The Pride of the London Covent Garden Troupe – the “Manon” ballet – was shown at the Bolshoi.
The Covent Garden Royal Ballet showed the world-renowned Kenneth MacMillan's “Manon” at the Bolshoi Theatre on June 20. It is based on the book by the Abbot Antoine Francois Prevost “History of the Chevalier des Grieux and Manon Lescaut” first published in 1731. The play is already four decades old, but its age does not affect the degree of public interest to it around the world. This ballet is the pride of the London troupe, and its show in Moscow is one of the most significant events of the Year of Culture of Russia-the UK.
The evening of one-act ballets with its minimalism and avant-garde was perceived by the Moscow public more as a warm-up. All are waiting for “Manon”. It is out of time and competition; it gave a pass to the world of big ballet to its creator Kenneth MacMillan and defined the style of the English royal ballet - passionate and dramatic. This evening the Bolshoi Theatre is full. The audience knows what “Manon” in the repertoire of Covent Garden is worth. The performance has been afloat for 40 years. Carlos Acosta dances his “Manon” with Natalia Osipova in two days. And this evening he is a spectator. But the fans know the legendary Spartacus and take his autographs.
Acosta has been embraced by Manon for 20 years. He knows what the audience feel now. “This is a story comprising a lot of different stories and different characters. They live a life that is understandable to anyone in the audience hall. There is no happy ending, but there is a passion that excites and burns” - Carlos Acosta states. Four casts have been claimed for the Moscow tour. This evening the story of Manon and Chevalier des Grieux is performed by Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonelli.
“Manon” by MacMillan is the dance that speaks louder than words. As you know, Massenet, the author of the “Manon” opera never wrote the music for the ballet. The choreographer compiled the music scores from the fragments of the composer’s most famous works, filling the dance with drama. “Manon” have really been the signature ballet of our theatre for many years, because it reveals the main traditions that we honor. Here the depth of the images, here are portraits of the characters” - the director of the Covent Garden Royal Ballet Kevin O'Hare said. Each time as Marianela dies in the arms of the Chevalier des Grieux, she has conflicting emotions - bitterness and happiness, especially now, at the Bolshoi, where she danced as a 20-year-old ballerina. “The stage of the Bolshoi gave us a momentum. We knew the story of this ballet house and, of course, we were excited, but the excitement only did us good” - she noted. Federico Bonelli - a frequent guest at the Bolshoi stage - does not conceal that he is happy. He seems ready to relive the three hours of this passionate story. “This story is clear to everyone who has ever loved” - the Covent Garden Royal Ballet Principal Federico Bonelli believes. The Frenchwoman Manon settled in London charms the audience in different countries every time. This love story was lived by the public and the Bolshoi actors with the English troupe in one breath. They thanked the actors with hot applause.
Author: Anna Dorozhkina