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<<<  <<  -- 4 --  Malcolm Tattersall    SENSUAL DRAMA

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Brandsen has done well in his attempt to alleviate the mismatch between narrative and medium but if his Carmen dominates the men, it is only by seducing them into lending her their power: the language of classical dance does not allow her to be strong enough to get her way without their assent.

In the end, however, Hussain, Brandwood, Brandsen and Shchedrin transcend the problem with a climax of such wrenching drama that everything else becomes irrelevant [watch and listen -- chapter 15, 43:07-43:53].

Benazir Hussain (Carmen) and Daryl Brandwood (Jose) in the finale of WAB's 'Carmen'. DVD screenshot © ABC 2002
Benazir Hussain (Carmen) and Daryl Brandwood (Jose) in the finale of WAB's 'Carmen'. DVD screenshot © ABC 2002

Brandsen, the WAB, Fraillon and the WASO all deserve high commendation for this production of a musically and (despite my reservations) dramatically satisfying ballet; special plaudits to Daryl Brandwood and Errol Pickford, and a standing ovation for Benazir Hussain.

Copyright © 29 September 2007 Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville, Australia

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Rodion Shchedrin: Carmen

OA F4002 D DVD NTSC 4:3 All Regions Stereo FIRST RELEASE 55' 2002 Australian Broadcasting Corporation; 2006 Opus Arte

Benazir Hussain, Carmen; Daryl Brandwood, José; Errol Pickford, Escamillo; Melissa Aurisch, Micaela; West Australian Ballet; Ted Brandsen, choreography; West Australian Symphony Orchestra; Nicolette Fraillon, conductor; Daniel Kossov, concert master; Andrew Carter, sets; François-Nöel Cherpin, costumes; Kenneth Rayner, lighting; Kevin Firkins, producer/director; Richard Moore, executive producer

Rodion Shchedrin (born 1932) after Georges Bizet (1838-1875): Carmen (Foreward by Ted Brandsen; Introduction; Dance; First Intermezzo; Changing of the Guard; Carmen's Entrance and Habanera; Scene; Second Intermezzo; Bolero; Torero; Torero and Carmen; Adagio; Fortune-Telling; Finale; Credits) (The work premièred in 1999 but this seems to be the 2001 re-mount. Brandsen left the company a year or two later to return to his native Holland.)

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WEST AUSTRALIAN BALLET

WEST AUSTRALIAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

RODION SHCHEDRIN

INTERNATIONAL MAYA PLISETSKAYA AND RODION SHCHEDRIN FOUNDATION

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