Thursday, 5 January 2017

Swan Lake in Paris - Christmas Day Matinee

Karl Paquette, Ludmilla Pagliero and Germain Louvet
Author Helen McDonough
(c) 2016 Helen McDonough: all rights reserved
Reproduced with kind permission of the author

Paris Opera Ballet Swan Lake, Opera Bastille, 25 Dec 2016

The second of Helen McDonough's reviews of the Paris Opera Ballet's production of Swan Lake.

"On Christmas Day I watched the matinee of Swan Lake. For this show the main roles were danced by Ludmilla Pagliero (one of the few non French etoiles at Paris Opera Ballet) as Odette/Odile and Germain Louvet, who has recently been promoted to etoile, as Siegfried. Rothbart was again Karl Paquette (earlier casting had Mathieu Ganio so I was sorry to miss him). 

Pagliero and Louvet were very nice dancers. When I saw the performance Louvet was still a sujet, Shorty afterwards I wrote: 
"I think his future looks promising as he coped very effectively with the role of the Prince and his dancing reminded of Mathias Heymann in style, again elegant and refined."
I was right because he was promoted to premier danseur with effect from the 1 Jan 2017.
The pas de trois was nowhere near as exciting as that on Christmas Eve. This time it was danced by Marine Ganio, Eleonore Guerineau and Axel Ibot. Ibot is far more slender than Francois Alu and I felt he did begin to tire at the end of his 12 tours en l'air, so it was not quite the same spectacle as I had been privileged to witness the night before. 

In Act 3 Pagliero performed her 32 fouettes and managed to stay on the same spot better than Ould-Braham, although she did mainly doubles and finished facing the back of the stage! 

The swans were just as wonderful as on Saturday night. Amazing to think that those same dancers had done it all less than 24 hours earlier. The majority of dancers were the same so kudos to them! 

For me there was no stand out performer in the matinee as Alu had been the night before, but both performances were wonderful and I was delighted that I got to see them. I would happily go and see it all over again!

The orchestra was magnificent under the baton of Vello Pahn. Dare I say it that the music alone was worth the price of the tickets?

If you are not really “into” Christmas like me I found this trip to Paris to be the perfect antidote. Christmas was not in your face – at least not in my end of town near Nation. Even some of the shops (and to my delight patisseries!) were open on Christmas Day and public transport was all running! After the show I headed straight off to the airport to fly home what a great whirlwind trip to Paris it was!"

I should like to thank Helen for two great reviews and also for her travel tip for those of who want to do something other than eat too much, drink too much and slump in front of the telly on Christmas Day. She travels a long way for her ballet and sees more of the world's great companies than most of us. I do hope to welcome her back again as a contributor. I wish her all the best for the coming year,

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