Coppélia - revisited: March 10th, 2019 (Vienna State Ballet)
Coppélia – revisited: March 10th, 2019 (Vienna State Ballet)
Having reviewed „Coppélia“ at the End of January, I will not go into details about the ballet itself, choreography, scenery and costumes (for that please visit: https://www.attitude-devant.com/blog/2019/1/29/copplia-premire-january-27th-2019 ). I just want to „talk“ today about the cast of yesterday's performance.
As always, one could see and feel how the Corps de Ballet was much more at „ease“ after having performed this (sometimes) „tricky“ ballet quite a few times. These are moments that I „love“ very much. These moments in which you do not have to worry – like during a première evening – and can concentrate or, I should rather say, „focus“ on certain details to which I had not paid enough attention during previous performances. It is a sort of „sit down, put your feet up (!!!!) and relax while watching the show“. Yes, these are moments that I really love.
Special moments that give me the opportunity of concentrating more on certain dancers of the Corps de Ballet, especially on the ones that have been steadily „carrying“ this company for so many years. Dancers (yes, a capital „D“ is more than adequate) like Igor Milos, András Lukács, Flavia Soares, Céline Janou Weder, Gala Jovanovic, Kamil Pavelka, Marat Davletshin, Ester Ledán, Tristan Ridel and Zsolt Török just to name a few.
These are the Dancers which you have seen in dozens (or hundreds) of different roles in different performances, sometimes in different stage positions in the same choreography, changing style from show to show and confirming their well-known versatility, a Sinequanon condition for Dancers.
These are the Dancers that go on stage at the last moment to substitute an injured or sick colleague. These are the Dancers that reinforce the old saying: „The show must go on“.
And to these Dancers, I dedicate this review and my page „attitude“.
But let's talk about yesterday's cast.
In my last review I, unfortunately, forgot to mention the four „brides“ in the third act. Enchantingly beautiful and charming. Especially Suzan Opperman and Alaia Rogers-Maman that, having had the same „ballet upbringing“ and teachers are so much in unison when together. They share the same interpretation of musicality – something that attracted my attention some years ago while watching a class from Albert Mirzoyan, during which they were standing behind each other on the bar.
Eszter Ledán and Alexandru Tcacenco, two experienced (and still young) Dancers enchanted the audience in the third act as „Night“ and „Dusk“ (in fact two roles that always make me think of characters in Maurice Maeterlinck's book „The Blue Bird“). They were technically near to perfect in combination with an exquisite aura of magic. Yes, these moments of magic on stage... Breathtaking. One of the Highlights of the evening.
Gabor Oberegger also enchanted the audience with his interpretation of Coppélius. I was suddenly once more aware of the loneliness of this character – Mr Oberegger, very sensitively, presented me again (and I mean it as a „present“) with this tragicomic feeling that I had forgotten in association to this role.
Jakob Feyferlik gave his début as Franz and could not have been more endearing in this role. His „vision of the role“ was witty, even funny, naughtily young and, as I mentioned before, endearing. His sudden transition to a more „princely“ character in the third act was a bit too abrupt for me. I do not see Franz and Swanilda as a prince and princess in the third act. I'd prefer them danced as „peasants“ having a wonderful wedding – but these are things that cannot be explained in classical ballet... Just as the whole nobility - mostly 20 to 40 people - go in Giselle's „cottage“ that barely has room for her mother and for her – but, as Lou Jacobi would say in „Irma la Douce“, „that is another story“
Alice Firenze in the lead, is another big present to audiences, after years of having been typecast as a gipsy, fiery, „Mizzi“ or „Mitzi“. Ever since being resurrected to more lyrical roles in András Lukács' „Movements to Stravinsky“ she has been given „other“ roles than the cliché „Spitfires“ we were getting accustomed to.
Her Swanilda is a flesh and blood, curious, vivacious girl. At the same time, her impersonation of Coppélia is filled with a kind of naughty humour that is contagious to audiences. I must tell you that there was a class of French children attending this particular performance and during the intermission between the second and the third act – while they were eating their sandwiches and bananas, I could observe and hear how very excited they were about Miss Firenze's performance. And to be quite honest, this is one of the biggest compliments ever: to be able to „touch“ children's imagination and phantasy or as I once heard in a Brazilian song: „Jogando sementes nos campos da mente“ (Throwing seeds in the fields of the mind).
Technically pin-pointed she was never „out of character“. Even during the manége, that contradicts any physical law, in the first act (in which a skirt moving in the opposite direction is added to the „issue“) or during the coda in the third act with steps I could only describe as „Ronde de jambes en tournant“ (!!!!), she was always „in the character“.
And to make a lng story short: Miss Firenze’s “reading” of the character is a very delightful one!
A most enjoyable evening. Also, a delight for children that, I hope, will be kept in the repertoire for many years!