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About Duck

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  • Location:
    Stuttgart/ Germany
  • Interests
    MacMillan, Scarlett, Cranko, Bejart, Goecke, Scholz, McGregor, Royal Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Bejart Ballet, Ballet Nice Mediterranee, Gauthier Dance, Paris Opera Ballet
  1. Marcia Haydee's 80th birthday last week is being celebrated through a variety of events in Stuttgart. In one of these, Marcia Haydee will perform as the nurse in Cranko’s R&J over the coming week (plus, to mark the occasion I guess, Egon Madsen will perform as Friar Laurence and Reid Anderson, in a role debut, as Lord Capulet). Unexpected bonus as when I bought a ticket a few weeks ago for one of these performances, this was predominantly to see the then planned cast for the two leads. The media joins in, too. A documentary about Marcia Haydee that was shown on television over the weekend comes with a number of rehearsal and performance extracts, pictures from the company in New York, Moscow, etc. No subtitles though unfortunately. If you decide to watch the documentary and, in the absence of any subtitles, wonder about the driving across town … Marcia Haydee is taken to e.g., outside the house that John Cranko lived in, outside the house that she lived in, the street with the restaurant that the company often went to after the performances, etc., and the sight of these places leads the conversation to the respective topics. If you happen to be in Stuttgart the coming weekend … there’ll be a ballet talk with Marcia Haydee and Tamas Detrich at the Opera House on Sunday morning, and another documentary about Marcia Haydee will be shown in a local cinema on Sunday evening.
  2. ... I tried unsuccessfully to convert the above video into just showing the link, and somehow I must have clicked on "submit" in doing so, hence the incomplete post above ------------- ... plus a review of a performance of Vespertine by Atlanta Ballet Other than that, I find Eric Vu-An's public facebook page the best source to seeing extracts of the ballets if I unable to go to Nice for a performance
  3. Thanks so much, Scheherezade. Atlanta Ballet has recently taken Vespertine into their repertoire, too, so there is a further video on the web about the piece
  4. Matthew Golding won the YAGP in 2002 Last year's winner of the 2nd price in the Senior Men's category, Stanislaw Wegrzyn, was in the Prix de Lausanne finals this year and will join the RB as PdL apprentice next season.
  5. Dancing Beethoven, the documentary about the preparations for Bejart's 9th Symphony in Tokyo is now shown in cinemas in Germany, and in the German-speaking part of Switzerland from May onwards (I don't know about other places). It comes with extensive coverage of rehearsals by Bejart Ballet Lausanne, The Tokyo Ballet, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ritsuyukai Choir as well as a number of interviews with Gil Roman, soloist dancers from the two companies, Zubin Mehta, and others. The documentary is subtitled with interviews in French, English and Japanese. Though language may not be an obstacle as the beautiful pictures and music speak for themselves. I saw this today and truly loved it.
  6. Just looked at a short video of Ashton's Sinfonietta on the web. This looks great, and I'd happily watch the full piece.
  7. Are you suggesting that the schools that performed something contemporary in last week's gala in Paris did so because their students would not have been able to dance anything more classical? Most companies nowadays have a mix of classical/ neoclassical/ contemporary choreographies in their repertoire so they need dancers who are versatile enough to dance all of these, and this will inevitably feed through to schools. A gala that shows only one of these categories would IMO not give sufficient credit to the full range of the student's skills.
  8. Thanks so much, Sim I hope I'll be able to see the company also in future seasons and will happily feed back then, too.
  9. ooh, sorry for the confusion and thank for you adding the tag
  10. I was back in Nice at the weekend for the current triple bill of Ballet Nice Mediterranee, which included the premiere in France of Liam Scarlett’s Vespertine. I saw the performances on Saturday evening and on Sunday afternoon. The programme started with Sinfonietta by Jiri Kylian. Sinfonietta was part of the first programme that I ever attended at the ROH, back in 2006, and it was a joy to see it again. In particular the entry of the men at the beginning, one by one, and each then performing the same choreography, the duets of grands jetes in rectangles across the stage, and the closing section with couples performing higher and higher lifts diagonally across the stage. It’s that energetic, joyful, celebratory atmosphere that captivated me, and also the backcloth which reminded me of a rural coastal area in the UK or in Ireland. In watching the duets with their grands jetes, I was thunderstruck by a dancer whom I hadn’t seen before. His lines, his precision, the clarity of his dancing, the way he moved between the jumps and turns completely got me. I was properly awestruck. A check in the programme book during the interval showed Alessandro Audisio as name. A search on the web later that night showed that he graduated from the RBS in 2014 and then joined the Romanian National Ballet. So no wonder! He did the RBS proud, he will be a great asset for the company in Nice (yes, I am still awestruck!), and I look forward to seeing more of him in future seasons. Scarlett created Vespertine with music by Arcangelo Corelli for Norwegian National Ballet in 2013. With the exception of a PDD for two dancers at POB last summer, I understand that Nice is also the first company in France that shows any piece by Liam Scarlett. The stage is lit by (up to) 9 chandelier-like groupings of around 25 bare light bulbs each. 4 lead dancers and a further 8 dancers perform in 17th century-style clothes – high-waisted culottes and knee-length coats for the men, long dresses with an extremely wide skirt, a tight top and a shoulder cover for the woman, all in burgundy. Plus nude trunks & bodies underneath, as the choreography later shows. An introductory male solo is followed by a long and sensual PDD (trunks and full dress), superbly danced by Zaloa Fabbrini and Zhani Lukaj, both promoted to soloist level only at the end of last season. Various lifts upside down, including with shivering of legs by the woman and one very high lift upside down where the female dancer does what looks like a one-armed handstand on the man’s shoulder; he holds on to her thigh and then walks across stage in that position rather fast. Various group sections with a female solo and a male duet in between follow, sometimes in full clothes, sometimes in underwear for the men and/ or the women. Some group movements look like court dancing, some like playing a string instrument, all are highly musical. The male duet seems to be about relationships and male rivalry. The programme booklet doesn’t indicate a story for the ballet, and yet I’ve taken this piece as couples at a 17th-century court and what happens on stage - and more importantly, what happens behind the scenes. Alvin Ailey’s Night Creature, to music by Duke Ellington, comes with the atmosphere of a NY jazz/ night club. 1920s style dresses and headbands for the female dancers, lots of hip shaking, some ballroom dancing, some jazz dance, and intermittently overhead lifts, arabesques, pas de bourree, pas de chat and jetes. This was not my piece as there was too much hip shaking for my taste. The audience on Saturday however truly adored it (I didn’t stay for it on Sunday as I was heading to a local cinema to see the new documentary about the Opera de Paris, see my post in the Opera & Music section), and the music proved to be an earworm – on the way back to my place, I was shaking my hips, too. Eric Vu-An has published two videos with extracts of stage rehearsals on his public Facebook page There’ll be further performances of the triple bill later this week. Sinfonietta will also be performed by the company in Antibes in June as part of another mixed programme. The programme booklet shows 28 dancers, up from 26 dancers when I saw the company last autumn and 25 last spring. This growth in size (well, I hope it is growth rather than filling vacancies that happened to exist just when I saw the company last year), the addition of Alessandro Audisio and the entry of Scholz’ Oktett into their repertoire last year/ Scarlett’s Vespertine this year makes me excited about the future development of the company. I really look forward to the announcement of the coming season (and as an aside, I do hope that the flight connections from Stuttgart will have improved by then as getting there from London seemed to be somewhat easier & cheaper).
  11. Is it still possible to add tags to an existing thread? I was going to add the tag "cinema" to my post from earlier today about the new documentary about Paris Opera. I couldn't find, however, a way to add a tag to it. Thanks so much in advance.
  12. A new documentary about the Opera de Paris has been in cinemas throughout France since 5th April. I saw it in Nice on Sunday. The documentary traces individuals, groups and events behind the scenes and on stage over at least one season. In doing so, it shows what I would summarise as the human side of work at an opera house – such as facial expressions of participants in discussions (e.g., expressing disagreement), worries and doubts of performers during the rehearsal process as well as the successful performance, challenging managerial aspects (dealing with a strike that has been announced for the opening night of a performance; the search to find a replacement for a lead singer for an opera at two days’ notice), the commitment and success on stage coupled with the exhaustion of a performer as soon as the artist is in the wings, etc. While I guess some French will be helpful, I think that focussing on facial expressions and the atmosphere shown might work just as well. Most of the documentary focusses on opera, with some content about POB and organisational aspects of the Opera de Paris (who sits where in the most prestigious box for the opening gala of the 2015 season; the approach to ticket prices in light of budget constraints and the need to be accessible). Specifically, in relation to opera it follows a young Russian tenor (Mikhail Timoshenko) from his successful audition for the Opera’s Academy programme, his arrival in Paris, rehearsals and coaching, some doubts, and through to a successful performance, presumably towards the end of the season a group of primary school children who come in for a monthly rehearsal in preparation for an end-of-the year concert performance in front of their proud relatives various opera rehearsals, with e.g., the conductor looking to get the sound from the orchestra that he is looking for, looking to synchronise the chorus with the lead singers, preparations for a new opera through to the successful premiere some funny aspects, too – the new opera that is being prepared involves a bull on stage. The documentary shows how the bull is chosen (pictures of a massive bull) … followed by a sequence that shows the bull in his stable with a loudspeaker a couple of yards away, playing the music of said opera at full volume, so as to get the bull acquainted with what will be happening on stage (this made me wonder whether Peregrine gets to listen to music from La fille mal gardee even now and then, or did so before the very first performance?) In relation to ballet (and to avoid a double posting in a separate part of the forum) a short extract of the defile as part of the opening gala a brief segment from La Bayadere (and showing the dancer completely exhausted once in the wings) a rehearsal extract for Millepied’s Appassionata (interrupted by him replying to an email … with the music changing dramatically to something much darker, followed by Stephane Lissner on the phone to Millepied with what sounds like an intense discussion in relation to the latter’s potential departure and as if they had a number of prior discussions whether this may happen or not, an extract from the press conference that announced Aurelie Dupont replacing Benjamin Millepied, an extract from a related announcement (and yet with different words and a different tone) by Millepied himself to the dancers, followed by the successful premiere of Appassionata in early February 2016 In case some here are in France over the Easter break ... the following link provides a list of cinemas that show the documentary plus a trailer My only regret is that the staff of the Paris Opera House and the artists were not introduced by name when they first featured in the documentary e.g., with just the name and the title or role displayed on screen, as it is done in many other documentaries (the credits at the end of the documentary do provide a long list operas that featured in the documentary as well as the artists involved). I did recognise Stephane Lissner, Philippe Jordan, Benjamin Millepied and some of the dancers shown, plus I think Bryn Terfel and Toby Spence however there were many others whom I didn’t recognise. Not having the names did not prevent me from enjoying the documentary but it would have given a little more context. Though maybe that’s not an issue for those who watch opera more often than I do.
  13. Just going through the programme for next season myself. The information about NBoC's performances is hidden among the narrative in German on page 50 „Dreamers Ever Leave You” by Robert Binet, „Man in Black” by James Kudelka, „Emergence” by Crystal Pite