segunda-feira, 20 de fevereiro de 2017

Wiener Staatsballet: February 19th, Premiére "Le Pavillon d'Armide" & "Le Sacre"

Wiener Staatsballet: February 19th, Premiére "Le Pavillon d'Armide" & "Le Sacre"

A première is always exciting.

This one was not supposed to be really very exciting for me:
I am not really a great fan of Neumeier’s work and I had the seen the general rehearsal last Friday.
But still…
I was very surprised.

Le Pavillon d’Armide

Before I start writing about what I have witnessed last night, I will break a rule.
Well, rules are made to be broken, at least mine are… by me: I always write about the main roles at the very end of a review but this time I must start with the words MIHAIL SOSNOVSCHI BRILLIANT!

Yes and even this adjective is still not really expressing what we witnessed yesterday with his interpretation of the tortured Nijinsky's soul.
This evening will be remembered because of him.

We all know dancers that are good actors but Mr. Sosnovschi’s performance was just “a notch above that”.

All of a sudden I realized that tears were running down my face with his interpretation.
Emotions… who could ask for anything more?
At a sort of career “top moment” (the moment in which a person reaches maturity but is still young enough to perform) he gave us a very sensible portrait of a tortured soul. Mr. Sosnovschi, an intelligent dancer that uses technique just as a tool for his artistry, he faced without fears the technical difficulties of the role (am I right that I witnessed twice triple tour-en-lairs?) and concentrated more in the character, telling the audience a “story”, making us eager to learn more about it.
A very intelligent reading of Nijinky's personality and character. The highest peak of this evening.
I dedicate this review to this most touching performance. I am glad that I could take part on it! Thank you.

Viennese audiences may be a bit over challenged by a piece that requires so much information and knowledge about ballet:
in the mad scenes there are many references to the original Nijinsky’s choreographies of “Faun”, “Petrouschka” and “Sacre”. But does the audience realize this?
If someone does not understand which roles Romola and Sergey Diaghilew (strangely mentioned in the programme as “Serge”) played in Nijinsky’s life, they'll miss a lot of the plot.
If someone does not know who Tamara Karsavina and Alexandra Baldina were and what “la danse siamoise”, the one movement from the Ballet Suite “Les orientales” represented for Nijinsky’s own sexuality, they are in troube.
If someone is not informed about his bipolarity. Then they’ll have a problem watching this show.

Neumeier’s language in Pavillon (which I had never seen before) reminded me of the same “formula” that he used in his “Dame aux Camelias”.
In “Dame” he uses fictional characters (Manon and Des Grieux) in pas de trois (with Marguerite) and even pas de quatres (including Des Grieux).

In “Pavillon” he does not use only fictional characters like the dancer from “dance siamoise”
(majestically played by Davide Dato – a dancer that never stops to surprise me… the thrill of the sensuality of this dance shivered the whole audience. I had to be sure about that, so I looked up in the dictionary: Shiver: a shudder felt down one's back, due to either fear, anticipation, nervousness, or excitement)
and Armide, played very securely by Nina Polakova.

But also Nijinsky himself as a dancer (Denny Cherevychlo’s first entrance is a moment of pure poetry. Later he once more amazed the audience with his technique and stamina),
Tamara Karsavina (very well played “in the character” by Maria Yakovleva although a bit insecure technically),
Alexandra Baldina (danced with a certain emotional aloofness but with great technical certainty by Nina Tonoli),
Sergey Diaghliew (wonderfully danced and well interpreted by Roman Lazik, that also played the doctor - a fact that seems to have confused many people. A very sensible dancer).

Nijinky and Diaghilew the PDD: Perhaps the most beautiful and openly homoreotic pas de deux in Neumeier’s repertoire. The kiss that Diaghlew places in his hand and puts on Nijinsky’s lips is a moment of pure emotion.

In the “present” Nijinsky is in company oh his wife Romola, very dramatically played by the very sensible and talented Nina Polakova that not only wore the most elegant gown of the evening but displayed emotions on stage that are not so usual in dancing. A beautiful, touching performance!

Choreographically speaking I found the connections from Nijinsky at the present to Nijinsky as a dance pupil quite difficult to follow.
If you’d not know that this dancer (Richard Szabó) was supposed to be Nijinsky as a young boy, you would not understand it. Perhaps the very different looks of Mr. Szabó compared to the classical fairness of Mr. Sosnovschi don’t give us the hint. A matter of wrong casting. A younger dancer like Mr. Wielick, that looks much more alike to Mr. Sosnovchi, would have suited the role much better.

Another interesting point that reminded me extremely of “La dame aux camelias”: the walkers in the park… It is so interesting to follow the phases in a choreographer’s career and find the similarities in works that they have done within the same period of creativy.
More to that later.

Le Sacre,
is not one my favourite pieces. Having been choreographed in 1972 it has become “dated” with all those endless repetitions of queues and rows and endless “passing through” back and forth, between each other’s legs. Over and under each other. It is so “dated” in its resolutions (unlike Cranko’s pas de deux, for example) and not an easy piece to dance.
And I am glad that I had never to learn how to “count” the music (although I love it!).
It is really not a very comfortable piece for the dancers. Especially for the corps de Ballet. That is why I start this piece of my review (again breaking an own rule) by writing of my biggest admiration and respect to dancers like Suzan Oppermann, Alaia Rogers, Céline Janou Weder, Laura Nistor, Leonardo Basilio, Marcin Dempc, Marian Furnica, Greig Matthews, Tristan Ridel, Dumitru Taran, Alexandru Tcacenco, Zsolt Törok, Géraud Wielick and other members of the cast. This piece is harder to play than to do a “Jane Fonda’s aerobic class” of the 80’s!

For me personally there are no “main roles” in “Sacre”. Sometimes I think that the last solo (danced, by the way, beautifully and with the stamina of a bull by Rebecca Horner) was just an excuse to pick “a name” as a “marquee name” to attract audiences back in the 70's. I am glad that Miss Horner is getting such roles - not an easy dancer to cast - she is neither the lyrical nor the classical "on you toe type" Ballerina. Quite difficult to imagine her in more "formal" productions but she seems to exceed in such productions, like the two Neumeier's choreographies in which she has been casted in the last two last years. But they are, unfortunately, very selden in the Opera's repertoire.

Back to the solo (is she going to be sacrificed or is she killing herself? That was never, since the 70's, clear to me!): We cannot forget that we are talking about 1972 and Neumeier was not so known at those times (later that solo would even be played by a dancer that was complete naked, I think her name was Beatriz Cordua).
But, also here, these are athe similarities during a choreographer’s period, which I wrote about while commenting on “Pavillon” and “La Dame aux Camelias”. This endless display of “power”, the repetitious hard movement solutions, the constant strength required for this last solo (that amazes audiences) reminds me of the last “Wife’s solo” in "Joseph’s legend".
It has the same language line, except for the endless running.
Funny how choreographer’s stick to something for such a long while.
Although I sometimes thing that the “young choreographer’s vocabulary” (he was young at the time) was perhaps too short.
And this brings a sort of inarticulateness at the end of the creative process.

Nevertheless it was wonderful to witness once more the versatility of dancers that can do anything: Ioana Avraam, Alice Firenze and Eszter Ledan – wild, ferocious in fact, with their hair open, as well as the strength of Masayu Kimoto, Eno Peci and especially Francesco Costa, a young dancer that is turning into a very fine dancer – in such a short time.
A dancer with an extremely masculine presence and charisma on stage.

To add to all that we cannot leave unmentioned Michael Boder’s conducting. Always a pleasure.
A very enjoyable night.

All pictures, except Nijinsky's "Dance Siamoise": Copyright Ashley Taylor / Wiener Staatsballet. With my kindest Thanks.

27 comentários:

Nina Tonoli disse...

Great :-)

Alice Firenze disse...

Thank You Ricardo!!

Francesco Daniele Costa disse...

Thank you for this great critic !

Céline Janou Weder disse...

Danke Ricardo! Gut ausgesuchte Worte! Sehr schön!!!!

Géraud Wielick disse...

Btw I agree on many points you made in you review 🙂

Suzann Oppermann disse...

As always... so well written ❤ and thank you for the mention

Ioanna Avraam disse...

Thank you!

Catharina Aurora disse...

caro Ricardo you have sensitively put my impressions on a wonderful, personally touching evening. Thank you for your beautiful words! I am moved to tears while reading, as I did with yesterday's premiere .... Great thanks and compliments to the dancers of this outstanding evening .... it was an experience! Abraco-vos! Beijo

Igor Zapravdin disse...

