Young Talents - Wiener Staatsballet - May 31st, 2012
An unforgettable evening last may 31st. An evening filled with some sort of “frisson” in the air, a very normal thing in these galas which have been presented at our “Volksoper” – thanks to the enthusiasm, “nose”, talent, Marketing-power, knowledge of his “metier” and sensibility from Manuel Legris, Étoile from the Paris Opera, who in fact, is one of the greatest gifts that the Viennese cultural scene received during the last years.
Ten different pieces. Grand Pas from "Raymonda" (Anna Mendakiewicz as Raymonda… excellent in the very affected Hungarian “Variation de Raymonde”!), "La Sylphide" (a delicate, etereal Ioanna Avraam who already conquered a very big space in the hearts of the viennese audiences), "Jeunehomme" – an incredible choreography by Uwe Scholz which I did not know – with the marvelous Reina Sawai (and she ISa beutiful “queen” => Reina, in spanish ) and the strong partner – simply dressed to kill - Alexandru Tcacenco, "Mopey" – a piece that requires extreme talent and versatility, danced by Andrey Kaydanovskiy, Pas de Six from "La Vivandiére" in which not only Ioanna Avraam once more shined, but also Laura Nistor, a very special and gifted dancer, that caught my eye, "Aunis" (that, in the choreopgraphy aspect–Jacques Garnier – «stole» the evening) with Marcin Dempe and Géraud Wielick and "Who cares?" </b>– not exactly Mr.B. (Balanchine) «at his very best» but a happy divertissement… Unfortunately in this last piece, the orchestra, conducted by Elisabeth Attl, sounded extremely bad… in fact remembering an orchestra in a cruise ship for American retired tourists in the Caribbean… Gershwin wouldn’t have liked that… I may not know much about Donizetti but Gershwin lives deep in my heart!
But the real Stars of the evening, for me, were
1) The enchanting, young Italian (21 years old) Davide Dato. Rarely have I seen such jumps like his – this was so much more real on the stage from the Volksoper which is much smaller than the one at the State Opera, where I have seen him many times before. Blessed with classical beauty, stage presence, technical precision and self-esteem Davide is turning out to be the new “darling” of the Viennese audiences. A tittle that belonged up to now exclusively to Mihail Sosnovski…
2) The japanese Kiyoka Hashimoto that “brought down the house” in the Donizetti Pas de Deux (with Davide Dato) and in her very “energetic” interpretation from “My one and Only” (one of the parts from “Who cares?” from Mr B./Gershwin. No words. A marvelous dancer.
3) Ahhhhh… and the Scottish Greig Matthews… Pure emotion! Peu a peu, I began to realize that I was witnessing a very, very special moment and began to find words to articulate what I had seen, felt. As one of his colleagues (Marie Clair D’Lyse) very well put: “This guy’s gonna be a Star!”
Florismund’s Solo… what shall I say? One of the most ungrateful variations for the “Danseur” (compared in terms of thanklessness to the entrance from Myrtha in the second act of “Giselle” or to all the masculine part from the Pas de Six from “La Vivandiére” bravely mastered yesterday evening by Dumitro Taran).
Technically very difficult, it does not have the “effect” on the audience like, for example, Donizetti Pas de Deux (choreography by Manuel Legris), which in itself is a big platform for virtuosity demonstration. And intended to “milk applause”.
Although Florismund’s Solo is located on a much higher level over the (not easy) circus virtuosity of the Ballet, it does not “bring down the house”. I think I was the only who shouted “Bravo” while Greig was bowing – something he still to learn how to do. In comparison, for example, to the Donizetti Pas de Deux which is so full of “circus virtuosity” (and that always impresses an audience which does not understand much about Ballet!).
His second interpretation was in “Delibes Suite”, from José Martinez, beside the beautiful Prisca Zeisel: strongly based in the Coda from “Coppelia”, I prefer to call it “Variations on Swanilda and Franz” (!) Once more Greig demonstrated a certain maturity on stage – We should not forget that we are talking about a really YOUNG talent: Greig will celebrate his 19th Birthday on June 2nd!
I was extremely impressed with his Manége, since I had never – yes, really never – seen something like this: the choreography requests that the dancer does not make the Manége with his back facing the center of the (imaginary) circumference that is created onstage but the other way around. Technically a “horror”! I do not think that the audience realized how much technique is required to perform it well. Ballet audiences should also take classes... just to understand.
After the performance I wanted to thank Greig for his kindness in giving me the ticket to watch the performance and we went to a nice, cozy little Restaurant that I like very much: “La Bohéme” (where only Opera music is played and where you don’t have “Starters”, “Main Course” or “Dessert” but “Ouvertures”, “Intermezzo”, “First Acts” and “Finales”). There we talked a lot about family, schools, teachers from the Royal, Vienna, N.Y., Ballet, friends in common… and I was amazed to find out that this gifted young Man just started taking ballet classes with 15… just a little bit longer than three years ago! And here he is: performing Solos and full of modesty! It is so good to meet Talent like that!
Note: A very special THANK YOU to Monsieur Legris for making all this possible in Vienna!
Ricardo Leitner / Attitude-devant