Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Chopin La Dame aux Camelias|
Actors: Chopin, Schmidtsdorff, Neumeier, Letestu
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A treasure to keep
Jose Brito | Estoril,Portugal | 03/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Acclaimed John Neumeier had created this ballet (premiered in November 1978)for the Stuttgarter Ballet and his friend Marcia Haydée who danced the first Margerite. He followed Dumas'novel closely and chose Chopin's music as score to his choreography (one of the two composers suggested by conductor Gerhard Markson - either Chopin or Berlioz, or both). In fact, Chopin's music proved to be essential to the drama, the polish composer having been a contemporary of Dumas Fils and Marie(Alphonsine)Duplessis whose real three-year love affair the writer himself immortalised first in a novel(1848)and later in a play (1852).Curiously, Chopin had also died of tuberculosis, like Marie - Marguerite Gautier in the novel.Chopin's exalted music thus underlines truthfully the whole ballet contributing to its great romantic dimention.Neumeier chose to paralell the story of Armand and Marguerite to Abbé's Des Grieux and Manon whose passion also meets death in the end.The ominous performance of Manon Lescault in the theater where they first meet will follow their own destinies,Neumeir ingeniously creating a drama within a drama.
Étoiles José Martinez and Delphine Moussin are Des Grieux and Manon:they dance beautifully, bestowing their solid technique as well as Dorothée Gilbert(Prudence Duvernoy) and Karl Paquette(Gaston Rieux).A chance to watch again Michaël Denard(a retired étoile who dances, along with Nureyev and Thesmar,Lacotte's Marco Spada - Rome,1982 - on a DVD released last year)playing Armand Duval's father.
What about Marguerite er Armand? In fact, in my humble opinion, Agnès Letestu is undoubtedly unforgettable as a dancer and as an actress.Her beauty and her superior technique have the companionship of her acting which overwhelms you.If the close-up reveals not a 23 year-old Marguerite but a mature woman, on the other side it gives the viewer the chance to feel Letestu's immense, pathetic sadness (Marguerite knows death is approaching), her eyes filled with passion and despair, each gesture crying out her misery.Stéphane Bouillon(certainly a future étoile) offers a passionate Armand, executing Neumeier's difficult steps with brilliance,responding accurately to Letestu's chemistry.A special reference to the pianists(F.Vaysse-Knitter and E.Strosser)who play Chopin's music warmly.The costumes are superb(Jürgen Rose), Schmidtsdorf's conducting excellent.Absolutely not to loose.