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In the Ballet, Napoli, Who Is the Lady in the Blue Dress?

By | Backstage | No Comments

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Blue Angel: Viktoria Brandt

Thank you for the question, Ingrid & Hanne Kuhlman

In August Bournonville’s ballet, Napoli, there is one character that can be a little tricky to figure out. The ballet opens up with a scene of the streets of Napoli. A charming, busy, dirty city on the sea in Italy. You meet the two main characters, Teresina & Gennaro. They are very much in love with each other. Teresina’s mother, Veronica, doesn’t want her daughter to marry Gennaro, a poor fisherman. Veronica introduces her daughter to two other possible suitors, Peppo and Giacamo, much wealthier options. Teresina will not have it and begs for her mother’s approval. BUT! Amid all of this, a woman dressed in a blue robe comes on stage and has a short dialogue with Teresina and Gennaro.

Teresina: Alexandra LoSardo, Gennaro: Alban Lendorf, Blue Angel: Josephine Berggreen

This character, in the newest version by Nikolaj Hubbe and Sorella Englund is called the Blue Angel. Originally the Blue Angel was in fact, a Catholic monk. Nikolaj and Sorella wanted to take a step away from having only one form of religion represented and decided to incorporate all religions by having her represent love.

The Blue Angel can ONLY be seen by Teresina and Gennaro. This is because they are the ones fighting for their love. The Blue Angel guides the couple throughout the ballet. You’ll see the Blue Angel in first act, have Teresina give her necklace to Gennaro, representing her choice in love.

Teresina: Holly Dorger, Gennaro: Jonathan Chmelensky, Blue Angel: Viktoria Brandt

Later, once Teresina has drowned and Gennaro is on the cusp of committing suicide, the Blue Angel reappears to Gennaro and tells him to search for Teresina in the Blue Grotto. She will not allow him to give up on love.

Gennaro: Alban Lendorf, Blue Angel: Josephine Berggreen
Gennaro: Jonathan Chmelensky, Blue Angel: Viktoria Brandt

At the end of the ballet, you’ll see the blue angel cross the stage on the infamous bridge, at the couples wedding festivities. She is watching over them. Love prevailed.

Gennaro: Alban Lendorf, Blue Angel: Josephine Berggreen

In the original version with the Catholic Pilgrim, in first act, you see Teresina give the monk her heart necklace instead of Gennaro. The monk then blesses Teresina and Gennaro and their love. The monk also is the character to stop Gennaro from committing suicide when they learn that Teresina has disappeared.

Teresina: Holly Dorger, Gennaro: Jonathan Chmelensky, Blue Angel: Viktoria Brandt

There is a version on YouTube from 1986, that is of a pretty good filming quality, following closer to the original version, including the Pigrim. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdR2N4u3r5A

Teresina: Linda Hindberg, Gennaro: Arne Villumsen, Monk: ?

Or…

There is Nikolaj Hubbe’s and Sorella Englund’s version from 2013 on KGLExtra. This is the version the Royal Danish Ballet currently performs. https://kglteater.dk/xtra/forestillinger/forestilling-napoli/

Teresina: Alexandra LoSardo, Gennaro: Alban Lendorf, Blue Angel: Josephine Berggreen

Hope that helped! Enjoy Napoli. It is a fantastic ballet!

Xo
-Hol

What Are Some Recommendations of Videos In Order to Learn More About Ballet?

By | Ballet | No Comments

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Monday, April 6, 2020

Photo: China Magazine

Thank you for the question, @papagena_

Yes! Fabulous that you would like to learn more about the ballet world. In order to not over load you with ideas and suggestions, as there really is a huge supply of materials out there that can take you in all sorts of fascinating directions. I’ve compiled two videos each about the two choreographers that I find the most interesting and influential in my life, George Balanchine and August Bournonville.

Balanchine:

Balanchine History:

Fantastic Clips of many Balanchine Ballets showing the diversity and range:

Bournonville:

Bournonville History: (Documentary in Danish)

https://www.dr.dk/drtv/program/bournonville_118985

History (In English):
Part 1:

Part 2:

Entire performance of his full length ballet, Napoli

https://kglteater.dk/kgl/xtra/forestilling-napoli/

I hope you enjoy!
xoxo
-Hol

Which Role Has Fulfilled You the Most?

By | Ballet | No Comments

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Saturday, April 4, 2020

Photo: Selina Meier

Thank you for the question, andersen_annette

Oooh that’s a big question! So many roles have touched me. The lead ballerina in, Etudes, is very dear to me because it was my first Principal Part as a professional dancer. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to revisit the ballet every few years. I feel that Etudes represents my growth as a dancer and artist.

In Etudes. Photo: Costin Radu

The entire Balanchine repertoire means a lot to me because of my training at the School of American Ballet.  I spent four years in NYC admiring and learning Balanchine ballets, which became my foundation and core. Most recently, I trained with Merrill Ashley, for the premiere of Ballo Della Regina. Having the opportunity to learn from a living, Balanchine legend was a memory I’ll never forget. To be able to explore and dive into every step, every day for nearly five weeks was ballerina heaven. I learned so much from that experience that I consciously try to add to every role that I do moving forward.

Performing, Ballo Della Regina

As for full-length story ballets, Giselle is certainly a character I treasure. I felt, as many ballerinas must also, that I shared and understood many of the emotions of Giselle throughout the ballet. Falling in love, betrayal, heartbreak and finally forgiveness.

Giselle First Act with Jonathan Chmelensky.

The great challenge in Giselle was transforming from the mad scene in first act to finding the complete inner peace and calm to do the penches, center stage, alone with a spotlight in the second act. I believe that this ballet helped me discover new depths of my artistry that I’d never explored before. 

Giselle Second Act with Jonathan Chmelensky.

But I’ve never had more fun, than performing as Alice in Wheeldon’s, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Absolutely pure joy the entire way through! I love that production to pieces. It is magical! So much dancing! So many smiles to give to the audience!

Alice.

xoxo
-Hol

PS- You can currently stream Alice in your own living room, https://kglteater.dk/kgl/xtra/forestilling-alice-i-eventyrland?fbclid=IwAR2nAivcMEKzzwdCVdRrh3BZmrqgWT8h_SQVhfXO0JNFegsGKAKAIFDArzA