Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Onegin insight evening

Onegin insight evening, Royal Ballet, Clore Studio @ ROH - 6th January

Later this month, the Royal Ballet performs John Cranko’s Onegin, a 1965 ballet based on Alexander Pushkin's novel Eugene Onegin.

Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball in Onegin (in performance)
Photo: Tristram Kenton / ROH
At the company's Onegin insight evening, Jane Bourne - who coaches Cranko ballets around the world - rehearsed Yasmine Naghdi and Matthew Ball as Olga and Lensky in theAct I pas de deux, as well as providing some insights into the ballet and its choreographer:

“Cranko tells the story so well, so succinctly. You don’t need to know the story or Pushkin’s novel at all; the ballet explains everything. Cranko was interested in using his dancers’ natural movement and expressiveness, rather than traditional mime gestures. The dramatic choreography and story-telling should feel natural.

“High legs don’t mean anything in a ballet like Onegin. It’s about making the audience believe in what’s happening onstage. Dancers today don’t find the choreography as challenging as they did in 1965 but it still takes six weeks' rehearsal to give principals the time to nail everything – to know it will work, and not just hope it will work!”

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