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Forsythe - van Manen - Kylián: Vienna State Ballet, Première, April 14th, 2019

Forsythe - van Manen - Kylián: Vienna State Ballet, Première, April 14th, 2019

A very special evening. Definitely.

Not only because of the genius of Forsythe, van Manen and Kylián but also because of Manuel Legris' own idea of putting those four pieces together. A work of ART – and intelligence!

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„Artifact Suite“. I am not what you could or would call a „Forsythe fan“ but this piece – which, I must say, I had never seen before – impressed me... and it impressed me a lot. Musically extremely difficult and demanding. If the dancers would stop counting, they'd be lost. Completely lost and I mean it. Perhaps not the „nicest way“ to dance, surely not the most comfortable but what an impact. Yes, impact. One could feel the „electricity“ on stage and in the audience. One could nearly touch it.

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Forsythe's choreography is full of such a complexity which is hard to describe. Simple movements – turns en pointe, for example – get another meaning... you, sitting in the audience, „read“ them in a different form and that is most interesting. Fascinating, in fact.

A question of timing, dynamics...

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Nikisha Fogo and Jakob Feyferlik and their young „passion“ for dancing, filled the stage with joy – sometimes I had the feeling that she was „flying“ through the stage. What a brilliant choreography. One must mention that Mr Feyferlik is a great partner. He takes really care of the girl he is partnering.

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Elegant and emotional Nina Poláková and Roman Lazik gave an incredibly precise rendering of the piece. Yes, I mean rendering as in the graphic arts. One could nearly „take the picture“ (and keep it) of their beautiful, honest portrayal. Wonderful Artistry.

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Last but not least, one can only sing the highest praises to Oxana Kiyanenko and her performance of the „other woman“: since a long time nobody had managed to get me that much impressed as I was last Sunday with her performance. In full command of Forsythe's language – which is not an easy one in this piece – she managed to capture the audience's attention very strongly, nearly viscerally. A wonderful, intelligent, bright performance. Chapeau!

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

„Trois Gnossiennes“by van Manen, is perhaps the „most classic“ of all four pieces. I mean its „story-telling“ and language.

Quite a boring piece for the three dancers around the piano – Marian Furnica, Andrés Garcia Torres and (very stiff) Hanno Opperman, who should take more care of his mimic. His face expression – only one - makes him look worried and afraid on stage. Sort of what Dorothy Parker once said about Katharine Hepburn: “She runs the gamut of human emotions from A to B”.

Maria Yakovleva gave a special, beautiful performance: this choreography definitely suits her style, looks and technique. Her portrayal was definitely soft, sensible... Lovely. Jakob Feyferlik – once more showing that he is a good partner – and he really is strong and takes good care of the girl he is dancing with. Fascinating to see the development Mr Feyferlik is going through... from performance to performance he is growing very fast as an artist

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

„Solo “, the only piece I did not feel comfortable watching.

All three dancers are wonderful. No question.

If I am not mistaken I had seen Mr Szabó already in this piece in a Nureyev Gala but his dynamic was not the same as Denys Cherevychko's and Géraud Wielick's. A different understanding, a different perception of the choreography. Mr Cherevychko and Mr Wielick were jolly, merry, witty and even cynical But not arrogant. It looked like as if they had been coached by different people. Two completely different ways of dancing, understanding and feeling a choreography.

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Nevertheless one must say that all three of them were technically near to perfection.

„Symphony of Psalms” - a work with a certain complexity – Kyllián at his very best. But, in my opinion, more suitable in another part of the programme. Not really a piece to finish the evening. But anyways…

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

I will not comment on each of the eight couples. I would like only to mention Ketevan Papava, Roman Lazik, Nikisha Fogo, Denys Cherevychko, Nina Tonoli (how good it feels to have her back on stage after her injury) for their wonderful work but especially Nina Poláková and (most of all) James Stephens and his beautiful lines and great partnership skills!

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

A great evening. I am looking forward to watching this “combination” of works again – with other casts!

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

Copyright: Vienna State Ballet / Ashley Taylor

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A photo...