeldon's overall vision gives a unique twist without compromising the ballet's original strengths.

published: August 18, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:29 am 
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Quote:
Balletic impressions of a Degas painting
By LYNDSEY WINSHIP for the Independent

In other parts, the dream/reality crossover works better. There's a nice parallel between the dancers controlled by their patron and the swans in the clutches of evil Von Rothbart, plus a witty touch when, on stage, the poster for the new production is revealed and it has Wheeldon's name emblazoned on it.

published: August 22, 2005
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