Saturday, 31 January 2015
|Matthew Golding and |
Photo: Tristram Kenton / ROH
Golding showed great depth in his character transformation through the ballet - from brooding and aloof to a fragile shadow of a man. Osipova's interpretation, of a young girl utterly bereft, pained and broken by her rejection, was thoroughly convincing and compelling. In the final pas de deux, Osipova even shook as she tore up Onegin's letter.
The pair were expertly supported by Yasmine Naghdi as Olga, with her effortless classical technique and charming characterisation, and Matthew Ball as an impassioned Lensky.
This was a truly brilliant performance of a truly brilliant ballet.
Thursday, 29 January 2015
At Monday’s Royal Ballet in Rehearsal event, Christopher Saunders coached Marcelino Sambé, Anna Rose O’Sullivan and Mayara Magri in the pas de trois from Act I of Swan Lake. Performed by three dance students for Prince Siegfried, the choreography is simple but repetitive and includes a lot of (what Saunders describes as “puffy”) jumps.
Saunders focused on the dancers’ technique to make the trio as neat and classically correct as possible. He insisted that dancers always to go through 1st position with the arms on the way to other positions, that arms don’t cross the centre line of the body and that feet are not ‘winged’ (a distorted ankle line that is favoured in some ballet styles). Saunders also worked with Sambé on his partnering, insisting that it’s not necessary to ‘paddle’ (ie. help the ballerina to spin) during double pirouettes: “She can easily do a double on her own so you’re just there to catch her if she goes off balance.”
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
So begins Oktobre, a show combining magic, acrobatics and absurdity. Characters seem on the verge of insanity - shouting at each other (in French) about their frustrations and minutely shuffling chairs and other objects to satisfy their obsessive compulsive tendencies. It's hard to understand the characters onstage but easy to become drawn into their world - a bizarre dinner party in which only crackers are served and guests pretend to kill each other before falling about laughing.
Oktobre's tricks defy logical inclusion into the show's narrative, but amaze nonetheless, from Yann Frisch's clever magic in which balls and cups disappear and reappear at will, to Eva Ordonez-Benedetto's skilfully controlled trapeze. Oktobre baffles and impresses in equal measure but never fails to delight.
Monday, 26 January 2015
|Photo: Aglae Bory|
Monday, 19 January 2015
|Yonah Acosta in Coppelia|
Photo: David Jensen
Sunday, 18 January 2015
|Photo: George Piper|
It's the centenary of the First World War, so it's not surprising that choreographers are using war as inspiration. Following English National Ballet's Lest We Forget and Choreographics last year, the BalletBoyz's first full-length evening work explores male wartime experiences. Ivan Perez's Young Men encompasses sections highlighting soldier training, shell shock and nightmares, although such themes are hard to discern. Set to Keaton Henson's repetitive and overly emotive score and with Jackie Shemesh's lighting designs that leave dancers almost entirely in blackness, I struggled to connect with the piece.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
|Ulrik Birkkjaer and Susanne Grinder |
Photo: Costin Radu
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
Later this month, the Royal Ballet performs John Cranko’s Onegin, a 1965 ballet based on Alexander Pushkin's novel Eugene Onegin.
|Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Onegin (in performance)|
Photo: Tristram Kenton / ROH
“Cranko tells the story so well, so succinctly. You don’t need to know the story or Pushkin’s novel at all; the ballet explains everything. Cranko was interested in using his dancers’ natural movement and expressiveness, rather than traditional mime gestures. The dramatic choreography and story-telling should feel natural.
“High legs don’t mean anything in a ballet like Onegin. It’s about making the audience believe in what’s happening onstage. Dancers today don’t find the choreography as challenging as they did in 1965 but it still takes six weeks' rehearsal to give principals the time to nail everything – to know it will work, and not just hope it will work!”
Monday, 12 January 2015
Saturday, 10 January 2015
|Sarah Lamb in Onegin|
Photo: Bill Cooper / ROH