Onegin premier

Onegin in Vanemuine

Ballet Onegin, choreography created by Vassili Medvedjev, was first premiered in Prague in 1999 with Stanislav Fečo as Onegin. Now, after 8 years Stanislav directed Vassili’s choreography in theatre Vanemuine.

Again I took advantage of the opportunity Stanislav had suggested few weeks ago. He invited me to see the stage rehearsals of the performance. Regrettably, I did not have enough time to spend all my evenings at the rehearsals, but the ones I managed to visit, did give me about 500 photos. Naturally, I was so excited again over the opportunity.

My fear was confirmed though – I have earlier mentioned my concern over the snap sound of my camera and my fear of it being too loud and potentially disturbing on quiet atmosphere. On one of the rehearsals there was another photographer also taking photos and I could hear snaps of his camera from the other side of the hall. Now, being aware of it, I will not try to go to any more performances, but am still hoping to be invited to the rehearsals, where the sound of my camera is acceptable.

Antonio @ OneginIlja Mironov & Antonio @ OneginHayley Blackburn @ Onegin

Yes, I had been to the rehearsal twice, yet I had never actually followed the story of the performance. My main concern had been to catch great shots to share with the dancers. So while watching the actual performance and following the story presented with dance, I soon found tears making my eyes wet. As turned out, Margus also had had tears in his eyes. Deeply feeling for the story, I told Antonio (that is to Onegin) after the performance: ‘You bastard!’ :) In response to Antonio’s confused face, I did have to explain that the words were actually meant for Onegin, not for Antonio, but well, he did play the role so truthfully.

Ilja Mironov & Antonio @Onegin

Friday evening I had received my new gadget – Canon Speedlite 580EX II flash unit. The internet store had been processing my purchase for two weeks, so on Thursday I confronted them with ultimatum, they either deliver the flash to me by Friday evening or I will cancel the purchase. My plan to be taking photos at the premier reception on Saturday was the main reason why I desired the flash, so I was getting pretty desperate with them stalling the shipment. Likely thanks to the confrontation, I received my flash by Friday evening.

My excitement over the flash soon turned to desperation again, though. I put batteries in the flash and closed the cover, but when trying to take the batteries back out, I shockingly realized that two of the batteries were stuck in the flash and I had no idea how to get them out. After hours of futile attempts I gave up and accepted that the only way to do anything with the flash was to take it to repairment on Monday. That of course meant that I was not going to do anything with the flash on the Saturday’s reception.

In my desperation I had asked Margus to bring along a screwdriver. Instead he brought his case with all his tools. I had decided not to take the flash into pieces by myself, but Margus, my hero tried getting the batteries out with pliers, ..and succeeded! With spare batteries charged, I took few minutes to figure out how the flash worked and what it was capable of and I was ready for the reception.

After tens of photos at the reception, my flash unit batteries ran dry and when I tried taking photos with the built-in flash of my camera, I was already yearning for my new flash. While there was no use for the flash with empty batteries, Margus kindly agreed to keep the flash in his pocket. With enough energy in his pants, I managed to take another photo with the flash unit later on.

My sister always reminds me, that she is very mobile, meaning is she can be taken along to anywhere. So I had invited sister and mom to the premier. It was their first time to see a ballet performance, so I was not quite sure how they would like it. I was little worried, that with them both being tired working at nights, they may just fall asleep on the performance. But they loved it all and were very excited to have seen the performance.

After the premier, I introduced myself to the dancers and gave them CD-s with photos I had taken on the rehearsals of Onegin and performance of Giselle. They were all so excited to know someone had taken photos of them. It has been my pleasure to be taking photos of them, but of course it is flattering to see I have been able to please someone else.

Routine speeches of the reception spiced up when Lauri Leesi approached the microphone. He proudly announced he has known Vassili for 22 years, after they had met up on a beach. Even though those, who don’t know for sure, assume he is gay, I have thought he has been keeping low profile on that field. So I was very surprised by such revealing announcement. While most of the audience just laughed at such statement, it brought a knowing grin on many faces. As if that was not enough, another statement followed directed to the director of the theatre: ‘I have not met up with him on the beach, ..yet’.

Antonio & Hayley Blackburn @ Onegin

Saori NagataSaori Nagata & Steven Melendez @ Onegin

As for the photos of the rehearsals, ..I have given them all to dancers, but I do feel tempted to upload them all to online gallery. Will inform if I have decided to do that.

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