martes, 6 de septiembre de 2016

Ibstage 2016: The consolidation of a magnificient project

Ibstage Students after Paquita Suite at el Liceu.
Foto: Josep Guindo

Another Ibstage edition took place in Barcelona and again it has been a great success of participation. For three weeks, around hundred and sixty young students from twenty nationalities, have followed the classes of some of the best teachers from the most recognized international schools. At the end, they danced in two galas with some of the most acclaimed ballet stars, in a Liceu with almost no seats available.

Carolina Masjuan

As in previous editions, the holiday month par excellence has forced many vacationers to return a few days in Barcelona to enjoy this unparalleled event. Three weeks of classes and open rehearsals with free attendance at the Institut del Teatre and two Galas of the highest level at the Liceu, have called for ballet-addicts who took advantage of such an opportunity.

Vadim Muntagirov and Daria Klimentova
Foto: Josep Guindo
We spoke with Leo Sorribes, Ibstage director, along with Xiomara Reyes and Elías García (art directors) and he told us that Ibstage is consolidating thanks to the increased support they are receiving and to the interest of prestigious schools such as Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, JKO in the USA,... who recommend their students to follow these courses in Barcelona. Many students also come from Japan and Italy and a still small percentage of Spaniards, around 35%.

"In addition we can speak of a “IBStage audience” as tickets were almost sold out. We calculate an occupancy close to 90%" tells Leo and he keeps on "for next year my dream is that we can have live orchestra in the Galas." It also should be noted that dance schools have promotions of 40% discount for good locations in different areas of the Liceu for teachers and local students to not have to miss the show for economic reasons.

Students of Ibstage in Paquita.
Foto: Josep Guindo
But Ibstage isn't only about ballet classes taught by the best teachers of the best schools, it is also a platform for many of its participants to find contracts with companies such as Houston Ballet (Samuel Rodriguez), Royal Ballet (Maria Luisa Ishida), or American Ballet (Paulina Gaski) the three winners of the 2015 Ibstage awards. This year we already can mention the young Jarod Curley who will join the ranks of the American Ballet.

In addition to the many scholarships offered either by the Ibstage itself and by its sponsors, mainly the Banco de Sabadell, other opportunities are given. Jan Spunda and Kyono Chantal Morin winners of the Junior OWPD Prize "On Stage With a Principal Dancer" will dance a pas de deux in the next year Galas. The main OWPD prize went this year to the Italian young dancer Gloria Benaglia. She will return next year and will share the stage at the Liceu with one of the great guest dancers.

Andrey Ermakov and Oksana Skorik.
Foto: Josep Guindo
Regarding the Galas, it is absolutely fantastic to see all these stars sharing the stage with students. Their generosity and the magnificence of their art are an example and an encouragement for the new generations that are coming up.

Meanwhile, the young dancers learn the choreography with the possibility to dance different fragments in which everyone can participate. It is very clever and also very original the way the participation of the guests and the suite of the classical ballet are structured for the Galas. Also an educational talk about the ballet "Paquita" which was the one represented in this edition, was given by Professor of Art History at the University of Urbino, Francesca Bottacin.

It has been a plus for the students who were able to learn of it and also helped them to get more involved in the role. Five pianists in total, Roberto Infiesta, Ismael Elberdei, Carlos Silva, Rocio Sevares, Oscar Machancose were responsible for ensuring the accompanying music during classes.

The young dancers opened the Gala with the usual Défilé, choreography by Elías García and music by Anatole Liadov. It's always exciting to see them appear as professionals despite his youth and all the Liceu getting embroiled by their enthusiasm and excitement. The climax of the second part arrives with the Paquita suite, choreography by Marius Petipa, music by Edouard Deldevez and Ludwig Minkus with adaptation and staging of Elias Garcia, Xiomara Reyes and Rinat Imaev.

Steve McRae and Iana Salenko.
Foto: Josep Guindo

The participations of the young dancers were marked by their technical skills and enthusiasm. The level of the guys was really great and among the girls we can mention Alexandra Urcia who leaded the series of fouetés at the Grand Final, alternating simple and double fouetés with other ballerinas joining her up to the conclusion of the series. The extremely musical and delicate young Italian, Gloria Benaglia (winner of OSWPD) that captivated us in her solo in the Adagio and also the charming little dancer, Sarai Omi. However it is very difficult and unfair to talk about students because honestly every one deserves a mention. Please find the complete list at the end of the article of those who performed at the Gala, as they all should receive our gratitude for these two evenings of good ballet.

Ada González and Xander Parish.
Foto: Josep Guindo
And if when talking about ballet "sublime" is often a word that comes to mind, I can not imagine right now a better example to represent this than the performance of Ada González as Giselle. Ada is one of many Catalan dancers forced to emigrate. After training at the Centre de Dansa de Catalunya, Ada began his career in the Ballet of Sibiu, Romania, where the following year she was already Principal, dancing all the leading roles of the classical repertoire. Now she will join the main company in Romania, the Bucharest National Opera.

Ada thrilled the Liceu audience with a wonderful Giselle in the Pas de deux of the second act, which requires a mastery of technique while a sensitive and emotional interpretation. Her partner was the handsome Xander Parish Principal at the Mariinsky and both achieved that many of us found ourselves with nearly tears in our eyes while applauding enthusiastically.

Larisa Lezhnina and Juanjo Arqués.
Foto: Josep Guindo 
The Spaniard Juanjo Arques and Russian Larisa Lezhnina contributed with the most contemporary piece, the Pas de deux of Black Cake by Hans van Manen, choreographer they both know well because of their links with the HET Nacional Ballet. With music by Stravinsky "Story of a Soldier" it was a delight to know more about this choreographer that is not often seen here and to be able to appreciate his work by means of these two great performers. The response of the audience confirmed the success it was to include this fragment in the Gala.

As for the other proposals, we must speak of high voltage wit the Black Swan of Australian Steve McRae, Principal at the Royal Ballet and the Russian ballerina, Iana Salenko, currently principal at Ballet of the Berlin Opera; The Corsair of Oksana Skorik and Andrei Ermakov, who also danced Scheherazade, choreography by Agrippina Vaganova and music by Riccardo Drigo, on Sunday and the D.Q. of Daniil Simkin, principal of ABT and very loved and admired at the Liceu, where he has danced in several occasions, including last year Gala of IBStage, and the young Russian ballerina Tatyana Melnik star at the Hungary Opera Ballet.

