public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:43 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3375
Location: Canada
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker 2010
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:17 pm
Posts: 7
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...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker 2010
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:38 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3375
Location: Canada
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker 2010
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Dana Glassman reviews the Saturday, December 10, 2011 matinee performance of James Kudelka's "The Nutcracker" for the National Post.

National Post


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
A two minute behind-the-scenes video of "Nutcracker" rehearsals, forwarded by the National Post.

National Post


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
In the Toronto Star, Michael Crabb previews the December 19, 2012 - January 5, 2013 production of James Kudelka's "The Nutcracker."

Toronto Star


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Paula Citron reviews the 2012 edition of James Kudelka's "Nutcracker" for the Globe and Mail.

Globe and Mail


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Dana Glassman reviews the Wednesday, December 19, 2012 performance of "The Nutcracker" for the National Post.

National Post


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
NBoC artistic director Karen Kain offers tips for success in the Globe and Mail.

Globe and Mail


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Paula Citron reviews the Sunday, December 15, 2013 matinee performance for the Globe and Mail.

Globe and Mail


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Nutcracker
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12164
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Michael Crabb reviews the December 14-15, 2013 opening weekend performances of "The Nutcracker" for the Toronto Star.

Toronto Star


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group