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About MAB

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    South London
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    Dance, Opera & travel

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  1. I recommend his book of recollections, My Word is my Bond, very amusing guy.
  2. The first two fatalities have been named, two girls aged eight and eighteen. I cannot start to comprehend the suffering of their families. IS has claimed responsibility.
  3. Just heard on the radio that there is call for blood in the area, particularly type O and rhesus negative, perhaps if anyone has those blood types and lives locally they could also consider donating.
  4. I wouldn't say that, I have at least four books about her and remember attending her 90th birthday gala. Markova was far more of an international ballerina than Fonteyn, dancing with a variety of companies starting with Diaghilev's. Together with Dolin she started a company too. Much of Markova's best work was in the US, e.g. Antony Tudor's Romeo and Juliet.
  5. Perhaps the worst atrocity in Britain so far, as it seems the act appearing at Manchester Arena attracts a particularly young audience and the police are reporting children amongst the twenty two dead. Heart breaking when young lives are taken so soon. To specifically target those youngsters makes me feel sick.
  6. This is only the second revival of Hipermestra in the opera's history and the last revival was back in the seventeenth century, so a real rarity, even though Cavalli is enjoying something of a resurgence in popularity in recent years, Difficult story line: King Danao has fifty daughters and his twin brother has fifty sons, all these cousins marry one another. The oracle has told Danao one of his sons in law will kill him, so he instructs all his daughters to slay their husbands on the wedding night. Hipermestra disobeys and a bloodbath ensues. In spite of all the references to ancient Greece, the action takes place in some modern oil rich middle eastern state where having fifty offspring is quite feasible. The curtain rises on a mass wedding in front of a giant cake and coincidentally the first night coincided with a widely reported society wedding of eye-watering extravagance on the same day, purposely? After helping her husband Linceo escape, Hipermestra is compelled to dig a hole in the sand while her executioners pile up stones ready to stone her to death, war intervenes and Hipermestra's fortunes don't improve as her admirer has spread false rumours about her fidelity causing Linceo to condemn her to death. She attempts suicide by jumping off a ruined building but is rescued by a giant bird. The truth finally emerges and the couple are reunited. There is actually something of a moral dilemma in the story, had Hipermestra obeyed her father, Argos, their home, would not have been destroyed and thousands would not have been killed, The production is superb with the Arab opulence in the first half reduced to rubble in the second. Only one hiccup to report concerning the nodding donkeys in the oilfield scene, silent at first but towards the end they started to squeak, perhaps an extra will discreetly apply some WD40 on subsequent evenings. Cast terrific all round and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment performed in costume throughout, appearing in shabby clothing in the second half, picking their way through the debris to the orchestra pit led by William Christie himself wearing a pair of old carpet slippers (without his trademark red socks). Christie also gamely endured the attentions of lascivious servant Berenice, a 'lady' with a full beard, before she landed on the lap of a front row audience member who earned a round of applause for being a good sport. Unmissable.
  7. ???!!! Someone doesn't know their dance history
  8. Ditto. Despite my adoration of Natalia Osipova, I hadn't booked for her, feeling that just as theatrical lore said you had to be forty to play Juliet, so I feel only an older dancer can dance Marguerite, even though I'm aware the original, Marie Duplessis, died very young. Ferri may well bring a ballet that should otherwise be shelved to life.
  9. A subsequent marriage would have legitimized her though.
  10. For me ballet is first and foremost an international art form and an ideal company would be a blend of native talent and foreign genius, but choreographically I feel the RB is becoming increasingly parochial in outlook. I perfectly understand the need to develop an in house choreographer, but feel Christopher Wheeldon in particular should stick to what he does best, non narrative one act ballets, The MacMillan rep dominates but some of his best works have vanished whereas dross such as Judas Tree is wheeled out yet again next season. We do get Balanchine of course but apart from Jewels his works are strictly rationed. I suppose the opposing argument would be there are plenty of performances of Russian classics by long dead foreign masters. The fact remains however that a lot of the RB's back catalogue would be preferable to a piece as laughable as Strapless which is about to be resurrected, even more galling when you consider Ratmansky's beautiful 24 Preludes has never had a revival. Different AD's have had different ideas as to whose work was worth importing and whose wasn't but there used to be a far healthier mix in the past than there is now.
  11. As Hirano has partnered Osipova in the past, he would be preferable to other names put forward.
  12. Seeing as Ms Jenner was promoted to principal in 1970, it is difficult to say for certainty who promoted her as 1970 was the year Ashton left and MacMillan took over. As far as memory serves me she danced roles such as Firebird and Giselle, the two roles I liked her in most, towards the end of her RB career, Lise too I think. I was led to believe she left the RB for personal reasons, but let's not rake over old gossip. The fact is there are a lot of dancers that appear under appreciated by their companies, in recent years Diana Cuni, Vassily Scherbakov and Emmanuel Thibault should have reached ballet's Olympian heights but didn't. As the saying goes **** happens.
  13. I call that drawing the short straw.
  14. I've just realized I didn't mention casting in my earlier post. Unless procedure has changed (I've only been watching operas at the Garnier in the last couple of years), casting is only announced shortly before the performance and long after booking has opened. The French website Dansomanie speculates on who is likely to dance and probably has some insider information to back up that speculation but that doesn't help with dates. When casting does appear on the Opera's website it will be listed as distribution but by that time only the dearest and cheapest seats are likely to be available if you are lucky.
  15. I imagine she will be busy rehearsing her Odette/Odile debut later in the season.