Her Kitri variation in the coda surprised to be different to what we are used to and delighted us. Her entrance with its liveliness, her balances and fouetés with fan where really outstanding. Some Pas de Deux we usually see in Galas but each one bringing its distinction and unanimously celebrated by an audience completely captivated.

Tatyana Melnik. Foto: Sila Avvakum

The masterpiece it is Balanchine's Tchaikovsky PDD amazed us by the musical and charming Lauren Curbhertson Principal at the Royal Ballet, who on Saturday also offered us the PDD of the third act of Sleeping Beauty with Xander Paris. Vadim Muntagirov, currently principal of the Royal Ballet, once again delighted us with his high and elegant dance, either as a partner of Laureen in Tchaikovsky PDD, and with Daria Klimentova who was his usual partner at the English National Ballet, in Mashkovsky Waltz.

Steve McRae. Foto: Josep Guindo
This piece with choreography by Vasilij Vainonen and music by Maurice Moszkowski, is a magnificent and unknown work for most of us, with spectacular jumps and lifts while very musical. It has been very loved by an audience completely dedicated. Daria, also present in other editions of Ibstage was a Principal at the English National Ballet and she is currently a teacher at the Royal Ballet School.

Two exciting solos completed the participation of the guest stars: Iana Salenko was wonderful as the Dying Swan... what an arms and what an interpretation! She left us speechless.. and Steve McRae returned with overflowing energy with his solo of tap dancing, Something Different, choreographed by himself with Tap music. Fan of this discipline after having had to learn it because of the role created for him by Christopher Wheeldon in Alice in Wonderland, he was spectacular and the Liceu response was truly passionate.

Paulina Waski who won the 2015 OSWPD Prize, could not enjoy the opportunity to share stage with a Principal Dancer in Galas, as she had a contract with the ABT and these days the American company was in Paris, invited by the Paris Opera Ballet, to dance at the Bastille the Alexei Ratmansky's Sleeping Beauty, in which she already has a solo, the Sapphire Fairy variation.

Daniil Simkin. Foto: Sila Avvakum
And we can not forget to mention the Liceu audience. The audience of the IBStage Galas was there because they love dance, an art they respect, they value and because they form a community very grateful to have such a unique opportunity in Barcelona and probably all over the word, to enjoy in a single show the dance of some of the greatest stars worldwide, together with passionate and enthusiastic young talents who are called to be the stars of the future. Each and every one of the attendees was truly moved and excited and demonstrated their feelings by a warm acclaim.

Moreover, thanks to the Visual Producer, Carmen Tanaka, the Galas could be seen live worldwide in streaming with a total participation of about 12,000 people. From these recordings two DVD's will be available shortly.

A perfect show from start to end for two evenings to never forget. Ibstage, we are looking forward to seeing you next year!!!


GENERAL INFO
7 editions from which 4 in Barcelona.
1.093 participants in total
23 Nationalities
94 Teachers

Sponsors 2016
Fundació Banc de Sabadell. Yumiko. Autocars Pujol. Hoel Vilamarí. Restaurant THAI Barcelona y Elx.

And with the support of : Grand Teatre del Liceu. Diputació de Barcelona. Institut del Teatre. Generalitat de Catalunya (Departament de Cultura). Ajuntament de Barcelona.


Ibstage students, Guests Stars and Ibstage Directors
at el Gran Teatre del Liceu after the Gala.
Foto: Josep Guindo
..............................................................

Students of the 2016 edition who participated at the Liceu Gala

AIRI FATJó
AKARI SHIBAMOTO
ALBERTO MORALES PéREZ
ALEJANDRO POLO
ALESSANDRO CAVALLO
ALEXANDRA VERONESE
ALEXANDRA URCIA NUNURA
ALICIA SEDEñO ALCáNTARA
ANA FABREGAT ARAEZ
ANITA WOLLEB
ANNA PUJOL
ANNA YEH
AVA QUINN HILZENDEGER
CARLOS LóPEZ MUñOZ
CATERINA BROWN
CATO WILLIAM BERRY
CELIA THOUMASSIN
CHIH-YING CHEN
CHRISTINA HENARES
CLàUDIA GIL CABúS
DáNAE RICO ABAD
DANIELE ARRIVABENE
ELLA KULICKI
ELOISE HAZLEWOOD
EMILY SAMUEL
EMMA PLESNIKOVA
ESTELA COLL PORTELL
FEDERICA BERTANI
FLAVIA MORANTE
GABRIELLE LA MURA
GILLES DELELLIO
GINEVRA ZAMBON
GLORIA BENAGLIA
GRETA MANZATO
HANNA VOGEL
HéCTOR BOTO
HéCTOR ORTEGA GONZáLEZ
IAN BULACK
IRENE ESTEVEZ HERNANDEZ
ISABEL VILA AGUIAR
JAN SPUNDA
JAROD CURLEY
JIACHEN SUN
JOEL SELVA BENITO
JOHN MURPHY
JúLIA MOLERO GODíNEZ
JúLIA PAGèS
KARLA GIOVANNA MONTAñO HERNáNDEZ
KYONO-CHANTAL MORIN
LAIA RUIZ
LAURA TRABALóN
LUCA RIGHI
LUCIE RYSER
LUCINDA STRACHAN
MANAKA KONO
MAR SOLER ESCAFI
MARíA ISABEL TRABALóN
MARIASOLE MEGGI
MARIONA MORANTA CAPLLONCH
MARTIN NUDO
MATTEO GARATTONI
MATTEO VENTURINI
MAX AZARO
MICHELLE LEBOWSKI
MINA SOPHIA SCHüRER
MIREIA REYES VALENCIANO
MURIEL BERMEJO
NICOLáS ALCáZAR SANCHEZ
NINA BOTTACIN
OKADA RISAKO
PABLO GONZáLEZ
PALOMA BERJANO
PAU PUJOL CASTIBLANQUE
PAULA MATEU BORRAS
RENA TAKAHASHI
REO MORIKAWA
SAKI TANAKA
SARA BARBIERI
SARA NATIVI
SARAI OMI
SHAY OTTOLENGHI
SOANA MADSEN
SOFIA ALBERTA BIANCHINI
SOFIA BIRAL
SOFIA VERONESE MILIN
STEFANO MILIONE
TAKUMA NAKANO
VIRGINIA DELLA BALDA
VIRGINIA LENSI
WILLIAM JACKSON BECKHAM
ZOE BLISS MAGNUSSEN


domingo, 26 de abril de 2015

Interview to Kazuko Omori

Kazuko Omori. Foto: Manuel de los Galanes
Kazuko Omori has been an icon in Angel Corella's company. She was with the troupe from the very beginning and she remained up to their last performance in January this year. Settled down in Barcelona, we have had the pleasure of interviewing her and if as an artist we already admired her so much because of the quality of her dance, her command of the technique but also and mainly because of the way she reached the audience; behind the outstanding artist, we discovered a very nice person, kind, simple and humble but tenacious, strong and brave who completely captivated us.

