Monday, 2 November 2009

Diamond Geezer, Jewels, Paris Opera Ballet, 1/11/09

During his bravura solo in the final 'Diamonds' section of Jewels (or, Joyaux, as we are in France), Karl Paquette executed pirouettes of such technical mastery, we cheered. As he span on his right leg in precise gyrations with his left leg at 90 degrees, he achieved the as before unseen feat (by this member of the audience anyway), of facing each corner of the stage by turn. It was if there was an imaginary audience in the wings and upstage who had to see this brilliance for themselves as his body whiplashed towards each position, a precise and unstoppable blond Dervish.

An accolade then to the excellence of Paris Opera Ballet’s roster of male talent that Paquette hasn’t yet earnt the top title of etoile (star). What possible entry requirement could a dancer such as he be lacking? Wings?

Balanchine’s Jewels fits the French national company like Cartier on Princess Grace. Moreover, their elegant sets and costumes are by Christian Lacroix. Which begs the question, why does our Royal Ballet have to put up with those lumpen original costumes in their production of Jewels which the Balanchine Trust insist upon them wearing like a priggish aunt?

No comments: