Well last night was the night, Roberto came to Roma and the town succumbed. Teatro dell'Opera was packed - not a poltroni or palci to be had - with the great, the near great and the "don't I just think I'm great!" There were insane Italian TV personalities, Bolle-boppers of both sexes, Government Ministers, movers in the arts world, dancers - we shared our box with a lovely ex-dancer and her husband - and then those of us that just wanted to see the ballet... oh okay and Bolle.
And make no mistake Bolle was the reason we were there and he knew it but in a rather modest self-effacing way. He shared the stage with 10 other dancers - all leading dancers with their respective companies - and only appeared in four of the eleven numbers. It was a mixed programme with a fascinating range of choreography: from the Romantic (the Petipa Esmeralda and Swan Lake, the Coralli/Perrot Giselle) to 20th century classics (Petit's Carmen and MacMillan's Manon) to the modern (John Neumeier, Jiri Kylian, Jiri Bubenieck and Ben Van Cauwenbergh.)
Highlights? Well of the Bolle's bits the Carmen with Polina Seminova was well done if slightly cool (but then no one sizzled in Carmen quite like Zizi.) But the Manon finale with the Royal Ballet's Mara Galeazzi tore the place apart. The impassioned dance that MacMillan created for Des Grieux and the dying Manon blazed across the stage with raw intensity - God I wish I had seen Bolle and Ferri in it.
The rest of the selections were well danced but the two that grabbed the audience's attention the most were a male pas de deux and a male pas de trois. Neurmeier's Opus 100 for Morice danced by Otto Bubenicek and Ivan Urban, a simple but beautiful tribute to friendship and affection was brilliantly danced to the music of Simon and Garfunkel (Friends and Bridge Over Troubled Waters.) Equally well received was Jiri Bubenieck's Le Souffle de L'Esprit with Urban and Bubenicek joined by Alexandre Riabko dancing an exuberant number to the Pachabel Cannon. All three are with the Hamburg Ballet which suggests they have a very strong group of male soloists. Kylian's Bella Figura as danced by the Nederlands Dans Theater's Natasha Novotna and Vaclav Kunes had some stunning visual moments. And Novotna closed the evening with Bolle in Kylian's Petite Mort which was a stunning opportunity to admire their joint technique and Bolle's near naked body. But understand we were there for the ballet!
The only gripe about the evening - the recorded music. It worked in the modern dances but worked against the dancers in the classical pas de deux. Normally a ballet conductor bases the tempi on the dancers, here the dancers were at times forcing themselves to keep up with the recorded tempi. And Roberto could have given us an encore!
There were only three ad pages in the nicely done free programme - the one above, another for a 5 star Hotel in Rome and the one below.
Bolle was appointed a UNICEF Ambassador several years ago and has shown special support for children of the Sudan.
04 decembre - Santa Barbara