Saturday, April 01, 2006


The same pieces that were mentioned in the previous post were performed by the Royal Ballet. The cast were different.
Polyphonia, we had big names for Cast A, Leanne Benjamin, Alina Cojacaru, Deirdre Chapman, Lauren Cuthbertson, Martin Harvey, Federico Bonelli, Valeri Hristov and last but not least, Edward Watson.
In general, the dancers in this cast were fantastic, but not as impressive as the other cast. There were some dancers in this cast that were more outstanding than the cast on 28th March [Cast A: Sarah Lamb, Alexandra Ansanell, Deirdre Chapman, Laura Morera, Gary Avis, Johannes Stepanek, Steven McRae, Jonathan Howells]. To name a few, the sparkles were Cuthbertson, Bonelli, and Watson.
Personally, I would like to give a detailed review of what i felt about these different cast. As an entire cast, Cast A was brilliant... they performed in full dynamic when they were all onstage at any one time. however, breaking down the 10 different sequences, there were some differences. Firstly, the first duet performed by Leanne and Martin, were nothing to compared to Sarah and Gary. Leanne looked tired and struggling to get her extensions up, one could see her collapsing.. out of breath... and martin, seemed to struggle to keep her afloat and lifted. I believe Martin is a strong partner to dance with, however when coupled with a dancer who is worn out and exhausted, and when it is just 2 dancers on the big stage, it is rather evident that they were behind the music and it did not look like they were 'dancing', instead they looked like they were 'moving, doing steps'. Whereas Sarah and Gary showed amazing control and fluidity in their lyrical deut. Sarah was extremely impressive, her lines were defined and his dancing was impressive.
Another sequence worth mentioning, it was from Cast A's Edward and Valeri's deut on 31st March. Both dancers create a most entertaining performance. Most of the choreography was performed in cannon. Valeri lead, and Edward follows. I have to say, Edward shone brighter than Valeri. His execution of the movements were performed with amazing energy. Pure excellence!!! Next sequence that follow, it was the deut between Alina and Federico (Cast A) and Alexandra and Johannes (Cast B). I was utterly disappointed with Alina. I expected the principal dancer of Royal Ballet to be the star of the night, the star of Polyphonia. Unfortunately, she was off her balance, showing off all her high extensions without control. Her weight was mostly behind her. I mean, she is fantastic... however, after watching Alexandra on the 28th March, I was expecting Alina to at least perform her solo to almost equivalent level. Alexandra stole the entire show on 28th March. Her control, balance, and technique was breathtaking and performed with grace. As she stays in an arabesque (for ages) one could feel the audience holding their breath for her. Whereas for Alina, there were no balances, or any breathtaking moments. I guess it wasn't her best night. Lastly I have to mention again. edward watson and Lauren Cuthbertson's duet in the 8th sequence was remarkable. Both dancers, english-trained, impressed audience with their speed, energy and performed the movement with excellent precision. Both dancers performed their roles with lightheartedness and effortless. edward's flexibility was beyond description (he almost hit his own head when his leg was in a la seconde) Watching this partnership was extremely satisfying and I only wished i had a remote control to rewind and watch again and again... However, a friend of mine, who came to watch with me, reckons edward watson looked tired and was not giving his 100%. well, he did seemed a little at the end, but if this was his bad day, I wonder what will his BEST day be. Castle Nowhere: Cast B

Castle Nowhere was performed by the 2nd cast, which was also their opening performance. I was overly impressed. They were better than the 1st cast. The leading roles are performed by Laura Morera and Ricardo Cervera. Both dancers deliver an extensive amount of dance expression and chemistry between themselves. The performance was convincing and I begin to love this piece more than I already did. As i have mentioned before, the choreographic vocabulary of Mrozewski mesmerise me, and i simply adore the movements are composed and executed by both cast's lead, Zen and Ed, and Laura and Ric. Both Zen and Ed deliver this piece slightly different from Laura and Ric. Both couples still show the main gist of their characters, but personally, i feel, Zen and Ed are extremely suitable for this piece for the way their body moves and the chemistry between them, and Laura and Ric showed more emotions, but the way their body moves is nothing compare to Zen and Ed's partnership. Hence, if only these 2 couples could combine their strong points, it will be the perfect cast.
Next up, Requiem by Macmillan. It was a star-studded evening. Oh, and I forgot to mention, it was a sold out performance. For Requiem, we have Leanne Benjamin, Darcey Bussell, Viacheslav Samodurov, Carlos Acosta and the new up and coming, promising dancer, Rupert Pennefather. Briefly, Rupert Pennefather had recently received The Outstanding Male Artist(Classical) Award at the 2005 National Dance Awards, and has already partnered Darcey, Tamara, Leanne, Alina, and other leading principal dancers.
Macmillan's choreography is always all tops and nothing negative to say about. Only one thing to mentioned, Rupert replaced David Makhateli, and took on a big role in the Sanctus pas de deux with Leanne. During the Insight Evening, Rupert partnered Mara Galeazzi and encountered some problems in the choreographic aspects of the partnering. Personally, i understand that being a dancer would have to be professional and rise to the occassion, when suddenly one has to partner a dancer which he has not rehearse before. I just felt for Rupert for working so hard with this duet, but not really working with his partner. And i guess the mishandling could possibly be he was too tall for leanne, or leanne and mara is slightly different in height. well, all these are just some considerations and assumptions i thought about... but anyway... back to the review... well done and i applaud the entire company. The performance was marvellous!!!!

am now looking forward to Giselle on the 15th April.


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