Have we really seen the organic of the Paris Opera in the Real de Madrid? Let's not lose the initial illusion and let us say generously yes, despite the fact that on stage we encounter a scant score of dancers and the format offered is much closer to the common concept of a ballet gala (or battle bolus). Go ahead that the Parisian house and its artists always offer finished and quality, and some intellectual defense will have this program for who designed it, but it is difficult to fit for the local public, always eager to see ballet. The relationship of Georges Balanchine Y Jerome Robbins with the Opera Ballet, but it does not stop being forced. Balanchine, as a natural destination, had to stay in France after Diaghilev's death in 1929, but a sharp sixth sense (and the rarefied situation that was brewing throughout Europe) made him go first to London and then to New York. The interesting thing is that twice, in that period, the position of Main maitre in Paris, by the mayor Jacques Rouché, a guy with a good eye. Then in 1947 the case of the offer of the position returned to give, but after initial skirmishes, they were already other times. Balanchine continued to always sell repertoire to Paris.
As Nancy Reynols wrote at the time of the Ravel Festival (1975) conceived by the choreographer and where it premiered SonatineBalanchine had never shown a special affinity for Ravel's music as a support for his ballets. In 40 years of brilliant writing, I had only composed La Valse and intervened in two different productions of the opera L'Enfant et les Sortiléges. When in 1974 Balanchine announced a Ravel Festival in New York, he was plagued by reproaches: "Why Ravel?", To which Balanchine replied: "And why not?" As always, ballet is political, or better, a slave to politics. The Ravel Festival had a basic political reason: to strengthen ties with France again. Her friend Nelson Rockefeller, vice president with Gerald Ford, asked her (there were very old favors to keep paying) and there she went, very elegant, Madame Giscard d'Estaing decorating the choreographer. 16 new ballets were prepared, 7 by Balanchine. Reynols sentenced: "Magic is gone". Already Balanchine, very young in Petrograd, had chosen one of the Noble and sentimental waltzes for one of his first creations, and now he remembered it. A curiosity not banal: the pianist of the premiere on May 14, 1975 was Madeleine Malraux. Sonatine, which was the best yesterday at the Real, is a long reflective duet on the dynamic of the dance that the dancing dancer imposes. It is a score of hunger: Ravel composed it for a modest contest when he had no work or commissions. Balanchine choreographed her in haste with indirect citations to her own Tchaicovsky Pas de deux. The Franco-Norwegian Léonore Baulac and German Louvet, both with star status, were precise and musical at the Madrid premiere; the school they carry in their genes makes them more distant than cold, elegant in that kind pendence of the souplesse as an enforceable badge where the indifference of which they have always flagged must not be disdained.
From each ballet a book can be written, said Roslaeva, and it may be true. Afternoon of a Faun (1953) Robbins without doubt is a case of those, very unique. It is a duo that retains all its formal values (and this includes the sets of Jean Rosenthal and the synthesis in the dressing room of Irene Sharaff), and becomes an exemplary way of what it means balletistically to revisit a modern classic with its own voice; Hugo Marchand and Amandine Albisson, very dear to the Parisian public, defended their roles with great concentration. For its part, the Argentine Liudmila Pagliero and Floriane Magnenet were exquisite in 3 Gnossiennes (Satie) by Hans Van Manen, undisputed dean of the great living and active choreographers. Magnenet, beyond his sculptural presence (as a child he was a gymnast) proved his worth as a solicitor partenaire, something fundamental in the evolutions devised by Van Manen and in this case, responsible for the architecture of the piece.
The night did not end in the heights with a Rubies (Stravinski) where Balanchine was little more than a payroll with a little-toned dance corps. Only Dorothée Gilbert with much gallantry and virtuosity understood what he was doing. Ida Viikinkovski, absolutely inadequate for the solo role, was hesitant in the set and very insecure in the cardinal variation of this piece, shown with a pretentious wardrobe by Christian Lacroix that even remotely emulates the extraordinary original of Karinska, to which there is add the rush of the musical director Maxime Pascal, who could have the courtesy of waiting for the dancers just in the middle final beat. The functions of the Paris Opera Ballet at the Teatro Real extend until the 26th.