ROYAL BALLET NAPOLI DIVERTISSEMENTS [16TH, 17TH JAN'07]
Cast on 16th Jan 2007
Mara Galeazzi, Marianela Nunez, Lauren Cuthbertson, Belinda Hatley, Laura Morera, Jonathan Watkins, Fernando Montano, Jose Martin, Steven Mcrae
Napoli Divertissements is part of a double bill (along with La Sylphide). Produced by Johan Kobborg, it started as a disappointment for me, as the dancing from the corp started with full level of energy, but halfway through the ensemble looked exhausted, and their lines and forms were comprimised. I think it is encouraging for the artists in the company to do more central roles in this production, however, I felt, it may be something too big to serve on their plate.
Nevertheless, some of the solos by the principals and first soloists were utterly delightful and Bournaville-esque. Mara Galeazzi, Marianela Nunez and Laura Morera's effortless dancing offered beauty in their movements and style.
Steven McRae provided his exciting beats and soared acrossed the stage with his jetes. Fernando Montano's solo was very raw, with plenty of fine-tuning to be done. An extremely hyperflexible dancer, who took too much concern to his extensions rather than the fine details of Bournaville. Lauren Cuthbertson and Belinda Hatley seemed to be underused in this production, nevertheless, they sparkled and gave a bright coloured performance.
Lauren Cuthbertson's partnership with Johannes Stepanek was a pleasure to watch. Both dancers, looked rather compatible, with good height and lines. One wish, the company would use Stepanek more than just the corp. Jose Martin seemed to struggle with the wittiness in the Bournaville footwork, but gave good flavour in his tarantella with Laura Morera.
Cast on 17th Jan 2007
Alexandra Ansanelli, Marianela Nunez, Lauren Cuthbertson, Hikaru Kobayashi, Yuhui Choe, Jonathan Watkins, Fernando Montano, Paul Kay, Steven Mcrae
This evening's performance was better than the opening night in general, well, slightly. The four leading ladies, Alexandra Ansanelli, Marianela Nunez, Lauren Cuthbertson, Hikaru Kobayashi, Yuhui Choe, seemed to struggle with keeping up with each other, and height of legs varied when they are meant to be in unison. Despite this, each gave stunning solos individually. Alexandra Ansanelli gave a delightful solo to a tricky number, Effortlessly, and a sparkling smile, she completed her solo with an American flair.
Marianela Nunez was brilliant as she always is. Divine dancer who easily make her movements on the upper body gentle and delicate (when needed), whilst her lower body are quick and nimble, and utterly musical. Yuhui Choe danced the same role as Laura Morera from the previous evening, was a gem. She sparkled ever so brightly in her yellow costumes, but the radiance that she brought out was from her stage presence. Beautiful lines and control, it is terribly difficult to not take notice of her while she is in the corp, let alone say, her solo. Fernando Montano gave a much more assured performance this evening, a cleaner finish and subtle outburst of limbs. Paul Kay proved to be a reliable understudy of Jose Martin, and gave an enjoyable performance.
Steven Mcrae did not fail at all (never once have I imagine) to steal the limelight. His elevations and landing were succelent. His solos were flawlessly executed, with the Bournaville style and charm. It was a worthwhile, and enjoyable performance.