June 8, 2009

National Ballet of Canada

Yesterday marked the end of the 2008-2009 ballet season for subscription ticket holders. The performances are spaced in a most unusual fashion throughout the year - every 3-4 months, 2 ballets are shown on consecutive weeks. The previous weekend I saw Giselle and I liked it not at all. The best part was the bow-taking at the end which celebrated Chan Hon Goh in her final performance with the company after a career of 20 years. She's a fabulous dancer and the company must be mourning her departure. Like the leaving of Rex Harrington. I never got over his going - his presence on stage was so powerful and charismatic and no one has yet been able to fill that gap. He returned to the company this year as artist in residence and I had the pleasure of sitting right in front of him for a mini lecture that he gave prior to one of the other ballets. God, he's gorgeous. And rather slight in stature which somehow surprised me.

In my old age, I've turned off of traditional ballet and look forward to new pieces or modernization of the classics. Yesterday's bill featured 2 distinct pieces. The first - Skin Divers - had its North American premiere. It featured the poetry of Toronto poet, Anne Michaels, whose beautiful voice read both Skin Divers and Last Night's Moon. A string quartet blended the rhythm of the spoken word to music as the foundation for the dance.

I can't say enough about Carmen. Absolutely passionate, erotic, every scene cuts to the bone without any of that silly miming business designed to drive the story forward. The choreographer is Italian genius, Davide Bombana. .


irenka said...

Oh how wonderful that you go to the Ballet. I've always wanted to do that, and in my youth I ventured out alone, now I'm not so bold.

Leslie Jane Moran said...

I just signed up for Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Onegin. Actually I had to take the West Side Story, but you can change it when the tickets arrive...apparently. I love the music in Onegin. The woman on the phone told me to take the Ring 3 seats...near the middle and I'm going on Sunday matinees. I'm glad you enjoyed the performance of this one, my radio station kinda' panned it. Paula Citron's review was not kind. Then again, they rarely are, and I enjoy them. Have you seen Jersey Boys? ..another winner.