Carolina Masjuan

Kazuko in A+A. Corella Ballet. Foto Josep Guindo
How did you become interested in danceThere was a dance school near home and my mother asked me if I wanted to see how it was, so we went and I liked this very much and said I wanted to dance. I was four. As a child, I did not like the discipline but I loved the skirts, the leotards and tutus and so on... that yes! I liked it very much!! I wanted to get my pointe shoes immediately and I was disappointed when seeing this was not that way and that I would have to wait for long he, he....

Are there many differences in the conception of dance between Japan and Europe? I think that in general, the system and the way of working are similar, but in Japan we have another culture, there is the Kabuki, the Noh theatre, ... and money goes to enhance our culture more than to the dance which is not something typical from our country. Companies do not get subsidies, only the National Ballet gets aids and dancers have a salary, but this is an exception.

Take the Tokyo Ballet for instance and in general all the other companies too, they get funds from their own schools that use to have a lot of students. The incomes of the schools are allocated to the company and even generally dancers pay to be able to dance. Families finance that way the companies that can also have private sponsors. In many cases, when families are not so wealthy, dancers collaborate in other ways, selling tickets, teaching ballet or even they have another job as salesperson, waiters, etc... So, you see, we complain here but in Japan it is much worse. There, being a dancer is really vocational, because the sacrifice is huge. Although in many cases, dancers come from wealthy families and for parents it is a prestige that their children are dancers.

Kazuko Omori. Foto Manuel
de los Galanes
What has been your career path? Since I was four years old up to sixteen I was a student in Japan and when I decided that I wanted to be a dancer I joined the Flanders Ballet School. I stood there for two years and then I joined the company for one year. In Japan we work a lot, Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays and there are less holidays. 

So I thought that in Europe I could relax a bit more but it was not. In Flanders we worked very much: classical dance, repertoire, contemporary, pas de deux, jazz, character dances, Spanish dances… furthermore I didn't know the language, we talked in English of course, but I perceived that I didn't fit there and it was also quite a hard time too.

When I finished the school, I didn't get hired by the company immediately and I did many auditions without any positive result, but in June, when I thought that I would not get any contract, there was a vacancy in Flanders Ballet and they offered me to join. 

But that environment was very closed, we all were from the school and I didn't feel comfortable enough there so I decided to leave. Again I started auditioning but again I found nothing and at the end I left to Hong Kong.

I was offered a position at the Hong Kong Ballet without even seeing me. Only with a video I got the contract, so I was very happy and furthermore I was closer to Japan. I think it has been a matter of good luck, my video came at the right moment and in Hong Kong it is very easy to get a visa so I headed to and I stood there for three years. But soon I realized that I was used to the European style and that there it was really, really hard!! Like in "Mao's Last Dancer" film! you know? It was so similar to a military academy!  (laughs), and in addition nearly all people were Chinese, except the Manager, Stephen Jeffreys ex principal dancer at the Royal Ballet and his wife, with whom things were going on very well but the second manager had a total Chinese mentality and the exigency both physical and mental, was nearly inhumane.

I na rehearsal with Herman Cornejo.
Corella Ballet. Foto Fernando Bufala

And as I was not Chinese and had trained in Japan and Europe, I felt that I was not fully accepted, neither my way of dancing. I got many injuries because it was about: 100% classes, 150% rehearsals and 200% stage, non stop, not a single moment of relax, it was incredibly hard... I coped with it for three years, most Europeans do not resist a single year, it is too hard that discipline and rhythm of theirs. But I have to recognize that I learned many things, to be strong, to be patient, ... 

At the end I collapsed, I went back home and being twenty two l was thinking about my future and what to do and even if I knew I was strong, I decided to take a year off and meditate about my life, I still could study at the university and try other things. 

 
As Nikiya in a rehearsal with Natalia
Makarova and with Ángel Corella as
Solor. Foto: Rosalie O'Connor
But after six months or so I came back to take classes and I was lucky enough to meet my teacher, the Slovenian Leo Mujic, ex dancer at Montecarlo Ballet and at the Forsythe Company and also choreographer for the Berlin Ballet among others, who got to advice me very well and who I respect very much as he has been a very important person in my career. I remember the last thing he said when I already was First Soloist at Corella Ballet: ”Do not accommodate in your current position!”. I knew he was very happy for me for all what I had achieved but he always pushes me and encourages me, even if sometimes he seems to be somewhat harsh, I know this is part of his esteem to me... so, these are topics that are part of professional dancers life, one has to assume that there is only with very hard work, always learning new things each day, being open minded, that one keeps on making progress.... 

But back to that time when I was deciding what to do, he told me that I should prepare myself to go back to auditions. I did that and I went to Germany as from there I could easily reach many cities with dance companies, so it was a good place to stay to try to have good luck. But there was always the same, I spent three months doing auditions, public, private, and nothing at all. Then I moved to New Zeeland and then to the USA but the style there was very different, very fast steps and a rather different way of moving too. I also made some auditions but at that moment I didn't fit there, so I came back to Germany and Leo, my teacher in Japan, said: “you have to decide what is the company you do really want to join””with this mentality of yours that you have to accept whatever you get offered, you can't look for a job!!” (she laughs as she remember this) but it was not that easy, you could have an objective but it didn't work... and I wanted a job allowing me to live from dancing.

