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“Offbeat Carmen Production Lacks Sex Appeal”

National Ballet of Canada
Ranked #128 of 536 things to do in Toronto
Attraction details
Reviewed June 9, 2013

If you're visiting Toronto, don't invest precious time and money attending this peculiar production. Performed by a live orchestra, Bizet's music is magnificent. Unfortunately, the inclusion of taped Innuit throat singing in the score is both disruptive and incongruent. Further, no amount of sexy costumes or psychidelic video backdrops can offset wooden choreography and poor styling choices. Picture Carmen, a gypsy cigarette girl, with her hair in a tight chignon and wearing what looks more like an ice skating costume than appropriate strumpet attire. Contrast this with a team of male cross-dressing "senioritas" with fans dancing to The Toreador Song and you can appreciate why this production fails to achieve "liftoff." Save your money for the Toronto International Film Festival.

3  Thank iv96364
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 - 42 of 72 reviews

Reviewed June 7, 2013

I watched Carmen on 6th June and was disappointed. Not that the production did not have strong moments. Other than the silly scene of men in drag and the character of Escamillo presented as an effeminate bull, the second half was much better, because it was more concise in furthering the action. My main disappointment was due to the production lacking in true sexual tension, danger and Spanish 'duende!' Without these ingredients Carmen is just not Carmen. Neither did I like the choreography or the costumes. There were some strong performances from Christopher Salzer as Garcia the bandit, Tina Pereira as Carmen, but above all from Tanya Howard in the part of Michaela, who was truly moving! The music was only effective and evocative when it followed Bizet's score. All in all, an opportunity missed...

4  Thank Robert F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2013 via mobile

Passion, Sex, Desire and Transgression are the tropes of Bizets Carmen. The dress rehearsal of National Ballet of Canada "interpretation " might be improved by some undressing, though nude and passionless would be particularity painful in the bizarre scene where male dancers appear crossdressed and suddenly mouthing psudo opratic song. This following the "tension filled" (though, in fact, tensionless) moment of Garcia and Carmen sated ecstasy. This interpretation reduces an engaging and always passion filled experience to a bizarre exercise in inappropriate juxtapositions. In this Carmen her older self appears to dissuade Carmen of her passion. Without the preamplic speechifying offered the audience as primer to the show one has no idea what this scene means. As my companions confusion reflected. Of course, that is not as repelling as the scene where Carmen, lay inert, while the "bull" of a man, her lover Escamillo , depicted as a minator, mock assaults the decidedly passionless Carmen. Overwhelmed or raped? Let the audience judge. That we do not see our main protagonist Jose throughout the scene only addsto the oddity of his ultimate killing of Carmen. For had he witnessed her "transgression " he would have attacked her attacker Escamillo.
The only bright performance is that of Michaela in the opening scene following intermission. Sadly, she is soon locked in a bizarre self loathing accompanied by noise, a noise that erupts whenever a character is alone in this odd offering. She literally rolls of the stage. (Many rolling exits in this travesty). The set, the multimedia distractions, and music as noise must have fascinated the director. Sadly, he forgot to guide his performers. It is as incoherent as the wailing of the cross dressing dancers. Let us all hope the rehearsal is undressed and redressed before opening night.

2  Thank Crctrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

The shows are top notch. Prices are very decent for what you get..I mean the ballet performers have gone through so much training to show you a perfect show..BRAVO!!

1  Thank superwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 23, 2013

Attended with my wife and daughter. Ballet is not something I would go to all the time but this experience was beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable. Would attend again.

1  Thank andersarn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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