by Paula Citron
Mauricio Wainrot’s original ballet Carmen, The passion for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet is remarkably passionless.
The Argentinean choreographer focuses on Destiny (the very impressive Vanessa Lawson) and she has been given the strongest choreography. Wainrot has made Carmen overly complicated by presenting both the gypsy herself (Tara Birtwhistle) and Carmen 2, her alter ego (Amanda Green). Neither character comes to grips with the fiery woman at the heart of the story.
Because the characterization of Carmen is so bland, her pas de deux with the soldier Don José (Jaime Vargas) and the toreador Escamillo (Gael Lambiotte) are anaemic. Only with Carmen’s death does Wainrot find his emotional footing.
Elizabeth Raum’s original score is a tremendously enjoyable piece of Spanish-influenced music, almost cinematic in its lush depiction of mood and place. Unfortunately her tuneful score is more graceful than earthy.
On a positive note, the company itself is looking very strong, and in technical terms, Carmen is well-danced.
From Winnipeg’s Centennial Concert Hall, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for THE NEW CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.