Don Quijote with Ángel Corella
And again more auditions and again no good luck at all... but during this second season in Germany I had a friend in Portugal who said me to go there to take classes and to see a small company which director was a former dancer at the Gulbenkian Ballet, César August Monis, who was doing some new works and so. I went there and danced, even with no contract, in a project with his company the Kamusua Ballet Company. In Portugal I met many people but when the project ended I made more auditions but again with no positive results and I went back to Japan.

And how has it been that you came to Spain? Then, as I wanted to work, I started in a publicity agency although I kept on taking ballet classes. I was just starting to work there when a friend told me that a dancer in Spain was looking for dancers for a project with the Barcelona Liceu Opera House. He was George Birkadze (who later on joined Corella Ballet where he met her wife the American dancer Ashley Ellis, now Principal at Boston Ballet) but I couldn't join immediately because I had signed a contract with the agency and I said, maybe in two months or so... and after a certain time I asked and they said there still was a place for me, so I headed to Barcelona.

Kazuko Omori. Foto: Manuel de los Galanes
But when I arrived it was not, there was no job free.. Nevertheless, I stood to visit the city and think about what should I do, furthermore, George felt a bit concerned because I had travelled from so far away and he said he would help me to find a job, maybe at the Liceu or with the David Campos Ballet (a small company in Barcelona). Those were possibilities so I stood... and then at the Eulalia Blasi ballet school, while doing ballet classes... I happen to meet Ángel Corella!! I already met him while going to the ballet school, I introduced myself and we did the class together, he told me about the tour he was preparing for Spain with some ABT dancers and that a dancer, I think it was Erika Cornejo, who couldn't join and he offered me her position.... So I started with the troupe with Ángel and from there to his Company.

Stanton Welch's Clear with Corella Ballet.
Foto: Fernando Bufalá
In fact, I think there has always been as a kind of predestination with Ángel. When I was a student I happen to met him at the airport in Tokyo. I was extremely shy but I made the decision to ask him for an autograph but as I had no paper I asked him to shake hands with me instead. He did and I felt that this was a very special moment, as a kind of sign that in the future we would meet again and we would dance together. I also think that even if during my stay in Germany I got nothing, at the end it has been thanks to the people I met there that I got that opportunity in Barcelona. A city that has meant a lot in my life.

What are your memories of the beginning at Corella's Company? Even unfortunately short, the experience has been so exciting, at least for the audience, that you know, we were absolutely enthusiastic and thankful for that great adventure to which we participated thanks to the kindness and generosity of the company staff and dancers.. did you also feel that magic? I felt that this was a dream, we all felt that project so ours and we saw the illusion of the audience... it is incredible that such a so huge achievement was left to disappear... mainly in Barcelona but also in the entire Spain. One can not understand how, with a so great talented dancers and a so devoted audience there is for ballet in this country, this is not taken into account, it is really sad. I will always be grateful to Ángel Corella to have allowed me to stay in Spain and to have given me the chance to have those marvellous and amazing experiences that have made me grow and hugely progress at both personal and artistic levels.

A+A with Russell Ducker, Corella Ballet. Foto: Josep Guindo
You have been one of the rare dancers that has remained with the company up to the end in January this year, from the very beginning. Did you consider any time about the possibility of leaving? No, never. That was really my place, I felt very well there, I felt full, I felt great and that made me grow very much as an artist, and in addition there was the variety of styles we danced: repertoire, Balanchine, Neoclassical, contemporary, new works created for the company,... that have meant so much to me, to my training and to complete me. Now I feel I'm prepared and able to face any new challenge at any company, in any continent.

Can we talk about something totally out from the strictly artistic stuff? It is because there is something that I have always found both surprising and nice and it is the huge amount of couples there have been in the Corella Ballet... was the ambience that good that love appeared everywhere? (Laughs) I think that at all Companies it is usual that some couples are formed, but ours one has to think that it was located at La Granja, that very small town where what can one do? It was so boring... At the beginning it was ok but after a certain time it was all so monotonous, Madrid was not that far away but the weather was awful very cold and snowing, sometimes we even could travel, so it is normal there wewre so many couples but yes! It is true that most of them still are together, many even married (Without taking into account those who joined being already couples, we could count at least eight new, so quite a good ranking!!)

ANikiya in a rehearsal with Natalia 
Makarova and with Ángel Corella as
Solor. Foto: Rosalie O'Connor

Your case is also a bit special, isn't it? Do you mind telling us about? I met Roberto because he rented me a flat when I just arrived in Barcelona. As I had an open ticket for three months, instead of staying at a hotel or a hostel I decided to settle down and this was how we met. Roberto had lived two years in Japan and although he didn't talk the language when he was there, he studied it in Barcelona and now he can speak Japanese fluently. This was how we met and how all started... You see that I have a very strong conection with this city, Barcelona!!

Who cares? Balanchine, with Ángel Corella.
Foto: Fernando Bufala
Thanks Kazuko! And back to the company, is there something you would outline from that time? A special moment or memory? To have had the opportunity to work with Natalia Makarova has been the best experience I have lived in the dance world. We have been working with Christopher Wheeldon, Twyla Tarp ballets, Stanton Welch, with Ángel, with many good teachers, it has all been fantastic, amazing, but nothing compared with working with Natalia Makarova. To have been teached by her in private, having her at rehearsals, to share with her those moments.... it has been something really unique and extraordinary, something one has hardly access to and that I consider a great privilege.

I think that you take classes, you are dancing in many Galas or as guest in ballet companies, you also go very often to Japan... what can you tell us about your current plans and life? Yes, since February 2015, I'm dancing as a free lance. I'm hired for Galas or as a guest in ballet companies, I also teach ballet classes and at the same time I take them at the Corella Dance Academy here in Barcelona. And I go very often to Japan, I dance there in Galas, and I have many opportunities to dance, I can't complain. Teaching is something I love very much and what I think is preparing me for the future.

This summer in Japan I'm going to dance Swan Lake and to teach summer courses together with a teacher from the Paris dance conservatoire. He gives the first class, then I teach repertoire and at the end they do gyrokinesis session of master trainer. These are my plans for this summer, I also will dance with a partenaire I have there in Japan, in fact I have two with whom I get along very well and when any project arrives, we take the chance.

