SPRING FEVER WITH NATIONAL BALLET, OSLO
OSLO: The Norwegian National Ballet has presented a Spring Fever program. Opening with George Balanchines ballet Tsjaikovskijs Pianokonsert no 2.
Continuing with Jo Strømgrens exciting ballet SUITE for 6 dancers, and one pianist. Ending up with Medhi Walerski´s CHAMBER for 19 dancers -, a Norwegian premiere.
Review by Henning Høholt. Photos. Erik Berg.
Balanchine, that we have seen before, is headed by the outstanding soloists Yolanda Correa, Yoel Carreno, Natasha Jones, Kaloyan Boyadjiev, Martin Dauchez, Miharu Maki and Kathryn Walsh Thomas, and followed by a brilliant corps des ballet, which does a good job. The music: Peter Tsjaikovskijs 2nd Pianoconcerto very well soundidng with the brilliant soloist Håvard Gimse, who as far as I have understand (?) in this production is playing to ballet for the first time. That is a good experienece for him, because he cant improvise too much in the tempi, but still he has to give his version the right tempi and his personal feeling. It worked very well, and i enjoyed that he permitted him self to give him time, when it was right for the concerto, and it worked well for the dancers. In a good cooperation with the Operasorchestre. Led by Per Kristian Skalstad.
In Jo Strømgrens wonderful and amusing work SUITE, we enjoyed back in the National Ballet company Camilla Spidsøe, now as leading soloist. When she received the Dance Critic prize in 2005/2006 it was for her outstanding dance in Carte Blanche a la Naharin with Carte Blanche. Now she is back in The National Ballet Company of Norway, and she has grown to be an international soloist capacity, whch the company can be very proud of. Together with her we enjoyed Niklas Mattson – a good partner, Alexandra Santana, Francois Regis-Rousseau, Francesca Golfetto and Kristian Alm. And one pianist: Zelina Sannum playing Jean-Philippe Rameau´s store: “Suite i a-moll”. It was a special great pleasure to enjoy Alexandra Santanain this remarkable role, where she can give as al her emotions, humor and dramatic.
In the last piece CHAMBER by Medhi Walerski, I was impressed by the great cooperation between the choreographic – sculptural work and an outstanding lighting by Jordan Tuinman which gave it all an extraordinary atmosphaere.
The scenography and minimalistic costumes by Medhi Walerski. Again Camilla Spidsøe was leading, and continued her playfull and brilliant dance, now with Arne Kristian Ruutu as her partner, in fact it was two Dance Critic Prize winners who headed this performance, as Ruutu got his Dance Critic Prize in 2010/2011 for his soloist role as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Michael Corder. Kristian Støvind is the dancer who is walking around in his Chamber in the opening.
The musical choise was interesting as it was an interesting Chamber Symphony by Joby Talbot, hvor han har tat utgangspunkt i Vårofferet, 100 år etter Igor Stravinskys urframførelse. Chamber er et bestillingsverk til 100-årsjubileet for den første fremføringen av Stravinskys Vårofferet, i samproduksjon mellom Nasjonalballetten og det anerkjente Nederlands Dans Theater. Til nyskrevet og mektig musikk av Joby Talbot har den franske danseren og koreografen Medhi Walerski skapt en form for rituell dans, med bruk av repetisjon, kraft og dansernes individualitet. Slik er Chamber et ekko av Vatslav Nizjinskijs ballett Vårofferet med Igor Stravinskys udødelige musikk.
The Norwegian Operas Orchestra was well conducted by Per Kristian Skalstad, Consertmaster Camilla Kjøll.
Still that I do notice the dramatic building up of the programme seen from the balletchiefs side, by presenting Balanchine and its light dancing atmosphaere first, and then continuing with a “humoristic ballet, SUITE by Strømgren, which was placed very well in the middle, and then ending up with the dramatic and beautiful CHAMBER by the not wellknovn Norwegian premiere by Medhi Walerski, which was in that way well composed as a whole.
I would have done it in the upposite wey. Opening with the CHAMBER piece, to introduce this choreographer to the Norwegian audience as the opening number, then followed by the SUITE by Jo Strømgren, and ending up in the festivity style telling about the spring, which is just around the corner (hopefully) and presenting the light Tsjaikovskijs 2nd. Pianoconcerto by Balanchine in the end. Then the audience had left the theatre with a Spring Feverfeeling.