Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Tchaikovsky - Casse Noisette Circus / Jean-Christophe Maillot Ballet de Monte Carlo |
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
Music By Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Choreographer Jean-Christopher Maillot.Music performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo conducted by David Garforth. Additional Music by Bertrand Maillot.Soloists: — Nathalie Léger ... more »
A Fascinating Ultra Modern Nutcracker Ballet Version.
J. M WILINSKY | teaneck, NJ United States | 03/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It seems that everything from Le Ballet de Monte Carlo is very entertaining and thrilling, this being no exception(you might take a look at some of my other reviews of their works). This modern version of the Nutcracker combines ballet with some circus concepts, but it is still mostly dance. The stage is gorgeous, with an entrance from backstage onto a raised circular stage, with a center circular platform that goes up and down as needed. The basic story of the Nutcracker can be vaguely recognized through all the modernisms. The choreography is thrilling, including several multiple pirouettes at buzz saw velocity. The part of Drosselmeier has been cleaverly split into a male and female part, called Drossel and Meier(and they seem very fond of each other!). The only caution I would mention is that the costume of the nutcracker is somewhat "anatomically correct"; I don't know why they chose this, but it could be a problem for some viewers and parents. Beyond this, it is impossible to describe the complex action in this great piece, so if you have the courage, take a look at this!"
A New Look for a Classic
Sackerson | Canada | 09/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jean-Christophe Maillot's work may not be to everyone's taste, but to any serious devotee of dance his ballets should provide great pleasure. His choreographic style ranges from classical to extreme modern dance movement, and his aesthetic approach is best described as expressionistic. He is never sentimental, but his ballets have great feeling, and often suggest perspectives which are new and refreshing.
In "Casse-Noisette Circus" he removes the Christmas element from the story. The young girl Marie (Nathalie Leger) falls asleep reading a book, and the ballet takes place within her dream in the form of a children's party with a circus as entertainment. Like many children's dreams, this has its darker side, and there are elements of sexuality which might disturb some parents -- probably more than it would disturb their children! The most obvious example of this (just to get this out of the way at once) is the character of the Nutcracker himself, danced by the supremely athletic Pascal Molat, who is a clownish rag-doll figure with small but clearly defined genitalia stitched out of the cloth of his costume. One notices this at first, and then discounts it -- or at least one SHOULD. This costume speaks very clearly to the "naughty" element of children's fantasies, and is in that sense both relevant and effective.
The children are merry and obstreperous (particularly the boys) and the whole scene is continually lively. When the Drosselmeier figure appears it is in fact two characters, Drossel and Meier, respectively a man and a woman, who act as directors for the party and ringmasters for the circus. The gifts the children are given are costumes, and the stage simply explodes with colour and incident.
The Charming Prince (danced by Chris Roelandt) and Marie have a lovely, if brief, pas de deux, and the jealousy of the Nutcracker (who has been Marie's delight until the Prince arrives) and the mischief of Fritz (Marie's brother) keep a measure of conflict and tension in the piece, however unthreatening. The circus -- which replaces the traditional 'gala' of dances while still using much of the music -- involves acrobatics, trapeze work, and some very fine juggling. The piece rounds off to the child waking from her sleep, and being escorted away by her parents and the Prince. She has, it seems, begun to grow up.
It is difficult to convey the exuberance and delight of this performance, which was filmed before a very enthusiastic audience, and is played on a three-quarter thrust stage rather like a circus ring. The Tchaikovsky score is cleanly and brightly played, although abbreviated, and there is some additional music which, while not attempting to be a pastiche of Tchaikovsky, nevertheless fits in admirably. Nicholas Kahn and Paola Cantalupo as Marie's parents are sublime, and must be among the very few classically trained dancers who would essay a trapeze act, however muted, on stage. Francesco Nappa is a sprightly and Puckish Fritz.
Maillot's company -- all the dancers named, and several more -- has been intact for some years. The dancers know his work and he knows and understands their strengths, with the result that the Ballet de Monte Carlo has a unity and an idiomatic style which yields strong, vital performances.
My only complaint about this particular piece -- and it is a very small one -- is that Gaetan Morlotti and the sublime Bernice Coppieters as Drossel and Meier haven't enough chance to shine, as they are probably the best dancers in the company. For that, you should see Maillot's "La Belle"Perrault - La Belle / Jean-Christophe Maillot, Ballet de Monte Carlo in which he transforms Sleeping Beauty into something new and strange, and immensely beautiful. Bernice Coppieters is one of the most lovely and sensual dancers alive today, and her work in La Belle and in Maillot's Romeo and Juliet (still available) and Cinderella Cinderella (Monte Carlo Ballet) is mandatory viewing for any true lover of dance.
That said, Casse-Noisette Circus is a delicious, bright, sparkling romp from start to finish, and deserves a proud place beside whatever traditional Nutcracker you may have. Strongly recommended."