A+A with Russell Ducker. Corella Ballet. Foto: Josep Guindo
I'm in a good moment now but, although I'm dancing as a free lance and do not stop doing things, I would like to dance in a stable way in a company again. It doesn't matter if it is in Europe or in the USA, as after this experience of eight years with Ángel, I can dance any style and any repertoire and adapt well to any company.


We leave wishing Kazuko all the good luck in the world, she truly deserves it. For sure we will miss her talent and her beauty on stage, it is always a great source of inspiration to see this ballerina. The company contracting her will be a very fortunate one.  



martes, 11 de marzo de 2014

Alicia AMATRIAIN, invitée de l'Opéra de Paris


Nouvelle série de représentations d'ONEGUINE, signé CRANKO, à l’Opéra national de Paris. Et nouvelle belle surprise avec l’invitation de l’Etoile de Stuttgart, la ballerine d’origine basque, Alicia AMATRIAIN, qui, en quelques pas, a conquis le cœur du public parisien. 


Loïc le Duc
Né en Afrique du Sud, engagé au Sadler’s Wells Ballet par Ninette de Valois qui lui commande ses premières chorégraphies, vite révélé au monde de la danse comme un authentique créateur, John CRANKO prit en 1960 la direction du ballet de Stuttgart dont il fit l’une des compagnies majeures européennes. C’est dans l’avion qui ramenait la compagnie d’une tournée et qui ne put atterrir assez vite à cause du mauvais temps, qu’il mourut d’une crise cardiaque au milieu de ses danseurs. L’essentiel de l’œuvre de Cranko est très significatif du style néo-classique de l’époque et couvre les grands ballets du répertoire académique et bon nombre de ballets anecdotiques comme Le Prince des Pagodes sur une partition commandée à Benjamin Britten, La Mégère apprivoisée, ainsi qu’une Belle-Hélène que créa en 1955 Yvette Chauviré à l’Opéra et un Roméo et Juliette entré au répertoire de la compagnie parisienne en 1983. 

Pièce en trois actes, Eugène Onéguine constitue assurément l’une des plus belles réussites du chorégraphe sud-africain ; le livret joue sur les thèmes de la passion tourmentée, de l’honneur et des regrets et n’a pas pris une ride. La production, signée Jürgen ROSE, propose un dispositif de rideaux à l’italienne au charme désuet. Les costumes, à dominante châtaigne et aux nuances pastelles proposent une légèreté dans la gravité de l’œuvre et ôtent un caractère sacré et intimidant à ce drame commun. 

Photo : Julien Benhamou / Opéra national de Paris
Alicia Amatriain (Artiste invitée)

Musicalement, Kurt-Heinz STOLZE a réalisé un ensemble homogène d’extraits des Saisons, de Roméo et Juliette, des Caprices d’Oxane et de Francesca da Rimini, illustratif, sans prétention, accompagnant judicieusement la progression dramatique des principaux protagonistes. 

Quant à l’écriture de Cranko, elle s’affirme d’abord dans des pas de deux redoutables, course de portées plus saisissants les uns que les autres. Régulièrement soulevée dans les airs, la ballerine se retrouve, battant des jambes pendant que son partenaire traverse le plateau en la tenant à bout de bras. Arc-boutée, cambrée à l’extrême, elle se jette en arrière, se fait récupérer in extremis par le danseur qui enchaîne aussi sec une nouvelle figure. Mais la touche Cranko déborde la seule technique. Les rôles principaux exigent simultanément une virtuosité aiguisée et un jeu d’acteur délicat. 

Alicia AMATRIAIN donne une somptueuse leçon de danse et de théâtre. Ici, il y a tout, une technique époustouflante, un sens psychologique accompli, un art théâtral total, dans les moindres nuances. La ballerine rend très justement la Tatiana du poème de Pouchkine, jeune fille rêveuse et imbibée de  lectures, puis éperdument amoureuse de cet homme à qui elle ose avouer son amour dans une lettre passionnée. Même immobile, Alicia AMATRIAIN exprime tout, comme à la fin de l’acte deux, lorsqu’elle reste figée et regarde avec autant de mépris que de froideur Onéguine qui vient d’assassiner Lenski. Elle ne fait pas un geste, mais on sent qu’une page est définitivement tournée dans sa vie, dans son âme, qu’elle ne sera plus jamais la même. La froideur de son partenaire tranche avec une passion qu’elle ne cherche pas à dissimuler. Puis la Tatiana d'Alicia incarne une femme et épouse, fidèle, de la haute société russe. L'amour que lui propose Onéguine lui est désormais interdit. 

Karl PAQUETTE a, certes, le physique romantique de l’emploi mais ses qualités dramatiques capables de donner vie à son personnage sont moindres. Bon partenaire, une certaine froideur bloque l’émotion qui doit se dégager aussi de ce rôle cynique mais vibrant.

Photo : Julien Benhamou / Opéra national de Paris
Alicia Amatriain (Artiste invitée) et Karl Paquette

Le couple Olga-Lenski rassemble Eve GRINSZTAJN et Fabien REVILLION. La première danseuse campe une charmante Olga, vive et insouciante. Elle croque l'instant présent à pleine dent et accepte l'invitation de danser d'Onéguine sans arrière pensée mais provoquant la fin tragique du poète.  La danse de Mademoiselle GRINSZTAJN reflète, dans chaque pas, chaque geste, l'évolution de son personnage, ce jeu des passions et des faiblesses humaines. Fabien REVILLIION, sujet dans le Corps de ballet, compose un Lenski de bon niveau, joliment assorti à sa partenaire. Il danse avec ampleur, musicalité, facilité, beaucoup de sûreté, et offre un personnage qui attire d'emblée la sympathie. 

Christophe DUQUENNE incarne avec crédibilité un prince russe distingué et martial. La pas de deux Tatiana / Grémine du bal chez le Prince est d’une beauté, d’une justesse, d’un romantisme à couper le souffle… Incontestablement, l’instant dansé le plus fort de cette représentation exceptionnelle. 

