Balanchine - Neumeier - Robbins revisited: Vienna State Ballet, May 3rd 2018
In the last weeks I wrote already twice about the above mentioned programme. That is the reason why today I shall only make just some “updates” referring only to certain members of the cast and some details concerning the performance.
"Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto", for sure, belongs to my “collection of favourite music”. I was quite glad to be able again to witness Olga Esina in a role I extremely associate with her – for the fact of her being the only dancer I have ever experienced live on stage that brings that “certain quality”, the distinguished poise and elegance so necessary for this role in one of Mr. B’s most avant-garde choreographies. Comparable only to marvelous Karin von Aroldingen from the New York City Ballet which created the role in the beginning of the 70’s, when Balanchine started working (again) with the music that he had used for “Balustrade” three decades earlier. Pure Joy. Mr. B. would have liked that.
Strong, defined, substantial performances by Nina Poláková, Masayu Kimoto and Roman Lasik.
Liudmila Konovalova’s début in “Theme and Variations” was the “icing on the cake” of a continuous increase of quality during the last weeks. She has a rare quality: "understanding" to Mr. B.'s unique style - so misunderstod today by company's that are not really connected with the New York Coty Ballet. Chapeau!
Great Denys Cherevychko, a very reliable partner, a quality I much respect, again brought down the house with his explosive, nearly pyrotechnical combinations of pirouettes and tours en l’air – that seem “so easy” when done by him…
"Bach Suite III" - Jakob Feyferlik -giving his début in this Neumeier's piece - brought some “fresh air” into this piece. A breath of beautiful youth… but more than being just a “young dancer” (only preoccupied with technical displays) Mr. Feyferlik pays extreme attention to little details (so often overseen nowadays) like an extremely beautiful épaulement. A detail. But an extremely important one for Ballet-lovers.
For the first time I saw Olga Esina in this role. In this sometimes most “ungrateful” of roles – to understand that, please read my two last reviews (a “hint” for you: just think of the Grand-plié in the first position) she gave a fascinating “reading” of the role. More than religious (like some tend to understand and describe Bach’s music), her interpretation was more like one of a sorceress. Tender and magical and nearly mystical at the same time. And this in fully command of her technique, strength – and emotions! A beautiful performance.
Unfortunately Nikisha Fogo, a very promising young dancer, was hurt during the performance while patnering and fractured a rib. Quite an unfortunate thing just before a tournée in Japan with the Opera. Even though I believe that some more coaching should be done with her, she gave a precise, very pin-pointed performance. Some years ago I said "I am sure that we are going to hear much of Miss Fogo in the future".
Audience’s most beloved piece of the evening: "The Concert" (or, the Perils of Everybody). As usual the public falls apart during this “all time-favourite”. As I had written before, Gala Jovanovic, “would ripe” in the role of “the wife”. I was right. She did. Now this role is also her own in all its subtle details.
Igor Milos and his dreamy character were enchanting, charming and joyful (one can see that he really feels “at home in this ballet) as Trevor Hayden with his "shy side": lovely interpretation. Good to sit once in a box above the stage - so many details that seemed to appear to me for the first time!
“Show-stealer” (and “Show-stopper”): Céline Janou Weder! I could sit for hours and watch (and re-watch) her as this “angry young woman”. This is the stuff of what magic on stage is made of: Our "Sarah Bernhard" of the Viennese Ballet!
Last (but not least) Eno Peci and Irina Tsymbal – two great artists of the first magnitude shining on stage - and Kevin Rhode's conducting. As I had mentioned before, I sat in a box and was lucky enough not only to observe "little details" on stage but also much more of the stamina that emanates from this great artist, from this great Maestro.
In perfect unison, not only with his musicians but also with the dancers!