This guy was wonderful in this beautiful production we saw last night, thanks to two friends. I believe Jason Reilly is the sort of dancer that could bring ballet to be of wider appeal: all dancers were good, but his masculine presence, his exquisite elegance, all that strength and yet effortless grace, made sure that he could pull off making us sympathetic towards such an anti-hero as Onegin (when I read the summary of the story, I said, “Ah! He’s a git!”. Tatiana was believable, realistic, and obviously a beautiful dancer, but as far as I’m concerned, he completely stole the show.
This performance on January 23 showed an interesting difference of interpretation from the previous evening with a cast led by Bonelli and Morera. In her Act III pas-de-deux with Prince Gremin, Alina Cojocaru expressed a wistful sadness as she floated almost semi-consciously across the stage, quite different from Laura Morera’s joyful serenity in the same duet. Had she seen Onegin from the corner of her eye? These are two interpretations of the same role, both entirely valid.
Cojocaru was originally to have been dancing with Johan Kobborg, but due to injury, Jason Reilly from the Stuttgart Ballet took the role of Onegin. This is the company that originally facilitated John Cranko’s work in 1969, providing him with an excellent score by Kurt-Heinz Stolze, that uses music by Tchaikovsky, avoiding anything from his opera on the same story. Reilly showed a reserved aloofness and elegant stage-presence fitting the role like a glove. The way he smiled in Act I when…
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