Les ensembles parfaitement rodés du Corps de ballet sont particulièrement mis en valeur. Chaque danseur qui apparait sur scène sait qu’il porte une part du ballet et s’implique dans la signification de l’ensemble. Parce qu’Onéguine est truffé de courtes scènes qui se déroulent en même temps que l’histoire des personnages principaux et qui viennent l’éclairer et la compléter. Cette harmonie est magnifiée par l’accompagnement musical proposé par l’orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris, placé sous la baguette de James TUGGLE

Photo : Julien Benhamou / Opéra national de Paris
Alicia Amatriain (Artiste invitée) et Christophe Duquenne

Vraiment, une très belle soirée… Seule ombre au tableau : aucune mention particulière n'est portée dans le programme sur l’Etoile du ballet de Stuttgart, invitée tardive de cette série... Glisser, dans chaque programme, un feuillet relatant la carrière de Mademoiselle AMATRIAIN ne me semble pas une tâche insurmontable et traduirait le respect que porte l'Opéra Garnier à l'Etoile invitée.



Distribution - représentation du 4 mars 2014

EUGÈNE ONÉGUINE / Karl Paquette
LENSKI / Fabien Revillion
TATIANA / Alicia Amatriain
OLGA / Eve Grinsztajn
LE PRINCE GRÉMINE / Christophe Duquenne

miércoles, 19 de junio de 2013

L'Aurore de Mademoiselle Correa


Loïc le Duc

Version espanola

Aurore - Yolanda Correa / Prince Désiré - Yoël Carreno
Photo. : E. Berg

On pourrait presque parler de prise de rôle pour Mademoiselle Correa à qui la direction de la danse du ballet de l’opéra d’Oslo confie pas moins de quatre représentations, sur les dix prévues, de cette série de La Belle, signée Cynthia Harvey

C’est à la Havane, dans la chorégraphie d’Alicia Alonso, et pour une unique représentation, que Yolanda Correa a étrenné le rôle d’Aurore. Rôle qui marquait pour la Ballerine un retour sur les planches du « Gran Teatro » après une blessure qui l’a tenu éloignée, de nombreuses semaines durant, du public cubain et l’a empêchée de se produire lors du XXIème Festival International de Ballet. Rôle qui lui a ouvert la voie à la consécration suprême puisque quelques semaines après sa « première » Aurore, Mademoiselle Correa était nommée « Primera Bailarina » du ballet national de Cuba, l’équivalent du titre d’Étoile à l’opéra de Paris. 

Yolanda Correa
Photo. : E. Berg
Faut-il souligner que Mademoiselle Correa possède toutes les qualités pour s'affirmer comme une Aurore de référence en nous gratifiant de très beaux moments techniques voulus par l'immense crescendo de la musique ? Elle domine avec la plus grande légèreté et une extraordinaire musicalité les tours de force accumulés sous ses pointes dans le triple domaine de l'arabesque, de la batterie et du jeté et y ajoute, non sans coquetterie, un port de bras ravissant. Yolanda Correa a une admirable manière de coordonner ses mouvements de tête, de bras et de mains, donnant l'impression qu'ils accompagnent et complètent, presque à l'improviste, ce que fait le reste du corps ; que le mouvement est intériorisé, digéré, étudié de la pointe du pied au bout des doigts. Son Adage à la rose est d'ailleurs l'un des grands moments de la soirée. La Ballerine, toute de juvénilité, de rigueur, de grâce, d'élégance, de pureté stylistique, surmonte avec sa technique imparable les écueils de ce redoutable morceau de bravoure. Et, sublime de charme, nous offre de beaux équilibres qui répondent au climat émotionnel de la musique. 

Aurore - Yolanda Correa / Prince Désiré - Yoël Carreno
Photo. : E. Berg

Dès son entrée en scène, Yolanda a d'emblée une classe, une présence et un éclat extraordinaire qui donnent à son personnage une vraie dimension théâtrale et magique, qui s'affirmera tout au long du ballet. Adolescente pleine de charme sans aucune minauderie mièvre au début, elle apparaît en femme épanouie au pas-de-deux final, comme le veut l'évolution psychologique du conte, parcours initiatique de l'enfance à l'âge adulte. Dans le troisième acte, où on célèbre les noces de la Belle au Bois dormant, l'harmonie musicale se fait allégorie. Son épanouissement glorieux coïncide avec l'union du Prince et de la Princesse, le baiser de l'un et l'éveil de l'autre sont le symbole de ce qu'implique la maturité. Non seulement l'harmonie vis à vis de soi-même mais également l'harmonie vis à vis de l'autre. C'est le triomphe de cet équilibre que célèbre la chorégraphie de Marius Petipa. L'adage du dernier acte entre Aurore et le Prince Désiré dévoile, pas à pas, la structure de ce prodigieux ballet et affirme un optimisme inépuisable par un enchainement de figures éblouissantes, magnifié par l'interprétation des cubains du ballet de Norvège. 

Carabosse - Ingrid Lorentzen - Photo : E. Berg
La personnalité de Yoël Carreño fait merveille dans le rôle du Prince et lui confère ce don rare et précieux : la présence. Son prince est de noble race, non seulement d'un beau danseur mais aussi d'un grand artiste. Sa technique se conjugue, ici, au superlatif. Chapeau bas ! 

Mais la Belle c'est aussi le corps de ballet et de multiples solistes. Gakuro Matsui et Emma Lloyd défendent le délicat pas de deux de l'Oiseau bleu avec une belle conviction et une excellente technique. Lui, idéal de légèreté, de vivacité et de poésie. Elle, lumineuse, pétillante, superbe de dynamisme et de virtuosité. L’élégante Hedda Staver Cooke interprète une fée Lilas délicate et sobre, peut être un peu trop par rapport aux exigences du rôle. Ingrid Lorentzen nous propose une Carabosse effroyable de méchanceté, incarnation parfaite des forces du Mal. Le corps de ballet est totalement investi dans cette production, preuve de la bonne santé de la compagnie. 

Prince Désiré - Yoël Carreno
Photo. : E. Berg

Une mention spéciale doit être adressée à l’orchestre de l’opéra d’Oslo qui, placée sous la baguette de Boris Gruzin, exécute savamment et subtilement la partition de Tchaïkovski.


Représentation du 14 juin 2013 - Opéra d'Oslo





domingo, 9 de junio de 2013

Une pluie d'Etoiles au Palais des Congrès - Paris

Loïc le Duc

Manon
Tamara Rojo / Federico Bonelli
Crédit DR D&D Art Prod.