Super Ricardo!

rogerio cesar de sa bittencourt disse...


Que espetaculo surpreendentemento eloquente em beleza e motivacao.

As fotos mostram isto com uma dinamica quase aquatic.

Deve ter sido um ballet inesquecivel

Minha alma neste momento bem precisaria ser ativada neste mundo da danca superior .

Merci cher ami



As Tertulías disse...

Merci a toi!

Davide Dato disse...

Vielen Dank Ricardo!!

Josef Hochleitner disse...

Hi Ricardo:

I read and agree with your comments …. Years ago I read Romola Nijinsky;s biography of her husband …. and came away thinking it was the greatest love story ever told …


Iris disse...

Grata pela excelente crítica, sempre um deleite!
Um grande abraço!

TS disse...

mein Lieber - ich habe eben dein review der premiere gelesen und das onbowhl du doch angekündigt hattest nicht dabei zu sein 😉 eine sehr interessante besprechung ganz in deinem stil und mit überraschungen. es freut mich besonders die ausführlichen zeilen zu Mischa, ich denke er hat es sich verdient ! wie recht du doch hast: wenn man sich nicht zuvor mit der geschichte vetraut gemacht hat ist man hoffnungslos verloren. so ging es mir bei der ersten hauptprobe und das obwohl mir alle handelnen personen (Nijinsky, Karsawina, Diaghilev etc.) und lebensereignisse Nijinsky's sehr wohl bekannt sind . Sacre - naja da sind schon viele sehr schöne choreogr. szenen dabei, lg ts

As Tertulías disse...

Dear Josef, I think Romola created her own story. The story that she wanted to be true. She closed her eyes to Vaslav's relationship with Diaghilew... in fact she (and their marriage) was the only reason why he was sacked from the Ballet Russes... And we know that this fact accelerated a lot his process of bipolarity. She loved him. She was mad about him. But this love did him no good... well, this is my opinion...

Alaia Rogers disse...

Great review once again

Gloria Gregor Maass disse...

Du hast es sehr treffend auf den Punkt gebracht!
Gratuliere, du bist wirklich ein guter Kritiker! Liebe Grüße

Alexandra Young-Schmidt disse...

Thank you Ricardo for this! I agree with you that Mihail Sosnovschi was a brilliant Nijinsky who touched the soul...
I am, unlike you, a Neumeier fan though!! I always delight in seeing the Hamburg Ballet when they perform his Christmas Oratorio at Theater an der Wien.
Much love and see you soon!

Laura Nistor disse...

Thank you dear Ricardo!Nice kritik about our performance!Hope you are fine!Missing you from the Premier Partys!Was always nice to have you there!Wishing you all the best!Kisses Laura

Regina Ferraz disse...

Ricardo querido.Tantas maravilhas sobre ballet, Pavillon, Nijinski e todos esses fantásticos artistas que saem dos seus olhos nos escrevendo como um Conto de fadas.
Que perfeição....Estamos tão distantes dessa arte cheia de luzes e brilhos.Me sinto no momento tão próximo da Africa com essa batucada carnavalesca pensando que em um tempo passado carnaval existia no Teatro Municipal que por ordem dos Deuses acabou.... Quando será que o nosso Rio de Janeiro vai reabrir as portas....? Você é Divino!!! Um grande artista e um amigo de todos nós.Me perdoe não estar presente tão rápido. Beijos pra Neidinha, lembranças ao Eric e meu eterno carinho repleto de admiração e aplausos.Regina.

Andrea Nauhauser disse...

auch für den Artikel
sehr interessant und toll zu lesen!!!!
wish you a happy day

Mary Castro disse...

Fico daqui, imaginando a beleza de balé que Vc. assistiu, com um pouquinho de inveja.

Mike disse...

ha ha ha... one "critic" in Vienna did not quite realize that Roman Lazik was playing Daghileff in the second part of the show and wondered why he (the doctor) was clothed so alike Nijinsky... come on... those ballet critics in Vienna should go somewhere and sell sauerkraut... really... this is horrible!

As Tertulías disse...

I know... I read it... rsrsrsrs... Perhaps Ingmar thaught the same thing!

Mike disse...


As Tertulías disse...

just a little joke about a certain person in Vienna (with dear ballet friends) that thinks she understands ballet a lot :-) But this person is so stupid... Not important at all! by the way... thought not thaught... sorry about that!