A Athènes, en septembre dernier (gala "Meet the Stars"), Denis Austier et David Makhateli nous dévoilaient leur ambition d'organiser, à Paris, un gala de danse. C'est désormais chose faite puisque D&D Art Production a présenté "Noureev and Friends" afin de célébrer le 75ème anniversaire de la naissance de Rudolf Noureev

La Sylphide - Iana Salenko
Crédit DR D&D Art Prod.
L'empreinte D&D a permis, une fois encore, de montrer combien ce type d'évènement, rare à Paris, acquiert ses lettres de noblesse lorsqu'il est intelligemment organisé. La direction artistique a été assurée conjointement par Charles Jude, directeur du ballet de l'Opéra de Bordeaux et David Makhateli, ancien Principal au Royal Ballet. Dans la fosse, l'orchestre Pasdeloup est placé sous la baguette de Valery Ovsianikov, chef d'orchestre invité du théâtre Mariinsky. Et la scénographie, confiée à Gilles Papain, habite l'immense plateau, pourtant réputé sans âme, du Palais des Congrés, lieu que Noureev a maintes fois honoré de sa présence en tant que danseur et directeur de la danse du ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris. 

Tous les ingrédients sont réunis pour que revive magistralement l'esprit des "Noureev and Friends", organisés par le Tatare qui invitait ceux qu'il estimait, à partager l'affiche des spectacles qu'il remplissait sur son nom. Il y avait Isabelle Guérin, Sylvie Guillem, Florence Clerc, Charles Jude, Laurent Hilaire, Manuel Legris… Pour Noureev, c'était le moyen de continuer à se donner en spectacle aux quatre coins du monde, alors qu'il n'était plus capable de danser les grands classiques in-extenso. Parce qu'il a consacré sa vie à regarder, admirer et disséquer attentivement les ballets du français Marius Petipa avant de les danser avec ferveur. Ces oeuvres coulaient dans les veines du Tatare, ces princes tourmentés en quête d'amour impossible étaient sa vie. Prince de la danse romantique, Noureev était aussi un homme de son temps, qui voulait savoir danser son époque. Ce qu'il fit avec Martha Graham, Rudi Van Dantzig ou encore Paul Taylor

La soirée-hommage balaie ce vaste répertoire et permet que soit réuni, sur scène, un grand nombre d'artistes issues des meilleures compagnies de ballet dont une pléiade de russes, qu'ils soient rattachés à Berlin, Londres, Moscou ou Saint-Pétersbourg. 

Tamara Rojo
Crédit DR D&D Art Prod.

Mais l'honneur d'ouvrir les festivités revient aux danseurs du ballet de l'Opéra de Bordeaux. Sur scène, six hommes, six femmes, six fleurets. Le climat mystérieux voire mystique de "Petite mort" , du chorégraphe Jiri Kylian, conserve une grande originalité. Teintée de l'indicible mélancolie induite par les extraits choisis de l'adagio du concerto pour piano n°23 puis l'andante du n°21 de Mozart, les mouvements des corps des danseurs évoquent un amour tendre et sensuel, langoureux puis sauvage, jusqu'à l'orgasme. Travail plutôt soigné, avec une mention spéciale pour la lumineuse Yumi Aizawa

James - Marian Walter
Crédit D&D Art Prod.
Avec Iana Salenko, La Sylphide prend son envol. Sur fond de scène où est projetée une très belle vue de lac avec cascade et forêt, la ballerine du ballet de l'Opéra de Berlin, est cet être immatériel, impalpable et féérique, que James cherche vainement à séduire. Aucun effort apparent ne vient rompre cette aura qui l'isole du monde des humains. Ses poses, la ligne de ses arabesques, ses ports de bras font revivre, sous nos yeux, les lithographies qui immortalisèrent l'art de la Taglioni. Marian Walter est un James tendre, sensible : la noblesse de sa danse, l'ampleur et la légèreté de ses sauts se parent d'une batterie brillante. Il joue avec la Sylphide comme s'il était sous l'emprise d'une hallucination. Magistral. 

Evgenia Obratzova séduit, quant à elle, par son charme, sa fraîcheur et de brillantes qualités techniques. Impériale, la ballerine du théâtre du Bolchoï domine avec la plus grande légèreté les tours de force accumulés dans le pas de deux final de cette Belle (version Petipa/Grigorovitch), que ce soit dans le domaine de l'arabesque, de la batterie ou du jeté. Et y ajoute des ports de bras ravissants. Dimitri Gudanov, son prince Désiré, n'est pas en reste dans cette démonstration de technique et de virtuosité. Avec son beau ballon, ce danseur noble nous présente une variation enthousiasmante et sans tricherie. Et le partenariat entre ces deux-là fonctionne à merveille. 
Dommage que la Nikya d'Evgenia n'offre pas le panache de son Aurore malgré toute l'attention que lui porte Evgeni Ivanchenko, Solor aux allures plus princières que guerrières. 

La Belle au Bois Dormant
Evgenia Obratzova
/ Dmitry Gudanov

Crédit D&D Art Prod.

On retrouve l'Etoile du théâtre Mariinsky au côté de Daria Vasnetsova qui nous proposent l'Adage de l'acte blanc du Lac des cygnes, si terriblement soigné qu'il perd un peu de son âme. 

Two pieces for Het
Maïa Makhateli / Remi Wörtmeyer

Crédit D&D Art Prod.
Maïa Makhateli et Remi Wörtmeyer défendent avec force et brio les "Two pièces for Het", signées Hans Van Manen. A l'esthétisme glacé, énervé, rapide et tranchant qui répond à la musique de Tüür s'oppose une épure élégante, plus respirée de laquelle naît malicieusement une émotion vraie, au rythme du tempo d'Arvo Pärt. L'écriture chorégraphique met en lumière le tempérament bien trempé des deux interprètes, à la plastique irréprochable et aux lignes affûtées. Pièces singulières au cours de ce gala, "Two pièces for Het" a reçu un accueil chaleureux et mérité du public. 

Difficile de ne pas évoquer, au cours de cette soirée, les 17 années de partenariat et les 700 spectacles données au quatre coins du monde pendant lesquels Margot Fonteyn et Rudolf Noureev se sont sublimement aimés en scène. 

A commencer par cette "évocation poétique" sur une sonate pour piano de Franz Liszt, chorégraphiée par Frederick Ashton pour le couple de légende. Dans le Paris chic des années 1840, Marguerite, avant de mourir de phtisie, voit Armand et se remémore leur rencontre lors d'un bal, puis leurs amours à la campagne, la fureur du père d'Armand qui la prie de quitter son fils, leur dispute et l'humiliation faite à Marguerite lorsqu'Armand lui jette une liasse de billets en pleine soirée mondaine. Ils se séparent mais Armand revient juste à temps pour que Marguerite meure dans ses bras. 
Il faut tout le talent de Tamara Rojo et Rupert Pennefather pour imposer l'intensité dramatique de ces amours à la campagne. Dans une danse voluptueuse, Marguerite/Tamara s'abandonne suavement dans les bras de Armand/Rupert pour ensuite se jeter courageusement dans le partenariat qui symbolise leur amour impossible. Bouleversants, Rojo et Pennefather interprètent ce pas de deux fougueux avec intelligence et brio. 

Armand - Rupert Pennefather
Crédit DR D&D Art Prod.

La même aura solaire se retrouve chez "La Rojo" lorsqu'elle danse Manon. Le pas-de-deux qui nous est proposé prend place dans la chambre du Chevalier Des Grieux et nous fait entrer dans l'intimité des deux amants pour un pur moment de bonheur partagé. L'écriture de Mc Millan traduit le sentiment de liberté émotionnelle et le bonheur décomplexé des amants par une envolée chorégraphique pleine d'audace, où l'arabesque et le volte en l'air sont déclinés dans une recherche esthétique, ponctuée d'étreintes passionnées. Leur empathie rend leur histoire d'amour profonde et sincère. Doté d'un physique d'une rare séduction, Federico Bonelli est paré d'un style d'une grande pureté. A chaque geste, à chaque pas, l'Etoile du Royal Ballet déclare sa passion brûlante pour Manon. Tamara Rojo donne vie à la courtisane avec une maîtrise parfaite de la technique alliée à une sensibilité musicale renversante. Quel magnifique travail du regard, du glissement tout en contre-poids entre elle et Des Grieux. Ce regard qui fait que la danse n'est jamais redondante sur la musique, qui anticipe le mouvement et crée un effet de surprise qui tient en haleine le public du Palais des Congrés. 

La Bayadère 
Evgenia Obratzova / Evgeni Ivanchenko
Crédit D&D Art Prod.

Noureev chorégraphe sera sublimé par l'interprétation donnée par Mathias Heymann de Manfred. Adapté du poème lyrique de Byron, Manfred est un héros torturé, solitaire, accablé de remords pour avoir détruit tous ceux qui l'entourent, préfère mourir et en appelle à Astarté, un esprit censé calmer la grande culpabilité qui l'assaille. Créé en 1979, Noureev, blessé, ne pourra interpréter le ballet qu'il s'est écrit. Mathias Heymann est souverain, dans tous les sens du terme, ultra-romantique dans son jabot blanc, une présence dévorante, du panache à revendre dans les sauts et des tours en l'air aux réceptions parfaites, dans l'exécution des pas multiples et incessants. 

Raymonda - Aurélie Dupont / Mathias Heymann
Crédit DR D&D Art Prod.
Son Jean de Brienne confirme cette prestance, son honnêteté du geste. Ses Raymonda (successivement Aurélie Dupont et Myriam Ould-Braham) semblent devoir se livrer à un exercice de style qui ne soulève pas l'enthousiasme, même si peu de reproches peuvent être formulés. 

La soirée se conclut par un époustouflant pas-de-deux, interprété par Aleksandra Timofeeva qui se lance, rayonnante dans son tutu court, à la conquête de son Corsaire, Vadim Muntagirov, récent lauréat du prix Benois de la Danse. Nul doute que chez Muntagirov, ça saute, haut, ça tourne, toujours merveilleusement, avec beaucoup de panache et de précision. Son partenariat avec la ballerine du ballet du Kremlin fonctionne à merveille. Elle nous offre une série de fouettés simples et doubles de haute tenue, sous les applaudissements chaleureux d'un public enthousiaste. 



Le Corsaire - Vadim Muntagirov
Crédit D&D Art Prod.

Le gala a été filmé le 31 mai dernier et devrait être diffusé en haute définition dans 2.500 salles dans le monde. Un DVD-Blu-Ray de cette soirée-hommage devrait être produit à l'automne 2013.


Programme du Gala (31 mai 2013 et 1er Juin 2013)

Ballet de l'Opéra de Bordeaux 

Petite Mort, chorégraphie Jiri Kylian

Iana Salenko et Marian Walter (Ballet de l'Opéra de Berlin)
La Sylphide, pas de deux, chorégraphie d'Auguste Bournonville

Evgenia Obraztsova et Evgeny Ivanchenko (Ballet du Mariinsky)
La Bayadère, pas de deux de l'acte des Ombres, chorégraphie de Marius Petipa

Tamara Rojo (directrice de l'English National Ballet, Étoile internationale) et Federico Bonelli (Royal Ballet de Londres)
L'Histoire de Manon, pas de deux, chorégraphie de Kenneth McMillian

Maïa Makhateli et Remi Wörtmeyer (Het Nationale Ballet)
Two pieces for Het, chorégraphie de Hans Van Manen

Aurélie Dupont (le 31 mai), Myriam Ould-Braham (le 1er juin) et Mathias Heymann (Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris)
Raymonda, pas de deux, chorégraphie de Rudolf Noureev d'après Marius Petipa

Evgenia Obraztzova et Dmitry Gudanov (Ballet du Bolshoï)
La Belle au bois dormant, pas de deux du troisième acte, chorégraphie de Yuri Grigorovich d'après Marius Petipa

Mathias Heymann (Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris)
Manfred, solo, chorégraphie de Rudolf Noureev

Tamara Rojo (directrice de l'English National Ballet, Étoile internationale) et Rupert Pennefather (Royal Ballet de Londres)
Marguerite et Armand, pas de deux, chorégraphie de Frederick Ashton

Daria Vasnetsova et Evgeny Ivanchenko (Ballet du Mariinsky)
Le Lac des Cygnes, pas de deux du Cygne Blanc, chorégraphie de Marius Petipa et Lev Ivanov

Alexandra Timofeeva (Ballet du Kremlin) et Vadim Muntagirov (English National Ballet)
Le Corsaire, pas de deux, chorégraphie de Marius Petipa